This is rather a misleading headline. This is not a 'Microsoft/Nokia merger', it is an acquisition by Microsoft of a major part of Nokia's business. Nokia continues as a separate company.
rhlpetrus: This is very relevant, imagine the Sony's excellent designs with Aptina-Nikon tech for off-sensor technology.
Sony has it's own image sensor PDAF technology, and from reading the patents, I think it's got more potential than Nikons. So far as I know, the 1 series PDAF is entirely covered by Nikon's patents, so would not be part of this deal in any case. I suspect what is behind this is that Sony is infringing on some of the Aptina patent portfolio (they have most of Eric Fossum's team's patents, which cover a lot of the basics of CMOS imaging tech) while Aptina would like access to some of Sony's, such as the digital CDS which is in Exmor. So, a trade has been done rather than have a litigation battle, which would suit neither party.
Michael_13: Unfortunately another increase in pixel density. In their specs they talk about a "general trend towards ever higher pixel counts". I do not agree with them, esp. with regard to premium compacts.
Sony is stupidly fostering this trend by offering higher pixel counts!
Increases in pixel density have virtually always brought increases in image quality - surprisingly even with compact cameras where the pixels are sub-diffraction.The Sony engineers now what they are doing - their marketing people will make anything out of it they can sell.You can also be sure that Sony will have found out what their customers (the camera manufacturers) want before they develop the sensor.
jcmarfilph: And when shoot this scene, please equalize the settings next time coz we are seeing inconsistencies in your studio shots in almost all cameras (within similar group).
With respect to the low light camera metering, the problem with camera metering is that it leaves the path open for manufacturers to improve their low light performance simply by increasing the exposure above ISO nominal, which is no good to anyone trying to get some required shutter speed in low light.What would be interesting would be a set of tests at ISO nominal exposure (i.e. the lux second rating according to the ISO SOS standard) - if your lighting is sufficiently controlled, you could have standard EV settings for each ISO and that would remove a number of variables. That information would be invaluable for people who concentrate on the processing. For the get it right in camera people, really you should be doing a series based on camera metering - the difference in exposure from the ISO nominal would give a good clue as to how much the observed performance came from metering differences.
Regarding these two responsesIt's likely that our standard scene will remain brightness matched but the low-light mode might rely on camera metering.The logic behind our current system is that most people expose their photos to achieve a certain brightness - not to have the satisfaction of having used a specific combination of shutter speed, ISO and aperture.The problem with your brightness matched methodology at the moment is that it gives neither the results someone would get using camera metering (as most would do) nor what they would get if they were advanced enough to set the f-number and shutter speed as constrained by DOF and motion blur, and then set brightness via ISO/processing, which is what most more advanced workers will do - so in a way it gives useful information neither to the 'get it right in camera' brigade nor the 'raw processor demons'.
I'm just struck by the calm and competent manner in which Nikon is handling the situation. The loss of its two major plants to natural disasters would be a challenge to any company, but Nikon seems to be handling the situation, and providing clear updates. A lesson in management and PR.