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Canon Celebrates 20th Anniversary of EOS

images/pma-badge.jpg By MIKE PASINI
Editor
The Imaging Resource Digital Photography Newsletter

LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Canon EOS (Electro Optical System) camera line. Canon invited about 200 members of the press and industry analysts to a dinner at the Venetian hotel Thursday evening to celebrate.

C O N T E N T S

Introductory Remarks

Joe Adachi

Tomonori Iwashita

Eliott Peck

Chuck Westfall

Clay Blackmore

Closing Remarks

 

Before sitting down for dinner, Canon President and CEO Yoroku "Joe" Adachi mingled with the guests, discussing the importance of the "culture of photography" and the company's commitment to giving something back. He noted that "the customer is king -- or queen" making all the decisions about what happens in this business.

We've been able to get a transcript of the evening's presentations emceed by Canon PR Director Rick Booth, which we've included here. They include:

• President and CEO Joe Adachi affirming Canon's commitment to "touch and improve people's lives."

• Group Executive for Image Communication Products Operations and Director Tomonori Iwashita giving an overview of the EOS line and Canon's new products

• Vice President Eliott Peck reliving the history of the development of the EOS from its beginnings through its digital transformation

• Director of Media and Customer Relations Chuck Westfall detailing the advances in Canon's new EOS-D1 Mark III

The evening included a presentation by photographer Clay Blackmore and after dinner entertainment by Michael Cavanaugh.

As part of its celebration, Canon also assembled an array of its classic camera models on the show floor, a few of which we photographed for a small Web gallery (http://www.imaging-resource.com/EVENTS/PMAS07mrp/gal-canon/).

Ice Sculpture. Event photos by Shawn Barnett using an Canon Rebel XTi. One-handed.

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS | Back to Contents

Good evening! Welcome to Canon's celebration for the 20th anniversary of EOS. It's truly a pleasure to have all of you joining us here tonight.

I'm Rick Booth and (as you just heard from the voice in the sky) I'm the Director of Public Relations for Canon USA. I've been in this position for a year and have been with Canon USA for 15 years.

But compared to some of the other folks you'll hear from this evening, well, let's just say that even with 15 years, they still call me "the new guy."

Booth

But the years do go fast, don't they?

Twenty years of Canon's EOS. Remarkable.

Can anyone even remember what the world of SLR photography was like before EOS? I'm guessing that there are some of you who've never worked with any system but EOS. But think about it.

In 1987, fax machines were just finding their way into the office environment, portable music meant you had a cassette player, the Internet was a mystery and Canon's EOS was the latest and greatest in SLR photography.

Fast forward 20 years. Faxes are paperless, entire music collections fit in your pocket, the Internet is ubiquitous and well, look at this ... Canon's EOS is the latest and greatest in SLR photography.

Well. I'll toast to that!

I'd like to take a moment to introduce some of our special guests here with us tonight. Mr. Adachi. President and CEO of Canon USA. Mr. Iwashita, Group Executive for Image Communication Products Operations and Director, Canon Inc. And Mr. Ishizuka, the newly appointed Senior Vice President and General Manager for the Consumer Imaging Group at Canon USA.

Gentlemen, we're honored to have all of you here with us. Thank you.

Tonight's going to be pretty special.

You're going to hear about some terrific new products with ground breaking features and functionality that will blow you away.

And there'll be plenty of food, drink, merriment and of course our special musical guest from the TONY-award winning Broadway show "Movin' Out" ... piano man Michael Cavanaugh.

It's time to begin our celebration. And here's something to kick it off!

[Video production plays]

Amazing, isn't it? It's a bit overwhelming ... and I know this story.

Our next speaker knows this EOS story as well.

In fact, he's one of the authors, as he was Vice President of the Photo Products division when the EOS Rebel was introduced in 1990.

He was the key decision maker for our choice of Andre Agassi as spokesperson and is himself revered at Canon as a leader, a visionary and also somewhat of a Rebel in his own right.

Please join me in welcoming the President and CEO of Canon USA Joe Adachi.

JOE ADACHI | Back to Contents

Thank you. And welcome to our celebration of the 20th Anniversary of EOS.

I'm honored to stand before you this evening to be a part of a heritage of excellence in the imaging industry that spans more than 70 years.

Adachi

And it's a heritage that you share in as well.

With your ability to illustrate and report comprehensive yet to-the-point information in the media. Your support over the years has made -- and continues to make -- our success possible. And for that, Canon thanks you.

