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Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus and other companies interviews
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  • Panasonic interview

    Is there a technical reason why the G9 and GH5-series continue to rely on contrast-detect autofocus with depth-from defocus technology in preference to a hybrid/PDAF system?

    When we were developing the GH4, we were discussing whether to go with phase detection AF, or hybrid AF system of contrast AF with our own DFD (depth-from- defocus) technology. We thought that by having contrast AF with DFD, we could maximize picture quality.

    This is because with phase detection AF, picture quality can be damaged [by the phase detect pixels]. With contrast-detection AF and DFD technology, we don’t need any dedicated pixels [for autofocus] and we believe it is more precise.

    As we head into 2018 and 2019, how will Panasonic send the message that it wants to be taken seriously by stills, as well as video professionals?

    When we developed the GH5, a lot of video users were attracted to it, but we were aiming for stills users as well. In developing the G9, we wanted to communicate to customers that we are also capable of creating a more stills-focused camera; in terms of marketing, we are trying to communicate that we have cameras that are focused on stills, video, or a hybrid of both.

    Our business philosophy is based on ‘changing photography.’ And any change we make must be a benefit for the customer, and for the last two or three years, we’ve really focused on our video capabilities. But we still want to satisfy stills-focused users with our philosophy. It’s been ten years since we introduced the first mirrorless camera, and many things have changed in the mirrorless industry in terms of innovation, but we are trying to continue to change the market to satisfy our customers.

    We are going to continue to develop video features, but we also want to improve stills performance in terms of speed and autofocus. We don’t want to just pick one feature and improve it; we want to improve more generally, and we are trying to re-brand somewhat in the stills category. And we want to do this not only for professional cameras, but entry-level and midrange cameras as well.

    https://www.dpreview.com/interviews/7479700625/cp-panasonic-interview

  • Canon interview

    First question is about mirrorless and the market split. Last year, you mentioned seeing growing demand for mirrorless; even though the market is going down, mirrorless is increasing. And in particular you said that for the Japanese market, there was a fifty-fifty split between customers for mirrorless and DSLR. In the last year, have you seen a shift one way or the other in that? And how about in other market regions? In the US, is there still more demand for EOS DSLRs than for mirrorless?

    Generally, there's not that significant a difference, but having said that, although we said fifty-fifty, it has grown slightly beyond 50-some percent. In terms of other markets, if you look at the US for example, for 2017 it was 20-some percent. For Europe, it's in the mid-30%, [and] China [is] also mid 30%. But overall, when we compare against 2016, there are slight increase for all [markets]. We can say that for Japan and other regions, the mirrorless market is increasing on a slight level.

    https://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2018/04/01/canon-cpplus-2018-mirrorless-strategy-development-focus-dual-sensing-tech

  • Pentax interview

    Will we see an updated APS-C flagship camera in the future?

    For the flagship APS-C model, we have just started to develop that. It’ll be the successor of the K-3 II and will be an evolution of the K-3 series.

    https://www.dpreview.com/interviews/3329510590/ricoh-interview-the-development-of-the-k-series-is-our-first-priority

  • Another Pentax interview

    Dave Etchells/Imaging Resource: The Pentax K-1 Mark II is very close in design to its predecessor, but it adds an accelerator unit and we're curious about that. The press materials just said it's an accelerator unit, but didn’t explain further. What sort of functions were you able to move into that chip? And is it a pre-processor that takes data from the sensor, or does the sensor data come into the main processor and then the accelerator works on the side?

    Takashi Arai/Ricoh: The accelerator unit initially processes the output signal from the sensor, meaning that the accelerator comes right after the image sensor. And then it conveys it to the PRIME IV -- PRIME IV is the name of our image processing engine -- and then an accessory unit does a kind of signal processing which cannot be obtained by just software processing mechanism without degrading the resolving performance of the sensor.

