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Author Topic: freedom of choice?canons or nothing  (Read 15740 times)
E_Edwards
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« Reply #40 on: November 18, 2006, 12:06:07 PM »
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I think the cost of digital backs at the moment is probably about right.

For instance, you can buy an Aptus65 for around 10K and this is excellent value for a product that's going to do a very good job for most photographers.

These people moaning about the price have not quite made it or will never make it in the profession. Basically, they are not earning enough. I suggest that their energy should be directed at making their photo business viable and this has nothing to do with the camera, a camera is a mere tool - hire the backs in the meantime - and when they manage to have imagery that clients want to buy and pay good money for, they will find that 10 to 20 grand is peanuts to spend over three years (as James was saying).

There is even an argument to make the backs even more expensive, more elitist, thus eliminating at a stroke a large number of surplus photographers, as there are too many "fly-by-night" operators with cheapo cameras and absolutely no technique or creative flare whatsoever who degrade the value of the business, (only joking!)

Edward
« Last Edit: November 18, 2006, 12:10:38 PM by E_Edwards » Logged
pss
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« Reply #41 on: November 18, 2006, 12:53:01 PM »
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just don't get the problem....a financed system should not be more then about 500$/month right now....i don't see how anyone shooting professionally can spend less per month on film/processing...on top of that a digital system allows you t shoot unlimited frames per month and after it is paid off, every single shot is free!!! from a business standpoint this is a no brainer!

i think the problem is that some people her think they need a P45...they can barely afford a P20, but htey think they need a P45 and complain that it is too expensive!

for this forum the ferari analogy is valid, because it seem like most people here don't look at these backs as a very basic business necessity, but as a toy! that they want, but can't justify....

i keep reading on how the ZD will bring prices down....it has not in the year(s) it has been out and it won't in the future! if anything, it proved the opposite!

nobody complains about canon charging 8000 for their flagship....when the 14n came out and was half the price of the top of the line canon, canon thought about dropping their price to 5-6000....they waited and saw that they did not have to....they make a ton on their 1DsmkIIs....but in the big picture it is peanuts as well, because they simply don't sell enough of them....enter 5D and that still does not compare to the rebel....

i think we all agree that 20mpix at 16bit is about all anyone needs for pretty much any comercial application...more is nice, but up to 11x14 you won't see the difference.....i am not talking about what you WANT, but what you NEED, what your clients NEED....
this quality can be bought for about 12-15000 today in different forms, P30, refurb P25, A65, several other refurbs...a mamiya 645afd system is about 3000 (including lenses) on ebay....so for 15-20000 a COMPLETE system can be had....

this set-up will allow the owner to shoot MF quality for free for the rest of the cameras/backs (the backs never die) life....if you can show me anything cheaper, please let me know, i am very interested....

by the way i have posted pretty much the same post several times in different forums in the last years....DMF prices have come down 30-50%....you could not have gotten a (refurb)P25 for 14000 a year ago....it would have been at least 25-30000....

also if anyone can show me to open ANY business with LESS then 30000, please let me know, i am interested.....even if you sell drugs on the corner, you have to buy the goods first....
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paul_jones
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« Reply #42 on: November 18, 2006, 02:03:18 PM »
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you have to charge out the digital gear as if you where hiring it. when i bought i had worked out i will be charging my clients enough to have paid off my p25 in 6-8 months, and this is in a small market that charges at least half of comparable US photographers.

many of photographers i compete against hire digital systems at $1000 nzd a day (about 700 usd), so i didnt want to offer any discounts to my clients. my h1/p25 is on my quotes exactly as it would if i hired it. it will take just over 40day bookings to pay for it.

i also do all the post work, i charge this all out. every day of shooting can create a day of post charge out work. so even though i hate doing post, im making more money than when i just couriered the film to the lab.

this is a small investment compared to the sinar 5x4 systems that photographers had when i started my photography. i remember really wanting this flash gear when i was younger, but i did fine with an old RB67. its the same now, if you cant afford the med format systems, the canons are more than good enough. if you you clients expect better, get them to pay extra.

to be quite honest, my p25 is better than my 1dsmk2, but not by much. there are many things i miss about my canon that the h1 cant do.

also, i have a friend of mine who got 4 different pictures into the "top 200 advertising photographers" book that lurzers archive publish. all the shots where shot with a canon mk2.