Canon U.S.A. began in 1955 as the New York branch office of an up-and-coming but still an unknown camera company. And the rest, as you know, is history.

Actually, that history is our story.

For more than half a century, we've been guided by the spirit of kyosei, our global corporate philosophy of harmoniously working together for the future.

I'm pleased to say that 20 years of EOS is only one of many benefits Canon is reaping from being a part of the corporate, cultural and environmental landscape in the Americas -- for more than 50 years.

I'd like to share a short story with you.

As you heard Rick Booth said earlier, in 1990 I was very much involved in the development and launch of the EOS Rebel in the United States.

We wanted to name the camera, not just give it a number. We wanted it to have a "personality."

When the name "Rebel" was suggested, we almost turned it down, thinking that the word was too negative.

At the same time, we were searching for the right sports personality to be the icon for the camera.

Andre Agassi was young, edgy and a Rebel -- but in all the right ways. It was a perfect match and our baby was named "Rebel."

Believe me when I tell you today, nobody at Canon thinks that the word "Rebel" has been anything but positive!

In the years since our success with the EOS Rebel, we have made many time-saving and cost-cutting improvements in our factories worldwide, resulting in significant progress in all aspects of our manufacturing processes.

In the next five years, I see Canon USA strengthening its organization in many areas. We currently have more than 40 project teams established, working hard to bring many new products to market leading up to 2010. Imaging products that will continue to enhance the way you work -- and the way you live.

We recognize and appreciate that you, the media and industry analysts, are on the front lines, reviewing our products, testing them and reporting your results.

You are the key influencers of market perception, determining what's hot and what's not.

From capture, to view, to print, we are working hard to create seamless, end-to-end workflow solutions that allow you and your readers to enjoy the full capabilities of Canon products.

Look at this slide.

To remain as the industry leader, we had to adapt to the trends of the marketplace. And that means developing seamless, end-to-end solutions.

On this slide there are lines between these products. But technology-wise -- and to the end user -- they are borderless.

The same core technologies found in our professional and industrial level products also are found in our consumer camera, displays and printers. In the near future, lifestyles and end-to-end solutions will define the product groupings -- not the segments like you see here.

Two years ago, we celebrated our 50th anniversary of doing business in the Americas and our product offerings have expanded with every year.

How?

We have made a significant investment in R&D and have done so consistently from the beginning. Canon invests about eight percent of its total revenue into R&D every year and our target is to increase this number to 10 percent by the year 2010.

Canon also designs and manufactures our own equipment. This gives us a significant advantage in the marketplace, allowing us to streamline production costs and to maintain the ultimate in quality control throughout each step of the process.

And it shows.

But whether it's for camera equipment, EF lens systems, digital imaging sensors or processors, Canon consistently ranks as a top U.S. patent holder. In fact, for the past 15 consecutive years, we have been one of the top three patent-receiving organizations in the U.S.

Canon is currently number one in digital camera marketshare, including both compact and dSLRs. In the dSLR segment, we held a commanding 44 percent marketshare in 2006.

Even with this success, we will not stand still.

We continually look to improve and -- being a global company -- there is much we can learn and do lear from doing business in many different countries.

We are learning from each other through our different business styles and ideas. And each country has different characteristics.

The U.S. has the largest channel distributors I've ever seen. Think of Wal-Mart, Circuit City or Best Buy. When compared to the distributors in Japan and Europe, the scale is huge. We've learned to successfully navigate negotiations on an enormous scale.

Across Europe the vast number of different languages makes it critical to have extremely accurate and efficient operations. Canon works aggressively to balance this diverse European market.

And in Japan, everything is value-oriented, everything is expected to be the latest in high technology, of a much higher quality and nothing less than the best. Japanese customers prefer everything to be well-thought out and well-produced.

And we are known for delivering just that.

A good example is our latest innovation in dSLR photography -- the EOS 1-D Mark III. I know you're all familiar with the basic specs for the camera but you'll be presented with in-depth detail in just a few moments.

Clearly, our experience, expertise and history of innovation in the Digital SLR segment makes EOS and our EF lenses the equipment of choice for professional photographers.

And again the feedback and input we've received from members of the media and the analyst community has been extremely valuable. For years we've reached out to professional photographers and the media to exchange experiences and ideas so Canon can provide the technologies, the features and the convenience you need. And we will continue to support you in this way, today, tomorrow and beyond.

We will continue to support the professionals who capture and share images at the world's most important sporting events like the U.S. Tennis Open, the NFL season and the Super Bowl, the U.S. Open golf tournament and the Soccer World Cup .

