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03-21-2012, 07:08 AM   #496
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Yep i knew about the equity and the sensor division..i didn't know they had changed the name that's new devellopment...
Looks like they intend to produce new things rather than sanitize the economic structure and sell for a profit. We'll have to see and wait if they'll move to become a major player in the photographic sensors area.


Last edited by Coeurdechene; 03-21-2012 at 07:35 AM.
03-21-2012, 07:19 AM   #497
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QuoteOriginally posted by thibs Quote
And Truesense only makes CCD.
Forget the Kodak idea...
I would buy a Pentax CCD FF in a heartbeat.

Doing video on a DSLR is so useless that it can easily be sacrificed for that tiny amount of IQ increase a CCD will give over CMOS. And liveview... Who uses THAT? Especially when there's a big bright FF OVF.

Leave out the AA filter and market it as the sharpest bullsh*tless FF photocamera.
03-21-2012, 07:20 AM   #498
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QuoteOriginally posted by Coeurdechene Quote
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 develop the venture instead of sanitizing and selling for a profit i'm not sure if they will enter a risky enterprise.

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?
Kodak no longer has a sensor division. It was sold to Platinum Equity and it is CCD only with a bunch of negatives. Dalsa also makes CCD's.

Also, the Kodak fab could never ramp up the volumes affordably. They make chips starting at over $1,500 per unit. The 645D chip starts at $3,000 from one source I heard. Not sure how to verify, but it makes sense given the very low volume and the small size of the fab.

When sourcing a product like a sensor, this is not really about volume discounts. It's about paying up front for the production run or placing a surety on demand. The sensor is one thing, but each each buyer also has some control over the A/D backside of the chip. Nikon and Pentax appear to be superior to Sony at getting the best signals out of Sony chips!

Samsung, Panasonic and Fuji can all make sensors. The FF problem is volume vs. initial cost. These fabs require massive investments, especially as sensor size goes up. The whole floor has to be damped (as it does for making film emulsions in Kodak's Building 38) and quality control must be exact to be economical. Scaling up to FF production requires hundreds of millions of $$$'s. The cost to invest in FF for Pentax likely exceeds the entire net worth of Pentax, so there is no hope of Ricoh/Pentax funding this themselves.

Fuji may be a company to watch, but if they have an FF sunkworks for their X-Pro line, it is in the distant future. Panasonic has no incentive to eat into its m43 side biz. Samsung is a big question mark. Cameras in Asia are brand identified with Japanese companies and Samsung has had lots of trouble making progress despite some good designs. Their sensors lag. Any effort to get new supply in the channel will take years from now from any of these suppliers.

Sony is dominant. The even make the LCD's that go into the back of both Canon and Nikon cameras. The camera industry has often had limited suppliers for core components, like Seiko with shutter systems.
03-21-2012, 07:31 AM   #499
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This is a bit dated, but someone at Canon had the decency to explain both the technical and economic issues:

http://www.robgalbraith.com/public_files/Canon_Full-Frame_CMOS_White_Paper.pdf

03-21-2012, 07:32 AM   #500
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
[snip]
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.
Not necessarily, sir. Software may become the new metric for consumers (though not for the high-end). If the boys from consumer electronics (Apple, Google/Android, Samsung et al) decide to move into the photography business really big time and immerse it in IoS or 'droid (rather than just buying companies which carry on much as before, a la Sony/Minolta), things could change very quickly. These outfits could mop up the entire photography industry just like that - it's a cottage affair by their standards. I'd guess it's this as much as anything which may give the executives from Canonikon a few nightmares. The camera is presented simply as a gadget which captures a digital stream. What you do with that stream, how and whether you upload it to the cloud and so forth - it's all software, in-camera. OK, pro sports photography, MF, really high-end stuff might not fall into this bracket and continue with traditional ways, but for the rest of us, provided the sensor is of a certain standard (which in a few years or even now it will be) and the lenses aren't actually dogs then the differentiator is software and branding.
03-21-2012, 07:35 AM   #501
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Kodak no longer has a sensor division. It was sold to Platinum Equity and it is CCD only with a bunch of negatives. Dalsa also makes CCD's.

Also, the Kodak fab could never ramp up the volumes affordably. They make chips starting at over $1,500 per unit. The 645D chip starts at $3,000 from one source I heard. Not sure how to verify, but it makes sense given the very low volume and the small size of the fab.

When sourcing a product like a sensor, this is not really about volume discounts. It's about paying up front for the production run or placing a surety on demand. The sensor is one thing, but each each buyer also has some control over the A/D backside of the chip. Nikon and Pentax appear to be superior to Sony at getting the best signals out of Sony chips!

