Nikon APS-C Compact Camera = Leica X1 Clone?

Ok, “clone” may be strong words; however, word on the street is that the Leica X1 sensor is manufactured by Sony – and that same sensor is set to be placed in an upcoming (and as-yet unannounced Nikon camera).  More specifically, the sensor is 23.6 x 15.8mm with 12.2 “effective” megapixels.  13 million pixels in total sit on the sensor.

At recent press event in Singapore, Sunil Kaul, regional director of Asia Pacific for Leica Camera AG spilled the beans as to the sensor’s origin and its future home inside a Nikon camera, which he “cannot disclose.”

I haven’t read any news lately about Sony developing a new 12.2-megapixel CMOS sensor, which seems like it would have surfaced by now if it was newly developed.  That’s roughly the same size sensor that the Sony A700 and the Nikon D300 have been sporting for a long time.

I really can’t imagine Nikon moving away from its 12.3-megapixel CMOS sensor that has been such a workhorse in it’s recent DSLR lineup.  I also can’t imagine Nikon dropping another 12.3-megapixel DSLR into its lineup right now.  So, the compact, rangefinder-style camera sounds like the logical next step for this sensor.

Anyone with more knowledge about Sony’s CMOS sensor lineup feel free to chime in via the comments below to confirm or rebut my assumptions.

[Cnet Asia via DPR Forums]



  1. NikoDoby says

    I don’t think that’s a real picture of the new Nikon compact. If you look closely you can still see the word Leica on the lens! :)

  2. Sony-Canada says

    Sony is eating the market with there camera and now Nikon use there Sensor LOL what next…..make you wonder what part of Nikon are true Nikon.. or really Nikon is a Clone Sony.

  3. NikoDoby says

    Nikon is not the only manufacturer to use Sony sensors. It’s not a bad thing as it helps keep the cost of expensive parts if more than one company uses them. Even whole cameras are rebadged and sold under different model names from different manufacturers.

    I won’t mention that the machines used to make your computer’s and Sony’s integrated circuits are Nikon built steppers!

  4. Pon says

    The a700-D300 CMOS sensor is the Sony CMOS Exmor IMX021, but it is not exactly the same of D90, D5000, D300s it is the IMX038.
    The IMX038 support video and show a better DR.

    I am not sure, but is probably Sony has made some changes in this last sensor with a different ISO level.
    The IMX021 and IMX038 have a basal ISO of 200-3,200 (100-6,400), but the new sensor in A500 and Pentax Kx have ISO 12,800 with a basal ISO (no confirmed) 200-6400.

    There are more information in SonyHeadquarter website.