Canon rush to reassure investors as camera profits plunge 64%

Maybe they should have listened to EOSHD earlier!

The future is mirrorless, I kept saying soon after the Panasonic GH1 came out.

Now starting for the first time 8 years later, Canon are trying to reassure their investors that the future is indeed mirrorless.

The company also admitted in their latest financial results that EOS R and RP unit sales are below expectation.

Even worse news for Canon is that profit for the entire quarter is down 64% compared to 2018, which itself wasn’t exactly a banner year.

Canon continue to blame the entry level market contraction for this dismal result, however…

First they blamed compacts.

Then they blamed entry level DSLRs.

Now they are blaming entry-to-mid level DSLRs.

Notice the trend? Yes the rot is going higher and higher up the range, as smartphones get better and better – some of them to the level where even enthusiasts can be happy with some of the results they get. I know am one.

Next up, Canon will be blaming the entry-to-mid-to-high-end, which is to say all of the damned cameras put together, coupled with the fact nobody wants to buy them anymore due to a complete lack of imaginative thinking outside the box.

EOS R is in trouble?

In their financial report, Canon say they will endeavour to increase trust with pros in their mirrorless cameras, including extending support for R mount cameras to professional sports shooters. Canon cornered the market in this, their biggest pro sales front, but none of them currently want to shoot with an EOS R.

It could be a sign that Canon is going to introduce a very fast shooting EOS RX professional mirrorless camera, and in the report Canon say 5 new RF lenses are coming this year.

They are going to have one heck of a hard time getting 1D X Mark II users to switch systems, let me tell you that right now.

EOS RP embroiled in Price War

In the quarterly report, Canon worried investors by admitting to intensifying price competition in the full frame mirrorless market. Sony is the villain here, with their race to the bottom selling old A7 series models for ridiculous bargain bin prices. As a result, profit has disappeared right where the bulk of the unit sales are made.

In addition, the high-end specs of the Sony A7 III has hammered high-end $3500 cameras hard (including Sony’s own A7R series). The big Canon cash cows, such as the 5D Mark IV have fallen from grace and can no longer sell in sufficient quantities at $3000. Even the mid-range prices are falling as evidenced by heavy 6D Mark II discounts.

Will there ever be a $3500 camera as successful as the 5D-line again? It’s doubtful.

The A7 III forced everyone to react. On the plus side, as users we now have some nice bargains around in the full frame mirrorless market – with the EOS R, S1, Z6 and A7 III all extremely high specced cameras moving down in price towards the $1500-$2000 mark.

Cinema EOS sales moved out of imaging division

Canon have put the Cinema EOS products in a Industrial sales report, where it’s almost impossible to see how well or how badly it’s performing.

Overall operating profit of the entire Canon group in 2019 is on track to be their worst since the 2009 financial crash 10 years ago.

For a company that remains 3rd in the world for number of new patents almost every year, I see very little of this R&D innovation reaching the sales front-line in the form of exciting finished products.

Canon filed 1000 more patents than Apple in 2018, but can’t even give us a mirrorless camera without cropped 4K recording.

With DSLRs set to be obsolete at an accelerating rate, taking the EF lens range with them… Canon seem to have accepted this and their answer going forward seems to be to get out of the consumer market altogether.

According to official information on their corporate vision, the company states: “Canon is in the midst of a grand strategic transformation designed to accelerate growth in our four new businesses: commercial printing, network cameras, medical and industrial equipment.”

The full financial information is available to see here