Is FF sensors going to slowly phase out?

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

forpetessake wrote:

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

Sure - here are a few of mine:

Small, black 35mm cameras.

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.

It's one reason why FF digital cameras like the Olympus XA (front, right above) do not exist today.  BTW, the RX1 is not that much bigger than the to fixed lens cameras in the back row.  And the Pen EF is only 1/2 frame.

And yet, the chips are getting bigger,

When they get bigger, the get more expensive until they hit the next process shrink and get smaller cheaper (e.g. microprocessors).

and yields are getting better even as the processes shrink.

Yields get better when there is economic pressure to to so.   CPUs sell a lot more units than FF sensors.

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.

Nope.  The only wafer cost that is process-dependent is the amortization on the fab.  A set of masks can be a million or so.   A prepared wafer pretty much costs the same per area for anything but solar cells.  The processing steps cost about the same per wafer. Older processes mean using smaller wafers so fewer sensors per these fixed costs.  Really, google this and learn - the information is easy to find.

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Erik

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