Canon is synonymous with industry-leading cameras. The brand has grown over the years to become one of the most sought-after companies for DSLRs of all ranges. The company recently expanded its product portfolio with EOS R5 C, L-series super-telephoto prime lenses and MAXIFY GX5070 Inkjet printer.
From evolving its range of Cinema cameras to offering users suitable lenses, Canon has delivered on its promise of excellence. To further understand Canon's strategy in India, its products and plans for the future.
International Business Times spoke to C Sukumaran, Senior Director- Consumer Systems Products and Imaging Communication Business, Canon India, to discuss various topics. Sukumaran focuses on driving growth, market share and profitability for imaging products. He works closely with partners to escalate the business proposition and has been associated with Canon for over 20 years. He has also immensely contributed to the overall business strategy.
Read excerpts from interview below:
IBT: Let's talk about the EOS R5C. Can you tell us about three things that capture the essence of R5C?
Sukumaran: 8K@60P Cinema RAW light with 12-bit recording, the colour gamut coming from CINEMA EOS family and uninterrupted continuous recording makes R5 C position highly robust for production-quality work. We are witnessing a rise in demand for further innovation in the mirrorless camera segment where in one single device, users have the best of both worlds – video recording and image quality. To cater to this demand, the powerful EOS R5 C is the perfect choice for professional cinematographers and photographers that combines the best of still and video technologies and is an absolute gamechanger in the segment.
The EOS R5 C, a high-quality and high-performance hybrid cinema model, is our newest addition to the Cinema EOS System and is Canon's first camera to provide internal 8K 60P Cinema RAW Light recording. Secondly, by switching modes via the ON/OFF dial on the camera body, the EOS R5 C can be used either as a video camera with Cinema EOS System quality, or as a still camera with high performance comparable to that of the EOS R5 mirrorless camera.
Designed for users who demand high performance for both video and still photo shooting, it is equipped with Canon's proprietary full-frame CMOS sensor that boasts 45 million effective pixels. What's more, a proprietary heat transfer architecture and internal thermal transfer fan built into the EOS R5 C enables video recording for longer durations than its predecessor.
IBT: Who is the target audience of the EOS R5C?
Sukumaran: With the inclusion of next-level video and still image capabilities, the EOS R5 C is a complete package that is ideal for a wide variety of uses in which mobility is crucial, including journalism and fields that require cinema-level image quality such as advertising and corporate video production. Through the EOS R5 C, we wish to appeal to filmmakers and advanced cinema enthusiasts, OTT platforms and production houses and new-age content creators/artists.
IBT: What is the main objective/need that Canon is solving through the launch of the EOS R5C?
Sukumaran: At Canon, we have consistently aimed at introducing creative and the most pioneering technologies to our customers, enriching them with memorable cinematography along with photography experiences each time. Keeping this in mind and witnessing the surge in demand for video content, we have introduced the EOS R5 C to our Cinema EOS Series.
This growth in video consumption has been facilitated by the rise in online content creation, media streaming platforms, and OTT production houses. This category is expected to grow even further in the coming years. With our range of cinema cameras and especially the EOS R5 C, we aim to meet this growing demand and provide an all-in-one solution to become the imaging brand of choice for discerning content creators. It is also to be noted that the EOS R5C camera features a compact and lightweight body offering filmmakers a more agile shooting solution with an aim to make it accessible to photography enthusiasts moving towards professional photography.
IBT: How has Canon evolved its range of Cinema cameras?
Sukumaran: From an innovation standpoint, Canon has introduced ground-breaking technology in the past few years which has completely transformed the imaging industry. With respect to Cinema cameras, we began our journey in 2010 with Cinema EOS 300. The C300 brought the heart of Canon's pioneering image technology into the world of cinema with an 8.3MP oversampling sensor, compact ergonomics and extended dynamic range with the introduction of Canon Log. Fast forward to 2020, we completed ten years and launched the EOS C70 camera, the first cinema EOS camera equipped with an RF Mount and Mount Adapter EF-EOS R 0.71X. EOS C70 supported 4K/120P high frame rate recording, enabling rich visual expression.
And now with our latest addition, the EOS R5 C, we have introduced a powerful combination of still and video, which is Canon's first camera to provide internal 8K 60P Cinema RAW Light recording. With full pixel readout from 8K effective pixels, which possess a rich amount of data, the EOS R5 C can also perform oversampling to generate high-image-quality 4K / 4:2:2 / 10bit video. Thus, as the cinema industry itself has grown over the years from black and white to now OTT, we too have evolved in our imaging equipment to provide only the best to cinematographers to showcase their art to the world.
