Canon and Nikon : What they can learn from Apple

Recently Nikon announced a warning of an upcoming drop in sales for high end removable lens cameras. This basically means both DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) and the mirrorless system that Nikon has been developing to counter what seems to be a threat from both Fuji and Olympus. Even Sony has launched a more successful mirrorless system camera than both Canon and Nikon.

iphone 5 camera

Where does this leave us? While the latest in digital cameras have built in wifi, they still lack 3G, and as such, is hard to share without having to find a wireless hotspot and then upload the photos to a computer connected on the same hotspot. Pretty inconvenient, don’t you think?

Then again, we need to ask ourselves. Would we prefer to buy a 3G connected phone/tablet, or just a wifi one? My first iPad, the very first generation of iPad was Wifi only, due to me having to buy it in London. It wasn’t launched in Malaysia yet that time, and there were to be no visible announcements whether Apple would bring it into Malaysia, considering our Malaysian businessmen’s propensity to send a copy to China and then start selling a low cost version.

At that time also, 3G connection was really new in Malaysia, and pretty pricy as well. There were no RM 19/month plan unlike what we have now. And if you pay slightly more, you can even be on a 2 GB plan with just RM 39/month. That’s really cheap for the portability it brings. No more do we have to fight for a power socket in the wifi enabled cafes like Starbucks and Coffee Bean anymore. We can surf directly from the kopitiam we’re used to while sipping our favorite roasted coffee.

Apple camera with iPhone
1) Lacking Innovation?

Really? Are Canon and Nikon, really lacking in innovation? Or perhaps they are just resting their laurels, milking the cow while they still can. And while they do that, Sony, Olympus and the other photography players will grab more market share.

Or worst still, they could end up like Palm, Friendster Nokia and Blackberry. Juggernauts in their day, but due to the lack of innovation, going bankrupt or almost bankrupt within 5 years at it’s peak.

2) Canon and Nikon’s weakness : Why no apps for the phone?

Indeed. We are still stuck to the clunky interface given to us by Canon and Nikon. Photo filters are possible, but we’re limited to built in photo filters. If we want more, we need to transfer the files via Wifi. Good idea? Not really.

That’s why most people leave their cameras behind and take only their iPhone with them when they go for vacations. After all, the average value of a photograph has drop to a getting likes on Facebook for a short period of time. Unlike film camera days, where it was so hard to get a well exposed and properly framed shot, that a great shot is more often than not, printed and framed on the wall as a price.

Facebook and iPhone has indeed made it so easy to shoot, place a filter and then share.

3) Why such a small LCD screen?

Indeed. In the many years of photography, I’ve yet to see a DSLR camera with a bigger LCD screen than the iPhone. Given that LCD screens were expensive ten to fifteen years ago, but times has changed. What are Canon and Nikon doing?

nikon hiding away
Conclusion of what Canon and Nikon can learn from Apple

They need to learn to give photographers what the photographers want. Not releasing incremental models, but evolutionary and revolutionary ones. Apple definitely is looking into the photography realm, as iPhones and smartphones in general becomes more and more relevant for our everyday use, including photography.

Got an idea? =) Drop us your thought here