Canon’s president Tsuneji Uchida announced today that he will be stepping down to pave way for a younger management team as the company fell short of expectations for the second straight year. Canon’s stock price dropped 19% last year while Nikon’s grew 4%. The total number of Canon cameras sold dropped 4% last year, likely a result of both a shift away from consumer cameras and the shortages caused by Japan’s earthquake and Thailand’s flooding. However, DSLR sales are going strong:
Although Canon was affected by supply shortages caused by the quake and flooding, efforts to ramp up production and boost sales in response to robust demand resulted in significant increases in year-on-year sales volumes for such digital cameras as the competitively priced EOS Digital Rebel T3i/T2i/T3, along with the EOS 5D Mark II and the new EOS 60D advanced-amateur models.
Another big story in the camera world this past week was the passing of Sigma founder Michihiro Yamaki, who started the company in 1961 at the age of 27 by developing the first rear lens converter. He went on to lead the company for over 50 years, turning it into the largest third-party lens maker in the world. Yamaki passed away on January 18 at the age of 78 after a battle with liver cancer.
(via Amateur Photographer and PopPhoto)
Image credit: Broken filter! by -AX- … off until may!
There’s some shady business going on at CES 2012 in Vegas. Sigma has announced that one of the lenses it unveiled at the trade show this year, the 180mm f/2.8 macro lens, disappeared after being unveiled on Tuesday. The lens is believed to be one of only two pre-production models that exist.
(via Amateur Photographer)
Image credit: Classic Bond with Gadget Briefcase by Dunechaser
Want a wooden DSLR? If you have extremely deep pockets, nows your chance: Sigma has announced a special wood edition of its high-end SD1 DSLR, which ordinarily sells for $9,700. dpreview writes,
The ‘Wood Edition’ emphasizes the camera’s premium appeal by adding a casing made from Amboyna Burl, an expensive and decorative veneer taken from complex growths on a Southeast Asian tree. The case takes around 60 hours to cut, mill and polish.
Only ten of these cameras will be made, with each one priced at €9,999 (~$13,800).
Of all the camera lenses offered on Amazon, the $26,000 35-pound giant green Sigma 200-500mm f/2.8 probably has the funniest customer reviews and images.
Apparently Sigma was aiming for a much lower price when developing the SD1 DSLR, but was forced to price it high after putting in whole bunch of “great stuff”. The company’s Chief Operating Officer Kazuto Yamaki is responding to user complaints on Twitter with some apologetic Tweets, saying the company had missed the price range that they had originally targeted. Perhaps the SD1 wasn’t designed as a halo product after all…
(via 1001 Noisy Cameras)
Sigma generated a lot of buzz recently after announcing its SD1 DSLR with a $9,700 MSRP, and that’s probably exactly what they were trying to do. As articles all over the Internet questioned why a 14.7MP Sigma DSLR would cost the same price as Pentax’s 40MP medium-format DSLR, Sigma was quick to point out that the camera would actually be selling for a slightly more reasonable street price of $6,900.
Things aren’t going very well for Sigma these days — just days after the world balked at the $9,700 price tag it’s attaching to the upcoming SD1 DSLR, Nikon is announcing that it’s suing Sigma for $150 million over the vibration reduction technology found in Sigma DSLR lenses. Furthermore, it’s demanding that Sigma put a halt to the manufacturing and sale of lenses that infringe on the VR patents, which might be a large number of OS (Optical Stabilization) lenses.
(via Nikon Rumors)
Image credit: Fighting Topis by Stuart Barr
Sigma announced today that its flagship SD1 DSLR will be available starting in June 2011 with a hefty price tag of $9,700. The unique thing about the camera compared to its competitors is the 15MP Foveon sensor that uses 3 stacked sensors, giving each photo 46 million pixels of color data — this supposedly helps provide sharper pictures, truer colors, and fewer artifacts compared to traditional sensors (but also means 45MB Raw files). The camera will shoot at 5fps, use 11 autofocus points, and have a 3-inch LCD screen.
Sigma is reportedly targeting existing medium format shooters with this camera, but the sensor had better be out of this world to justify shelling out nearly 10K on a 1.5x crop factor 15MP DSLR, since photographers can pick up the 40-megapixel medium-format Pentax 645D for the same price.
Update: Sigma has released a number of sample photos here. Be patient with the site though — it seems to be under a heavy load.
Sigma isn’t planning to let EVIL cameras have all the large-sensor fun. They’ve decided to stuff their new DP2x compact camera with a Foveon X3 sensor — similar to the ones found in the Sigma SD15 and SD1 DSLR cameras (about 12 times larger than traditional compact camera sensors). The camera is capable of capturing 14 megapixels worth of data with its stack of three sensors, generating 4.7 megapixel photographs. It also shoots RAW, lacks HD recording (video clips are a paltry 320×240), has a non-zoomable 24.2mm f/2.8 lens, has ISO 100 to 3200, and has a 2.5-inch LCD screen. The company has yet to announce how big of a hole the DP2x will chew in our wallets, or when it’ll be available.
Apparently Sigma worked so hard on ensuring image and build quality on its new flagship SD1 DSLR that they forgot that overlooked the fact that video recording is pretty much a standard feature on new DSLRs these days. We forgive them, because they’ve included a 46-megapixel Foveon sensor that uses 3 stacked sensors of 15.3 megapixels each to capture red, green, and blue light. The resulting images are 15.3 megapixels in size with color resolution that’s superior to traditional sensors.
The camera also has a rugged magnesium alloy build, a 3-inch LCD screen, 11 autofocus points, 98 percent and viewfinder coverage. It’ll arrive in February next year at a price that has yet to be announced. If you’re looking for a rugged DSLR and don’t care about things like Live View or video recording, then you might want to add the SD1 to your list.