Why did Nikon choose 36 megapixels ? - why not larger ?

Started Dec 9, 2012 | Discussions thread
Leo360
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Re: Why did Nikon choose 36 megapixels ? - why not larger ?
In reply to bobn2, Dec 12, 2012

bobn2 wrote:

exRhodesian wrote:

Hi,

if Nikon is successful with a 36mg in a DSLR then surely in the next year or so other manufacturers will come out with 40mg-50mg DSLRs and each year make them larger and larger. Perhaps one reason could be Marketing/ Sales where they are already working on the new 40-60 mg DSLRs hoping by 2014 all D600 / D800 owners will sell their cameras and upgrade to the new higher resolution bodies. If so, then in the same sized DSLR would it be possible to have 80-100 megapixel ? - I doubt it as surely there must be a "limit' to the size for DSLRs.

I relate the same as, for example, to let's take High-Jump at the Olympics where each time they try to break the previous record. So suppose the current record for High-Jump is 3.5m and each time they jump higher and higher. Does this indicate that in a few centuries time the High-Jump record could be 10 metres ? Absolutely not as there must be a limit.

What's the limit for DSLR megapixels size ?

Thanks,

Adrian

My guess goes as follows:

Nikon will most probably have evaluated a number of different possibilities, trying to come to what they though was the best combination of specification, cost, sales price and so on, so as to make them the best price. Now one unknown variable is that a FF sensor needs stitching from two separate reticules for each process step. Imperfections in the matching of those two passes will cause a stitched sensor to have different yield characteristics from an unstitched one. Nikon will have understood the yield and therefore price of the 16MP APS-C Sony sensor very well, they will have been less sure at that time of the yield properties of the 24MP variant. Also, as suppliers of the photolithography equipment and the originators of the distortion correcting software which allows stitched chips to be precisely aligned, they would have pretty good tabs on the yield effects of stitching, and very possibly decided that 36MP was the best balance between pixel count and cost.

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Bob

A good accessible writeup on how FF CMOS sensors are made is available here (Canon white paper)

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

Leo

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