Originally Posted by hmcindie
Except that the nm size isn't the "be all end all". This is being propagated because a smaller nm fabsize allows you to make 36megapixels for a fullframe sensor. Canon makes at the most, 22mp for that same sensor size so you don't NEED that smaller nm. Because the actual sensor gathering pixels are supposed to be bigger with 22mp than 36mp. Not smaller.
Now when Canon decides to compete with mp and go for a 40+ sensor, then they would need to upgrade.
Also I don't consider current Sony sensors to be much better than even old Canon APS-C sensors. The sensor in the Sony nex-5r (which is a very new APS-C sensor) does not outperform the Canon 7d (old APS-C) at all. DXOMark says it does, but the differences are very, very negligible. Canon 7d makes slightly less noise at higher ISOs and the Nex-5r does slightly better with ISO 100 (no shadow sensor noise so DR is a bit better). But the differences are very slight and I am comparing sensor technology that is years apart for Sonys advantage.
Process does matter though. Read this: http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Pub...Camera-Sensor2
(Canon still using 500nm tech while others have gone all the way down to 90nm by now!)
nm is not just about cramming pixels, look at the way CMOS sensors are constructed and you will understand why shrinking the circuitry and/or using better material like copper instead of aluminum, can help.
Canon has basically been stuck at the same process for the last several years. But Canon is slated to upgrade its fabs to 180nm "soon," so maybe they will finally catch up with Sony. Toshiba certainly has... their d5200 sensor is on par with Sony's d5100 sensor when you print the photos at the same size.