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Sony post interview with their digital SLR design and development managers - Tatsuro Izumi, formerly of Konica Minolta, and Yoichi Tsusue speak about Sony's acquisition of the Konica Minolta camera business and the technology that will be developed for the forthcoming Alpha SLR and future Sony cameras.
"Sony had been thinking about entering digital SLR camera field for quite some time now. While the Cyber-shot DSC-R1, released last year, was in its development phase, we looked into the possibility of using it as the basis for developing an interchangeable lens mount system. In the end, the result of our research was the adoption of the Konica Minolta lens mount system, and with it the decision that our companies should merge our respective areas of expertise to create still better digital cameras."
and then describes how Sony's strengths will compliment Konica Minolta's existing systems.
"Some 20 of our engineers working on the DSC-R1 and other Cyber-shot cameras visited Konica Minolta in Sakai City, Osaka in June of last year. It was a great opportunity for both sides to gain an understanding of each others work. There, we learned about the anti-vibration and AF systems that Mr. Izumi mentioned. Sonys strengths lie in imaging device technology, as used in CCDs and CMOS, as well as in circuit board design and next-generation signal processing LSI components. We also have a distinct advantage in that we produce our own batteries (such as high-quality lithium ion power cells) and LCD panels, and that our production centres are well equipped for mass production of miniaturized components. These are all proven benefits that can be applied here."
When asked about technologies that may be applied in future Sony digital SLR's, Tatsuro Izumi, General Manager of Sony's development department said,
"Personally, I envision a day when high-sensitivity CCDs eliminate the need for camera flashes. If this becomes possible, then even the anti-vibration mechanism would be a thing of the past. This could never work with film, but it might be possible with digital. In any case, my goal is always to create a highly portable, maintenance-free, failure-free camera."