Our founder, Nikhil Chawla also a proud Canon 80D user got a chance to interact with Eddie Udagawa, Vice President, Consumer Imaging and Information Centre, Canon India to discuss what keeps him going with 30+ years at Canon. In their interaction, they also talked about the future of Imaging, India specific initiatives by the company and the recently concluded Canon Photo Marathon in India. 

Mr. Eddie Udagawa, Vice President, Consumer Imaging & Information Centre, Canon India Pvt Ltd.

This Interview was an email interaction between the two.

Q1. Canon Photo Marathon in India is in its 8th year. How do you think the project has grown? Also, how it all started? 

At Canon, we believe that photography is a very powerful medium, it has the ability to capture everyday narratives and convert them into moments and memories. Inspired to bring photography enthusiasts together and cultivate photography culture, a platform Canon Photo Marathon has been established. This is an annual event hosted in various Asian regions originally conceptualized in Singapore in 2003.  The very first Canon Photo Marathon in India was held in the year 2009. This Photo Marathon 2017 has spread to 12 Asian regions like Malaysia, Singapore, Hongkong, Vietnam, Brunei, Philippines, Srilanka, Taiwan, India, Indonesia, Cambodia, China. The region’s largest, annual live photo competition challenges photography enthusiasts to push their boundaries in photography skills, all under time pressure.

Canon PhotoMarathon 2017 - Delhi

This was the 8th edition of Photo Marathon in India. We saw a huge number of participants from Delhi and Mumbai this year and we are happy to witness the popularity this event has gained over the years. It has become one of the most awaited events of the year for photography enthusiasts and it is our endeavour to make it bigger and better. The ever-increasing number of youngsters taking up their cameras and unleashing their creative self is a reassurance to our constant efforts towards encouraging a culture of photography in India. Looking at the young talent, we introduced student’s category last year where students from various schools participated in this event. This year too we saw the zeal and enthusiasm of the students who participate in Photo Marathon. We are working towards bringing out extraordinary talent through this platform and give an opportunity to cultivate every participant’s interest into their passion. At Canon India, we are dedicated to promoting the culture of imaging in the country and Photo Marathon is one of our key initiatives in this space.

Q2. There is no doubt that Canon is leading the way for photography and videography in India with content creators like me relying on EOS 80D as their go-to camera. How has the growth been for point to shoot and Mirrorless cameras? Seeing, the trends we can easily ascertain that smartphones have invaded the point to shoot market and Mirrorless cameras are still to pick up the Indian market. What are your thoughts on that?

Firstly referring to your point on the mirrorless cameras, we see the growth of mirrorless camera for some niche audiences, but DSLR segment will remain our domain of focus. We want this segment to be much stronger in the market by continuously providing quality products to our consumers and by introducing and promoting ground-breaking technologies in the DSLR camera range. In the mirrorless categories, we do provide our users with options to choose from the EOS M5 and EOS M6.

As imaging leaders, we consider it our responsibility to connect people to the world of imaging. We are happy that with the advent of smartphones, the number of clicks has increased considerably. As more and more people are clicking, the market for the imaging industry is set to expand. More people are now exposed to the joys of photography.

With so many images being uploaded on various social networks every moment, the differentiating factor becomes the quality of the images. And this is where a DSLR camera scores heavily. With results that are unmatched, an important advantage is being offered that smartphone users cannot hope to achieve unless they adopt a DSLR camera. This phenomenon has led to the demand for DSLRs increasing at a steady pace and at Canon we have been contributing to this growing trend with our technological evolution and product line-up.

Q3. Do you think companies like GoPro have taken a lead in the adventure and 360’ camera race? Or does Canon has something in store for us in the near future?

At Canon, we are confident of the current range of products offered to the market in India. From our entry level to a professional range of products, we have seen growth in our market share for DSLR’s. With highly competitive and industry-leading products such as the EOS 5D Mark IV equipped with a Full Frame 35mm, 30.4 MP CMOS Sensor, we continue to lead the imaging space with a strong focus on innovation and technology. Our EOS 5D Mark IV offers 4K video recording at 30fps, whereas the flagship EOS-1D X Mark II offers 4K video recording at up to 60fps. The EOS 6D Mark II launched later half in this year strikes a perfect balance between compact design and superior performance offering excellent value. For people looking at cinematic video work, we have the high-end Cinema EOS range of cameras that will definitely meet and even exceed requirements.

At Canon, we understand the dynamic needs of our consumers and are committed to offering the best in class products that capture the photography zeal of every consumer.

Q4. In your 30+ years of working with Canon what are the prominent trends have you seen in terms of Imaging?

There has been a remarkable growth in the culture of photography in India. The market for camera is evolving and more people are shooting a greater number of photos and the sharply growing DSLR segment in India is a testament to this.

Indian camera market has evolved at a steady pace, over the years. The entry-level DSLR cameras have seen a growth recently and remain the most popular amongst other DSLRs on offer.  The Canon EOS 1300D and EOS 200D targeted to first-time buyers are doing very well. At the same, we have seen consistency in more professional cameras, as pro buyers are increasing and photographers are becoming more sophisticated. The imaging industry worldwide is evolving at a dynamic pace and to be at par with the changes in the industry, we continuously take feedback from the market and our clientele that further translates into better products and this is what allows us to solidify our market status.

Q5. We went from films to cassettes to CD’s/DVD’s to memory cards. What do you think is the future?

Storage solutions for cameras have hugely evolved since the beginning of the technological era. As rightly said, these have transitioned from films to cassettes to CDs and DVDs to memory cards at present. At the moment there is still a high demand for memory cards as well as storage, as still and video imaging resolutions increase, so will the storage demands.

In the future, one can expect more innovations in both storage and recording media – hard drives, cards etc. other than the ones we are as of now acquainted with. Wireless and security features will be the next level in the micro SD evolution. The cards could be utilized without manual input to transmit data securely, and which would open newer doors to the world of imaging, leading people to click and share pictures easily.

Q6. India is an important market for Canon. What are the country-specific initiatives that Canon has taken? Has there been any India led product or campaign that made it to the Global level?

India has emerged as one of the key markets for us. We continuously adopt various innovative sales and marketing tools aimed at addressing our customer’s need and requirement.

Our exclusive department called EOS Academy with a dedicated team of photography experts help customers in enhancing their photography skills in a fun and engaging environment. To further promote the spirit of photography, we conduct various workshops across India to encourage photography. As part of special initiative ‘IClick’ Women Photography workshop has been started targeting towards creating a new customer segment – Ladies to empower women by encouraging them to uplift their photography skills and create inspirations. Our special property called Click-o-tory has been created which is an online photography contest and has been a great success.  This year we concluded the season 2 of the same.

As part of our unique proposition, we have created a property called EOS Nation where we conduct photography seminars where we invite professional photographers to attend the seminar. These seminars are delivered by industry leading professionals and aimed specifically at professional photographers.

From this year onwards, we have been aggressively focusing on the cinema segment and have been conducting exclusive workshops targeted to cinematographers from the film fraternity. We also provide Canon professional services which are exclusive membership services designed for photography professionals using top line cameras and equipment. The aim here is to provide the best after-sales service and other special benefits to professional photographers, using Canon cameras and lenses.

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