i think if you cant afford the med format, the canons will do you fine.

paul jones
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James Russell
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« Reply #43 on: November 19, 2006, 09:24:35 AM »
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you have to charge out the digital gear as if you where hiring it. when i bought i had worked out i
to be quite honest, my p25 is better than my 1dsmk2, but not by much. there are many things i miss about my canon that the h1 cant do.

also, i have a friend of mine who got 4 different pictures into the "top 200 advertising photographers" book that lurzers archive publish. all the shots where shot with a canon mk2.

i think if you cant afford the med format, the canons will do you fine.

paul jones
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I agree with Paul and as of today you almost need a 35mm and medium format system as they both compliment each other.  

The dividing line between mf and dslrs are getting closer as medium format is getting faster frame rates with higher iso and maybe Canon's next offering will be close to the quality of medium format.

For me the issue with the Canons is not the detail, (though I see a big difference between the 1ds2 and the A-22), but it's the overal look of the file.  I strongly dislike the overly red skintones I get in the Canon files.  They can be worked, but it takes effort.  Canons DPP tends to neutralize the red, but it still is a very warm file.  

Also I find the crop factor of 35mm to be annoying, even with cropped screens. I am always too tight on the 1ds2.

Digital capture is different than film in that we are now responsibile for the complete workflow, so the most important aspects of any system, 35 or medium format is to have a stable fast workflow and a file that moves easily with the least amount of color correction.

Also it's important that these cameras come out of the box correct.  My original 1ds was issue free, the 1ds2 dropped files, The A-22 took a few months to sort out and now I am just beginning with an A-65 which I have yet to get the look or workflow sorted and I as many others have very little time to sort out a camera.

Learning curve is one thing, but having to reinvent your complete workflow everytime a manufacturer makes a new camer or back  can be overly consuming.

I still think the one step back approach is the best.  

I could step back and only keep my A-22 and original 1ds, selling the 1ds2, A-65 and Nikon D2x and would have saved myself an easy 35% in time through the last 18 months.


JR
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« Last Edit: November 19, 2006, 09:25:34 AM by James Russell » Logged
mahleu
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« Reply #44 on: November 19, 2006, 09:43:00 AM »
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Why can't someone make a 10 or 15MP MF back. The production costs will cost less than a 22MP+ sensor and the quality will be better than a DSLR of similar MP.
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« Reply #45 on: November 19, 2006, 11:23:45 AM »
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Why can't someone make a 10 or 15MP MF back. The production costs will cost less than a 22MP+ sensor and the quality will be better than a DSLR of similar MP.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=86029\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
what is wrong with the P20? list 8000$
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James Russell
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« Reply #46 on: November 19, 2006, 11:27:22 AM »
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what is wrong with the P20? list 8000$
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=86042\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Nothing that a 20x magnifier won't solve.

The only problem with the P20 and all the square Kodak chipped cameras is such a tiny frame floating in that big ground glass.

They work and work very well, but you need to find some type of loupe to put over the ground glass for focus and while your at it, get use to stitching for anything wide angle.

JR
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ericstaud
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« Reply #47 on: November 19, 2006, 12:02:55 PM »
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41 shooting days to pay off a $25,000 MFDB at $600.00 per day

100 shooting days to pay off a $6000.00 Profoto pack at $60.00 per day.

My work really requires I own all my lighting equipment.  Many architecture shooters don't charge for their lighting kit like fashion shooters mostly do.  So while my clients end up paying for the MFDB, I am stuck with the bill for the Lighting setup.  In the end, the Aptus 75 feels much less expensive to me than my strobe setup.

I charged $300.00 per day for the D2X.  In the first three months I billed it on 17 days of shooting and it was paid off.  The cheapest camera I ever bought.

The biggest risk in the financing scenario is that other photographers will start to include their MFDB's without charge (most still life photographers own 30-100K worth of equipment that is not billed to the client).
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RicAgu
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« Reply #48 on: November 19, 2006, 01:49:26 PM »
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I agree with the above statements.

2003 & 2004 my lab bills where on average from $30k to $50k per year.  in 2005 I went digital and my lab bill was $15k and this year my lab bill was $00000.  On top of that the cost of film, lasers for extra copies of the contacts, FedEx, messenger fees and I am at clos to $60k-$80k.

