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

Started Oct 29, 2008 | Discussions
bobn2
bobn2 Forum Pro • Posts: 69,795
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'?

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.

Well I think Nikon may be considering other options, but not for those reasons. The A900 sensor is pretty much an upscale of the sensor in the D300 and D90. With that they manage movie function and live view. The noise is also not nearly as bad as made out. At equal output sizes, it seems to be in the same ballpark as the D700, by comparisons done on this forum, just not quite there (in fact, pretty much the 1/3 stop worse I suggested). If people insist on looking at high density cameras at 100% crop, then they're always going to go on about the noise.
--
Bob

Michael Firstlight Veteran Member • Posts: 4,205
Re: Guessing we see a 24 MP Nikon

You wrote:

"Heck they could even read the full 24MP 2x if they do more parallel processing."

Wow, now THAT would be an innovation - huge DR captured on the fly with dual pipelines/threaded processing; imagine if it evolved to apply quad and be able to set the camera to choose the dynamic bracketing amount and an option to additionally create the merged HDR and a choice to keep or toss the individual captures for total control if you still prefer do your own PP (which would be so much better!) This is the kind of innovation that we really need - DR no longer an issue.

Come to think of it, what if they did it with the current 12MP D3/D700 sensor - it would still be incredible.

Awesome - single shot HDR.

Regards,
Mike

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Tiffles Veteran Member • Posts: 5,042
Re: expensive strategy

But I did not say that the twentysomethings are worse than the FX cameras.. I only asked: What if Nikon just does not see the point of making a twentysomething MP camera (and consequently forcing the storage/processing resource requirements on the users) when the per-pixel quality suffers like that?

Well to be precise I did not ask this I asked: what if this is the reason why they do not use the Sony sensor.

O.
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EverStaR Regular Member • Posts: 188
I offered this idea 2 years ago

it should be in someones modern day camera but not yet. Maybe the D4 or someone else will read it or already patented it.

They just need to think outside the box.. should be possible with a 12MP sensor already as the technology and sped are in place. They could also still achieve 3 to 4 FPS using this as well.

I think its the key to DR and resolution and avoiding the dual pixel Fuji model. It may be noisy though cause you get amp noise 2X.

E

Alexramos
Alexramos Senior Member • Posts: 1,601
Re: expensive strategy

Look a little history...

The last sensor that Sony sold was the CCD 10MPx on D80/D40x/D60/K10D/GX-10/K200D/K2000D/a100 and the CMOS 12MPx on D300/D90.

The actual 10MPx CCD on a200/a300 is a SuperHAD, a new version of CCD 10MPx and different to a100 sensor, Sony sold this sensor to anybody.

Is many probably that CMOS 12MPx APS-C was a agreemend between Sony and Nikon for a sustitute of D2x and this sensor had some time in design. Maybe then Nikon choose FF for D3 and used the CMOS 12MPx on D300.

Sony from 10MPx CCD haven´t sold more DSLR sensor and is logic, Sony is in DSLR market.

The D300/D90 sensor is the same on a700 and, why the first has 14bits and the second just 12bits??

The 14bits on D300 sensor I think is just a exposure time manipulation, but the native tone gamma is 12bits.

Nikon has a big problem:
-Don´t has other APS-C sensor now
-Don´t has other FF sensor now

-Nikon don´t has the experience for design a sensor alone or built it (How can Nikon has experience and make a better sensor if never, never, they have made one) NOTE: is very funy read how people say that K20D sensor is a design of Pentax/Samsung... please, Pentax is like Nikon, they don´t design alone sensor.
-They are looking for a new supplie (Microsoft??, MF maker??)

Nikon has a problem similar to the new sensor, BIG. They used the same D300 sensor on D90 because doesn´t has other.

They will use the same D300/D90 sensor on the D60 sustitute and the D700 was a escape way for its market.

The FF 12MPx CMOS sensor on D3/D700 is good?? sure, is a excelente sensor, but it can´t be compared with FF 24MPx CMOS sensor on a900.

