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Author Topic: Phase One/Kodak sensors, next generation?  (Read 18022 times)
Gary Ferguson
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« on: October 10, 2006, 05:18:40 AM »
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I was thinking about upgrading my Phase One P25 to the P25+ or a P45+, but it got me wondering when the next generation of Kodak sensors will be announced, and just what they might be. Maybe I'd be better off waiting for the next release.

Anyone care to speculate what the next generation might be and when it could appear?
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marcwilson
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« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2006, 05:22:30 AM »
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Gary,

Have a look at the video blog with phase one from photokina. I may be wrong but I seem to remember him saying the next generation were a year off, hence the P+ backs.

Marc
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michael
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« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2006, 06:35:13 AM »
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I've talked to the various manufacturers, both on the record and off, and the best that I can gather is that both Kodak and Dalsa will have higher desnisty sensors available in shipping qualities in 12-18 months.

My guess is that we'll see backs using these no sooner than Q1 or more likely Q2, 2008.

Everyone is being descrete, but these chips will be the same size as todays' but with a resolution of between 50 60 MP. This will bring the pixel pitch down to about 5-6 microns, which is about the limit for high quality images, at least with today's technology.

The real concern is, will photographers want this product (assuming a price of $30K, today's high end benchmark). A 39MP back produces about a 220MB 16 bit file. A 60MP (I haven't done the exact math) will likely be about 400MB. Add a layer or two in Photoshop, and now we're talking some serious card, disk and ram requirements, and processor speed.

Of course there'll be those that want it, even if they don't need it. (Yes, my hand is up). But, is there enough of a general demand in the pro community for that much resolution when a 39MP already produces more than enough for most commercial requirements. It's much like the argument of whether a shot should be done on 4X5" film, or will 8X10" be that much better. There are studios which are still shooting 8X10, (though most have long switched to MF digital) and certainly among fine art photographers making very large prints there's always that need, but I wonder about market demand...... (and so do the manufacturers).

Michael
« Last Edit: October 10, 2006, 06:37:33 AM by michael » Logged
rethmeier
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« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2006, 07:02:41 PM »
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I think the + range from Phase and the new V4 Capture One will set the new bench mark.
It is now obvious that the 33 MB sensor from Dalsa and the 39MB from Kodak ,need some kind of correction  with software.
I realize the problem manifests itself only with extreme tilts and shifts.

The people I know who use the P45 and the Aptus-75 eMotion-75 ,have to do their pre-light
and save the setting with sublime results.

After a few times the workload is rather easy.

For the fast shooters with fixed lenses,the problem doesn't really exist.

Also don't forget that Phase and Leaf have rather attractive trade-in or up programs.

Cheers,
Willem.
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Gary Ferguson
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« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2006, 07:06:04 PM »
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Michael, thanks for the insight. My real motivation was the better screen and the longer exposure facility of the P25+, it's not often that I need more than the 22MP of the P25. But if I'm going to spend on an upgrade I guess I should investigate all options.

Your reply however got me thinking. Phase One have said that medium format digital backs essentialy have an indefinite life expectancy, they have test units and units that have been used for arial mapping that have completed vast numbers of exposures with zero evidence of image degradation. So if we're approaching the end game in pixel count/quality terms, and these backs have indefinite lives, then back manufacturers will be in a replacement busines rather than an initial sale business. I wonder what implications that has for the industry?
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Quentin
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« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2006, 07:18:49 PM »
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I'd prefer to see a physically bigger chip, say 6x7 in size, to go with higher pixel count but I guess that is unlikely to happen as it would amount to a small part of an already small medium format digital market.  I thought most MF 645 image circle lenses were already at their limits with 39mp.

Quentin
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Graham Mitchell
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« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2006, 08:07:38 PM »
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It's disappointing to hear that they are working on 50-60MP chips. I think the market for these will be marginal. Would prefer to see them continuing to drop the price on existing sensors and/or working on improving high ISO performance.

Now that the R&D of the 22MP backs has been paid for, P1 could produce P25 backs for around $6000-6500 each, which could retail at $8000-9000. So they only make $1500 profit per back (there has to be a dealer margin too), but I bet they would sell at least 5,000 backs at that price (for a total profit of $7.5m). For every MFDB user, there are 10 more who would like to be using them but who are waiting for the price to drop. And once all those ex-Canon and Nikon users have switched to MF systems, the upgrade market is suddenly much larger too which makes the whole MFDB market look rosier.

