Canon in financial trouble?

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by lightontheland, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. This may come under the heading of "If it's on the internet it must be true", but:
    Under the Money banner on the MSN homepage, there's an article about 14 major corporations that are declining, and one of those listed is Canon. Here's a quote from the article:
    Brand value
    : $11 billion
    One-year decline in brand value: 9 percent
    What went wrong: IDC estimates that the global digital camera market will shrink 29 percent as consumers increasingly find their smartphones sufficient to meet their picture-taking needs. (Italics mine.)
    Reason for hope: President Fujio Mitari might gain traction from some of the many new products that he is pushing through the Japanese company's pipeline.
    My wife and I got a good dose of smartphoneitis earlier this week in the Smoky Mountains. At every overlook, there were hordes of tourists lined up at the edge, pointing their phones (and one iPad) at the scene. It almost looked like some kind of weird religious rite. Looking around, I only saw about five DSLRs in the crowd of about 60 people. My wife and I were the only ones using tripods.
    So, are those of us still using DSLRs, or even mirrorless cameras, now in the same position as film shooters at the start of the digital age?
    A somewhat related footnote: Among the other companies listed were Intel and Hewlett Packard, which were cited for failure to move rapidly enough into the "post PC world".
    Post PC world? Now, that is scary...
  2. I think smartphones will take over the snapshot market -- but not the photograph market. That you can capture an image with your phone and immediately message it or email it around the world is something your camera does not do.
  3. No doubt the market for low end PS cameras is going to collapse. People want to take pictures and the VAST majority wouldn't know an aperture from a hole in the ground. They just want some good (to their eyes) visual memories. Decent cameras on phones fill that need w/o having to carry another gadget and they can easily share.
    Maybe it'll for Canikon to get creative instead of coming out w/ the same model in 8 different colors w/ ever so slight differences every 9 months. The downside of it is that they can't subsidize the development of money losing (sorta) DSLRs w/ a plethora of PS cameras.
    Also, remember that Canon in particular has many business units other than cameras and Nikon to a lesser degree.
  4. Virginia, I think you're probably right about that. But, consider this scenario: (a) Canon fails to compete in the smartphone market; and (b) Canon experiences a serious drop in sales of DSLRs and even their P&S cameras. What effect might that have on continued production of DSLRs, and/or their prices?
    Edit: Howard, you beat me to the post...
  5. Norman 202

    Norman 202 i am the light

    I like Canon. I hope they manage to overcome any finaancial difficulties they may be experiencing.
  6. Things change - and at a much faster pace than in the past. Consider brands that were once symbolic with an industry, and have gone away. Kodak, Digital Equpment (DEC) and Pan Am stick out for me as companies that represented what an industry was all about, and as those industries changed they were caught without a strategy to evolve. Although I use Canon equipment now and they are symbolic with photography, when I was learning how to shoot SLRs back in the day Canon was just another brand - I carry no illusion that they will be the leader in, say 10 years.
    What I really find "interesting" is what the democratization of photography means for the industry generally. That's what the poster above is describing when he talks about smart phones at national park lookouts - all the time, everywhere, point-and-shoot whatever, whenever, without a bag full of specialized equipment. I personally don't think it's about taking better photos, at least by the definition of most people on this forum, but it certainly continues what Mr Kodak meant to accomplish a century or so ago. And, it doesn't change my enjoyment of a hobby/passion, currently mostly driven by Canon equipment but frequently using whatever smartphone is handy.
  7. If Canon are in finacial trouble then with a brand value of $11 bn it is the sort of trouble lots of corporations would love to be in.
  8. Let's be honest - when is the last time Canon released anything fundamentally new? They seem to be content with their status quo in the camera market place. Their sensor technology is way behind the competition, their attempt to get a foot in the mirror less market was a total joke and failure. Sony now has a FF mirror less camera while Canon is stuck in the stone ages.
    Canon might just too big to get the curve in the ever changing camera landscape.
    I am heavily invested in Canon but really feel let down by them. Come on, Canon, get off your behinds and get moving again!
  9. Well, Juergen, Maybe there is "Reason For Hope" in those many new products coming down the pipeline - if there's any substance there...
  10. I am heavily invested in Canon but really feel let down by them. Come on, Canon, get off your behinds and get moving again!​
    I always have a (perhaps) unfortunate reaction to comments like this. What is your Canon equipment not doing that you need it to do? I use Nikon (and now Fuji), but there is no question about Canon quality--I love the 5D series.
    I don't want to get into some deep gearhead argument, but it is true that so-called 'full frame' sensors (hate the term) require bigger lenses, which negates some of the advantages of MILCs. (MILFs, OTOH, have many advantages.)
  11. 60% of Canon's sales are derived from businesses other than imaging and they are still rated Aa/AA by Moody's and Standard and Poors, so I don't think they are in any imminent financial difficulty. That's not to say that their income stream from Imaging could not be significantly impacted by changes in the market, and that they currently seem to be (along with Nikon) tied to DSLRs and big/heavy lenses. I have been a Canon shooter since 1975, but most often use my Olympus M43 equipment while the 5D and L lenses stay in their bags on a shelf in the closet.
  12. Maybe Canon needs to reconsider its retail price structure. It's nice that a low-end DSLR is cheap enough to appeal to ordinary folks like me, but it seems that full frame instruments are almost out of reach. I get the feeling that dropping prices for the 5D and 6D might encourage more purchases of them, thereby increasing profitability by volume.
  13. Up till now, Canon has done an excellent job of selling to the advanced amateur who wants a sports body to shoot football, surfing, and other high speed sports. Smartphones can't do that, at least not yet. In the last 5 years, both Canon and Nikon have failed to introduce a semi pro quality, cropped frame body, 20 MP+, that can shoot at 10 FPS or faster. This performance is relegated to their $6,000 pro models. It is possible that Sony may introduce such a body in 2014.
  14. it


