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Konica Minolta and Sony to jointly develop Digital SLR cameras

Konica Minolta and Sony to jointly develop Digital SLR cameras - Konica Minolta Photo Imaging, Inc. and Sony Corporation have reached an agreement to jointly develop digital Single Lens Reflex (SLR) cameras.

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Digital SLRs

Taking full advantages of their respective imaging technologies and key devices, the two companies will develop and commercialize new digital SLR cameras based on and compatible to “Maxxum/Dynax lens mount system.*1”

Konica Minolta has superb autofocus auto-exposure technologies nourished through development of “Maxxum/Dynax series” from the age of film cameras, mechanical electronics technologies indispensable for SLR cameras, and sixteen million units of lens shipped worldwide. In addition, Konica Minolta has enthusiastically innovated cutting edge features, such as, for the first time, incorporating a CCD shift-type body-integral Anti-Shake technology for the Camera Grand Prix awarding “α-7 DIGITAL. *2”

Sony has numerous technologies and devices essential for digital imaging equipment, such as CCD and CMOS imaging sensors, image processing technologies and lithium ion batteries. Moreover, Sony’s strength in product planning, total design and high-density mounting have created a series of breakthrough compact and light digital imaging products. With products such as “Handycam” video cameras, and “Cyber-shot” digital still cameras, Sony has greatly contributed to expanding the digital imaging market.

Both companies, utilizing respective unique technologies, will begin joint development of advanced and feature-rich digital SLR cameras. According to recent CIPA (Camera & Imaging Products Association) data, the digital SLR camera market reached 2.5 million units in 2004, and is expected to further expand to 3.6 million units in 2005. Konica Minolta and Sony see great opportunities and will aggressively promote their businesses in this growing market.

*1 Konica Minolta’s original lens mount system to connect camera body and lens adopted in its “Maxxum/Dynax series” SLR cameras.
*2 “α-7 DIGITAL is marketed as “Maxxum 7D” in North America and “Dynax 7D” in other regions.

“Sony has powerful devices and technologies essential for digital cameras,” said Tsuyoshi Miyachi, President and Chief Executive Officer of Konica Minolta Photo Imaging, Inc. “I am extremely excited to work with Sony. Together with Sony, we will endeavor to create new value in the field of imaging through increasing attractiveness of digital SLR cameras where we are strongly focused.”

“We are excited to co-develop new products with Konica Minolta’s advanced camera technologies represented by its “Maxxum/Dynax series” and our digital audio visual technologies,” said Yutaka Nakagawa, Sony’s Executive Vice President and Personal Audio Visual Network Company NC President. “Sony will further strengthen its digital imaging business through creating new market opportunities with the digital SLR camera field.”

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I wouldn't have predicted this, but it's not really all that surprising. KM already use Sony sensors in their digital SLRs, and a move of this kind could help them to gain higher visibility in the market - much needed since they've lost so much ground to Canon and Nikon.

Does this explain why all the recent Dynax topics in the forums have had the Sony custom style and ads? Wink


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Wonder if KM might eventually sell the photo division on to sony? They could then concentrate on the core business of copiers, printers etc.
Pete Plus
16 18.8k 97 England
Doug, that's a coincidence. Sony have sponsored that digital camera part of the forums.
This should create a real alternative to Canon and Nikon.

Not that KM don't already have a good product, but the backing of Sony should give them the best opportunity possible to gain a decent market share.

I should also force lens manufacturers to develop to Sony instead of the KM range being an afterthought.

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