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Wednesday, March 09, 2011, 05:00 pm PT (08:00 pm ET)

Apple rumored to enter new collaboration with Canon

Apple is said to be teaming up with Canon in a new partnership related to photography, although details are scant.

Canon builds cameras for both still photography and video, as well as producing copiers printers and other imaging devices. That suggests the "upcoming collaboration" with Apple, noted by CanonRumors, could pertain to Aperture or the upcoming redesign of Final Cut.

Aperture

Apple has won over a new audience of professional and prosumer photographers with Aperture since the opening of the Mac App Store, where the title has remained in the top ten best selling apps since the store launched.

Aperture is currently number one in Top Grossing apps, costing $79.99. That's a steep discount from the $199 retail price that Aperture 3 debuted at last year. Aperture's exclusive spot in the Mac App Store has given it a high volume, alternative retail outlet where it doesn't compete for attention with Adobe's comparable Lightroom.

The new attention (and revenues) that Aperture is getting could promote a new cross promotional collaboration with Canon's cameras.

Final Cut and iMovie

Another potential collaboration with Canon may involve Final Cut, slated for a "dramatic and ambitious" update this spring. Like Aperture, Final Cut hasn't seen a major new reference release since 2009. When Apple releases its next Final Cut package, it's likely to do so in partnership with one or more hardware makers.

Apple reportedly ran into problems in shipping a Final Cut Studio update last year, with the Shake and Motion teams unable to achieve consensus on plans to merge the entire package into a unified user interface that focused on the mainstream market rather than developing a targeted, leading edge niche product.

Apple could also target consumer devices with iMovie features such as the company's iFrame video format, which imports high quality video from cameras quickly without requiring conversion. Canon recently added support for iMovie 8's iFrame video capture on some PowerShot and IXUS branded point and shoot cameras.

Update: In a new Intel press rerelease, Hiroo Edakubo, Group Executive of Canon’s Video Products Group stated, "We are excited about Thunderbolt technology and feel it will bring new levels of performance and simplicity to the video creation market."

MobileMe Photo Stream

A third potential area for collaboration between Apple and Canon pertains to the company's MobileMe cloud services. iOS 4.3 betas contained a new Photo Booth app and mention of Photo Stream, an automatic photo upload service that could upload images and video to the cloud.

Neither feature has yet made it to shipping devices, but will likely do so in the near future. iPad 2 will debut Photo Booth and FaceTime support when it ships on Friday, and scaled down versions of Photo Booth and the Photo Stream service could potentially ship in the next release of iOS due before the major 5.0 version expected this summer, rumored to appear alongside significant new updates in MobileMe.

Canon already supports WiFi enabled SD Cards in some of its cameras. By adding support for the Photo Stream and other MobileMe services, the company could attract the attention of iOS users who already subscribe to MobileMe on their Mac or PC, iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

AirPlay and AirPrint

Canon could also announce support for iOS 4.3 AirPlay (as Pioneer recently did for its new audio receivers) or AirPrint features (currently limited largely to printers from HP and EFI's Fiery print server).