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PHOTOKINA 2004: Sigma and Foveon to steal the show

 
 
Sander Vesik
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      08-09-2004
In rec.photo.equipment.35mm Steven M. Scharf <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
> "Randall Ainsworth" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:070820040438567626%(E-Mail Removed)...
> > In article <cf20c1$tp8$(E-Mail Removed)>, Peter Chant
> > <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> >
> > > Would the smart move for Sigma be to make the camera with Nikon or
> > > Canon mounts?

> >
> > No, the smart move would be to use a less oddball sensor and put some
> > quality control into their manufacturing.

>
> The second part is true, but the Foveon sensor is the ONLY thing that would
> cause someone to buy a Sigma digital SLR. Granted, the first two Sigma
> D-SLRs were disappointing, but if they used a CMOS sensor, they'd have
> nothing to distinguish themselves from the far more capable Canon and Nikon
> cameras, and the better lenses from Canon and Nikon.
>


No. If they used a cmos sensor and were priced in teh expected for sigma
range, it would have been far better for Sigma at the very least.

--
Sander

+++ Out of cheese error +++
 
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Sander Vesik
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      08-09-2004
In rec.photo.equipment.35mm Steve Maudsley <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
> "Sander Vesik" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> > In rec.photo.equipment.35mm Steven M. Scharf <(E-Mail Removed)>

> wrote:
> > > "Sander Vesik" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> > > news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> > > > In rec.photo.equipment.35mm Peter A. Stavrakoglou

> <(E-Mail Removed)>
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > > Can you clarify what makes you think there is a licence needed to make
> > > Canon //
> > > > Nikon / Pentax / whatever mount cameras?
> > >
> > > The EOS mount is patented. Probably Sigma does have a license to make

> the
> > > lenses with the Canon mount. But remember, being licensed doesn't mean

> that
> > > Canon has to tell Sigma how to do it! The compatibility problems with

> older
> >
> > NO, they can read it from teh patent text. If the patent doesn't tell them
> > they can have it be thrown out. Sure there may be additional non-patented
> > parts but that doesn't really change teh situation.
> >
> > Oh, do you have reference to the patent? Because at least a quick serach
> > on uspto doesn't bring anything up.

>
> Knowing Canon, I suspect that there are patents associated with the EOS
> system. However it is more likely that the EOS mount is protected as a
> registered design which I think is a European concept - certainly in the UK.


I don't think that it would be protectable under that.

See there are only two ways - if you want to claim a licence is absolutely
needed to produce EOS mount cameras then provide evidence, otherwise retract
it.

>
> You can probably use copyright as well because the design of the base of the
> Sigma lens would have to be a copy of the base of a Canon EOS lens to quite
> a high tolerance (there are ways around this but not enough time to
> explain...).


You certainly cant copyright a mass produced uatlitarian thing like a
lens mount.

>
> Stephen
>
>


--
Sander

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Bruce Murphy
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      08-10-2004
"Mark M" <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

> "Orville Wright" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed) m...
> > Sigma will be revealing a new DSLR at this year's Photokina, equipped
> > with a groundbreaking new sensor from Foveon. Canon and Nikon users:
> > start selling your cameras now before the resale values get cut in
> > half.

>
> If their new sensor is "groundbeaking," then this must mean that the current
> ones were NOT.


Is there any reason why they couldn't both have broken new ground?
Apart from the general sigma vibes of course

B>
 
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Bruce Murphy
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      08-10-2004
Sander Vesik <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

>
> I don't think that it would be protectable under that.
>
> See there are only two ways - if you want to claim a licence is absolutely
> needed to produce EOS mount cameras then provide evidence, otherwise retract
> it.
>
> >
> > You can probably use copyright as well because the design of the base of the
> > Sigma lens would have to be a copy of the base of a Canon EOS lens to quite
> > a high tolerance (there are ways around this but not enough time to
> > explain...).

>
> You certainly cant copyright a mass produced uatlitarian thing like a
> lens mount.


Or the torx screwhead/screwdrivers?

B>
 
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Mark M
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      08-10-2004

"Bruce Murphy" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> "Mark M" <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
>
> > "Orville Wright" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> > news:(E-Mail Removed) m...
> > > Sigma will be revealing a new DSLR at this year's Photokina, equipped
> > > with a groundbreaking new sensor from Foveon. Canon and Nikon users:
> > > start selling your cameras now before the resale values get cut in
> > > half.

> >
> > If their new sensor is "groundbeaking," then this must mean that the

current
> > ones were NOT.

>
> Is there any reason why they couldn't both have broken new ground?
> Apart from the general sigma vibes of course


OK. Honestly, the first Foveon sensor technically broke "new ground"
because it used a new way to capture color than had previeously been
marketed in consumer digicams.

In my thinking, however, I tend to attach the term "groundbreaking" with a
level of success which brings the industry to a new pinnacle of success and
innovation that others follow as the new standard. Sigma has utterly failed
in this regard. They have created a product that is sought after by neither
consumer nor professional photographer.

If this is to be termed "groundbreaking" then we must redefine the term in
it's common use.


 
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Bruce Murphy
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      08-10-2004
"Mark M" <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

> "Bruce Murphy" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> > "Mark M" <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
> >
> > > If their new sensor is "groundbeaking," then this must mean that the

> current
> > > ones were NOT.

> >
> > Is there any reason why they couldn't both have broken new ground?
> > Apart from the general sigma vibes of course

>
> OK. Honestly, the first Foveon sensor technically broke "new ground"
> because it used a new way to capture color than had previeously been
> marketed in consumer digicams.
>
> In my thinking, however, I tend to attach the term "groundbreaking" with a
> level of success which brings the industry to a new pinnacle of success and
> innovation that others follow as the new standard. Sigma has utterly failed
> in this regard. They have created a product that is sought after by neither
> consumer nor professional photographer.