Scores of photojournalists worldwide, who are leaders in capturing and delivering the finest and most newsworthy images in the world practice their craft and their art exclusively with Canon EOS SLRs and EF lens systems. They represent Reuters, Getty Images, USA Today and the Associated Press.

And that's how we want it to remain.

Our success in digital imaging has allowed Canon to expand our offerings well beyond cameras, lens systems and award-winning office imaging products and solutions. Canon also manufactures products in a variety of industrial markets, from semiconductors to broadcasting to medical equipment.

Our High Definition lenses for broadcasting are quickly becoming the industry standard for excellence and reliability. For example: 98 percent of the lenses used at this year's Super Bowl in Miami Florida were Canon HD lenses. As a result of this, we were chosen as the official broadcast lens supplier for NBC's coverage of the Olympic Games through 2008.

On the medical front, Canon is the market leader in digital radiography -- or as we refer to it "D-R" -- and it has made a huge difference to doctors and to the lives of patients. "D-R" saves critical time and provides the ability to zoom in on images as never before. In fact, Canon was the first in the industry to deliver a portable "D-R" system in 2001. Today, more than 3,500 Canon medical imaging systems are installed worldwide.

And in the field of semiconductor production equipment, this year we will launch our next generation product using our latest technology.

As I pointed out earlier, that the same quality, the same reliable core technologies found in our professional and industrial level products are also found in our consumer products. Optics. Processors. Everything.

In this way we ensure that Canon products touch and improve people's lives.

In closing, I'd like to thank you again for helping us celebrate the 20th Anniversary of EOS.

I'd like to restate our appreciation and commitment to working closely with you -- today and in the future.

You are a source of information, knowledge and support and you add a great deal of value to our business.

With the support and skills from media professionals and analysts alike, Canon has been able to bring innovative products to market and have consumers understand them and embrace them.

And we'll continue to reach out to the media and analyst communities, encouraging you to maintain the dialogue and a partnership in the process.

I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but last December Canon took 15 industry analysts and members of the media on a trip to Japan and China.

They visited with both Mitarai, Chairman and CEO and Uchida, President and COO for Canon, Inc. in Tokyo and toured the R&D facilities and factories in Toride, Japan and Suzhou, China.

Over the course of a week they had the opportunity to see, first hand, the depth and breadth of Canon's R&D capabilities in the office technology space.

They also experienced the people and the culture where we work and thrive.

Later this year, we'll be sponsoring the first of many consumer product-based journeys to Japan with analysts and members of the media.

Participants will have the opportunity to experience, first hand, the culture, the commitment, the creativity and the "kyosei" that is Canon.

And please don't worry if you cannot make it on this next trip. This journey truly will be the first of many.

This evening, there will be many Canon representatives here to take any questions you may have. I encourage you to speak and continue to reach out to us at any time. I can't promise they'll have all the answers, but we will take your questions.

Thank you and enjoy the evening.

BOOTH INTRODUCE IWASHITA | Back to Contents

Thank you, Joe.

That trip sounds awfully nice. Just thought I'd mention that.

Our next speaker actually traveled from Japan to be here with us this evening. He joined Canon in 1972 and over the course of a 35 year career he's held a number of leadership positions in Canon Research and Development organizations.

He was instrumental in the development and launch of EOS and "the eyes of EOS," the Canon EF Lens system.

So it is a great honor for me to introduce Canon, Inc.'s Group Executive of Image Communication Products Operations and Director Canon Inc. Mr. Tomonori Iwashita.

TOMONORI IWASHITA | Back to Contents

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. I am honored to be addressing you tonight on behalf of Canon, Inc.

But I also must say that, on a personal level, it's so exciting to be here, celebrating the Twentieth Anniversary of EOS.

Because of my history with the group that brought EOS out of the lab and into your hands, in many ways, I feel like a proud parent -- who took part in raising a wonderful child. Helping that child to grow, to improve, and prepare for the future, with hope that child would make its mark on the world.

EOS and all of our notable cameras, lenses and imaging systems, fit into Canon's "Global Excellence" plan. This corporate plan aims to contribute to society though technological innovation.

I recall that our mission was to develop a system with quick and easy operation and the highest image quality. The goal was to allow the user to capture and preserve, with minimal effort, the image they had in their mind's eye.

It was really a challenging project, but by 1987 we managed to give birth to an unbeatable 35mm autofocus SLR system.

