Nikon global shutter - coming soon?

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
beatboxa Veteran Member • Posts: 7,708
Re: Nikon global shutter - coming soon?

24Peter wrote:

beatboxa wrote:

beatboxa wrote:

spec68 wrote:

It’s coming to pro cameras soon. Maybe today - Sony has a big announcement at 10 regarding a new Alpha camera, likely A9 III. Canon is said to be working on a new pro mirrorless that will sit above the R5. And, of course Nikon with the rumored Z9 (not specifically global) but it will have to keep pace w/ competition if the competition releases global shutter bodies.

Not any time soon for full-frame sensors that are in a 4-digit price range (USD). The new $6500 Sony announcement (a1) is still a rolling shutter, as was the a9.

If you want a global shutter soon (within the next few years), it'll be in a smaller-sensor camera first. The typical rollout for sensor technology follows the following pattern (in order):

  • First, smaller-than-1"
  • Then, (a few years later), ~1"
  • Then (a few years later) high-end "halo" full-frame
  • Finally, (a few years later) the various low-cost models (APS-C, lower-end full-frame, etc.)

This was also the pattern followed for BSI, stacked sensors, etc., including the stacked sensors found in Sony's latest cameras, which have been in smaller-than-1" cameras for around a decade now.

I'll separate the facts & speculation (above ^) from my opinions.

But this is why I believe Nikon needs a serious smaller-format camera (and no, APS-C is still too big for this because a global APS-C camera would cost thousands and be out of reach for most people).

Canon has serious cameras in the first two categories, as does Sony.
But Nikon does not. They've shuttered the Nikon 1 and the Nikon DL. At present, there is no series from Nikon that focuses on rapid iteration via rapid improvement of sensor technology in smaller sensors (as Nikon previously had). Not a good strategy for high-tech products that rely on combinations of real-time processing, sampling, scaling, and large volumes of data.

Here's a rule of thumb: look for when the first phones start to get a global shutter camera. Then add around 5-10 years. That's when we'll see them in $3000 full-frame cameras.

Hi beatboxa! Appreciate your informed post!

What are your thoughts on the Red Komodo's global shutter?


I generally like Red cameras, I don't know much about the Komodo specifically. Just from reading specs though, I think it follows the pattern in that it is an expensive pro-level camera, with a smaller-than-full-frame sensor.

To summarize the Komodo's sensor specs for convenience:

(For reference, this is basically a sensor in a box with a lens mount)

  • $6000
  • ...(before required accessories, which easily cost $thousands)
  • Pro video camera (actually considered a "mid-level" cine camera)
  • Super-35 (~APS-C)
  • Actual sensor size: 27.03 x 14.26mm
  • (=1.7x vertical crop)
  • 19MP resolution (6k)
  • 17:9 native aspect ratio
  • 40FPS max for a full-sensor readout
  • A bit of lag. Not bad, but not lagless
  • Release date: June 2020

Just with basic math, a full-frame sensor would cost at least double the price of an APS-C (though with the geometric constraints of a silicon wafer and production yields, it will be much more than double the price). And then there's the requirements, as a stills-camera would need high refresh rate + low lag for the OVF, autofocus, tracking, (probably more resolution), etc. And that's before things like an EVF, LCD, ability to write images to a card, etc.

So I think a full-frame version of a camera with similar tech ends up easily exceeding a 4-digit price-tag.

This always goes back to my earlier comments over the past few years about benefits of reducing sensor size & resolution in order to improve performance and to expand use cases. Note that the Red's sensor is only slightly larger than my proposed "Nikon 2" format (which you may recall is approx. 21.3x12mm (16:9 aspect ratio), and the Komodo is also double the resolution of one of the products I described (which was 4k-native, as opposed to 6k native).

Strange how the Red Komodo specs seem to be good enough for serious & professional filmmakers but might not be good enough for a lot of forum commenters...

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