Canon Gives Some Surprising Commentary on DSLRs, Third-party Lenses, and Its Other Mirrorless System

Canon Gives Some Surprising Commentary on DSLRs, Third-party Lenses, and Its Other Mirrorless System

In a recent interview at CP+, Canon was quite honest about many of the things its users want to know about most, including DSLR production, the EF-M mount, and third-party RF mount lenses. 

In a recent interview with Photo Trend, Tetsuji Kiyomi, Director of ICB Division in Charge of Products, and Go Tokura, General Manager of Imaging at Canon, spoke at length about many facets of the company's current state, philosophies, and future plans. Of particular interest were their answers on DSLRs, the EF-M mount, and third-party RF mount lenses. 

The EOS R50's release and its accompanying lenses that basically clone their EF-M mount equivalents seemed to be the final signal that the EOS M mount, Canon's first mirrorless mount, was finished. However, Kiyomi specifically noted that due to the smaller diameter, EF-M cameras can be made to be more portable than RF-S cameras, and that there is still a strong demand for them, meaning Canon will continues to offer EOS M options for the time being. That being said, I doubt we'll ever see new development in the system, but it seems like production will continue for now. 

Another hot topic of late has been the company's restrictions on third-party RF mount lenses. Kiyomi noted that Canon has no overarching policy on this and that it is handled on a "case-by-case basis," with each possibility evaluated for how it complements or competes with the company's own plans and offerings. Tokura elaborated on this by noting the company is currently in discussions with other manufacturers, though he didn't specify which brands. 

Lastly, when asked about DSLRs, Tokura noted that while industry attention and hype is unsurprisingly focused on mirrorless models, DSLRs still make up 30% of global sales, and with that also come a lot of DSLR lens sales. While the company is clearly focusing research and development on mirrorless models, they do intend to continue production to meet the market demand for the time being. 

Be sure to check out the full interview of lots of interesting insights into Canon. 

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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Thank you for giving us this report on the interview. Appreciate it!

I'm bookmarking this article for sure. Thanks Canon and thanks Alex.

Give us an M6II with an RF mount you cowards!
Flip up screen, detatchable EVF, but RF mount.

Exactly. Take the m50 crap and toss it in the bin.

Well , since Canon has very limited options for RF lenses, I have decided to add a Sony camera into my system. I m truly frustrated with Canon as much as I was with Nikon, years ago when I made the move to Canon.

Limited RF options, really? So what focal length do you need/want that Canon doesn't have in the RF mount that Sony or any other manufacturer has? Just curious.

For me, that is currently the wonderful Sigma 60-600mm f6.3. Sigma can make it for Sony mirrorless, but not for Canon's FR mount. And Canon doesn't have anything even close. No, a 100-500mm is not close to a 60-600mm. For what I shoot, a 10x zoom is infinitely more useful than a 5x zoom.

I can also get a Laowa 24mm Macro Probe lens for Sony E mount and Nikon Z mount. But not for Canon's RF mount.

Ditto for the ultra-useful Laowa 15mm f4 macro with true macro 1:1 magnification ratio. Canon has no true macro lens that is also true wide angle. None.

So pretty much, only one lens Canon doesn't make (even though the 100-500 is rather sufficient). Basically, you're saying they don't make a lens in the focal range you need/want that is cheaper than what Sigma offers. I get that, but Canon does have pretty much every focal length covered in zoom and prime, but to each their own. I can't imagine buying another OEM camera body for just one lens, but that's just me; everyone is different.

Out of curiosity, do you own Canon market shares or is the brand your favorite team as lets say the Lakers in basketball terms? Cameras are just tools , and if I m complaining is mostly about the third party restrictions. You each have the right in your opinions, but I think I m done drinking the canon Coolaid

I wish I did own Canon shares. I do shoot Canon and Sony and used to shoot Nikon as well. Well yes, there are no 3rd party options anymore for the RF lenses. I did grab me a Rokinon RF85 before Canon banned them. But to say Canon doesn't offer enough RF glass without the qualifier is misleading. Sure, we'd all like to have cheaper alternatives. But again, that's your choice to not drink the "Canon koolaid". For me, I have all the glass focal lengths I need. And I can still use my EF lenses as well. To each their own. You will be happy with Sony, I have the A7R IV and it's great.

Canon indeed does not offer enough RF glass I care for, at the quality and price I m willing to pay for. Mean while I have also ordered a Sony A7r4 with a 35 1,8 and I will see what this will take me. BTW by "Canon koolaid". I mean they are NOT alone in the market.


Reginald Walton wrote:

"So pretty much, only one lens Canon doesn't make (even though the 100-500 is rather sufficient). Basically, you're saying they don't make a lens in the focal range you need/want that is cheaper than what Sigma offers."

