Chipworks.com is doing something that I always wanted to do - to teardown a camera apart. Few weeks ago they took a Nikon D7000 and documented the guts of the camera. The interesting part? The sensor model IMX071 is made by Sony (direct link to image). This is probably not a surprise, but till now I could not find a proof besides the identical DxOMark score of the D7000 and Sony a580.
There has been some speculations in the past that Nikon recently started producing their own sensors. For the D3100, Nikon described the sensor as:
“The D3100 is equipped with a new Nikon DX-format CMOS image sensor and a new image-processing engine, EXPEED 2, both developed by Nikon”.
Tetsuro Goto mentioned something similar in this interview:
“We have a longstanding relationship with Sony. If the sensors for Nikon D3s, D3 and D700 are designed by Nikon, Nikon D3x and those of the small APS-C sensors are from Sony. We want to use our own sensors in SLRs most popular [small sensor APS-C, Ed], as the performance of our sensors are better. However, it will take some time as it takes to achieve economies of scale.”