Sony Sensor Hegemony: Sony about to aquire Toshiba sensor business (Toshiba makes 2/3 sensors for Fuji)

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According to Reuters, Sony will have one less competitor in future, since they are about to purchase Toshiba’s sensor business for $165 million! Currently Toshiba manufactures the 2/3 sensors of the X30 and XQ2 for Fujifilm.

Obviously, less competition is not a good thing for us customers.

Regarding camera sensors, Sony’s main two competitors left are Canon and Samsung. The first is developing a 250MP APS-H sensor (source – CanonWatch), the latter will kill the NX camera line (Samsung NX1), which, in my opinion, was the most exciting product shown at the last photokina , and not only because of its great 28MP sensor (source – mirrorlessrumors).

The growing sensor hegemony of Sony (who recently split up its sensor division into a separate company) is one more reason to hope that the almost mythological Organic Sensor developed by Panasonic & Fuji (partnership announcement back on June 2013) will see the light of the day as soon as possible. However, if we can trust latest rumors shared at 43rumors here, it will still take 2 or 3 years before it will be ready. As rumored here, too much battery drain and heat generation could be one of the problems Fuji and Panasonic have to sort out.

have a GREAT weekend,
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  • Eva

    If Sony is going to buy Toshiba, I wonder what is going to happen with the development of the organic sensor as Fujifilm is heavily involved in this development.

  • umad?!

    This would be bad. Right now Nikon is putting some pressure on Sony, by producing some of it’s sensors (D7200) with Toshiba. Maybe an upscaled version would work in the D810 successor (the 42MP Sony sensor would not really be an upgrade).

    This would give Sony an monopole, which never is good for customers

  • Adzman808

    Hi Patrick,

    Any reason you completely pulled the X-Pro2 story, the one with the photo that showed the XP2 box?

    • Michael

      Yes, I was about to ask the same question.
      Where did you hide the xpro2 packaging story Patrick – and why?
      Did Fuji threaten to sue you :-)?

    • Stuttering_Stanley

      Yes, why has this been removed?

    • Patrick

      It has been requested.

      • luke_j__

        Out of interest; aren’t supposed to be an independent and anonymous journalist Patrick? I wonder why you would heed such a request if this is the case :/

        • Patrick

          trust me, everyone would have taken it off. I’m 100% sure of that.

          This has nothing to do with independency.

          • VM

            With respect, “trust me” doesn’t suffice on matters like this. If the post is gone, no problem, but if you want to keep readers’ *trust*, you owe them a brief explanation – who requested it be taken down and why.

          • Patrick

            My sources are my boss. I’ll always do what they ask me to do.

          • Patrick

            I’m standing between a choice: give you a clear explanation about what happened, or protecting 100% my sources by not disclosing anything.

            If you’d write on a rumor site, what would you do?

          • VM

            I’m sure there’s a way to express it without affecting your source but still giving more information than ‘you were asked to take it off’. Please try if possible; I know we’d all appreciate it.

          • Lumen

            Guess: I don’t think the source is that reliable at all. He couldn’t oversee his actions.

          • Michael

            With all respect to you and your work Patrick, you could at least have written a message that you had to take the story down to protect your sources.
            That would have been sufficient.
            But keeping your readers out of the light is not the very kind.

          • Patrick

            I didn’t take it down to protect my sources

          • Stuttering_Stanley

            But you’re not allowed to tell us why you’ve taken it down? Just wondering.

          • Patrick

            I’m standing between a choice: give you a clear explanation about what happened, or protecting 100% my sources by not disclosing anything.

            In my position, what would you do?

          • Jano

            So you were offered one of those boxes including its contents in exchange for removing the story, right? ;-)

            Tell us, Patrick, how do you like the X-Pro2 so far?

            Seriously, though, it’s strange to just remove a story completely without any comment. Some of us guessed right away that the image would be a danger to your source. Seems like we were right.

          • Patrick

            I didn’t take it down to protect my source

          • Jano

            Then what do your responses to Stuttering_Stanley and VM mean? Didn’t you write exactly that?

            I’m having a hard time coming up with a good reason other than protecting your sources. Weird story with this image.

          • Patrick

            There is no danger at all for the source as of now. But of course, sharing more details about the leak could change this. That’s why I won’t say more. I want to protect it 100%.

            I’m really sorry guys. I can understand your situation. It must look weird seen from outside. In fact I don’t feel comfortable too in this situation. But there are priorities, and my sources come first.

  • As far as I know Samsung will continue producing sensors, even if they stop selling cameras.
    But yes, it’s not a very good piece of news…

  • SonyRules

    Though Fuji is almost ready with its Organic Sensor in 2-3 years…oopss maybe 20 years LOL

  • This is good news, for whenever one company starts to dominate the marketplace due to lack of competitors, it leads to a lowering of quality, which in turn leads to new start-up competitors who innovate new products.

  • Philipp Kämpfer

    I don’t get your point…Fujifilm is involved with Panasonic, not Toshiba…

  • Mr_Electability

    The death of Samsung seems to be somewhat exaggerated: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3916029

    Too bad for Toshiba, though. How’s Panasonic doing?

    • Patrick

      the rumors says they will kill the NX line, not the entire camera business

    • Agachart Sukchouy

      join leica T mount.
      They provide all leica image sensor.

  • I like Toshiba where it was, doing sensors for Nikon, Fuji, etc. They had pretty good sensors, just as good as Sony’s, in some aspects Toshiba’s APS-C 24MP was better than Sony’s 24MP. I would had prefered them to be part so there is more competition, we’ll see.

  • Kinson Cheng

    $165 mil only? That’s spare change for Sony.

    • Philipp Kämpfer

      Was the Toshiba sensor business bancrupt or is the takeover less dramatic in its effect than presented here? $165 mil seem to be “peanuts” indeed…

  • howitzerr

    Canon VS Fuji/Panasonic VS Sony

    3 giants makes good fights im not worried

    • BrianSmiths

      Fuji/Panasonic lol! Make it Canon vs Sony. ;)

  • Agachart Sukchouy

    Many image sensor factory for Panasonic come from China,don’t worry
    but fuji will join manufacturing with Pany,Fuji will get new sensor and don’t wait for Sony sensor.

  • pl capeli

    the more separate sensor makers there are ,…the more innovation and pressure for advancement in sensor tech there is ….. advancement in noise control high iso ability , sensor readout , and dynamic range. and image fidelity . im saddened by this

    ..i cannot understand the low price 165 mill is nothing …a single fab costs about 8 times that

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