Canon’s new array of products provide innovative solutions to the customers
Canon new range of products has enabled them to provide filmmakers and cinematographers with innovative solutions to further push the boundaries of creative expression. It has also helped them to be prepared to the evolving needs of the customers in the pandemic era. C Sukumaran, Director, Consumer System Products & Imaging Communication Products, Canon India shares more in an exclusive interview with Broadcast & Film
How was the experience this time at the Broadcast India Show, considering it was their first ever digital edition?
With the pandemic coming into the picture, all industries are evolving rapidly, and it was a great learning experience participating in the first ever digital edition of the Broadcast India Show. This year, the show served as an opportunity to create digital experiences that will redefine the way information is shared, while allowing the community to engage in new and unique ways. The highlight for us at this year’s BIS Show was the showcase of our brand-new Cinema EOS C70, which is the very first Cinema EOS to feature an RF mount. Furthermore, we also showcased our entire portfolio of cinema products including the Canon Cinema EOS C300 Mark III, the EOS C500 Mark II and facilitated live technical sessions by experts.
Having witnessed a great response for our masterclass webinars in the past few months, we also organised a digital masterclass during the show with Canon’s Cinema EOS Ambassador and renowned cinematographer, Alphonse Roy. The masterclass helped shed light on the future of the imaging industry. The show helped us gain audience perspective and also enabled us to provide the filmmakers and cinematographers of today with innovative solutions to further push the boundaries of creative expression.
Which are some of the prestigious projects undertaken by Canon in the cinematography and broadcast segment in India recently?
At Canon, we have been focusing on interesting ways to interact with our consumers and in May, during the lockdown, we kick-started a series of Free Online Webinars called “Master Classes” focused on the art of cinematography. For the same we got on board some of the leading cinematographers in India - Santosh Sivan, Kiran Deohans and Alphonse Roy with an intent to promote the cinematography culture and build on the legacy of filmmaking in India.
The lockdown led to a significant rise in the consumption of OTT and digital content. We wanted to make use of the same and feed the curiosity around the use of cinema cameras. With our professional cinematography webinar series, we aimed to enrich the minds of young adults who are looking to pursue a career in this field of motion pictures and also senior cinematographers with the changing dynamics of content making and consumption.
How has the growth been for Canon in India during the pandemic?
We began the year with the launch of our flagship Canon EOS-1D X Mark III, which was received well by consumers across genres. While the pandemic did impact the market and consumer sentiments, however we have been able to strategize and fulfill the evolving demands of our consumers. With the launch of EOS 850D, we provided the ideal product for photographers looking to acquire new skills and upgrade from an entry-level beginner model to mid-segment with high end functions and operability. Further the launch of Canon EOS R5 & EOS R6 has been critical for our 2020 growth story in the mirrorless segment. With game-changing revolutionary features, EOS R5 and R6 are the finest full-frame mirrorless cameras for both still and video shooting. Alongside the cameras, we also launched a series of lens including the RF85mm F2 Macro IS STM, RF 600mm F11 IS STM, RF 800mm F11 IS STM, RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1L IS USM, Extender RF1.4X & RF2X along with other accessories to provide users with a complete ecosystem. Further, we have also launched two new lenses Canon RF70-200mm f/4L IS USM and RF50mm f/1.8 STM to help users unleash their full artistic potential.
Additionally, we have also introduced other state of the art innovative products lines EOS M50 Mark II, EOS C300 Mark III & EOS C70 cinema cameras and new lenses – CN10 X 25 IAS S/E1 (EF and PL mount), into the market to cater to our consumers. It our constant endeavour to strengthen our product line-up and provide users with an imaging system that delivers higher image quality and greater ease-of-use.
Could you shed some light on Canon’s product innovations in the recent times focused to the cinema industry?
The Cinema industry in itself has been witnessing an evolution over the years and in the current times, consumption patterns have also rapidly changed. Keeping in mind such a dynamic industry, it is essential to bring to our audience constant product innovations. Catering to the same needs, we have a range of cinema-focused cameras this year, including the new Cinema EOS C300 Mark III and EOS C500 Mark II and most recently, we announced the EOS C70, a cinema focused camera which is the first ever Cinema EOS camera to be equipped with an RF mount & Mount Adapter EF-EOS R 0.71x. The EOS C70 comes equipped with 4K Super 35mm CMOS DGO (Dual Gain Output) sensor and it can capture 4K @ 120p. This camera is all set to become the star for documentary filmmakers who require powerful imaging in a relatively compact form factor and an overall affordable package.
