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#41 Larry Bolch

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Posted 02 March 2016 - 09:42 PM

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The camera could find a solid market with high-end wedding photographers as well as product, advertising and fashion shooters, specially if it uses leaf shutters. Certainly there will be a few prosperous enthusiasts as well, but they are not the critical targeted customer. 
 
As X-camera buyers, we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg. We think of Fuji as a small company, probably struggling to sell enough cameras to keep afloat. The reality is far different. Fuji is bigger than Nikon in fact. 
Nikon
Revenue ¥857.8 billion (FY2015) 
Employees 25,415 (March 31, 2015
 
Fujifilm 
Revenue  ¥ 2492.6 billion (2014)
Employees 79,235 (as of March 31, 2015)
 
With regards to medium format, B&H shows the GF670 still in stock. The current Hasselblad line was based upon a 2002 Fujifilm camera that was sold under the Fujifilm brand-name in Japan. It still may be. All current Hasselblad lenses are manufactured by Fuji.
 
See under the heading "A History Lesson".
 
They are also big time suppliers of lenses for video and movie production. Checking the B&H pro-video site, they list 157 video lenses starting at $1995.00US and ranging upward to $233,490.00 for a single lens. They offer other lenses for ciné production and industrial use. This is not a small-time company! When digital arrived much of senior management at Kodak regarded it as a passing fad and just decided to ride it out. Fujifilm, on the other hand, diversified widely.


#42 Sator-Photography

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Posted 02 March 2016 - 11:56 PM

I sincerely hope this rumour isn't true...as I am a bit shocked that Fuji would be thinking of implementing the Sony 50MP cropped MFD sensor on a 2017 model.

 

Canon already offer a 50MP FF sensor on the 5Ds, as well as having announced plans to increase this towards 100MP in the next couple of years. Come 2017, Canon will have followed on from the upgrade to 5D X by bringing out the 5Ds Mark II (so that they can use the same magnesium body for both models rather than manufacturing multiple bodies) either with a higher resolution sensor, or a 50MP sensor with better dynamic range and high ISO performance.

 

Sony has already released a 44MP FF small format sensor a7RII model last year, which is barely differentiated in resolution from the cropped MFD 50MP sensor. By 2017, Sony are highly likely to have released a higher resolution FF small format sensor, perhaps in the form of the a9 or a9R. If Sony sensors release a 50+MP FF small format sensor, then they will likely also bump up the resolution of the sensor in the format one size above it (namely on the cropped MFD sensor).

 

Phase One are now using a 100MP full frame MFD sensor from Sony, and it is likely only a matter of time before Sony sensors will release this to other manufacturers e.g. Hasselblad.

 

The Pentax 645Z is already two years old. Pentax will also be wanting to increase the resolution of the sensor for the next iteration of the 645 series within the next year or two, with either a full frame MFD sensor, or a newer and higher resolution version of the Sony cropped MFD sensor.

 

So, if Fuji release a cropped MFD camera in 2017 with only 50MP resolution, they could end up looking awfully silly when FF small format sensors have started to not only match, but surpass the 50MP cropped MFD sensor in both resolution and possibly even in overall performance. The only reason I could imagine Fuji ever wanting to use, what by 2017 would now be an aging 50MP cropped MFD sensor, is to reduce costs and produce a sub-$5000 MFD camera. I fear they are shooting themselves in the foot by forgoing premium specs for such a compromised bargain basement design.



#43 darknj

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 05:03 PM

I sincerely hope this rumour isn't true...as I am a bit shocked that Fuji would be thinking of implementing the Sony 50MP cropped MFD sensor on a 2017 model.

[...]

 

Question, where did you got that information about the cropped MFD sensor ? As far as I know, there is only Medium format (roughly 44mm x 33mm or 1.7 x 1.3 inches) larger than this is called Large Format/

 

Unless I am missing something ?



