The future if Canon starts to buy sensors from Sony

SPKoko

EOS M6 Mark II
Sep 19, 2014
57
0
So as it turns out, Sony is willing to sell some of their sensors:

http://www.dpreview.com/articles/0661793352/photokina-2014-sony-interview-we-still-need-to-create-more-lenses

Sony sensors can be found in cameras from several different manufacturers. How does your sensor business work?

When we make sensors we put them in several categories. [At any given time] one category of sensors is reserved purely for Sony cameras - we don’t sell them to other companies. Like the sensor in the A7S. But once we’ve enjoyed this advantage we might sell them on later, after some time has passed. This is the second category. The third category of sensors is completely generic - the sensors are created for use internally and to sell externally, to anybody. China or Taiwan or wherever.

and Canon does not discard to buy them:

http://www.dpreview.com/articles/7079726133/photokina-2014-canon-interview-mirrorless-in-the-very-near-future

Canon released two cameras at Photokina - the EOS 7D Mark II and PowerShot G7X. One thing we’ve learned is that the sensor in the G7X is not made by Canon. Does this represent a new philosophy at Canon?

We select the best sensor, whoever the manufacturer is. That’s our policy.

So, let us imagine that Canon releases a 5D mark IV with the 36MP pixels sensor from the D800 and the A7r. Let us suppose that Sony supplies the same slightly improved sensor to both Canon and Nikon for the next 2 generations of cameras. Then, suddenly, when both vendors are addicted to Sony's sensors and have almost completely dropped their R&D in sensor technology, Sony releases a killer 100MP sensor with zero noise at ISO 51200 and 24 stops of DR and decides not to sell it to any external vendor. Sony would absolutely take over the market!

Definitely, it looks like a good decision for Canon not to use Sony's sensors for their flagship cameras. But, don't you think that Nikon is already in Sony's hands?
 

AcutancePhotography

EOS 5D Mark IV
May 8, 2013
1,853
2
I think that Canon will get their sensors from what ever source makes economic sense. They may decide it is better business to make their own, or they may decide to outsource. They may even decide to do both.

As long as the Canon cameras have the the highest quality (how ever one wishes to define that) sensor that Canon can get, I think the customer will be happy.
 
Upvote 0

weixing

EOS RP
Jul 20, 2010
619
20
Hi,
IMHO, Canon will still R&D their own sensor especially the dual pixel sensor even if they currently buy sensor from Sony. Canon already show that they had the ability to design very sensitive sensor, very high resolution sensor and very large sensor, so I had no doubt that Canon had the ability to produce a competitive sensor, but unlike Sony, Canon don't had a division that sell sensor components, so it's all depend whether do they think that is it viable to do it.

Have a nice day.
 
Upvote 0

Orangutan

EOS 5D Mark IV
Sep 25, 2010
2,140
4
I'm perplexed by all the people who believe Canon can't produce a sensor to compete with Sony's. Rather, they're just waiting for the market to demand it. Note that I said waiting for the market to demand it: what happens on discussion boards like this will make little difference. When it becomes necessary they will retool, re-engineer and make it work. Until that time they'll enjoy higher profits. Good for stockholders, but not so much for photographers.

Canon won't buy a Sony sensor unless they're forced to do so by an unexpectedly successful competitor.
 
Upvote 0

AcutancePhotography

EOS 5D Mark IV
May 8, 2013
1,853
2
Orangutan said:
I'm perplexed by all the people who believe Canon can't produce a sensor to compete with Sony's.

Who has said that Canon can't produce the sensor? I seem to remember the various conversations centering on Canon choosing not to produce the sensor (probably for viable business reasons).
 
Upvote 0

Hjalmarg1

Photo Hobbyist
Oct 8, 2013
775
4
52
Doha, Qatar
AcutancePhotography said:
I think that Canon will get their sensors from what ever source makes economic sense. They may decide it is better business to make their own, or they may decide to outsource. They may even decide to do both.

As long as the Canon cameras have the the highest quality (how ever one wishes to define that) sensor that Canon can get, I think the customer will be happy.
Customer satisfaction is what really matters.
Canon as correctly indicated by others is using in the new GX7 the same sensor found in RX100s. However, replacing the sensors in pro and semi-pro DSRL is another issue. I wonder why Canon is not yet producing a 30+MP sensor while the resolution on the new sensor in 7D2 has the similar pixel density of the 7R and D810, just in a smaller sensor.
 
