The Sony Juggernaut?

sdz

EOS RP
Sep 13, 2016
236
137
Pittsburgh, PA
The author, a new Sony shooter, discuses the obvious cynicism of the 'sensors are us' company here. He surmises

Sometimes, it feels that Sony is a giant corporation that makes sensors and that its cameras are almost a byproduct. If it can undermine other camera manufacturers by releasing a product {like the A7R IV} that blows theirs out of the water (while overlooking so many other aspects), then why not? Four years on, it’s still not clear whether Canon will be able to match the performance of the sensor in the a9. Imagine what the a9 II might be about to offer.
 

BillB

EOS 6D MK II
May 11, 2017
1,153
390
Why would Canon try to "match" performance of a non-DPAF sensor?
Good Question. Canon needs to design and build cameras that meet the needs and preferences of potential customers (including price) better than other manufacturers and persuade potential buyers that it has done so. Sensor specs are only a piece of the puzzle. Canon could likely improve AF tracking and video performance with faster processors, but even on processing capacity the question is more more how much is good enough rather than whether Canon is matching Sony. Matching Sony on sensor and processing specs than it is more about fanboy arm waving about magic numbers than it is about market competition. From recent rumors, Canon may be about to introduce aps-c cameras with significant increases in processing capabilities, which would presumably be incorporated in future FF cameras. The important question is how potential buyers react, not whether Canon has matched Sony.
 

AlanF

Canon 5DSR II
Aug 16, 2012
5,817
3,334
There are so many factors that come into the performance of a sensor, so we don't really know what he means. It could be that a unique feature of the A9 sensor is that it can transfer data fast enough to calculate full AF and AE 60 times a second, which appeals to that subset of users who do fast erratic birds in flight, motor racing etc.The other Sonys are 3 times or more slower, and are beaten out by Canon.
 

BeenThere

EOS 6D MK II
Sep 4, 2012
859
187
Canon is apparently not interested in buying full frame sensors from Sony as has Nikon. Is this simply NIH hubris or belief that Canon sensors are Superor for Canon’s needs.
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
Jul 21, 2010
24,619
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Canon is apparently not interested in buying full frame sensors from Sony as has Nikon. Is this simply NIH hubris or belief that Canon sensors are Superor for Canon’s needs.
...or simply cheaper to produce them internally than buy them (maybe you’re unaware that Canon manufacturers and sells lithography equipment).
 

sdz

EOS RP
Sep 13, 2016
236
137
Pittsburgh, PA
...or simply cheaper to produce them internally than buy them (maybe you’re unaware that Canon manufacturers and sells lithography equipment).
Canon certainly has expertise in designing and producing sensors. Abandoning that competency and capacity only makes sense when a company cannot otherwise compete with the market leader. Canon does compete with Sony -- it successfully competes for market share and owns a patent portfolio that suggests that it will successfully compete in technology henceforth. Nevertheless, it is currently a market-follower in sensor technological development, and will likely remain so for some time. This need not be fatal for the company. But, it cannot lag too far behind or for too long.

What helps Canon is that sensor technologies are sufficiently well-developed that Canon cameras still provide excellent images to those who use them.
 

Kit.

EOS 6D MK II
Apr 25, 2011
1,418
795
Nevertheless, it is currently a market-follower in sensor technological development,
Why do you think so?

Do you realize that DPAF sensors require twice the pixel count and twice the throughput compared to non-DPAF sensors of the same resolution?
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
Jul 21, 2010
24,619
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Why do you think so?

Do you realize that DPAF sensors require twice the pixel count and twice the throughput compared to non-DPAF sensors of the same resolution?
Why can’t you just let an oft-stated perception determine your opinion? If you keep on like this, thinking critically and allowing facts and logic influence your opinion, it could lead to Armageddon.
 

sdz

EOS RP
Sep 13, 2016
236
137
Pittsburgh, PA
Why do you think so?

Do you realize that DPAF sensors require twice the pixel count and twice the throughput compared to non-DPAF sensors of the same resolution?
I have that belief because Canon executives mentioned it a while back and because Canon frame rate speeds lag behind Sony's save for the 1D X II which requires dual processors, a massive body. High frame rates are important qualities to some market segments. I believe the dynamic range criticism is less compelling. DPAF is a worthy trade for less than a stop of light.

Finally, Canon sensor patents tell us that it is attempting to acquire the technology Sony already has. Why would it register patents for technology it does not need?
 

