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Frequent Contributor
Posts: 75
Registered: ‎11-15-2012

Why can't Canon produce a competitive full frame sensor?

Does anyone have an idea why Canon cannot produce a competitive full frame sensor? Seriously. It has been five and a half years since the Nikon D800 was introduced and over six years since the Sony A7R was introduced and Canon has yet to produce a camera that is competitive with either. Forget about the Nikon D850 and the Sony A7R III. I am sure I will not live long enough to see Canon produce a full frame camera that competes with Nikon's or Sony's current models.

 

 

I can see three possible problems.

1) Lack of engineering talent. (This seems unlikely.)

2) Unwillingness to license the IP they need from Sony.

3) Inability to manufacture a competitive sensor.

 

While 2 is possible it does not make sense to me. Canon states publicly that they manufacture their own sensors using their own foundry equipment. Why Canon promotes this is beyond me since it is a feature with no benefit whatever. No one cares who manufactures Canon's sensors. Customers only care about the sensor's performance. However, I suspose 3 is possible that someone inside Canon is opposed to using and outside foundry, as Nikon did with the D850 sensor, and this is inhibiting Canon's ability to compete.

 

I would really like to know exactly what is preventing Canon from producing a competitive sensor because I am so frustrated that I am beginning to dream about some way to justify the enormous cost of jumping from Canon to Nikon. Any thoughts?

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,635
Registered: ‎02-17-2016

Re: Why can't Canon produce a competitive full frame sensor?

How many more Canon's are sold than Sony? Sounds competitive to me.

 

Competitive != absolute best performance.

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 75
Registered: ‎11-15-2012

Re: Why can't Canon produce a competitive full frame sensor?

By competitive full frame sensor I mean a full frame sensor with equal resolution, equal noise characteristics at ISO 800 and above and equal dynamic range.

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 75
Registered: ‎11-15-2012

Re: Why can't Canon produce a competitive full frame sensor?

KV, I assume your reply was intended as humorous although my question was not. But in case you were not trying to be funny consider that:

 

1) Canon's market share is declining steadily although slowly while Sony's is rising and

2) Market share changes reflect product superiority very very slowly due to the inertia cause by investment in glass.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,596
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: Why can't Canon produce a competitive full frame sensor?


Bazsl wrote:

KV, I assume your reply was intended as humorous although my question was not. But in case you were not trying to be funny consider that:

 

1) Canon's market share is declining steadily although slowly while Sony's is rising and

2) Market share changes reflect product superiority very very slowly due to the inertia cause by investment in glass.


1) You are comparing apples and oranges. Sony's market share depends on its perceived lead in mirrorless technology, not on the quality of its sensors.

 

2) It seems to me that virtually every professional photographer I see, either in person or on television, is using Canon equipment. (And yes, Canon's highly regarded lens lineup undoubtedly contributes to the popularity of their equipment.) If Canon is losing market share, then I congratulate you, because your eyesight must be a lot better than mine.

Bob
Boston, Massachusetts USA
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Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,853
Registered: ‎12-02-2012

Re: Why can't Canon produce a competitive full frame sensor?

[ Edited ]

It would be suicide for Canon to stop making its own sensors.  If they stop developing new sensors they fall very quickly so far behind in new patents and manufacturing ability to the point that they can never catch back up.  

 

And if they then make themselves utterly reliant on their competitor Sony for sensors like the hapless Nikon has done, then Sony will have taken over the top two camera makers without ever having outsold them.  Then once it is clear it is too late and their competitors have atrophied so far they are hollowed out shells that no longer have the ability to build cameras, Sony starts selling NIkon and Canon sensors more and more inferior to the ones Sony uses in its own bodies, and then maybe stops selling them sensors altogether.  

 

Nikon is circling the bowl.  If you want to dive onto their log before it disappears under the surface go right ahead.  The Extra half stop of DR will come in handy when you plunge down the dark drain. 

Scott

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?
Honored Contributor
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Why can't Canon produce a competitive full frame sensor?

“I would really like to know exactly what is preventing Canon from producing a competitive sensor because I am so frustrated that I am beginning to dream about some way to justify the enormous cost of jumping from Canon to Nikon. Any thoughts?” 

What exactly do you think is wrong with Canon sensors?  The combination of a Canon camera and a Canon lens produce impressive photographs, much better looking photographs than Sony at the same resolution.  

 

I would rather have more accurate color reproduction, and better contrast, than the higher MP specifications.  Sony sensors cannot compete with the color accuracy that you get with Canon camera/lens combinations.  If it were not for Canon lenses, hardly anyone would be buying Sony gear.

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VIP
Posts: 9,828
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Why can't Canon produce a competitive full frame sensor?

 

 

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV, along with, a lot of other stuff.
VIP
Posts: 9,828
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Why can't Canon produce a competitive full frame sensor?

You do realize Canon is planning to supply Canon-made sensors to other companies for the first time.  Your next brand-N might have a Canon sensor?!?!?

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV, along with, a lot of other stuff.
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,596
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: Why can't Canon produce a competitive full frame sensor?


ebiggs1 wrote:

You do realize Canon is planning to supply Canon-made sensors to other companies for the first time.  Your next brand-N might have a Canon sensor?!?!?


It's hard to imagine Nikon being willing to buy sensors from Canon. You don't suppose there's a new Chinese or Korean (or even Russian) company planning to jump in?

Bob
Boston, Massachusetts USA
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