Sony to no longer sell certain sensors to other manufacturers?


Imaging Resource published their interview with Kenji Tanaka (Senior General Manager Digital Imaging Group, Sony Corp.) and it is their understanding that Sony will no longer provide other manufacturers with some of their sensors/technologies:

As you know well, our key driver is the image sensor, and we already invested a lot of money for the image sensor development. And the sensor is a custom [design, meaning that] only Sony can use these sensors, and our strength is our in-house technology. So I invested in that and we will keep investing in the in-house technology like image sensors.

Ed. note from Dave Etchells: This was new information for me; as far as I'd been aware, Sony's camera division would get access to the latest sensor designs as soon as they came through the design and production cycle, while other companies could buy the same sensor a year later. While this might once have been the case, it appears that Sony currently reserves some level of their sensor technology exclusively for us in their own cameras.

This could be one of the reasons why Nikon has not released a new camera in the past 15 months (I do not count the D3400 and D5600).

Update: shortly after my post the interview was removed but you can still find it on Google cache.

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  • Eno

    This is both a good and bad news. The bad news is very clearly written above but the good news may be that other manufactures will start producing sensor (like Panasonic/Fuji etc).
    The Sony sensor monopoly was newer a good thing to start with.

    • Spy Black

      Unless Sony plans to shut down it’s fab plants, this comment makes no sense, because those facilities exist to produce for third parties. Third parties are where they make their money fabricating sensors. Sony would be shooting itself in the foot doing so.

      It would also allow Samsung to capitalize on it by ramping up their sensor fabrication, something they could do relatively quickly. They have the ability to make competitive sensors.

      • Eno

        Most of the sensor produced by Sony are made for the smartphone, automotive and medical industry’s. The ILC market is very small in comparison.

        • Spy Black

          It’s still money in the bank.

          • WaxedSatsuma

            Make their own!?

          • One shouldn’t forget that other electronics in the chain and the firmware has a lot to do with what the images look like. Images from the same sensor but used by two manufacturers will look different.

        • ITN

          Unless the newest tech is the other camera manufacturer’s and not Sony’s intellectual property.

        • Thom Hogan

          Another conclusion: due to Sony Imaging’s low volume, cameras using unique sensors will be very costly.

          • Hysz

            Or maybe they will just release cameras with those new EXCLUSIVE sensors, so people will jump ship? I know what it means to be invested in system, but if certain camera would provide you with let’s say 20EV of DR or something else that is FAR FAR more advanced than ANY other company, I am sure Sony could make a lot of people to change systems. When I first read it, I only thought of this scenario, I think they managed to make some kind of breakthrough and sometime later a camera will hit the shelves with some new fancy technology [I know 20EV is ludicrous but you get the point], and there will be no other brand that does that. I mean, it is a possibility.

            • Thom Hogan

              Sony, for example, has used the sensor in question three times now, which indicates that they’re trying to recover R&D costs, as two of those cameras really don’t need some of the things it does.

              But it doesn’t matter much if Sony’s intent as you describe, for multiple reasons: (1) lenses tend to enforce brand rigidity; (2) pricing becomes a real issue when you’re asking people for more money for gains that may not show up in their photos.

              The most interesting aspect of the 42mp sensor is the A99II, which sits at half the price of a D5/1DxII. It’s also the one camera that really uses all the capabilities of that sensor (bandwidth). But the problem there is Sony isn’t sending great signals about the Alpha mount, which that camera uses, and you steal back some of the DR with the SLT system.

              No doubt Sony Imaging is trying to build a position and strategy that is unique. But if you look at what they’ve done in the past couple of years, they’ve moving way way upscale very fast and not going for volume now. Their overall camera volume has gone down faster than Nikon’s if you count all still cameras.

            • Hysz

              Thanks for educated reply, we can only speculate, and look thru the prism of previous actions, but I kinda hope Sony will ‘outsmart’ the Canikon and either forces their hand somehow, or just develop something mind-blowing [and yeah, it could be as simple as carbon copy for half of price]. I agree about Alpha mount, I cannot name even few of those, and I feel like am ‘in this’ for a while now. I mainly use Nikon, but my loyalties are to results and not worshiping anything, that’s why I am open to whatever they are trying to do.

              On the other hand it might not mean much, just that they shifted priorities, sell less of one type of sensor, more of the other, I guess they are not stupid enough to suffer major financial hit, by doing this.

            • Thom Hogan

              Well, the A99II is half the price of a D5/1DxII. It has the same frame rate, but twice the pixels.

              The problem with that is the one I’ve been harping about for years now: the camera makers don’t actually understand the photographer’s need.

              I don’t need 42mp at 12fps. I need getting my images from my camera to my agency/client/newspaper faster. Doubling the file sizes I’m working with at half time to meet a deadline doesn’t help me one iota. It actually hurts me.

              This is a fundamental disconnect in the design HQ in Tokyo versus the user HQ in the real world. For high frame rate cameras, we need faster workflow. The clients that use that work tend to all be critical time based.

              Meanwhile, the high megapixel crowd needs things other than high frame rate. Like a shutter that doesn’t cause vibrations or more critical focusing tools.

            • Hysz

              Shutter vibration, damn. You just reminded me when I rent 5DS, and when I was pixel peeping ALL handheld photos had this… I had to make a wallpaper for my client so I thought ‘more MPX is better, sure’, but let’s say 35mm [I had 24-70 but I have no idea which version, it was Canon though] focal length and I was left with times like 1/200, 1/320 etc. There was this distinct blur, well I compared to my old trusty 24MPX D600 [yeah I know, screams ‘pro’ like hell], and I decided to blow up Nikon’s files. I could use flashes without having to worry about this high speed of my shutter, and surprisingly, I made it all with Tamron 45mm VC 1.8.

              I understand that the problem is on every sensor, it’s just not that pronounced, but having to go with tripod, mirror up and a remote control was too much for me [I mean, that I couldn’t work like that on daily basis].

              And yes I share the same dilemma as you. Even 24MPX DNG files are sometimes too time consuming to cull/edit [like from wedding, about 2000 photos], I would really LOVE a LOSSLESS function to change the resolution and still stay as RAW. D810 has those sRAW’s, it is my understanding that Canon did it first, but only saying it because I can see a degradation in tonal range, dynamic range etc, when using those options. And DX mode is NOPE.

              Ideally I would like to have 36MPX body that is like D810 [build quality], but with options to choose 36, 24, 16, 12, 6 MPX without having to deal with ‘lesser’ image. I splurged 3k$ on my PC upgrade, with the Samsung M.2 memory, that boasts 2.5GB/s read and 1.5GB write, along with all components to match, overclocked, and it still stutters on 24MPX files. I am ashamed to admit, but I often make smart previews in LR, change the name of the folder where my photos are, and work on 6MPX smart previews, and only go back when I really need to see that 100%, but then again, after edit I change it back and I am left with edited 24MPX photos, not 6MPX. 12MPX for my wedding work would at least quadruple the speed, but no other DSLR [that I know] offers that with all the benefits of Nikon’s ISO-less, very high dynamic, low noise sensor [which is Sony’s, lol].

              Just imagine, you could shoot at let’s say 10FPS at 36MPX, but 15FPS on 24, 30FPS on 12 etc [numbers are pulled out of my… you know]. I may not be the best knowledgeable person on the planet, but I am sure you would want a body like that [for your system of choice].

              On the other hand, I despise C1 and LR for doing basically NOTHING. I want full GPU support, especially when converting to DNG, or exporting [CUDA cores can do those things, it’s the implementation that is lacking]. I really want faster workflow with arguably on of the best bang for buck config on my PC. It’s unreal having 64GB DDR4 at 3600mhz, i7-6700k OC’ed to 5.1GHZ, and it can’t really handle a camera from 2012 [D600].

