7100 as full frame?

Started Sep 3, 2014 | Discussions
billfreedom New Member • Posts: 3
7100 as full frame?

I cant quite figure out why the full frame cameras are so much more $$ than the DX versions.

For example, if you took the 7100 and simply swapped out the sensor and replaced with a full frame sensor and processor and mechanics, how much more $$ would the camera cost to make?

Mako2011
MOD Mako2011 Forum Pro • Posts: 23,409
A lot?
5

billfreedom wrote:

I cant quite figure out why the full frame cameras are so much more $$ than the DX versions.

For example, if you took the 7100 and simply swapped out the sensor and replaced with a full frame sensor and processor and mechanics, how much more $$ would the camera cost to make?

A bit more...relative term, IMO. You would need a bigger mirror box, a bigger mirror, a different/bigger AF unit (more a dimension issue), A bigger OVF assembly, A bigger file handling architecture for the bigger file size, bigger battery maybe, and the bigger sensor....and a bigger body to house it all. You might need a bigger price tag to keep it profitable as well. I suspect, it's just not as simple as you might think.

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Steve841 Contributing Member • Posts: 501
Re: 7100 as full frame?

billfreedom wrote:

I cant quite figure out why the full frame cameras are so much more $$ than the DX versions.

For example, if you took the 7100 and simply swapped out the sensor and replaced with a full frame sensor and processor and mechanics, how much more $$ would the camera cost to make?

more complicated than that. need bigger box for mirror, sensor, shutter, focusing screen, bigger pentaprism or mirror finder etc. but it would'nt be a tremendous amount more money to build. full frame has a panache figure too, sorta like lambo and ferrari even though it does'nt deserve it except in the [debateable even then] ultra hi end. so manufacturers get away with some level of price gouging on full frame - imo.

lots of us had plenty of dirt cheap to hi end full frame cameras in the past. they were quaint instruments that used film.

steve

OP billfreedom New Member • Posts: 3
Re: 7100 as full frame?

Steve841 wrote:


lots of us had plenty of dirt cheap to hi end full frame cameras in the past. they were quaint instruments that used film.

steve

That was the thinking going on in the back of my head....the mechanical would seem to be nearly a wash, but the digital innards might not be.

inlawbiker Senior Member • Posts: 1,430
Re: 7100 as full frame?

Sure, you would need correspondingly larger inner parts and data processing.  I cannot imagine those things are hugely more expensive than the smaller DX parts though.

The most important thing is: the market for them is smaller so the price has to be higher.  Most of the R&D goes into those bodies too.

 inlawbiker's gear list:inlawbiker's gear list
Olympus PEN E-PM1 Panasonic G85 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 +3 more
brucet
brucet Senior Member • Posts: 2,754
Re: 7100 as full frame?

I guess it's a bit like saying 'why aren't all cars v8's'? Possible but not a marketing strategy that suits the profit line.

I guess it comes down to the bean counters dividing the market into those who 'need' something and those who 'want' something. By having a number of options and price points they can cover a larger market.

No doubt any manufacturer could put all their effort into a 'cheap' full frame. But at what cost of a lost share in other markets?

regards

 brucet's gear list:brucet's gear list
Nikon D7100 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Tokina AT-X Pro 12-24mm f/4 DX II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G
Ronan_M
Ronan_M Senior Member • Posts: 1,363
Re: 7100 as full frame?
1

Mostly two reasons:

a) Bigger sensor IS much more expensive than a smaller one. Fx sensors are twice the surface of Dx sensors but their cost will definitely be more than twice, due to less efficiencies during manufacturing. There are also other components that are more expensive but the sensor is the main one.

b) marketing and segment positioning. Why would you make FX "slightly more expensive" than Dx when you can create a premium market segment that is willing to pay for it (under the "ultimate IQ" banner)

jkjond
jkjond Veteran Member • Posts: 8,413
Re: A lot?

Mako2011 wrote:

billfreedom wrote:

I cant quite figure out why the full frame cameras are so much more $$ than the DX versions.

