Some big news out of Canon lately about sensors!
Canon is used to being the top dog in the photography industry. But increasingly Sony has been the company impressing of late, thanks in large part to their sensors. Well, now it looks as if Canon is looking to cash in on some of their sensors; selling them through a distributor called Phase 1. But don’t expect these to be going into any competing cameras any time soon.
Canon is marketing these sensors as Industrial Sensors for ‘Machine Vision and Imaging.” So these aren’t meant to be shipped over to Nikon for their standalone camera, or Fujifilm, or anyone else for that matter. Initially, Canon has made three sensors available initially; a 120MP APS-H sensor, 5MP Global Shutter sensor, and 19µm Full HD sensor.
Part of the huge rise in Sony camera products has been thanks to the amazing capabilities of their sensors. They developed a reputation for pushing the limits and doing things others had/have not done before. Canon clearly has hopes of making some money off their sensors now that their camera business is not as strong as it once was. But getting back to the original question, can Canon challenge Sony at all?
Well, in theory they could, but at this point it doesn’t look like they are truly attempting to. Rather than jumping into the pool cannonball style, they are taking a much more guided approach, dipping their toe in to test the water. These industrial uses give them an opportunity to give the sensor business a shot in a controlled way, with limited options and lots of potential customers; from manufacturing companies to smartphone makers.
So, can they threaten Sony — maybe, down the line. But for now, that is very much getting ahead of ourselves. Canon has a lot to prove, but honestly more competition in the sensor business is only a good thing. It will force other sensor makers to up their R&D and in the end, when better cameras come out as a benefit of the improved sensor tech, it makes our lives better as consumers .
First Canon will need to prove that their sensors are even capable of matching similar Sony spec sensors; both in terms of performance and feature set. Sony does an excellent job giving their sensors some excellent capabilities and, so far, Canon has not looked up to the task in the latest camera releases.
What do you think about this? Can Canon threaten Sony’s dominance?