              I do think that our voices need to be heard on both fronts. Larger files when we need them, manual focus help [peaking etc], or smaller files with larger AF field [I know it doesn’t work like that, but I wish…]

              As usual, thank you for your time and on spot comment.

            • Thom Hogan

              Yeah, we fight all kinds of variables in trying to accomplish actual photography. Just building a Swiss Army Knife camera (faster fps, more pixels, deeper DR and bit count, more, more, more) isn’t necessarily going to help us.

              What you’re talking about in terms of image size and frame rate is something Nikon already sort of does. You get more frame rate out of a D810 at DX frame size than FX, for instance. The D5/D500 more closely represent the latest Nikon thinking, and they’ve Large, Medium, Small “raw” files now.

            • Hysz

              Yes, if you look it at it from this perspective, it might be better to tailor a body to one’s needs. Maybe some [far] in the future, there will be ‘build your own DSLR/camera, where you can pick the body size, sensor, AF sensor and other functions.

              I know for a fact that D810 ‘small RAWs’, are fairly compressed, that I wouldn’t call them true RAW files at all. I haven’t had my hands on either D5 nor D500, so I have no idea if the problem was solved. If yes, then I am surely happy, although I don’t really like the D5 and D500 sensors [Nikon]. It’s not about the DR or noise or anything, it’s a personal thing, I just do not like them.

              And yup D810 in DX mode has higher FPS, but it doesn’t use whole sensor, so it’s a bummer, when using something wider. My idea was to use whole sensor each time, but produce different resolutions, based on settings. I know it’s a child’s dream, I have a basic understanding of how sensors works, so I already see how it can be very problematic. Only resolutions that could be [in theory] viable were have to be 4x smaller, then 16x smaller etc., so that each pixel together produces, say 24MPX, but 4x would yield 6MPX just by doing average of 4 adjacent pixels. At least in my mind it sounds OK, no loss in quality, like DR etc, it would all still be recorded, just the resolution would be averaged.

              But yeah. We are talking about ‘what if?’ scenarios. If I may ask, at this moment, what would be your personal ‘perfect’ camera? n terms of FPS, MPX, build etc.

            • Thom Hogan

              All the smaller raw sizes, Canon and Nikon, are essentially something equivalent to an 11-bit uncompressed JPEG which has been pre-linearized and pre-white balanced, but which has just enough information so that you can back out a lot of what was put in. Definitely not optimal, but sometimes useful.

            • Hysz

              Pre-white balance alone is a thing that discards the whole smaller formats… I am aware how to set up white balance of course, but I tend to leave it at custom and deal with it later, I need to adjust for every occasion anyway, and my nikon isn’t really ideal with choosing AWB to render skin tones in right way, especially when I use flashes etc. And my workflow depends really on nikons dynamic range, because when shooting [weddings] a lot of things is happening fast and I am sometimes not fast enough to compensate [more often than not I am using bounced flash in manual mode], and huuuuge DR is a thing that can help me correct these moments when flash didn’t fire, or I changed aperture without changing flash power, etc etc. It’s great that this sensor [in D600] can recover +5EV and is still good enough for 8×10 print. Not bragging of course, but I am just glad this technology exists, and if I am sloppy sometimes, it will help me. That’s why JPGs, or those sRAWs [the ones I have tested] are just not cutting it. I really wish there would be option to change resolution without this whole downgrade, but I understand the limitations of technology as well.

            • captaindash

              “my old trusty 24MPX D600 [yeah I know, screams ‘pro’ like hell]”

              This is why the photography industry sucks. People who look at a camera body and scoff, even though it has an absolute top notch sensor (2nd highest rated ever when it came out), are idiots. Real innovation is hard to come by because the companies are so afraid of doing anything remotely out of the ordinary because something so simple as the D600 will make photogs whine and cry. Camera bodies are not ergonomically sound at all. Take the top for example: there is 0 reason to have it horizontal instead of a bit tilted so you don’t have to turn your wrists into an unnatural position to view the top. It’s not a big deal, but even little improvements like that will never happen with cameras because even a moveable LCD screen caused ‘controversy’ when announced. I’d love to see an absolute top end camera come out with the best of absolutely everything, and make it a steal of a deal, but painted pink paisley with cupcakes on it. Photographers would not go for it. They for sure would take a lesser/more $ model because it isn’t the same boring black nonsense they’re used to.
              *whew*. Rant over, haha. I just needed to get if off my chest how sad and pathetic I think photography companies are, and most photographers are. Yeah, I said most. Bring it! *puts up dukes* ;-P

            • Hysz

              I agree with you, my comment about my gear was to all people who think that this is ‘old cheap gear’, but this is one of many cameras I had, and you can’t beat the quality bang for buck so to speak. Has all functions, easy to access, U1, U2 modes that higher models lack [the newest brought them back I think, still D800 etc doesn’t have them]. I use gear that makes logical sense. Had an argument here with some lady, she said she went with mirrorless fullframe and D810 on a venue full of high profile people and they ridiculed her for using that small camera. Then after seeing pictures they knew [it was businessman, celebrities and that sort], that this Sony camera’s pictures were ‘bad’ and this big camera’s pictures were ‘good’. I would link you with original comment, but she was so pretentious saying how she deal with high profile people for over 40 years now etc etc, and how we all are nothing in comparison, so I said, that I could grab a rebel and still produce pictures that would be approved by those ‘high end’ clients. So she snapped few times, but ultimately deleted all comments. It’s that kind of person that propels the idea of bigger better, and the more expensive the better. It was hilarious in it’s own way, if she really survived 40 or so years in industry with that mindset, but I pitied her, that her clients had a say about a gear before even seeing results. That’s absurd. I know that there are places where you wont go with 6MPX camera [like product photography], but no one has to tell me that, I am behind the wheel, I know what am I doing, my clients see my work and are assured that I produce results end of story, if I show up with point and shoot even, I wouldn’t hear from any of my clients. I am the photographer, not my gear [with few exceptions of course].

              So tl;dr: I agree 🙂

            • Sator Photo

              The a99II is almost certainly not intended as a direct competitor to the D5 or 1DX Mark II. Sony knows they cannot readily break into the professional sports photography market because they cannot compete in the lens department. Not even Minolta quite managed to break into that market in its heyday. Those in this section of the market have already brought into a Canikon telephoto lens environment. I suspect Sony outsource a lot of the lens development and manufacturing process, which explains why their lenses are more expensive than those of competitors, especially their long telephoto lenses. That means that the a99II is more for those who want to shoot action in a creative way e.g. dance to name just one example. It appeals to a niche crowd that want to shoot at fast frame rates but find 20MP resolution limiting.

          • PVC

            My thought. Nikon made a fuss and embarassed Sony when they announced the D500 showing the black out between shots. I think this irritated Sony and also believe they never made a lot of money selling sensors to Nikon anyway.

      • Nyarlathotep

        Maybe he means Sony won’t provide the newest tech at first, but reserve it for itself, effectively leaving Sony cameras a half or full generation ahead of the rest?

        Just a guess. The statement isn’t really clear…

        • Espen4u

          Please correct me if I’m wrong, but fujis xt2/xp2 has a current gen sensor from sony, right? Guess we’ll know more when the spec for d820 is revealed.

          • Thom Hogan

            Yes, it does. So do some Nikon cameras. So does the latest Olympus.

