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Smartphone generation big growth opportunity for us: Canon

More and more people, especially the millennials, are clicking photos via smartphones and for the Japanese camera giant Canon, this has created a huge market to tap as these people now want to experience something bigger and better which the camera and imaging pioneer can easily provide.

In 2017, nearly 1.3 trillion photos were taken globally -- from 660 billion in 2013 -- and most of the images were taken via smartphones.

"Today, more and more people are buying high-end cameras to rev up their smartphone experience. There will soon be more digital natives in the 10-50 age bracket than ever before.

"Our aim is to acquire the new generation in order to create new businesses and enhance our EOS camera ecosystem," emphasised Go Tokura, Executive Officer and Chief Executive, Image Communication Business Operations at Canon.

Addressing a select gathering at the Canon headquarters here, Tokura said the company is aiming to build a brand new imaging world where high-end smartphones are deciding the future of camera experience.

In India, over 400 million people are smartphone users and more than 700 million people have feature phones who will eventually shift to smartphones for a better experience.

"Although the compact and entry-level camera market is shrinking owing to smartphones, professional and premium camera market is actually growing and our EOS series has been a phenomenal success," Tokura told the audience.

According to the Japan-based Camera Imaging Products Association (CIPA), the shipment number of digital cameras dropped a massive 23 per cent in July this year compared to the same period last year.

On the other hand, the professional camera market is growing.

"We have sold 90 million EOS cameras and 130 million EF lens so far. We have been building EOS cameras for the past 30 years and today, we have achieved high speed, ease of use and high-image quality for end users," informed the Canon executive.

Entering the high-end full-frame mirrorless camera market, Canon on September 5 launched the EOS R -- along with four RF lenses and four types of mount adapters -- that ensures higher image quality and enhanced usability.

The EOS R, which will be launched in India on September 21, employs the newly-developed RF Mount. A large (54 mm) mount internal diameter and short back focus allows for an enhanced communication between the lens and camera body.

The Canon EOS R has a 30.3MP Full-frame CMOS sensor and an ISO range of 100 to 40,000 (expandable up to 50-102,400).

"This is a low-light marvel. The Dual Pixel CMOS AF ensures high operability and precision. The camera is built for an advanced video/movie recording in 4K UHD," said Yoshiyuki Mizoguchi, Group Executive, ICB Products Group, Imaging Communications Business Operations, Canon.

According to a company survey, in 2017 unit sales of interchangeable-lens cameras in the global camera market reached approximately 11,400,000 units. In 2018, the sales are expected to again reach approximately 11,000,000 units.

"For the young millennials, we have launched three concept models this year: MF telephoto camera, intelligent company camera and an outdoor activity camera.

"Then there are wearable cameras, AWS DeepLens (a deep learning enabled video camera), Google Clips, Galaxy Gear 360 and camera-equipped drones where we are present. Canon has already taken a giant leap for the future," Tokura noted.

(Nishant Arora is in Tokyo at the invitation of Canon Inc. He can be contacted at nishant.a@ians.in)

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