Is there time for an interchangeable sensor DSLR?

Started Oct 19, 2012 | Discussions thread
Joseph S Wisniewski Forum Pro • Posts: 34,136
the sensor/electronics doesn't cost more than 12% of the total cost...

Theodoros Fotometria wrote:

You are right as far as next generation sensors are considered Jeff, but what would we care with the level of the existing sensors/processors quality...? I mean you don't expect a D200 vs. D800 IQ difference to appear in the future you? ...I don't anyway! But I do agree with you that they won't do it... (a newcomer to FF may...) not because of cost, the sensor/electronics doesn't cost more than 12% of the total cost of modern DSLRs like the D800 or 5Dmkiii...

Where, on Earth, did you get that figure? Really, where?

I think this is the fundamental misconception that can put this thread to bed.

A 5D is a junkpile (I know, I have one). It represents the most lopsided "split" in the entire digital photography industry. It's based on the Canon EOS Elan 7, an under $200 "camera" (housing, prism, mirror, shutter, power supply, motors to run shutter and mirror). To that, you add a display and controls, and if you want to get an idea of how cheap that is, look at a "Gameboy". The rest, about $1800 is the digital "film" that you want to change. You got things totally backwards, in the 5D, the sensor and electronics is over 88% of the cost, the rest of the camera, the part you're so keen on saving, is under 12%.(By my best calculations, it's actually down around 8% camera, 92% sensor).

And look at the difference between a 5D I, II, and III. As that body evolved, the motors got faster, more reliable, and quieter. Canon totally redid the AF system, going from a 5D I to a III is night and day.

Look at D700 and D700. That's the F100 body that carries over from D200 and D300. You really think a D700/D800 class sensor is 12% of the $3000 cost of those beasts? What's the price difference between D200/300 and D700/800. About 250%. Hard to reconcile that with a sensor that's 12% of the camera cost. More like 70%. Nikon "beat" Canon by letting the "camera" account for about 30% of the D700, and letting the sensor drop to 70%.

(this means that we could have interchangeable sensors at the 600-1200 range), but because the sales of the higher end cameras would drop...

No, they really wouldn't. Honestly. One of the things you heard people talk about, over and over, when D700 came out, was that it had a D3 AF system, radically superior to anything the previous generation had. D2X, the previous $5,000 flagship, couldn't keep up with an under $3000 D700.

We're entering a time when people are looking at the whole camera again, not just the sensor. It's more like the film days: the film is good enough, is it time to upgrade the camera?

Another thing is that independent manufacturers could produce "film" like they now produce "battery grips" or lenses

You need to take enough business classes to be able to crunch the numbers that go along with those silly claims. Do you have any idea what it would cost to start making sensor modules? Then to match and OEM's quantities, so you could be competitive on price.

and they wouldn't like that either... Kodak and Fuji would like it though....

Kodak and Fuji, despite having created the DSLR market in the first place, failed in it.

I feel that the only way they can be forced to proceed

That's like the 100the time, in your various D700 threads and now this sensor thread, that you've talked about "force". Where is this "force" coming from? How many of these threads do you need to start before you finally understand that you're such a "fringe" case, such a small minority that you have no "force".

is if a maker (Hass?, Leica?, Pentax?, Fuji?, Mamiya/P1?....) will come up with such an alternative.

  • Leica withdrew from the 35mm SLR market (ModulR).
  • Fuji withdrew, too.
  • Pentax is committed to small, comfortable cameras, which, for reasons I outlined elsewhere, excludes interchangeable sensors.
  • Blad went under last year and is currently being milked as a marketable "brand identity" by Ventiz.
  • Mamiya was liquidated and P1 bought their assets. P1 is not doing that well.

I hope as well you (and me) both prove ....wrong!

OK, I've proved you wrong. Does that satisfy your hopes.

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Rahon Klavanian 1912-2008. Armenian genocide survivor, amazing cook, scrabble master, and loving grandmother. You will be missed. Ciao! Joseph

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