      • animalsbybarry

        ILC image sensors are a very very tiny portion of thier sales
        They can easily afford to lose those sales , especially if it helps thier own imaging division

        • Spy Black

          Even if so, the price per sensor is going to yield more money than cellphone or CCTV sensors. They’re not about to throw that out the window.

        • Thom Hogan

          No, they cannot. Please go look at Sony Semiconductor’s actual financials. They took on enormous debt to buy the Toshiba fab and open new fabs. Sony Imaging is not going to pay back that debt on their camera volume.

          • animalsbybarry

            Demand is huge and growing for automotive , cellphone etc
            Sony can easily keep thier fab plants busy with these products
            Certainly they can afford to keep some desighns for themselves
            Dave said the original interview was mistakenly posted before Sony had a chance to edit it for accuracy
            He plans to post a revised interview next week
            This may clarify a few of the issues we are currently debating

            • Thom Hogan

              Maybe, maybe not. The image sensor analysts I talk to say Sony is behind in auto sensors, and going to be eroded by China on smartphone sensors. Sony Semiconductor is walking a fairly slippery slope.

              Sure, keeping designs for themselves works for a short time. But historically, Nikon has shared with Sony. Suddenly saying “no sharing” would likely cause a reaction by Nikon, too.

              Everyone seems to think that all those things that Sony has been putting into their sensors are Sony-originated designs. That’s simply not true. Sony was aggressive about finding best examples and buying IP or licensing it, then perfecting it.

              But that’s no different than the Japanese camera—and for that matter, all electronics—market has been from day one. People don’t seem to realize that Canon and Nikon license a lot of the same IP.

        • Sator Photo

          Sony cameras is not a “division” of the same company as Sony semiconductors. These are now two separate corporate entities. It is more a case of the semiconductor corporation favouring one sensor buying client over another one.

      • I would also think that with decreasing DSLR sales, sensor sales are dropping equally and the existing fabs won’t have the necessary manufacturing scale to turn a profit. Hence, Sony needs every customer it can get.

  • maxx

    “This could be one of the reasons why Nikon has not released a new camera in the past 15 months (I do not count the D3400 and D5600).” This is a tragedy. Or something like that.

    • Viktor

      Would not have been as they already have contract for the current D810 sensor. The D820 (or whatever) therefore could have been created with this (same) sensor – just updating other features and leaving update of the sensor to D830 (or whatever)….

      • Allen_Wentz

        That would work for me. Put a D810 sensor in a D500 body with D5 AF, add dual XQD and GPS and I would be thrilled.

        That said, I think Nikon wants more marketing splash than that.

        • Viktor

          They surely really do 😀 However counting of MPs is for masses and maybe technical enthusiasts, however we as professionals have different needs eg. fresh new copy after certain amount of shutter cycles (or years of usage) and buing again the same camera is a bit irritating 🙂
          If they say “we are sorry, there is this thing going on around sensors, we will give you now only updated D820 with the same sensor” I AM COMPLETELY FINE WITH THAT!

          Nikon! We will understand you when you say the truth going around. We are still here with you, so please talk to us!

    • Thom Hogan

      Seems highly unlikely. And lets remember that the D3400 and D5600 have an Exmor-based sensor in them that is essentially APS state-of-the-art.

  • Fly Moon

    It’s good news for the industry! Others should compete in quality and this can be a trigger!

  • harvey

    it was to be expected as Sony pushed deeper into the camera market. However, if I were the 3rd party manufacturers, perhaps a sensor fab co-op could be in order.

  • Allan

    Who else manufactures sensors for cameras?

    • MB

      Canon 🙂

      • ben132401

        yeah, they make sensors, but are they any good? lol. not really. low dynamic range, olpf. horrible. even the NEW canon 5d mark iv cant match the 3 year old nikon d810..

        • MB

          Of course the whole world is stupid for buying more of them lousy Canon cameras than all other brands put together… there must be some kind of world wide conspiracy of stupid people…

          • Allan

            LOL

          • harvey

            Canon knows marketing better.

          • ben132401

            seriously mate? thats your argument? and i have to ask, how would being cynical help prove your point? lol. whats your explanation to the crappy canon sensors? or maybe in your world they are the best sensors because they have “canon” written on them??

            • WaxedSatsuma

              Canon sensors are not crappy. Sony were better. Their 54mp sensor isn’t crap.

            • animalsbybarry

              It’s crap to me

          • Eric A

            Well, Harbor Freight does outsell Snap-On

          • Yes it is just damn marketing. People buy what they told to. Some payed bloggers, talkers youtubers can influence the whole industry on the entry and mid levels. That is enough to harm a company. Believes, stories, oh and dont forget those magical numbers!

            • ben132401

              and thats why no one that is “sponsored” by canon is doing any comparisons between canon cameras and competitors’ cameras, because canon cameras suck, sorry canon. theres a weird argument that people seem to use often: “canon cameras are work horses and they do the job well” of course they are, but why would you pay the same amount for something worse?

              people that buy canon are people that have already invested in lenses and are stuck, and there are many many people that buy canon because most of the people do. not because its better, but because its more common.

          • T.I.M

            Russians….

      • Nemmondom Meg

        nikon d7100 was with toshiba i think, lot of ppl told it was better in shadows than current sony

        • Nemmondom Meg

          @disqus_Uc1yaNvRgy:disqus sry replied to the wrong one

        • NorthPol

          It could be just me, but there is something special in that sensor. I’ve never owed D7100, but I saw tons of images captured with it.

        • ben132401

          dude. better in shadows? many many people COMPLAINED about the banding issues IN THE SHADOWS lol!

    • Jiwoo Choi

      Aptina
      Brigates (Rui-Xin)
      BYD
      Digital Imaging Systems (formerly known as Dialog Imaging Systems)
      Fujifilm
      Himax Imaging
      Hynix
      Invisage
      LiteOn
      Maru LSI
      Galaxycore
      Novatek
      Omnivision
      Panasonic
      Pixelplus
      Primesensor (UMC and Pixart JV)
      Rosnes
      Samsung
      SETi
      Sharp
      SmartSens – Jiangsu SmartSens Electronic Technology Co., founder in 2011 in Changshu, China
      Silicon Optronics
      STMicroelectronics
      Sony Semiconductor
      Superpix
      Toshiba and Toshiba-Iwate site

      • MB

        Aptina does not exist anymore and never was a sensor manufacturer… Nikon should have bought Toshiba sensor business, it was sold for only 155mil$…

        • Hans

          But the previous company Micron is still around with a couple of plants just a stone throw away from me.
          Actually there are quite a few companies on the list having manufacturing here.

      • Hysz

        I want SETi sensor, lol.

    • Eno

      Some of the most important CMOS Image Sensor Manufacturers:
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0b6fd2594f4eb5d1431650a51f61ff7baebf33ab0730560f171694fcebe1784b.jpg
      (Toshiba was acquired by Sony in the meantime)

      • Allan

        Thanks. Very interesting.

      • Allan

        The 2016 numbers will be interesting.

        • Eno

          Agree but I couldn’t find a more recent info. 🙁

      • Allan

        What is there such a large growth in Sony numbers from 2014 to 2015? Higher cost per unit? Did they actually sell that many more units?

        • Thom Hogan

          Apple.

    • TwoStrayCats

      Sony – 21%

      Omnivision – 19%

      Samsung – 18%

      Canon – 9%

      Aptina Imaging – 8%

      Toshiba – 6%

      STMicroelectronics – 4%

      Nikon – 4%

      This source on the web just shows the biggest ones by market share. Jiwoo Choi’s shows more of them.