Later on, to convert EOS to digital, our team at Canon all recognized that our vision for the future of imaging could only be realized by re-examining the entire system. And at the same time, it could only be possible by developing our own unique imaging sensors and processors -- like nothing that had ever existed before, enabling us to create the kind of truly beautiful images we all envisioned.

The result was EOS Digital and we are proud to announce its latest model -- the EOS-1D Mark III.

Through the years EOS has evolved. But it remains true to its heritage of imaging excellence. And it also remains true to its purpose of being the camera system built for the future.

In the 20 years since the EOS introduction, Canon also has pioneered many new and remarkable imaging technologies.

These include ultra-fast, accurate and versatile multi-point autofocus systems with fully electronic communication between the camera and lens; our own CMOS image sensors, with unmatched image quality; and the powerful DIGIC family of digital image processors, delivering fine image detail and natural color reproduction.

You will soon hear much more about the latest fruit of our ongoing efforts, the new EOS1D Mark III, intended as always to capture the moment easily, with good image quality.

But please allow me to mention that Canon is also introducing many new and exciting products here at PMA.

There are no fewer than seven new PowerShot models, eight new camcorders, a new EF lens, a new Speedlite and a new wireless file transmitter and a new data security kit. I invite you to explore all of these new Canon offerings. Please pick them up and try them. I'm sure you'll be as excited as I am about the innovative new features.

In closing, I'd like to thank all of you on behalf of Canon, Inc., for speaking about, for writing about and for letting the world know about EOS... and all of Canon's imaging products.

Enjoy your evening.

BOOTH INTRODUCES PECK | Back to Contents

Thank you for everything, Iwashita.

You might say that our next speaker, Eliott Peck, has actually "grown up" with the consumer SLR and EOS products at Canon.

His timing couldn't have been more perfect, as he joined Canon USA in 1975. Just as we were about to light the fuse on the consumer SLR rocket.

One year later, Eliott actually helped launch the AE-1 to the press corps. And now, 30 years later, Eliott is still the "go to guy" for sales strategy and information as Canon Vice President and General Manager for CIG sales.

Here to tell you a bit more about where we've been and where we're headed, please welcome, Eliott Peck.

ELIOTT PECK | Back to Contents

Thank you.

As we celebrate the 20th Anniversary of EOS, a truly remarkable camera and photography system, I'd like to point out that we're not just celebrating the success of the EOS system.

What we're celebrating -- as you heard Adachi allude to a few moments ago -- is our more than 70 year heritage of experience, expertise and leadership. It's at the very core of Canon.

"It's in our DNA."

It's this 70 year heritage, the knowledge and agility that comes with experience, that has enabled us to change the face of photography over and over again.

To help celebrate the 20th Anniversary, I'm going to speak about the unquestionable impact of EOS on the SLR universe. To put things in perspective let's take a quick look at the market landscape for SLR cameras prior to 1976.

At that time, only professional photographers and the most serious amateurs even considered picking up an SLR camera. The mass consumer market didn't exist. The SLR cameras were cumbersome and complicated. There was no automatic exposure control or easy-to-use flash. To use these cameras, you had to know photography.

And they were also expensive. Especially in an era when Kodak "Instamatics" were available and you could take "snapshots" for a few dollars.

Then came 1976 and the introduction of the Canon AE-1 -- a product that changed an entire industry. It was simple to use, had automatic shutter and flash functions and at a price point of under $300, it took everyone beyond the "snapshot" and put professional photographic results into the hands of the everyday person.

To compliment the innovative product Canon made a bold marketing decision. We brought the AE-1 message to the masses through a ground-breaking advertising campaign -- the launch of the first TV commercial developed for an SLR camera.

Traditionally, all SLR advertising was extremely technical. When tennis star John Newcomb became our first spokesperson these ads touted fun and simplicity.

Photography that's "so advanced ... it's simple". You've got to love that. And millions did.

[Video of Newcomb ad plays]

Seemingly overnight, Canon went from being a little-known company to taking the lead in the world of photography.

It was as if an entire SLR "eco-system" sprung to life. Lenses, filters, flashes, all sorts of accessories ... the entire industry benefited from the initial success of the AE-1.

Canon created an industry.

And the proof was in the hands of the millions of non-professionals who now owned and enjoyed using their SLRs.

We were the company our competitors wanted to be and our products were the ones consumers wanted to buy. Everyone looked to us for innovation and excellence.

But there remained an unfulfilled demand.

Thousands of people wanted to shoot great pictures but did not want an SLR. Enter the Sure Shot, a "point-and-shoot" camera that had everything. Motorized film loading and winding, built in flash, active infrared autofocus. Professional quality photos every time.