No, Reginald, in my comment that you replied to, I actually mentioned 3 lenses that I need and that Canon does not make:

The 60-600mm f6.3

The 25mm Macro Probe

The 15mm f4 true macro with 1:1 magnification ..... anything less than 1:1 is NOT macro, regardless of what the manufacturer tries to tell us

And there is another lens - the 300-800mm f5.6 zoom that Sigma makes. I did not list this in my previous post, but I also own this lens and frequently use it with my EF mount Canon DSLR. But of course Canon never made anything even close to it. And now they still don't make anything close to it.

So that is 4 3rd party lenses that I need and that Canon refuses to make.

My acquisition of 3rd party lenses has nothing to do with price. I bought the 3rd party lenses that I have because Canon doesn't make anything like them. Nothing even close. And when it comes to very highly specialized niche lenses, I don't foresee Canon ever making anything directly comparable.


Could be you just need two brands of cameras. That's what we did with film. You had a 35mm, a medium format and a large format, typically needing two formats for what ever you specialized in. It's expensive yes but assuming you have one camera and one back up you can alternate your body purchases and your lens options widen tremendously. Like I said, I know it's expensive to get there, but we never ever had this many cameras and lens options. it's not a bad world we live in.

The probe lens seems like an odd one to bring up. It's a fully manual lens, so you lose nothing by adapting it from EF to RF, or from EF to E, EF to Z, EF to X, etc.

Well if it's manual focus, then Laowa will be able to make it in RF mount without infringing on Canon's patents. Canon is only prohibiting 3rd party from making autofocus lenses in the RF mount. Hopefully Laowa gets busy and makes the probe in RF real soon.

Search your favorite Venus Optics dealer. They make 15 full frame lenses and 7 APS-C lenses for RF.

That's great to see that they have already made so many lenses in the Canon RF mount! I think there are people on this forum who do not have an understanding of what exactly it is that Canon is preventing 3rd party manufactures from doing and what they are powerless to prevent them from doing.

Lets say a Sony 1.4 as the newly released, small quality and sharp lens, not the junky 1.8 rf lens, not the monster 1.2 lens, the sigma 50 mm 1,4 dn, the 85mm dn, the 65mm f.2 dn the 24 sigma f2 dn, a 35mm 1,4 quality lens without being 1,2 big heavy and expensive, a 24 mm 1,4 that is small and reasonably priced, other brand options,etc etc.
I can go on for a while if you let me.
I have been a Canon user since 2003.

For the record I own the
ef 24mm 1.4 mk2
ef 35mm 1,4 mk2
ef 85mm 1.4 Is lens
ef 100mm macro L lens
Sigma 12-24 f4 lens
canon ef 24mm ts mk2
canon ef 17mm ts
sigma ef art 50mm art lens
Two mk4 bodies
r6 body with adaptor
a number of speed lights and other canon accesories.
point is that I do it for a living but I see hobbyists know the needs of other photographers better than them.

The great thing about the RF mount is that because of flange distance, you can adapt old lenses like my EF 100-400 II or my Sigma 15-30mm. Same for EF-M mount. You can also adapt 3rd party DSLR lenses. You seem more frustrated with the lack of **new** RF mount lenses, and that is fair, but it takes some time to design and build out all the important focal lengths. Meanwhile, your EF collection works fully supported with the Canon adaptors.

The Sony is also a great choice, but you will have slightly more issues with the EF to Sony adaptors as they are 3rd party.

I am sad that my new RF 24-70 f/2.8L IS lens does not work on my 5D III, but with my R5 it is just perfect. The sacrifice of TTL viewfinding is worth it to me for the improvement in results. I loved TTL viewfinders. Alas, the technology is obsolete.

It is a shame that all the 35mm body manufacturers make brand-specific mounts instead of one universal digital mount like the 4:3rds system.

The commentary on negotiations with 3rd parties sound.. disingenuous at best.

Does that explain why there's no 50 1.4 rf?

Or why non L lenses are mostly pedestrian landfill.

Or why they are backpedaling on the quality of even the basic lenses to ridiculously slow apertures.

Or how they will act different towards crop lenses, as they are off to a terrible start.

Over there sticking to the same ludicrous strategy of providing enough crap lenses on the low end so that you're basically forced to buy an L.

Or... Or....

Argh. I love my current Canon kit but man that company makes me mad. I will definitely be buying into another system as soon as I get the chance.

and on
''Or why non L lenses are mostly pedestrian landfill.'' +1000%

I thought the comments about the naming scheme were interesting but also misguided. It's confusing to the average consumer if not to enthusiasts. Yes, the 7 may be more capable than the 8 but consumers need to understand focal length/angle of view implications when they are making their choice.