Equipment: Sony and Konica-Minolta to collaborate on DSLRs

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Hot off the newswires, Sony and Konica-Minolta are collaborating on future generations of digital SLR cameras (DSLRs) built around the Maxxum/Dynax/alpha lens mount. This bodes well for the future longevity of this lens mount. The recently released Maxxum/alpha 5D camera is getting rave reviews, along with its more professional older sister, the 7D.

Here's the full press release:

Konica Minolta and Sony Agree to Jointly Develop Digital SLR Cameras

Tokyo (July 19, 2005) Konica Minolta Photo Imaging, Inc. and Sony Corporation have reached an agreement to jointly develop digital Single Lens Reflex (SLR) cameras. Taking full advantages of their respective imaging technologies and key devices, the two companies will develop and commercialize new digital SLR cameras based on and compatible to Maxxum/Dynax lens mount system.*1

Konica Minolta has superb autofocus auto-exposure technologies nourished through development of Maxxum/Dynax series from the age of film cameras, mechanical electronics technologies indispensable for SLR cameras, and sixteen million units of lens shipped worldwide. In addition, Konica Minolta has enthusiastically innovated cutting edge features, such as, for the first time, incorporating a CCD shift-type body-integral Anti-Shake technology for the Camera Grand Prix awarding α-7 DIGITAL. *2î

Sony has numerous technologies and devices essential for digital imaging equipment, such as CCD and CMOS imaging sensors, image processing technologies and lithium ion batteries. Moreover, Sonyís strength in product planning, total design and high-density mounting have created a series of breakthrough compact and light digital imaging products. With products such as ìHandycamî video cameras, and ìCyber-shotî digital still cameras, Sony has greatly contributed to expanding the digital imaging market.

Both companies, utilizing respective unique technologies, will begin joint development of advanced and feature-rich digital SLR cameras. According to recent CIPA (Camera & Imaging Products Association) data, the digital SLR camera market reached 2.5 million units in 2004.Konica Minolta and Sony expect the market to further expand to 3.6 million units in 2005. Both companies see great opportunities and will aggressively promote their businesses in this growing market.

Konica Minoltaís original lens mount system to connect camera body and lens adopted in its ìMaxxum/Dynax seriesî SLR cameras.
ìα-7 DIGITAL is marketed as ìMaxxum 7Dî in North America and ìDynax 7Dî in other regions.

ìSony has powerful devices and technologies essential for digital cameras,î said Tsuyoshi Miyachi, President and Chief Executive Officer of Konica Minolta Photo Imaging, Inc. ìI am extremely excited to work with Sony. Together with Sony, we will endeavor to create new value in the field of imaging through increasing attractiveness of digital SLR cameras where we are strongly focused.î

ìWe are excited to co-develop new products with Konica Minoltaís advanced camera technologies represented by its ìMaxxum/Dynax seriesî and our digital audio visual technologies,î said Yutaka Nakagawa, Sonyís Executive Vice President and Personal Audio Visual Network Company NC President. ìSony will further strengthen its digital imaging business through creating new market opportunities with the digital SLR camera field.î

Many people know that Nikon uses Sony CCD sensors in its camera line. With Konica-Minolta promising to use them as well, this represents an interesting twist in the competition with Canon, who uses its own CMOS-based chips. Sony doesn't have a full-frame chip which has limited Nikon tremendously, with the extra cash infusion from K-M, who knows what will happen?

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Karen Nakamura published on July 20, 2005 9:59 AM.

Equipment: Cameras I desire... was the previous entry in this blog.

News: Kodak to cut 10,000 jobs, in deep red ink is the next entry in this blog.

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