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03-21-2012, 03:56 AM   #481
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QuoteOriginally posted by gazonk Quote
Or a new kind of 645-mount camera - more compact and less expensive than the existing and with a modern CMOS sensor
Yeah, then they would just skip the whole FF niche and bring MF to the masses. That would seriously confuse the market... But why CMOS? CCD still is better for stills. And cheaper too.

03-21-2012, 04:09 AM   #482
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
Yeah, then they would just skip the whole FF niche and bring MF to the masses. That would seriously confuse the market... But why CMOS? CCD still is better for stills. And cheaper too.
CMOS in order to include video. And is CCD really still better?
03-21-2012, 04:25 AM   #483
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QuoteOriginally posted by gazonk Quote
CMOS in order to include video. And is CCD really still better?
Historically CCD has always had the better IQ over CMOS. And it still has, although the difference in IQ is fading.

But I was nitpicking. Skipping the FF and bringing MF to the common people would be a magic move.

...If it was possible...
03-21-2012, 05:21 AM   #484
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QuoteOriginally posted by pz1fan Quote
Their FF venture can not be called unsuccessful
That's why i said relatively...They failed at piercing the pro market, and about establishing without any doubt they are there to stay and that an investment won't be met sometime soon with a press release stating their abandon of the FF line. Personally i'm sure that even if they are in a deep crisis, with value plumeting, Sony is big enough to keep being a big player in the camera market, so probably they'll just keep being there till all those insecurities fade and till it stops being viewed as an unworthy outsider. The FF line surely will benefit too from the "captured" market share in entry and mid level dslrs they snatched largely from Nikon.
QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
I think the promiss of retreating to the D800 thread is just a tactic
Yep..we're really out to pervert your pure pentaxian brains.
In fact i think all this discussion might be of some use if they got some people screening the forums, it gives them data...skewed because there are lots of gearheads and advanced photogs who ain't really the masses of people using dslrs (Pentax' marketshare comes more frompeople wanting Camo dressed cameras, pink with purple and light blue or any other eye hurting contraption).
QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
And it still has, although the difference in IQ is fading.
I would say that at this point that difference is pretty much faded...there still are differences but right now IQ isn't the most obious.
CCD vs. CMOS

A modular 35mm would surely turn some heads away, they could have a sensor module and adaptors that would take any lens from any brand (couldn't they?) but i doubt the costs are something manageable. We'll have to wait a year at least, more likely a couple, to really see why Ricoh bought Pentax.

03-21-2012, 05:39 AM   #485
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There are a lot of patents in regards to varying types of "modular cameras" (outside of the Ricoh model); and **even better** a type of concept that would mean an interchangeable sensor. Imagine having an existing 16mp sensor and then upgrading it later to a 20+mp sensor without having to get a new camera body.

There were two prototypes "produced" of fully operational cameras that featured a sensor that could be replaced or updated. One was based upon an existing full frame Nikon frame with a type of motherboard that held the sensor. It would be unlikely that most consumers would be able to switch ot the sensor, but it would be an item that could be switched out easily by a service center.

Imagine how this would work in ANY camera line. To have a digital camera body that actually would last long term; and not be outdated within two years. I remember the days when a quality Nikon would retail at about 2k, and even a Pentax LX at about 1k. As for the Nikon line; now there's the D3 - still retailing at about 7k, and the soon to be released D4. They are far too overpriced - even when the price of the sensor is factored in, plus the build quality has gone down considerably.
03-21-2012, 05:52 AM   #486
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
Yeah, then they would just skip the whole FF niche and bring MF to the masses. That would seriously confuse the market... But why CMOS? CCD still is better for stills. And cheaper too.
Supply moved to CMOS mostly because it is less expensive to produce.

The start of any system is sensor price. Sony is maxed out on production for Nikon. There are no other CMOS sensor suppliers for FF. The cost if entry into the market is in the hundreds of millions, so to amortize the investment, you'd need Nikon volumes. Canon does not sell sensors.

Sony bought Toshiba semi in Nagasaki in 2010 an refurbished their fabs to the tine of 100 billion Yen to increase supply and they are still back-ordered only for Nikon. The Kyushu product line puts out 50,000 wafers per month. In the past 24 months Sony has poured in over $1 billion into capacity, so that tells you how expensive it is to make sensors and that volume is critical.