Samsung, Panasonic and Fuji can all make sensors. The FF problem is volume vs. initial cost. These fabs require massive investments, especially as sensor size goes up. The whole floor has to be damped (as it does for making film emulsions in Kodak's Building 38) and quality control must be exact to be economical. Scaling up to FF production requires hundreds of millions of $$$'s. The cost to invest in FF for Pentax likely exceeds the entire net worth of Pentax, so there is no hope of Ricoh/Pentax funding this themselves.

Fuji may be a company to watch, but if they have an FF sunkworks for their X-Pro line, it is in the distant future. Panasonic has no incentive to eat into its m43 side biz. Samsung is a big question mark. Cameras in Asia are brand identified with Japanese companies and Samsung has had lots of trouble making progress despite some good designs. Their sensors lag. Any effort to get new supply in the channel will take years from now from any of these suppliers.

Sony is dominant. The even make the LCD's that go into the back of both Canon and Nikon cameras. The camera industry has often had limited suppliers for core components, like Seiko with shutter systems.
Funnily enough Sony may make the lcd for canikon, but when it comes to their tvs they get them from a plant they have partnered with samsung. So in reality the samsung and Sony LCD TV use the same screens (Sony has the better back end which is easily as important as the screen though)
the next move in camera screens will be OLED though. the iPhone iPad and other Smartphones/Tablets will have driven down the tech cost so it is viable - this will be a big boon for mirrorless
03-21-2012, 07:51 AM   #502
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Dalsa also makes CCD's.
They claim they do both and that they are technology neutral...
And if monochrome is right and Capital loves high margin enterprises the only thing needed is a big big investment in an already working enterprise to give it the boost needed to face Sony.

Panasonic could deliver too since i think m43 is completely a different thing...people don't think about buying a FF or a m43, they are differenciated market segments so develloping FF wouldn't cannibalize it's m43 sales.
03-21-2012, 07:55 AM   #503
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
Not necessarily, sir. Software may become the new metric for consumers (though not for the high-end). If the boys from consumer electronics (Apple, Google/Android, Samsung et al) decide to move into the photography business really big time and immerse it in IoS or 'droid (rather than just buying companies which carry on much as before, a la Sony/Minolta), things could change very quickly. These outfits could mop up the entire photography industry just like that - it's a cottage affair by their standards. I'd guess it's this as much as anything which may give the executives from Canonikon a few nightmares. The camera is presented simply as a gadget which captures a digital stream. What you do with that stream, how and whether you upload it to the cloud and so forth - it's all software, in-camera. OK, pro sports photography, MF, really high-end stuff might not fall into this bracket and continue with traditional ways, but for the rest of us, provided the sensor is of a certain standard (which in a few years or even now it will be) and the lenses aren't actually dogs then the differentiator is software and branding.
Photography has been an offshoot of the electronics industry and market starting in the 1980's and rally ramping up with digital.

However, the reason why the same players dominate in 2012 as they did in 1979 (Canon, Nikon, Sony [ex-Minolta], Pentax, and Olympus) is because of optics. Superior IQ demands superior optics and certain laws of physics mandate that smartphones can out P&S out of biz, but software cannot replicate what good glass can do.

There is and has been since the 1960's a very vibrant, amateur market for dedicated high-IQ photography products starting with excellent optics. Ironically, pixel peeping has heightened that trend. Not everyone had a loupe even in the film days.

Apple did try and get into the imaging market, and were so burned by their QuickTake (I had one briefly ...yucky) experience they were even reluctant to embrace a camera in the iPhone.

03-21-2012, 08:05 AM   #504
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
This is a bit dated, but someone at Canon had the decency to explain both the technical and economic issues
Aristophanes, you just fell down a few steps on my ladder of respect.

You cannot seriously cite this paper which is full of marketing bullshit wrapped into white paper. I mentioned it over and over over the years why this paper cannot be cited. As for instance, they use wrong numbers (like e.g., comparing wafers of different sizes without telling you). This is just Canon's campaign to justify their insane FF pricing.
03-21-2012, 08:10 AM   #505
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Photography has been an offshoot of the electronics industry and market starting in the 1980's and rally ramping up with digital.

However, the reason why the same players dominate in 2012 as they did in 1979 (Canon, Nikon, Sony [ex-Minolta], Pentax, and Olympus) is because of optics. Superior IQ demands superior optics and certain laws of physics mandate that smartphones can out P&S out of biz, but software cannot replicate what good glass can do.

There is and has been since the 1960's a very vibrant, amateur market for dedicated high-IQ photography products starting with excellent optics. Ironically, pixel peeping has heightened that trend. Not everyone had a loupe even in the film days.

