What will happen to Olympus now??

Started Oct 20, 2013 | Discussions thread
bobn2
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Re: The point is...
In reply to erichK, Oct 22, 2013

erichK wrote:

bobn2 wrote:

erichK wrote:

...that it is probably not possible to build a FF-sensored camera to the same spec as a FT-sensored one at anything like the same price point. Weather sealing, shock-proofing, temperature tolerance all requires more expensive materials, fit and finish.

There ain't no free lunch!

The bodies of both are magnesium alloy. Are you proposing that the Olympus magnesium is more expensive than the Sony?

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Bob

I shou8ld have explained myself further. The cost of a much larger area FF sensor with more than twice as many pixels may not be as high as it once was, but the rejection rate (because of defects ) is necessarily much higher and therefore still makes it considerably more expensive than a FT sensor.

In practice, I don't think that is the case. Image sensors can withstand quite a few defects (bad pixels get simply mapped out) and the points of vulnerability (i.e. where a defect will trash the whole sensor rather than just a pixel, row or column) really depends on the complexity of the circuitry, not its size. Also I think there is a trend that we are seeing, that the lower pixel count FF sensor are being made on lines which have too coarse a geometry to be used for anything smaller. Mostly these are old lines, whose capital costs were amortised years ago, so the effective price of an FF sensor can be really surprisingly low. So, while the FF sensor probably will be more expensive, I think the price ration could well be much lower than it was, hence the rush of low cost FF cameras lately.

The more than double amount of data also requires more bandwith and processing power, another smaller but inevitably higher cost.

I doubt whether it results in any extra cost at all, the use the same processors, the cameras just run slower.

These higher costs necessitate savings in the other areas I mentioned.

Again, I think that the higher costs are very likely quite small now, maybe even can be absorbed in volume differences.

Of course it is not the magnesium itself, but molding and machining it - especially to the degree that makes moisture- proofing possible that tend t raise the price.

Not for the shell. Thixo moulding is a quite precise process - what will cost extra money is that it has to be painted, and maybe another finish applied. The cost of rubber seals really is insignificant. The main cost is the extra assembly time that extra components require, same too for shock mounts, they are just pieces of rubber.

Shock-proofing requires damping materials and mechanisms, as well as durable, well-fitted components.

The cost probably isn't at all high as long as it's designed in in the first place. As I said above, it is just some resilient material applied at the right place, and shake testing of prototypes, with possible redesign if shock vulnerability is discovered. I have designed shock resistant equipment, so I know where I'm coming from here.

(Low) temperature tolerance also requires materials, bearings and lubricants that are more expensive and often more difficult to apply, machine or assemble.

Probably no more expensive, just the choice of appropriate materials. Really the only moving assembly is the shutter, which is almost certainly a bought-in assembly anyway. It just requires a choice of appropriately specified lubricants, they will go in the same place (or maybe even dry lubricants will be used) so while they might be marginally more expensive, the extra cost per unit would be minimal. Again, I have designed low temperature equpment.

So although Sony has some OEM/in-house advantages, it remains unlikely that they could produce the same level of FF camera body for the same price as Olympus' EM-1 FT's body.

I think it mostly depends on projected volumes. If Sony is looking to higher volumes, has better buying leverage and a more efficient production line, I think they might well get the cost down to similar levels.

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Bob

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