Samsung Is Gunning For Sony’s Top Spot in The Imaging Sensor Business

Samsung has given up on dedicated cameras, but they are still pushing forward with their sensor technology

It’s been years now since Samsung released a dedicated camera, despite their [amazon_textlink asin=’B00NFDZS10′ text=’NX1′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’cb51ed6d-2b97-11e8-a6cb-15c57678105b’] still holding up quite well even by today’s standards in many ways. So you would not be out of line for assuming the South Korean company’s gaze had moved away from imaging and imaging sensors – but you would be mistaken. In fact, it appears the company feels that their sensor technology is already within arm’s reach of Sony, and is gunning for the sensor business’s golden child.

According to a report out of Etnews Samsung is greatly increasing its imaging sensor production capacity – thanks in large part to their confidence of that technology when compared to Sony. We have some evidence to support that claim, at least in some ways. Look back at the previously mentioned NX1, which was the first large sensor camera launched with a BSI sensor, and as noted, despite being quite old by today’s standards, is still holding up well against the current competition.

Samsung is taking this internal confidence and is reportedly going to be using it to pursue Sony’s position as the #1 imaging sensor maker in the world. However, they will be doing so, at least for now, without dedicated cameras (like the NX1) in mind. Instead, probably smartly, the company will be focusing on promoting their sensor technology in the mobile phone space, where they will be able to sell many more units than through a rebooted NX camera lineup.

Sony and Samsung are the only two companies in the world at this point who have developed and commercialized a 3-stack imaging sensor design capable of processing 960 frames in a single second. So this really is sort of a two horse race at this point, though Sony’s lead over the Korean company is quite large. It will be interesting to see what technologies Samsung brings to market to persuade companies to go with their technology over Sony’s.

It too could also give camera makers like Nikon, Canon, and Fujifilm, who are known/suspected to use Sony sensors (albeit tweaked/customized for their specific needs), in at least some of their cameras – something to think about in further distancing themselves from Sony’s competing camera technology. However, that incentive only works if Samsung can prove its technology is at the very least a match for Sony tech. In reality, they would have to prove to be better (unless the cost was dramatically lower).

It will be interesting to see if Samsung can bring some competition to the imaging sensor space. We all remember when they came out and said they wanted to be the #1 mirrorless camera brand, only to ghost their NX system users shortly after the NX1 was launched. So their track record with looking to be #1 in the imaging space is suspect at best, but it will be interesting to see how this turns out. After all, more competition is better for us in the end.

Anthony Thurston

Anthony is a Portland, Oregon based Boudoir Photographer specializing in a dark, moody style that promotes female body positivity, empowerment, and sexuality. Besides The Phoblographer, he also reviews gear and produces his own educational content on his website.