    "I am heavily invested in Canon but really feel let down by them. Come on, Canon, get off your behinds and get moving again!"

    Sorry, but that is just sad. I make my living with Canon gear, most of it bought between 2006 and 2009. I do 100+ freelance gigs a year and not one of my clients has complained about my IQ. I know my kit inside and out, which is 90% of the battle IMO. Stop blaming your gear for your disappointment!
  15. Now, now, nice! ;-)
  16. What this trend will show, or I guess IS showing is that a LOT of people just want a snap shot of something. They just want a simple picture and the easier it is the better. If they can do a good enough job with a tool already in their pocket, so much the better. That means the cameras designed for those people will be gone soon. Why carry TWO things when you have ONE thing that can jet the job done ? I don't know the real time line for " soon ", but it will seem pretty quick when we are there, looking back to today.
    That means the job of camera makers is to either start making the cameras IN the cell phones that everyone wants or .... make products that are so OBVIOUSLY better at the job than the things in those devices that people WILL see the difference and be willing to pay for it and use it.
  17. So, all of you defending Canon - you would NOT buy the next Canon body with improved DR, no banding when shadows are being pushed and higher MPs for landscapes because you are happy with the gear you currently have - right?
    Stop kidding yourself, Canon is way behind the competition when it comes to sensor technology. I shoot landscapes and better DR is a major issue for me.
  18. Get a grip people.
    1. Declining is not the same as "financial trouble". Canon DSLRs are not going away any time soon.
    2. They make a lot more than cameras. As of 2011 (latest data I could find easily), office products were more than 50%.
  19. Matthew, you're probably right about Canon's ability to survive on its office products business. But, the question here is what the impact will be on its photography products. You may recall that, shortly after Konica acquired Minolta, Konica-Minolta bailed out of the photo products business entirely, leaving a lot of people high and dry with cameras and films scanner without any support. Maybe Canon DSLRs are not going away any time soon, but it's happened before elsewhere and could happen again with any manufacturer...
  20. What is your Canon equipment not doing that you need it to do?​
    Giving people on internet forums who think it's Canon's job to build them their own perfect camera, irrelevant bragging rights about how it's possible to recover shadows by five stops at base ISO, for the most part.
    And that's pretty much it.
    when is the last time Canon released anything fundamentally new?​
    I don't know if that's deliberate trolling or actual ignorance, but nobody's doing anything "fundamentally new". But off the top of my head, Canon has recently come out with:
    The new 70D dual pixel sensor;
    The 200-400mm with built-in 1.4x (unique outside of the pro video market);
    The Canon 1D-C.
    A bit further back, the 7D was a game-changer in its way.
    And have a look at this:
    See which company makes the two most-represented DSLRs on Flickr?
    Maybe "innovation" isn't as important as good old fashioned quality.
  21. 1. Declining is not the same as "financial trouble". Canon DSLRs are not going away any time soon.​
    This. A lot.
    Here's what financial trouble looks like:
    And this is the company with the miracle sensors...
  22. Everybody (except maybe for Samsung) is seeing declining revenue from cameras. Sony is, Olympus has it's own problems, I presume the camera divisions of Nikon and Canon are having a tough time too.
    I don't think Canon, Nikon or Sony photographic divisions are going anywhere. They'll be around for a long time. They may not always be the top revenue generators that they were, but they'll adjust to that.
    Samsung are doing great because they make tablets, smartphones and now cameras which are Andorid powered and so are a very easy step up for smartphone users. They have a limited line of NX lenses, but reports are that the ones they do have are optically very good. A camera with built in 3G/4G will please a lot of people including both Facebook addicts and professionals who need to get their shots into publication seconds after they are taken (News, Sports, Paparazzi).
    Neither Nikon nor Canon have much (if any) in house android expertise or experience with smartphone technology. They can get it, but it will take time. Sony have it already if the will is there.
