Canon Hopes Nikon’s Purchase of RED Leads to Video Market ‘Revitalization’

A red komodo 6k digital cinema camera with a black body and a large lens mount, displayed against a dark background. the camera features prominent branding and a compact design.

While it would prefer that filmmakers remember the advantages of RF-mount, speaking exclusively to PetaPixel, Canon is looking on the bright side of Nikon’s acquisition of RED Cinema,

With the cinema and production industry’s eyes all on Nikon and its recent acquisition of RED, Canon has suddenly found itself actively supporting a competitor via its RF mount. Canon has long held a strong position in the cinema space. Beyond Canon’s obvious excellence in the broadcast realm, Canon’s EF-mount DSLRs and RF-mount mirrorless cameras have proven very popular with filmmakers, amateur and professional alike. The EOS R5C is a particularly compelling option for high-end video work, bridging the gap between more photo-oriented EOS R cameras and Canon’s cinema-specific cameras.

Canon’s biggest competitor in this space has, for years, been Sony. Now, Nikon suddenly enters the fray attached to Canon’s long-time partner, RED.

Despite this, Canon appears to be optimistic.

“We hope this development will lead to the revitalization of the video production industry,” a Canon representative tells PetaPixel.

“Canon caters to every customer, from beginners to professionals, by offering a vast array of optical lenses that have earned the trust of the broadcast and cinema industries, and a wide range of cameras that combine image quality, reliability, ease of use and robustness thanks to in-house-produced sensors and advanced proprietary video engines. We also actively promote cooperation with hardware and software manufacturers, enabling to respond to various filming site systems, such as live, virtual, and remote environments. By doing so, we meet the rapidly changing needs of photographers.”

Who is to say if it ever believed it would apply this philosophy to Nikon, but now that such a situation has arisen, Canon appears to be taking it in stride.

That said, the company points to many reasons why it believes RF mount is still the superior choice. Since Nikon will continue to support the mount on its RED cameras for the foreseeable future, perhaps it agrees.

“First is the technical advantage of the RF mount. In addition to inheriting the larger diameter characteristics of the EF mount, the RF mount has short back focus. These characteristics enable miniaturization and give us more freedom in optical design. We are working to develop next-generation functions by enabling large-capacity and high-speed communication between lenses and cameras,” Canon says.

“Another advantage is the seamless recording of still images and videos. Symbolic and cinematic image expression has attracted attention in the course of production of films, TV dramas, and commercials. Live shooting has grown in scale, remote shooting has increased, and creators have emerged who seamlessly connect video and still images. Canon will continue to develop products that support this diversification of shooting styles.”

Looking to the future Canon doesn’t comment on the development of specific products, but it wasn’t wholly unwilling to talk about its plans.

“Although we cannot disclose future product plans, we hope to meet various production needs. We recognize that hybrid lenses with various focal lengths are required to meet the high demands of professionals in still image and video recording,” the company says.

“In addition, as demand has been shifting to video and the imaging field has expanded from 2D to 3D and VR, Canon will continue to focus on the development of attractive RF lenses that meet diverse needs for video expression. In order to capture market trends and customer demand and further contribute to the expansion of visual expression, we will align our lineup to include everything from zoom lenses with servos and full-manual lenses to hybrid lenses, with our optical technology at the core.”