Michael Topham’s excellent news item introducing the Canon EOS R system ( 7days, 22 September) was spoiled for me by the first sentence. Canon could not have responded to Nikon’s Z system in four weeks because it takes as many years to introduce a new product as complex as a camera. Canon has had four years of watching the steady improvement of the A7 series, why would they be responding to the Z7? Nothing from Nikon could have worried them as much as the way that the A7 and A9 have eroded their market. No, they have both taken four years and are bringing out their respective systems for Photokina. Bar-room experts and forum members have been wondering why Canon and Nikon had not yet brought out a full-frame mirrorless and now we know; they were working on it. A new camera system takes a lot of resources and many iterations of design, prototype, test, debug, refine the design and so on.
Canon and Nikon had no choice but to introduce these systems but they had to get them near enough right from introduction, or their companies would not survive. Sony has grabbed a lead in photographic technologies, particularly sensor design, because they have been number one in broadcast and video since about 1980. Let’s hope the Nikon and Canon engineers’ efforts are good enough, because photography without Canon or Nikon would be less interesting. I think they’ll survive, partly because some of us still want SLRs but mainly because they both know photographers and understand what we want far better than Sony. John Black We are well aware of how long it takes to develop a camera, having visited many of the factories in Japan in recent years. It probably wasn’t the best word to use, but the EOS R is a response of sorts to Nikon, even if it’s been in the pipeline a while. Our review sample of the EOS R arrived in the office this week, so look out for a full review very soon! – Michael Topham, Reviews Editor