Why Three FF Sensors?

Started Sep 18, 2012 | Discussions
jayrandomer
jayrandomer Contributing Member • Posts: 822
Why Three FF Sensors?

It's curious, especially considering that almost all of the APS-C cameras use the same sensor. Reusing the same sensor make sense, at least naively. Could one of the fab nerds (a term I use with great respect) enlighten us with their speculation or insider knowledge.

Thanks!

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JoeDavid Regular Member • Posts: 227
Re: Why Three FF Sensors?

One would hope that they are making changes to the cell circuitry to address image quality issues (better S/N, dynamic range, etc...). If not, it doesn't make any sense at all to make a new one when they already had an 18 and a 22 to choose from...

(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 5,590
Re: Why Three FF Sensors?

jayrandomer wrote:

It's curious, especially considering that almost all of the APS-C cameras use the same sensor. Reusing the same sensor make sense, at least naively. Could one of the fab nerds (a term I use with great respect) enlighten us with their speculation or insider knowledge.

Thanks!

Fab nerd. What a great name, love it! Try it with a mock French accent - "Allo Monsieur Fabnerd."

Question is, thus branded will any of them come out and answer your question and in doing so admit to being one?

PS Apologies to any French people. I love your language (and accent) and am just a little jealous!

iliask Senior Member • Posts: 1,206
Re: Why Three FF Sensors?

I have a feeling that the 20mp sensor in 6d will make it's way into the next sports 1d.

Tazz93
Tazz93 Senior Member • Posts: 1,869
I hope your wrong on this one

I love the 1.3 factor, but can see the utility in a FF. Personally, I love land and seascapes so a FF in in my future, but I hope there will always be an APS-H sensor on offer. However, on the flip-side, I think the APS-C should be done away with. Seems like a one trick pony (yeah, I know it can be adapted) needing very odd focal lengths and specialized glass to work in the genre that the other two formats can easily share. However, I assume its the cheapest to create/develop, making it an manufacturer’s dream sensor.

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trale Senior Member • Posts: 1,113
Banding is fixed

There are early indicators that Canon might have finally conquered their banding issue when you lift shadows.

Go take one of the available Canon samples of the 6D (with harsh shadows) and lift them in LR, and see for yourself. Yes they are JPEGs, but it still might be a good sign.

John_A_G Veteran Member • Posts: 7,466
Re: Why Three FF Sensors?

iliask wrote:

I have a feeling that the 20mp sensor in 6d will make it's way into the next sports 1d.

The 1dx is the next sports 1d. The 1dIV has been discontinued. There is no good reason for aps-h sports camera. Just talk to all the pro sports togs that have gone to 1dx or wen to Nikon when the d3s came out. What matters is clean high ISO and working AF - I have yet to hear from a full time pro sports photographer that "misses the reach of aps-h". Some birders will, but not many sports shooters.

Accept it - there is not going to be another aps-H 1-series camera.

rwbaron Forum Pro • Posts: 12,383
Re: Banding is fixed

trale wrote:

There are early indicators that Canon might have finally conquered their banding issue when you lift shadows.

Go take one of the available Canon samples of the 6D (with harsh shadows) and lift them in LR, and see for yourself. Yes they are JPEGs, but it still might be a good sign.

My hope too is that the 6D sensor is a new design from Canon that will reduce low ISO pattern noise but I doubt we can tell from JPEG's. The lowest levels in the file are most likely clipped to black in the JPEG conversion so they won't render anything when the shadows are lifted but I hope I'm wrong. I can see no other reason why Canon would produce 3 FF sensors simultaneously that are so close in pixel density.

Bob
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rwbaron Forum Pro • Posts: 12,383
Re: I hope your wrong on this one

Tazz93 wrote:

I love the 1.3 factor, but can see the utility in a FF. Personally, I love land and seascapes so a FF in in my future, but I hope there will always be an APS-H sensor on offer. However, on the flip-side, I think the APS-C should be done away with. Seems like a one trick pony (yeah, I know it can be adapted) needing very odd focal lengths and specialized glass to work in the genre that the other two formats can easily share. However, I assume its the cheapest to create/develop, making it an manufacturer’s dream sensor.

I see the 1.3 APS H sensor as the odd man out. High pixel density APS C makes perfect sense for anyone who is FL limited and why I'll always have a camera like the 7D. On APS C my $1300 400f5.6L has a 640mm FoV and maintains its f5.6 speed. My only option on FF would be a $10,500 500f4LIS and then the $400 1.4X to obtain a 700mm FoV at f5,6. My wallet and my back much prefer the 7D and 400. FF sucks for those of us who routinely shoot long and are FL limited.

Bob

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Colin K. Work Veteran Member • Posts: 3,694
Re: Why Three FF Sensors?

I don't think a new sensor means better ... I for one (having bought a 5D3) would be quite irritated if it is, and it would certainly kill a lot of 5D3 sales.

I think the only rational explanation for another sensor is that Canon has found a way to make it more economically, possible by reducing its capability.