Upvote 0

LarryC

EOS M6 Mark II
May 29, 2012
54
0
It makes little sense for Canon, Nikon and Sony to develop their own increasingly complex sensors for what is a diminishing market. If we want to see 100MP sensors with great DR and processors capable of handling the throughput or simply improved performance 22-36MP sensors and processors, it makes more economic sense for the technology to be developed collectively. Let sensor companies, like Aptina and Sony, compete for customers and let Nikon and Canon tailor those sensors and compete on the overall camera product, as Nikon does now. It's no different than every computer manufacturer using either Intel or AMD chips while still being able to distinguish their products. Remember when Apple went to Intel for processors? They still seem to be able to distinguish themselves with their computer while not even designing the single item that defines a computer! Few even care anymore where Apple gets their chips. Nikon figured out the economics a while ago and made the right decision, for them at the time. It is inevitable that Canon will sooner or later realize it makes more sense to outsource sensors to the sensor companies and focus on what they do well; lenses and overall camera design.
 
Upvote 0

Orangutan

EOS 5D Mark IV
Sep 25, 2010
2,140
4
LarryC said:
It makes little sense for Canon, Nikon and Sony to develop their own increasingly complex sensors for what is a diminishing market. If we want to see 100MP sensors with great DR and processors capable of handling the throughput or simply improved performance 22-36MP sensors and processors, it makes more economic sense for the technology to be developed collectively.

I disagree: without competition there will be no incentive to improve.
 
Upvote 0

TTMartin

EOS M6 Mark II
Jan 26, 2012
93
0
OH-IO
Canon has bought and used Sony sensors for years, why do people act like this is news?

You might want to let this sink in -

We select the best sensor, whoever the manufacturer is. That’s our policy.


We are very focused on getting the best image quality. I’m not sure what measurements you’re looking at but when it comes to dynamic range for example we consider image quality as a whole, from low to high ISO sensitivities and on balance we consider our sensors to be the best.
 
Upvote 0

SPKoko

EOS M6 Mark II
Sep 19, 2014
57
0
LarryC said:
It's no different than every computer manufacturer using either Intel or AMD chips while still being able to distinguish their products. Remember when Apple went to Intel for processors?

I like your analogy. It works reasonably well for the "sensor wars".

If AMD did not exist, Intel would have no incentive to invest in improving their processors just to beat the competence. Their only incentive to release more powerful processors would be just to encourage customers to upgrade. And, of course, without AMD, they could charge whatever they wanted for their processors.

But to be a good analogy, Intel should build their own computers, as Canon and Sony do. In that case, other computer manufacturers would always be afraid of Intel reserving their better processors for their computers.
 
Upvote 0

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Mar 25, 2011
16,799
1,765
SPKoko said:
So as it turns out, Sony is willing to sell some of their sensors:

http://www.dpreview.com/articles/0661793352/photokina-2014-sony-interview-we-still-need-to-create-more-lenses

Sony sensors can be found in cameras from several different manufacturers. How does your sensor business work?

When we make sensors we put them in several categories. [At any given time] one category of sensors is reserved purely for Sony cameras - we don’t sell them to other companies. Like the sensor in the A7S. But once we’ve enjoyed this advantage we might sell them on later, after some time has passed. This is the second category. The third category of sensors is completely generic - the sensors are created for use internally and to sell externally, to anybody. China or Taiwan or wherever.

and Canon does not discard to buy them:

http://www.dpreview.com/articles/7079726133/photokina-2014-canon-interview-mirrorless-in-the-very-near-future

Canon released two cameras at Photokina - the EOS 7D Mark II and PowerShot G7X. One thing we’ve learned is that the sensor in the G7X is not made by Canon. Does this represent a new philosophy at Canon?

We select the best sensor, whoever the manufacturer is. That’s our policy.

So, let us imagine that Canon releases a 5D mark IV with the 36MP pixels sensor from the D800 and the A7r. Let us suppose that Sony supplies the same slightly improved sensor to both Canon and Nikon for the next 2 generations of cameras. Then, suddenly, when both vendors are addicted to Sony's sensors and have almost completely dropped their R&D in sensor technology, Sony releases a killer 100MP sensor with zero noise at ISO 51200 and 24 stops of DR and decides not to sell it to any external vendor. Sony would absolutely take over the market!