Why does this seem so obvious, yet it's not happening? Someone should appoint me as CEO of one of these companies
« Last Edit: October 10, 2006, 08:09:51 PM by foto-z » Logged

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rethmeier
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« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2006, 08:22:26 PM »
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Does the price of a Porsche come down if they sell more of them?
I don't think so!

I think the price of these backs is not that much of an issue as long as you can charge the client for the high quality files you're delivering.
Also a $30 K over 3 years is really not that much in the bigger picture.

I was spending a lot more on film and processing!

However I do agree that a 39 MB back should be sufficient for most of us.

I'll be getting the 39 MB as I do like the option of cropping.

Cheers,
Willem.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2006, 08:27:32 PM by rethmeier » Logged

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Graham Mitchell
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« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2006, 08:53:00 PM »
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I don't think the Porsche analogy works at all. For one thing, Porsche is the most profitable car maker in the world at the moment, and makes something like $20K profit per car sold. The market for cars is HUGE - in the tens of millions, and there is not another market (equivalent of DSLRs) eating away at the car market. In other words, the car market is huge, has strong demand, no competition, and there is room for many profitable players. Porsche can afford to serve a niche.

The MFDB back market is in the region of 10,000 per annum, and many of the participants in this market are facing difficulties. Plus the market as a whole is under attack from Canon DSLRs *mainly due to price*. This market needs to compete on price, or more participants will go under.
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« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2006, 09:00:41 PM »
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F&H having designed their upcoming Hy6 as a 6x6 camera
gives me hope there will be a 48mm x 48mm sensor.
I'd be happy with 9 micron to lessen the color cast / centerfold effect,
and as long as there's improvement in high iso results.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2006, 09:34:01 PM by BJNY » Logged

Guillermo
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« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2006, 09:55:03 PM »
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Quote
Now that the R&D of the 22MP backs has been paid for, P1 could produce P25 backs for around $6000-6500 each, which could retail at $8000-9000.

Why does this seem so obvious, yet it's not happening?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=79789\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
It is almost happening, but combined with the trend to integrate the sensor and digital parts more closely with the rest of the camera's electronics, as in the Mamiya ZD and the awaited Pentax DMF body. That trend (but without the lower prices!) is also true of the new "Fuji-Imacon" models, meaning the H3 system. Maybe Pentaxc will soon produce the first $8000-$9000 digital MF solution.


P. S. The H system is not produced by Hasselblad: it is produced by a partnership between Fujifilm and the Danish company Hasselblad-Imacon, with some help from Konica-Minolta on AF. In turn, Haselblad-Imacon is far more "Imacon" than "Hasselblad": the management is the former Imacon management, and the offices are the former Imacon offices.

The extent of the former Imacon management's control perhaps makes it clearer why Hasselblad-Imacon no longer chooses to design new camera bodies for the benefit of other back makers. I fear that "open backs" are for the transitional period of camera makers not able to produce their own digital backs, and so needing to allow access to third party back makers.
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pss
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« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2006, 12:58:24 PM »
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Phase was still loosing money as of last year (or was it their first year with profit?) either way...they even have the added revenue of software and they are still having a hard time! the chip in th P25 is still the most expensive chip to produce...so if they could sell it for 7-8000... the P30 could sell for 5-6000? it is just not true...
they will sell the P20 for 7-8000, which is the same chip as the P25 only smaller...same quality, only smaller....yet everybody is asking for a 39mpix chip...and cheap...why? canon makes way more money on every single 1Ds mkII they sell....that is a camera that could sell for 5000...they even considered it, but dropped that idea, because they don't have to....MF makes are barely scraping by, it is a cutthroat business with no real winners even in the future...nobody will ever get rich making MF backs.....yet everybody always complains because they are so expensive....
if you are a dentist, you have to buy equipment...if you open a deli, you have to buy coolers, rent a store, buy food to sell......a DMF back is one of the cheapest things you could ever buy in photography....let's look at a P25: every time you fire your camera, you get a file that can give you a 16x20 fine art print, so for every commercial application this is PLENTY...so once you buy a P25 you get UNLIMITED MF shooting for the rest of your life...never pay a penny for shooting..ever again...this quality does not diminish, maybe there will be other backs that will shoot bigger files, faster, higher DR....does not make your back any worse...MF costs about .50-1$ a frame..so after 25000-50000frames you shoot for free, forever....
i am so sick of hearing how expensive DMF backs are, if it does not fit into your business budget, you probably don't need it anyway....complaining about wanting something does not really belong in a forum like this.....
everybody buys a car, gets in and does not think twice about the fact that it is worth 1/3 after 2 years and within 8 years might not even get you from A to B...not even mentioning the gas and service you have to put into it...
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Jae_Moon
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« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2006, 02:14:44 PM »
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Quote
Now that the R&D of the 22MP backs has been paid for, P1 could produce P25 backs for around $6000-6500 each, which could retail at $8000-9000.

