The optics are where Canon shines, and that is probably main reason why Canon still may have the largest market share. For us users, it would be better if Canon got out of the sensor business altogether. We just want the best product for our needs, and do not care who makes most money.
I am afraid that this could happen eventually.
Taking into account sensors innovations acceleration curve driven by other companies and processing and fabrications requirements to put those innovations in life I became very skeptical about Canon ability to keep up with this sensors technologies innovations race. Sensors are semiconductors companies businesses and that requires huge investments to implement new technologies/processes if company wants to manufacture that themselves. I think that in some future situation in sensor business will be the same as with processors business for PCs - only few companies with huge resources dedicated to that would be able to keep up with that race. In PCs market, there are only couple of major players - Intel and AMD. Where are all others now?
The only way to survive for Canon and similar companies in long run is to outsource things that they cannot do better than others. They can design their sensors and ask Samsung/Sony/Toshiba or Intel to manufacture them or use whatever best is available now. I would be excited if Canon would come to agreement with Aptina to use Aptina sensors and their technologies. Alternatively, the same for Sony or Samsung.
Canon is one of the best with the lenses and camera systems, which is traditional business in photography, but their current weakness now is in sensors technology/manufacturing area, which is totally different domain.
5Ds would be the perfect device if it would have the best sensor available now, which in turn would make 5Ds to be the best product on the market serving much wider range of potential buyers than it can do now with Canon sensor.
Sure that 5Ds will be selling very well even with Canon sensor but if that would be Sony or Aptina sensors with their latest sensors technologies then a lot of people (including me) would be attracted back to Canons from using other products like Sony a7R with Canon Lenses for hi-res still photos.
I am sure I am not the only one who started using a7R with Canon lenses having tired of waiting Canon hi-res body with up to date sensor tech. And as I mentioned in another post I was not disappointed with that combination and what’s more some canon lenses are MUCH more easier and MUCH more convenient to use on a7R body than on Canon body as Canon does not provide anything to assist with manual focusing and Sony does that very well (EVF and focus peaking).
Conceptually and practically for me Sony a7R is just digital back for my Canon lenses and this combination allows me to use the best from both sides (Canon lenses tech and Sony sensor tech). But I would be much happier if I could be able to use better integrated one single system like 5Ds
I have sad feeling about Canon decision to use their old tech sensor in 5Ds instead of using better sensors from other companies which can do that better than Canon (this is called outsourcing).
I had very high expectations for that camera but was disappointed at the end. If it possible to do product much better and make it superior then why to degrade the whole system quality/performance by putting mediocre component inside the system which is not up to the level of other system components.
By telling mediocre, I do not mean that this sensor is bad technically – it seems that is just using 7 years back sensors technology providing average performance, which could become the bottleneck for the whole system. Being systems designer/integrator for many years I do not consider this as the best approach for the system design, when product is intended to have life span for at least about 3-5 years from now or even more for many people and I never do such things myself. From general systems design/development prospective Canon approach seems to be not very optimal to say it mildly. In long run term in modern world, companies, which do not keep up with innovations race, put themselves at high risk in the future. We have seen many examples of that.