Earlier this month at CP+, we sat down with several camera company executives for in-depth interviews about the photo industry, trying to tease out what the future holds for the cameras and lenses of tomorrow. One of the people we spoke with was Sony’s Senior General Manager of the Digital Imaging Business Group, Kenji Tanaka, and he had an interesting prediction. He told us to look for Nikon and Canon full-frame mirrorless “by next year’s CP+.”
We’re still working on finalizing the full interview for you, but we wanted to share this tidbit right away:
“One of the reasons that companies like Sigma and Tamron are creating native Sony FE lenses is that they’re looking forward to a future where full-frame mirrorless is the norm. How long will that be?
This is just my personal opinion, but I think that maybe by next year’s CP+ you’ll see full-frame mirrorless cameras from Canon and Nikon. I think [by then] they will be participating in this market.
Just look at our technologies, like eye focus. All of that data comes from the imaging sensor. In DSLRs, the data comes from separate sensors. The main imaging sensor is blanked out, 90% of the time by the mirror. The sensor is turned off. But the imaging sensor is very important. So if cameras are going to develop, and be more able to capture the moment, manufacturers have to develop mirrorless technologies. So within one year, I think.”
Rumors of Nikon and Canon full-frame mirrorless cameras have been swirling for years, but no official confirmation has ever come down the pike. The best we’ve managed to get so far is this somewhat vague statement from Nikon, and confirmation that Canon is now willing to cannibalize its DSLR sales to invest in mirrorless cameras.
Obviously Kenji Tanaka does not speak for Canon or Nikon—he even made sure to mention this was his “personal opinion”—but he has a much better high-level understanding of the camera industry’s ins and outs that most of us. In other words: we take his ‘personal opinions’ quite seriously.
The latest whispers on the rumor mill claim there’s a Canon full-frame mirrorless prototype in the wild, and up until CP+ came and went, many were hoping to see a full-frame mirrorless from Nikon at the show. As we move further into 2018 and look ahead to Photokina, Photo Plus Expo, and next year’s CP+ show, maybe all of those rumors will finally start paying off.