#44 EyesUnclouded

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 06:31 PM

One thing about "ultra high resolution" 135 format sensors: "diffraction at f/4 anyone?" ;) :P :rolleyes:

 

If Canon or Sony are foolish enough to pursue resolutions over 50Mp, this will be their own undoing.

 

Please also keep in mind that even the "cropped" 50mp Sony MF sensor is about 80% larger in surface than a FF sensor (thus, larger pixel pitch, for equal resolution)

 

 



#45 Sator-Photography

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Posted 05 March 2016 - 03:26 AM

+50MP 135 format sensors? How about 250MP? Canon have one in development. I've heard that diffraction will cause a 50MP FF sensor to yield unusable results above f8-11 but I haven't experienced that to be the case at all on the 5Ds. Either the Canon engineers have never heard of diffraction or they think it isn't a major practical limitation. 

 

The latest statement by a Fuji manager stating that "we are not really interested in medium format" also suggests that the senior managerial staff aren't all in agreement about when or even if an MFD line should be brought out. I would be happy for them to take their time over it, and try to get it right. They need to seriously rethink whether they really want to rush into using that rapidly aging Sony 50MP cropped MFD sensor as the rumour mills suggest they are doing. This might result in them manufacturing a cropped sensor MFD lens line to go with it, thus excluding the possibility of upgrading the system to a full frame MFD sensor in the future. I suspect that the Pentax 645 digital system is full frame ready (because it can take film era 645 lenses), and they will bring out a full frame 645 series body when sensor manufacturing costs come down enough to permit this. Fuji do not want to be seen lagging behind Pentax when that happens. 

 

In the meantime there is plenty of work to do on the APS-C X-system. Perhaps Fuji might want to even wait till they can make an organic 645 sensor, perhaps even in a genuine 6 x 4.5cm format?


Edited by Sator-Photography, 05 March 2016 - 04:47 AM.


#46 quincy

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Posted 05 March 2016 - 11:01 AM

Question, where did you got that information about the cropped MFD sensor ? As far as I know, there is only Medium format (roughly 44mm x 33mm or 1.7 x 1.3 inches) larger than this is called Large Format/
 
Unless I am missing something ?


Medium is everything between 35 mm (36 mm x 24 mm) and large format (102 mm x 127 mm or 4" x 5"). The most used medium format film was 6x6 (60 mm x 60 mm). And 6x6 is what I would expect from a digital medium format camera.
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#47 milandro

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Posted 05 March 2016 - 11:36 AM

I think that this might have been true at some point when the formats were defined by the films the cameras used ( and I am not even mentioning box films like 126 or 110) 

 

So anything using 8 or 16mm were called " spy cameras” ( Minox, Minolta) or miniature cameras.

 

 

35mm film (or Leica Film) was the small format but was used to shoot anything from half-frame ( 18mm x 24mm) to panoramic formats ( many sizes and brands . With non moving lens, with moving lens, with moving film)

 

 

120/127/220/70mm ( which could be anything from 4 x 4 cm using a 127 film to the alpa rotor camera with rotating camera and lens!) and let’s not even talk of rollfilm serving on lager cameras which disappeared in the night of times.

 

 

Then you had cut sheet film often usable on some “ medium format” cameras too but stretching up to 50 x 60 cm. ( and larger, on request!).

 

 

Since the 126 cameras such as the rolleiflex baby weren’t 35mm they had to be “ medium format” too!


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#48 Sator-Photography

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Posted 05 March 2016 - 04:07 PM

For the record, Sony make MFD sensors in two sizes, the 44x33mm aging 50MP cropped MFD model and a more recently released "full frame" 100MP 53.7 x 40.4mm model. Many detractors point out that actual size difference between a small format digital sensor (36 x 24mm) and a cropped MFD sensor (44 x 33mm) is actually not all that great. A cropped MFD sized film equivalent would not have been considered medium format in the day:

 

3-Pentax-645-Sensor-Size-comparison-640x

 

However, if Fuji do make their own 60 x 45mm organic sensor, it means that you would be forced to buy Fuji's own lenses, and be unable to shoot with other maker's lenses with adapters as they would not cover the sensor area. Even vintage lenses would be inadequate as the actual area of usable film on a 645 medium format roll is actually more like 56 x 41.5mm. The amount of actual usable area on 645 film is close to that of a full frame MFD sensor. But it would give Fuji bragging rights to having a true 645 system, whereas the Pentax 645Z really should be called the 4433Z. 

