Sigma Interview with Digital Photography Review About the Next Generation of Cameras and Lenses

The photo industry is recovering from the disruption in global supply chains caused by Chinese shutdown, but with the rest of the world still in crisis, companies are preparing for a major drop in customer demand, especially in the US and Europe. Last week DPReview discussed remotely with Kazuto Yamaki of Sigma to get his take on the ongoing situation worldwide, and on Sigma’s strategy for the next generation of cameras and lenses.

Here are some of the most interesting news:

Production and delivery systems in China: “We make all of our products in Japan and make most of the parts by ourselves or by Japanese local suppliers, but some parts such as electronics are supplied from China, therefore, I was concerned about the supply of parts. But in fact, up to now, we haven’t had a serious problem with that. Some parts have been delayed due to confusion in the supply chain but it hasn’t been serious, and we’ve been able to adjust our production planning. So on the production side, we haven’t had a serious problem. And we don’t expect to have problems in the future, because production and delivery systems in China are starting to normalize.”

Mirrorless lenses over DSLR lenses: “The mirrorless camera market is stable compared to DSLR. If you look at the market statistics you’ll see that the decline in DSLR sales is quite significant. This decline gets steeper every month. We’re also seeing a decline in sales of our DSLR lenses, so naturally, we have to focus our efforts on the development of mirrorless lenses.”

Smaller lens development: “We will still try to deliver the highest possible quality products. But we will have two main streams of products. One is for very serious photographers, like our existing Art series. But another line will be high quality, premium lenses, but much more compact. And very stylish, like our 45mm f/2.8, with metal housings, and high-quality aperture and focus rings. We will expand that kind of range for street photographers, or those who need smaller, stylish, high-quality products.”

About Full-Frame Foveon sensor: “The development of the sensor has been significantly delayed. We are still working on it, but there are still several technical problems we need to overcome. If everything goes well, we should be able to release the camera next year.”

About DP fixed-lens camera: “We don’t have any plans to do that right now. We are researching the market, but it’s difficult to make such a camera really compact. Of course, there are cameras like the Sony RX1R II, which is a very small camera, but it’s difficult to make the lens compact. If we wanted to make a really compact lens, our options for focal length and F stop become very limited. Compared to APS-C or M43 cameras with a fixed lens, it’s very challenging, technically.”

You can read the full interview on DPReview’s website.

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