I rent out my digital rig for $2000.00 per day to my clients and that is a G5 with Two Eizo's an H1 with one lens and a P25.  The Canon goes out for $1500.00 per day with kit.  Ten days the P25 and all the travel bags for the Eizo's and G5 are paid for.  I don't think of the cost of the tower or monitor because I would need that anyway.

No more lab, laser, or major FedEx and Messenger bills.  The P25, A75, P45, Canon 1Ds MII are paid for as well as the H1's with all the lenses.  I paid for a stupid fast connection at my office so FTPing is quick.

At the end of the day you have to bill for it.  If I didn't own it I would rent it from a rental house and be giving them the money.

But you have to have the clients that are going to pay for it.  If not, then you have to make that decision to eat it or use something less expensive.

I think I posted something here or maybe the RG forums last year.

I did a job last year with the P25 and the 1DsMII with a celebrity and it made the cover of a magazine.  I had publicisits, managers, agents, cousins, girlfriends, hangers on, catering, etc.. all looking at the shots and adding their two cents.  At the end of the day, the cover shot was a 1DsMII file.  On top of that, it was on sides of Buses, POP, Tour posters and then made into a billboard size drape on the side of a building in London.

A 1DsMII is good enough for 70% of the jobs out there.  There is a guy who shoots all the IBM server pictures that are made into billboards on the sides of buildings in Asia.  All shot with a 1DsMII and 100 macro or 70-200.  This is a guy who's day rate is $15K plus a day.  He is using Canon.  Sokolsky is another example who can use anything he wants.  Only shoots Canon.

Wasting your time wanting a Ferrari 559 for $260k instead of a kick ass Audi will just drive you crazy.  If you want to drive a Ferrari or an exotic car around for a day in Miami or LA?  Just rent it for a day or a week and get stupid and then turn it in without the worry of the maintence and up keep.  This is why rental houses have 10-20-30 digital backs.  Because there is a demand.

Best of Luck with your decision.  A P21 can be had at a great price or an A17, V22 and even some older Imacon or Sinar backs.  But if you need higher than 100 ASA then the P30 is the way to go.

 
« Last Edit: November 19, 2006, 01:54:38 PM by RicAgu » Logged
nicolaasdb
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« Reply #49 on: November 19, 2006, 03:32:09 PM »
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Also I find the crop factor of 35mm to be annoying, even with cropped screens. I am always too tight on the 1ds2.



Hi James

can you tell me where I can buy a cropped screen for the Canon Ds1..I have the same problem with the crop....and it sometimes takes me hours to recreate what I lost in the crop....which was one of the biggest reasons to go for MFDB

thanks
Nicolaas
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BJNY
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« Reply #50 on: November 19, 2006, 06:59:36 PM »
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can you tell me where I can buy a cropped screen for the Canon Ds1

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller...Bar&A=search&Q=

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller...oughType=search
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Guillermo
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« Reply #51 on: November 19, 2006, 10:44:42 PM »
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Well, Ric on this I disagree.  Medium format is a lot differnet end user than the casual Nikon D2x buyer.

...

As you know medium format digital takes a digital photography to a much higher level of complexity and reward.

JR
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James,

Isn't that mostly the result of shortcomings of the current offerings rather than something intrisic with medium format digital?

As a user of both a D2x and a Mamiya ZD, I am not sure to understand what is so different between these 2 in terms of product.

Now I understand that MF buyers might have different expectations in terms of support (uptime requirements,...), but I don't see why Nikon/Canon couldn't create a special division to catter for these customers, and I also don't see why Phase couldn't decide to modify their packages to make their product more independant from the service that goes with it to make the product more available for those buyers who are willing to do away with the service.

Those who manage to use their D2x 100% without support will also manage to use their Phase P45 100% without support IMHO. Today you don't have this option with the Phase.

Regards,
Bernard
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James Russell
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« Reply #52 on: November 19, 2006, 11:13:33 PM »
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As a user of both a D2x and a Mamiya ZD, I am not sure to understand what is so different between these 2 in terms of product.

Now I understand that MF buyers might have different expectations in terms of support (uptime requirements,...), but I don't see why

It very much depends on what your shooting.  If you just shooting to cards and downloading to folders and processing a few files, then yes the workflow for the d2x and a medium format back are quite similiar.

But if you are working in a room with 11 clients two monitors, tethered, batch processing in the background, changing color, setting input, output values, naming files, sorting files, etc. etc., then someobdy has to be very good at the computer and the workflow and must know it front and back.

