Claude has got things a bit mixed up.
No production CMOS sensor camera from Nikon, Canon, or Sony has ever used a sensor capable of electronic shutter operation. Neither did any production Foveon sensor. I used the Foveon F7X3-C9110 sensor in an industrial camera I designed. I assure you, the leaf shutter we used (because the camera had dual sensors and a beam splitter) imposed objectionable constraints on the design operation of the camera, and if it were possible to do without it, we certainly would have.
The Foveon FX17-78-F13 CMOS sensor used in the Sigma DP-1 and DP-2 is also quite incapable of snap shutter operation. The DP-1 and SP-2 have high sync speeds because they use leaf shutters. There are numerous pictures available of torn down DP-1 and DP-2 cameras that confirm this, and the data sheets for the F7X3-C9110 and FX17-78-F13 can be downloaded from Foveon.
Nikon did use electronic shutter CCD (not CMOS) sensors in their D1, D70, D50, and D40 cameras (that is why Paul's people used a D40 for their sync speed experiments). Canon used an electronic shutter CCD sensor in their original 1D. No one currently uses electronic shutters, for two very good reasons.
- Electronic shutter circuitry (commonly referred to as a "snap shutter") requires a "dark" (metal shielded) storage area adjacent to each light sensitive photodiode. This dark area has to be the same size as the photodiode, so incorporating it into a sensor means, literally, cutting the size of the photodiode in half. This decreases dynamic range and limits high ISO sensitivity.
- While the snap shutter allows you to clear the photodiodes simultaneously, and read them simultaneously, it doesn't do anything about the light that accumulates in the photodiodes during the period outside exposure. The photodiodes continue converting light into electricity, and under lighting conditions requiring short exposures (down to 1/16,000 sec for the Nikon D1 and Canon 1D), the extra light during readout (1/3 second in the "good old days) can overload the photodiodes and the overload spills into adjacent circuitry, contaminating the data being read out. The end result is that blown highlights turn into vertical bands, frequently all the way from the top of the image to the bottom.
It is these very real reasons, poor high ISO and dynamic range, poor handling of blown highlights
, that camera makers avoid snap shutters. There was not some shadow conspiracy of "crippling mechanical shutters of the last millenium for proprietary and planned obsolescence purposes".
The original Hasselblad/Foveon DFinity used snap shutters because it was a three sensor beam splitter camera. That is one of the reasons the design failed. The other reasons were the well documented optical constraints imposed by the beam splitter design.
- The index of refraction of the splitters caused a dramatic increase in spherical aberrations at large apertures. The lenses are manageable at f8 or f11, but get progressively softer at larger apertures: by f2.8 they're nearly unusable. High end optical houses like Schneider and Coastal design lenses specifically to cope with 2mm of optical glass in the image path, and 3-CCD video cameras have special lens designs that compensate for 20mm of glass (their sensors are small). Nothing could help the DFinity with 50mm of glass in the optic path.
- The depth of the beam splitters are equal to about 3x the sensor's height, over twice the sensor diagonal. So the DFinity was restricted the crop factor to a massive 2.5x.
- Dichroic beam splitters are not colorimetric. They have spectral responses with insufficient overlap between the red, green, and blue responses to mimic the response curves of the human eye. So you have lots of problems with metameric failure. Colors that appear identical to a human eye (like mineral based makeup carefully blended to match organic based cloth dyes) do not appear identical to a camera with metameric failure. Color film camera and Bayer filter digital cameras use organic filters formulated to have as much overlap as the organics of a human eye. Dichroic folters can't match this.
There was little demand for a system where lenses had to be used at small apertures, and you could not shoot wide angle shots (the widest wide angle available for the system functioned as a longish normal), as well as the color accuracy issues of a dichroic beam splitter system, and the dynamic range, high ISO, and blooming issues of a snap shutter system. Bye bye DFinity, bye bye snap shutters in medium format gear, totally.