    • psv

      Toshiba

    • T.I.M

      Sony can keep its sensors for itself, we all know the song but it does not sound like Sony and Share….

      • T.I.M

        Well I guess you have to be born in USA to get that joke (I know, quite lame but I’m not at my best today)

  • Allan

    What does “third party” mean?

    • paige4o4

      A company that isn’t Sony.

      • Allan

        I’ve never understood “third world”? What’s second world?

        • probably “developing”
          first world being “developed”.

          • Allan

            What happened to “second”?

            • Fly Moon

              @disqus_Uc1yaNvRgy:disqus
              They answered a question you didn’t ask 🙂

        • David Weinehall

          First world–US/NATO/allies, Second world–Soviet Union/Warsaw Pact/allies, Third world–the rest; after the fall of the Soviet Union third world came to be used to signify poor/underdeveloped countries.

          • Allan

            Thanks. I don’t remember ever seeing the term, second world.

            • Nyarlathotep

              It pretty much never made main stream use, but it especially fall out of use after the fall of the Berlin wall.

        • Terminology from the Cold War. First world was America and allies. Second world was “enemies.” Third world was underdeveloped, poor countries. That phrase still used some. Today though, common terminology is first world and developing countries. Countries again, that are poor, underdeveloped, struggle in many areas of economics, finances, government etc… Think places like Haiti.

    • outside of Sony

    • T.I.M

      The first party that would be me, the second party my wife, the third party is my girlfriend.
      :o)

      • Allan

        It sounds like you party with yourself. 🙂

        • T.I.M

          All the time!

  • Mike A

    It’s naive to think other camera companies are going to start producing their own sensors.

    If this is a significant issue for Nikon, they would need to issue a press announcement, as soon as it is known, notifying their shareholders. Otherwise, the shareholders would sue them for not disclosing significant financial information…

    • ZoetMB

      Maybe if Nikon were a U.S. company, but when has Nikon ever revealed anything in advance? Just about every forecast they’ve ever made have been bogus. They can’t even get their 4th Q forecasts right and they’re released only six weeks before the end of the quarter. If the shareholders were going to sue Nikon, they would have already.

      As for the sensors, it’s hard to tell whether this is meaningful news and a change or not. I can’t claim to know all that much about how Nikon uses the Sony sensors (and wasn’t it always rumored here that they were customized for Nikon?), but if this is a change and Sony is going to hold back sensors from Nikon for a year and Nikon has to substantially re-engineer because of it, I really have to wonder if Nikon can continue. It’s not like sensors are plug and play. It makes me wonder if this is Sony trying to kick Nikon while its down and grab market share if Nikon can’t release new bodies in the same price classes as the A7 series.

      But the other view is that Nikon must have a contract with Sony and unless that contract is up or defined by certain specific sensor models, the contract has to continue and that there’s nothing really here to see regarding Nikon.

      • ITN

        Nikon have their own sensor engineering team and they partner with other companies to manufacture sensors that utilize Nikon and third party tech. Sony isn’t the only manufacturer of sensors that they can work with, nor is Sony the only manufacturer with substantial development of new sensor technology.

  • Photobug

    Who makes the sensor for the D500? If its Sony, that is just another reason why the D760 has been pushed back.

    • jrmoore76

      The sensor in the D5 and D500 is a Nikon in-house made
      sensor

      • This is what I thought too.

      • Thom Hogan

        Well, it’s trickier than that. The D5 clearly is derived from work that continued in the D3/D4 chain. The D500 looks to be Sony Exmor-derived. Both sensors appear to be fabbed on the old Toshiba plant (now owned by Sony).

  • animalsbybarry

    Depending on whether or not Nikon can get any good sensors from Sony this could be a new problem that Nikon does not need right now

    The other major comments made during this interview was “intelligent sensors”
    Basically they claim that new mirrorless cameras will have much faster autofocus. DSLR cameras camn obviously built even faster/faster autofocus sensors…. but these will be separate AF sensors and cannot be made as sophisticated as the main camera sensor
    Thes sensors will use intelligent algorithms to determine what to focus on ( eye autofocus is an example) and by making intelligent focusing decisions focus faster and more effectively than any desperate AF sensor can

    The future (they claim) is mirrorless

    Nikon needs to get serious about mirrorless cameras…. I am not saying yo stop building DSLR but I am saying they need to offer both to thier customers

    • ben132401

      if nikon released a mirrorless camera that is at least as good as fuji xt2, with the same mount as all nikon’s dslr’s i would buy it without thinking twice. i would just go and buy it. but they wont do it. they will probably create a new mount for their mirrorless cameras. i wish they did tho. would be amazing. im tired of the crappy dslr inaccurate autofocus

      • Jon S

        It has to be a new mount. Maybe they will call it N-Mount.

        • ben132401

          why does it have to be a new mount?

          • Jon S

            The space between the end of the lens and the sensor, where the mirrorbox would be, would just be wasted space. It would be better to start new.

      • BlueBomberTurbo

        I jumped the Nikon ship last year for the same issue. Drove me nuts, and there’s no solution except to stop buying lenses.

      • Sator Photo

        The “more accurate” autofocus of mirrorless cameras comes from a having a second confirm step that is based on focal-plane with the sensor. You start with PDAF for speed but then confirm focus using CDAF.

        The inaccuracy of the off-focal plane phase detection autofocus of a DSLR comes from the discrepancy that can creep in between the off-focal plane AF sensor and the on-focal plane imaging sensor.

        You can eliminate that discrepancy by adding in an on-focal plane confirm step to a DSLR. You just have to use on-focal plane PDAF as a secondary confirm step. I suspect that Sony have achieved that already with their a99II and its Hybrid Autofocus system. Canon will probably eventually do the same with large scale integration between the off-focal plane AF sensor and on-focal plane DPAF.

        • ben132401

          why are you telling me this? did i ask why its inaccurate? have you thought to yourself that i already know that information? bleh

          • Sator Photo

            Even if you knew it, as you will know, the VAST majority of people don’t. They all seem to assume that more accurate autofocus is an essential quality of mirrorless cameras, and that it is impossible for DSLR autofocus to evolve a secondary on-focal plane PDAF confirm step to become just as accurate.

  • jag100

    who uses sony sensors .. both components and or complete sensors ?

    • ben132401

      nikon

      • jag100

        nikon yes but I believe fuji uses sony component sensor bases and only changes the filter layers, as well other or perhaps most camera mfg’s less canon use sony sensor parts or whole in their products.

    • animalsbybarry

      The vast majority of Sony sensors are being used for cellphones, automotive, security, industrial etc
      Only a small portion are used for ILC cameras
      Do Sony can easily afford to lose this portion if thier sensor business
      The vast volume ( Dony leads the sensor industry) of sensor sales fuels research that allows Sony to also build the most innovative camera sensors

      And let’s not forget MF sensors

    • Thom Hogan

      Let’s put this in a bit of context. I’m only going to talk about the smaller part of Sony Semiconductor’s business, that of the sensors for compact and ILC cameras.

      Nikon is Sony Semiconductor’s biggest customer. Canon, Fujifilm, Olympus, and Ricoh/Pentax are all customers who buy significant quantities. All together, those sensor sales dwarf what Sony Imaging uses. Indeed, Sony Imaging has mostly killed off their compact camera line (other than the 1″) now, so their sensor quantity is far smaller than it used to be.

      What you also don’t see is the backdoor licensing that goes on. Getting into large (DSLR) sensors was Nikon’s idea, and they essentially forced Sony Semi to do that for them. Some of the key components that have become part of the current Sony sensor lineups, including PD on sensor, dual gain, and more, appear to come from Nikon’s meddling and in some cases deals with other makers Nikon was working with (e.g. Aptina, whose IP Sony licensed).

