Canon Fires Summer DSLR Salvo

June 29, 2017 | Gavin Stoker | Digital SLR Cameras | Comment | |
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Following the launch of Canon's Live for the Story advert and marketing campaign targeting a new ‘millennial’ audience last month – and for which there wasn’t a camera in sight  – the photo giant is back to targeting its core users with two new DSLRs. Arriving in July are the enthusiast targeted EOS 6D Mark II, and the beginner friendly EOS 200D.

Photography Blog was at the London preview to bring you this report…

Plentiful opportunities

Daniel Benjamin, who heads up Product Marketing for Canon UK, foreshadowed the unveiling of the 6D Mark I and 200D by giving those in attendance a bit of a market overview.

“The background to this is our need to reach a wider group of image makers.” he said. “The good news is that opportunity is growing all the time. In 2017 we know that 358 billion images will be taken. So there are more images than ever before and more photographers than ever before. This creates opportunity to encourage consumers who are using their phone to trade up to a dedicated device. The good news is that this brings with it more commercial opportunities. So more accessories to support image capture, more opportunities to help users organize their images and more opportunities to encourage printing of their images… so quite an exciting time.

“We’re also at the forefront of imaging technology and we have been since 1934 and we continue with significant investment into R&D. We continue to be the number one camera brand. But the market’s changed and we’re adapting with it. Traditionally we’ve been focused on maxmising the demand for our products and now we need to start to drive the desirability, especially in a competitive market. So we’ve got a very simple strapline now: ‘shoot, remember and share’. Effectively we’re growing our eco system. We’ve added additional services such as Lifecake and Kite – so now when you capture your images with EOS or PowerShot you have the opportunity to share and upload your images through the likes of Lifecake and irista and then to print your images through our services at Kite, HD Book and via our Pixma photo printers.

“We’ve looked at how we can talk about our brand and instead of just focusing on the product and on the tech, we’re now focusing on how products and services can help people to tell their story. Regardless of where they are on their image journey. And we do this all under the umbrella of our new consumer platform ‘Live for the Story’. It’s an attitude, not just a strapline… and we talk about the benefits of the product, not just the tech features. Basically it’s inspiring everyone to tell their best story. Our advert has a catchy tune too, currently making it one of the most ‘Shazzam-ed’ TV ads in the UK.

“We’ve put big investment into the campaign and the concept is trying to attract more people to the category. But we’re continuing to develop our offerings for enthusiasts and professionals, so we’re still sponsors of World Press Photo, at all the major sporting events this summer we’ve got strong teams to support the pro photographers, work very closely with the camera clubs and we’ve got a lot more in the pipeline to show you alter this year. Through all this investment the market is growing, so hopefully everything we’re working towards is helping build a bigger market. We’ve continued to be the number one camera brand with the number one selling SLR, we’ve got the number one mirror-less on the market and we’ve got the number one full frame on the market.”

New DSLR duo examined

At the London launch, it was then time to hand over to Canon Product Specialist David Parry for an overview of the new EOS 6D Mark II and 200D.

“We’ve got two new SLRs to show you and I’m really excited about the range we have now, in the SLR, mirror-less and premium compact segments,” enthused David. “It’s a great selection depending on what level you are with your photography. Wherever you are on your ‘journey’, we’ve got a solution here. What I think is a real strength for us across these three categories is that the cameras are very similar to use.  So whether you’re using one of our compact cameras, one or our SLRs or one of our mirrorless, the menu system is almost exactly the same, the icons, the buttons and where they are, are also very similar. You don’t have to learn a new menu structure and I think that’s a real strong benefit for Canon – in that we have this depth and breadth in our range.

“The new technology we’ve got to show you includes a brand new sensor – a new 26.2 million pixel full frame sensor.  We haven’t had one at this resolution before. The pixels on there come from the same generation as the 8D, 5D Mark II, 1DX Mark II – so from the same stable as the amazing sensors that we have which is really exciting.  This new sensor can offer 40,000ISO before full expansion. This is the first time we’ve ever had this amount of ISO before expansion. The other sensor we’ve got for our new APS-C camera is a 24.2 million-pixel sensor. We’ve seen this sensor before, it’s tried and tested and it’s great to see it in this level of camera. We also have our Digic 7 processor, as seen in the M5, M6, 77D and 800D. The great thing about Digic 7 is that it’s 14x faster than Digic 6, so it’s a super fast processor that gives you the ability to get things like higher ISOs and faster frame rates.

“Both of these cameras have Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology.  This piece of technology has grown with us and moved across our range. Why? Because it is a fantastic Live View auto focus system: 80% of the image capture area is AF points. So every single megapixel is used to capture AF in that 80% area, which is fantastic in terms of accuracy. Every single megapixel in this 80% area is basically an AF point… so you could almost say we have 18 million AF points. It really is exciting.

“I often get asked the question ‘when are Canon going to make smartphones.” And I don’t know whether we will or not, but I can’t see it as being something we will do. Why is that? Could we do it better than the manufacturers that are out there at the moment? We’re an optical brand and we specialise in making optics and making cameras. And what operating system would we choose Windows, OIS or Android? Whichever one you pick you're alienating the rest of the market, so I think it’s key for us to stick with a piece of technology that we like, which is cameras, but make them connected, so they’ll work with your smart device seamlessly. Our new cameras will have Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth.

