Canon get serious

Check out the link at the bottom of the page for news on the Fuji X100T L-Plate grips.

You have to have some sympathy for Olympus. The OM-D E-M5 II has had exactly one day to itself in the spotlight, but today a seriously reinvigorated Canon, who are lest we forget the worlds biggest seller of Digital cameras, have blitzed the photographic internet with a whole string of cameras. 50MP 5D's, 24MP rebels, new EOS-M mirrorless (again 24MP) a lens and some compacts.

Whatever you think about Canon, whatever you think about DSLR's, there is no doubt that these announcements will get more attention, more internet chatter and more sales than anything any mirrorless manufacturer could ask for in their wildest dreams. The sleeping giant finally woke up.

Canon have given the impression that they have almost given up in the face of constant mirrorless innovation, but now it seems they were just biding their time. I can imagine a sigh of resignation in Sony, Fuji, Panasonic and Olympus boardrooms when this lot was announced. And there is no doubt that the chances of mirrorless making a significant impact in the USA suddenly got a lot harder.

Now lots of mirrorless fans will try to make little of it, but the fact is that Canon have a world wide customer base that most mirrorless manufacturers can only dream about. And while I sincerely doubt I'll be buying any of these recently announced cameras, I'm well aware that there will be an awful lot of people who will. The 50MP 5D's are going to attract a lot of attention at the high end of the market. It's a lot of pixels on a FF sensor and that will impact I'm sure on high ISO performance, but it does make Olympus and their 40MP - 8 shot - tripod only feature look like what it is. A bit of a sideshow. 

But it's the Canon EOS Rebel T6s/T6i (760D/750D) that I think will make the most impact. Because look at the prices  -  $749/£599/€799 (body only), $899/£689/€899 (with 18-55 STM lens), $1099 (with 18-135 STM lens) and look at the specs. - 

These are small light cameras with fully articulated screens, great video options, wi-fi, good battery life and access to one of the biggest lens ranges currently available. Again mirrorless fans will seize on anything to try and show that their choices are better, but these new 'beginner' cameras are going to look VERY attractive to potential buyers, not least because of the Canon name. And those of us who are less than enthusiastic about that name (yes me) will have to acknowledge that Canon have woken up and got serious again. Because it shouldn't be forgotten that DSLR's still outsell mirrorless in the interchangeable lens market by around 2 to 1. And in some areas, most notably the USA it's more than that. 

I've been writing for years that you write DSLR's off at your peril. (Assuming that is that you would want to - I don't) because they can do most of what mirrorless does anyway. As ever I would make the point that there is far too much fuss made about that mirror anyway. For the majority of consumers it's irrelevant.

There is also the point that I constantly make is that mirrorless manufacturers overprice their products. Again it's the hard sell issue. In the UK the 24MP EOS 750D (body only) will go on sale at £599 (and it will cheaper a few weeks after that) The 16MP Olympus OM-D E-M5 (body only) will be £899. And yes the lenses for the Canon are bigger and the 18-55mm Canon kit lens is terrible, but that price difference will be compelling for many. When you add in the fact that the Canon looks like a 'proper' camera and the simple fact that it's made by Canon means that it will sell considerably more than the Olympus and by quite some distance.

And it cannot be denied that Canon have made an effort here. The headline grabbing 50MP 5D's will get a LOT of internet chatter, particularly when we get to see what the files look like. But those smaller EOS's are obviously going to be decent cameras and the struggle to convince current non believers to convert to mirrorless just got harder. To be honest it was only a matter of time, assuming that Canon were still interested, that they would go after mirrorless. With the trend of mirrorless interchangeable moving to a DSLR look, it wouldn't (and hasn't) take much for small(er) light(er) budget DSLR's to nullify most of the what might be perceived as the 'mirrorless advantage'. And because of long established DSLR design and manufacturing methods something like the EOS 750D can come in a lower (and therefore much more attractive) price. 

Hopefully, in what is after all a diminishing market for cameras that don't come with a phone as an extra!!, the mirrorless manufacturers might wake up to the fact that one of the reasons they aren't making the inroads that many have predicted is that they just aren't competitive on price. The EOS 750D is 33% cheaper than the Olympus OM-D E-M5 II and it has a bigger sensor and more MP's as well. Plus the majority of buyers probably won't look any further than the kit lens that came with the camera. And all that cooing about 5-axis IS will ultimately count for nothing in the marketplace. The EOS 750D will look to most people like a higher specified camera at a cheaper price. And all the huffing and puffing and internet chatter from the mirrorless camp won't do anything to change that. The mirrorless 'dilemma' is still there and Canon just put the pressure on that will only make it worse. I await the mirrorless manufacturers response with interest.

News - Matthew at the PhotoMadd shop has emailed me to say that the custom Fuji X100T L-Plate grips are due in early next week. Due to some repositioning on the X100T, the X100 /X100s grips won't fit. If you click through to the shop on the link above you can see the current situation on the grip. Matthew is hoping for a February 9 delivery.