Some info on the 24 MP Nikon - from a Sony engineer

Started Oct 29, 2008 | Discussions thread
PhotoTraveler Forum Pro • Posts: 11,700
Re: expensive strategy

Tiffles wrote:

That is going to be one expensive sensor for Sony then - wonder how
much they think they will sell in their own bodys. Also, don't Sony
and Nikon have a long business relation in terms of 'sensor pooling'?

First, you should question the rumor first. On the pooling? no, Sony designs the sensors, but they certainly verify there is a customer for it first. Sometimes things might not pan out. No one else as used the 14MP CCD yet in the A350. It might have been a bid for the K20 with known demand from Sony AMC, and maybe there is a plan for Nikon, or maybe Nikon backed out. Nikon lets Sony know what they are looking for, which tells Sony what to make, those to sides probably run pretty close to a 1 to 1 match up. Nikon tells Sony what they want, and Sony produces something very close.

How about this pure imaginary bit: Nikon wasn't happy with the sensor
Sony made (no movie function, live view, noisy, in sum worse than
what the new Canon sensor is hoped to be) and now have to design one
themselves.

Who says it doesn't have it? It's a modified version of the IMX021 design used in the D300/A700/D90. D300 and A700 run the same sensor, Sony just doesn't do LV or video on it because Sony has decided the direct method is not the way to go, they haven't clearly said why they don't think it's the way to go though, but the A300/A350 AF speed in LV is probably a hint. D90 uses a modified version that does video, the A900 sensor could definitly have a version that does video too.

On noise, the D300 and A700 are now identical for noise with the new NR off function for the Sony. It was good enough for Nikon there, no reason the A900 sensor isn't good enough. It's not a D3 competitor, people need to change their thoughts on ISO for mega pixel monsters, the target user for such cameras is going to use low ISOs all the time. No one buys a camera with twice the pixels and thinks it will have anything in the same ball park for high ISO noise performance. Step back for a second and remember it's a 24MP 35mm Camera and it works, and has good ISO performance well above the dreams of folks just a few years ago.

Don't give up on Nikon having it in a camera yet. There is still the random issue of the firmware link with D3X and 24MP resolutions in there. Unless that was crud left over from a mule body testing the sensor and nothing more, a Sony sensor'd D3X is coming. Just to get a camera working that would have resulted in that firmware means a fair bit of effort just to interface to the Sony sensor over the Nikon D3 sensor which has a different Socket and design since it's non-Sony.

We see a lot of "Nikon is to good of a camera maker to go this route, they know 12MP is where it's at...bla bla" stuff going on. Well, that works until nikon drops a D3X with the Sony 24MP sensor and that whole high and mighty balloon pops. Then folks will embrace it and say how great nikon is.

Right now if it doesn't happen, it's most likely Nikon had such a beast (D3X) in the pipeline, it was a low NRE parallel path to the D3. Sony developed the sensor knowing they had Sony AMC and Nikon as customers. At some point Nikon pulled the plug, maybe paid a contract termination fee to Sony. Sony moves on, Nikon does there next path. Maybe since production quantities of the sensor didn't get going till mid 09, which would mean a D3X would trail a D3 by around a year, Nikon decided to just skip it and just bring a D4 and D4X instead, rather than have 2 sister bodies so far separated from each other in launches.

A Sony A900 has less noise than a Nikon D200, and Nikon had no issue making those.

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