Definitely, it looks like a good decision for Canon not to use Sony's sensors for their flagship cameras. But, don't you think that Nikon is already in Sony's hands?

It would be poor for me, since the Sony DR is weaker at the high ISO's I use. The advantage at low ISO's is noticeable with poor lighting or poor exposures, but not ordinary images. I'd like to have my cake and eat it too, but, for now, its a tradeoff. If you use mostly ISO 100, or mostly ISO 3200 and above.

Sony could indeed take over the market if they could defy the laws of physics, imagine how they could take over the world with a perpetual motion machine. Basing a theory on things that are not going to happen because they are physically impossible is nonsense.

BTW, Canon has been using Sony Sensors in many of their cameras since their first digital camera, its only when they went to CMOS, and Sony did not make CMOS sensors that Canon started using them.
 
Upvote 0

StudentOfLight

I'm on a life-long journey of self-discovery
Nov 2, 2013
1,444
5
40
Cape Town
With camera sales below forecasts perhaps Sony might desperately need these strategic component-supply partnerships to keep factories open.

I don't see it as a problem for Canon to buy Sony components. They could benefit from the superior sensors in the short term and help keep fellow Japanese workers employed. With camera sales shrinking it makes little sense for Canon to invest heavily in an equivalent fabs process to Sony's (they've already missed that boat), so why not use Sony as a supplier and invest in the next generation of sensor fabs.

Canon could also focus R&D on lenses (pun intended), next-gen AF, next-gen Wifi app etc...
 
Upvote 0

Zv

EOS 5D Mark IV
Sep 23, 2012
1,765
0
www.flickr.com
I'm actually glad Canon aren't using Sony sensors for their DSLRs (and EOS M). Would we have had DPAF if they had given up and said "Ah, forget it. We suck at making sensors, let's just use Sony's."?

For compact cameras most consumers don't give a s___ so yeah stick a bunch of Sony sensors in those lines, what have you got to lose? Canon compact die hard fanboys?? :eek: yeah I don't think so!

It was probably cheaper to just buy the 1" sensor from Sony anyway. Makes sense. Now Canon have a competitor to the RX100 line using Sony's own sensor against them! Ha! :p

I do think Canon need to buckle down and sort out their high end sensors though. If they think they're the best in the world they have a very inflated view of their technology or they are completely ignorant. Instead of milking their current sensors to death it's high time they put some of that R&D time into keeping up with the competition. They're not far behind now but interviews like the one posted by DP review are not encouraging at all.

I think someone in head office is keeping a tight grip of the purse strings. Or they've locked up their engineers. Let them loose! Let them create!! Ugh! Having lived in Japan and worked for a Japanese company for over 4 years I see a lot of similarities in the style of business here. Innovation is just not recognized, nurtured or rewarded well. It's a lot of recycling old crap and maximizing what you have.

At least Samsung are trying. (Yes, I know they're a Korean company).

I should add - I respect Sony, as a Japanese company, throwing all kinds a new stuff our way (some of it half baked) but still exciting and fun. Great sensors but they have the worst menu systems and crap ergonomics. They're PC and TV business is dead and they can't think of decent names for consoles other than numbers but I love them for pushing the boundaries. Someone one at Canon has got to notice that and call in some reinforcements (people with creativity? ). Right??
 
Upvote 0

Sella174

So there!
Mar 19, 2013
696
0
Suid-Afrika
SPKoko said:
If AMD did not exist, Intel would have no incentive to invest in improving their processors just to beat the competence. Their only incentive to release more powerful processors would be just to encourage customers to upgrade.

Since when, again? Oh, they add more "cores" to the CPU nowadays, but that's not the same as making a better processor ...

SPKoko said:
And, of course, without AMD, they could charge whatever they wanted for their processors.

Erm, ever went shopping for a XEON-based system? (Check this out: http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html.)

SPKoko said:
But to be a good analogy, Intel should build their own computers, as Canon and Sony do. In that case, other computer manufacturers would always be afraid of Intel reserving their better processors for their computers.

Actually, they do.
 
Upvote 0