  23. As far as I know SLR's have always been a "niche" item in the grand scheme of things photo related. Consumer grade photo equipment has always far outsold what pros or advanced amateurs purchase, but that has never caused the market for more advanced cameras to dry up or the companies who make them go bankrupt (most of the time anyway) Consumer grade cameras have always changed with the times (from Kodak Brownies to point and shoot film/digital and now smartphones) Obviously these tools cant satisfy all of the needs of professionals or dedicated amateurs so there has always been and always will be someone to cater to their needs. Considering Canon has dominated this market for a while now due to their innovation and good business sense I don't see them disappearing from the SLR market anytime soon. Corporate profits inevitably rise and fall for numerous reasons but the good companies seem to know how to stick around for the long run. I think Canon is one of those companies.
  24. I think DSLRs will eventually be in the same positions as SLRs were some 15 years ago. Ever since the advent of autofocus in the mid- to late 80s and the advent of the film point and shoots, 35mm SLR sales have been in decline (I can't find the figures now, but that's my recollection from that time). When the first digital Rebel came, things suddenly turned around and people started buying DSLRs... I remember being surprised that a commercial for a (D)SLR appeared on regular prime-time TV, which was unheard of for a film SLR. DSLR sales exploded because people thought/felt that to get a good photo, they needed a DSLR. Which was more or less true back then.
    So DSLRs may go back to where SLRs were 15 years ago - a more or less niche product with relatively long model life time. The entry-level models were introduced in 3-4 year intervals, the higher level models every maybe 6-7 years or so.
    How much of the potential DLSR market will be taken by mirrorless cameras, I have no idea - they seem to be popular in Asia but in the USA their market share is minimal. It is telling that Sony recently introduced a DSLR-shaped entry-level mirrorless (the A3000) - it seems the DSLR shape, if not the actual DSLR viefinder, still sells
  25. It's not just SLRs and DSLRs that are in trouble. If a smartphone is "good enough" for the majority of people who want to take pictures, ALL cameras are going to be in trouble. People won't even want mirrorless cameras
    If someone can get a decent sized sensor and a zoom lens into a smartphone (and they will), things will get even worse for camera makers. They are going to have to make the cameras do things that everyone wants but which smartphones can't do. Not an easy task.
    There will always be a niche market for interchangeable lens cameras, but it may not be a big enough market to drive development at the pace we have seen in the past. In itself, that could also be a problem, though digital camera technology is nearing maturity and there is less real need for technological development. Once they all have 36MP and 1080 HD at 60fps, the only thing left is for the camera makers to convince us that what we really need is 4K video. The TV makers have to convince of of that too.So we get new cameras, new TVs, new disk players etc. so we can all view The Simpsons in glorious 4K. Until we get tired of that and become convinced that 8K is even better.
  26. Bob, technically zoom lenses have already been wrapped around inside a small body. Many years ago I had a Minolta "Dimage X". The camera was very small with a 3-1 optical zoom. (Do a Google search on Dimage X and check out the top right image to see the diagram of the camera.) I don't see why it would be too difficult to do this with a smart phone. The patents might be getting real valuable.
  27. Juergen: Go here and look at the images. Then tell us what's wrong with the Eye-Cue.
  28. Want to sell more cameras, drop the price of DSLR bodies to make it more affordable for people to get into the hobby, the more people getting into the hobby will mean more sales. How many of you got into photography, caught the bug, then upgraded and upgraded again. You catch the bug and start collecting lenses. Make it affordable for the average guy to get into the hobby using higher end gear, being able to take photos that a cell phone can't. Maybe it's time to recreate the market.
    I recall parents at the local high school marveling at the live view screen of a Canon DSLR zoomed in on a low lit stage, the image of the kids looking so sharp and clear on that screen. They weren't getting these shots with their iPhones and point and shoots. They wanted a camera like this. Get the price down to where it is affordable for the average guy.
    It's an expensive hobby, make it affordable, you have to get people hooked on it to get them to start buying your gear. Create your market, make a superior product that the masses can afford.
  29. If someone can get a decent sized sensor and a zoom lens into a smartphone (and they will), things will get even worse for camera makers.