For example, if you took the 7100 and simply swapped out the sensor and replaced with a full frame sensor and processor and mechanics, how much more $$ would the camera cost to make?

A bit more...relative term, IMO. You would need a bigger mirror box, a bigger mirror, a different/bigger AF unit (more a dimension issue), A bigger OVF assembly, A bigger file handling architecture for the bigger file size, bigger battery maybe, and the bigger sensor....and a bigger body to house it all. You might need a bigger price tag to keep it profitable as well. I suspect, it's just not as simple as you might think.

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My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value (except to me and Lacie of course)

Bigger file size?

Isn't the 610 pretty much a full frame 7100? To get economy of scale, maybe nikon should have designed the 610 first then simply put a smaller sensor in it to make the d7100.

Given the exact same manufacturing other than the actual sensor itself, I'd guess the production cost would be very similar but the perceived value would still command a magnified price.

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Wedding and fine art photographer based in the Lake District, UK

AlanWatson Regular Member • Posts: 113
Re: A lot?

jkjond wrote:

Bigger file size?

Isn't the 610 pretty much a full frame 7100? To get economy of scale, maybe nikon should have designed the 610 first then simply put a smaller sensor in it to make the d7100.

Given the exact same manufacturing other than the actual sensor itself, I'd guess the production cost would be very similar but the perceived value would still command a magnified price.

The larger sensor would add significantly - it's the most expensive single component, and costs scale roughly with the area of the sensor. You are right though that the files sizes don't depend on sensor size, just resolution and bit depth.

Otherwise the D610 is actually slightly below the D7100 in many respects (e.g. AF system, lower resolution screen, slower max shutter speed). Some of the differences, like the lack of the one-touch 100% review in the D610, are software features which have been left out purely in order to segment the market (the D610 is the entry-level FX, so they leave features out just to differentiate it).

But there's one glaring reason you'd not want identical bodies with different sensors (quite apart from adding 100g to the D7100 for no benefit to the user): the viewfinder. The D7100's image would only occupy the central 2/3 (by area) of the D610 viewfinder. So at the minimum you'd need to add a mask so you only saw what the camera would actually capture, but then you end up with a smaller viewfinder image than the D7100 gives (because the D610 viewfinder has a larger coverage but at lower magnification). In fact you'd get a smaller viewfinder image than even the D5000-series. So no, some of the differences are unavoidable.

That doesn't mean that I don't think you can make a FX camera as small as the D7100. The only intrinsic difference is that you need a mirror box that's wider at the top (the difference in width the middle is miniscule because that's mainly determined by the lens mount) and a bigger viewfinder bulge. You could well make an FX SLR that's smaller than the D7100, but you would need to make those 2 changes in order to put an FX sensor into the D7100 body.

 AlanWatson's gear list:AlanWatson's gear list
Nikon D7100
reps2 Contributing Member • Posts: 813
Re: 7100 as full frame?

Ronan_M wrote:

b) marketing and segment positioning. Why would you make FX "slightly more expensive" than Dx when you can create a premium market segment that is willing to pay for it (under the "ultimate IQ" banner)

There's another twist here perhaps! A significant proportion of FX purchasers are pros who can pass the cost of their kit on to their clients, and/or the Tax Collector, whereas a majority of today's DX (yes, Sir! I entirely agree that the D300s is a well-known DX PRO body, and equally I understand that you are waiting impatiently for your D400!) users are consumers who have to pay the whole cost themselves.

If I can spot that, then I'm sure Nikon can too, and can adjust their pricing strategy accordingly?

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Richard

 reps2's gear list:reps2's gear list
Nikon D3S Nikon D5300 Nikon D810 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 28-70mm f/2.8 ED-IF +1 more
Mako2011
MOD Mako2011 Forum Pro • Posts: 23,409
if that

jkjond wrote:

Mako2011 wrote:

billfreedom wrote:

I cant quite figure out why the full frame cameras are so much more $$ than the DX versions.