The quality and performance of Nikon FF sensor is for pixel size and ISO dedicate and the Sony sensor is for resolution, details and sharpen image.

The FF Sony sensor has a very good image quality to high ISO, is very similar until ISO 3200 to D3/D700 sensor from RAW image.

Nikon know and used for many years Sony sensor and to say now that Nikon doesn´t want the Sony sensor because it is 12bits or has not the quality, is stupid, Nikon need the Sony sensor and ever they have used them, but now the market and history is defferent and them sensor are not available.

Look the Sony forum or web site of Minolta/Sony and you will see to many Nikon user asking for a900 and buying it. The a900 is a good point in the actual market and a good solution for Nikon user that want a high resolution DSLR and D3x never came.

Nikon target to other direction, MF?, maybe because is the only way thay can find a new sensor, but the FF technology is new yet and the next year we will see a very intersting advance...

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Joseph S Wisniewski Forum Pro • Posts: 34,390
Let's make it "odder"

Octane wrote:

I'm sorry but I don't think what you said makes a lot of sense.

I'm sorry: though I'm on your side on this one, that particular remark, for some strange reason, made me think of...

Can you show where someone promised you, in writing, that things were going to make sense? Not even "a lot of sense", but any sense, at all? Even occasionally?

Assuming Sony keeps their 24 mp sensor why would Nikon rather develop
a medium format sensor than an FX one? Doesn't make sense.

The whole MF rumor is just plain wishful thinking.

Agreed...

The market is way
too small to develop a new system trying to compete with some well
established brands.

Also agreed.

But there is one possibility that we are ignoring.

Yes, medium format can be considered to have "failed".

Yes, MF sales have decreased at a steady 40% per year for the last 20 years.

But maybe, just maybe, it isn't the medium format concept itself that is faulty, but the business models, the companies currently making them, and their disaster of a distribution channel that is flawed.

Maybe, just maybe, in the hands of a Nikon or Canon, MF could work. Double the sensor area, kill off the 4:3 aspect ratio and go to 2:3, and offer a lens range that includes an 80mm f2.0 normal and two or three f2.0 portrait length teles, and a couple of f2.8 wides (35mm has a shallow DOF advantage over existing MF systems because MF only increases the diagonal by about 40%, which is a 1 stop improvement, but they waste it by making all the normals, wides, and portrait lenses two stops slower). Then shock the world with a 75mm f1.4 normal.

And then a quad area (double 35mm diagonal) sensor, 50mp with the D3 basic cell.

The possible marketshare for Nikon would never
pay for the R&D.

It might, if they did it clever enough. They've got the processor, the UI, the sensor tech (if whoever they've got fabbing the D3 sensor could stitch that same cell up to

Just because there are a few MF sensors available
doesn't mean Nikon would build an MF system. That's a lot of R&D and
manufacturing capacity to create a product with very small sale
numbers. Those resources would make much more revenue on products in
the SLR line.

True. However, a move like this would have ripples such as destroying the entire existing MF industry, and bringing the existing users (I'd estimate around 25,000 customers) into the Nikon fold. That's a potential 250,000,000 a year, say $10K/year/customer (based on two $15k cameras, $10k in lenses with about a 4 year replacement cycle on cameras and a lesser replacement cycle, but new lens, flash, software, etc. additions of $2000/year).

Just a pipe dream, doubt it could ever happen.

But there is just enough money involved to make it worth while, if they can recycle enough existing tech.

What Sony developers say is most certainly based on making their own
company look good. Using that to make conclusions about Nikon's
strategy is a little too thin for me.

Definitely.

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headofdestiny Veteran Member • Posts: 9,226
Re: Why wouldn't Nikon want to ADD a 24 mp camera if they could get the sensor?

Iliah Borg wrote:

I'd bet Nikon would have used a Sony fullframe sensor in the D3
if it would have been available last year.

As a matter of fact, no. D3 target was quite different then that.

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Iliah, I didn't mean to imply that Nikon would have used the 24mp sensor last year. I was just saying that there weren't any FF Sony sensors available at all last year.

