Canon May Have a Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera in 2012

Posted by at 11:02 am on July 5, 2011

Canon’s camera group lead Masaya Maeda hinted in an interview Tuesday that his company was at least investigating, if not making, a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The Japanese firm was “considering the technical aspects” of such a jump. There would be an “interesting product” with small dimensions next year, Maeda told Reuters, although he didn’t say if that would be an interchangeable model.

The frequent market leader has done well in 2011 and plans to step up its DSLR production from seven million a year to 10 million. It still faces competition at the low end as those who would buy a camera like the Rebel T3 might be tempted to go for a mirrorless camera instead. The category is so far dominated by Olympus, Panasonic, and Sony, and is now shrinking to compact size with cameras like the Olympus PEN Mini being no bigger than a point-and-shoot but having all the image quality and flexibility of a swappable lens camera.

Pressure also exists from a potential Nikon equivalent that could beat any Canon entry to market. Nikon might opt for a more professional model but could also go with a smaller sensor than even the Micro Four Thirds system.

Numerous camera makers were affected by the northern Japanese earthquake and, in Canon’s case, saw total camera orders reduced by three million due to lost production time. Maeda saw Canon as having already recovered but didn’t want to raise targets back up until it was clear. The company might have to outsource its entry point-and-shoots to Taiwan, the executive said.

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