 

I think it might be a bit optimistic to expect a true 60 x 60 mm format sensor (or even a 56 x 56 mm sensor) simply because of the cost of manufacture, and the question as to whether such square formats will ever become popular again. It might also make the size of the camera bigger than what Fuji want from a mirrorless MFD series.


Edited by Sator-Photography, 05 March 2016 - 04:09 PM.


#49 gdanmitchell

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Posted 05 March 2016 - 11:50 PM

Question, where did you got that information about the cropped MFD sensor ? As far as I know, there is only Medium format (roughly 44mm x 33mm or 1.7 x 1.3 inches) larger than this is called Large Format/

 

Unless I am missing something ?

Yes, I think you might be. The 44mm x 33mm format is not what used to be thought of as medium format. There have been various flavors of MF in film such as the 60mm x 45mm 645 format, and larger formats. Sore refer to the 44mm x 33mm format at "mini-MF," since it is so small.

 

That said, it is significantly larger than full frame, being roughly equivalent to what you would get by stitching two overlapping full frame images. 

 

Regarding the wisdom of introducing a 50MP full frame system (which is a theory mentioned by an earlier poster), from Fujifilm's perspective that might not seem at nuts as some might think. I'm guessing that Fujifilm has thought a lot about product differentiation. Notice the effects of that with their introductions in the current x-trans system: cameras that mostly bring to mind old school rangefinder cameras and which come with complete lens systems. Basically, Fujifilm decided to zig where the market was zagging and to NOT make another DSLR, and this worked for them. 

 

I suspect that Fujifilm believes (and probably has market research to back up their reasoning) that they cannot penetrate the market for full frame cameras, either DSLR or mirrorless, at this point. They have hinted at more or less this when they have said that they don't think that full frame is that much of an advantage over their 1.5x cropped sensor systems. However, a mini medium format camera, perhaps at a price point competitive with the high end current full frame DSLR systems, is enough different from their current offerings to not impact them and it could attract folks shooting full frame who think they want even more image quality.

 

We'll see. Perhaps.

 

Dan



#50 danwells

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Posted 06 March 2016 - 05:54 PM

I agree with gdanmitchell that Fuji likes to zig when the market is zagging. The reason Fuji has been successful at APS-C is that Fuji APS-C ISN'T a crop system - it's a full frame system for a different frame size! The difference is that all the lenses are optimized for the actual frame size. If you look at Nikon DX or Canon EF-S, there are two distinct types of lenses - APS-C lenses (which are generally cheap zooms - there have been a few primes and better zooms, but they aren't the majority) and FF lenses, many of which are either needlessly bulky or odd focal lengths on APS-C sensors (a 24-70mm f2.8 is a classic example of both, not going usefully wide on APS-C as well as being 50% bigger and heavier than it has to be).

 

There are a few focal lengths that serve different roles in the two formats, but happen to work in both (35mm is the best example - it's a useful slight wide on FF, a normal lens on APS-C, and a 35mm FF lens is very compact, so there's no real disadvantage to using it as a normal lens). There are others that work both ways, but the lens designs are different (a 24mm wideangle on FF is similar to a 35mm if used on APS-C, BUT a good FF 24mm is quickly becoming a big, heavy lens; while it's easy to build a very compact one if you only need to cover APS-C). Long telephotos also work both ways - they inherently cover huge formats (most 300mm f2.8s cover 4x5", or would if they didn't have baffles to prevent reflection), and they tend to be "the longer the better", rather than an optimized focal length for a particular effect.