The camera wasn't called the "Sure Shot" for nothing.

The "family camera" became a thing of the past as Canon paved the way for the evolution of the multi-camera family.

In the early and mid-80s, the rise of Sure Shot drastically improved "point-and-shoot" automatic photography which triggered a decline in sales of SLRs. Consumers quickly embraced the benefits of autofocus -- it was here to stay.

The introduction of the autofocus Sure Shot was almost too good! So, Canon introduced the T-80 auto-focus SLR.

It incorporated some of the automatic features of our SLR T-50 and T-70 models but was not a new system. In fact, it incorporated a clunky, retrofitted focusing motor on the platform of the existing FD mount.

We were about to get a wake up call.

Minolta launched the Maxxum in 1985 with fast, accurate autofocus. Canon's leadership in the SLR market was on shaky ground.

But here's the lesson learned.

Our consumers still trusted the Canon brand and looked to us to deliver the next wave of autofocus in SLR cameras. Giving up marketshare or degrading our brand was not an option.

Twenty years ago, Canon accepted the challenge, threw down the gauntlet and the world of imaging would never be the same.

In a very short period of time, we employed a "reset to zero" improvement process. We didn't just retrofit the system -- we re-designed everything from top to bottom. And within two years, Canon introduced a completely new system of photography.

A system ahead of its time ... yet right for its time. A system designed for the future.

This was EOS. It incorporated important new technologies that had it leapfrogging the competition -- and never looking back.

EOS became a complete automated solution for the SLR user. It used the unique BASIS sensor that blew the industry away with its ability to autofocus in light conditions too dim for manual focus and well beyond the capability of any competitor's camera.

And, as we all know without a lens, a professional camera system like EOS doesn't exist. EOS also incorporated the unique Canon EF lens system. Fully electronic lenses, an industry first. The EF lenses used a built in chip to communicate with the camera chassis and featured focusing motors in each lens. Accuracy and focusing speed was like nothing ever seen before -- even with long telephoto lenses of 300 or 400mm.

But (and I emphasize "but") the EF lens system did not use the tried and true Canon FD lens mount.

We recognized that switching lens mounts was a bold step. Some industry observers thought it tantamount to marketplace suicide.

But the industry reacted positively. Almost immediately, professionals and amateurs alike embraced the system and all its advantages.

By 1990, EOS had evolved even further. It was easier to use. It was fully automatic with built in everything. And, it was affordable.

Sound familiar? It's the Canon heritage story all over again.

An innovative marketing and advertising campaign immediately followed.

You heard from Adachi, Canon tapped Andre Agassi, a young rising tennis star to be the next face of EOS and he was the Rebel.

[Video of Agassi ad plays]

The advertising with Agassi brought back the sizzle and glamour of Canon's earlier campaigns. Image was everything. And everyone loves a Rebel.

The Rebel almost single-handedly rejuvenated the SLR market, setting the stage for the further evolution of EOS.

And the technological advances were now coming in leaps and bounds.

Our EF lens system did not kill off the company. Actually, it helped set the stage for absolute market dominance in the professional arena. These lenses also incorporated Canon's USM ultrasonic motors, making them faster, quieter, more energy efficient and they fit perfectly with EOS cameras.

And many included image stabilization. Built right into the lens, where image stabilization is most effective. It actually detects panning direction and steadies the image during horizontal or vertical movement.

By 1996, a new wave of technology was on the horizon. It goes without saying that digital changed photography forever.

Digital photography took off and in many instances began to replace film cameras as the media of choice.

But, remember those early digital cameras?

Most offered less than one-megapixel resolution. They were cumbersome, complicated and were used primarily as a computer peripheral. You had to be pretty savvy with technology to get an image out of your camera and onto your computer.

In 1998, Canon was still years away from bringing to market an affordable dSLR with quality demanded by the professional photographer. And the pros at magazines like TIME, Sports Illustrated and National Geographic were not going to settle for anything less, even if digital was faster.

Loyal professionals and amateurs alike looked to Canon to develop innovative digital imaging equipment. And Canon delivered with Digital SLR cameras.

They featured image sensors and processors, developed and manufactured by Canon, an amazing accomplishment that set new standards for digital image quality and differentiated us from all of our competitors.

For example, the Canon CMOS Sensor offered high resolution with a full spectrum of finely-graded colors and exceptionally low noise.