    And then the PRIME IV was also redesigned. The algorithm within the PRIME IV from the K-1 and K-1 II is different. Because the signal for the PRIME IV is already [lower-noise than that in the original K-1]. Better signals into the PRIME IV in the K-1 II means it can be more specifically optimized just to reduce the noise, which already has a higher level of signal to noise ratio. And as a result, so, the highest ISO level [819,200] and also improved S/N ratio on normal ISO range has been achieved

    https://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2018/04/16/ricoh-cpplus-2018-rewarding-k-1-fans-major-upgrade-what-next-after-k-3-ii

  • Olympus Interview

    DE: Yeah, yes. It was interesting to us - in the US, the E-PL9 was just recently announced and we noticed that all of the PR materials we saw featured women as the users. I'm wondering, do you have any kind of breakdown of buyers by gender for your different model lines? And does that male/female ratio vary between regions? Is it different in this part of world vs. the U.S.?

    SS: Initially, the women's market was one of the choices that we considered. They have not yet become a buyer of our cameras, so we have considered to go in to that market on the way to achieve our strategy to expand the camera's market. We had invested in the market in Japan first and tried to get our customers, adding a feminine taste in the products to appeal to women. But we were not purposefully targeting only the women. We just tried to put the preferable style of women. On the strategy of the PENs, in the same way, embracing a good function with social networks for the PL9, we are trying to approach to those social networking users who are intending to make photos for their work, not simply for the memories, and not only for women.

    https://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2018/04/27/olympus-cpplus-2018-interview-strategy-imaging-business-shigemi-sugimoto

  • Sony Interview

    DE: Yeah. So I wonder if, as is the case in the human brain and eye/retina, there is a lot of processing that happens right at the sensor? What gets fed to higher levels of our own visual systems is already abstracted some, and I wonder can that happen -- or is that happening -- at the level where you have the processing right on the chip, for things like eye-detect AF? Can it detect eye-like objects (as in "we've got some white parts that are lighter than the surrounding area, with a darker iris and pupil at the center"), can it do image processing at that level?

    Sony Staff: We can do many things. Talking about AI, as you know well, AI computing can be either in the cloud or on the edge. Both types of AI exist, but we're talking about the edge type of AI, edge meaning for our case the camera.

    https://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2018/05/14/sony-cpplus-interview-ai-future-mirrorless-cameras-technology-market-growth

  • Sigma's CEO Kazuto Yamaki Interview

    DE: Yeah, and Panasonic has had a relationship with Leica for a long time. They carry Leica branding. I imagine that the lenses are actually designed still by Panasonic, but it's one of those things where if it's a high enough quality then they'll let you put their brand on it. That's very interesting, but you haven't announced anything officially about a full-frame camera?

    KY: Actually, last night I announced our plan for the L-mount system. We didn't show any new specific product, but I announced six things. First, we will develop the full-frame mirrorless camera which features a Foveon full-frame sensor, and this camera will be available next year. The second one is that we've stopped developing new SA-mount cameras, so no new SA-mount cameras will be available. Number three is that we will continue the development and manufacturing of our series of SA-mount lenses, because there are still SA-mount camera users.

  • Interview with Sony guys

    Question: You have favored high-quality and expensive optics with the 50mm f/1.2 and the 28-70mm f/2, but are they really suitable for use on a midrange EOS R between 6D Mark II and the 5D Mark IV?

    Answer by Mr. Seita: You know, the EOS R is just the first case in a new range and we wanted to show the range of possibilities of our new mount with light optics, fast optics equipped with our new Nano technique USM with the 24-105mm f/4 and more affordable optics like the […] 35mm f/1.8 stabilized macro.

    https://www.lesnumeriques.com/photo/canon-l-eos-r-est-que-premier-modele-toute-gamme-a3963.html

  • Another interview with Sony

    With Sony manager Mr. Tanaka.

