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06-23-2010, 08:16 AM   #106
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Great. Now you've made me nostalgic comparing eras and costs. I now have to go to eBay and find a Rollei. The I am watching the World Cup on my iPad.


Yeah, my mother (a professional photographer until I was born ) used to shoot with her small 35mm Rollei. That camera must have predetermined my image of what a camera has to look like

You're right, digital is worth more. Which is why we pay more. But sooner or later, the electronic part in overall manufacturing cost will have diminished to a neglegible fraction. Not yet, but some day.

Moreover, electronics will replace mechanics (think EVILs) and ultimately, make digital cameras cheaper than mechanical analog ones have ever been.


I am wondering what will be worth $1000 (in today's value) for photography then? Medium-format EVIL? It will still require serious gear to fill those room-sized photo walls with 300dpi "retina display" content (*)


Ok, that now was from nostalgia to science fiction


__
(*) 2 GPixel if I count it correctly ... would require 60x120mm^2 sensors with 2m pixels

06-23-2010, 08:27 AM   #107
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote


Yeah, my mother (a professional photographer until I was born ) used to shoot with her small 35mm Rollei. That camera must have predetermined my image of what a camera has to look like

You're right, digital is worth more. Which is why we pay more. But sooner or later, the electronic part in overall manufacturing cost will have diminished to a neglegible fraction. Not yet, but some day.

Moreover, electronics will replace mechanics (think EVILs) and ultimately, make digital cameras cheaper than mechanical analog ones have ever been.


I am wondering what will be worth $1000 (in today's value) for photography then? Medium-format EVIL? It will still require serious gear to fill those room-sized photo walls with 300dpi "retina display" content (*)


Ok, that now was from nostalgia to science fiction


__
(*) 2 GPixel if I count it correctly ...
I think we are already seeing the trend develop. Lenses are the big ticket item and the substantial prices increases in the past year for glass and the rapid release of upgraded camera bodies and discounted prices on kits show the direction the industry is taking.
06-23-2010, 09:05 AM   #108
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Falconeye: I agree with you on the mount diameter of a mirrorless system if the goal is to let it grow into a future large sensor system. But what if the goal is to beat all current actors om size? To make a system camera that could really compete with p&s in size? Then maybe Pentax should rather make an aps-c system with much smaller mount than m4/3 - 28mm should suffice.
06-23-2010, 09:13 AM   #109
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote


Yeah, my mother (a professional photographer until I was born ) used to shoot with her small 35mm Rollei. That camera must have predetermined my image of what a camera has to look like

You're right, digital is worth more. Which is why we pay more. But sooner or later, the electronic part in overall manufacturing cost will have diminished to a neglegible fraction. Not yet, but some day.

Moreover, electronics will replace mechanics (think EVILs) and ultimately, make digital cameras cheaper than mechanical analog ones have ever been.


I am wondering what will be worth $1000 (in today's value) for photography then? Medium-format EVIL? It will still require serious gear to fill those room-sized photo walls with 300dpi "retina display" content (*)


Ok, that now was from nostalgia to science fiction


__
(*) 2 GPixel if I count it correctly ... would require 60x120mm^2 sensors with 2m pixels
Ultimatly I think, cameras will remain mecanical precision items :
1. Lenses requires expensive optical elements rigourously aligned.
2. Mount and Sensor have to be rigourously aligned.

Sure complicated things like shutter, mirror, viewfinder would be removed. But autofocus by contrast detection has limits, electronics allows for telemetric mesurements like with Laser or with secondary camera and real time image processing.

The game in consumer electronic industry has always been "maintain price by putting more features in it" This doesn't always works as shown in the computer industry. But build quality allows for stable prices, see Apple or Sony.

One have also to note that assembling a complex electronic device requires a lot of manual labor. And cheap manual labor places may be much less cheap in short term (given weak western currencies and local salary rises) as we can see with the strikes in China.