 

By designing an entire lens lineup for APS-C, Fuji has the right focal lengths at reasonable sizes (note that their "50" is actually a 56 - a regular 50 works as a portrait lens on APS-C, but it's always just a bit short -  56 is a better length)... There are some big lenses, but they are unavoidably big lenses, not needlessly bulky ones. A 100-400, especially a scary-sharp 100-400, will never be a small lens!

 

I'd expect (and hope for) them to do the same thing in medium format. If they embrace 33x44mm and design all their lenses for it, they will have significant size and quality advantages over manufacturers trying to repurpose 645 film lenses. On the other hand, I hope they go for a newer sensor, rather than that 3 year old 50MP one. It would be very easy for Sony to make a ~70-75 MP 33x44 mm sensor that uses the same technology generation as the X-Pro 2 sensor, the A7rII sensor and the big 100 MP sensor Phase One has. Fuji and Pentax are the logical customers...


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#51 deva

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Posted 06 March 2016 - 09:37 PM

I would prefer the 44x33 to a bigger MF sensor... a bigger sensor would make the camera too big for my interest...

 

A 44x33 Fuji mirrorless can in effect, be their version of the full frame DSLR... same size camera and with a bigger sensor that is a wider differentiation from APS-C. 

 

If Fuji comes out with such a system, it is the lenses that I would be buying into. So that would really decide it for me. Because of the speed with which the sensors have been improving, camera bodies do not retain their value. With film, an old camera still took just as good of a photo as a new camera, so an old, well built camera body retained its value. At some point, and I think we are close to it, the sensors will be good enough that it will not matter so much whether the next one is better. There is a point of diminishing returns and I think we are almost there.

 

I've thought of digital camera bodies as 'disposable' because within a few years the new models have been so much better. $6000+ for a soon to be obsolete camera is rather costly. A sensor generation equal to the new X-Pro2 but in 44x33 at say 70MP would be very impressive and maybe is enough that it will not feel 'disposable'. The point where many users feel that way is when it makes sense (IMO) for Fuji to come out with the MFD.



#52 EyesUnclouded

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Posted 07 March 2016 - 05:01 AM

I don't know where the idea that the 51Mp MF Sony CMOS sensor used in the Pentax 645Z is "too old to be used in a 2017 camera" came from. Excuse me if I missunderstood this.

 

It's not even 2 years old (announced April '14). Fuji used the "old" 16mp APS-C sensor for ages; giving it the X-Trans treatment plus newer processors and firmware of course. That sensor was almost two years in the market when Fuji first put it in the X-Pro1.

 

Speaking of the "small" (sic!) 2 year old cropped MF sensor, if used with similar optics, results seem to be notably better than anything from FF, including newer cameras such as the a7Rii and Canon 5DSr. If we are to trust test shots from Imaging Resource and DPReview, it excibits resolution, color and DR advantages over them, while being almost free of false color and moire. Noise wise it is at least on par with the high-megapixel FF sensors.

 

We can imagine what an X-Trans version would be like, paired with Fuji optics.

 

(Note: there is no DxOMark test of this sensor, which is curious. In fact, there is a rumor circulating that DxO leaked, at some point, a score of 101 for it, but later removed the reference. This has almost become a conspiracy theory among Pentaxians, who claim that DxO burried the actual benchmarks. Take this with a grain of salt)

 

In regards to actual surface, this sensor is ~66% larger than a 36x24 sensor. As a format my opinion is this is ideal to build a new system upon. As previous commenters noted, the point is building a system and I particularly agree with gdanmitchell: Fuji can just "skip" FF and offer a complete high end professional system with definite advantages. Furthermore, future versions of this 44x33 MF sensor can definitely offer higher resolution as well as other image quality improvements.

