Canon wants to dominate the mirrorless camera market with the EOS R range


Canon has unveiled its business strategy plans from 2022 and, for fans of the camera maker, there’s good news. Canon is keen to “establish global market share, even in mirrorless cameras” and will “further improve the EOS R System range of cameras and lenses”.

That really shouldn’t come as a big surprise – and probably wouldn’t be too hard to pull off – given the momentum Canon has built since the launch of the EOS R5 and EOS R6 bodies, which it quickly followed up with the EOS R3 and the video-focused EOS R5 C. And there are already quite a few new RF lenses, including the monster RF 1200mm f/8L IS USM.

Much has been said about a potential EOS R flagship coming this year in the form of what has been dubbed the EOS R1, as well as a possible EOS R7 which would be an APS-C format camera with a RF mount. There’s even been talk of replacing the EOS RP with an updated (and hopefully equally affordable) model.

Although Canon’s business strategy does not set out any firm roadmap for the development of new bodies, the company seems very keen to expand its range of RF lenses “at the same pace”. To put that into hard numbers: Canon added eight new RF lenses to its stable in 2021, so we can expect eight more this year (if the camera maker manages to keep the “same pace”), for a total of 32 in four years.

Screenshot of Canon's outlook for its imaging business

(Photo credit: Canon)

Analysis: focus on the future of Canon cameras

The EOS R system isn’t Canon’s only priority, however. There’s the range of Cinema bodies and lenses which is also being expanded at a steady pace, plus all the concept cameras Canon continues to experiment with (remember the PowerShot Zoom and PowerShot Pick?).

For example, there’s the new virtual reality video system called Kokomo that Canon unveiled at CES 2022. According to the manufacturer, Kokomo is an “exciting new way to connect” by allowing users to make video calls in a virtual environment. 3D. This is also aimed at consumers and could find Canon some new fans.

As interesting as the concepts are, Canon’s enthusiast/prosumer cameras and lenses steal the show, at least according to the latest figures out of Japan.

Even during the Covid-19 pandemic, Canon has seen sustained growth resulting from its shift to focus on the mirrorless market. Despite this, the January 2022 BCN Awards (which recognize the business achievements of camera manufacturers each year) showed that Canon could have actually sold more DSLRs in 2021 than the previous year, which may seem rather counter-intuitive but proves that DSLRs are still hooked (which could be good news for Pentax).

According to Canon’s 2021 financial report, its interchangeable lens camera sales fell just 1% last year compared to 2020, capturing more than half (52%) of the global ILC market. which is quite a remarkable achievement as the tech world was in turmoil. by parts shortages and other ripple effects of the pandemic.

So it’s clear that Canon is doing something right. Despite its overheating issues, the EOS R5 grabbed the headlines, while the EOS R6 gave the average consumer the option to purchase a remarkable full-frame mirrorless camera to match the performance of the R5. And while a high resolution body to rival the Sony A7R IV is nice, I really want something between the EOS R5 and R6 – something with maybe 32MP sensor resolution but the same autofocus performance.

According to the same BCN Awards report mentioned above, Canon is still behind Sony in the mirrorless market, but not that far behind (28.2% vs. 32% respectively). Sony, however, offers a wide range of native lenses for its full frames. With Canon’s plans to expand its RF range “at the same pace”, the brand will be able to compete even stronger against its main mirrorless rival.

So Canon’s goal of dominating the world of mirrorless cameras might be achievable if it maintains momentum and can keep up with demand.

  • Looking to get a new camera? Take a look at our selection of the best Canon cameras available today.

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