“The first camera we want to show you is our EOS 6D Mark II full frame product. Been asked a lot about this camera. Its predecessor was launched back in September 2012 at Photokina and created quite a stir for us in the market. This camera replaces the 6D. When the 6D was launched it filled a gap we had in our range. If you go back a long way we had our ‘1’ series and then we created the ‘5’ series to allow people to step up into full frame. What’s happened is that every generation has moved up and up and up, getting more sophisticated with more pro features to become a professional product. The ‘5’ moving up has created a hole, which the ‘6’ series is filling. So we have the ‘5’ series, which is aimed at the professional and then the ‘6’ series, which is aimed at the enthusiast. It’s smaller, lighter, easier to use but will still give you amazing image quality.

“So, the 6D Mark II is being targeted at enthusiasts, who are really important to us. These guys tend to spend more money on their photography than anyone else. Professionals tend to buy the equipment they need and stop there, whereas these guys tend to buy the different lenses to try the different types of photography. They’ll buy the tripods and the bags and do the training courses and holidays. So they’re very important to the industry and very important to us, and we have to make sure we give them what they want. They’re fairly vocal about what they like and don’t like. Now when the original 6D was launched we did a survey to find out what they liked or didn’t about the camera. One of the biggest reasons for stepping up to the 6D from the camera they currently had was the image quality, which is perhaps no great surprise as you’re stepping up from APS-C to full frame. I personally think now that there’s even more people looking to make the step up to full frame than there was back then, so it’s really exciting to have this new product in the line up. We’ve kept the core message which is ‘compact and lightweight’, with full frame image quality and high sensitivity performance. The 6D was well known for its low light capability and this is a move forward. The original 6D was also the first camera in our line up to have Wi-Fi and GPS. We’ve now go Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC and GPS in this one.

“The original 6D’s AF was 11 points with one cross type. We’ve now made continuous shooting that bit faster with lightning auto focus, and have made the Mark II the first full frame camera in our line up with a variable angle monitor and a touch panel as well. So the auto focus is a 45 point all cross type. We’ve seen this AF system before. “It’s almost exactly the same as that in the 80D, which is tried and tested. It can also run at -3EV and has 27 points at f/8 sensitivity. If you’re using the viewfinder you have 45 point all cross type, if you're using the screen you have dual pixel CMOS AF – two very powerful AF systems there.  Controls haven’t changed much over the original 6D, which I’m pleased about, so it handles much in the same manner. You’ve got a manual button on the front for changing AF modes, and the vari angle screen as well, but other than that it’s very similar. If anyone who wants to step up to full frame picks up this camera then they haven’t got to learn a whole new button layout. They can start getting fantastic images straight away.

“Another thing that’s really important on this is the frames per second. It has gone from 4.5fps to 6.5fps. I think that’s made the Mark II quite a different beast to the original 6D. The original was very good for landscape and portrait photography, but this one I see as having a broader appeal because you can now use it for sports and action, so it’s pushing the boundaries of where this camera is going. This isn’t really a videographers’ camera – we have a lot of products in our line up such as the 5D Mark IV, 80D, Cinema EOS, which are more video orientated, but saying that it does do Full HD at 60P and the vari-angle screen makes it very easy to shoot video. You’ve got the touch screen so you can pull focus and headphone input – as well as HDR video mode and 4K timelapse function. This will give you a 4K file of a timelapse situation, such as clouds moving about. So it’s quite an exciting step forward from the original 6D for video functionality. It’s great to have that on here, but I can’t see this as being someone’s first choice for videography given what else we have in our line up.

“The second new camera in the 200D is kind of replacing the 100D. I say ‘kind of’ because it is such a leap forward from what the 100D is. But it’s targeting the same kind of consumer and the same kind of philosophy. It’s very small, lightweight and simple to use. So it’s similarly positioned in the market to our 100D, but it’s a big leap forward. For me the exciting thing to see on this camera is the variable angle touch screen. It is huge, yet the camera is so small. It really does give you a lovely shooting experience when you use the screen.

“In terms of who this camera’s aimed at, this is about getting people into SLR photography. To attract people in you want them to be able to quickly start using the camera and enjoying it. Photography isn’t easy, we all know that, it’s something that takes years to learn and practice. We want to encourage to get the best out of our products, so we will do whatever we can. We don’t want people to buy these and then three months down the line think “I can’t get my images like those I see in magazines’ and then put it back in its box under the stairs. We want people to enjoy photography like we all do. To achieve that we’re utilising our guided interface; it’s really exciting because it encourages people to come out of auto and encourages them to explore.

“We’ve got this on the 800D, the 77D, at the moment and I’m really pleased to say on this new one as well. With the vari angle screen at the back the button layout is quite different to other EOS in the line up. It’s very simplified. And I like that because it’s not scary for someone who’s come to this from a smart device. People who have never handled an SLR before can find their way around it easily.

“It’s got a 9 point AF system, Digic 7 processor, 24 megapixel sensor, dual pixel CMOS AF, 5-axis IS for movie, Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth connectivity, and it’s the world’s smallest SLR with a vari angle screen. If you use our new latest 18-55mm f/4-5.6 zoom with it, that makes for the world’s fastest AF system. There are a couple of caveats to that, but I think it’s quite an interesting story in itself.

“It also comes in a choice of three colours – a white, a silver and a black version as well. “

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