The Strange Canon Mismatch

Consider this:

1. Lowest end full frame body (features, performance, and price)

2. Highest end full frame lenses

What the heck is Canon doing?

The Canon RP is clearly an entry camera positioned to be affordable. It's a lowest-common denominator product set up to be sold to folk who can't stretch very far on price above the crop sensor products. The RP is truly a consumer product. 

Meanwhile, look at the RF lenses we know about so far:

  • 15-35mm f/2.8L
  • 24-70mm f/2.8L
  • 24-105mm f/4L
  • 24-240mm f/4-6.3
  • 28-70mm f/2L
  • 35mm f/1.8
  • 50mm f/1.2L
  • 70-200mm f/2.8L
  • 85mm f/1.2L

Remember, L is Canon's high-end designation. Which means we have exactly two lenses designed and priced for the RP crowd: 24-240mm f/4-6.3 and the 35mm f/1.8. 

To me, there's almost a complete mismatch between overall body product and overall lens product so far in Canon's full frame mirrorless lineup. This has to be intentional.

So why the discrepancy?

Simple. Canon really wasn't ready with new sensor/body technologies in mirrorless, things that would add to the 5D abilities and push into the 1Dx territory. Thus, they've gone the opposite direction on the body and are determined to establish market share through pricing. Get the consumer customers while you can, and put pricing pressure on the others. Classic Ries and Trout strategy. Indeed, it reverses the bar for Sony, who was using older models to get pricing advantage.

Meanwhile, there's the fear at Canon that if it takes them a year or two more to get to the A7Rm3/A9 level of camera, that if the lenses aren't there when the RX (1Dx equivalent) and RV (5D equivalent) and RS (5Ds equivalent) eventually appear, they'd have lost the game to Nikon and Sony. 

As someone who studied competitive product management back in the Kelley Business School MBA program (last century! ;~), I'm fascinated with the different approaches that Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, and Sony are all taking. Each company has a slightly different goal here, and it shows in how they've approached the whole transition to full frame mirrorless. 

Still, there's a clear cognitive dissonance in Canon's early body/lens lineup, and it has to have some people scratching their heads. L lenses and non-L bodies doesn't seem right. The only way this works is that the emphasis flips two years down the line (e.g. non-L lenses and L bodies introduced).  

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