Alongside the camera, we also launched mount adapter for EOS C70 which is the perfect companion to the EOS C70 as it allows the same focal length with all EF lenses on this (Super 35mm) sensor, as a user would get using an EF lenses on a full frame sensor. The Mount Adapter EF-EOS R 0.71x (sold separately) will enable the camera to support an extensive line-up of EF lens series, opening a myriad of possibilities for creative cinematography.
Are there any upcoming product launches that broadcasters/cinematographers should keep a watch out for?
We have already launched 2 new cinema cameras this year – the EOS C300 Mark III and the EOS C70 – both of which are based on Super 35mm format sensors. The EOS C70 began selling from November onwards and is definitely something to watch out for. We will continue to innovate in this space in the future.
Ever since the onset of the pandemic, all industries have been witnessing major changes. What have been some of the changing consumption patterns being witnessed by you?
With the COVID-19 pandemic coming into picture and changing our lives completely, much like other industries, the photography industry has also been impacted significantly. However, it has also adapted aptly and swiftly to the new normal in its own unique ways. Multiple factors have come into play in this dynamic ecosystem and with digital technology being a major game changer, we have been witnessing quite a few interesting consumption patterns that have the potential to drive an evolution.
With most people staying indoors, OTT content consumption has seen a drastic increase and with the presence of new media avenues, user generated content has also rapidly risen. Vlogs have gained popularity as they are more authentic and photography brands have started introducing products best suited for such needs.
Additionally, webinars are now the new normal for information consumption. And, where brands once held mega on-ground events, they have now modified these into virtual events, increasing their reach and impact across geographies. Hence, although the pandemic has brought along with-it immense challenges, it has also opened windows to envision new possibilities for the photography and videography segment.
Can you tell us about the newly launched Cinema EOS camera by Canon and expand on its game changing features for the industry?
The recently announced EOS C70 camera is a revolutionary cinema camera that offers a 4K Super 35mm CMOS DGO (Dual Gain Output) sensor and allows to capture 4K 120p video even with a very high dynamic range. Coupled with the Mount Adapter EF-EOS R 0.71x (sold separately), it offers new possibilities for cinematographer and movie makers.
Moreover, the camera is equipped with the DIGIC DV7 image-processing platform capable of high-speed processing. Its advanced features enable users to record high-frame rate 4K/120P video to UHS-II standard SD cards. Employing a miniaturized optical system, the Mount Adapter EF-EOS R 0.71x allows for video recording with an angle of view close to that of the mounted full-frame lens. Hence, it allows users to take full advantage of the wide selection of EF series lenses as well as expands the possibilities and flexibility of video production.
The EOS C70 is also equipped with two SD card slots, (which is a commonly available and affordable standard) and supports an array of recording modes such as Simultaneous recording and Relay recording. Furthermore, the camera inherits many professional features found in the existing Cinema EOS lines, including two mini XLR ports, audio control dials, Timecode IN/OUT, full HDMI terminal and the newly designed “Direct Touch Control” function that allows users to change recording settings swiftly and directly from the camera’s touchscreen panel.
The Covid 19 lockdown has impacted the business worldwide. How do you see the impact of this on the business and how soon will the companies be able to get over this and bounce back?
The camera business is a significant contributor to the overall growth of Canon India. Our interchangeable-lens digital cameras (digital SLR and compact system cameras) have maintained the No. 1 share of the global market for 17 consecutive years from 2003 to 2019. In terms of market share, we enjoy a 50% market share in the overall DILC category.
While 2019 was a year of strategic transformations for Canon India, 2020 has been the year of showcasing our agility and adapting to the new normal of businesses. There have been immense opportunities present for us in the B2C segment, as users look forward to technology that will enable them to adapt to the new normal. We have also seen opportunities for camera in B2B and Govt. sectors and have been quick to formulate strategies to capitalise on them. This year, we have strengthened our Govt. business, despite the COVID19 situation. We have also begun reaching out to potential B2B clientele such as OTT production houses, rental houses, YouTube Creators as well as a few completely new business domains.
At Canon, we believe that every crisis also presents an opportunity for businesses to think differently and adapt to the changing landscape. From devising new business plans to gradually rethinking strategies, we have contemplated a whole new dimension. The one constant that has stayed and will stay is capturing moments and creating memories. The means and mode may change however photography is always here to stay and hence, keeping the same in mind we have introduced an array of products this year catering to evolved needs.