Canon is Finally Willing to Cannibalize Its DSLRs for Mirrorless: Report

As the mirrorless camera war continues to heat up, Canon is finally turning more of its attention toward the emerging segment and away from its bread-and-butter DSLR business.

Nikkei Asian Review reports that the Japanese camera juggernaut has long been hesitant to move strongly into mirrorless cameras due to fears about cannibalizing its existing DSLR sales. While Canon and Nikon have played it safe with simple mirrorless cameras that don’t rock the boat, companies like Sony have pushed hard with innovation, becoming the pioneers and leaders in professional mirrorless cameras.

But Canon has noticed the explosion of interest and progress in mirrorless cameras, and it’s trying to join the party before it’s too late. Nikkei reports that SLR sales dropped over 10% in Japan in 2017 while mirrorless sales rose nearly 30%.

The company has decided that it must “actively roll out products for a growth market even if there is some cannibalization,” Canon Marketing Japan President Masahiro Sakata tells Nikkei.

Sakata says that Canon is releasing a new entry-level mirrorless camera this month in hopes of becoming the mirrorless camera sales leader in Japan, where its EOS M mirrorless lineup currently ranks #2 behind Olympus cameras. The camera will be a “strategic model,” Sakata tells Nikkei.

Although it’s unclear from the report — the camera is not named — but it seems Sakata may be referring to the newly unveiled EOS M50, the company’s first 4K-capable mirrorless camera — the M50 will cost $780 for the body only and will be hitting store shelves in late March 2018. Otherwise, Canon may have yet another mirrorless camera up its sleeve.

Canon and Nikon are both rumored to be developing full-frame mirrorless cameras, and Canon even surveyed its professionals earlier this year regarding what they’d expect in a pro mirrorless camera that’s “‘compelling’ enough to purchase and use.”

Sakata, however, stayed mum on this topic when speaking to Nikkei, saying: “We will look at the timing and consider it.”

(via Nikkei via mirrorlessrumors)

Update: Craig from Canon Rumors tells PetaPixel that the M50 is indeed the camera Sakata is referring to, and that Canon doesn’t have any other entry-level mirrorless camera that will be unveiled this month.