July 19, 2005 – A recent CIPA (Camera & Imaging Products Association) study concluded that the sale of digital Single Lens Reflex cameras grew to 2.5 million units in 2004, and is expected to reach 3.6 million units in 2005. Recognizing this trend, Konica Minolta and Sony have agreed to utilize each other’s strengths and mutually develop digital SLRs that surpass prior individual manufacturer’s efforts. Konica Minolta has long been an established name in optical engineering and the manufacturing of film-based Single Lens Reflex film cameras, while Sony’s hallmark is the electronic adeptness necessary to compete in the digital realm. Fusing their different aptitudes and expertise, the two manufacturers aim to create superior digital SLRs compatible with the Maxxum/Dynax mount system.
"Sony has powerful devices and technologies essential for digital cameras," explained 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."
With experience in digital still and video imaging, Sony has a history and developed knowledge of CCD and CMOS imaging sensors, long endurance lithium ion batteries, and image processors needed to compete in the digital medium. Konica Minolta has a history of lens manufacturing, with a current output estimated at sixteen million lenses shipped worldwide. Acknowledging the opportunity to expand their presence in the field, Sony looks to augment Konica Minolta’s introductory Maxxum/Dynax models, which are recognized for their CCD shift-type Anti-Shake technology and autofocus and exposure technologies.
Sony’s Executive Vice President and Personal Audio Visual Network Company NC President Yutaka Nakagawa expressed enthusiasm with the partnership, stating, "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." Nakagawa continued, saying, "Sony will further strengthen its digital imaging business through creating new market opportunities with the digital SLR camera field."
No specific models or release dates have been announced.