Why does this seem so obvious, yet it's not happening? Someone should appoint me as CEO of one of these companies
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=79789\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

You (as a future CEO   ) should know that the minimum (selling) price of the product that costs $6,000 - 6,500 must be AT LEAST $12,000 - 13,000 to support R&D, Marketing, and Overhead, etc. in order to stay in business. I ran my own high tech manufacturing company for 10 years before I sold it  .

Jae Moon
« Last Edit: October 10, 2006, 04:57:08 PM by Jae_Moon » Logged
damien
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« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2006, 04:58:11 PM »
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Market research is key here. I'll help them all...

Same sensor size as P25 - P45
6 Micron pixel density
1600 ISO capability
2 frames per second limitless burst depth
10,000 ($6500) price point
Bright screen
shoot DNG or Phase-s raw (switchable)
User interchangeable ir filter
Option to shoot 20mp or 40mp

That'll do for now

Damien.
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narikin
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« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2006, 07:35:12 PM »
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Yep, thanks to Michael for the info. It's definitely a year away for even the announcement of a new sensor, and like MR says, ~18 months for the actual product.

I'd go for the + upgrade, in fact I just paid myself to go from the P45 to P45+ as I think the better screen and apparently better results at ALL iso's mean they have designed new electronics and/or processing for the files. look froward to seeing it in January.

yes, hand up too - I'm one of those sad people who woould welcome a 50+Mp back. My 6x7scans were always 500Gb in 16bit, and it wasnt such a problem to handle.
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padey
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« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2006, 09:16:14 PM »
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My problem is that unlike most MF shooters here, 25% of all my work is done at and above ISO800. As such, the P30+ really interreges me. If that back can deliver comparable ISO1600 images, to either 5D or S5 at ISO1600, then I can totally flick my 35mm gear.

Most guys in my business have to support both formats, and if I could go totally MF, the current price on a P30+ would be offset by halving my investment in 35mm gear.  
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Graham Mitchell
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« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2006, 09:46:28 PM »
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Quote
Phase was still loosing money as of last year (or was it their first year with profit?) either way...they even have the added revenue of software and they are still having a hard time! the chip in th P25 is still the most expensive chip to produce...so if they could sell it for 7-8000... the P30 could sell for 5-6000? it is just not true...

Well I have seen the pricelist for the Kodak chips so I'm almost certain they can make the whole P25 back for under $6K.

Quote
MF makes are barely scraping by, it is a cutthroat business with no real winners even in the future...nobody will ever get rich making MF backs.....yet everybody always complains because they are so expensive....

Maybe everybody has a point

Quote
a DMF back is one of the cheapest things you could ever buy in photography....

I think you're getting carried away  Even my entire Profoto lighting setup costs less than one of these backs. In fact I can't think of anything a photographer could buy that costs MORE.

Quote
everybody buys a car, gets in and does not think twice about the fact that it is worth 1/3 after 2 years and within 8 years might not even get you from A to B...not even mentioning the gas and service you have to put into it...

I already established why these 2 markets can't be compared.

Just my opinon, but they need to work on making cheaper backs, or go broke, and that would be a real pity.
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« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2006, 09:54:21 PM »
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You (as a future CEO   ) should know that the minimum (selling) price of the product that costs $6,000 - 6,500 must be AT LEAST $12,000 - 13,000 to support R&D,

Hi Jae, my point was that the P25 has been replaced already and that R&D has been paid off, but instead of spending more money on R&D on the new 'plus' range, they could have just dropped the price of the P25 backs to reach a much wider clientele.
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damien
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« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2006, 02:46:03 PM »
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That's what they have done! You can pick up an 'as new' P25 for 7k now rather than the 20k they were 2 years ago. If you need to know where ask me :-)

Damien.
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« Reply #19 on: October 11, 2006, 03:44:10 PM »
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Damien, please share
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