Petrogel: Imagine how many people will ask for their money back, when they'll find out that their new shiny Samsung S6, is equipped with a photo sensor different to the one DxoMark ranked on top place on the mobile image quality list.
I'm sure Apple people are already smiling .
A fallacy always helps your argument.
terryoregon: "You can expect a thousand lawyers to be suiting up for this one . . ."
There is no law against using multiple vendors. I worked for a medical device company for 22 years. Almost every component we used had two suppliers. This was merely a precaution against one supplier going down (for any reason) - then shutting down production. Not once in 22 years did a customer care which source we used for our components. What they cared about was delays in getting their order.
"full disclosure" would be an endeavor in the ridiculous. Which components would you list? Some - all? That could easily be a thousand parts or more. Supplier lists change constantly.
That "issue" completely skips the more important question:- whether they notice a difference (in a negative way) to begin with.
If the answer to that question is "no", then there's nothing left.
As for the cherry picking, that could be a theoretical scenario for practically every part in every phone.
Only if it peforms visibly worse, which sofar doesn't seem the case.
ThatCamFan: Samsung are being fools again, selling you a different product from what you were expecting, I believe the term SCAMMING fits samsung right now.
The Sony 16MP sensor performs as good or better in low light, better in good light and appears to have better DR (more highlight headroom with as much or less shadow noise).
So no, that's not the reason the 8MP sensor is used by more people.
SergioBR: And ... S6 will shoot in RAW !!! http://www.sammobile.com/2015/05/05/exclusive-android-5-1-1-to-bring-new-camera-features-to-the-galaxy-s6-and-s6-edge/
Thanks, that's good news, because updates may take a while...
Which 3rd party app allows RAW on the S6?
B E: 1) Create new product using superior parts from your competitor.2) Wait for good reviews to come in.3) Silently substitute parts with cheaper alternatives.4) Profit!
This is fraud, or at best highly unethical.
Actually, you're assuming yourself.
For example that the Sony parts are better and that the distribution of both sensors didn't happen from the start.
Based on the comparisons sofar, I wouldn't call one better than the other. I see differences in jpeg color and gamma (mostly blackpoint and contrast) calibration that can be considered benefits or downsides, depending on the shooting circumstances (high DR scene vs flat light or daylight vs low light).
Neez: I hope someone makes an APP or something that shows which image sensor you have.
Thanks, works indeed.
SmilerGrogan: If Sony make the bulk of sensors, why does DP Review bother testing so many different cameras.
When the same Sony sensor is used in Camera A, B, and C, wouldn't it be more efficient to just test Camera A and extrapolate to the others?
Plus that would free up staff time to review the more interesting and off-beat cameras out there (branch out into medium format cameras or finally review the many Pentaxes that are gathering dust in the equipment closet).
It's not odd accounting if you mention smartphones to begin with, which you did.
And as a result, Samsung is one of the largest contributors to positive results for Sony Semiconductors, alongside Apple.
Mssimo: How much money could canon be saving by making own CMOS chip? Im sure with the volume canon has they could get a exclusive custom built sensor from sony and still call it a canon sensor. Olympus turned around when the OMD line used a sony sensor for the first time. Before that sensor technology very weak.
The large majority of those "custom" sensors are still (existing) Exmor designs with a few alterations.
The majority of Samsung cameras has a Sony sensor under the hood, because that's mostly smartphones, from which a minority (smaller percentage S6, part of the Note 4's, the S5 etc.) is equipped with Samsung sensors.
RichRMA: If only Sony actually made money. From astechnica:
We knew things were bad at Sony, but we didn’t know they were this bad.After years of losses, Sony is hacking off unprofitable parts of the company.In its latest earnings report, the company announced Wednesday that it had sustained a net loss of $1.246 billion during the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014. Last fiscal year, Sony managed to profit $435 million, its first profit in years—it has missed profits in six of the last seven years.
The divisions Devices, Gaming, Music, Pictures, Home Entertainment, Imaging and Financial Services are currently all in the black in terms of operating margins.