So at the end of the day, I'm not certain that camera prices will drop that dramatically. 1000$ for an EVIL FF with bell and whistles in 10 years ? I'm not sure of it.

06-23-2010, 09:17 AM   #110
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I just bid on an old Rollei. I won't win, but it made me feel better.

Maybe I'll buy a Holga, or Diana. Something with a plastic lens to make me feel better about how much I've spent on glass.
06-23-2010, 03:49 PM   #111
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
I just bid on an old Rollei. I won't win, but it made me feel better.

Maybe I'll buy a Holga, or Diana. Something with a plastic lens to make me feel better about how much I've spent on glass.
Lensbaby - Muse
06-23-2010, 04:39 PM   #112
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
I am still thinking that dSLR are far too expensive compared to analog SLRs. Sooner or later, dSLRs won't be any more expensive than film cameras used to be. And who would want to own an APSC camera then?
We've already passed that point several years ago, when you consider inflation (which you must, for a valid comparison).

Consider that the Pentax K1000 kit with 55mm f/2.0 lens had a *street* price of US$200 in 1976, and a list price of US$300. That's a street price of US$780, and a list price of US$1,150 in today's money (according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics' inflation calculator).

That makes today's Pentax K-x 18-55mm kit *significantly* cheaper than the K1000 55mm kit, at the same point in its product life cycle -- and even the K-7 is only slightly more expensive.

QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
And no, there is no floor to sensor cost. After all, its made of sand
If that were true, then CPUs wouldn't be as expensive as they are, either. Die size is a very important variable in cost, and that's part of why processor manufacturers have invested vast sums in moving to smaller and smaller process sizes. (It doesn't hurt that smaller process sizes also mean less power consumption and heat, obviously). As die size goes down, yield goes up exponentially, and vice versa.

The same is true for image sensors, but unlike processors, we can't just switch to smaller die sizes -- we *have* to have the same die size to gather the same amount of light (all other things being equal). The only thing we can do to bring cost down (beyond the economies of scale we've already seen from large sensor camera adoption) is to increase wafer size -- but that's an expensive, complicated process. The largest standard wafers currently are 300mm, and have been since 2001.

Larger 450mm wafers should start to become available in a couple of years time, and when that happens, they'll eventually bring a decrease in cost, since larger wafers have less waste around the edge for any given die size. There's no getting around the fact that larger sensors are exponentially more likely to include a defect that stops them from being useable, and have greater waste at the edges of the wafer compared to a smaller sensor, though.

That's a significant part of the reason that APS-C is still around, and will be for the foreseeable future. Full-frame will likely still continue to get gradually cheaper over time, but we're still a long way away from seeing sub-$1,000 full-frame digital SLRs, and even further from seeing APS-C replaced altogether in consumer DSLRs,
06-23-2010, 04:40 PM   #113
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
That's cheating. Maybe I *want* to scrounge around for spare 120 roll ends. Ever thought of that? Let some underpaid grunt at a photolab do my PP.

There's some economics for you.

In another analog spasm, not only did I bid on a Rollei today, I renewed my subscription to National Geographic. I'm going downhill fast.

06-23-2010, 04:59 PM   #114
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Faces everywhere

QuoteOriginally posted by knoxploration Quote


If that were true, then CPUs wouldn't be as expensive as they are, either. Die size is a very important variable in cost, and that's part of why processor manufacturers have invested vast sums in moving to smaller and smaller process sizes. (It doesn't hurt that smaller process sizes also mean less power consumption and heat, obviously). As die size goes down, yield goes up exponentially, and vice versa.

The same is true for image sensors, but unlike processors, we can't just switch to smaller die sizes -- we *have* to have the same die size to gather the same amount of light (all other things being equal). The only thing we can do to bring cost down (beyond the economies of scale we've already seen from large sensor camera adoption) is to increase wafer size -- but that's an expensive, complicated process. The largest standard wafers currently are 300mm, and have been since 2001.