 

Apart from size considerations (after all, we all expect the Fuji MF to be similar to a GW690 or Mamiya 7 in format), this sensor shall obviously offer cost advantages, both directly and because of smaller lenses. In line with the argument that Fuji is actually going after high-end FF system cameras, perhaps a basic system with 3 lenses could be made available for about (or even less than) $10,000. This is in the same range as the top FF cameras plus premium glass.

 


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#53 Sator-Photography

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 02:38 AM

The Phase One IQ250 was the first to use the 44 x 33mm 50MP CMOS sensor. As this article dated January 2014 shows, it was released in January of that year:

 

http://www.pdnonline...-Fi-10189.shtml

 

So even well before Fuji officially announce their medium format camera, this sensor is already over two years old. Not "almost" two years old, but over two years old. By 2017, when it is rumoured the Fuji MFD model might be released, it will be three years old. That one year may not seem to be much, but in terms of the pace of sensor development, it is highly significant.

 

The problem is that six months ago, last August, Sony released a 42.4MP BSI small format sensor. One more iteration of Sony small format sensors, and they will equal or surpass the Sony 50MP cropped MFD sensor in terms of performance and resolution, something that can be expected to happen some time in 2016. Come 2017, small format sensors would have long since matched and surpassed the performance of the by then increasingly aging Sony 50MP cropped MFD sensor. It would be only too easy for Sony to release something like an a9/a9R/a99II/a99RII with +50MP BSI sensors some time between 2016-2017, at which point who on earth would buy a more expensive 50MP MFD Fuji camera?

 

At the same time, Canon will by 2017 have got set to release a camera with a small format sensor with more than 50MP resolution, and have publically stated last year that they plan to push resolutions up to 100MP within the next couple of years. Canon should soon start to catch up with Sony in the dynamic range and ISO performance of their 50+MP sensors. They know they have gotten behind Sony, and have made announcements saying they are going to invest substantially in R&D. They may even leapfrog Sony again, resulting in their small format sensors performing similarly to or better than the cropped MFD sensors from Sony. If Fuji announce a 50MP MFD model only to be overshadowed by Canon announcing a 100MP model not long after it, the Fuji model could end up looking rather silly, and risks turning into a commercial liability for the company.

 

What is "aging" the Sony 50MP cropped MFD sensor is not the mere ticking of the clock, but the rapid pace of small format sensor development, which proceeds faster than the pace of MFD sensor development. While the 50MP MFD sensor may not have been entirely surpassed as yet, come 2017 it will have been, with the situation rapidly deteriorating for this aging sensor in the market moving ahead of 2017, because Sony tends to invest the latest sensor technology more into their small frame sensors.

 

In conclusion: it is difficult to imagine Fuji releasing a premium priced MFD camera in 2017 with a three year old cropped non-BSI MFD sensor with "only" 50MP resolution, with the intention of keeping this model in production for several years ahead, because small format sensor technology is pressing ahead so rapidly.


Edited by Sator-Photography, 08 March 2016 - 05:21 AM.


#54 Sator-Photography

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 02:58 AM

The next thing that should be kept in mind about 44 x 33mm sensors is that the claim made by Phase One about the cropped MFD format sensor being over 60% larger than a full frame small format sensor is a highly misleading marketing ploy. Pentax should be commended for not playing this outrageous game, but there sadly remains a difference between meaningful real world sizes and exaggerated marketing sizes. A cropped MFD sensor may be 60% larger by surface area, but resolution is a linear function, which means we must compare format sizes in terms of linear size difference. The true increase in linear size of a cropped MFD sensor over FF small format is more like 20%.

 

In addition to not strictly speaking being medium format at all, cropped MFD sensors represent too small an increase in linear size to be meaningfully differentiated from FF small format sensors. Given that sensor development is driven by smaller formats, the pace of development of small formats tends to additionally outstrip that of MFD, thus further tending to rapidly negate this 20% increase in real world linear size difference, as MFD sensor development lags behind.