There's not enough FF supply so prices are high and limited to those that pay the premium and buy in volume. The list of Kyushu Semi products doesn't list FF-size products. It's a single market product to custom spec and design. If you want in on that dynamic you'll need to put big capital up front, sustain volumes, and lock in.

That is what is keeping Pentax out. Pentax has too low volumes to pay for alternative supply, and Canikon eat up all the product booked years in advance.
03-21-2012, 05:59 AM   #487
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QuoteOriginally posted by Medium FormatPro Quote
Imagine how this would work in ANY camera line
It would mean less income from programmed obsolescence and hype so it's not a move Canikon will make...it's the perfect killer move for a small player like Pentax. I would like to hear more about those prototypes, any links?
A modular 35mm could mean having different sensors for different applications too: you could have one without IR filter, one with low MP for fps and iso performance, one with high MP, and since the flange focal distance doesn't have to be the same we could mount any lens out there with the opportune adapter. My mouth is watering although i'm pretty sure this are ramblings that ain't economically and probably technically possible.

Aristophanes: what you say seems very sound..but aren't there any other sensor producers like Aptina? Samsung? probably their tech ain't able to compete againt sony's, or is it also cost related?
03-21-2012, 06:05 AM   #488
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Also noting... Given the current days pricing of items such as the D3, also the size and weight of the camera... That one is almost in the ballpark of a medium format camera.

In fact; some medium format cameras would even be more cost effective than the D3, but... While there are vastly improved optics and resolution with medium format; there's also far less in lens selection - almost a type of limitation. I don't think you'll see many Hasselblad's or Mamiya's at sporting events.

The cost effective issue case in point... One could get ready to buy a D4 (or current D3 at what price and then have a new (and better sensor) come out in the market in the next two to three years. OR... Buy a P645 or Mamiya for not all that much more and then change the sensor out later still for a lot less than the Nikon. Sure medium format has it's market (advantages and even disadvantes) versus full frame digital such as the D4.

IF I had to do it all over again I would actually rely far less on ANY non medium format full frame sensor - they simply aren't with the money versus how long it is before the technlogy is massively outdated. I also still see that there will eventually be a replaceable sensor model made by at least one comany in the next few years - most likely Sony or Nikon.

03-21-2012, 06:15 AM   #489
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QuoteOriginally posted by Coeurdechene Quote
It would mean less income from programmed obsolescence and hype so it's not a move Canikon will make...it's the perfect killer move for a small player like Pentax. I would like to hear more about those prototypes, any links?
A modular 35mm could mean having different sensors for different applications too: you could have one without IR filter, one with low MP for fps and iso performance, one with high MP, and since the flange focal distance doesn't have to be the same we could mount any lens out there with the opportune adapter. My mouth is watering although i'm pretty sure this are ramblings that ain't economically and probably technically possible.

Aristophanes: what you say seems very sound..but aren't there any other sensor producers like Aptina? Samsung? probably their tech ain't able to compete againt sony's, or is it also cost related?
In the past I was able to take detailed photographs (a lot of macro work) of the prototypes, but... Every part of the image was retained by the client; quite rare in my field. A contract was signed with the client to publish, but... Just before publication; the person credited with this development got divorced. Not sure what happened with it from there. All that I am aware of is that it got buried in divorce court somewhere by a bunch of major law firms. I'll still see what type of link I can find on it.

As for economically possible; it would depend upon what level. I know of professionals (such as myself) that would in fact pay about 10k for a D4 based system that did have the ability to later switch out the sensor. Companies such as Nikon and Sony are fully aware of the market for the product but are doing nothing with it. They would much rather sell the camera bodies that become all to quickly outdated. Another company that could in fact do it - Leica.

As for technically possible... In the prototyes it did in fact work and work well with a number of sensors able to switch out. I would really be interested in reading about any manufacturers perspective on this one
03-21-2012, 06:17 AM   #490
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
But I always said so: the first uncrippled and affordable FF camera will shake the market. It seems this was true and I am actually surprised that neither Nikon (demand exceeding supply) nor Canon (crippled 5DmkIII) correctly have foreseen this.
They didn't foresee it because of too many corporate Aristophanites. They tend to rise to leadership positions in most companies because of their low-risk, high profit, don't rock the boat approach. But they also seem to be genetically incapable of incorporating the "past performance is not an indicator of ..." principle in their analysis. Thus their companies always end up behind the curve as the market changes.
03-21-2012, 06:30 AM   #491
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
If what you are saying about Pentax not being able to get a Sony FF sensor for a good price (because they lack the volume) were true then it stands to reason that this principle would also apply to the sensor used in the K-5 & D7000.
No. The principle fades as the aggregate market gets larger.

