New Sensor technology coming out in the next 18 months?

Started Dec 31, 2012 | Discussions thread
atlien991 New Member • Posts: 19
Re: New tech, but worth what?

John Koch wrote:

AnthonyL wrote:

John Koch wrote:

RedFox88 wrote:

photo nuts wrote:

RedFox88 wrote:

What matters in business is selling products. Any business would be a fool to overlook a huge jump in what a prodct can deliver just because they have a lot of the stuff to make the "old" style of components.

Indeed. Complacency led to the downfall of Japanese companies in the TV market. Imagine Samsung adopting some brand new breakthrough sensor technology while Sony and Canon sit by idly...

You don't get anywhere in business without taking risks.

Sorry, but business is about making money. The Lytro is a fantastic innovation, purely as an idea, but do Lytro cameras sell?

The new sensor technology may have technical virtues. But what good are they if they tripple the cost of a camera, but add only 10% to the image quality, and fail to convince the millions that they should spend their next idle money on a camera, instead of a smart phone, game device, or (could this be possible?) something they might really need.

The biggest obstacle to introduction of the new technology is probably the sober judgment that the costs would outweigh the returns.

Complacency can also be a case where a company fails to recognize a no-win prospect and say "sayonara." It may indeed be fatal if some companies don't shut down half their camera operations quickly. Volumes and prices are falling. What did the Foveon do for Sigma?

An attractive risk scenario might be one where a technology costs X, and the prospective returns on capital are 25% in the best-case or 5% in the worst case. In the present environment, the best case may be +5%, and the worst case might be -50%.

Honestly, dear camera fans, you aren't going to rush out and pay 2X more for a camera that offers 1.2X better color performance, and the camera companies aren't going to make money unless they can charge more and the process costs less.

Were you on the board at Kodak?

Oh, sure. Weren't you too? Your proposal to Kodak would have been what? The usual brilliant hindsight is that they should have gone all-digital early on. Well, look where that brilliant notion has left the camera companies that did. Not so hot. Most cameras are now sold by companies not even known as camera or photographic companies.

The only clever "camera company" in recent years were the people who introduced the FLIP, then sold the franchise quick to a clueless CISCO systems, which soon had to write off the entire investment when phone cameras made small moviecams unprofitable or superfluous.

Are you happy with your Lytro? How about the 3D camera? On the waiting list for a Tesla? Order your Microsoft Surface yet? Do you think Kodak would now be any more alive if they had dumped film and picked another losing ticket (budget digital cameras)? Should Boeing abandon jetliners and experiment with anti-gravity personal flygear backpacks?

Maybe you'll say yes, yes, and yes. But I still suspect it will be hard to sell a $1,000 camera with a slightly better sensor than one that has a hard time selling for $600, especially if most people won't have a clue and (perhaps rightly) would prefer a fancy phone.

The point is that there are good business reasons not to gamble on a marginally better sensor technology if the odds are poor they can excite buyers enough to pay the higher cost and provide an adequate return. Capital for such projects must come from people who seek a return. That's the only way the selection process is kept efficient.

Planned obsolescence is a foundational pillar of consumer electronics. None of this has anything to do with efficient processes. It's marketing departments competing for the attention of those with some disposable income. The tech differences are superfluous.

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