      One thing that people are forgetting is that we’re now in a CMOS world. As I wrote over a decade ago, that means that you can start putting electronics on the sensor. Moreover, we’re now in a stacked world, which means you can not only put electronics at the photosite, but you can simply bolt on additional processing electronics to the back side. A lot of the small differences we’re seeing in some of the sensors now have to deal with a couple of things. One easily visible one is video/live view: basically how much and how the electronics grab real-time data off the sensor, as opposed to just turning it on and letting it collect light for a single exposure (stills).

      It seems to me that while the basic sensel package of Exmor, and even the edge-of-sensor channel readouts of Exmor, are often the same across different companies, the way they approach video/live view is often different. Indeed, Fujifilm made a claim about that in their recent sensors made by Sony.

  • Manfred Grebler

    This quote is a bit out of context.
    As far as I know there have always been three types of sensors at sony:
    – Sensors to be used only by Sony
    – Sonsors for sell to other camera manufactures
    – Sensors build exklusively for Nikon and maybe others.

    • BlueBomberTurbo

      The only real differences were the Sonys that had OSPDAF. Sony sold a boatload of their 16MP NEX sensors to everyone, and their 24MP Alpha sensors. OSPDAF versions of both eventually came out, and were shared with Fuji. Of course, things like Bayer filter strength (or elimination) were handled by the third party. The 36MP FF sensor actually premiered in the D800/E, and then the E version went to the original A7R, also without OSPDAF. Same with the D600 and A7. Sony has kept the A7R II (42MP) and A7S/II (12MP) to themselves, though. I guess we’ll be seeing more of this shortly.

      • ITN

        The D810 sensor on the other hand is only used by Nikon, and sports higher base ISO dynamic range, and ISO 64.

        • Azmodan

          The Pentax K1 uses an improved version of the D810 sensor IIRC

          • ITN

            Pentax’s sensor has base ISO of 100. D800 and A7R have base ISO of 100 so it’s likely a version related to or evolved from those, not the D810.

  • mas921

    D500 was a Nikon senaor too no?

    • T.I.M

      what? the D500 is made by Nikon ?

  • sickheadache

    This was a known fact….last year. Even Uncle Tony said this in August of last year..that Sony would bring out the high MP Sensors first..followed by Nikon. Everything Old is New Again.

    • What they are saying is that other companies will not get at all some of their sensors/tech – not even later.

      • sickheadache

        1. How do we shoot ourselves in the foot? Answer…Sony.

        • BlueBomberTurbo

          ILC camera sensors are probably Sony’s least profitable area, just due to the low volume produced. They’re not taking much of a hit, if any.

          • Thom Hogan

            Oh, they’d be taking a bit hit. Sony Imaging is not the largest customer of Sony Semiconductor for ILC sensors. So what happens if you close off the others is that suddenly Sony Imaging’s sensor costs go radically up, because that 14% of the declining market that Sony has suddenly has to absorb all the R&D costs.

            • sickheadache

              What I don’t get…Including this new article…me heading is spinning…I thought Sony had 40% of the Sensor Market. I would seem to me…that article today..they don’t want to share their goods…why have 40% of that market, if they didn’t share? Sony even spin’d off that sensor market into it’s own business. To get Sony to the 40%…they had to sell and share…right? So if Sony says no more selling and sharing…that makes zero sense. What Gives?

            • Thom Hogan

              Actually, you’re quoting all imaging sensors. Sony Semiconductor claimed that they would have something over two-thirds of the dedicated camera market by 2018 just a couple of years ago, IIRC (to lazy to look up the exact number at the moment, but essentially it was all non-Canon sensors would be made by Sony).

              Nothing has changed. Both Nikon Imaging and Sony Imaging source sensors from Sony Semiconductor. Both have used unique sensors from SS in the past, both have their own sensor teams working on new IP, both are trying to carve out specific strategic niches.

              Even if it were true that Nikon could never ever use a Sony sensor–and I’ll repeat, that is NOT true–I doubt that nothing would change for Nikon other than who they’re working with as an IP and fab partner.

  • RA

    This is an obvious economical play. They are trying to bankrupt them by putting loads that the company cannot handle, lose trust from their clients for the transition to begin, then buy them out. Quite strategic… man, wish they would listen to their community. It’s not really over yet, it can still be solved, but time is definitely of the essence.

    • Simonh2159

      Yes think your right I think Sony want nikon lens division and autonomous as this is Sonys weak areas. Nikon must not give in to pressure. They must make there own sensors or do a deal with Samsung. Think they will go with Samsung. Really hope Sony don’t get hold of nikon

      • ZoetMB

        Sony does not want Nikon. Sony is looking for growth. There’s no growth at Nikon. Get real.

      • Nyarlathotep

        I don’t think Sony wants more liability in a shrinking market. I just don’t see Sony gunning for ownership of Nikon.

      • ITN

        Hostile takeovers are not in their culture.

  • “This could be one of the reasons why Nikon has not released a new camera
    in the past 15 months (I do not count the D3400 and D5600).”
    But Sony don’t have announce any new body in this period also, no ?
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/93a7ea16d57ba90b84b15849d821c46a3eafd29ad87dfa003b5e9d7407f60bbe.png

    • Allan

      a6500

      • BlueBomberTurbo

        And A6300.

    • that is true, but they still have a 42MP camera

      • Eno

        And a 12 Mp one, only found in the A7s and A7s II.

    • Anulu

      a99II

  • Pixyst

    It used to be that Nikon got to use the (Sony) sensor first, and then it would show up in a Sony camera. Nikon’s implementation was always superior – D300, D800.

    • BlueBomberTurbo

      Most likely the strength of the CFA. Nikon was known to shave them thinner and thinner as years went by, till the D800 era where it went back up again.

    • EcoR1

      ” Nikon’s implementation was always superior” Old myth, that might have been true at 2007, but not today in apple to apple comparison.
      According to DxoMark, performance of Nikon 1 J5 is behind comparable Sony RX-models. Both are mirrorless cameras and use Sony’s 1-inch sensors. Now who’s implementation is better again?

      And you can’t directly compare sensor IMPLEMENTATION performance between a mirrorless camera and a DSLR (D800). Both cameras use sensor differently.

      Especially in continuous usage the mirrorless model will always accumulate slighlty more heat than DSLR-counterpart. That’s becuse the sensor data is read constantly with mirrorless cameras. More heat means more read-noise and that’s what we can see in test results.

      • Paul H.

        There are no ‘apple to apple’ comparisons in sensors, I’m afraid. Even when Sony and Nikon used the same sensor, Nikon released theirs earlier to market, got better results, and Sony put those ‘same’ sensors in bodies of unequal capability/price range.

        There’s a lot of tech between the light gathering potential of a sensor and the RAW file you have written on your card that greatly impacts your images, too. Sony is still playing catch up here…

    • Thom Hogan

      The D300 sensor was never shared. The D90 sensor, which was similar, was.

  • Eno

    It appears the original article is temporarily off. They’ve probably said things that shouldn’t have been made public. 🙂

  • br0xibear

    Another good reason to use the D5 sensor in a D810/D500 type of body.

  • Torey Azure

    Could this explain the cancellation of the DL series and the “restructuring” necessary in the their continued operations? Seems so.

    • Could be.

    • sickheadache

      interesting.

    • Thom Hogan

      Seems extremely unlikely. Canon uses more 1″ sensors than Nikon.

  • mark meerdam

    Canon announced a while ago it is going to sell it’s sensors to third parties. Would that have to do something with this? Would be strange to have a Canon sensor in a Nikon though.