Then came DIGIC, Canon's own new image processing chip that was so far ahead of the competition in terms of speed and quality that they still haven't caught up.

We're currently at DIGIC III and we're just getting warmed up.

Putting these elements together with the legendary optical quality of Canon EF Lenses made the EOS system unique and it validated our customers' trust in Canon to consistently deliver quality imaging products.

New standards were set with every model introduction.

EOS D30 with Canon's first CMOS sensor; EOS-1Ds two years later, top of the line with a 11.1-Mp resolution; and EOS 5Dwith a full-frame CMOS sensor in a compact body design.

By this time, professionals had migrated almost exclusively to digital -- and Canon became and continues to be the brand of choice.

As they say, [reference slide] a picture is worth a thousand words.

So what's next?

We had the infrastructure in place. The support from the top down. R&D expertise unlike any in the world. And a rich history of consumer feedback, refinements and satisfaction.

The market was ready for a consumer version of a digital SLR and we unveiled the the EOS Digital Rebel, a direct descendant of the original EOS Rebel Film Camera.

Like its predecessor, The EOS Digital Rebel was easy to operate, used the well-established EF lens system and was the first dSLR to retail for just under $1,000.

The Digital Rebel and subsequent Rebel XT and now XTi allowed consumers to smoothly make the transition they wanted from point-and-shoot cameras to the versatility of dSLR photography.

Our analog to digital strategy can best be described with an ad campaign that we launched in 2003. This commercial featured one of the greatest team rivalries in American sports, which began more than 80 years ago.

[Video plays]

Since that transition from analog to digital, both the professional/prosumer and amateur digital products have become even better, simpler, faster and more affordable.

You'll hear from Chuck Westfall in a moment and he'll take you on a tour of our latest dSLR innovation, the EOS 1-D Mark III, created from the ground up.

So where do we go from here?

The answer encompasses more than our next camera innovation. If you visit our booth at the show, you'll see the world's fastest dSLR camera and accessories, seven updated PowerShots, eight amazing camcorders and five exciting new printers. And these are only new additions to our amazing line of imaging products.

From capture, to view, to edit, share and print, more and more people are looking to Canon to satisfy this new work flow process.

Having been at Canon for the past 30 years and bearing witness to its history, I can say with confidence that people still -- and perhaps more than ever -- love taking pictures. And Canon makes it all possible.

As a company, we pride ourselves on our heritage. We've challenged ourselves to push the envelope time and time again in order to create products and end-to end solutions that enhance the quality of life.

We can do no less. It's in our DNA.

Thank you.

BOOTH INTRODUCES CHUCK WESTFALL | Back to Contents

Thank you Eliott. After 30 plus years -- forget DNA -- Eliott's actually got Canon coursing though his veins.

We've been doing a lot of talking about the new EOS 1-D Mark III. And now its time to walk the walk.

Here to take you through some of the finer details of this amazing camera's features and capabilities is the man some call "EOS." It's said that he knows every spec about every Canon EOS product. Search him out during dinner and quiz him. He dares you to stump him.

Please welcome Director, Media and Customer Relations for Canon USA Chuck Westfall.

CHUCK WESTFALL | Back to Contents

Thank you. As you heard this evening from Adachi and Peck, Canon truly has a dynamic heritage as the global brand that people look to for technical innovation.

With a rich history of imaging breakthroughs, we've touched and enhanced people's lives for more than half a century.

Westfall

And tonight we'll be making a little bit of history once again.

Here at our 20th Anniversary Celebration for the EOS system, I'm both pleased and proud to kick things up a notch by introducing the latest in a long and distinguished line of Canon dSLR innovations the new EOS-1D Mark III Digital SLR.

It's the product of a "reset to zero" design process, meaning that the camera has been redesigned and re-engineered from "the ground up."

The EOS-1D Mark III can now capture up to 110 consecutive full-resolution JPEG images or up to 30 Raw images in a single continuous burst.

And with a maximum continuous shooting speed of 10 frames per second, our 10.1-Mp marvel is the fastest dSLR in the world.

Its revolutionary advances will thrill and delight the professional and advanced amateur alike.

It's dependable in all shooting situations including low light and harsh environments. It's responsive, reacting when you do, to capture the image you desire in a fraction of a heartbeat.

And all this with image quality that is beyond reproach.

I'm talking digital images with noise-free detail, rich color and tonal depth and sufficient resolution to satisfy a wide range of output applications.

The new EOS-1D Mark III will quickly become a "must have" for professional sports photographers, photojournalists, wedding and portrait specialists, and a broad range of other professional and advanced amateur photographers.

