Canon launched their “Bring It” campaign a few months ago, as part of the larger goal of, well, bringing SLRs to the consumer market, but for the purpose of shooting serious video, not just pictures.
Based on the content featured in the ad, it seems as though Canon is trying to go nose-to-nose with GoPro on a few different fronts, while also trying to sufficiently differentiate their product. Consider the following:
1. Canon first seeks to establish its credibility as the professional-level camera company. GoPros are renowned for their incredible convenience and flexibility, but no one buys it for the quality of its lenses. Canon knows this, and so they’re going for the quality, rather than convenience, route.
2. No single video clip in the commercial is shot indoors. In fact, the entire latter half of the commercial is comprised of stock-video sort of outdoor shots: flower petals expanding with the sun, a red sports car doing ninety, tourists skipping through Mayan ruins, a skier flipping in midair – even a sheep breaking into a gallop. Kind reminds you of a certain extreme sports camera company, doesn’t it?
3. Canon’s pitch isn’t “this is footage we’ve taken.” Rather, it’s what you, the consumer, brought to us. Much like GoPro, which is as much – or more – about the content generated by its legions of fans under the #GoPro umbrella than it is about its hardware, Canon seeks to tap into the idea of consumer empowerment by way of hashtag. #BringIt bears the same aspirational idea as #GoPro. It is a call to action, and an encouragement to share your (preferably outdoorsy) videos with the larger likeminded community of video enthusiasts.
Canon knows its cameras will never be as small or as light or as portable as a GoPro. But they also don’t want to compete on that front, since no skier will ever strap an SLR to their helmet. And Canon knows, as does GoPro, that it’s only a matter of time before an iPhone in a ruggedized case and a harness replaces a GoPro. It will take more time before the iPhone unseats the SLR. And so Canon is striving to make the conversation about quality, as a means of bringing the consumer upmarket – to spend, say $2,500 on an EOS Canon 5D Mark III – rather than miniaturize their own camera and compete on GoPro’s level. It’s certainly an interesting competition. I just might video it.
Update: I’m also waiting for more lens options, much like Olloclip or the new Moment lenses. But I think we’ll have to see a jump in the quality of camera sensors aboard phones. That new Panasonic phone/camera may herald something.