If it was an improved sensor, don't you think image quality would be the key point in the release notes (rather than light weight)?

I realise that Canon may well have a better sensor ready, but I don't think they'd put it in a "budget" model so soon after the 5D3 - and nothing else about this camera seems aimed at the serious photographer - or pixel peeper.

Cheers,

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Dan_168 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,166
Re: I hope your wrong on this one

Tazz93 wrote:

I love the 1.3 factor, but can see the utility in a FF. Personally, I love land and seascapes so a FF in in my future, but I hope there will always be an APS-H sensor on offer. However, on the flip-side, I think the APS-C should be done away with. Seems like a one trick pony (yeah, I know it can be adapted) needing very odd focal lengths and specialized glass to work in the genre that the other two formats can easily share. However, I assume its the cheapest to create/develop, making it an manufacturer’s dream sensor.

Yeah it would be nice to have options so everybody can get what they want, as for myself, I will sure make the 1D2 as my first and last APS-H sport cam, hate that format, but I didn't have any better choice back then when looking for a sport cam with best combination of IQ, handling, AF system, frame rate.

Currently have 1D2, 1Ds2, 1Ds3, D800E, and I will pick one APS-C pro body right away if anyone actually make one, kind of like the old D2X type of camera with 1.5/1.6 crop sensor in pro body with top touch focusing system and frame rate mainly for sport shooting, or I can settle with a high resolution FF and shooting in crop mode when I am "focal length limited", I can definitely live with a 15-18MP crop file from 36MP-40MP FF in crop mode (or just crop it in PP myself) as long as I got the kind of AF system and body style of a 1D/D4. My D800E has the kind of resolution and IQ but doesn't have the body and frame rate I want as a sport cam, and the 1Dx/D4 has the AF system and frame rate and body but doesn't have the resolution for cropping, so still looking forward to see what is next to come, not likely to see what I want any time soon though, but I can always have some hope and dream about it.

Tazz93
Tazz93 Senior Member • Posts: 1,869
Re: Why Three FF Sensors?

As much as I hate it I think it (APS-H) is gone for good, but I will continue to hope. FF will be very similar and suits my needs very well but the APS-H was nearly perfect.

That said, I'm at a loss to understand why they keep creating new sensors when they could easily share a sensor and use the R&D money somewhere else. Maybe they are finding faults they'd rather get away from in previous offerings... IDK.

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ChrisEnnis Regular Member • Posts: 109
Re: Why Three FF Sensors?

Hi

Did I miss something, but I thought there were four FF Canon sensors:

18 1DX
20 6D
21 5Dii
22 5diii

Of course the 5dii must be due to end production, but Amazon are still selling them in the UK, so that makes it current in my books.

The OP's question is relevant though: why make a multitude of apparently similar specification FF sensors rather than one and use it across the range.

Regards

Chris

rhlpetrus Forum Pro • Posts: 24,858
Trend

So, logical conclusion, next FF will be 19MP ;).
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John_A_G Veteran Member • Posts: 7,466
Re: Why Three FF Sensors?

Tazz93 wrote:

That said, I'm at a loss to understand why they keep creating new sensors when they could easily share a sensor and use the R&D money somewhere else. Maybe they are finding faults they'd rather get away from in previous offerings... IDK.

I can think of 2 possible reasons:

Reason 1: the circuitry and processing required for large amounts of data. If you create a smaller mp sensor there is probably a point at which you can reduce cost of the circuitry and processing required.

Reason 2: Suddenly there's a lot of competition at full frame - so technology is moving forward. Canon has lagged behind competition in sensor development in past generation - so I'm guessing they are making tweaks as they go.

I'm betting a combination of those 2 is why we see a new sensor for the 6d

Colin K. Work Veteran Member • Posts: 3,694
Re: Why Three FF Sensors?

ChrisEnnis wrote:

Hi

Did I miss something, but I thought there were four FF Canon sensors:

18 1DX
20 6D
21 5Dii
22 5diii

Of course you are technically correct, but I think it is the fact that Canon have produced 3 apparently different sensors within the last 12 months that seems odd - the 5Dii one has been around for a while, so that being superceded seems reasonable.

... unless of course the 6D sensor isn't new. Could it be that the 6D represents an older project which got put on the shelf due to economic or other reasons? Maybe the 6D was originally planned as the succesor to the 5Dii, say, 18 months ago. Its now been dusted off, updated with wifi and gps add-ons and targeted at a different market.

Cheers,

Colin

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jokerone Junior Member • Posts: 26
Re: Why Three FF Sensors?

3 price points.

The harvesting of new consumers..

NetMage Senior Member • Posts: 2,909
Re: I hope your wrong on this one

What do you find lacking in the 7D as a Pro APS-C body?

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NetMage Senior Member • Posts: 2,909
Re: Why Three FF Sensors?

Canon uses the same sensor in the APS-C line at three price points - why is FF different?

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DSHAPK Contributing Member • Posts: 782
Re: Why Three FF Sensors?

The t4i is not the same sensor exactly as the t3i.

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