And the EOS-1D Mark III is a stunning bargain when you factor in features, performance, reliability, ease of use and compatibility with the powerful Canon EOS System.

In redesigning and re-engineering the EOS 1D, Canon responded to the requests of many professional photographers, developing and incorporating the features they desired.

But at the same time, we also raised the bar for dSLR capabilities -- yet again -- by incorporating new technologies, features never before available on a dSLR and features that only Canon can offer.

Let's take a look.

We'll begin with the imaging sensor. Canon's proprietary sensor design and manufacturing capabilities are a major reason why EOS dSLR cameras consistently set the standard for imaging performance.

The EOS-1D Mark III features a newly developed 10.1-Mp Canon CMOS sensor that allows for sensitive, accurate, noise-free capture of image data with unprecedented quality. These CMOS sensor engineering advances significantly reduce digital noise especially in shadow areas and expand the useful ISO range -- all the way to 6400. This feature alone is a huge benefit for wedding photographers not to mention sports shooters and photojournalists

Do you Like what you see? Well, look how you'll see!

The brand-new AF system in the EOS-1D Mark III represents a complete re-thinking of professional auto-focus. Like previous Canon EOS 1 cameras, the EOS-1D Mark III has 45 AF points but unlike its predecessors, there are 19 high-precision cross-type points as opposed to seven.

In addition to the center point, the new array allows the other points to be divided into groups of nine inner and nine outer focusing points which makes picking an individual focusing point much faster and easier than going through all 45, as in the past.

Overall, the new AF system is not only more powerful than before, it's also twice as sensitive in low light -- ideal for wedding receptions and nightclubs and many other low-light shooting situations.

And take a look at this! At 3.0 inches diagonal, the LCD monitor is the largest of any dSLR in the world. This makes it easier than ever to confirm capture, check memory card contents, adjust shooting parameters and access all menu options.

But that's only a fraction of the story.

The EOS-1D Mark III features Canon's exclusive Live View shooting mode, which essentially makes the 3-inch LCD monitor a real-time finder. When you're in Live View mode, the reflex mirror is flipped up, the shutter is opened and the image directly from the CMOS sensor is displayed in real time on the LCD monitor. And at 100 percent coverage.

Focus, exposure check, composing and shooting can all be accomplished in this mode. Live View is convenient for tripod-mounted shooting, macro work and in other situations where it's hard to keep your eye at the viewfinder. And because the reflex mirror is locked up and out of the way, there is very little vibration when using long shutter speeds -- ideal for wildlife photographers and even astronomers.

The Live View image can also be displayed on a TV monitor, which is perfect for showing images to clients in the studio.

And speaking of studio shoots, studio and portrait photographers will really enjoy the PC Live View capability, which allows the image at the sensor to be displayed on a computer monitor.

When you install the latest updated version of the Canon EOS Utility software on your computer, you can check and adjust camera settings in real time and you can even use the computer to remotely fire the camera.

To connect the camera and computer, you can simply use a USB cable or you can even go wireless with the newly upgraded and downsized WFT-E2A Wireless Transmitter, across a wired or wireless LAN.

Setup is especially simple with today's PCs running the latest operating systems including Windows Vista and the Mac OS 10.5 operating system scheduled for release later this year.

The wireless option gives you all the Live View functionality over distances of up to 492 feet. Like the opposite side of a racetrack or from all the way across a stadium!

The wireless transmitter also can be connected with it's Hi-Speed USB 2.0 interface to a GPS receiver or external storage devices. For example, a portable USB hard drive or even a USB thumb drive can be recognized by the camera as a storage device. It can be used the same way you'd use a memory card.

And while we're on the subject of memory cards, the EOS-1D Mark III has separate CF and SD card slots that can be used in combination to boost performance, capacity, convenience and data security with the new Original Data Security Kit.

Images can be recorded to both cards simultaneously, so you've got an instant backup! You can also record to the cards at different quality settings and create two sets of images for different purposes. An automatic switchover mode lets you keep shooting onto the second card without interruption after the first one fills up.

And finally, there's an Image Copying mode that lets you copy files (or entire folders if you'd like) from one card to the other.

You're probably thinking that running all these incredible features means we've got one monster of an image processor ... and you'd be correct.

Well, partly correct. There are two.

Just like today's top-of-the-line computers, the EOS-1D Mark III uses dual processors. And not just any old processor but two of Canon's latest DIGIC III Image Processors operating in parallel to provide even greater data handling capability.

