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02-24-2007, 01:03 PM   #16
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yea i agree. Knowing Sony (big fan of proprieitary tech), it might be a risk factor for Pentax in the coming future. If Pentax made everything themselves like they have done in the past with their film cameras (screw, K and M series ,etc) the company would be alot more independent and secure at the same time.

Look at how Canon's grown as a company. They're not afraid of anyone. Pentax however on a leash from Hoya, relies on Tokina for lenses, Samsung for memory chips and who knows what else, Sony for sensors. Back in the day, pentax made everything, right down to the ball bearings!

02-24-2007, 01:37 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by *isteve Quote
There is a major risk that Sony will stop making sensors for third parties now that they have their own SLR brand.
I think that is extremely unlikely. That's not how the japanese do business.

Back when I used to repair VCRs, they pretty much all has Sony motors and NEC tuners. Even the Sony and NEC VCRs. They have a very efficient business model.
02-24-2007, 02:05 PM   #18
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Pentax' expertise is in extracting the best picture quality out of a sensor. Look at how Sony has fallen a bit short with their 10Mp sensor ...is it an inhouse part?

As pointed out earlier, you need a huge capital outlay in the billions to build a semiconductor fab. Even if you farm it out, you still spend millions developing the design expertise. On top of that, if you only need 100K parts, you lose the economies of scale. That's why I think sensor makers will always be happy to sell parts to anyone.

Money not spent here is better spent designing better cameras around the sensor.
02-24-2007, 07:17 PM   #19
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Any one who thinks that sony would freeze out the competition with sensors does not understand business. If they were to pull something like that NO ONE would trust their electroncis division again, and the long term market share for them would drop. They would not replace the lost sensor sales to Nikon, Pentax et. al. with increased camera sales.

Note that while the high end sensors are in DSLRs, they have much bigger sensor markets at risk in the point and shoot market.

I'm sure if you look at volumes, it is the P&S market that drives things, not DSLRs

02-24-2007, 07:33 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by MPrince Quote
Given Pentax's new relationship with Hoya, I think it would be better for Pentax to concentrate on glass, not sensors.
I second this thought. If Pentax had any interest in sensor mfg. they should have done so from the start. Now would be a little late to start, However if Pentax had something in the works for the last few years and kept it until they had the noise control and camera to introduce it I think they would be in a position of competition and ahead of most other camera manufactures. So now the question is, does Pentax have the technology and how soon will they shake the camera world.
02-24-2007, 08:28 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tom Brown Quote
I think that is extremely unlikely. That's not how the japanese do business.

Back when I used to repair VCRs, they pretty much all has Sony motors and NEC tuners. Even the Sony and NEC VCRs. They have a very efficient business model.
Sony's business model is variable in the extreme. They have created some of the greatest dead ends in the industry and have made huge losses. They are also one of the worst companies for propritary tie-in. Personally I dont buy their products if I can help it.

The Japanese do business like everyone else on the whole. They do whatever makes the best business sense, period. In some cases, Sony have NOT licensed their technology or built customer components. In some cases they have. In some cases their customer components are built to a different specification and tolerance to their in-house stuff. In some cases they will build to a clients specification for that client only.

Canon and Fuji are Japanese companies - neither make SLR sensors for anyone else.

Sony may well customer sensors, but also make more advanced sensors for their own use. There are several variants of the existing sensors. They may also make sensors to other customers designs. But there are no guarantees that they will share their most advanced designs with the rest of the market, especially if those designs originate from the camera division and are proprietary.

I repeat there is nothing to stop Pentax from designing new or modified sensors and outsourcing the production to another company. Nikon already do this.

Nor can Pentax rely on an indefinate supply of third party sensors of competitive quality.
02-25-2007, 03:14 AM   #22
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Pentax should like already stated make sure that their lenses and camera bodies are the best in their category and then stick a sourced chip in it. It doesn't matter where the sensor comes from as long as it is good quality. Pentax in a sense are in the same boat as Nikon. They are 100% photographic and that is their niche. They should stick with their niche until maybe Samsung release a sensor that rivals the others. On the other hand a Fuji sensor might be nice in a Pentax body to for the extra dynamic range. So Pentax should concentrate on their lenses and camera bodies!!
02-25-2007, 06:48 AM   #23
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For the foreseeable future (the next 3-5 years) a collaboration with an exisiting high quality sensor manufacturer with the financial and technical resources to at least keep equal to the rest of the industry, if not actually lead it, makes better financial sense for Pentax, especially if Pentax can do like Leica and dictate a custom design for their unique desires/needs. This way, they can concentrate on filling out their lens and accessories lineup to equal the canikon juggernaut and get more competitive. Based on what I've seen in the major Ad agencies I've been privileged to serve the last 18 years, though, I would advise them to stay away from Kodak sensors until they get it right! They've had a reputation for noisiness and other issues since the first ones came out and always seemed to require significant PP to get a quality product!
As far as sensor SIZE, I'll defer to experts on that, because there are apparently two schools of thought on sizing: the first says that the traditional Full Frame size is required for the Pro or advanced shooter to realize the complete potential of digital, and I have several pro shooter friends who refuse to move from Canon 5Ds or EOS 1D MkIIs to Pentax for that reason alone. Others think the current APC-S (?) 1.5 crop factor size is fine, since Pentax lenses are coming online designed specifically to maximize that sensor size and take full advantage of it. Obviously, Nikon is still in that camp (although there are consistent rumors next month will bring the announcement of a FF new camera) and their high-end cameras have lenses maximized for the same 1.5 crop factor sensor size as Pentax. No one seems to complain about their cameras and lenses (except the pros!) so perhaps that is the future of digital at all DSLR levels.
Just my two censt; YMMV.
Rob W

