I came across this graphic that Canon created the other day and I had to comment on it. It is a bit hard to see so click on it for a larger version. I heard this chart was released by Canon just after their new EOS M mirrorless system camera was introduced. Apparently, it was meant to position the EOS M against Canon’s other offerings. Three things crossed my mind as I studied this chart.
1. I wonder if Canon’s marketing department created this graphic before or after the release of the EOS M? Was this a hasty response to all the chatter about this latest camera? The EOS M is right smack in the middle of the chart right next to the Rebel T4i. Can you imagine the corporate marketing team brainstorming to figure out how to position this new device? I can. Maybe I’m being a bit cynical. I don’t know. Any product that needs to be positioned in this way may lack a clear set of advantages or perhaps your company’s camera line might be too large?
2. This chart seems to confirm what I have suspected for the last year about Canon. They are really interested in promoting video above still photography. You notice this graphic is comparing the video capability of the EOS M to the other video capable Canon products, not the still’s capability. Perhaps there is another graphic out there that compares still image quality and I just didn’t see it. But, look at the new products recently released by Canon like the Cinema EOS C300, EOS C500 and EOS-1D C. Ever since the ground breaking short video shot by Vincent Laforet on the Canon 5D Mark II 4 years ago, Canon’s been increasingly talking about DLSR video. Closer to home, at the last Austin Photo Expo organized by Precision Camera, Canon’s presentation only talked about video production on the Canon DLSRs. I guess this all makes sense. Canon realize that there is an opportunity out there for high quality, lower cost cinematic video. But for me, I’m not interested in video, at least the serious cinematic kind, so Canon’s focus seems to be moving away from my still photography interests. Sure, other camera companies have rushed to add video to their cameras, however, it just seems like Canon is transforming itself more aggressively into a video centric company.
3. I left the most bogus part of this chart for last. I understand the X axis; yes, more pro features as you go right, makes sense. But look at the Y axis. Are you kidding me? How can you put creativity on a scale like that? Do corporate marketing types really expect people to take this chart seriously with this Y axis? How can you say you have more creativity with an expensive EOS C300 than say an inexpensive PowerShot S100? You can quantifiably compare features or price but creativity? I would argue that it might take more creativity to produce a compelling video with an point and shoot like the S100 than a very capable and professional C300. Is the story going to be better because it is shot on a more expensive camera? Anyone remember the Blair Witch Project? This very successful film was shot on a consumer camcorder. Yes, the more expensive camera might be more capable of higher video quality but that is definitely not the same as higher creativity.