For example, if you took the 7100 and simply swapped out the sensor and replaced with a full frame sensor and processor and mechanics, how much more $$ would the camera cost to make?

A bit more...relative term, IMO. You would need a bigger mirror box, a bigger mirror, a different/bigger AF unit (more a dimension issue), A bigger OVF assembly, A bigger file handling architecture for the bigger file size, bigger battery maybe, and the bigger sensor....and a bigger body to house it all. You might need a bigger price tag to keep it profitable as well. I suspect, it's just not as simple as you might think.

-- hide signature --

My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value (except to me and Lacie of course)

Bigger file size?

Isn't the 610 pretty much a full frame 7100?

If that were true, then the D610 would have a 54mp sensor (same pixel density). Note the D7000 is 16mp and the D800 (same sensor technology as D7K) is 36mp

To get economy of scale, maybe nikon should have designed the 610 first then simply put a smaller sensor in it to make the d7100.

Then the D7100 would be a 10.6mp camera.

-- hide signature --

My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value (except to me and Lacie of course)

Kaso Senior Member • Posts: 3,777
Re: A lot?

AlanWatson wrote:

The larger sensor would add significantly - it's the most expensive single component, and costs scale roughly with the area of the sensor.

Yes, the sensor is the critical component that adds signitificantly to development and production costs. Beyond the fundamental technology regarding size and capability, there are electrical and thermal engineering issues to be taken care of. For example, an FX camera "does more work" but it must use one same battery and be housed in roughly the same body as its DX sister.

Everything scales up at both the component level and the system level. Similarly, note the disparities in prices among Intel processors and among computer/telecommunications products, from low end to high end.

On top of that is, of course, the arbitrary pricing decisions based on comparative product competition and product segmentation.

jkjond
jkjond Veteran Member • Posts: 8,413
Re: A lot?

Kaso wrote:

AlanWatson wrote:

The larger sensor would add significantly - it's the most expensive single component, and costs scale roughly with the area of the sensor.

Yes, the sensor is the critical component that adds signitificantly to development and production costs. Beyond the fundamental technology regarding size and capability, there are electrical and thermal engineering issues to be taken care of. For example, an FX camera "does more work" but it must use one same battery and be housed in roughly the same body as its DX sister.

Does more work? I don't understand how that can be much of an issue. Surely for the same pixel count the work done is going to be very similar - maybe not.

Everything scales up at both the component level and the system level. Similarly, note the disparities in prices among Intel processors and among computer/telecommunications products, from low end to high end.

On top of that is, of course, the arbitrary pricing decisions based on comparative product competition and product segmentation.

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Wedding and fine art photographer based in the Lake District, UK

jkjond
jkjond Veteran Member • Posts: 8,413
Re: if that

Mako2011 wrote:

jkjond wrote:

Mako2011 wrote:

billfreedom wrote:

I cant quite figure out why the full frame cameras are so much more $$ than the DX versions.

For example, if you took the 7100 and simply swapped out the sensor and replaced with a full frame sensor and processor and mechanics, how much more $$ would the camera cost to make?

A bit more...relative term, IMO. You would need a bigger mirror box, a bigger mirror, a different/bigger AF unit (more a dimension issue), A bigger OVF assembly, A bigger file handling architecture for the bigger file size, bigger battery maybe, and the bigger sensor....and a bigger body to house it all. You might need a bigger price tag to keep it profitable as well. I suspect, it's just not as simple as you might think.

-- hide signature --

My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value (except to me and Lacie of course)

Bigger file size?

Isn't the 610 pretty much a full frame 7100?

If that were true, then the D610 would have a 54mp sensor (same pixel density). Note the D7000 is 16mp and the D800 (same sensor technology as D7K) is 36mp

naaaaa, I simply mean a similar feature set and equal pixel count giving the same file sizes but just a bigger sensor and bigger bits to go along with that, such as the veiwfinder as already pointed out by Alan.

