At Digital Camera World, we love to share news about the latest cameras and lenses. But unfortunately, there is a growing disconnect between us who learn about cool new kits and the consumers who actually get them.
Right now, the COVID pandemic, a global chip shortage and general disruption in all major supply chains – not to mention localized issues like Brexit and overcrowding in US ports – all create a perfect storm.
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And so, in the last month alone, we’ve seen stockouts for the Canon EOS R3, Fujifilm’s apologies for delays in supplying its Fujifilm 33mm f / 1.4 lens, with Laowa pushing back the release of its Argus lens. 35mm f / 0.95, limitations on the supply of Ricoh GR III and GR IIIX, and signals that the Leica M11 will be postponed to 2022.
Then this week, we told you how Tamron issued a mea culpa for a late delivery on its last three lens releases. So it is with little surprise, but a lot of frustration, that we have more bad news to add to the list.
Sony’s offer succumbs
Yes, now Sony has warned of expected shipping delays on its Sony A7S III, Sony A7II, Sony A6400, Sony A6100, and Sony ZV-E10 cameras, due to the global semiconductor shortage.
A statement reads: “Currently, when it comes to digital imaging products, the supply of spare parts is being delayed due to the effects of global semiconductor shortages. This has affected the production of some products and may take some time to deliver. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused to customers who are eagerly awaiting the product. “
But before you run away screaming, we must add that there is some good news too. Well, potentially anyway …
When the chips fell …
According to sources cited by Nikkei Asia, Sony is considering joining TSMC (the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) to build a new multi-million dollar chip factory in Japan to fill the gap. It is estimated that this will cost 800 billion yen (around $ 70 million / £ 51 million / A $ 95 million), and the Japanese government will provide up to half of the amount. Japanese auto parts maker Denso is also expected to look to get involved.
Nothing is confirmed yet, but there is a lot of logic in this strategy. First, it would solve a major problem for the global economy and increase the profits of all the companies involved. And second, from the perspective of the Japanese government, it would help motivate China to pull out of its current military escalation in the Taiwan Strait.
This is the (potential) good news. The bad news, however, is that even if the factory goes ahead, it won’t be operational until 2024. So if you’re anxious to get that shiny new camera and lens for Christmas, or even anytime in 2022 or 2023, you might want to temper your excitement a bit.
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