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Gear Reviews

Leica SL, Canon offers to Buy Sigma? Sony A7R II Hands On | Daily Roundup

By Anthony Thurston on September 23rd 2015

Welcome to our roundup series where we will hit on several gear news and rumor topics each day. This gives you a chance to get caught up on all of the day’s news and rumors in one place. Make sure to check back daily for the latest gear news, rumors, and announcements.

SL, Leica’s First Non-Rangefinder FF, Coming Soon?

Leica_SL1-670x420

The big news out of mirrorless land today is the rumor regarding an upcoming Leica announcement. The buzz is because this will be, assuming the rumor is true, Leica’s first non-rangefinder full frame offering since the film days.

The new Leica SL will be a mirrorless full frame system, with AF and its own lenses. Designwise it is said that the camera will be based on the look of the old Leicaflex SL line (obviously without the mirror). An announcement is expected sometime in the next month leading up to PhotoPlus, where this is expected to be making its first appearance.

The rumored kit would be this Leica SL camera body paired with the 50mm F/2 Summicron, with a rumored price in the $8000 range. It is not as if anyone is expecting affordable or budget options from Leica, but yikes, that is an expensive kit. Still, I am sure that the appeal of Leica glass with a more traditional SLR-style body and AF lenses will be enough to make this a popular product for Leica.

I am really excited to head to PhotoPlus next month and have a look at this.

Canon Looking To Aquire Sigma?

Sigma Logo

Canon_RED_logo

 

Now you can go ahead and file this under the ‘in their dreams’ category for the day. But an interesting rumor cropped up again today (I have seen this crop up elsewhere) regarding a supposed attempt by Canon to acquire Sigma.

According to the rumor, Canon made an initial offer of 7x Sigma’s net value, which Sigma rejected outright. The rumor goes on to say that Canon has made a second offer, worth even more, with no response from Sigma yet. The two companies are apparently having ‘intense’ conversations about the possibility of an acquisition of Sigma by Canon.

It is easy to see Canon’s side to this. Sigma has been rocking it in the lens department lately, and they have the patents to that Foveon sensor tech that Canon could likely use. In one move, Canon would acquire a strong lens competitor and gain a valuable patent and technology.

Sigma’s side to this would also be pretty obvious, lots and lots of yen. There is simply no other reason for them to even consider this. The move would obviously mean Canon either stops Sigma lens production altogether or rebrands it all into the Canon lineup.

This, plainly put, would be bad for just about everyone involved except Canon. Consumers would lose a great third-party lens manufacturer, especially non-Canon shooters because a Canon acquisition would likely mean a halt to producing Nikon & Sony mount lenses. The industry as a whole would lose out on a strong competitor for Canon’s optics, which would mean less reason for Canon to do anything different.

Luckily, the chances of this rumor being true, let alone happening, are essentially none. That said, it is worth a good discussion. In Sigma’s situation, how many zeros would Canon have to add on that check to make the offer irresistible? For Canon, how much of a premium would they be willing to pay to get a major optical competitor off the table?

Leave your comments on this rumor below; I want to hear what you guys think of this.

a7R II Hands On, CameraStore TV


The team at Camera Store TV is back with their hands on video (Part 1) on the a7R II. I was particularly interested to see what they thought on this camera, given that I just purchased one myself. I feel like many of you are also interested in this camera and so here is another perspective on the device.

We have already done some coverage on the A7R II, but I have been thinking about doing some content on the camera from my perspective. If that is something that you all would be interested in, let me know in the comments below.
What are your thoughts on today’s roundup? What news/rumors did we miss? What would you like to see covered in future roundups? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Fisnik Islami

    Leica and Carl Zeiss the bet lenses

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  2. Matthew Saville

    I don’t think Canon would ever buy Sigma, or even want to. Even if Canon is losing POPULARITY against Sigma, The actual effect on lens sales is not nearly big enough to warrant an outright buyout IMO. I could be wrong of course, but it seems like a very drastic measure (7X the net worth?) …to solve a problem that Canon could easily solve on their own. In fact I think Canon would win even more hearts if they just left Sigma alone, and simply focused on making more killer non-L lenses.

    Sigma is a small, IIRC family-owned company, and they do what they do very well. The industry is much better off if things stay that way.

    Then again, considering how much Nikon hates Sigma, (sued them for how many million/billion Yen?) …as they say, “the enemy of my enemy”….?

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  3. Paul Empson

    When I first started out with digital on my Nikon D70 I bought Nikon lenses and an occasional Sigma if it was a lens I would use.. occasionally.. especially as the Nikon variant was always way to expensive for the limited use it would receive (by me)

    Now Sigma make, often, class leading lenses.. the prices have risen though still more competitive than the OEM lens as the same f/ bracket.. So Canon, I hear their lenses are even more expensive in comparison to Nikon lenses of similar spec.. are rumoured to be buying out what must be a thorn in their sales.. with the bonus of the Sigma patent back catalogue but only if they can add enough trailing ¥0’s ..lets hope Sigma are in this for more than just the money and business: a hope that they inspire and aid creativity and expression.

