Imaging Resource published a very interesting interview with Sigma CEO Yamaki. Here are some interesting points:
So we continue the development of the sensor, but we cannot commit [to] when we will release the product. There are two issues. The first one is there are some design errors in making the full-frame Foveon sensor. We already have several generations of the full-frame Foveon sensor prototypes. But none of them work properly because of the design error. So we have to correct the design error. The Second problem is a challenge in manufacturing.
Starting from this project, we started working with a new sensor vendor. Yes, a new foundry in the US. They are based in a small city called Roseville (California), which is close to San Francisco. They were the subsidiary of NEC, a Japanese company.
[Ed. Note: Some quick Googling suggests this is TF Semiconductor Solutions, previously TSI Semiconductors (2012-2014), and Renesas Electronics America (2010-2011). As Yamaki-san says, the foundry was originally built in 1998 by NEC. Please note, though, that this is just my guessing, based on a Google search :-)]
We are doing extremely good in Japan. The sales here are quite good. But in other markets, sales are not as good as I expected.
We still cannot catch the demand. Because the price is half of the Somy version and it’s also one of the top performing lenses in this category, f/2.8 standard zoom lenses for Sony E-mount and L-mount. I believe it’s the top performer, but to be fair, [I should say] it’s one of the top performers. But the price is half that of the Sony 24-70mm.
APS-C L-mount lenses:
we will probably develop brand new lenses for Leica L-mount APS-C cameras.
Sigma APS-C cameras:
No plan to make APS-C L-mount cameras yet. If we continue the fp concept, probably we will stay with full-frame. But this is just an assumption. We don’t have such a plan right now. But just making an assumption for the future, if the sensor has large pixel numbers like 50, 60, 75 megapixels, you can take a very, very good image using APS-C with a crop mode. So in this case, you can use a very compact lens.
Future of the market:
I guess the market would shrink in 2020, even if we didn’t have coronavirus. Probably the coronavirus issue will escalate the problem. Without coronavirus, I assumed that the market would shrink but probably toward the end of this year to next year, I expected it to hit the bottom, and then level out.
Last year, the quantity of interchangeable-lens system cameras sold in the market was 8.5 million units. But actually, the peak time was 17 million units. So last year was about half. But before digital cameras, film SLR sold about four million to five million units. So it was originally a very small market. So I think it was kind of a boom economy starting from mid-2000 to the beginning of 2010, and then it’s going down to the normal level.
I think probably five to six million is a good number to be stable. Thanks to smartphones, more people are interested in taking better pictures, and some of those people would like to buy high-end cameras. So probably, I think the market size for digital interchangeable-lens system cameras would be higher than for film SLRs. And also because the learning cost is very low compared to the film camera.DE: Oh, yeah, much lower costs than film, that’s a good point. Because now, you can see your picture right away. I remember I would shoot a 36-exposure roll, and sometimes none would come out.
But now my feeling is we’re coming back to more like a five-year cycle maybe, for people getting cameras.
- I find it interesting to learnt hat they did change the partner for the production of their new FF sensor. The bad news is that it sounds we will not get the camera in 2021 :(
- Sigma believes the market for APS-C is small. They will clearly go for Full Frame with the sole excpetion of some new APS-C lenses
- I hope he is right in the prediction that says that the market will bottom out by end 2020
Tamron issued a worrying press release. Here is the google translated text:
Tamron Co., Ltd. has taken some measures to close its domestic Aomori factory in the May-September period in view of the decrease in global demand due to the worldwide spread of the new coronavirus.
However, the global market has not yet recovered, and in consideration of the uncertainty of the future market environment, we will continue to extend the partial closure of the domestic Aomori factory until the end of the year as follows.
・ Some factories closed: Hirosaki Factory, Namioka Factory
・ Target period: October 1st (Thursday) to December 31st (Thursday), 2020
Although the business will continue during this period, it may cause inconvenience and inconvenience to our business partners, but we appreciate your understanding.
