CanonNews points out that Canon UK had gone further in its communications in claiming that Canon had not only “developed” the new R3 sensor, but that it was also to be “manufactured” by Canon.

At some point, the UK site was edited to remove that last claim, putting Canon in similar company – at least in how it communicates – with the likes of Nikon and Panasonic, who claim to design their own sensors, but who are known to contract out to others to produce them. Canon, unlike the other manufacturers (save Sony), has its own chip production factory, often called a “fab.”

Canon CMOS sensor

Chip production facilities are some of the most expensive manufacturing facilities in the world to create, seldom costing less than $1 billion to create. While Canon is facing a smaller camera market moving forward, which makes the economies of scale less attractive for recapitalizing such expensive facilities, the firm also owns a major chip making technology division, where it sells equipment to other companies creating fabs.

All of this comes at a time of an enduring global chip shortage, making fab production line availability even more of a premium capacity.

If Canon were to outsource some of the manufacturing, the two obvious companies to win the contract would be either Sony or TSMC.