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Author Topic: Why not 6x4.5 CMOS sensors?  (Read 6604 times)
gerald.d
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« Reply #20 on: April 22, 2012, 03:26:38 PM »
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really? where did you get a figure like that?

did RED need to spend that much for their chips that they developed? RED also was promising the super large chips a while back, they wouldn't have done that unless it was achievable as a lower run "professional" cine camera.

paul

RED haven't brought to market any large chips though.

And to the best of my knowledge, there has been no news on their 645 and 617 chips for quite some time now.
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BJL
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« Reply #21 on: April 22, 2012, 03:33:07 PM »
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did RED need to spend that much for their chips that they developed? RED also was promising the super large chips a while back, they wouldn't have done that unless it was achievable as a lower run "professional" cine camera.
RED has not delivered a sensor larger than 27.7x14.6mm, with the coming RED Dragon update being 30x15.8mm, so all small enough to be made on standard steppers without the expensive complications of "stitching" (the size limit is about 33x26mm). And these sensors sell in products costing vastly more than DSLRs with similar sized sensors, so can sustain far lower unit sales.

Beyond that, Jim Jannard and the RED marketing people blow a lot of smoke about fantasy products, so I would not take those pure vaporware claims as any indication of technical or commercial viability.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2012, 03:37:47 PM by BJL » Logged
Doug Peterson
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« Reply #22 on: April 22, 2012, 06:48:56 PM »
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RED haven't brought to market any large chips though.

And to the best of my knowledge, there has been no news on their 645 and 617 chips for quite some time now.

Likewise I believe the 645 and 617 sensors that RED placed on it's roadmap are not near-term products at this point.
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BJL
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« Reply #23 on: April 22, 2012, 07:09:55 PM »
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And to the best of my knowledge, there has been no news on their 645 and 617 chips for quite some time now.
Likewise I believe the 645 and 617 sensors that RED placed on it's roadmap are not near-term products at this point.
Indeed. The history as I know it is that

- in late 2008, RED announced a future generation of "Mysterium Monstro" sensors in 36x24mm, 54x42m and 186x56mm formats, to go in RED "brains" named EPIC FF35, EPIC 645, and EPIC 617.
A flier is still visible at http://www.engadget.com/photos/reds-digital-still-and-motion-camera-system-now-official/
In particular here are two key pages:
http://www.blogcdn.com/www.engadget.com/media/2008/11/red-dsmcpicture-12-13nov08.jpg
http://www.blogcdn.com/www.engadget.com/media/2008/11/red-dsmcpicture-14-13nov08.jpg

- The FF35 was to come in summer 2010; the others by 2011.

- Somewhere along this timeline, all references to these future FF35, 645 and 617 products disappeared from www.red.com, and searches there on FF35 and such give no results.

- In April 2011, RED announced that the first Monstro sensor would arrive in 2012, giving no specs except the name "Dragon".

- In April 2012, the Dragon sensor was announced, in format 30x15.8mm.

I am ready to conclude that, as the RED website and that flyer for the FF35, 645 and 617 cameras says:
"Specifications and delivery dates are subject to drastic changes"
and in this case, this means that those three fantasy formats have been silently canned in favor of a sensor in a smaller, more practical format, probably compatible with most existing cine-camera lenses, even though it is a bit larger than ANSI Super35.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2012, 07:21:31 PM by BJL » Logged
Stefan.Steib
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« Reply #24 on: April 23, 2012, 02:54:14 AM »
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Paul

the figures are from someone in the industry who knows exactly. I have been talking with him for several hours about this because you can imagine that
Hartblei-HCam is interested what is going on - it directly influences our business.

There are several ways to pay such a chip- you can either pay for the devellopment or you can guarantee a number of chips to be bought from the the fab.
The costs will stay the same, you may even be cheaper if you finance this yourself, instead of financing the fabs banking for the setup.

and about CMOS- I think the question has been answered by Leaf today- they released the new CREDO line- looking very similar to the IQs to me. prbably the same chips, electronics and most of the features, with a little different housing and a bit lower price. Makes sense on the point of producing as many equal parts  as possible.

But shows that it is very unlikely we will see a CMOS from either Phase or Leaf during the next 1-2 years, maybe longer, maybe ever......

Regards
Stefan
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torger
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« Reply #25 on: April 23, 2012, 05:00:23 AM »
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I'm myself a bit worried that MF might not survive the coming ten years, because DSLRs are becoming so good, and MF technology maybe becomes obsolete in comparison and the market is too small to fund up development of up to date technology. That would be sad.

