Candid Interview With Canon’s Masaya Maeda Talks 4K, LOG on DSLR, Mirrorless & New C500

July 28, 20152 Comments

Today on EOSHD I was reading about an interview Neil Matsumoto did with Masaya Maeda, Canon’s Managing Director and Chief Executive, Image Communication Products Operations for HDVideo Pro Magazine I reached out to Neil and we talked a little about the interview. I asked Neil if he was surprised by the candid answers? Neil says “I’ve interviewed Maeda-san a few times and he always plays his cards close to his chest. Since so much rides on what he says, his answers are always short, direct and guarded, but he’s also pretty warm and very funny. I wasn’t too surprised at his answers but they really need to look into mirrorless systems more and in my opinion, they’re probably doing so.”  I totally agree with Neil here. The mirrorless market is exploding and Canon at this point isn’t in the game.  It’s very interesting to get a glimpse of things to come and what is going on currently with 4K in DSLR’s, possible C500 and the mirrorless camera. heat seems to be an issue right now with 4K in the current DSLR configuration. I think this needs to be fixed before we see it in any current type bodies and with mirrorless it’s worse sine the bodies are even smaller.

This is great read enjoy!

At NAB 2015, we got the chance to interview Masaya Maeda, Canon’s Managing Director and Chief Executive, Image Communication Products Operations. In a small room above Canon’s huge exhibitor space, Maeda gave us his thoughts on 4K, Cinema EOS, mirrorless cameras, DSLR lenses, as well as the new XC10 camera. He keeps his cards close to his vest.

HDVideoPro: Happy to see that the C300 Mark II is offering 4K. On that note, what sort of future does the C500 have?

MASAYA MAEDA: There isn’t anything I can say about the C500 at this point. We’re currently investigating to see if we can take this product to the next level. We’re looking into that now.

HDVP: When you say “next level”, could we be seeing a more traditional digital motion picture camera, like the ARRI ALEXA or the Sony F65?

MAEDA: Yes, we are looking into this.

HDVP: Why has Canon been slow into transitioning to 4K for your DSLRs?

MAEDA: Because we’re slow (laughing). There are power consumption challenges, as well as heat issues that we need to solve so we are investigating what we can do right now. The DSLR camera will have to be compact in size because if it becomes larger, it turns into a C300.

HDVP: One criticism of your DSLRs for video capture is the lack of a neutral or flat color profile. Will Canon Log ever be offered on your DSLRs?

MAEDA: Yes, we are considering that, although I can’t tell you what level that will be incorporated. In the future we would like to bring that into our DSLRs.

HDVP: The mirrorless M-series is no longer available in the US, correct?

MAEDA: When you look at the Canon sales companies, whether it’s in the US or Europe, they have the right to choose which products they want to carry.

HDVP: So it’s a Canon USA decision?

MAEDA: From a Canon Inc. perspective, we would like them to sell everything but there are still a few stubborn people (laughing).

HDVP: We’ve seen the success of the Sony A7S and the Samsung NX1 mirrorless cameras? Do you think there’s a market for a Canon mirrorless 4K camera that doesn’t fit in the Cinema EOS line?

MAEDA: I think that’s a promising product but we don’t like to imitate others, so I think it would be a slightly different product if we release something like that.

HDVP: One of the most innovative features in your cameras has been Dual Pixel CMOS AF. Have you received much feedback from filmmakers on the technology? If so, have they voiced their opinions on the effects the technology has had on film crews? Do you think it can potentially eliminate the focus puller?

MAEDA: The Canon USA people have a better idea about feedback but regarding the impression they’ve received, they’re very pleased with the response. Although this technology has a high level of [focus] matching for filmmaking, it will still require a person who specializes in matching so I don’t necessarily think this will be the case. If only we could invent a camera that we could control with our brain, that could be the future (laughs).

HDVP: At the moment, STM lenses available are not considered professional quality lenses. Could we see STM lenses in the near future that have L-series- or Cinema EOS-like glass? Can they overtake USM lenses?

MAEDA: Yes, there is that possibility but the characteristics are completely different between the USM and STM, so in the near future they will continue to exist separately and be used separately.

HDVP: So what are your expectations with the new XC10 and how will it be used?

MAEDA: We developed this small 4K camera so that the users themselves can figure out how to use it. We really want users to explore the camera and we’re looking forward to what they come up with. I hope that Canon USA is also exploring new ways that this camera can be used. Initially my impression is that it was going to be suited for news crews.

Lots of great insight into what’s going on at Canon and the products direction. I would love to see a Alexa shoulder type camera from Canon. That would be a very hot camera! One thing for sure. Never discount Canon. They have fantastic color science in all the cameras they make and yes they seem to be behind on 4K and mirrorless but they will be back in the game. You can bet on it.

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About the Author ()

I'm a broadcast DP In San Diego. I enjoy sharing what I'm working on and testing new equipment. This blog is also part of giving back. I've learned so much from so many people.

Comments (2)

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  1. RR says:

    “The DSLR camera will have to be compact in size because if it becomes larger, it turns into a C300.”
    Eh..there are usually technical features that separate products.
    (NX1, other 4k cams) "I think that’s a promising product but we don’t like to imitate others,"
    (XC10) "Initially my impression is that it was going to be suited for news crews."
    Ah..hence the whole consumery introduction and Chackie Jan recruitment.

    Classic Canonese here.

  2. Bill says:

    Thanks for sharing this, Erik. Very illuminating. I didn’t realize how much autonomy each regional sales company had. The big news for me here is that Canon USA decided to end sales of the promising EOS M mirrorless in the US over the objections of Canon Inc. A serious strategic error, in my view, as it leaves US Canon video shooters who are tired of the limitations imposed by the DSLR mirror box (and who can’t afford Cinema EOS) with no option but to migrate to Sony or Panasonic.

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