Worrisome also because Tamron was one of the few companies doing great in terms of sales…
NIKKOR Z INNOVATION CONTINUES: NIKON INTRODUCES TWO ESSENTIAL NIKKOR Z LENSES EQUIPPED WITH INCREDIBLE OPTICS TO DELIVER UNRIVALED IMAGE QUALITY
The Ultra-Wide NIKKOR Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S and Powerful NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.2 S Lenses Bring Groundbreaking Advancements in Optical Performance and Design to the Nikon Z Series
MELVILLE, NY (September 16, 2020) – Today, Nikon Inc. unveiled two exciting additions to the rapidly expanding NIKKOR Z lens lineup, demonstrating the brand’s commitment to the evolving Nikon Z series. These new full-frame S-Line1 lenses showcase the superior optical performance and capabilities of the Nikon Z mount for photographers and creators. The ultra-wide angle NIKKOR Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S is the world’s shortest2 and lightest2 full-frame f/2.8 zoom lens with a 14mm field of view, enabling a versatile range to capture expansive views including cityscapes, landscapes, astrophotography and more. Meanwhile, the NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.2 S is the paramount fast-aperture prime lens engineered for optical excellence to help Z series users achieve unrivaled power, exceptional sharpness and show-stopping bokeh.
“This is an exciting time for Nikon lens technology as we lead the way in providing the most incredible optics available today,” said Jay Vannatter, Executive Vice President, Nikon Inc. “The highly anticipated NIKKOR Z 14-24mm f/2.8 and the powerful NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.2 lenses demonstrate the incredible innovation behind the Z series and the limitless possibilities of what our engineers are capable of achieving.”
NIKKOR Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S: Broaden Your Horizons with the Essential Ultra-Wide Angle Zoom Lens
The much anticipated NIKKOR Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S is the shortest and lightest full-frame zoom lens of its kind, offering unique user benefits and incredible rendering capabilities across the wide zoom range. Joining the previously announced NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S and NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S lenses, this lens completes the trinity of coveted fast aperture Z series zooms. The 14-24mm is a versatile lens that proves the optical superiority of the Nikon Z mount, producing excellent edge-to-edge sharpness, minimal distortion and exceptional photo and video capabilities for creators. The new optical design allows for a significantly shorter lens that is nearly 35 percent lighter than its predecessor, the popular AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8, making this lightweight lens ideal for a trek into the field. Meanwhile, its wide-angle zoom range offers video content creators a new option for capturing tack-sharp establishing shots, interiors or POV angles.
The NIKKOR Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S lens is engineered to deliver unrivaled optical excellence and maximum usability. This thoroughly modernized lens design features a nearly flat front lens element, which allows the attachment of a threaded filter to the included additional lens hood (HB-97). This design provides users the ability to attach a Neutral density (ND) filter, as well as the new Neutral Color NC Filter 112mm or Circular Polarizing Filter II 112mm3, while a rear filter holder also accepts a trimmable filter gel. With the option to easily use multiple filter types, users can capture epic landscapes with greater versatility and flexibility in more lighting conditions than ever before. An excellent choice for photographing stunning night-time views, the 14-24mm lens delivers amazing low-light performance with a constant f/2.8 aperture and stellar point light reproduction capabilities that suppress sagittal coma and flare for tack-sharp stars and city lights.
The NIKKOR Z 14-24mm combines a robust design and reliable performance with custom controls, including a customizable one-touch shortcut button, EL Display panel and custom control ring, making controls and settings convenient and accessible. The optical formula includes four ED lens elements, helping to control chromatic aberrations, and capture fine details, including colors and lines, with consistent accuracy – a true benefit to those shooting interiors and architecture. Additionally, flare, ghosting and coma are suppressed, even with harsh backlight, thanks to the lens’ Nano Crystal Coat (N) and anti-reflective ARNEO Coat, while its robust fluorine coating and extensive weather sealing allow Nikon Z series users to shoot confidently in rugged and unpredictable environments. As an added benefit to videographers, the lens also features an electro-magnetic diaphragm, to help maintain smooth exposures as light changes.
NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.2 S: Immense Details. Exceptional Sharpness.
The new NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.2 S is Nikon’s fastest and most optically impressive AF prime lens yet, effortlessly balancing the combination of intense sharpness and dreamy bokeh. For pro-level creators that need powerful performance and versatility, the 50mm f/1.2 delivers a standard focal length with unrivaled sharpness, speed, and life-like clarity. With a bright f/1.2 aperture and premium S-Line engineering, the NIKKOR Z 50mm lens is the definitive and versatile prime for a range of photography styles including portraiture, street photography, landscapes, nightscapes and more.
The NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.2 S lens effortlessly achieves a soft and enchanting bokeh, with a circular background blur that is smooth and gradual when focusing for a natural “fall-off”. The bright f/1.2 aperture affords a dramatically shallow depth of field with beautiful subject isolation for stunning portraiture, while it also offers exceptional low-light performance. Maximizing the capabilities of Z series’ technology, the 50mm f/1.2 lens adopts stepping motors (STM) as well as a multi-focusing system4, enabling multiple lens elements to focus simultaneously for fast and precise autofocusing, even when shooting close-up or wide open. Furthermore, the lens’ ability to maintain stable exposure in changing lighting conditions, combined with its quiet operation and minimal focus breathing, establishes the lens as an appealing tool for video creators.
The NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.2 S lens tells a story of balance in design and functionality, seamlessly harmonizing intense resolution and velvety bokeh. The symmetrical optical design prevents light from being bent or distorted as it passes through the lens, meaning the purest, sharpest image reaches the camera sensor without any added distortion or aberration for true edge-to-edge sharpness. This innovative lens design also includes three aspherical elements to help virtually eliminate distortion, for superior resolution, point light reproduction and superb three-dimensional clarity. Designed for pro-level reliability, the NIKKOR Z 50mm is a superbly balanced lens constructed with robust weather sealing, a customizable control ring and shortcut button, as well as an EL Display panel to enhance workflow. Meanwhile, the lens is engineered with Nikon’s Nano Crystal and ARNEO Coating to minimize flare, ghosting and coma, allowing Z series users to confidently shoot in a variety of lighting scenarios, including harsh backlighting, to capture any scene with incredible sharpness and clarity.
Pricing and Availability
The NIKKOR Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S lens will be available in November 2020 for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $2,399.95*, while the NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.2 S lens will be available in December 2020 for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $2,099.95*. For more information on the latest Nikon products, including the new NIKKOR Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S and NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.2 S lenses and the full Nikon Z series, please visit www.nikonusa.com.
Sony has just announced the new Sony A7c. It’s basically a Sony A7III with a flippy screen and $200 discount. Not enough to make me excited about this. If the camera would have been priced at $1399 this would have been a killer!
The only review to watch is the one from Gerals Undone I posted at the bottom:
CineD interviewed Katsuyuki Nagai-san from Canon. I am only posting the one part when Canon answers to the EOS-R5 “fake” overheating limitation accusation:
Johnnie – CineD: To some people, it seemed as if Canon was trying to protect their professional EOS camera line by restricting recording times. That might have caused some trust issues between potential customers and the company. Is there anything you would like to highlight in order to reassure people that whatever was done, was not intentional but to technically protect the camera?
Katsuyuki Nagai-san – Canon: This is an accusation we’ve seen before which belongs on the conspiracy theory pile. It is simply not a sensible business idea as users are more likely to switch to competitor systems than buy a much more expensive camera to get a certain feature.
There are factors that govern what a camera can and cannot do, the primary of which is the components used based on the cost of the camera. Making a camera that can do everything would require higher resolution viewfinders, bigger buffers, faster processors to handle the data, faster card buses to write to cards etc, all components which typically cost more.
It is important that we evaluate the primary customer for each product and decide what features would be required by that typical user. We do not ‘cripple’ our cameras, our aim is always to focus the product better to the typical user.
I usually don’t believe in any conspiracy theories. But in that case I am not 100% convinced about Canon’s answer…
JIP director Shinichi Inagaki has been interviewed by Toyokeizai. He laid out the strategy he has in mind with the Olympus digital camera business
JIP will not sell :
They said there have been no cases of bankruptcy in their past 30 investments. They are confident they can regenerate the business and definitely do NOT plan to sell the business to the best bidders. The hope is to achieve a profitability in the first year. After that, instead of selling it to external companies, they will search for a way to revive it under JIP company.
This self-confidence is underpinned by the success of the PC “VAIO” business. It returned to profitability in the fiscal year ended May 2016, and has continued to increase profits every fiscal year. EMS (manufacturing outsourcing) business for robots has also started, and the core of the business is increasing.
JIP will maintain Olympus brand and not withdraw from overseas markets:
The Olympus brand will be maintained for the time being, and the maintenance of the sold products will be continued. Unlike the “VAIO”, there is no plan to withdraw from the overseas market, and they will continue to sell overseas such as in Europe, which is their “main market”. They also plan to keep using the new fab in Vietnam.
JIP plan to regenerate the MFT business:
Key to success is “focusing on unique features and technologies. They plan to shift from consumer-oriented market to the business-oriented market where “its features can be maximized”. JIP also plans to focus on the “video business” which so far Olympus hasn’t really focused on: “we are considering various markets such as consumer products specialized for video and business such as surveillance cameras”
The issue with human resources:
It has not been decided whether all human resources in the video business will move to the new company. JIP is negotiating with Olympus to acquire talent along with acquisition
My guts tell me this aint’ goign to work out well for MFT customers :(