The first ten years digital medium format users where those used to film - any MFDB from 2004 and forward is an incredible improvement in flexibility, speed and (in most cases) image quality compared to film. However, the next generation of photographers maybe haven't used a film camera at all, but instead started off with DSLRs and then MFDBs don't feel that fast and flexible any longer but rather the opposite. What's left is image quality and while MFDBs with their 80 megapixels and lenses that support it is clearly ahead, D800 and future DSLRs put image quality bar quite high perhaps so high that fewer and fewer see a need to get better quality, thus shrinking the MFDB market regardless of their image quality.
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Simon DeSantis
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« Reply #26 on: April 23, 2012, 01:39:07 PM »
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If we're dreaming I want a digital 67!
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BJL
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« Reply #27 on: April 23, 2012, 01:51:25 PM »
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If we're dreaming I want a digital 67!
OK, the usual dreaming game is on again, it comes back every few months.
- First predictions and hopes for 56x56mm square sensors, for those Hasselblad V and Rollei bodies that are surely going to return to dominance once photographers get fed up with rotating their cameras. See http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=65897.msg523144#msg523144
- Then talk of 6x7 sensors, for the even better RB67 and RZ67 bodies and lenses.

So let me finish it:
If  the sensor makers had a clue, or listened to their customers, they would be giving us circular sensors that cover the entire image circle, so we can crop to any rectangular shape we like later.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2012, 01:58:37 PM by BJL » Logged
ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #28 on: April 23, 2012, 02:26:20 PM »
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Hi,

My guess that the market for 6x7 sensors is much smaller than for the 645 size.

Best regards
Erik

OK, the usual dreaming game is on again, it comes back every few months.
- First predictions and hopes for 56x56mm square sensors, for those Hasselblad V and Rollei bodies that are surely going to return to dominance once photographers get fed up with rotating their cameras. See http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=65897.msg523144#msg523144
- Then talk of 6x7 sensors, for the even better RB67 and RZ67 bodies and lenses.

So let me finish it:
If  the sensor makers had a clue, or listened to their customers, they would be giving us circular sensors that cover the entire image circle, so we can crop to any rectangular shape we like later.

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paul_jones
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« Reply #29 on: April 23, 2012, 02:28:02 PM »
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Paul

the figures are from someone in the industry who knows exactly. I have been talking with him for several hours about this because you can imagine that
Hartblei-HCam is interested what is going on - it directly influences our business.

There are several ways to pay such a chip- you can either pay for the devellopment or you can guarantee a number of chips to be bought from the the fab.
The costs will stay the same, you may even be cheaper if you finance this yourself, instead of financing the fabs banking for the setup.

and about CMOS- I think the question has been answered by Leaf today- they released the new CREDO line- looking very similar to the IQs to me. prbably the same chips, electronics and most of the features, with a little different housing and a bit lower price. Makes sense on the point of producing as many equal parts  as possible.

But shows that it is very unlikely we will see a CMOS from either Phase or Leaf during the next 1-2 years, maybe longer, maybe ever......

Regards
Stefan

hi stefan, i am very disappointed if this is the case.
my p65 phase back that i love is extremely unpractical in 70% of my shooting, and i have hardly been using it. my dream is to have 400-800 iso at least (800- 1600 ideal), my p65 struggles at 200,  i just can't use it in most cases. and i love shooting medium format, but it really is being left behind for advertising photography. three years ago many of my colleagues had medium format, and now I'm one of the few that still use them. If you want to see, then look at the behind the scenes of a lot of the top advertising photographers in the world and far more often than not they shoot dslr. many of the hire places are growing there dslr rentals , not medium format.

if medium format changed to cmos i believe that it would bring new life into the products and make them practical. not all shoots are shot with plenty of flash.

imo, paul
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Radu Arama
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« Reply #30 on: April 23, 2012, 06:07:14 PM »
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Every single time I read about how hard (oh, wait, it is not hard it is IMPOSSIBLE Smiley ) to make a modern large format sensor designed from scratch for high end photography and not some 10 year old technology discretized by (ex)Kodak or Dalsa after the CIA or NSA gave them approval I magically remember this: http://www.dpreview.com/news/2003/12/19/fujifilmback

Radu
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BJL
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« Reply #31 on: April 23, 2012, 06:18:38 PM »
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Every single time I read about how hard (oh, wait, it is not hard it is IMPOSSIBLE Smiley ) to make a modern large format sensor designed from scratch for high end photography and not some 10 year old technology discretized by (ex)Kodak or Dalsa after the CIA or NSA gave them approval I magically remember this: http://www.dpreview.com/news/2003/12/19/fujifilmback
The OP's question and the claims are specifically about CMOS sensors, so I do not see the relevance of that Fujifilm CCD (Did it ever come to market? Maybe in Japan only, briefly.) CCDs have relatively lower costs to prepare each new model for fabrication, which is why Kodak and Dalsa can offer a large number of low volume CCD products.

Also, please avoid arguing against straw men: the skeptical comments have been about the difficulty and low likelihood of MF CMOS, due to the high initial costs of each new sensor design, not impossibility. I would say that it could be possible, if for example Pentax and a few others agree to fund the development of one relatively high volume CMOS sensor, probably 44x33mm at least for the first effort.
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Radu Arama
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« Reply #32 on: April 23, 2012, 07:26:32 PM »
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The OP's question and the claims are specifically about CMOS sensors, so I do not see the relevance of that Fujifilm CCD (Did it ever come to market? Maybe in Japan only, briefly.) CCDs have relatively lower costs to prepare each new model for fabrication, which is why Kodak and Dalsa can offer a large number of low volume CCD products.

