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Canon - "mirrorless is our future" and video optimised lenses coming 2012

Andrew Reid

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Canon will release a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera in 2012. Japanese website DCWatch has the first interview where Canon have spoken in detail about the development of the new system.

There’s so much in this interview. But the translation is very rough. So take my interpretation as just that for now – an interpretation.

Note: I have also corrected some grammar in the translated quotes for easy reading.

[url="http://www.eoshd.com/content/6749/canon-mirrorless-is-our-future-and-video-optimised-lenses-coming-2012/"]Read full article[/url]

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Better translation here.  I still don't think Canon is ready to jump in yet.  Hence the G1X.


1) The Canon spokesman does NOT confirm (or deny) that they will release a mirrorless system in 2012. Any suggestion of such is due to the interviewer/website (eg: “We asked Canon about rumors of releasing a mirrorless in 2012″).

2) The spokesman does not say image quality comes before downsizing. He says that image quality AND small size are two essential (non-negotiable) considerations for developing a new system. The rest of the interview, he continually dodges making any hard statements about which (large sensor or small system size) would come first. A couple interesting QAs from the interview:

–What sort of unique features do you [Canon] have in mind, if you were to create a new lens mount?
“There are already many mirrorless interchangeable lens systems, but the rate of changing lenses is surprisingly low. I don’t have any specific numbers, but when you consider the number of lenses being sold, you can sense that relatively few people are using interchangable lenses.* So, what should we do to increase the usage of interchangable lenses? In order to heighten the appeal of interchangable lens format, it is necessary to also take into account the needs of making the system more compact.”
[* Note: he probably means in comparison to lens usage across traditional SLR formats.]

–After introducing a new system, when you think about the time it takes to establish a lens system, it’s possible that image sensor performance will improve. If having a compact system overall is the first priority, wouldn’t it be better to focus on the size [of the system] that you want to end up with a few years from now?
“Yes, sensor performance will probably continue to improve. But at this point in time, it would be great if we could improve [light receiving] sensitivity of APS-C size sensors. In doing so, the breadth of photographic capability will greatly increase.

“In saying that, it’s possible that a time will come when we can downsize the image sensor size. In making the entire system more compact, we next have to deal with the lens constraints (eg: resolution, chromatic abberation, etc). Of course we have to worry about timing when it comes to developing a comprehensive small system, but that’s still far away.”

Also, the spokesman’s name is actually Mr. Masaya Maeda. Google Translate is garbage and attempted to translate his name using Chinese reading.
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