Your statement is just as untrue. Canon designs and builds their own lithography equipment, builds their own lenses, their own steppers, and are just as capable of DOING that if they CHOOSE TO as anyone else. I'd also point out that while Sony has spent tens of billions of dollars in borrowed money, putting their bond status to "junk", Canon has been raking in the hundreds of billions through sales alone. Canon is more than capable of spending a billion or two to create a fab capable of fabricating 180nm, 90nm, or even 65nm parts. It is a matter of whether they choose to or not. The one thing about Canon is they know when to protect their bottom line...and now really is the time. The market is stiffer, the majority of modern sensor development applies to markets Canon cares nothing about (very small form factor sensors for small form factor devices like phones, phablets and tablets) and which do not present significant competition to their primary markets, devastating natural disasters that are unpredictable, and when they hit require reserves of money to recover from, and at the moment the competition is still barely putting a dent in Canon's dominant market share despite their supposedly radically superior "technology".
If and when Canon actually feels the pain of all the innovation going on in the marketplace, I don't doubt they will compete. I also wouldn't be surprised to learn they have a number of their own sensor manufacturing techniques to improve their designs up their sleeve, which they will drop on the competition when it serves them best. Technology is only part of the game, and if Canon's success and market share are telling in any way, not the most important part.
There surely are intresting times ahead of us according to jrista. Hope Canon will choose to present a thoroughly new sensor fabrication approach ASAP.
some people also think Elvis still are alive, what is the odds that one company=Canon have something special in their sleeves regarding sensors ? This is not 2003 when Canon was alone with a cmos, today there are 100 of companies involved in sensor tech and research and there are some big names out there as Panasonic, Aptina, Omnivision, Renesas, Toshiba and Sony etc. The new tech comes from the mobile camera research and Canon does not participate
I recommend you all to read http://image-sensors-world.blogspot.se and se whats going on, and to believe that Canon as one company have something extra going on in todays sensor world is a very optimistic view.
unrealistic in my eyes
The vast majority of the sensor research linked through that site is unrelated to stills photography. The majority of the sensor patents and designs there are for the mobile device market, with the next highest portion dedicated to video sensors. There ARE some amazing innovations there (such as organic sensors, which replace photodiodes with organic light sensing mediums in a pseudo-backlit design), however most of those innovations are geared towards improving light gathering potential for incredibly TINY sensors...stuff that is a fraction of a fraction of an inch in size on the long side.
Definitely the stuff that will drive high volume sales...most of it for 8" wafers...very little has anything to do with professional photography or large sensor design (it will be a long time before we see pixel sizes down to 2.5µm or smaller in the DSLR world, if we ever do.)
A lot of the readout logic innovations are geared towards 4k video readout...I read something not too long ago on that site that mentioned a Gfps...GigaFPS...a billion frames per second. That kind of research, while yes amazing, is incredibly niche. Video cameras capable of recording a billion frames a second is the kind of thing you find in scientific and military grade equipment...not the kind of thing your average pro or semi-pro photographer carts around.
There ARE some innovations you can find by perusing that site that definitely have applications to stills photography. Not nearly as many as for other markets, but there are some. Is Canon competing in that market? Well, we don't know. That is the only FACT anyone can actually put forward at this point. Canon was top dog, with the best sensors, until four years ago. Then they went quiet. Over those four years, Canon focused on what they do...make superior CAMERAS. The 1D X is a phenomenal CAMERA. It has a great sensor, with some amazing high ISO performance. It's low ISO DR sucks. But hey...its a Phenomenal --> CAMERA <--
!! The Nikon D4 is certainly no better, and in many respects...respects that matter to professional photographers, such as ergonomics, button placement, etc....it is worse than the 1D X. It's AF performance is definitely not on par with the 1D X. It too, is a great camera...no reason Nikon users would EVER have to complain about the results the D4 can get. But the 1D X has changed a lot of die hard Nikon user hearts. Hell, one of the people I thought went Nikon for life a while ago, Andy Rouse (world renown wildlife photographer) used a 1D X once and ditched his entire Nikon kit...went on his next major wildlife outing with two 1D X's...for the first time, never been used...he loved it that much.
No, Canon is not competing in the highly innovative mobile CMOS sensor market. No, Canon is not really competing in the highly competitive high end professional cinematography CMOS sensor market (not yet...they made an entry...again, the only FACT we have now at the moment is that Canon put their foot into the midrange cinematography market...only TIME will tell where they actually take it, and what kinds of innovations they produce in the future.
Canon IS competing in the STILLS PHOTOGRAPHY market for LARGER form factor sensors, namely APS-C and FF. The FACT is, Canon is still the reigning king in that market. They have been for a long time, they will be for a long time (as evidenced by the fact that even the mighty D800 couldn't topple the woefully inadequate 5D III with its crappy sensor and terrible DR.) The only facts we have right now, are that Canon has announced the 70D as the first camera in a good long time that does NOT use the tried, true, and way overused 18mp APS-C sensor. The only facts we have right now are that Canon has promised some interesting new things with the 7D sensor. The only facts we have right now...is that we still don't know what those sensors are...how they were manufactured...or what they are capable of.
Your personal opinions about Canon, that they are literally incapable of competing in the sensor market "period", and that they would have to resort to leeching off of other manufacturers in order to actually fabricate something better than they have in the past...are just that: Personal OPINIONS. They aren't facts. It's just more of the Canon hate dribble you regularly love to spew all over this place. Your opinions don't really mean anything. Nothing means anything until someone like Chipworks rips an actual 70D sensor apart and tells everyone whats inside. Until that time, I'll happily continue rumormongering with my fellow Canon users...not because were bleeding heart die-hard fanboys who can't see past the end of our Canon lens. No...just because it's fun to muse about the next potential camera we might buy for OUR existing kits.
Good day, Mikael. Please, stop shitting on everyone.