Hogan weighs in on the "DX is dead" nonsense

Started Oct 14, 2012 | Discussions thread
jfriend00
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Re: Huh?
In reply to bobn2, Oct 19, 2012

bobn2 wrote:

So, since you raised the example of the 7D, what would Nikon need to convert the D7000 into a head on competitor for the 7D? Essentially, 2FPS and a bigger buffer. What is the likely parts cost of that - I'm going to say, very little indeed. A bit of tweaking of the mech, and another DRAM chip (or a newer, higher density DRAM chip). Then they've done it. And the D7000 launched at $1200 and now sells for less, so I can't see why that camera shouldn't be $1200 too. They could even add an AF-On button - parts cost - about 10c.

First off, Nikon has never gone 8fps in any dSLR that costs less than the D300 (that I'm aware of).  And, from all the examples we see in current products, it looks like 5-6fps is about what Nikon can do economically.

So, what actual data do you have that making the D7000 go 8fps would cost "very little indeed"?  Is this just a guess of yours?

The challenges to going fast and preserving great AF and IQ performance include:

  • Mirrors and a mirror structure that can hold up to the extra forces from the graeter acceleration and deceleration to go faster
  • A faster actuator to deliver those higher forces
  • More current to drive the faster actuator (it takes more power)
  • Fast enough movement within a single cycle to give you a long enough time with the mirror down and settled between shots for the AF system to get a good reading
  • An AF system that can do its job with high performance in such a short time period between frames.
  • Supporting fast card write speeds so you can sustain a fast speed for longer
  • Having a large enough buffer to hold a decent sequence of shots at the fast speed
  • A chip readout that can get the data off the chip fast while still preserving noise IQ
Some of these items could even be system issues that aren't just a matter of upgrading a single part (such as sensor read-out speed or AF performance during a very short mirror-down time).
In my many years as an engineer, I use to absolutely hate it when people would come talk about our project and say things like: "Just add some more DRAM and tweak the mech to make it go 8fps" and trivialize what it might take to actually accomplish that across the whole system.  It was NEVER as simple as that.  I'd bet this is the case with 8fps too.
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