Apple did try and get into the imaging market, and were so burned by their QuickTake (I had one briefly ...yucky) experience they were even reluctant to embrace a camera in the iPhone.
Fair points, but I don't think I was clear enough. I was not thinking of rival products but of takeovers and targeting. The camera may be from Nikon, now a subsidiary of a well-known fruit-maker and purchased for a minuscule proportion of its cash pile, but that Nikon has Apple software inside it with full connectivity. Or it might be from Samsung or Pentax, but with a flavour of Android inside it. Any company which doesn't join the club is soon outfinanced and outgunned. Of course this is just a what-if, but there is already enough good glass among the main players to last a lifetime. How much more lunch can you eat? What there is very little of is good software and connectivity with other devices. I think this is the industry's Achilles' heel. As before, I except the high-end.
03-21-2012, 08:15 AM   #506
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
Aristophanes, you just fell down a few steps on my ladder of respect.

You cannot seriously cite this paper which is full of marketing bullshit wrapped into white paper. I mentioned it over and over over the years why this paper cannot be cited. As for instance, they use wrong numbers (like e.g., comparing wafers of different sizes without telling you). This is just Canon's campaign to justify their insane FF pricing.
not to mention even the correct info in the paper is dated, all technology comes down in cost over time.
I doubt the 645D sensor is still costing the $3000 it probably did at launch as well. Aside from the fact that it's costs will have been amortized, there is also a second user (leica S2) who will have brought down cost (though their sales likely haven't equaled even what sells in a current month on the 645d never mind what sold in the first few months)

I'll continue to rely on your FF sensor cost estimate Falk ($450-500 isn't it?) though i bet the D800 sensor may cost a little more

the pricing canikon maintain on their FF is crazy, but lack of competition allows them to do it. until one of them caves and pursues more affordable FF or more people enter the market it will stay like this
03-21-2012, 08:20 AM   #507
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That software could do a lot of neat tricks with the help of fast processors. What about multiple (cheaper) sensors, forming one large area? Not stitched together, the camera renders one image by sticking the images together. 2x m4/3 sensors together are a just bit larger then FF.
03-21-2012, 08:24 AM   #508
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
Aristophanes, you just fell down a few steps on my ladder of respect.

You cannot seriously cite this paper which is full of marketing bullshit wrapped into white paper. I mentioned it over and over over the years why this paper cannot be cited. As for instance, they use wrong numbers (like e.g., comparing wafers of different sizes without telling you). This is just Canon's campaign to justify their insane FF pricing.
Well, that's why I said it is dated ;-)

I don't care about Canon's wafer size issues.

The paper is accurate on the economics of the supply side. Take the list of CMOS suppliers. Most in that paper no longer make sensors for the photo market in any capacity. Sony bought out Toshiba. Micron spun out Aptina as a sole CMOS supplier, which has struggled. Cypress, Avago, and all the others have found non-photo niches, in large part because Sony Semi at Kyushsu was able to consolidate superior supply chain dynamics and prices, plus dominant quality. Kodak's CMOS never got going. The same for others listed. The CCD side drastically consolidated as well when the market moved largely to CMOS.

There are now less that 3 suppliers of CMOS capable of supplying Pentax FF aspirations: Sony, Canon, and maybe Samsung. It's hard to tell about Aptina, but they have not made much in the way of sales for reasons that are likely technical. Sony has built up a substantial lead through acquisition, sales, and quality.
03-21-2012, 08:42 AM   #509
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IMHO Apple has not even close to reached the "law of large numbers" ceiling. Their global share of computers is 7.64%.

McDonalds hit the ceiling at 15,000 stores in the US. To grow 15% at that level they'd need to open 2,200 stores the next year - can't be done. Same with Walmart. Same with Starbucks. Same with Disney. Eventually you have to increase cash flow from exisiting locations, so you expand your "menu" and compete with the Pilot Fish and parasites whose businesses are dependent on your success.

McDonalds established its own captive and profitable wholesale food distribution business (Pilot Fish) and expanded its menu. It also went overseas early
Walmart did Sam's Club and is doing food. It wants a store in the center of every 50,000 people. Think about your city and the number of Walmarts!!
Starbucks is ramping up the food menu (Panera Bread is eating their lunch!! Pun intentional).
Disney was the content provider, so it bought the peripheral distribution channel (Pilot Fish); several production companies, Washington Post, ABC (parasite), ESPN.

Microsoft hit the ceiling and the only way to continue to grow at historically high rates was to attack peripheral competitors such as bundling Explorer with Windows to take share from Netscape; closing the GUI code to 3rd-Party software makers to kill Borland Quattro Pro and Lotus 123 (Excel), Wordperfect (I forget the others - something Corel?), dBase and (what was Borland's database developer before they LBO'ed dBase?) with (Access). Java got away from them. Flash got away from them. They haven't realy been able to crush the Media Player market in the face of iTunes (the real money coming to Apple long-term is iCloud subscriptions and content rental - see next).