Frankly, I think that groundbreaking and successful are two very
differnet concepts. Lots of things are groundbreaking (or new) and a
lot of them fail miserably, or at least get consigned to niche markets
and ignored.

Unless there is some significant development grunt behind the foveon
stuff (and neither their current rate of development, existing
knowledge, nor their incredible choice of sigma as a brand parner
suggest this) then they're going to end up in niche markets.

Personally, I think the additional technical pain and suffering
inherent in dealing with stackerd sensors will outweigh any trivial
and immediate benefit for some some considerable time.

B>
 
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Alan Browne
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      08-10-2004
Mark M wrote:

> "Bruce Murphy" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>
>>"Mark M" <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
>>
>>
>>>"Orville Wright" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>>>news:(E-Mail Removed) .com...
>>>
>>>>Sigma will be revealing a new DSLR at this year's Photokina, equipped
>>>>with a groundbreaking new sensor from Foveon. Canon and Nikon users:
>>>>start selling your cameras now before the resale values get cut in
>>>>half.
>>>
>>>If their new sensor is "groundbeaking," then this must mean that the

>
> current
>
>>>ones were NOT.

>>
>>Is there any reason why they couldn't both have broken new ground?
>>Apart from the general sigma vibes of course

>
>
> OK. Honestly, the first Foveon sensor technically broke "new ground"
> because it used a new way to capture color than had previeously been
> marketed in consumer digicams.
>
> In my thinking, however, I tend to attach the term "groundbreaking" with a
> level of success which brings the industry to a new pinnacle of success and
> innovation that others follow as the new standard. Sigma has utterly failed
> in this regard. They have created a product that is sought after by neither
> consumer nor professional photographer.


If Sigma had used their brains and existing market model they
would have made bodies available in Canon, Nikon, Minolta and
Pentax mounts and attracted many buyers (esp. Minolta as we have
been digital-dry for so long). Sigma decided to use the body to
push their own lens sales and of course have crashed and burned.

This also would have tamed prices on the Canon and Nikon prosumer
bodies and made the market much more interesting.

Cheers,
Alan
--
-- rec.photo.equipment.35mm user resource:
-- http://www.aliasimages.com/rpe35mmur.htm
-- e-meil: there's no such thing as a FreeLunch.--

 
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David Littlewood
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      08-10-2004
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>, Sander Vesik
<(E-Mail Removed)> writes
>>
>> You can probably use copyright as well because the design of the base of the
>> Sigma lens would have to be a copy of the base of a Canon EOS lens to quite
>> a high tolerance (there are ways around this but not enough time to
>> explain...).

>
>You certainly cant copyright a mass produced uatlitarian thing like a
>lens mount.
>

You certainly can!

There is, in the UK, a right known as "design right" (Part III of the
Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 198 which protects the design shape
of the most utilitarian items imaginable. (There is also some slightly
stronger provision for designs which are "registered" but that's too
complex to go into here.)

The "design" which is protected can be functional or purely decorative.
It merely has to be distinctive, and original at the time of its
creation. It can apply to things like can openers and tool boxes. There
are similar provisions in EU law, but I am not sufficiently familiar
with them to comment. I have no knowledge at all of what US law there
is, but I would be surprised if there is not some equivalent provision;
otherwise every successful commercial product would be plagued by
clones.

There is an exception for aspects of design which can be described as
"must-fit". Thus if Ford makes a car with a given exhaust pipe
configuration, then a spare parts maker will not infringe Ford's design
right in the exhaust pipe if it makes a replacement which has the
requisite fixing points, provided it is otherwise different in design.

Thus it follows that a manufacturer of lenses could (under the UK law,
and probably elsewhere) copy the EOS mount design to the extent needed
to make it physically fit - but other aspects would be protected. There
is of course a rather complex interaction of the various types of IP
(copyright,. patents, design rights, goodwill and confidential
information) but I think that would be the case here.

In reality, it is the intellectual property in the firmware which is
most likely to be relevant here. Even if a manufacturer can copy the
"must-fit" parts of an EF lens, he cannot copy the firmware to make it
inter-operate with the body. That firmware will almost certainly be
protected by copyright, in the UK as in virtually every other
jurisdiction in the world. Some aspects may also be what is known as
"confidential information" or "know-how", which is only protected by the
law of confidentiality. Thus the copyist would have to write his own
firmware by reverse engineering - trying to figure all the in and out
signals, what they do, and then trying to replicate them with a clean
piece of paper. If he finds a way of "reading" the firmware and simply
copies it, he is liable to prosecution and civil damages. In the very
nature of things, his attempted reconstruction is likely to break down
when some unforeseen control signal combination crops up.

Whatever, the facts indisputable show that Sigma lenses often fail to
work on EOS bodies which are released after their design. I have
experienced this myself, as have tens of thousands of others. It may be
unconfirmed, but it is very much accepted wisdom that Sigma (unlike
other after-market manufacturers) were too cheap to pay Canon for a
licence to use the protected IP involved in the EF/EOS mount and tried
to reverse engineer it. It is also well known that they will re-chip to
work with newer EOS bodies, but only once, only (free) for the original
owner, and only for lenses which are current or fairly recent. Try
getting an 8-year old Sigma lens re-chipped and you will find it doesn't
happen. Try using a 10-year old EF lens on a new EOS body, and Wow, it
works perfectly.

If you have a better explanation, I'm sure we would be delighted to hear
it.

Maybe Hex would know?

David
--
David Littlewood
 
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