Konica Minolta and Sony Agree to Jointly Develop Digital SLR Cameras

In a move that will likely help both companies in a consolidating marketplace, this decision to develop cameras compatible with Minolta’s lens mount may help to move Minolta’s digital SLRs beyond their existing user base.
Press Release

Konica Minolta Photo Imaging, Inc. and Sony Corporation have reached an
agreement to jointly develop digital Single Lens Reflex (SLR)
cameras.  Taking full advantages of their respective imaging
technologies and key devices, the two companies will develop and
commercialise new digital SLR cameras based on and compatible to
“Maxxum/Dynax lens mount system.1


Konica Minolta has superb autofocus auto-exposure technologies
nourished through development of “Maxxum/Dynax series” from the age of
film cameras, mechanical electronics technologies indispensable for SLR
cameras, and sixteen million units of lens shipped worldwide.  In
addition, Konica Minolta has enthusiastically innovated cutting edge
features, such as, for the first time, incorporating a CCD shift-type
body-integral Anti-Shake technology for the Camera Grand Prix awarding
“α -7 DIGITAL.2”


Sony has numerous technologies and devices essential for digital
imaging equipment, such as CCD and CMOS imaging sensors, image
processing technologies and lithium ion batteries. Moreover, Sony’s
strength in product planning, total design and high-density mounting
have created a series of breakthrough compact and light digital imaging
products.  With products such as “Handycam” video cameras, and
“Cyber-shot” digital still cameras, Sony has greatly contributed to
expanding the digital imaging market.


Both companies, utilizing respective unique technologies, will begin
joint development of advanced and feature-rich digital SLR
cameras.  According to recent CIPA (Camera & Imaging Products
Association) data, the digital SLR camera market reached 2.5 million
units in 2004.  Konica Minolta and Sony expect the market to
further expand to 3.6 million units in 2005.  Both companies see
great opportunities and will aggressively promote their businesses in
this growing market. 


“Sony has powerful devices and technologies essential for digital cameras,” said 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 endeavour to create new value in the field of imaging
through increasing attractiveness of digital SLR cameras where we are
strongly focused.”


“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,” said Yutaka Nakagawa,
Sony’s Executive Vice President and Personal Audio Visual Network
Company NC President. “Sony will further strengthen its digital imaging
business through creating new market opportunities with the digital SLR
camera field.”     



 Konica Minolta’s original lens mount system to connect camera
body and lens adopted in its “Maxxum/Dynax series” SLR cameras


  “α -7 DIGITAL” is marketed as “Maxxum 7D” in North America and
“Dynax 7D” in other regions

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