 

Another way of putting it is that the improvement in IQ from newer smaller format sensors may be such that there may be ever dwindling yield from increasing sensor size in order to get cost-effective and cost-meaningful improvements in IQ, unless MFD sensors can come down in price while keeping pace in their technological development with smaller format sensors. I am sure Fuji are aware of this and are furiously having board room debates over it, just like we are.


Edited by Sator-Photography, 08 March 2016 - 05:29 AM.


#55 EyesUnclouded

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 11:25 AM

I shall repeat my argument about the 16mp APS-C sensor: this chip was not new when Fuji first started using it and they continued putting it in cameras for 4 years. Why? Because it was a bloody good sensor, that's why! :D Newer iterations of the X-Trans technology helped in keeping it competitive practically until today. The X-Pro2 is the first time Fuji uses a "brand new" sensor in a top camera. Is this a new trend? It remains to be seen.

 

I understand the worries about sensor technology surpassing what the company is currently committed in. Especially since Fuji has an history of keeping the same sensor for as long as they can. But I'm trying to be realistic here.

 

And objectively speaking, sensor technology in itself, hasn't improved overall image quality from our cameras as much as we like to think, during the last 8 years or so.

 

If you think about it, than old 16mp sensor was used in Fuji, Sony, Nikon and Pentax cameras for ages. Various versions of the 24mp sensor are also in use until today. In the world of FF, the same is true about the 24mp Sony sensor. Not to speak about Canon sensors at all...  In all cases what I see is modest improvements, generation after generation, with more substantial improvements in processors and "peripheral" components (e.g. elimination of the AA filter certainly resulted in a serious improvement in a number of cases).

 

I believe we shall only begin to see real advancements only with a new revolutionary sensor technology, not merely evolutionary steps. The organic sensor probably being such a case. BSI also seems a good step forwards, although it seems to be seriously important more for smaller sensors.

 

Back to the existing 50mp MF sensor: I totally trust that, should Fuji put a current technology X-Trans version of this sensor in their MF camera, it would virtually blow away anything south of the top of the line 100mp Phase One. Which means, for 99.9% of the population, everything. Coupled with Fuji lenses and general imaging know-how, this could keep it on top for a couple of years. But my point is, the 44x33 "format" will most probably keep improving. Sony themselves hinted that they might use such a sensor in a future compact (RX) MF camera. Digital backs will obviously use future 44x33 sensors for years to come. And, speaking of Fuji, it goes without saying that they would seek to implement their own R&D (i.e. organic sensor) in a (somewhat distant) future version.

 

Sure, I'd be delighted to see the latest technology used in my favorite cameras (although I might not be able to afford one). But I wouldn't mind Fuji using present day, tested technology either. I'm confident they'll be committed in supporting and improving it for as long as it takes.



#56 umad?

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 04:34 PM

(Note: there is no DxOMark test of this sensor, which is curious. In fact, there is a rumor circulating that DxO leaked, at some point, a score of 101 for it, but later removed the reference. This has almost become a conspiracy theory among Pentaxians, who claim that DxO burried the actual benchmarks. Take this with a grain of salt)

here you go: http://photorumors.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Pentax-645z-scored-101-at-DxOMark.jpg

Too bad we only got this within a comparison. I would have liked to see the FullSNR and other measurements

 

In conclusion: it is difficult to imagine Fuji releasing a premium priced MFD camera in 2017 with a three year old cropped non-BSI MFD sensor with "only" 50MP resolution, with the intention of keeping this model in production for several years ahead, because small format sensor technology is pressing ahead so rapidly.

 

What are you expecting - a BSI medium format sensor?

And why would Fuji need that, since they are just starting and won't cripple their mount. 

Overall medium format will stay ahead of full frame for quite some time, as full frame stays ahead of APS-C. There just isn't that much that technology can do anymore. The light itself is the main source of noise. 

 

So the medium format camera will deliver better images. The questions are: whom is it aimed at and what exactly is it capable of. 


