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.