To get economy of scale, maybe nikon should have designed the 610 first then simply put a smaller sensor in it to make the d7100.

Then the D7100 would be a 10.6mp camera.

-- hide signature --

My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value (except to me and Lacie of course)

-- hide signature --

Wedding and fine art photographer based in the Lake District, UK

RemcoDo Regular Member • Posts: 125
Re: if that

Mako2011 wrote:

jkjond wrote:

Mako2011 wrote:

billfreedom wrote:

I cant quite figure out why the full frame cameras are so much more $$ than the DX versions.

For example, if you took the 7100 and simply swapped out the sensor and replaced with a full frame sensor and processor and mechanics, how much more $$ would the camera cost to make?

A bit more...relative term, IMO. You would need a bigger mirror box, a bigger mirror, a different/bigger AF unit (more a dimension issue), A bigger OVF assembly, A bigger file handling architecture for the bigger file size, bigger battery maybe, and the bigger sensor....and a bigger body to house it all. You might need a bigger price tag to keep it profitable as well. I suspect, it's just not as simple as you might think.

-- hide signature --

My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value (except to me and Lacie of course)

Bigger file size?

Isn't the 610 pretty much a full frame 7100?

If that were true, then the D610 would have a 54mp sensor (same pixel density). Note the D7000 is 16mp and the D800 (same sensor technology as D7K) is 36mp

To get economy of scale, maybe nikon should have designed the 610 first then simply put a smaller sensor in it to make the d7100.

Then the D7100 would be a 10.6mp camera.

-- hide signature --

My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value (except to me and Lacie of course)

From a distance a DX camera (7100) looks like a FX camera (610). There is only one difference, and that is the area of the sensor. But you can not enlarge the sensorarea without changing other dimensions of the camera.

These dimension changes result in some advantages compared to the D7100. But note that with advantages there also will be disadvantages. (you can search for them in other threads on this forum)

regarding the pixeldensity, if you would compare two cameras with the same amount of pixels but a difference in sensorarea, the camera with the bigger sensor would normally outperform the smaller. (better dynamic range, better noise performance etc.)

 RemcoDo's gear list:RemcoDo's gear list
Nikon D7100
Mako2011
MOD Mako2011 Forum Pro • Posts: 23,409
not upscaled

jkjond wrote:

Mako2011 wrote:

jkjond wrote:

Mako2011 wrote:

billfreedom wrote:

I cant quite figure out why the full frame cameras are so much more $$ than the DX versions.

For example, if you took the 7100 and simply swapped out the sensor and replaced with a full frame sensor and processor and mechanics, how much more $$ would the camera cost to make?

A bit more...relative term, IMO. You would need a bigger mirror box, a bigger mirror, a different/bigger AF unit (more a dimension issue), A bigger OVF assembly, A bigger file handling architecture for the bigger file size, bigger battery maybe, and the bigger sensor....and a bigger body to house it all. You might need a bigger price tag to keep it profitable as well. I suspect, it's just not as simple as you might think.

-- hide signature --

My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value (except to me and Lacie of course)

Bigger file size?

Isn't the 610 pretty much a full frame 7100?

If that were true, then the D610 would have a 54mp sensor (same pixel density). Note the D7000 is 16mp and the D800 (same sensor technology as D7K) is 36mp

naaaaa, I simply mean a similar feature set and equal pixel count giving the same file sizes but just a bigger sensor and bigger bits to go along with that, such as the veiwfinder as already pointed out by Alan.

Then you're talking about not up-scaling the sensor but a different sensor design in the FF vs APS-c. In that case...file handling may not upscale like it would if we use the exact same gen sensor tech in APS-C (24mp) vs FF (54mp).  In the case of 24mp in both...it's actually a little more apples to oranges vs the case of the D7000 vs D800

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My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value (except to me and Lacie of course)

qunamax
qunamax Contributing Member • Posts: 876
Re: 7100 as full frame?

billfreedom wrote:

I cant quite figure out why the full frame cameras are so much more $$ than the DX versions.

