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04-19-2012, 02:33 AM   #1
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Is a full frame camera worth $1k to $1.3k feasible to make?

I was wondering if Pentax-Ricoh would release a FF camera, why not make it cheap so that even those in the Ca-Nikon camps would jump in and try and buy the unit. I know that most professionals would want it to be water-proof and have magnesium alloy bodies but that would comprise of only a small segment of the buying market. A lot of new DSLR buyers buy a camera because they want good image quality and would like to have a professional looking gadget that would make them look like professionals. If a buyer is offered to choose between an high end APC which cost around $1k and a full frame at about the same cost, I'll bet he will choose the latter.

Pentax-Ricoh is suppose to offer cheaper cameras in the future but I think this would be on the low end models but if they include the full frame......hmmmm. I think the strategy is already in-play. We have already a cheap 35/2.4 and an upcoming 50/1.8. A cheap 85/1,8 should also be included in the lineup.

For those wanting their full frame having all the best features, Pentax-Ricoh can release a version of that at a premium (say $1.5 to 1.8k).

04-19-2012, 03:44 AM   #2
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Maybe if the camera is complete barebone: No SR, very basic AF, no WR, etc, etc...

Personally, I'd prefer to just take multiple shots in high speed with my fully featured K5, and stitch the images together over buying such a barebone camera.
04-19-2012, 04:19 AM   #3
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Yep, agree with that. A FF flagship must be both competitive (to be desirable) and feature-packed (to be useful in as many applications as possible). No chance of a $1000 FF body - the APS-C flagships have retailed at more than that when first released.
04-19-2012, 04:31 AM   #4
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No. The sensor in a FF camera costs 10-20 times that in an APS-C camera. That is why a 4 year old FF camera still retails at over $2000.

04-19-2012, 04:50 AM   #5
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But sensors should be created easily by now. It should cost lower to produce than 4 years ago. I know that the sensor would be the most expensive part in the camera but most parts should have gone down.

I think it is feasible but it will break the market price and cut a hole in the manufacturers profit. Unless....you sell a ton of cameras... then you get profitable and capture the number one spot to boot.
04-19-2012, 05:21 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
No. The sensor in a FF camera costs 10-20 times that in an APS-C camera. That is why a 4 year old FF camera still retails at over $2000.
Why is that anyway? A FF sensor is only 2,5 times as big as a APSC sensor. Why then is it 10-20 times more expensive? Or is that price artificially kept high?
04-19-2012, 05:33 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
Why is that anyway? A FF sensor is only 2,5 times as big as a APSC sensor. Why then is it 10-20 times more expensive? Or is that price artificially kept high?
This explains it better than I can. It's a bit old (2006) and most fabs use a 300mm wafer now, but the reasons are the same.

NatureScapes.Net - Article on the Economics of Digital Photo Sensors
04-19-2012, 05:43 AM   #8
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when discussing the sensor size vs cost note that this is a function of the number of defects in the chip remaining below an acceptable limit. defects are a function of area, with a small sensor, you can have two advantages, first a higher defects per area limit, and second a higher yeild because you get 2 1/2 the number of sensors out of the same area, so not all the silicon is lost even if you scrap one, that does not hold true for a big sensor. therefore cost is not proportional to the area but more likely the square or cube of the area

Second, the limited number of sensors means a significantly reduced production or a custom production run.

At this point the value is not there to try and make 100% of the product line full frame.

Aside from that, and I know this opens a huge debate, what is the real need of full frame. From an ISO vs noise perspective, i would put the K5 with a current sensor against most full frame bodies with their 4 year old technology, the K5 has higher resolution, and therefore unless you are an ultra wide angle freak, or a shoot at F1.4 all the time person for portraits, it is a waste, in my opinion.

edit note

In my opinion, for pentax to sell more bodies (and make more money, which after all is the best for us pentax users, it would be fare more attractive commercially to add the aperture coupling back into the K mount for open aperture metering with K mount lenses, and to add a seconf flash sensor to offer both TTL and P-TTL like the *istD. Those two features will do more for sales than putting the K5 sensor technology on steroids and trying to compete with canon and nikon on full frame. Considering the amount of money sony is bleeding these days, and the lack of increase in market share with the minolta camera line It would not suprise me to see this disappear. We do not want to join them

04-19-2012, 06:14 AM   #9
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Thank you both, another mystery solved. Simply said, a larger piece of wafer has to be scrapped when such a defect hits a bigger sensor.

