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03-05-2013, 01:38 PM   #1
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K-10D Sensor

Since I'm still a beginner in this forum, I'm entitled to at least three dumb questions. So here's the first.

Does anyone here actually know who made the CCD sensor used in K10D and the Samsung GX.10?
I take it it's not made by Kodak(?), but is it a Sony sensor, either?

03-05-2013, 01:48 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by EchoOscar Quote
Since I'm still a beginner in this forum, I'm entitled to at least three dumb questions. So here's the first.

Does anyone here actually know who made the CCD sensor used in K10D and the Samsung GX.10?
I take it it's not made by Kodak(?), but is it a Sony sensor, either?
Samsung made it, that's why the camera ended up being rebadged. Guess why that partnership didn't last

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03-05-2013, 02:11 PM   #3
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I don't personally believe it is clear cut. I tend to think that Sony made the sensor. My opinion aside, see here for further arguments on the topic:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/105918-list-pentax...ml#post1090049
03-05-2013, 02:16 PM   #4
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Thanks for the reply. I tried to find the tidbit, but didn't seem to find it.
I think the K10d was and still is one of the nicest and more interesting 'aging' DSLR's. Had they put a Kodak CCD sensor in it, it would probably still be a 'hidden gem' for all landscape shooters with a budget.

03-05-2013, 03:21 PM   #5
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According to RiceHigh's Pentax blog of December 2006, the K10D uses the Sony CCD sensor ICX493AQA, the same one as the Sony A100 and Nikon D80.

RiceHigh's Pentax Blog: The Secrets of the K10D (Part 1 of 3) - The Heart: CCD Imager

Last edited by RKKS08; 03-05-2013 at 03:56 PM.
03-05-2013, 03:23 PM   #6
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I also thought that it was a sony,.

The 645D is using Kodak btw, same one as in the hassy H4D-40
03-05-2013, 04:09 PM   #7
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I am not really a beginner on this forum and used my dumb questions ages ago (not that this was a dumb question; its a good one).

However, I was wondering why sensor type was such a hard thing to determine. The sensor is one of the biggest determinants of performance in a DSLR (the biggest?) yet it seems like a lot of guesswork is involved actually figuring out which camera is packing what. For example, does the K5 use the same sensor as some Nikons or not?

I for one would love to have a definitive answer for why the K10d has that special sweet spot in low ISO, for example. Is it really the sensor or some other quirk. Hard to tell without knowing what the sensor is.

Any clues as to why this isn't simply revealed?

Thanks in advance,

Rob
03-05-2013, 04:36 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by EchoOscar Quote
Does anyone here actually know who made the CCD sensor used in K10D and the Samsung GX.10?
I take it it's not made by Kodak(?), but is it a Sony sensor, either?
I have not seen any clear indication on whether the sensor is made by Sony or Samsung or Kodak. Since there is a link above suggesting that Sony is the maker, here is another link where it is pointed out that the K10D sensor looks physically different from the Sony ones (different pin number).

Samsung makes sense, but it is also possible that they didn't make APS-C sensors at that time and they only started with the K20D using CMOS technology, so the K10D CCD sensor could come from Sony or even Kodak.

I also would like to see a definitive answer to this question.

QuoteOriginally posted by TheOtherRob Quote
However, I was wondering why sensor type was such a hard thing to determine. The sensor is one of the biggest determinants of performance in a DSLR (the biggest?) yet it seems like a lot of guesswork is involved actually figuring out which camera is packing what. For example, does the K5 use the same sensor as some Nikons or not?
Looking at dxomark specs, it looks like sensors that are assumed to be the same, are actually slightly different. I assume that camera manufacturers can customize to some extent the sensors that they order. The sensors would end up being like minor revisions of a major version product, in software terminology. So at a high level, you can consider them to be the same, but if you dig into details, you may start seeing differences - these differences probably do not have a significant impact on the performance, but might account for the minor differences that dxomark shows in their scoring.

QuoteOriginally posted by TheOtherRob Quote
Any clues as to why this isn't simply revealed?
It looks like Japanese companies do not always like to reveal their business partnerships, but as to specific reasons why, I could only speculate. It is not unusual though. Pentax doesn't advertise the contributions of Tokina or Tamron to their lenses. Olympus didn't officially acknowledge the sensor manufacturer for the E-M5/E-PL5/E-PM2.

03-05-2013, 04:40 PM   #9
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CCDs generally have very good IQ at low sensitivity because the amplification is more uniform (the same components amplify the signals originating from many locations, so greater homogeneity over the total image) and because the amplification isn't as much on-chip (thereby lowering heat dispersion on the imaging components, improving uniformity). There may be other reasons.

CMOS supports faster read-out and improves sensitivity by putting many amps very close to the sensor sites, where each amp is subject to normal variations within normal tolerances, and thus may not be as regular as for CCD. Video pretty much requires CMOS, so the industry has switched to CMOS and is doing great work getting CMOS to look nearly as good.

The manufacturers don't advertise for others. They don't want you to know that the K10D and D200 have nearly the same sensor. Additionally, there are minor differences applied by each manufacturer. I believe that Pentax's top models, including the K10D at the time, are multicoated with SMC. Obviously Nikon cannot use SMC. So the sensors are different. Nikon probably also uses their own stepper-scanners and may have advantages/differences/characteristics that are imparted by their lithography. Another reason is, in this case, Pentax teamed up with Samsung to provide the next generation CMOS sensor from the K20D, and Samsung may have asked Pentax not to advertise the use of a Sony sensor in the K10D, which may have been arranged years in advance. Hundreds of possible reasons may exist, I'm just listing a few that I find likely.
03-05-2013, 04:54 PM   #10
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Thanks to Laurentiu and Aegon for those answers.

Aegon, I am non-technical but that explaination was very clear and actually makes sense to me. With all of those minor customizations, just saying that camera A and camera B both have sensor X could be simplistic and misleading. And then there is the rather mundane marketting and confidentiality aspects as both of you suggested.

Well, I suppose there is a certain romance in havin to guestimate, too!

Thanks again!
03-06-2013, 02:06 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aegon Quote
CCDs generally have very good IQ at low sensitivity because the amplification is more uniform (the same components amplify the signals originating from many locations, so greater homogeneity over the total image) and because the amplification isn't as much on-chip (thereby lowering heat dispersion on the imaging components, improving uniformity). There may be other reasons.
Only one i can think off.
The actual light sensative part is also larger.
03-06-2013, 11:48 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anvh Quote
I also thought that it was a sony,.

The 645D is using Kodak btw, same one as in the hassy H4D-40
Yes, I was aware of that, and that's why I kinda hoped that the K10D might have one from the same family of sensors, only smaller. But alas, no such luck.

Some DSLR bodies of roughly the same era did have a smaller Kodak CCD sensor. Olympus E-400 was/is one of them, albeit in 4/3 format.

Anyway, thanks for the feedback, guys, you actually made this thread interesting. Perhaps I should have opened it in some other area.


QuoteOriginally posted by TheOtherRob:
Well, I suppose there is a certain romance in havin to guestimate, too!
Romance? How about uninhibited lust!
The guestimating part is the stuff that drives all the gadget geeks in heat, and the topics running for months. They/we love to guestimate, and then getting to bicker about their/our different guestimations. Not referring to this topic or this sensor, though, but in general.
03-06-2013, 06:24 PM   #13
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I bought my K10D about the same time as a friend bought her Nikon D80. There are a lot of similarities between the two sensors (low ISO IQ) and when they were released. I tend to lean toward the belief it's a Sony sensor.
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