    • Why? It’s a chance that the new Samsung Note 8 will use batteries from LG chem… 🙂 I am not afraid too, to buy some things from the direct competitors in town, if it serves my company and clients the best.

  • RC Jenkins

    NNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Simonh2159

    It’s really funny this from Sony as they don’t actually make all there sensors in house they buy a fair bit from fijitsu they make huge amount of sensors, and so do Samsung who iny opinion make the best they make the sensor in the I phone.think nikon already using Samsung sensors in the new d900 d810 won’t be d820 or 50 it is a d900 and Sony are really really worried about nikon are gonna shock again like they did when the d 800 came it shocked the world just watch and see. It is a mirrorless hybrid design, it’s been in testing for ages just like the d 500 people said it would never happen and it did Nikon do the impossible and unexpected that’s why people love nikon you think they are finished no far from it they have loads up there sleeves

  • Well, I think Sony will be in reeeal trouble if Nikon has to develope and produce sensors again… Maybe this is the reason of the price increases again…?

    Btw. it’s true that Sony has a nice market share in movie camera sensors, so they are not gonna sit down in the corner cryin’ sadly but I (and probably many other photographers) always preferred much more the Nikon sensor based bodies…

    • BlueBomberTurbo

      I think it’s the other way around. Nikon will be in trouble, because they would need to find a new sensor supplier. Doubt they would be able to produce the volume necessary beyond their top tier cameras, nor would they have the money to invest in new factories for sensors alone.

      • Maybe you are right. Sony acquired Toshiba sensor business, too…

  • Bukakke Comet

    As most folks around here agree that Nikon doesn’t need to have all (3) 3xxx, 5xxx, 7xxx series. The slump in Sony sensors sold to Nikon could easily mean a simple consolidation in the I AM professional-consumer line up.

  • Viktor

    Nikon also makes their own sensors (from what I know). I think they are in D5, D4, D3, Df cameras. D8xx are with Sony sensors, but Nikon can make his own sensors so I do not think it long-term future it will be no problem. Maybe we will just have to wait a little……

    • Someone

      Nikon does not have semiconductor manufacturing facilities. They may develop some of the sensors, but they have to contract someone else to manufacture them. Lately it was always Sony or Toshiba (but Toshiba recently sold their sensor plant to Sony…). Some Nikon 1 sensors were by Aptina (IIRC). So no, currently Nikon cannot get away without Sony.

      • Viktor

        OK, thanks for information.

        If I understand it well then Sony will not give Sony developed sensors for the Nikon cameras (and other) to be used. Only those sensors developed by Nikon (or Nikon together with Sony) will be produced by Sony for Nikon….
        Did I get it right?

        If I do then it means that only the 20MP FX and 20MP DX sensors are safe (used now for D5 and D500). The one that is actually in danger is 36MP FX (or a sensor for D8xx).

        Sad story followed by another, hope for better news in the near future….

  • Horshack

    I think this may be a misinterpretation of Tanaka’s answer. I think he was referring to Sony’s vertical R&D integration and how that adds value to their company by not having to rely on technology from other companies, whose pace of development may be slower. This becomes more apparent when you read the follow-up question+answer as well:

    DE: So Sony’s invested billions of yen in sensors…
    KT: Yes.
    DE: …that applies to many areas, and now for cameras, you can draw on that. So it’s sort of like that investment has already been made or is being made, and you can draw on that and have proprietary sensors just for Sony’s cameras.
    KT: Mmm-hmm.
    DE: Yes.
    KT: And the sensor is one aspect. Another one is the lens, yeah? And the same as the sensor, we invested a lot of money for the development of our lenses. So the point is that we have a key technology, so we invest in-house. We don’t just think to buy something [from another company].

    • Molesworth

      I think you are right. These two gentlemen work in the Imaging Group, not Sony Semiconductor which is a separate company. The Imaging Group does not sell sensors, only Sony Semiconductor.

    • Thom Hogan

      Agreed.

  • If true, this kind of reminds me a of a certain geopolitical space race…the RD-180 purchases and licensing as well as wobbly state of American rocket engines comes to the forefront of my mind, a textbook example of “okay, we’ve got them trapped, now jack up the price or just cut them off and watch them wither!”

  • Tieu Ngao

    Let’s try to speculate Sony’s motivations:
    – to have an upper hand on new camera models using the latest sensor
    – to raise the sensor prices
    – to partially control the rival manufacturers’ new cameras production schedule

    And possible consequences for Sony:
    – sales of camera sensors will be reduced
    – there will be more sensor manufacturers to compete with Sony
    – R&D cost for new sensors will increase as result of less units sold

    And for Nikon:
    – there will be delays on new camera models
    – motivations for Nikon to become more independent on sensors

    And for me:
    I will keep my D750 for 3 more years and see how the world turns!

  • Gerard Roulssen

    That’s also probably why the D7200 successor will have the same sensor as the D500, which is not made by Sony.

    • yes, good point

    • Winslow H

      According to Thom Hogan it is a Sony sensor in the D500.

      • If it is, it’s a custom made for Nikon because Sony doesn’t have a camera with a 20MP sensor.

        • Winslow H

          This is straight from his D500 review…”

          Internally, we have a state-of-the-art, Sony-made, CMOS sensor that
          generates 20mp. This number matches the 20mp in the D5, but is curiously
          lower than the 24mp in the D7200. From all appearances, the D500’s
          sensor is the latest Sony copper-wire Exmor with dual gain, but with a
          different photosite size (and thus pixel count).”

          • I am not convinced, even Thom is saying “From all appearances”.

            • br0xibear

              “This all-new sensor, developed in-house by Nikon”
              That’s from the Nikon D500 brochure.

            • Thom Hogan

              Nikon has used those words even for sensors that were clearly all Sony.

            • El Aura

              Almost all sensor sourcing knowledge is based on ‘appearances’.

            • I do not agree, some of the info comes from tear downs and interviews. I tried to keep track of all this (some may not be accurate): http://nikonrumors.com/2015/12/16/list-of-all-nikon-dslr-cameras-and-their-sensor-manufacturerdesigner.aspx/

            • El Aura

              I count a tear down as looking at the appearance of a sensor.

            • Thom Hogan

              Okay, but I spent a lot of time researching this. No one would give me a definitive answer, but I got a lot of oblique ones.

        • T.I.M

          Or maybe the D500 sensor is a 24MP that is limited to 20MP (that will make D500 owners happy)

        • Thom Hogan

          You may remember that Sony didn’t have a 2.7mp APS DSLR, or a 12mp APS DSLR that had four-channel output, or a 36mp camera for along time…

          To my knowledge, the D500 sensor is Exmor-based with some wrinkles, and is fabbed by Sony on the old Toshiba plant. You may have noticed that during the sensor shortage there was no shortage of D500’s ;~).

        • David

          The Sony A3000 and A5000 had 20mp sensors. No idea where they came from though.

  • Jeff

    Unless Sony ends up making a bid for Nikon…

    • sickheadache

      One more time..the big boys who know this…Sony is not Buying Nikon.

  • ITN

    This is not news. For a while they’ve been saying that some of their sensors are just for their own cameras and not available to other camera manufacturers. The A7R II sensor, for example, is not, to date, used in non-Sony cameras. On the other hand they manufacture a lot of sensors to camera manufacturers’ specifications as well and those are just for their partners to use, and not Sony’s cameras.

    • I do not remember seeing this online, maybe you have a link?

  • the Sony a6300 has a 24MP sensor…. not the same

    • BlueBomberTurbo

      Same technology (Aptina’s dual conversion gain).