IBT: Can you tell us more about the newly launched L-series super-telephoto prime lenses? What are they ideal for?
Sukumaran: We recently launched two new L-series super-telephoto prime lenses: the RF800mm F5.6L IS USM and the RF1200mm F8L IS USM along with the EOS R5 C. While these lenses are significantly smaller and lighter than their EF lens counterparts, they maintain the signature superior image quality of L series lenses. With their introduction, Canon's RF lens line-up now provides the most comprehensive focal range for users, from an ultra-wide-angle 14mm up to an unparalleled super-telephoto 2400mm.
Both the lenses have been significantly downscaled in comparison to their predecessors while maintaining high optical performance. Their lightweight and precise handling will ensure that consumers are always one step ahead to get the perfect shot, be it at a sports setting or out in the wildlife. The L-Series design puts the priority on usability and thus, both these lenses are tough and responsive for any assignment.
IBT: Phones are now even being used to shoot movies. How is Canon keeping itself relevant in this era of competing not just with rival imaging brands, but some high-end camera phones?
Sukumaran: While it is true that smartphone penetration has amplified the photography culture in India, we have seen an increased demand for nuanced visual experiences that can only be achieved through a professional camera. Moreover, emerging, and established trends such as vlogging are pushing content creators to go mainstream with their shooting devices, thereby providing an impetus to the adoption of cameras both at entry-level as well as professional levels.
Understanding the shift in the user journey, our growing focus is on catering to the demand of photography enthusiasts who want to graduate from smartphone photography. We are working on creating innovative products that are tailor-made to suit the needs of today's new-age customers; be it to support online content creation or OTT content production. For instance, our EOS M50 Mark II, specially created for Vloggers has been received very well by the people and so has the EOS C70 Cinema camera along with our cinema cameras that are Netflix approved. Thus, we are confident that we will continue at this pace or move even faster to bolster our presence in every imaging domain.
IBT: What is Canon's focus for its overall consumer segment?
Sukumaran: India has been a key market for us and has played an important role in the consumer growth trajectory of Canon's imaging business. We have always kept innovation at the forefront, enabling technology to compliment the art of photography. For over 30 years, the legendary EOS system has given photographers and filmmakers the benchmark for high-quality imagery. With a strong customer base in India, it has been our constant endeavour to boost our presence and enhance top-of-the-mind recall among consumers.
In line with the evolving requirements of our customers, we continue to bring forth products backed by innovation with a 'full line-up strategy.' Our focus is to create robust input to output solutions wherein while our camera technology captures true-to-life colour information, our print technology precisely converts that information and reproduces every nuance of clicked images. This is to cater to the diverse needs and different buying capabilities of consumers and enterprises. Through our offerings, we have always strived to reach out to customers across the country and access prospective markets through both physical and online outreach initiatives.
Both the printing and imaging industries have witnessed a complete transformation as a result of the pandemic - whether it is the stupendous rise in online content creation or the boom in home printing solutions. Along with our best-in-class product offering to meet ever-growing trends, we believe that a strong consumer connection is critical to the company's growth. We enable the same through creating immersive experiences, educative masterclasses, and product exhibitions across the country from time to time.
IBT: You also launched the MAXIFY GX5070 Inkjet printer. Who is this aimed for and what makes it unique?
Sukumaran: With work from home becoming synonymous with our work lives over the last two years, we have witnessed tremendous demand for compact and cost-effective printers from small businesses operating from home.
The new compact MAXIFY GX5070 inkjet single-function printer is equipped to meet the high volume and stylized printing needs of our customers. Combined with features such as Large Paper capacity tray, water-resistant printing, easy-to-use ink bottles, and replaceable maintenance cartridges, MAXIFY GX5070 is an ideal choice for SMBs across India. What makes it an ideal choice is its low colour printing costs paired with fast speed, paper handling and networking capabilities to give businesses a boost in efficiency like never witnessed before. Built especially for our partners in the public and private sectors across healthcare, education, e-commerce, logistics, and retail segments, it is poised to safeguard customers against any type of data breach and loss.
Our range of MAXIFY series have time and again been acknowledged by partners for streamlining their printing infrastructure and helping meet the needs for high-volume and quality colour printing.