Canon had a few concept cameras on display at CES 2019. With CES being a consumer-oriented show, the specific products on display were targeted toward a lower-end consumer audience. Check them out below.
Canon Intelligent Compact Camera
First up, is what Canon calls an Intelligent Compact Camera that offers 110° tilt and 360° panning. It features a 3x zoom with a 19-57mm (equivalent) zoom range. Additionally, it has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and USB connectivity.
Canon envisions a variety of potential scenarios in which the camera can be used, including automatic shooting that is triggered by voices, faces and motion.
Canon Outdoor Activity Camera
The Outdoor Activity Camera concept model is designed to be an affordable action camera. It features a carabiner clip, interchangable faceplates, a sports finder, waterproof and shockproof.
Canon Kids Camera Concept
The Kids Camera Concept was a dual grip camera with soft grips, a large viewfinder and a built-in ring light on its fixed lens. I was fortunate enough to speak with Satoshi Shinata, Lead Specialist and product designer for this camera.
I talked with Satoshi about my 8-year-old who is asking for a dedicated camera for her birthday (proud dad here) and how I’ve been leaning toward a basic compact camera in the sub-$100 category. That’s what I’ve done for my other kids with the exception of a crappy Fisher Price camera I bought for my oldest back when he was two or three.
This is a tough category because the pricing has to be accessible enough for parents to commit to a camera over a tablet/phone, which already captures “good enough” photos (and it’s very easy for kids to shoot photos). Canon can’t really get too full-featured or they are going to price it out of the market (I do love the big finder and ring light features though). It’s also a pretty niche market because of the aforementioned tablet/phone problem, which is shifting younger and younger.
Essentially, this is more of a niche toy market, which I suspect would max out on price around $150 . . . probably closer to $100. At that price, would Canon move enough units to be worth the development cost? I think that might be tough. Brand awareness, brand building though? Maybe there’s something to think about if Canon can build an ecosystem around the hardware that provides a great user experience, which is something Canon has struggled to do with ancillary services and products (e.g., the Canon Connect Station).
As a photo dad, I love the product but I think the market might be too small and too volatile.
Of course, all of these products are simply concept models. They may never hit the market or have substantial variations to the features and designs if they do. However, they do inform us about some of the trends and market problems Canon is thinking about on the consumer side.