V-8, lc10, C-1, flexcolor take a while to learn and all have some hidden, esoteric settings that you must be dead on right, or you will open yourself up to a world of hurt.

that's why so many photographers hire techs, or either learn it themselves or both.

I recommend both and a good dealer or tech service company can walk you through many of the issues.

Remember, medium format backs do not produce that good of an in camera preview and just to get to the first web gallery requires some form of batch processing.

I can give you 12 different sceanrios that can throw even the best workflow out the window.


The tethering shuts down and you must shoot one session to cards, or the client wants to edit on the fly, or the naming was wrong and must be changed after shooting or all of the above.

A good dealer like Steve Hendrix and Dave Gallagher can be a lifesaver and not rip you off in the process.

I am sure there are other good dealers but those two I know personally and those two will be there to help or find the person that knows the answers.

These aren't just cameras, these are cameras with drum scanners attached to them.

JR
« Last Edit: November 19, 2006, 11:16:48 PM by James Russell » Logged
nicolaasdb
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« Reply #53 on: November 20, 2006, 12:32:39 AM »
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thanks...after 2 years of cropping problems...finally!! now that I got my cropping problem solved the expensive way!! Aptus 65
« Last Edit: November 20, 2006, 12:33:22 AM by nicolaasdb » Logged
BJL
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« Reply #54 on: November 20, 2006, 09:17:36 AM »
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Why can't someone make a 10 or 15MP MF back. The production costs will cost less than a 22MP+ sensor and the quality will be better than a DSLR of similar MP.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=86029\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Kodak and Dalsa certainly can, but they and their customers choose instead to move in the opposite direction, towards more, smaller photosites. This alone should tell you that there is something wrong with your argument (Unless you know better than the entire MF industry which products would be successful.)

Lowering the pixel count on a roughly 36x48mm "medium format" sensor would have little effect on sensor cost. The huge size of a "medium format" sensor compared to most integrated circuits is the main reason that they cost so much to make. 36x48mm is over four times larger than about any IC outside of the DSLR world, so IC fab. equipment is not designed to handle such sizes, and there is no likelihood that it will be in the future, as IC's overall continue to get smaller.

Thus unusual fabrication methods must be used, like multiple exposures to produce a single sensor. This greatly lowers the yield of usable sensors per wafer, increasing cost. (Alternatively, designing and making special purpose fab. equipment, but that has a huge costs too.) Canon explains in its recent white paper on "Full Frame CMOS Sensors" that these size problems already have a major effects on the cost of its 24x36mm sensors. (It seems that there is a big sensor fabrication cost jump somewhere between the 1D and 1Ds sensor sizes, as the former is just small enough to fabricate with the normal single exposure method.)


P. S. I also severely doubt that there is much market for a sensor that is larger than and yet gives lower pixel count than Canon's top of the line 24x36mm sensor. Consider the main arguments in favor of larger sensors:
a)  Lower noise levels in high speed, low light situations?
Canon's sensors instead continue to have a clear advantage over MF sensors on that count. Bear in mind too that in almost any high speed situation, MF sensors need to use about twice the ISO speed due to factors like the higher minimum f-stops of MF lenses.
 More Dynamic Range?
I have not seen many complaints about the DR of Canon's 24x36mm sensors at low ISO speed, and at higher ISO speeds, Canon's sensors move ahead, due to the higher shadow noise levels of MF sensors cutting of the bottom of the useful range.
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KenRexach
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« Reply #55 on: November 20, 2006, 11:06:09 AM »
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Lowering the pixel count on a roughly 36x48mm "medium format" sensor would have little effect on sensor cost. The huge size of a "medium format" sensor compared to most integrated circuits is the main reason that they cost so much to make.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=86165\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Ajaaa!

But a P21 goes for $12k, a P45 goes for $27k (equal 1yr warranty), but the difference in chip size is quite small, basically the P45 has 23% more chip area than the P21 but costs 225% more.

Thats the thing a HUGE part of the cost of MFDB must be a combination of marketing, r&d and distribution ("middlemen") costs. Maybe if MFDBs were sold directly from the MFG they would be cheaper maybe not. Either way it seems the MFDB mfgs have some sort of deal or alliance going since what are the odds that all top of the line MFDBs hover around the $30,000 price point and have for years. One should have broken the Cycle and control the market.

