Is FF sensors going to slowly phase out?

Started Apr 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
blue_skies
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Re: Those are APS compacts with slow lenses
In reply to salla30, Apr 14, 2013

salla30 wrote:

excellent analysis. very interesting read. Thanks for that!

Thanks

One question, however; are you sure of your numbers? How can any single production element costing perhaps 40-60% of the total SALES cost of the device make the line profitable? (eg 1000 usd for a FF sensor or 250 usd for an APS-C sensor). My guess is these are going to wholesale at perhaps 40% of their street price, allowing for wholesale and retail markups. Something doesnt add up, unless I have missed something (probably have - heavy night last night ;-)).

I am not sure about the numbers, they are merely illustrations. But I am sure that my numbers are a lot closer than a guestimate price of $100 for an FF sensor.

There is no wholesale - only retail markups, and this is very closely controlled by the manufacturers (no retailers discounts are allowed, unless approved by the manufacturers as an incentive).

Maybe someone in retail can comment on the actual retail margin, but it is not that large on electronic products - unlike clothes that can have over 100% markup at full price.

Heavy discounts occur only when a product is at end-of-life (frequent for electronic products), and the inventory has to be moved out or is to be written off. So careful planning (to not overproduce) is a key factor - or a line could become non-profitable. Usually, the discounted inventory is a small number, compared to the total production volume. It is also assumed that this 'discounted' inventory actually adds to the market, meaning that the buyers of such goods are not purchasing the non-discounted products ever.

BTW - there is nothing unusual about this high expense 'single production' element. E.g. consider cars - a big portion of the car's cost is the actual engine cost, often already 25% of the cars cost. And the dealer's margin for cars is even less (as a percentage).

I would think that camera manufacturers will be working towards a low cost FF P&S sometime fairly soon, now RX1 has led the way. My guess is that we will have "budget" FF p&s for around 12-1500 usd within 2 years.

Doubtful, I would not be surprised if the RX1 is a cost-leader, I mean, has tighter margins just to be realized as a product, but is not a trend setter (not enough margin).

Marketing will push the FF forward in the longer term; hyping the FF for the masses, probably using links to real film camera nostalgia as the hook :-). It's a hugely competitive game between the majors and the first to flagship FF as their USP for lower budget will garner a lot of residual business from the attention.

Doubtful, only hobbyists will respond. For most, the APS-C is already more than they need. I mean, people already shoot at night time with cell phones and P&S, with and without flash. For a picture that only lives on a cell phone, or on a website, the IQ is rather acceptable. Why would one need APS-C? Or better, why would anyone need FF?

If FF cameras were to drop rapidly in price, it will only hurt the FF business if the market penetration does not grow - manufacturers will be very careful to test-market their strategies.

Generally, electronic products are cost-driven, and market demand follows. To embark on a strategy like you suggest, a significant cost drop would have to be foreseen, I find that hard to believe. I think that costs drop evolutionary, not revolutionary.

I agree with you about the useability of higher isos with various formats. I have RX100 and NEX 5N, and the difference in IQ at higher Iso's is amazing. I really do not care for the NR on these devices, is there any reason why we can't turn it off altogether? I know in RAW there is no NR but I would like to see no NR on the JPG side.

Yes, but I see the trend going the other way - look at the A99 and the upcoming N7. There will be some NR applied to the RAW data, just to make the camera appear to handle higher ISO better.

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Cheers,
Henry

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