DPReview’s CEO whisperer, Barney Britton, sat down for an interview with Kazuto Yamaki, CEO of Sigma. The Sigma executive indicated that the Foveon sensor camera once planned for 2020, and then 2021, and then later cancelled in favor of a complete redesign, will take another year or two.
Sigma’s lens design process is becoming more complicated, with design parameters adding up in attempts to provide maximum quality to both stills and video shooters. Larger focus groupings of lens elements are required for high image quality near the minimum focus distance, but that increase in size leads to slower autofocus. The trade-offs between fast focus motors and those with lots of torque lead to more options for designers already beset by multiple dimensions of compromise that weren’t as much part of the process back when everyone made lenses for DSLRs, and those lenses were almost always optimized for photographers.
Yamaki indicated he believes DSLRs from the major manufacturers are about done. A fan of DSLRs himself, he indicated he hadn’t shot one in a couple of years. As he was predicting their passing, he sounded wistful.
As for serving Canon and Nikon mirrorless mounts, Yamaki would only say that they are “discussing and researching,” which sounds like a dual-strategy of talking to the OEM manufacturers, but reverse engineering as well.