Here’s What Canon, Nikon, and Sony Need to Learn From Apple and Google Before It’s Too Late

Innovation from Canon got me into photography, but sadly Canon and its competitors lost their way.

Will J Murphy
6 min readApr 2, 2023


Smartphones vs Digital Cameras (content by author)
Smartphones vs Digital Cameras (content by author)

Selling stock photos in 2005 meant spending big money. Submissions had to meet high technical standards that only expensive cameras could deliver.

One stock agency, for example, demanded 50MB image files — I think it was Alamy. Only pro cameras could create image files that big. Alamy was targeting professionals with medium format cameras.

A medium format camera costed as much as a luxury car. Dream on, I told myself. Alamy was out, and although other agencies were less stringent, everyone had demanding standards.

Then Canon launched the full-frame 5D, which gave me my start on iStock. Technical innovation opened the door for me.

Fast-forward to now, and I’ve a bone to pick with technical innovation. Thanks to ever better cameras on smartphones, the need for fancy cameras to do serious photography is waning.

Or is it? Could it be that Canon, Nikon, and Sony’s incremental innovations in the wrong direction are the real issue? What if they have spent too much time solving yesterday’s problems?

Let’s talk about how the major camera suppliers lost their focus, and what they need to do to help serious photographers catch up with the amateurs.


Camera hardware is the last thing you should care about

According to Statista, digital camera sales have plummeted 87% since 2010.