  • Thanks, I definitely do not remember that. So nothing new basically…

    • Thom Hogan

      That was essentially my take.

      But I’ll say this: Nikon’s cancellation of the DL, abandonment of the Nikon 1, mediocre updates of the D3300 and D5500, and silence on virtually everything else is causing them an “optics” problem. (That’s optics as in “the aspects of an action, policy, or decision [as in politics or business] that relate to public perceptions.”)

      The mood in much of the Nikon faithful is restless. The number of “that’s it, I’m buying a Fujifilm” comments I receive has been going up, and that hasn’t been zero since the X-Pro1 came out with a lens Road Map that exceeded Nikon’s DX lineup (buzz, buzz).

      So here we have a probably out-of-context, wrongly inferred response of angst from the Nikon crowd. The longer Nikon remains silent, the worse it gets for them.

      I really think they should have reversed their usual procedure and opened their kimono more. But it appears that they’re going to announce their terrible fiscal year results first before talking about new products again. Which means no product announcement until end of April at earliest. That wait is getting to be risky for them.

      • I agree, keeping the silence is not helping them at all. They have to show a proof of life and come back with a bang. The rumors about the new D7300 and D820 so far do not show any signs of a “bang” but we don’t know all the details yet.

        • Thom Hogan

          I don’t believe the D7200 or D810 followup were intended to be the big bang, but rather to shore up existing strong products. The bang I believe Nikon to be working on doesn’t seem to have been leaked yet.

          • Verco

            which would be what?

            • Shutterbug

              Thom is cruel with his information haha. Gives us just enough make us go “wait, WHAT?” then doesn’t explain haha.

              Probably DX or FF mirrorless.

            • Verco

              I like that he keeps saying he’s not under any NDA and then keeps saying he’s getting reports out of Japan with what Nikon’s doing..

            • I do not like that….

      • Markus

        Opening the Kimono means you have to deliver shortly. Nothing Nikon is particular good at. To be honest, the D500 came also out of nowhere, it is a winner but somehow it doesn’t seem to sell that well.

  • Esstee

    RIP Nikon

    • sickheadache

      Not Today. One can think that Nikon has already gotten the news last year early on..on what Sony was going to do…WE are the ones now responding to what Nikon new a year ago…They got a back up plan.

    • harvey

      what about Pentax, who uses Sony sensors and Fuji, who uses Sony sensors and Phase and Hasselblad who use Sony sensors?

      • sickheadache

        This is very true..why didn’t pentax use the 42mp that was avail??? OR did Sony say..no to Pentax on the 42mp? Fuji uses Sony’s 50mp Medium and Hasselblad also uses that same 50mp for their invisible mirrorless camera…Hassy uses Sony’s 100mp Medium….and on and on. BUT Sony has some big cameras coming this year. Maybe they don’t want to share no more. Greedy bitches! lol

        • harvey

          for their only FF body, Pentax used the same sensor as in the D800/e and Sony A7r. Not the D810 sensor or the A7rii sensor, the original 36mp one.

      • Wesley

        This is a site revolving around Nikon so the rest is an after thought.

        • harvey

          Nikon is not alone in using Sony sensors so saying they are dead in the water because of Sony’s actions means that the smaller volume users are in the same situation.

          • Wesley

            Yes, we know about the other brands using Sony sensor but this is a Nikon site so I’m sure Esstee only cares to talk about Nikon.

            There are the sister sites, PhotoRumors, for all brands and various others (PentaxRumors, FujiAddict, etc).

      • Esstee

        They will all be subject to older tech. ie, Sony will still produce and sell sensors to third parties. But will now reserve the right to priorities their latest tech in their own camera’s.

        • harvey

          unless, of course, the 3rd party guys design the sensor and then hire Sony to fab it, in which case it would be the Sony sensor division and not the camera division that determines who gets the latest tech.

    • RIP You

  • sickheadache

    I called the president of Sony…Akihiro Sony and he said…No we are not buying Nikon, Yes Nikon can use our excellent sensors, a year after we produce our own cameras with that sensor. There I got it from Sony. lol This is the same story I heard last year..Uncle Tony said it in his Prediction Video of all Camera Makers….and I have seen it online in articles about Sony’s Sensors…which by the way…late last year or early this year…Sony now has a separate division department solely on Sensor…They also produce…in the medium format a 50mp and 100mp that Fuji and Hasselblad uses today.

  • animalsbybarry

    I aske why the interview was taken down
    This was the response I got

    “Dave Etchells animalsbybarry an hour ago
    Big-time snafu on my part, apologies to everyone… 🙁
    I’d said I’d give them a look before posting to make sure I got everything right (we typically do a good bit of paraphrasing, to make the Japanese English read smoothly, take out verbal tics, even on my end, etc), but then then completely spaced on it, thanks to 13 hours of jet lag and 3+ weeks of major sleep deprivation leading up to it (I’d been in Japan with a very busy schedule for 2 weeks before jetting off to Thailand).
    Probably no big changes, but **extremely** rude on my part, after saying I’d send it to them first 🙁 It’d be bad enough if I did this with a US exec, but an even bigger affront for the Japanese. I feel really bad, both for the Sony people and also for our readers. I thought that replacing the interview with a place-holder would only make an even bigger deal out of it. Maybe I should have done that, but still think this way is probably better overall. No path forward that’s actually good, just hoping for the least-bad. I’m hoping everyone will give us a break on this, not read more into it than there is.
    Bottom line, a huge screw-up on my part; apologies all around. We should have an updated version posted Monday or Tuesday, after they’ve had a chance to look at it and get back to us. So sorry, to everyone, thanks for understanding… :-(“

    • CaMeRa QuEsT

      And the plot thickens…

  • sickheadache

    Like I said before..it is us who are behind…Sony and Nikon and whomever…have already had this discussion a year ago. WE…are hearing this for the first time..well sort of..I heard last year when Sony decided to branch off their Sensor Market. But..When Tony Northrup produced his video on Predictions last year…Tony Said…Sony would produce high end MP first for their own cameras and then a year later others could use. NOW today we get that other story…which was floating out there…Sony…will not sell their high end sensors(which is a good thing,which is a bad thing). One would think…being Nikon…they would have that back up plan in play by now…Canon is about to sell their Dusty Sensors to third parties. LOL.

  • sickheadache

    Where is Thom Hogan? He knows the Nikon Family. What is his thoughts on this matter? Is Sony going to buy Nikon? Will there by a Nikon D820 with 54MP or 42mp or even 72mp? As the Stomach Churns.

    • jeffp3456

      It is very interesting that TCSTV and Tony Northrup and Dave are all off to Thailand at the same time.. Wonder what they are going get to play with?

      • harvey

        possibly the new Sony beast.

        • jeffp3456

          How disappointing 🙂

      • Fly Moon

        You do know that photography doesn’t revolve around those Youtube channel people. They are just sales people.

        • jeffp3456

          I did not know that, thank you for sharing.

          • Fly Moon

            You’re welcome

      • Allan

        Ask T.I.M.

      • I asked around and was told that this trip to the Sony factory in Thailand was not related to a new product announcement.

    • CaMeRa QuEsT
    • Thom Hogan

      I’m right where I always am. Well, except for when I’m traveling, which is always.

      I posted my thoughts on the original IR article comment section. Then I went to bed ;~). Now I wake up to this.

      Sony is not going to buy Nikon.
      There will be a followup to the D810. I’ve heard two rumors on pixel count (hint: not 42mp, and not one of the sizes you list).