02-25-2007, 06:52 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by benjikan Quote
Should Pentax perhaps in collaboration with another manufacture develop their own sensors an if so which type would be attractive to you?
I don't need/want anything bigger than 8MB. I don't care who makes it. If it's NOT samsung I would be fairly surprised.
What I want is the eventual replacement for the DS to have the functions of K10D in a body even smaller than the DS or K1*0D to complement my pancakes. I am guessing the 'master plan' for the P/S/H association is to manufacture everything within the group. What I want is the maximum dynamic range possible. Whoever makes the best sensor for the money is the one I want.
Whether they should make or buy is a financial decision. What percentage of a cameras cost is a sensor anyhow? Maybe developing their own makes no sense. I don't have the info. necessary to make that decision...
I would worry that outsourcing would leave Pentax vulnerable to market conditions outside their control. However, my worry that SONY or anyone would turn down Pentax's money is very low. Pentax orders help other manufacturers amortize the initial R&D and initial manufacturing cost so outsourcing, for me, is fine and in many, if not most scenarios, is the best solution. If they spent a ton of money developing their own sensor and then one day the SONY salesperson showed up with a very low price on a superior sensor. What would we all do then?
02-25-2007, 03:48 PM   #25
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I wish they try it out with Fuji for one model, to see what can be made with Fuji sensor tech and a Pentax system... this should be quite good (at least would have been quite good in 2006)
02-25-2007, 07:36 PM   #26
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a new sensor will be good news,
- higher dynamic range, at least by 1+ 2+ preffered,
- cmos or ccd, as long as the readout is fast enough for high pixel count,
without, getting readout noise in channels, banding,
foveon, style be good too, but think, cmos would be the easiest to implement,
the DR is another story
- delivery, a new sensor, without having the capacity to deliver, is not going to be beneficial, on the other hands not beeing dependant on a sony delivery schedule,
and on the same token, having to compete with nikon,sony, with the same sensor on the market , will make a differentiation,
- customers going to be eager to compare it to the existing sensors, as such does need to perform, but if there is enough confidence, there should be a preliminary review with tests, press releases, protoypes as soon as possible,
since for existing photographers, it's lot easier to choose the save path
- 1.3x and full frame ASAP

other important things
- lens availability, post it !! even if it's tentative
- push sigma,tokina for lenses,... availability and choise is very important
- annouce assurance in the Hoya merger, what pentax roadmap and leverage is going to be !!
- announce new prototypes, asap, since the pending merger, you don't want to have photographers sitting on the fence for another year, hopping for the best,
take that equation out, by blasting news to the front,
don't think it's going to be as bad as the minolta/sony merger, with lack of products and info, but no news in this case is the worst news !!

cmos be easier on the power, but blooming, etc, still a problem,
and don't forget, support circuit, RF shielding, (diecast body), for the 645d, i'd even build-in some cooling, .... noise per deg temp rise,.... could be lower or more controlled,

last not least, fps should be possible to be in the fps 5+ range, even with full size sensor, mech, or mirror limitation aside,
just my 2 bins, Robert



QuoteOriginally posted by benjikan Quote
Another little survey...

Should Pentax perhaps in collaboration with another manufacture develop their own sensors an if so which type would be attractive to you?
02-26-2007, 09:26 AM   #27
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The clear answer is no. It would be great for Pentax to work with a sensor designer/maker to request specs. and to find out what is feasible for a particular cost and to sign extended supply contracts.

Making sensors (as was the case of making film) is a different business than making the mechanics of a camera. Certain industries have huge upfront costs which keeps out some of the competion. It is natural that Fuji and Kodak would like to eventually be long-term leaders in providing sensors to replace lost revenue from the film business. But they were both chemical companies and it has been a challenge to get into the micro circuit business to the same scale. I do believe both will be successful at this eventually, and will provide sensors to a variety of users. Other well-capitalized electronics companies will also be successful providers such as Sony, Samsung, maybe even companies such as Intel or AMD will eventually get int the business. This competition will eventually drive down the price even further.
02-26-2007, 09:38 AM   #28
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Personally I think lens availability is the biggest problem.

Also Ben, can you feedback that it *really* hacks me off that other camera mounts have Tokina lenses available which are co-developed by Pentax, and very similar, but presumably because of licensing, arn't available in K mount, and Pentax charges twice as much! (I'm thinking 12-24 here). Very annoying given the sparse availability of Pentax glass ATM.
02-26-2007, 10:07 AM   #29
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No they should not. Leave sensor development to the experts. That's my 2 cents worth...
02-26-2007, 11:00 AM   #30
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Well of course it would be sexy to have a pentax sensor but it would a huge investment for something where the benefice are not clear. SOmething more interesting would to work in team with a sensor maker to develop specific product. But really i'm not sure thats what Pentax need to do, there more important things to fix before to think about such things, and Nikon do a good job without it so…
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