Also, please avoid arguing against straw men: the skeptical comments have been about the difficulty and low likelihood of MF CMOS, due to the high initial costs of each new sensor design, not impossibility. I would say that it could be possible, if for example Pentax and a few others agree to fund the development of one relatively high volume CMOS sensor, probably 44x33mm at least for the first effort.

a) My link is very relevant: it is still about a (somewhat) different technology than what was existent at that time and most of all a new manufacturer to join the fray, but if you insist to take it literary I guess I was offtopic. On the other hand if you missed a smiley and how I wrote "impossible" I guess the rest was blurry anyway. The morale of the story is that the cost of a new technology and the price end users pay can be wildly different.

b) A lot of people know why the Fuji never made it to the market, ask around and you will find out too. Pentax doesn't have the "problems" Fuji had.

c) No, IMHO TrueSense Imaging and Dalsa can "offer a large number of low volume CCD products" simply because a lot of the R&D and tooling was already paid for by the military which is well and good except that was a decade or so ago.

d) A shot analysis of possible customers for a CMOS sensor:

- Pentax desperately needs such a sensor to differentiate itself from the others in terms of dynamic range and higher ISO performance. Also the first MF manufacturer to offer modern LV and even video will have a plus on the market. Pentax unlike P1 and H seems to run on much lower margins so let's say a 1K USD added in parts cost will not increase the end user price very much compared to 1K added to a H or P1. Furthermore if Pentax can obtain a CMOS sensor with global shutter they will wipe out the advantage of leaf shutter lenses and high X-sync timings H and P1 have. Last but not least Pentax seems committed to a "one sensor size" policy and doesn't mind for now to offer just the smaller 44x33 mm size. And Ricoh is a huge company with lots of money, lots of pride and deep connections in the Japanese semiconductor industry.

- P1 and H have IMHO ZERO INTEREST to commission a CMOS sensor now. P1 and Leaf Mamiya recently updated all the range with CCD sensors and H most likely cannot absorb any increase in costs. All three (two) entities run much longer cycles of products so they will sell the current gear for years to come. The last thing they need would be an alliance with Pentax so they have the same sensor and cameras twice as expensive (sort of H4D 40 vs. 645D of today).

 I trust that we will have some certitudes soon enough (Photokina 12 to CP+ 13) but just because some people are used to a certain business model that doesn't mean that things can't and won't change a lot in a very short amount of time.

Radu

P.S. Sorry about the convoluted message here it is middle of the night and I will go to sleep very soon ...
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #33 on: April 23, 2012, 07:57:55 PM »
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b) A lot of people know why the Fuji never made it to the market, ask around and you will find out too. Pentax doesn't have the "problems" Fuji had.

In fact, the Fuji back did make it to the market in Japan.

Cheers,
Bernard
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BJL
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« Reply #34 on: April 23, 2012, 08:32:02 PM »
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Radu,

    I agree with your general argument that there is a far better chance of Ricoh-Pentax acquiring a 44x33mm CMOS sensor for its "645D" system than of this coming from the initiative of Hasselblad or Phase One. One key is that Pentax might be willing and able to pursue a substantially higher volume, lower price, lower margin business model than the others, and for all I know, this might be enough to get MF CMOS past the tipping point into commercial viability. It seems that you, Bernard and I are all interested in seeing that happen. But I must repeat the point that Stefan Steib and I have been making: there is a substantial difference specifically between CMOS and CCD sensors in the cost of the initial development of each model of sensor, in the stages from design through to having the mask ready to deliver to the fabrication lines. That is why the Fujifilm DMF back is not relevant to this important CMOS vs CCD commercial viability distinction.

The key is whether any price high enough to cover the unit production costs (plus a bit of profit) can boost unit sales far enough above where they are now, which I believe is about 10,000/year total for all DMF brands and models. Does anyone know what MF camera unit sales were like in the film era? I have heard as high as 100,000/yr. If so, and if one or more less expensive DMF cameras using a single model of 44x33mm sensor could grab sales of 20% of that over a four year lifetime for the sensor model, then the $20,000,000 development cost that Stefan indicated would only contribute about $250 to the component costs of each camera, so that could be viable. For comparison, the sensor for the original Canon 1Ds was probably the lowest volume one in the DSLR world, and if I recall correctly, that was produced at 2,000 or 3,000 a month, so 24,000 - 36,000 per year selling at $8,000. That might be the sort of sales volume that a MF CMOS sensor needs to aim at. However, for Canon, that was only part of a plan for far greater total volume of CMOS sensor sales in later models, so Canon might have been willing to accept losses on that model for the sake of building its market dominance.
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