      • The report I got for the D820 is 46MP. Sony buying Nikon was a fake news reported by a website with a history of spreading fake stories for getting more clicks aka clickbait.

        • sickheadache

          I know that clickbait site…for over two years now..Every other week..a new clickbait story..Coming Soon! Next Week! .Sony A9 with 72mp. and on and on.

          • I have to keep repeating this because many people still believe that Sony will buy Nikon or that Nikon bought Samsung camera division, or…

        • sickheadache

          Me Thinking..Hang on! lol…One would think that Nikon would want to beat out the Dusty Twin Sisters over at Canon..50mp Dusty Twin Girls, while we all know that the D810 at 36.4mp can beat out the Dusty Canon Girls in dynamic range with the greatest of ease…NIkon is going to release the D820/D850 with a higher MP than 50mp…Though Slippery Thom Hogan said in the past around 54mp…he today..said that is wrong..and hints at a higher mp count. lol

          And there is a rumor at Canon Rumors…that Like what Nikon did a few years back was combine D800/E together with a D810. Canon 5DS and 5DSR will be one camera. 5DSRLOL.

        • animalsbybarry

          If specs match D500 I would be interested

        • Sator Photo

          And SAR is getting worse and worse by the day. The reason is that Sony cameras have cracked down on leaks and SAR has been starved of reliable sources. The same clampdown on leaks has happened elsewhere. Yet NR retains its quality, and I enjoy reading it for the quality of the writing here. It’s obvious that even in the absence of lots of “rumours” the intelligence of the owner is enough to maintain the site’s journalistic standards.

          Not so with SAR. It has degenerated into a tabloid style clickbait site full of grossly exaggerated headlines. It is pure propagandist spin generated by a deluded fanboy. It has become a rogue site that shameless peddles predatory content belittling any perceived rivals in a way that contrasts starkly with the better rumours sites like NR, CR, and FR who all maintain far better journalists standards of neutrality and critical insight coming from owners who have a far better understanding of photography.

          • I could not have said it better.

      • Glen

        Scaling the D500 sensor to FX would be 46.5 mp and scaling the D7200 sensor would be 54mp. I personally believe it will fall somewhere in this range (46.5 – 54). Nikon seems to like multiples of 12 so maybe 48mp but then again 50 is a pretty big marketing boundary and they have Canon 5DS R and Fuji GFX to compete with. Probably will be a completely new Nikon designed sensor so the resolution may not relate to other sensors. In that case and even 50 makes a lot of sense.

        • Thom Hogan

          You are correct in your assumptions here ;~).

          • Glen

            So if I am reading between the lines of your posts here you are expecting a 50mp sensor and another “big sensor-related surprise” which I assume is not the resolution since 50mp would not qualify as a big surprise.

    • Allan

      He occasionally needs a break from us and our comments.

  • cdstum

    I’ve never particularly liked the skin tones produced by 3rd party sensors on Nikon bodies anyway – especially on D7100 & D750.

    However with Nikon sensors on my D700 & D4S it’s rarely been an issue and the blacks are better too.

    • Thom Hogan

      Skin tones have little to do with sensors. A sensor is a collection device for data. What you do with that data is something entirely different. So you’re commenting more about EXPEED than anything else.

  • Captain Megaton

    As others have noted this is no big deal and not news. And, geez, the English version of the statement is really poor since “custom” is left open to interpretation as a some sort of unique technology rather than a unique *combination* of technologies… Look, Nikon has “custom” sensors manufacturered by Sony DIG. Sony has “custom” sensors manufacturered by Sony DIG. Sony can’t use the Nikon parts, Nikon can’t use the Sony parts. It’s business as usual.

  • sickheadache

    Hang On…Just got off the Phone with the President of Nikon, Akihiro Nikon, and he told me to tell you all in Nikon Rumors…Not to Worry, Nikon is Teaming up with Ecth a Sketch and will be using their Sensors. Relax all is well at Nikon Land.

  • eric

    i still think nikons reluctance to release new cameras is related to shifting product lines. that makes more sense, assuming theyve spent the last year or so testing out new models. if they dont come out of this funk with a bang they might as well merge with sony.

  • Wolf33d

    RIP Nikon 🙁

    • Fly Moon

      So, Nikon existed for 100 years because of Sony sensors?

      • sickheadache

        Very Good!

      • Wesley

        You mean 18 years…

      • Wolf33d

        A big reason why D810 and D750 are a success is dynamic range. No other than Sony can get you as of today 14.8 stops of DR in a sensor. Look at Canon for example. Look at Nikon with the D5 their horrible dynamic range.
        Do you see a D820 with 13.5 stops of DR? I don’t.

        • Fly Moon

          Yeah, that’s why nobody bought Canon DSLRs!!

          • Wolf33d

            They did not buy them for their high DR, unlike many D810 purchasers.

            • Fly Moon

              So there is no other reason for people to buy Nikon D810 except for the sensor DR!

              Do you hear yourself?

  • Wildness

    From what I’ve read, Sony makes more money selling sensors than cameras so this either is suicide (Sony has a tendency to shoot themselves in the foot sometimes) or hokum.

  • Eric Calabros

    Calm down folks, Sony semiconductor would never abandon Nikon. It’s just a bad performed QA in a bad time with a bad translation.

    • I imagine that this maneuver would rip a good chunk of change out of their wallet, and now is not the tine for Sony to be doing that, their financials have been shaky for ages. They can’t afford this lateral action.

  • bgbs

    We all know Nikon needs Sony, but does Sony know it needs Nikon?

    • sandy

      Of course they do, Nikon buys more dslr sensors than the rest combined. Pretty sure Nikon even buys more than Sony.

  • Hans

    Totally agree with you. Just get some cheap but capable fab plant that are not in the photographic business to do it.

  • Phil Kariatlis

    Seriously think before you speak. Nikon is about to blow the industry, wait and see. They do not need Sony

    • nwcs

      We found the eternal optimist here 🙂

      • Thom Hogan

        Actually, he may be slightly right. I believe Nikon has one really big surprise coming, sensor-wise.

        • Stuart Crowther

          What ? Any ideas.

        • Vic D

          How real is this rgbw sensor rumor I’ve been hearing about? Any idea?

        • nwcs

          Hopefully it won’t end with the sensor. As you know, one sensor miracle won’t change their fate unless they do a systemic approach to fixing their issues.

          • Thom Hogan

            That’s been my point lately. Nikon’s approach to customers is to move away from them ;~). By putting too much emphasis on GPM they’ve eviscerated their customer-facing organization. They’re making decisions—such as cancelling the DL—that are forcing long-loyal customers to question their decision making. They don’t have the DX lens set to go against even a far smaller competitor such as Fujifilm (buzz, buzz), who is now stealing customers away.

            We can discuss sensors all day, but no sensor is going to save Nikon from themselves.

            • Markus

              By reading this, you expect Nikon to sink their ship?

          • Davo

            In a growth phase when companies are rapidly iterating, a definitive edge with a sensor miracle might sway a lot of undecided/umcomitted buyers to join your camp.
            In a mature market, when most sensors have already reached good enough then the impact would be much less so.
            But it doesn’t hurt to create a bit of buzz and might stop some restless photographers in your camp from leaking.
            Nikon has a PR problem. One thing I’m confident about is their engineering but their customer relation certainly needs work. And so does how they decide to green light projects.

        • animalsbybarry

          Are you talking about the 2 layer PD sensor ( 6 colors ) or something else ?

          • Thom Hogan

            Something else.

  • tjholowaychuk

    I hope Sony puts out some cameras that don’t suck then.

  • DLynch

    Remember Sony was in the PC business for awhile also.

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