Is FF sensors going to slowly phase out?

Started Apr 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
forpetessake
Senior MemberPosts: 3,893
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Re: Those are APS compacts with slow lenses
In reply to Erik Magnuson, Apr 12, 2013

Erik Magnuson wrote:

forpetessake wrote:

I don't know how the myths about FF manufacturing difficulties, size, and weight, etc. got propagated, probably because people have short memory.

film and digital

There were plenty of tiny 35mm cameras in the film days,

Those are all APS cameras.

Maybe, I just grabbed the first picture, but we all remember there were plenty of small 35mm film cameras.

there is nothing that prevents manufacturing of tiny digital cameras with FF sensor other than cost.

Actually, it's lens design.  Film doesn't have microlenses or care about the angle of light hitting the image plane.  Digital sensors do -- simply look at a cutaway of the RX1. See that huge lens element right in the back near the sensor plane?

True, but it's a sensor design, not a camera design limitations. The shifted microlenses, variable size pixels, binary pixels with completely different microlens design, and maybe other ideas will eventually make it a non-issue. We are still at the very beginning of the long journey.

Regarding manufacturing costs, as the old saying goes, every chip eventually costs $1.

Only because you can "shrink" the chip size to make it smaller or more dense.  But shrinking sensor chips doesn't quite do what you want.   Silicon costs per unit area and simple geometry of number of sensors that fit on a 8" round wafer vs. how many you lose if there are 2 random defects per wafer show that costs go up geometrically with area.   This is chip economics 101 stuff, just google it.

And yet, the chips are getting bigger, and yields are getting better even as the processes shrink. And taking into account that FF sensor doesn't need the smallest processes (unless they start making gigapixel sensors), don't need advanced masks, corrections, can tolerate failed pixels, don't have electromigration problems, don't have power dissipation problems, etc. -- they are actually easier to manufacture than memory chips. Sensors will have an excellent yield (maybe they already have), so it's just a matter of time when we see $100 FF sensors sold in bulk.

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