Friday, October 30, 2015

Who Might Buy Sigma's Foveon Technology?

In yesterday's post about Canon's upcoming 120 megapixel DSLR, which is rumored to have a multi layer sensor similar to Sigma's Foveon sensors, I said that it could potentially be the end of Sigma's camera brand. I also suggested that if Canon's camera is commercially successful, it could mean that Sigma's will try and sell their Foveon technology to someone else.

I was asked who I thought might be interested in purchasing the Foveon sensor technology if Sigma put it on the market. There are several companies that come to my mind.
On A Brighter Day - Tehachapi, California
Captured using a Foveon sensor in a Sigma DP2 Merrill camera.
Sony would be an obvious buyer. Sony manufacturers more digital camera sensors than anyone, and if Canon's upcoming camera puts a small dent in sensor sales, and if Sony isn't already developing a multi layer sensor, they might just see an opportunity here. If Nikon, who (for the most part) uses Sony made sensors in their cameras, see's a dip in their camera sales because of Canon's camera, they might ask Sony to make a multi layer sensor for them. Besides, this wouldn't be the first sensor business that Sony has purchased.

Fuji is another possible landing spot for the technology. Sigma has done a remarkable job with the Foveon sensor all things considered, but their lack of money, resources and experience means that they can only take it so far. Fuji has the money, resources and experience to take it to the next level. Can you imagine an improved Foveon sensor in an X-T1 or X100T body? It might be a perfect match.

If neither Sony or Fuji jump at the Foveon sensor, I could see Samsung taking a chance. Samsung has done some innovative things and they're making some pretty good cameras. I could see them taking a chance with multi layer sensors, and they certainly have the money to do it.

If the Canon multi layer sensor DSLR is a big hit and Nikon has nothing to compete with it, and if Sony has no plan for a multi layer sensor of their own, I could see Nikon as a possible buyer for the Foveon technology. While I write this as a possibility it seems like a long shot. I just don't think Nikon has the desire to manufacturer their own multi layer sensors, or put in the effort and money to improve the Foveon technology to the point that it can be successfully marketed to the masses.

I'd be surprised if anyone else is interested in purchasing from Sigma the Foveon sensor technology. But you never know. Perhaps someone that I haven't considered might buy it.

Or, then again, maybe this upcoming Canon camera will have no impact on Sigma camera sales. Maybe Sigma will continue making Foveon sensor cameras for years to come. We will see.

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