Is there time for an interchangeable sensor DSLR?

Started Oct 19, 2012 | Discussions thread
antoineb Veteran Member • Posts: 6,648
Doable perhaps - but won't be done for commercial reasons

(1) would a camera with replaceable sensor be DOABLE?  Perhaps, at the very limit.  But it would be quite difficult.  Replacing the sensor would be a tricky and (qualified) labour-intensive process.

And depending on the higher specs of that sensor, you might need to replace parts, or better all, the processing, memory etc.  What would be the point of being able to "slot in" a 36mp sensor in a 12mp camera, if that meant that most functions in the camera became 3x slower because of the limited processing power?  Continuous shooting going from 6fps to 2fps, time to display a shot going from 0.5s to 1.5s, buffer for continuous shooting going from 15 shots to 5 shots?

And that process would carry its own technical risk and involve a failure rate which customers wouldn't like at all.

(2) would it make commercial sense?  NO WAY.

(2.1)  If you replaced the sensor and possibly circuits as described above, you'd be replacing the most valuable parts of the camera.  Their price as spare parts would be close to the price of a new camera based around those newer electronics.  So why would the customer pay close to full price, to obtain an older camera with newer insides?

(2.2)  From the manufacturer point of view, it is much preferrable anyway to sell new cameras.

(3) what about the ecological dimension?
Suire, it would be much more civilised to not throw away a 3 year-old toy and replace it by a new one each time.  But in a consumer-facing environment this is what consumers seem to prefer.

Only some less futile pursuits environments, such as research, will sometimes use apparatus where part of the innards can be replaced.  Or the military, where decision cycles are very long.

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