Canon and Nikon are the big guns of the camera world. Particularly in DSLRs, they control the majority of the sales, upwards of 70+ percent. With the Canon’s EOS M and the Nikon 1, it’s now clear how the big guys plan to tackle the mirrorless system camera market. Both are in denial about this emerging camera category. Both are trying to protect their DSLR sales. They are approaching the threat from opposite directions. Two strategies, the same result?
Nikon released their Nikon 1 series, a completely new camera system with a new sensor size, last year. These cameras have incredible performance, shooting up to 60 frames per second. Unlike other mirrorless cameras, the Nikon 1 focuses well for fast action and sports. It has some neat video options too. But Nikon, hamstrung the system. They used a small sensor that produces okay results but It clearly underperforms their mirrorless competition in image quality. Back a year ago I wrote a post Nikon Creates a Tablet (Nikon 1) but is it an iPad? The market response to the new Nikon was muted. At least it seems that way, since within a year, the price has collapsed from the $650 – $900 range to about $400.
With the EOS M, Canon did the opposite. They paired a big, juicy, APS-C size sensor with a crappy focusing system. As expected, the image quality is great. But the focusing system is so slow that, unless you are shooting landscapes or a still life, there is no reason to use this camera. Of course it’s too slow for action and sports. It’s even too slow for shooting everyday life events. Try getting your kids to slow down for this camera, it is a recipe for photo-disaster. Lucky this camera is made of magnesium alloy, it is less likely to break when you throw it in frustration. We will see where the price lands in a year.
So there you have it. Two different approaches to protect their existing turf. I give more credit to Nikon. At least they developed new technology and rethought the concept of a modern camera. All Canon did was repackage an existing DSLR and yanked out the good parts.