So, a camera with 2 APSC sensors next to eachother, that does instant inbody stitching after each shot, would therefore be much cheaper then an FF camera. OK, total sensor surface would still be smaller, but the price would be tiny in comparison.

Imagine that, 2 APSC sensors next to eacht other in portrait. Forming one 31,2 x 23,7 sensor. With a diagonal of 39,18. Probably all DA's would work fine on that. SR would work, and it could fit in a K5 sized body. I doubt that there's enough room to clear the mirror though. But (obviously) my engineering knowledge isn't developed enough to judge that.

...And because there's two sensors, there could be a special double lense for 3D 1024p movies...

(Sorry, my imagination is run wild.)

Last edited by Clavius; 04-19-2012 at 06:52 AM.
04-19-2012, 06:47 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
Thank you both, another mystery solved. Simply said, a larger piece of wafer has to be scrapped when such a defect hits a bigger sensor.

So, a camera with 2 APSC sensors next to eachother, that does instant inbody stitching after each shot, would therefore be much cheaper then an FF camera. OK, total sensor surface would still be smaller, but the price would be tiny in comparison.
except that unlike film the sensors are not transparent, so you cant overlap them and stitch the images, also placing side by side side by side and stitch cant work because of the needed gap between them, this is why there is photo stitching software out there
04-19-2012, 06:56 AM   #11
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Didn't Nikon use 2 smaller sensors in the d700? Though I believe there is some expense and precision involved in making them align perfectly.
04-19-2012, 07:05 AM   #12
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OP...Don't know?

But if Pentax made it run on 4 AA's, was bare bones sans all the useless crap they put into a dslr, about 24mp and had built in HDR...I'd buy 3 bodies @ $1400 each. (No video needed Pentax.)
04-19-2012, 07:15 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
also placing side by side side by side and stitch cant work because of the needed gap between them, this is why there is photo stitching software out there
This is what I meant to say. Sensors side by side. The stitching software could operate inbody. Just like the lens correction software does. Much quicker then stitching images on a PC, because they would always be aligned the same way.
04-19-2012, 07:33 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by mannyquinto Quote
I was wondering if Pentax-Ricoh would release a FF camera, why not make it cheap so that even those in the Ca-Nikon camps would jump in and try and buy the unit. I know that most professionals would want it to be water-proof and have magnesium alloy bodies but that would comprise of only a small segment of the buying market. A lot of new DSLR buyers buy a camera because they want good image quality and would like to have a professional looking gadget that would make them look like professionals. If a buyer is offered to choose between an high end APC which cost around $1k and a full frame at about the same cost, I'll bet he will choose the latter.

Pentax-Ricoh is suppose to offer cheaper cameras in the future but I think this would be on the low end models but if they include the full frame......hmmmm. I think the strategy is already in-play. We have already a cheap 35/2.4 and an upcoming 50/1.8. A cheap 85/1,8 should also be included in the lineup.

For those wanting their full frame having all the best features, Pentax-Ricoh can release a version of that at a premium (say $1.5 to 1.8k).
I've been waiting for such a camera APS-C and FF for ages now. For what I do, most of my work doesn't deal with movie modes, AF, and pretty much everything else other than M mode, metering, and live-view. Though I do like the green button(that's a must) imo. Other than that, I like a deep buffer(in RAW 20+) and fast FPS to keep up the pace.

But that's just me!
And I don't know that my type of shooting applies to many other people.
04-19-2012, 07:50 AM   #15
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Assuming the sensor costs them $1000. I think they could add it to the K-01 body, without SR, and sell it for $1700. They could offer the next version with SR and more features, and a higher price tag, after making a presence in the market. They could also release a video version at some point with 4:4:4 hdmi out. The video guys would go nuts, especially if they could sell it for $3k.

Last edited by kenafein; 04-19-2012 at 08:43 AM.
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