    Unless that 'someone' is the camera makers themselves (as Sony is trying to do). If the camera within a phone moves from an afterthought to a more central feature, there may be a place for the traditional camera makers, with their expertise, and brand names, in the phone market. In the future there may be an iPhone with a Nikon camera module inside, and Google Nexus phone with a Canon camera module inside (or vice versa :)).
  30. Not sure that smartphones have it in them to impact meaningfully on DSLRs - they do indeed hit the "good enough for the majority" space, but that's long been occupied by P&S cameras, and they are at risk.
    If someone can get a decent sized sensor and a zoom lens into a smartphone (and they will), things will get even worse for camera makers.​
    Again, I'd really see this as a risk to bridge cameras; less so to DSLRs.
    Juergen: Go here and look at the images. Then tell us what's wrong with the Eye-Cue.​
    'Nuff said really, Les...
    But to head off the inevitible low ISO DR come-back (which as we all know, is all that matters): this is a 100 ISO 70D file from the internet, which I've quickly converted and processed without any localised adjustment NR shenanigans, that looked like this initially.
    How much more shadow recovery could anyone legitimately want?
    100% crops here and here - the Sony "miracle" sensors are really not much better at all: maybe a little cleaner, but only by a "who really cares?" amount. And these are 100% crops, remember.
  31. So, all of you defending Canon - you would NOT buy the next Canon body with improved DR, no banding when shadows are being pushed and higher MPs for landscapes because you are happy with the gear you currently have - right?​
    A completely irrelevant, embarrassingly transparent "straw man" argument: it's ridiculous to suggest that anyone wouldn't want these - and just for the avoidance of any doubt, nobody ever has said that they wouldn't want these improvements.
    Not ever.
    But the point is that the vast majority of photographers don't need them for the vast majority of the work they do.
    The fact that some people dwell on these (in truth) relatively insignificant issues to a completely OCD extent is the real problem. I'll go as far as to speculate that you don't "need" these improvements, Juergen: if you did, "heavily invested" or not, surely you'd have jumped ship before now?
    But you're still here. So "need"? I doubt it. Besides, it's surprisingly easy to address these perceived shortcomings anyway in conversion/post processing: I know this to be a fact, because I've done it.
    I've already demonstrated up the page that the 70D is eminently capable of heavy shadow wrangling at low ISO without banding or noise problems, but I've long been able to drag several stops out of the shadows on my 7D files too: this to this, for example.
    Or this to this - deliberately underexposed by three stops, and recovered by four stops.
    Maybe you should look at improving your own conversion and processing skills before railing incessantly at Canon for letting you down. I'll even help you out: Canon's own DPP is extremely good at low ISO shadow pushing without generating banding, if that's really such an issue for you...
    Oh - and none of this is about defending Canon. It's onlyabout not having a particular problem with Canon (at least on this topic) - a different thing altogether: but your attempt to personalise this position (and thereby to imply that it's driven by fanboyism) is just another tediously transparent bit of flamebait.
  32. IMHO the pace of introduction of new models is too high to be sustainable. How often does Ford or Mercedes or Toyota introduce a new model? You should be able to cover the development cost of your current models before introducing a new one or you won't stay in business long,
  33. Want to sell more cameras, drop the price of DSLR bodies to make it more affordable for people to get into the hobby, the more people getting into the hobby will mean more sales.
    I think you're overestimating the profit margins companies have on their SLRs. Cutting profit per camera in half isn't going to cut the retail price of the camera by 50%. And lowering the price by 10% isn't going to double sales.
  34. Many people use photos as a record of where they went, whom they were with, and what they ate while they were
    there.and they want to share those images immediately with their friends. Mobile phones fulfill this need well enough. The
    images aren't as sharp or detailed as they could be, but that doesn't seem to bother most folks.

    Pros and photography enthusiasts will continue to buy cameras, as will some older consumers who prefer to shoot with a
    camera than with a phone. But the vast majority of the consumer market has embraced the phone camera.

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