In the interview, which can be read in full here
, General Manager of Sony's
product design department, Yoichi Tsusue explains how the Sony
Cybershot R1 was the first step towards creating a comprehensive SLR
"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.