For example, if you took the 7100 and simply swapped out the sensor and replaced with a full frame sensor and processor and mechanics, how much more $$ would the camera cost to make?

That's a silly question. The price of part and materials used does not dictate that strongly a product price. Parts and manufacturing are just a tiny fraction of price you pay for anything these days, it's all massively made (most of it in China and other cheap labor places), engineers aren't that big expense any more... Most of it comes down to how much are you prepared to pay for it, if nobody was buying cameras at hose price tags they would be forced to lower the prices. Apple users are paying premium prices for years for a cheap mass produced product and it works like heaven for apple. They ain't selling outwordly products, they are selling how does that product make you feel.
Basically, most of that price tag goes into company's pocket and some marketing.

 qunamax's gear list:qunamax's gear list
Nikon D40 Nikon D610 Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Samyang 85mm F1.4 Aspherical IF Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED-IF
trac63 Contributing Member • Posts: 737
Cost of the sensor

billfreedom wrote:

I cant quite figure out why the full frame cameras are so much more $$ than the DX versions.

For example, if you took the 7100 and simply swapped out the sensor and replaced with a full frame sensor and processor and mechanics, how much more $$ would the camera cost to make?

A 135 frame sensor costs up to 20x more to produce than an APS-C.

And this state of affairs is not likely to change very much in the foreseeable future.

jkjond
jkjond Veteran Member • Posts: 8,413
Re: not upscaled

Mako2011 wrote:

jkjond wrote:

Mako2011 wrote:

jkjond wrote:

Mako2011 wrote:

billfreedom wrote:

I cant quite figure out why the full frame cameras are so much more $$ than the DX versions.

For example, if you took the 7100 and simply swapped out the sensor and replaced with a full frame sensor and processor and mechanics, how much more $$ would the camera cost to make?

A bit more...relative term, IMO. You would need a bigger mirror box, a bigger mirror, a different/bigger AF unit (more a dimension issue), A bigger OVF assembly, A bigger file handling architecture for the bigger file size, bigger battery maybe, and the bigger sensor....and a bigger body to house it all. You might need a bigger price tag to keep it profitable as well. I suspect, it's just not as simple as you might think.

-- hide signature --

My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value (except to me and Lacie of course)

Bigger file size?

Isn't the 610 pretty much a full frame 7100?

If that were true, then the D610 would have a 54mp sensor (same pixel density). Note the D7000 is 16mp and the D800 (same sensor technology as D7K) is 36mp

naaaaa, I simply mean a similar feature set and equal pixel count giving the same file sizes but just a bigger sensor and bigger bits to go along with that, such as the veiwfinder as already pointed out by Alan.

Then you're talking about not up-scaling the sensor but a different sensor design in the FF vs APS-c. In that case...file handling may not upscale like it would if we use the exact same gen sensor tech in APS-C (24mp) vs FF (54mp). In the case of 24mp in both...it's actually a little more apples to oranges vs the case of the D7000 vs D800

Eh, comparing a 24mp DX to 24mp FX is apples to oranges? Comparing 16mp dx to 36mp is absolutely bananas.

-- hide signature --

My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value (except to me and Lacie of course)

-- hide signature --

Wedding and fine art photographer based in the Lake District, UK

blue_cheese
blue_cheese Senior Member • Posts: 1,839
~$700
2

billfreedom wrote:

I cant quite figure out why the full frame cameras are so much more $$ than the DX versions.

For example, if you took the 7100 and simply swapped out the sensor and replaced with a full frame sensor and processor and mechanics, how much more $$ would the camera cost to make?

Someone said the exact same thing about the D7000, that is how we end up with the D600, the D610 is the same thing with less oil splatter, so when it is up for upgrade we willl have a D620 that probably is what you are asking for, a D7100 with FF sensor.

At that time D7000 was $1100, the D600 was $1800, so there is your answer it would cost $700 more.

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