    As for it harming Nikon… I’d imagine it’s quite the opposite. Nikon would benefit from extra sales of it’s own lenses without the debilitating financial lead boots of a hugely expensive corporate buyout.. I have both the old 50D and the newer, bokeh delicious, 85 f/1.8 and they are excellent quality.. and very light..

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  4. Glauco Meneghelli

    Leica is lost, since film, leica is dead. sorry

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  5. Dave Haynie

    On the Leica thing… as an OM-D user, I’ll admit I’m a big fan of the neo-retro thing… classic styling in a modern camera. It’s funny how often I get asked “is that a film camera” when using the OM-D… never hear that using the Canon.

    But for one, the Leica SL is butt ugly… is there anything they could do to suggest that look and make it, well, aesthetically acceptable? Well, I guess Chrysler sold more than a few PT Cruisers. If I were ruling Leica and doing this, I’d make it more like the R8 — that one wicked cool looking camera. And of course, “rangefinder” vs. “SLR” is mostly just a retro-based distinction anyway. Might as well just say “small” and “large”, only, Leica’s rangefinder-shaped digital cameras are already pretty large. For most vendors, the large body expands things enough to add more manual buttons and a viewfinder. But if have that already, it’s just a style thing.

    Given that… Yet Another Lens Mount?!?! Really, Leica? The M-Mount won’t do it? Is there any other company out there with even two different mirrorless mounts.. Leica needs three?

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    • Dustin Baugh

      I get the same thing with the OMD; even size-wise it looks like a clone of the 1970-80s SLRs. Then compare a Nikon Df to a Nikon FE. They look almost identical but the Df looks about 200% larger. The style makes it look like a film camera until you see the two side by side and once is on steroids.

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  6. Tom Marvel

    Typical 21st century big game global business plan
    Too much bother to compete?
    Buy ’em

    Extra bonus points:
    Nikon gets screwed

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  7. Dave Haynie

    The Canon-Sigma thing is pretty interesting. Yeah, this would be terrible for just about everyone not named Canon, Tameron, Samyang, or Tokina. But I can see two big reasons why, as well as the politics behind why it probably didn’t happen before and still won’t.

    Canon filed a patent on a very Foveon-like 5-layer sensor last year. I haven’t read the patent, but there’s a good chance they wrote it as an improvement over Foveon’s work… so they can’t actually use that without licensing the Foveon patents. Before Sigma bought them, Foveon was trying to sell sensors, but might have been interested in a royalty stream from the largest camera maker. Sigma’s basically kept Foveon for in-house use, so they’re not interested. The only other option: buy Sigma.

    The other thing that occurred to me… that whole “great 3rd party lens” thing. In the days of the rangefinder, it wasn’t even a thing that you primarily just bought the camera maker’s lenses. In fact, today’s two big names, Canon and Nikon, were each established making bodies for other folks’ mounts (Leica and Contax, respectively). But of course, in the SLR era, the camera makers made the serious lenses, and 3rd party lenses were the bargain basement variety.

    But today, of course, we’re seeing lower cost lenses from Sigma (and others) as good as those from Canon and Nikon, some higher end like Zeiss even better. And if you take that to its logical conclusion, that’s a huge problem for Canon and Nikon. Because it’s their glass that’s assured their supremacy since the 1960s. I don’t image Sigma has any special lens-making chops that Canon doesn’t have, but a buyout could both give Canon a much more powerful lens works AND keep those from everyone else.

    And to make it worse, in 2013, Sigma announced a lens mount conversion program for their higher-end optics. So let’s say I’m a Canon user (true) looking hard at mirrorless and maybe thinking about switching to Sony, but not there yet. I can invest in Sigma Art lenses today, knowing that I can move them to Sony for a tiny fraction of the price of replacing them, and no need to deal with adapters. That’s not only making the Sigma lens more attractive for some Canon users, it’s also making their lens dominance less so.

    Now, the problem with this… Sigma’s a family owned company. Not publicly traded. So there’s no way for Canon to buy them if they’re not into it. Sigma was founded by Michihiro Yamaki in 1961, and he was CEO until his death in 2012… perhaps Canon’s been thinking that the family might be more open to selling now.

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    • Tom Marvel

      If Canon prevails & buys Sigma outright, I can see legions of Sony lawyers working out some kind of work around so Zeiss can incorporate auto focus in a special “Sony AF” line up

      Bonus points:
      Nikon gets screwed

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  8. Hagos Rush

    I love the very idea of this camera. I would love to probably rent one to see how it feels. I too have the large hands syndrome aka battery pack on my SLR to fill it out so we will see. The megapixels and the stabilization..oh and the ridiculous video are drawing me into a territory I never thought I would go…Sony

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  9. Colin Woods

    Instead of takeovers and other expensive business solutions I would have thought that the best move for Canon and Nikon would be to come down from their pedestal and start producing lenses that rival Sigma/Tamron in quality and price point. Actually Nikon are getting there with their f1.8 G series primes, but the message is still clear. If Sigma can do it, so can Canon and Nikon.

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