Lindsayhunter Senior Member • Posts: 1,142
Doesn't Kodak make sensors? nt
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Iliah Borg Forum Pro • Posts: 28,639
Re: Two inconsistencies...

Of course, it could be that Sony and Canon are better at designing
sensors

Wrong interpretation.

OK, if the right interpretation is that it might not be used in a
flagship

You do not follow.

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Joseph S Wisniewski Forum Pro • Posts: 34,390
Surprising numbers, and you'd be surprised...

frozenlight wrote:

Re: How many PROs use Sony?

Well, if you consider the number who have been using Minolta AF for decades, starting back when Nikon's AF strategy was, well, a little "confused"...

And continuing to when Minolta brought out the 9000, a monster with the fastest drive speed, top shutter speed, and top sync speed on the pro market...

And those who shot portrait with the 135mm SF, arguably the most interesting "controlled bokeh" and "soft focus" portrait tele (using an apodizing disc instead of the Nikon and Canon approach of manipulating SA)...

A quite surprising number.

Any Pulitzers shot with a Sony?

They've got both the Minolta and Konica heritage. Four Pulitzers just with the X370, that's just one Minolta model, even before the Maxxum, and a few for the Konica Hexar. Now, the Autoreflex-T, that's something that probably should remain buried. With a cross nailed to the inside of the coffin lid, to keep it from rising again...

Gosh, Nikon must be terrified!

Of course not. But that's not the issue, is it?

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EverStaR Regular Member • Posts: 188
Re: Let's make it "odder"

It works if you drive the masses to it and make it more affordable and more of the norm. If Nikon or Canon start doing MF, then its likely to become more mainstream and more non pros will lust after them if you make the price right.

You have to in my opinion of consumerizng MF, to make it work.

Toss what seems like a pro model out, make it tempting

then offer a reduced price one to start getting new users into the MF mount, perhaps even a cheaper Zoom lens..

its kinda like giving away MAC computers to schools so you start building a next generation of users for your product.

As a company it can actually take some pressure off Nikon to deliver something new after the perfected 24MP 35mm DSLR.

Think Roadmap, if your Canon and Nikon, where are you going next after the 20MP range when you have built already a noise expectation in lower pixel models?

Think ahead! Its why Film was so ripe to Die! They need some place to grow and a new larger mount may help.

NikonProArtist Contributing Member • Posts: 541
Re: How many PROs use Sony? Any Pulitzers shot with a Sony?

frozenlight wrote:

Gosh, Nikon must be terrified!

Amen!

This discussion is interesting from a theoretical perspective, but that is all. In the end it won't make one iota of difference whether or not Sony sells their sensor to anyone else. If anything, Sony is in such sad financial shape these days they have more reason to sell products than ever before.

As for the the Pulitzer, from what I recall reading about a year or two ago 65 of the 83 Pulitzer prize winning photos were shot by photographers using Nikon equipment. That being said, who in their right mind believes that photographers en masse are going to give up their Nikon gear and replace it with Sony gear?

fjbyrne
fjbyrne Veteran Member • Posts: 8,425
Not ready for prime time? Hardly

Andrew Koenig wrote:

Dan Wells wrote:

The Alpha 900 team was at PhotoPlus last week, and they let an
interesting tidbit slip... They claim that they convinced the sensor
division at Sony (the folks at PhotoPlus were camera designers) NOT
to sell the A900 sensor to anyone, in order to build Sony's camera
market share.

Having seen some of the reviews of the Alpha, I imagine they need to
do everything they can to build market share. So far the Alpha seems
to be not quite ready for prime time. For example, my understanding
is that you cannot turn off noise reduction, even in raw mode, so
there is no possibility of using anyone else's NR algorithm.

Not true about the NR as others have pointed out. Also I expect a firmware upgrade in the future to address the weak JPG processing. Not ready for prime time? You might want to look at this thread: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1037&message=29849718

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CoolJL Forum Member • Posts: 73
Re: Some info on the 24 MP Nikon - from a Sony engineer

There are too many other sensor manufacturers for nikon to choose from if sony were not to produce the sensors for them.

