The Japanese website BCNranking just published the digital system camera sales share from January 01 to December 12. As you can see three Sony cameras made it into the top 20. Not bad at all if you consider that the NEX-5/3 cameras were announced mid-2010 and the Sony A55 was in Stock starting by September only. Sonys overall marketshare is close to 20% (on third place behind Nikon and Canon). Definitely a positive year for Sony and let’s hope 2011 will be even better!
Sony has the plan to double its image sensor production! That’s why they will invest $1.2B in the next financial year to convert a plant in Nagasaki for the production of CMOS sensors. After that the total production of CCD and CMOS sensors will increase to 50,000 300mm wafers a month by March 2012. Hey Sony, what will you do with all that CMOS sensors? Are those meant for the new NEX-7, A77, A750, A950 we were long waiting for?
And here is the official Sony press release:
“Sony Corporation (“Sony”) today announced that Sony plans to invest approximately 100 billion yen in Sony Semiconductor Kyushu Corporation’s Nagasaki Technology Center (“Nagasaki TEC”) in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2012, to increase the production capacity for CMOS image sensors.
This investment plan includes (i) the transfer of the semiconductor fabrication facilities from Toshiba Corporation (“Toshiba”) contemplated under a non-binding memorandum of understanding between Sony and Toshiba jointly announced on December 24, 2010, (ii) refurbishment of a part of the above semiconductor fabrication facilities into new wafer lines capable of manufacturing CMOS image sensors, and (iii) refurbishment and equipment of a part of production facilities at Nagasaki TEC Building 3 for wafer processing to differentiate Sony’s CMOS image sensors with Sony’s independently developed unique technologies. Through the investment plan, Sony will utilize a governmental subsidy to be provided by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in Japan – the “subsidy for programs to promote siting low-carbon job-creating industries” – mainly in connection with the investment mentioned in (iii) above.“
Image courtesy: Photozone
There is a new Sony lens review at Photozone. They had the good idea to review the Sony 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 SAM DT lens which is probably one of the most used lenses. SO how does it perform? Photozone: “Optically there’s really little to complain about – the lens is very sharp throughout the zoom range and the subjective sharpness perception benefits from quite low lateral CAs (color shadows). There’s a bit of a focus shift issue at the wide end so it’s a good idea to double check your images in shallow depth-of-field situations here.” Click here to read the full test.
I am really proud to give you that news! Our reader Shaadi Faris won the first price of the Sony nature photo challenge! You can see the picture on Flickr (Click here). And the third place goes also to a SonyAlphaRumors reader…Griveous 247 (Click here to see that picture on Flickr). My compliments for both of you!!! Really stunning pictures!
Reminder: You are still in time to participate the next contest with the theme “Travel”. Click that flickr link and tag every photo with “SonyPhotoChallenge” and “SonyAlphaRumors“. Why should you add the SonyAlphaRumors tag? Sony said the blogger that sends more people/pictures will be invited as special guest at the Sony World Photography Awards Ceremony on the 27th April 2011. And you won’t disappoint me or not? I want to be there!!!
So here we are back at SAR! Christmas party is over and I hope you had a nice time with your family!
Ther first after-xmas news is coming via Cameralabs which tested the Sony A580. As you know the Sony A580 shares the same Sony 16 Megapixel sensor featured inside the Nikon D7000 (although Nikon says they designed the sensor). Camerlabs made a very accurate comparison: “The Nikon D7000 metered a slightly longer exposure by default, so we applied -0.3EV of compensation to match the exposure of the Sony. So the D7000 sequence below also starts at 100 ISO with a exposure of 1 second at f8“. The Nikon has a slightly advantage at 12.800 ISO but “despite a minor advantage to the Nikon at the very highest sensitivities, we’d rank the Sony A580 and Nikon D7000 pretty much neck-in-neck here”
Now let’s compare the price:
$1,199.95 for the D7000 and $799.99 for the A580.
Although there are some differences between the two cameras (ergonomics, handling and so on) to me the Sony A580 looks like a real winner. The future A77 (and A750?) will play in the same Nikon D7000 price league and probably easily bit the High-ISO performance of the Nikon. So please Sony, release the A77 as soon as possible