The APS-C market looks to be 12x to 16x larger than FF. Add in m43 and up to 20x larger.

This is all made possible by the fact that the market gets much larger based on lower prices.

That's why there is so much activity by many suppliers at the sub-m43 sensor size, including the Q, the Nikon V/J series, the new Canon's, etc. Those sensors can be made by the bucketload. You can make 10 Q's just off the yield loss from 1 FF sensor (I exaggerate to make a point).

What is intriguing with that dynamic is that sensor size is now a metric for Joe Consumer. I've long said that when the feature list cannot grow, and the megapixel race loses traction, sensor size will be the determinant for product differentiation and then a FF price war will drive new supply with investment derived from capital on retained profits. The constraint on FF supply is partially artificial based on the rapid commoditization of APS-C. If bigger is better for the smaller cameras, then it applies up the food chain.
03-21-2012, 06:35 AM   #492
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Supply moved to CMOS mostly because it is less expensive to produce.

The start of any system is sensor price. Sony is maxed out on production for Nikon. There are no other CMOS sensor suppliers for FF. The cost if entry into the market is in the hundreds of millions, so to amortize the investment, you'd need Nikon volumes. Canon does not sell sensors.

Sony bought Toshiba semi in Nagasaki in 2010 an refurbished their fabs to the tine of 100 billion Yen to increase supply and they are still back-ordered only for Nikon. The Kyushu product line puts out 50,000 wafers per month. In the past 24 months Sony has poured in over $1 billion into capacity, so that tells you how expensive it is to make sensors and that volume is critical.

There's not enough FF supply so prices are high and limited to those that pay the premium and buy in volume. The list of Kyushu Semi products doesn't list FF-size products. It's a single market product to custom spec and design. If you want in on that dynamic you'll need to put big capital up front, sustain volumes, and lock in.

That is what is keeping Pentax out. Pentax has too low volumes to pay for alternative supply, and Canikon eat up all the product booked years in advance.
If Aristophanes is correct this should end all discussion of a Pentax FF (24x36 equivalent sensor) now and forever.

This is the reality of the marketplace. You can't just magically decide to build and sell soemthing. You have to make or source all the parts from somewhere. If the parts aren't made or a supply of them isn't available then you can't make your product with that part - you either must use something else or not make your product, no matter what your market research tells you about your custmoers' willingness to buy it..

However, markets are not static. Markets hate a vacuum - and a monopoly. If supply of FF sensors is really that tight, if margins are really that high, if demand is really that strong into the forseeable future (D800 backordered for months at announced production rate) some other enterprising company, seeking a return on capital, will step into the space to compete.

Capital loves a high margin. The world is presently AWASH in undeployed capital. Corporate balance sheets are AWASH with cash (Ricoh has $2.3bbn on its balance sheet and can borrow at will). If confidence returns, if the world economy stabilizes (it is and it will), a $1billion capital commitment to wafer manufacturing will happen, especially if something new and unique can be developed to turn some heads (it can and it will be).

I wonder what kind of relationship Ricoh has with Samsung?
03-21-2012, 06:51 AM   #493
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QuoteOriginally posted by Medium FormatPro Quote
Another company that could in fact do it - Leica.
Not sure about that..they are already in life support and things don't look all that well... And wasn't kodak the one manufacturing Leica's sensors? Kodak situation is precarious, and even if the equity decides to devellop the venture instead of sanitizing and selling for a profit i'm not sure if they will enter a risky enterprise.
QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Capital loves a high margin. The world is presently AWASH in undeployed capital
Well this would put kodak in a good place to fill in, and start chipping away part of Sony's sensor market.
And what about Samsung, Dalsa...or other industrial sensor manufacturers would it be a wild idea them getting a hefty investment and moving in the photo sensor manufacturing business?
03-21-2012, 07:02 AM   #494
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Kodak is out of the sensor business Courdechene. they sold off the division last year.
they are now called Truesense Imaging

Truesense Imaging, Inc.

Edit - there is a 50 mp sensor there that may well be the next 645d sensor)

Last edited by eddie1960; 03-21-2012 at 07:11 AM.
03-21-2012, 07:06 AM   #495
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And Truesense only makes CCD.
Forget the Kodak idea...
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