Only Mobile (mainly due to large Goodwill write off, sales are up) and "other" (mainly due to losses and write off from the PC business) are still in the red.
supeyugin1: Sony is a good sensor manufacturer, they should stick with it, and exit camera and lens manufacturing, as they are not good at it. They already ruined all the Minolta stuff they bought. Their lenses are only good for smartphones, they should stick with this market.
Agreed, exit pronto. Less competition is good for the consumer.
Thanks for the well written article.
HowaboutRAW: Good for Sony, now reconsider compressed raws in general.
I keep hearing this 11 bit story, but it's really 11+7 bits.
Attributing the "washed out colors" (non existent) to the lossy compression algorithm, requires at least a blind test that keeps ceteris paribus, which in turn can only be done with the A900 or A850, comparing the compressed output vs non lossy compressed output. Sofar I haven't seen anyone able to point out which is which based on just colors... Let alone calling one washed out compared to the other.
Please, let's keep jpeg engines/profiles (in camera or converters) out of this, as they cannot prove anything on the subject of colors, especially when comparing different cameras.
Surely, A900/A850 owners can present us with another test to evaluate the subject again.
The A7S could be using a relatively transparent color filter, just like some other low light specialized cameras. Whatever the output in terms of colors, is still up to the converter calibration and therefore will also differ per converter. "Washed out" is therefore a rather pointless term without a context.
That's not an example for Sony cameras in general either. In fact, most Sony cameras have a comparably discriminating or "dense" color filter (see the metamerism index measurements for example), which sacrifices a hair of sensitivity for better color separation compared to most Canon and Nikon cameras. No "washed out colors". And compressed RAW isn't a recent thing, it was introduced in 2008 and all cameras released after the A900 (+A850), offered only compressed RAW. It's only now that people suddenly perceive it to be a problem (other than Iliah Borg, who's always been vocal about it, but also praised the denser CFA's...).
Sangster: Canon L 24 mm f/1.4 II $1550Nikon 24 mm f/1.4 ED $1930Zeiss Batis 25 mm f/2 $1300
Canon L 85 mm f/1.2 $2000Nikon 85 mm f/1.8G $500Zeiss Batis 85 mm f/1.8 $1200
Very interesting pricing strategy.
You forgot to mention that the 85mm Batis has OIS, which none of the competitors do.
sierranvin: If these lenses be anything like the Loxia duo, they are just more noisy, squawking Zeiss vaporware. The long ago announced Loxia 2/35, 2/50 remain more or less unavailable anywhere in the US (check the big retailer websites - the Loxia 2/35 has been backordered vaporware for months now). That's ok Zeiss, we're sure you're selling thousands of them somewhere else in the galaxy...
In Europe, they can often be found in stock. Even European Amazon stores have Loxias in stock as we speak.
falconeyes: I am long predicting smartphones featuring lens arrays.
I did even predict Apple to be first to market and this news is a hint it will happen sooner than later.
Large enough lens arrays (like 5x5) can rival full frame image quality.
Lens/sensor array cameras are actually MORE sophisticated (not less) than lightfield cameras because they don't suffer from the severe diffraction-bound resolution limit which plenoptics does.
I don't see a 3x3 array coming to iPhones, for the simple fact that it would take too much space on the limited form factor. Not to mention the fact that Apple cares a lot about margins...
" Phones impose limits on depth, not width"
Not true either. They're closely related. Many phones have their cameras in the area above or under the screen, because of depth constraints even for the most shallow imaging units. Especially with phones still becoming thinner. The alternative being a pucker found on phones like the S6. Again, I don't see Apple fitting an array in the top or bottom part. Or when more shallow, practically the whole back. Too much cost at the expense of their holy margins anyway. 9 modules instead of 1 can easily be a loss of >10% margin on the cost price.
And their iPads have never had the top mobile photography hardware.
BTW, you did mention lightfield cameras. Which are all about " gimmicks for kids like depth extraction" after the fact.
The HTC One M8 already featured a dual lens setup (second unit was mostly for depth information).
Only the execution (mainly software part) was lacking.