Look at Canon, yes the lack of competition of the 1Ds mk2 keeps its price at $8k for several generations of the camera thanks to Nikons inability to deliver but in other price points they do offer more MP and overal performance for the money.

The MFDB market is actually then more competitive than the 1Ds mk2 segment since there are at least 5 MFDBs over 30mp that produce high quality results. Unfortunally tha hasnt resulted in lowering prices, yes maybe the fact that only Dalsa and Kodak produce the 30somehting MP sensors, still, that is more competition than the 1Ds mk2 has! which is none.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2006, 11:06:52 AM by KenRexach » Logged
Graham Mitchell
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« Reply #56 on: November 20, 2006, 12:23:28 PM »
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Ken, you just beat me to it. If the MFDB manufacturers are selling as these things at minimum margins and if the cost of the sensor is proportional to the area, then why does a P30 cost much more than a P21 (same sensor size), or why does a P45 cost so much more than a P21 (your example)? Clearly something doesn't add up.
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« Reply #57 on: November 20, 2006, 12:38:34 PM »
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cost of the sensor is proportional to the area[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=86189\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The cost of sensors is not proportional to the area - it is exponentially proportional to the area (I believe)

Ie  a twice the size sensor would cost 4x more

-----------------

The theory I have heard goes somthing like this..

Say you have a wafer with a chance of a defect being 50%

Say a defect is less than a 12th of the area

So from two wafers you can get typically 23 '12th size' chips out of a possuble 24 whereas you get typically 1 out of a possible two for a chip the size of the whole wafer

Your 'wafer wastage' for large chips is 50% whereas for small chips it is less than 5%

SMM

(That still doesnt make the difference 'ADD up')
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« Reply #58 on: November 20, 2006, 01:54:25 PM »
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The cost is directly proportional to quality of output. The better the back the more they can charge. It's market forces at work, nothing more. If Phase came out with a 50mp back with 48mm x 55mm CCD with useable 1600 iso and 3 frames a second continuous shooting, it would sell for $100,000 easily. This is irrespective of manufacturing cost.

Damien.
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BJL
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« Reply #59 on: November 20, 2006, 01:59:32 PM »
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But a P21 goes for $12k, a P45 goes for $27k (equal 1yr warranty), but the difference in chip size is quite small, basically the P45 has 23% more chip area than the P21 but costs 225% more.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=86179\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Firstly, I was talking about same-sized sensors: sensor costs grow rapidly with size increases as another poster has mentioned.
Secondly, the mark up over unit cost is surely far higher for the new higher resolution sensors than the older 9 micron pitch ones, giving a retail price difference larger than the difference in the unit cost of manufacturing such a sensor. Indeed, prices like $12k seem to be based on end-of-life pricing for previous generations of sensors, when a good part of the R&D has been defrayed, so sensor prices can be not much hover unit manufacturing cost. These prices are probably not sustainable for a new sensor, so it could well be that a new lower pixel count sensor would even have to be priced higher, not lower, to cover costs of setting up to manufacture it.

Quote
Thats the thing a HUGE part of the cost of MFDB must be a combination of marketing, r&d and distribution ("middlemen") costs.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=86179\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Indeed, and those costs would _not_ [added!] be much reduced by putting fewer pixels on a newly designed sensor of the same sized but with fewer pixels.

Quote
Look at Canon, yes the lack of competition of the 1Ds mk2 keeps its price at $8k for several generations of the camera thanks to Nikons inability to deliver ...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=86179\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Another possible explanation for the higher price of professional quality 24x36mm format DSLR's is that making those 24x36mm sensors and putting them in high-end bodies is inherently expensive, exacerbated by the relatively low unit sales that such products will have, requiring a higher unit mark up just to defray sensor R&D costs. (Canon only sold about 50,000 of the 12Ds sensor, about as many as it sells each week with entry level DSLR sensors.) 1Ds sales volume is not that high, well less than the 1DMkII or D2X, and Canon could surely sell many more by cutting the price closer to that of the D2X, so I have to think that doing so would reduce overall profit margins too much. (In other words, there is no sign that Nikon's failure to offer 24x36mm DSLR's is a matter of inability, and every sign that it is a deliberate and profitable choice to disregard a relatively small sector.)
« Last Edit: November 21, 2006, 08:47:56 AM by BJL » Logged
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