A week ago we shared a photo showing Nikon’s factory in Thailand submerged due to the catastrophic flooding happening there. The latest news is that both Nikon and Sony have had their camera factories severely damaged, which may have cause delays of at least 1-2 months. 90% of Nikon’s SLR cameras — the low to mid-range ones — are produced at the company’s Thailand plant, while 100% of Sony DSLRs are made at its now-damaged factory.
Nikon was expected to announce a new DSLR by the end of this year, but it seems like that may be postponed indefinitely at this point. Sony’s new NEX-7 and A65 cameras have been pulled from Amazon due to “manufacturing concerns”.
You might have heard about Leica’s legendary manufacturing quality, but have you seen it? The company released this promotional video a couple days ago providing a behind-the-scenes peek into its production facilities.
Fujifilm recently put out this infomercial showing the company’s efforts to restore production capabilities after having their manufacturing plant damaged by the disastrous earthquake and tsunami back in March. We get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what the manufacturing plant looks like, and the assembly line that puts the X100 together.
Here’s a short documentary film directed by Oskar Barnack (father of 35mm photography and inventor of the Leica camera) showing the workings of the factory where the first Leica cameras were made. The film includes footage showing the assembly of the Leica 1, produced between 1925 and 1932.
Here’s interesting behind-the-scenes video shot at a Leica factory that gives you an intimate look into how $7,000 Leica M9 digital rangefinder is assembled. Each of the cameras receives a lot of tender loving care. Read more…
An interesting story that popped up a couple days ago is that Sony is planning to outsource some of their CMOS sensor production to Fujitsu in an attempt to reduce production costs. Sony is currently the 6th largest maker of CMOS sensors, with an output of 16,000 sensors a month. Fujitsu will be taking some of the load off Sony’s hands, producing “several thousand” per month. Finalizing the sensors requires proprietary technology, and will still be done behind closed doors in Sony’s facilities.
This is an interesting development that is relevant not just to Sony digital camera users, but possibly to Nikon camera owners as well. Nikon has had a long history of designing their own sensors but having Sony manufacture them. The origins of current Nikon DSLR sensors is an oft-discussed topic in online forums, through Nikon has officially confirmed their use of Sony sensors in the past (e.g. the D3X).
Here’s an interesting behind the scenes video that shows the creation of a Canon 500mm f/4.0L IS lens. It’s a neat look at the guts of glass, and an opportunity to see how exactly the various components of a lens are created and put together.
You get to see the entire process, starting with raw materials and ending with the finished, $6,000 lens.
Seeing how fine-tuned many of the steps in the process have to be, it’s no wonder these lenses can end up costing as much as a car.