Larger 450mm wafers should start to become available in a couple of years time, and when that happens, they'll eventually bring a decrease in cost, since larger wafers have less waste around the edge for any given die size. There's no getting around the fact that larger sensors are exponentially more likely to include a defect that stops them from being useable, and have greater waste at the edges of the wafer compared to a smaller sensor, though.

That's a significant part of the reason that APS-C is still around, and will be for the foreseeable future. Full-frame will likely still continue to get gradually cheaper over time, but we're still a long way away from seeing sub-$1,000 full-frame digital SLRs, and even further from seeing APS-C replaced altogether in consumer DSLRs,
That's very well-reasoned and clearly explained. I wish I could write that well.

I think, though, you missed the smiley. In defense of Falk (not that he needs any), I'm confident that he had his tongue at least partially in his cheek. IIRC, he was a significant contributor to European computer design in a previous career.

I will pick on nit, though. I'm thinking that the probability of a defect rises with the area of the chip in a linear fashion, assuming nothing else changes. Of course, something else always changes.

We're also assuming here that other technological improvements will affect both large and small sensors equally. If some design change or manufacturing technique brings value disproportionately to larger or smaller sensors/microcells, all assumptions will be suspect.

As they should be.
06-23-2010, 05:09 PM   #115
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QuoteOriginally posted by gazonk Quote
Falconeye: I agree with you on the mount diameter of a mirrorless system if the goal is to let it grow into a future large sensor system. But what if the goal is to beat all current actors om size? To make a system camera that could really compete with p&s in size? Then maybe Pentax should rather make an aps-c system with much smaller mount than m4/3 - 28mm should suffice.

Exactly!!!!

That is my point about micro 4/3. Pentax can go two directions if the aim is to out compete the mirrorless cameras on small size:

1. Make some sort of micro PK mount.
2. Use micro 4/3.

Advantage of (1) is that they can design it any way they like, so they could make it tiny. Disadvantage is that it will be ANOTHER system incompatible wth any other, AND the R&D will take up a lot of money. And if it fails, then what?


The advantage of (2), is that the mount exists. It is the first, and if 3 companies support micro 4/3, it will not go away. If Pentax can make a TINY micro 4/3, it can still beat Olympus & Panasonic to the punch. It can steal lens market share away from both, because Pentax already have experience in making great prime pancake lenses. I would buy Pentax lenses for my Panasonic G2.

Disadvantages would be breaking into an established market. Smaller sensor.

As for mount (throat) size, they are:
4/3: 44mm
Pentax K: 45mm
Micro 4/3: 38mm
Sony NEX: 46mm
Samsung NX: 42mm
06-23-2010, 05:37 PM   #116
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QuoteOriginally posted by dnas Quote
Disadvantage is that it will be ANOTHER system incompatible wth any other, AND the R&D will take up a lot of money. And if it fails, then what?
Who says one company wants to be compatible with another?

Much of the entire history of photography has been about proprietary systems (JPEG excepted, but then that was one industry talking to another).

Canon and Nikon are who they are because of their proprietary mounts. It's what spurs both innovation and competition.

Even in film there was collusion and competition for proprietary systems, though much less successfully (110 SLR anyone?).

Lens mounts are the crown jewels of an optical company. You don't share them. Panny and Oly lenses only marginally talk to their opposite # camera bodies. They have a forced marriage because of Canikon. M4/3 is a very, very big gamble. Far more risk there, hence the major emphasis on video.
06-23-2010, 05:55 PM   #117
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QuoteOriginally posted by glanglois Quote
That's very well-reasoned and clearly explained. I wish I could write that well.
Thanks for the compliment. I certainly try, but I'm not entirely sure I'm worthy of such high praise.

QuoteOriginally posted by glanglois Quote
I think, though, you missed the smiley. In defense of Falk (not that he needs any), I'm confident that he had his tongue at least partially in his cheek. IIRC, he was a significant contributor to European computer design in a previous career.
Things have a tendency to fly over my head on the Internet -- I think I must be shorter online than in real life. ;-)

I wasn't familiar with Falk's background, although I've certainly noticed the quality of his discussion here. Nobody's infallible, and perhaps it is me who stepped into today's conversational pothole!