By having two processors handle the workload, image processing is now approximately 50 percent faster. CompactFlash access speed is now 30 percent faster. And SD card access is now twice as fast. Card write speeds are faster, noise control is significantly better and camera responsiveness has been even further improved.

And where our earlier EOS digital cameras used 12-bit analog-to-digital converters, the EOS-1D Mark III employs new 14-bit converters to process the output of the imaging sensor. This ensures smoother tonal transitions and more natural gradations.

Another first for a professional dSLR of this caliber is a complete dust management solution called the EOS Integrated Cleaning System.

The new CMOS image sensor is designed with a lightweight infrared absorption glass cover that vibrates for 3.5 seconds when the camera is turned on or off, to shake off loose dust particles. The shutter release button always takes precedence, so the cleaning routine never hinders camera readiness.

The second part of the anti-dust system is a software solution that records the location of any spots that may remain on the sensor as "Dust Delete Data." This information is added to the image file. The Canon Digital Photo Professional 3.0 software application supplied with the camera at no extra charge will read the data, locate the spots and erase them automatically.

Those of you who change lenses in dusty environments will find this unique system a tremendous time saver, reducing the need for camera servicing and really cutting down on the time spent at your computer touching up images.

But as precise and responsive as this little marvel of technology is, let me tell you, this is one tough camera.

We heard over and over from the pros two words: lighter and stronger. We heard them. And Canon delivered.

The entire body of the EOS-1D Mark III,including the internal chassis and mirror box, is made of an advanced magnesium alloy. It's strong. It's rigid.

And this camera can truly withstand the punishment routinely meted out by many professionals in the field.

At the same time, a new lithium-ion battery pack makes the camera significantly lighter for improved handling and maneuverability.

And look at this, rubber gaskets are used at nearly every joint and seam -- including the lens mount, around the battery compartment cover, the memory card door and even the flash shoe -- to keep out moisture and dust.

Speaking of flash, we are introducing the new Speedlite 580EX II, which is also fully gasketed and sealed for weather resistance, so photographers can use flash safely in wet or dusty shooting conditions.

Putting the EOS-1D Mark III together with Speedlite 580EX II and any of our weather-sealed L-series lenses gives professional photographers a truly unique and unprecedented combination of durable equipment that they can rely on, day in and day out, to earn a living.

My presentation wouldn't be complete without mentioning the new EF16-35mm f2.8L II USM wide-angle zoom lens that's being introduced along with the EOS-1D Mark III.

This new lens is compatible with all EOS SLRs ,and it's weather-sealed like the camera body and new flash to meet the needs of professional photographers.

Scheduled for dealer shipments in April if not earlier, the new EF16-35mm lens provides improved image quality at all settings and is especially useful for photojournalism and landscape photographers.

Professional photographers know what they want in a camera. It needs to be dependable, responsive and it must provide a sophisticated feature set that is versatile, adaptable and never, ever compromises operability.

Now there is one digital single lens reflex camera that meets these criteria as no other ever has. And here it is: the EOS-1D Mark III

Thank you.

BOOTH INTRODUCES BLACKMORE | Back to Contents

Thank you, Chuck.

The Explorers of Light concept came out of Canon USA in the mid-1990s as a broad-ranging initiative for photographic education and inspiration.

Today, the group is made up of 80 of the most influential photographers in the world, each a master of their own respective creative specialty. They exclusively use Canon EOS equipment and share their passions and technical expertise with professionals and enthusiasts alike.

Let's take a look at some of these amazing Explorers of Light in action.

[Video plays]

A short while ago, Canon put the EOS 1-D Mark III into the hands of one of our Explorers of Light from Washington, D.C. -- Clay Blackmore.

Clay is a true innovator in the world of wedding and portrait photography. His portraits are simple, direct and make powerful statements. And he's here today to show us what can be achieved with Canon technology in the hands of a true artist.

Please welcome, Clay Blackmore.

CLAY BLACKMORE | Back to Contents

Blackmore

(Editor's Note: Blackmore's remarks are not available. Visit his site for a look at his portfolio.)

CLOSING REMARKS | Back to Contents

Thank you Clay, your artistry and passion is inspirational to us all.

This concludes the presentation portion of our evening as we transition into dinner, I thank you all for your attention.

I do want to remind you that the very talented Michael Cavanaugh will be joining us a little later in the evening to perform some of the greatest hits out of the Billy Joel songbook from the Broadway smash hit "Movin' Out."

And now please enjoy your dinner. Thank You.

 

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