Monday 11 January 2010

Canon Prices - The comedy continues into 2010

Last year when Canon announced a price hike of 50% on the 1Dmk4 on a like for like launch price, I thought and still think it is outrageous.

Dave put a post up about Canon profits at the time.

Last week I flagged up the launch of the new Canon 70 -200 IS L11 lens.

Checking out the launch prices over at, I see it is up for a penny shy of £2800.  So they have doubled the price over the lens it is replacing.

Well done Canon - what a great laugh you comedians.



  1. The recession has become a good excuse for canon/nikon etc to put the prices up as much as they want.

  2. I share both Martin and the previous poster's view as street prices have increased on existing L lenses by 30%-50% since Jan'09.

    Currency, materials, energy and shipping costs don't explain the increase to me, but perhaps shareholder expectations and returns do.

    My argument follows that:

    > Canon & Nikon are a duopoly in a growth technology market.

    > Most non-essential spend markets are down at least 30% in volume cif '09.

    > Canon solution - increase prices 30%-50% to maintain turnover and boost earnings (due to higher unit margins) - it's that simple as there are no other markets I am aware of that has lifted prices more than 10% or so in last year (Ford cars is one). I am sure we'd all largely agree that in the main High Street prices (food aside) have remained stable or increased in single digit %'s. Most of this is imported from SE Asia - I see no difference except the CURRENT market position that Canon enjoys.

    Canon are intelligent people and their pricing strategy is certainly no accident. If the theory proves correct (2009 Imaging Division Report Financial Report will surely show when becomes available), I just hope that Canon will have the respect for their loyal customers to reduce prices in line with increased sales volumes as we eventually climb out of this prolonged recession. It is also concerning that Canon haven't plausibly communicated their actions to customers (nor in fact some dealers).

    I for one will be watching this space very closely. Haven't looked into, but what are Nikon users' experiences on prices since a year ago?

    Canon have enjoyed a loyal and popular following for their IMO capable and user friendly products. Until the 7D and still currently with their higher end lenses they appear to have lost some higher end DSLR market share to Nikon in the last year or so.

    I'm not really into Canon v Nikon debates - they're both exceptional manufacturers and systems, so will not comment on either's pros and cons.

    However, I chose and use Canon and happen to still like Canon products and would not want to change systems as I am not a Pro (or high end user), but yet get reliable and quality results from my carefully chosen (inc a few L) lenses.

    I just hope that Canon realise the long-term value that is in their existing user base and do not continue to take us for granted. Recent sensor and VR improvements from the competiton are inevitably welcome and Canon have been slow to market compared to Nikon with theirs (seem to be coming through now with 7D, 1DIV and 2.8II etc). BTW I think Canon should carefully plan the launch of upgraded 100-400 and 300+ teles as their current pricing strategy will cause some anguish and tears to be shed if they launch while still in recession.

    I am hoping that Canon's pricing strategy is a short term one and will last until sufficient confidence and sales volumes return. The photography world will be a much poorer place if Canon fail to reduce prices as volumes improve over the next year or so (crystal ball anyone?!). It will be interesting to see how Nikon and Sony view/react to the situation, as they may sense a much larger opportunity in the short term.

    If this continues (say 1 more year), users of Pro bodies and long L lenses may have to upgrade and cough-up to maintain a competitive advantage. Others, myself included, will have to sit it out on the lens front esp. and make do with what we presently have, until sanity (or at least logic) returns to the market in Canon.

    I guess we'll have to watch this space.

    Anybody else have their ideas. Do you think Canon's pricing strategy could be permanent?

    Apologies for post length, but just wanted to expand on why I agree with Martin and Anon's viewpoints, on what must be a passionate issue for us Canon users in these uncertain times.

    Best regards

  3. Julian

    Many thanks for your lengthy comment - we appreciate the time and effort.

    I agree with much of what you have said here.

    Part of me also wonders how much current Canon users are paying the penalty for the cost of screw ups with camera bodies like the 1Dmk111, and the consequential loss of custom across to Nikon, as a vehicle to keep the profit margins up.

    My head says that isn't likely from a business perspective, but my heart is far more cynical and disagrees.

    As for Canon communicating - yes it would be a very good thing. Tell your loyal customers why this has happened. When we have to pass on increased costs to our customers where I work we always tell them.

    Go on Canon - try it.

    But it won't happen - it never does, because they really do not care about their customers, despite all the hollow marketing words about 'We put customers first blah blah'

    So come on Canon we know some of you read the blog - we get enough views from Amstelveen.

    Why not respond eh?