QuoteQuote:
I will pick on nit, though. I'm thinking that the probability of a defect rises with the area of the chip in a linear fashion, assuming nothing else changes. Of course, something else always changes.
It's not a linear relationship:



(Image from
DFM for Non-PhDs David Abercrombie?s Blog )

Certainly in real life something always changes, as demonstrated by the second graph on that page though! ;-)
06-23-2010, 07:04 PM   #118
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
M4/3 is a very, very big gamble. Far more risk there, hence the major emphasis on video.

AND it has succeeded!!!

Sony NEX and Samsung NX haven't succeeded in the market place so far.....

And to say that micro 4/3 has "major emphasis on video" is not as true as you would like to think. The Panasonic G1 had NO VIDEO, and it still sold well.
06-24-2010, 05:58 AM   #119
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
Let's put it this way. Pentax has taken 4-6% from those 80% (the DSLR market); how much could they gain if they compete in a much smaller (20%) market?
IMO if they can't take half of that market for themselves (which I seriously doubt) there is no point in entering it - a much riskier and costly maneuver.
QuoteOriginally posted by dnas Quote
In Japan two years ago, Pentax had something like 4% of the DSLR market, with Olympus around 5-7% and Pansonic around 1-2%.

With the introduction of 43, the sales of of Olympus and Pansonic interchangeable lens cameras has jumped to more than 20%!!!!!!

Pentax is stable at around 4-6%.
Mirrorless interchangeable lens camera figures for May 2010 have been released for the Japanese market.

Micro 4/3 and Sony NEX cameras, made up 29.9% of sales of all interchangeable lens camera (both DSLR and mirrorless) towards the end of May.
06-24-2010, 06:26 AM   #120
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QuoteOriginally posted by knoxploration Quote
If that were true, then CPUs wouldn't be as expensive as they are
Your arguments hold true but are of a qualitative nature.

As you may know or may not know, I've gone beyond that point and tried to compute exact per unit manufacturing cost for APS-C, FF and MF. It's somewhere here in the forum ... I don't say I'm correct. But I haven't found any better public cost estimate yet. Of course, it took exact yield and wafer layout into account.


So, it is now an accepted fact in our forum that the extra manufacturing cost of FF over APS-C is ~$70, ignoring the larger mirror, shutter, and prism. Of course, margins are higher throughout all steps of the supply chain which is why we pay more than twice the price of APSC for FF now.

As for your qualitative arguments and the discussion about yield: Your curve is qualitatively correct. However, as David Abercrombie writes himself, it applies to a particular defect density (Dd). I retrieved relevant figures for Dd from the free teeser part of ICKnowledge and they're a lot better than his curve would suggest. AFAIK, actual Dd are corporate secrets.

http://www.icknowledge.com/trends/defects.pdf seems to be the best public source for actual Dd figures, ending in year 2000. It strongly suggests a figure like 0.01 defects/cm^2 to be applied to current fabs.

The probability of having no defect on a given die with area A (the yield rate) is:
Y = exp (- A Dd)
So, Y(A=8.64cm^2(FF),Dd=0.01/cm^2)= 92%. More conservative figures for higher Dd (older Fabs) yield:

Y(FF,0.01) = 92% (cf. above)
Y(FF,0.05) = 65%
Y(FF,0.10) = 42%
Y(FF,0.20) = 18%

I believe I used the 0.05 Dd figure in my cost estimate.

To summarize, yield is no argument against FF. It may have been in 2000 and the industry "forgot" to tell us that it isn't anymore


Ultimately, you're right that FF sensors don't shrink But Fabs to produce them in a given process become more and more affordable as technology progresses and machines required by an aging process get cheaper and cheaper. Cost of labour is neglegible already ...
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