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5 Challenges That Canon Will Need to Overcome in the MILC Market

by Chris Gampat on 07/23/2012

The photography world has been waiting for Canon to take a step into the mirrorless interchangeable lens camera world, and today they finally have. The company essentially just took one of their Powershot cameras and stuffed a big sensor in there. Coined the EOS M aims itself squarely at the lower end market such as against the Olympus EMP1 and Sony NEX F3. Amongst the notable features are an 18MP CMOS sensor, Hybrid CMOS AF (phase detection and constrast) a touch screen and much more. Now that the company is here though, there is a lot of ground that they need to cover.

Hit the jump for more specs.

Tech Specs

- 18MP CMOS APS-C sensor

- ISO range from 100-12,800 with expansion to 25,600.

- DIGIC 5 Imaging Processor

- 3 Inch LCD touchscreen with 1,040,000 dots of resolution

- 1080p HD video at 24p, 30p and 720p 60p

- Using an adapter, it can take EF and EF-S lenses

- SDXC and SDHC compatibility

- New battery: LP-E12

- New line of lenses: the EF-M lenses for mirrorless cameras. Currently there is a 22mm f2 and 18-55mm.

Olympus’s Weather Sealed Camera Bodies and Hyper Fast Autofocusing

First off, most of the ground that Canon needs to cover is catering more towards the higher end of the market. Look around NYC and everyone and their mother has a DSLR. In general, you’ll only really find super experienced users sporting mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras.

Despite the fact that the EOS M is targeted at a much more elementary user base, the future mirrorless camera models will need to compete in the higher space as well. When it comes to this, they’ll need to figure out a way to take the weather proofing of the 5D MK III and 7D and then somehow apply it to their mirrorless cameras. They’ve already proved that a camera body that small can be tough in the form of their D20.

The Olympus OMD EM5 is weather sealed with excellent image quality that will most likely come down to future more consumer oriented models.

The Fujifilm X Pro 1′s Top Notch Image Quality

We recently did a little test: we wanted to see if you could tell the difference between the Fujifilm X Pro 1 and Canon’s 5D Mk II and III. Most of you were not able to guess correctly but were able to figure out which one was the X Pro 1. You were also quite impressed with the image quality that the little APS-C sensor could output against two full frame camera bodies.

This image quality will present a significant challenge to Canon. Fujifilm’s sensors are excellent and if the company can create a camera that can hold its own against one of the most popular DSLRs made right now, then that’s quite a statement.

Panasonic’s Community Embrace of Hackers to Make the Camera Better

One of the reasons why the Panasonic GH2 is loved by so many filmmakers is because of the fact that the hacking community has decided to really raise the output levels of the camera when shooting movies. Recently, we saw the GH2 outdo a $50,000 camcorder.

Canon has the Magic Lantern community and CHDK community. But they’ll have to work extra hard to try to outdo and catch up to the GH2 if the video community gets something targeted towards them eventually.

Sony’s Innovation and Sensor Manufacturing

The Sony NEX F3, 5N and NEX 7 all have excellent sensors and in the right light can really shine. Coupled with the current line of NEX primes, you’ve really got a system that can be tough to beat.

Everyone buys sensors from Sony, and they entered the mirrorless camera market much more aggressively than Canon did with the NEX 3 and 5. The system has expanded within a period of three years, and Sony shows no sign of slowing down soon.

Getting Third Parties On Board Faster

Sony and Micro Four Thirds already have third party companies making lenses for them. Canon DSLR users often reached for Zeiss, Sigma, or Tamron glass. The companies now need to work closer with Canon to help them build their system.

A company that I’m positive will release lenses for them soon is Rokinon. But then think about it, there is a need for adapters and the like too. With the current body styling, I can’t imagine something like what’s down below (found this image on a forum.)

Either way, Canon has great amounts of ground to cover and hopefully this new system won’t be as much of a laughing stock as the Nikon 1 is.

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