Maximilian

The dark side - I've been there
Nov 7, 2013
2,655
472
Germany
*yawn* :sleep:

That topic (sensors; and getting the last 2 - 5 % of possible performance out of it)
is so boring compared to the discussion of what the 80% behind the (e or o) vf could make out of the scene. :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

everybody, who thinks that sensors are the deciding/limiting factor to their style of photography should feel free to change or whatever might help them.
 

sdz

EOS RP
Sep 13, 2016
236
137
Pittsburgh, PA
Do you have an exact quote? Was it something Canon executives claiming by themselves, or was it a polite answer to such an assumption contained in the question?


So, it's not the sensor development, but the processor development? I hope you are aware that these two are completely different chips. As far as I remember, Canon co-develops Digic together with TI, and likely produces them on TI fabs.


That's highly unlikely. Prior art is normally not patentable.


Why has Google bought buy Motorola's patent portfolio for technology it does not need?
Boy, you are a snide one. Your point?
 

sdz

EOS RP
Sep 13, 2016
236
137
Pittsburgh, PA
To stop other people using it.
But, it does need the technology. The question was rhetorical. And Canon invested in the research needed to develop the technology. Was it just being generous to its engineers?

Canon executive: "We need to pay good money to engineers to develop technology we do not need to compete with Sony who already has already acquired that technology."

Canon serf: "Boss-san, why would we do this?"

Canon executive: "We like to pay engineers! To keep them around. They make good decorations in the office."
 

Kit.

EOS 6D MK II
Apr 25, 2011
1,418
795
Boy, you are a snide one. Your point?
Sure, I can repeat my point for you.

You have claimed that Canon "is currently a market-follower in sensor technological development". Do you have anything but an Internet "influencers" echo chamber to base such a claim on?
 
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Kit.

EOS 6D MK II
Apr 25, 2011
1,418
795
But, it does need the technology. The question was rhetorical. And Canon invested in the research needed to develop the technology. Was it just being generous to its engineers?
I haven't worked for Canon, but I have worked for Motorola. We were paid (small sums, but nonetheless) for any patentable idea we could produce, no matter whether it was used in (or even applicable to) Motorola products or not.
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
Jul 21, 2010
24,619
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Canon executive: "We need to pay good money to engineers to develop technology we do not need to compete with Sony who already has already acquired that technology."

Canon serf: "Boss-san, why would we do this?"
Canon executive: “Because we can. We don’t really need to, of course, since our excellent Market Research Division confirms that we have dominated the ILC market for 16 years, and over the past few years when Sony has sold Exmor sensors we have gained even more ILC market share.”

Canon serf: “Domo arigato, Boss-san. I understand well, even if many internet-surfing baka do not.”
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
Mar 25, 2011
15,555
772
Its never a good idea to lock your company into buying key components from a competitor. Its hurt Nikon, but they may have not had a lot of choice. Companies do buy run of the mill components from each other, but tying your company to depend on another for a critical part is not very smart. They would have you by the throat. Apple and Qualcomm are a example, Apple was forced to settle because their only other source, Intel is out of the 5G business and made inferior products anyway. If Apple had made their own way back when they started, they would have the needed patents to make their own. Now, they are locked in. At least, Qualcomm doesn't make phones ... Yet.
 
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dcm

Good or bad - it's not the gear.
Apr 18, 2013
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Its never a good idea to lock your company into buying key components from a competitor. Its hurt Nikon, but they may have not had a lot of choice. Companies do buy run of the mill components from each other, but tying your company to depend on another for a critical part is not very smart. They would have you by the throat. Apple and Qualcomm are a example, Apple was forced to settle because their only other source, Intel is out of the 5G business and made inferior products anyway. If Apple had made their own way back when they started, they would have the needed patents to make their own. Now, they are locked in. At least, Qualcomm doesn't make phones ... Yet.
Not so locked in now. Apple recently acquired Intel's modem business so they can build their own 5G modems and no longer use Qualcomm. https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2019/07/apple-to-acquire-the-majority-of-intels-smartphone-modem-business/
 

unfocused

EOS 1D MK II
Jul 20, 2010
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www.mgordoncommunications.com
The obsession with Sony generally and Sony sensors in particular is bizarre to me. Who cares? The tiny differences in brands is not going to make the least bit of difference in the overall quality of your pictures. If you think it does, then you have a lot to learn about photography. And, if you really care that much, just go buy another brand and be happy.

What is particularly ridiculous is the idea that these insignificant differences are going to drive the market. There is ample evidence that is not the case and if Canon were to see any evidence that it is driving the market, they would adjust accordingly. It's their business and they did not become the market leader by being stupid.

Finally, people act like this is all some sort of race to a finish line of technological dominance. First, it's a journey, not a race and each company continues to improve their products and will continue to do so as long as they are in business. Second, there is a mountain of evidence to show that technological superiority does not translate into market superiority. Just as the world belongs to the "C" students, the market belongs to the products that are "good enough."