MartinCohn Regular Member • Posts: 422
Re: Some info on the 24 MP Nikon - from a Sony engineer

Fuji could make sensors for Nikon. I'm sure Fuji could use the business. Who knows!!

Iliah Borg Forum Pro • Posts: 28,639
Re: Why wouldn't Nikon want to ADD a 24 mp camera if they could get the sensor?

I'd bet Nikon would have used a Sony fullframe sensor in the D3
if it would have been available last year.

As a matter of fact, no. D3 target was quite different then that.

Iliah, I didn't mean to imply that Nikon would have used the 24mp
sensor last year. I was just saying that there weren't any FF Sony
sensors available at all last year.

Possibly I'm missing your point. Are you suggesting that Nikon last year could be using this sensor in a body similar to D3 making something like D3X?

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Iliah Borg Forum Pro • Posts: 28,639
Re: Let's make it

Yes, MF sales have decreased at a steady 40% per year for the last 20
years.

It maybe also because of the same reasons wedding painting is shrinking to nearly null and shooting raw shrinking last 3 years dramatically.

But maybe, just maybe, it isn't the medium format concept itself that
is faulty, but the business models, the companies currently making
them, and their disaster of a distribution channel that is flawed.

And school is missing.

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er1kksen New Member • Posts: 7
Re: expensive strategy

Alexramos wrote:

NOTE: is very funy read how people say
that K20D sensor is a design of Pentax/Samsung... please, Pentax is
like Nikon, they don´t design alone sensor.

This is getting kind of annoying, and also this: "the 14.something MP cropped sensor that's in a couple of Sonys and Pentaxes"

It's also very funny to read about how Samsung is the largest electronics company in the world, larger than Sony, and that they do in fact make their own sensors. The 6mp and 10mp sensors in previous cameras have been Sony designs, but the 14.6mp sensor in the K20D is in fact a Samsung design, having nothing to do with Sony, and especially nothing to do with the rather mediocre 13.5mp sensor in the Sony A350.

This information is readily available to anyone who looks. It sounds like some of the posters here seem to think that Sony and Canon are the only companies making sensors, one post even seeming to imply that canon uses sony sensors (it was difficult to descipher, however, so I may be wrong). This is simply not the case: As pointed out, Kodak and Fujifilm make sensors, Panasonic makes all the current 4/3 sensors, Samsung has put out the K20D sensor as well as many sensors for video, and Nikon themselves have stated that Sony did not make the D3 sensors. Some individuals with a bit of insider knowledge have implied that a smaller sensor-manufacturing company located in japan which otherwise doesn't have any presence in the photography industry. And yes, they do have the experience to design sensors. A corporation is not a singular entity. It's a group, and they can hire the people to do the job if they don't have the know-how in the first place. They've been designing the sensors for their flagship cameras from the D2H up.

Clearly, some of the posters here know what they're talking about quite well, and I fear they may be the only ones who read this, and they're not the ones who need to.

Learn before you post!

PhotoTraveler Forum Pro • Posts: 11,700
Re: Two inconsistencies...

Where on earth are you getting this from? For one thing what Konica people got taken in, Sony took over what was part of Minolta before Konica got a hold of them. Any assimilation looks to have gone very well. Move the staff into a building from KM to Sony, make the Alpha group it's own Division (SONY AMC) and have the minolta folks basically keep doing what they were doing. There has been no hint of problems on this front, if there were any, it would be all over any A mount forums. Those who deal with Sony insiders routinely would have posted it on their websites or mentioned things in forums. Also considering how Sony has been cranking out some very nice gear, that has maintained a lot of Minolta in it (cause it basically is minolta) and sales have been way up for the system, even if there has been issues it's definitely not hurting the end product.

Joseph S Wisniewski wrote:

And considering how badly the
assimilation of the Konica and Minolta people into the Sony corporate
culture is supposed to be going,

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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