    • The goal now was to focus on Full Frame cameras to satisfy the demand of the customers
    • He said this goal has been achieved and it’s about time to focus on making APS-C cameras

    https://www.pronews.jp/special/20181009130055.html

  • Canon interview

    DE: So as kind of an extension of that, you have the full-line philosophy or the goal strategy. How do you see mirrorless playing out within that for the next few years? And especially, given that the competition is so active. Sony has been there for a while; now Nikon has come in. What can you say about your strategy with the R-series, specifically competing with those companies?

    KO: Thanks to [our] competitors, the word "mirrorless" currently makes a bigger noise than ever. That is good news, because everybody, the consumers generally, are paying more attention to the camera industry, right? So that is a good thing. So Nikon, Sony, Canon, Fuji, Olympus, all the major players, they have all launched mirrorless cameras. Most general consumers may not understand about mirrorless vs SLR or vs compact, just that a camera is a camera. But [all the talk about mirrorless] makes noise, it means consumers are paying more attention to the camera industry than ever.

    Also, as a basic fact, thanks to the smartphone, the number and also the frequency of shots is tremendously higher, compared to more than ten years ago. Maybe 100 times or 1,000 times more. Because everybody, you know, they are all trying to shoot various lifestyle, food, travel photos, so on and so forth. So the variety of applications, and also the requirement [is expanding]. So that is why we're taking the full lineup strategy. So it's now the generation Y and Z [who are getting involved], also the bloggers and the webcasters and so on and so forth. So what kind of products, what kind of technology should we provide? That's why we're trying to bridge the gap between our technologies and the requirements.

    So in that sense, mirrorless is one of the new topics among users; you know, that is the good news, to stimulate demand of shooting stills or video, on both sides, that is the good news for us. So again and again, we're going to continuously invest and commit to developing the full range of the cameras from Canon. Also, as I mentioned yesterday, this is not the last model, as you are aware. [Ed. Note: Ogawa-san is referring here to comments he made the day before, that there will eventually be a complete line of full-frame mirrorless cameras.] So we are continuously innovating in this area, with new lenses and cameras - but please don't get me wrong, the DSLR area is also where we're going to commit.

  • Interview with Sigma

    Do you have any predictions for the proportion of your lenses that you expect to sell in mirrorless mounts versus DSLR mounts, in the future?

    Within three or four years I expect our mirrorless mount lens sales to be much bigger than for DSLR. Maybe 70% to 30%.

    What is your opinion of Canon and Nikon’s new lenses for the RF and Z mounts?

    I’ve been very impressed by Canon’s new lenses for RF. The 50mm F1.2 and 28-70mm F2. Very impressed - and a little jealous! They’re possible due to the wide diameter and short flange back. Otherwise such lenses would be very difficult or impossible. Having the larger elements at the rear of the optical system makes it easier to achieve good performance at large apertures.

    https://www.dpreview.com/interviews/1588388811/photokina-2018-sigma-interview

  • Interview with Sony

    What is your long-term strategy for APS-C and will we ever see another NEX-7 equivalent camera with dual dials?

    We have to get customer feedback. The dual dial on the NEX-7, some customers appreciated it, but some customers didn’t. The APS-C market is very important for us, so we will create new models in the APS-C market, but we need to ask customers what kind of models they want.

    Do you think APS-C could be a professional format for Sony in the future?

    Professionals have many cameras. Of course, full-frame is usually their main camera, but for a long time, they’ve also used APS-C as their second camera, so of course, APS-C cameras for professional use must exist.

    https://www.dpreview.com/interviews/3509345300/photokina-2018-sony-interview-i-don-t-care-about-competitors-i-care-about-customers

  • Interview with Canon engineers

    "In relation to the optical system, we gave consideration to focus breathing*, and also aperture control: you can change the aperture in 1/8th stops," says Kato. "also the Nano USM, it's very quiet and quick: the first time in an L lens."

    https://www.dpreview.com/interviews/1275771333/greater-freedom-canon-s-engineers-talk-about-the-eos-r-project