Apple is unique in that it has created a vertically-integrated 'verse where products feed software feed subscriptions feed new hardware (to handle more integrated software). That's great, but to continue this growth rate they have to start eating the Pilot Fish and parasites. So they'll start an app development company and squeeze out or buy out the biggest app makers. Their next move is into television - hardware, content and delivery - it is coming soon. Why should Instagram and Facebook exist peripherally to the iPhone? For that matter, why should a telephone company exist peripherally to the iPhone?

The phone camera lens and sensor are just a part to Apple. If they want to they can make an iCam that uploads an image - even a pro grade image - directly to iCloud, displays on any subscribed device anywhere in the world, downloads a file for software manipulation directly from the cloud - etc. Of course everything will be optimized for Apple hardware and software. It will work with other stuff, just not as productively.

There is no need for Nikon, Canon, Sony, Pentax, Oly or Samsung or for that matter Getty Images even to exist. Apple can own this market, including the pro market, in just a few years if they choose. If they choose not to own the camera hardware (and it is a mere choice for Apple) they'll either by force of market demand or by actual corporate threat own the content flow, as hypothesized in an earlier post.

Pentax FF and sensor availability are somewhat irrelevant - the relevant elephant is the "Fruit-maker."

Last edited by monochrome; 03-21-2012 at 08:47 AM.
03-21-2012, 08:56 AM   #510
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
IMHO Apple has not even close to reached the "law of large numbers" ceiling. Their global share of computers is 7.64%.

McDonalds hit the ceiling at 15,000 stores in the US. To grow 15% at that level they'd need to open 2,200 stores the next year - can't be done. Same with Walmart. Same with Starbucks. Same with Disney. Eventually you have to increase cash flow from exisiting locations, so you expand your "menu" and compete with the Pilot Fish and parasites whose businesses are dependent on your success.

McDonalds established its own captive and profitable wholesale food distribution business (Pilot Fish) and expanded its menu. It also went overseas early
Walmart did Sam's Club and is doing food. It wants a store in the center of every 50,000 people. Think about your city and the number of Walmarts!!
Starbucks is ramping up the food menu (Panera Bread is eating their lunch!! Pun intentional).
Disney was the content provider, so it bought the peripheral distribution channel (Pilot Fish); several production companies, Washington Post, ABC (parasite), ESPN.

Microsoft hit the ceiling and the only way to continue to grow at historically high rates was to attack peripheral competitors such as bundling Explorer with Windows to take share from Netscape; closing the GUI code to 3rd-Party software makers to kill Borland Quattro Pro and Lotus 123 (Excel), Wordperfect (I forget the others - something Corel?), dBase and (what was Borland's database developer before they LBO'ed dBase?) with (Access). Java got away from them. Flash got away from them. They haven't realy been able to crush the Media Player market in the face of iTunes (the real money coming to Apple long-term is iCloud subscriptions and content rental - see next).

Apple is unique in that it has created a vertically-integrated 'verse where products feed software feed subscriptions feed new hardware (to handle more integrated software). That's great, but to continue this growth rate they have to start eating the Pilot Fish and parasites. So they'll start an app development company and squeeze out or buy out the biggest app makers. Their next move is into television - hardware, content and delivery - it is coming soon. Why should Instagram and Facebook exist peripherally to the iPhone? For that matter, why should a telephone company exist peripherally to the iPhone?

The phone camera lens and sensor are just a part to Apple. If they want to they can make an iCam that uploads an image - even a pro grade image - directly to iCloud, displays on any subscribed device anywhere in the world, downloads a file for software manipulation directly from the cloud - etc. Of course everything will be optimized for Apple hardware and software. It will work with other stuff, just not as productively.

There is no need for Nikon, Canon, Sony, Pentax, Oly or Samsung or for that matter Getty Images even to exist. Apple can own this market, including the pro market, in just a few years if they choose. If they choose not to own the camera hardware (and it is a mere choice for Apple) they'll either by force of market demand or by actual corporate threat own the content flow, as hypothesized in an earlier post.

Pentax FF and sensor availability are somewhat irrelevant - the relevant elephant is the "Fruit-maker."

Apple's Computer market share is really the least successful part of their business. and the iPad is driving huge change in the computer market. For what a huge percentage of people (including at the corporate level) use laptops and computers for the iPad is rapidly encroaching on that territory. I'd say Tablets but the current reality is Apple pretty much owns the market and defines where it is going. everyone else is always in catch up mode. The iPhone is killing the Blackberry now that apple has solved security issues to government standards, and the iPad will do the same.

I don't always think they make the best product but they have really become marketing geniuses since the dawn of the original iPod (which pretty much saved the company)

We are finally caving and Picking up an iPad despite the fact that we have both a laptop and a desktop that are relatively new and powerful

If i can find the outboard hard drive i can load from an sd slot and then edit when traveling from the ipad while keeping the file on the hard drive the laptop will become a doorstop (as long as the screen isn't green like the one Falk posted)
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