(CW2) Canon/Sony Patent Exchange to Produce Canon’s High Resolution Sensor?

Canon RumorCanon Rumor

I have been told (thanks) that Sony will indeed produce Canon’s upcoming high resolution sensor. The source presents this as a joint venture and patent exchange between Canon and Sony.

In other words, and according to the source, Canon and Sony will agree on a patent exchange to produce a 53MP sensor for Canon’s upcoming high resolution DSLRs. This sensor would keep the Exmor technology, and feature Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF. The best of both worlds someone may say. Sony would still sell sensors to Nikon, but without the Dual Pixel AF (it is for sure not a problem for Sony to mass-produce slightly different lines of sensors).

Interesting rumor. All in all such a scenario is possible, since it would be of advantage for both companies. Canon already used a Sony sensor on the Powershot G7 X. And there have been rumors that Canon may sport a Sony sensor in future high-end DSLRs. Finally, Canon themselves stated in an interview that they will “select the best sensor, whoever the manufacturer is” (see the interview here).

What do you think? Let me know in the comment section…

About our rumor rating:

  • CW1 – probably fake rumor, not reliable
  • CW2 – rumor from an unknown/new source, but otherwise at least a plausible rumor
  • CW3 – a 50% chance to be real, coming from a known source, or from new source with good insight in Canon’s business
  • CW4 – rumor from a known source that was right in the past
  • CW5 – as good as certain to be true
  • Stewart Shields

    CR has a thread on this too this morning.This makes sense. Seemed a bit too convenient that both companies have been rumored to unveil a 50MP sensor at the same time…

  • Nick

    Definitely feasible. Most people tend to forget that Sony Semiconductor and Sony Camera are two completely independent companies operating underneath the Sony brand. The Sony Camera division is not even Sony Semiconductors largest customer. Sony Semiconductor is more than happy to fab a custom sensor for any customer, including Nikon or Canon.

    • EarlFargis

      Yet in an interview Sony did say they plan to get cute in their future distribution of sensors. Some they will keep exclusively for themselves. Some they will delay sharing with the competition. Some they will freely offer.

      • Nick

        And yet other sensors are jointly designed with the competitor and go to the competitor first. Just take a look at all of the Sony sensors in Nikon cameras for example. The sensors almost always show up in the Nikon camera before appearing in a comparable Sony camera.

        Canon could be simply using Sony as a contract manufacturer to build sensors of Canon’s own design.

  • Paul

    finally the japanese companies have understood. Cooperation is very important. The rivalry has to go. Each company has to go back to KAIZEN!
    And it makes perfect sense. Any manufacturer can what they want from the sensor, witch its firmware, great.

    • ShotPower

      Not sure where you’re coming from. Japanese companies understand this much better than American. Hence, their domination of the market. Where’s Kodak?

  • man

    Canon also using Sony 1″ sensor on G7x.

  • chris jankowski

    This is all about semiconductor fabrication economics. Canon no longer has the volume of production to justify the cost of an upgrde to their fab. Sony Semiconductor does, due to gigantic volume of sensors maufactured by them for third-party for mobile phone built-in cameras. And of course, another customer won’t hurt, as it will give them additional volume.

    This is the same trend that had already completed its course in manufacturing of processors, memory and flash. I each of these categories there are 2 to 3 viable vendors left. It would be a single vendor per category, but customers won’t allow to be held to ransom by a single vendor.