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#57 danwells

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 04:40 PM

There are two separate questions here - 44x33mm vs. larger sensor and the 50 MP sensor vs. something new with more pixels, and more importantly, newer technology. My vote is for 44x33 (anything larger means much larger lenses and higher prices), but NOT for the 50 MP sensor.

 

The 16 MP sensor that became the X-Trans was released in the Nikon D7000 in September 2010 (with availability somewhat later - DPReview's review came out in December, and I'm not sure how findable they were that holiday season), The X-Pro 1 was released in January 2012 - sure, there were parts of three years involved, but the sensor was 14 months old (if you count from real availability of the D7000). Fuji did keep the same sensor forever, but they introduced it when it was relatively new (and even more so with the X-Trans III sensor - that's a brand-new sensor, although at a resolution that's been around). In fact, the reason why a three year old sensor is unappealing to many is that Fuji keeps sensors for years.

 

I'm speculating that switching sensors is a bigger deal in an X-Trans camera than a Bayer camera. Sony may even make a standard Bayer design that they sell with the sensor, so the camera manufacturer doesn't have to source another part at all (and MANY cameras can share that part). Since X-Trans is unique, Fuji has to make or order a fairly complex part (yes, it's a glass plate with splotches of color on it, but they're splotches of color a few microns across, and that may not be easy to do - I'm not sure how you print color on glass at over 6000 dpi, especially with edge precision much higher than that). They can only make enough for their own needs. My suspicion is that the expense is largely in setting up a run of a particular filter, not in making each individual filter (so they kept churning out 16 MP X-Trans arrays for years).

 

If they go with the 50 MP sensor, I'd suspect that sensor will still be around 5 years later, when it's 8 years old. Even now, the 50 MP sensor underperforms the A7rII sensor in some ways (and may actually underperform the 24 MP X-Trans III sensor per pixel in some measurements - overall performance will be better because it's a larger, higher resolution sensor). By five years from now, sensors that outperform that one will be commonplace, and they will include not only full-frame sensors but also APS-C sensors (imagine if the 16 MP X-Trans had fallen behind Micro 43 and 1" sensors in performance during its long run - it never did, performing slightly better than the newest 20 MP Micro 43 sensor, and much better than any 1" sensor).

 

I agree with EyesUnclouded that the GX-Pro 1 should be 44x33mm, but I'd like to see a new sensor... Call it a 44x33mm shrink of the Phase One 100MP sensor, an enlarged A7rII sensor or a huge enlargement of the X-Trans III sensor - they all produce relatively similar results. Depending on which pixel pitch you use, you wind up with somewhere between a 67 mp (shrink of the 100 MP sensor) and a 96 MP (enlargement of X-Trans III) sensor using copper wiring, possibly BSI (A7rII) and possibly with 16-bit output (100 MP). I don't care whether it's 67, 72 or 96 MP, but I'd like to see Fuji start off with a sensor that uses the newest technological generation. This should be easy for Sony to make, and would also appeal to Phase One (who are trying to move to CMOS, but only have an underpixeled 50 MP back and a VERY expensive 100MP back), Hasselblad and Pentax. Pentax's newer lenses all depend on 44x33mm, so they have no interest in the 100 MP Phase One sensor (not to mention the price). Most of Hasselblad's lenses would work with the larger sensor (all except for a couple of wide angles), but they seem to be trying to undercut Phase One, and may not like the price of the 100 MP sensor.

 

Since Sony has the technology from three other sensors, I can't see that sensor being much more expensive than the 50 MP sensor that shares technology with an older generation of smaller-format sensors. By 5 years from now, the 50 MP sensor may actually be more expensive than a newer alternative, as Sony transitions all of their sensor manufacturing to copper. Right now, Sony makes a mix of old and new sensor types (ignoring sensors smaller than APS-C) - they have three sizes of current-generation sensor (24 MP APS-C X-Trans III and A6300, 42.4 MP A7rII and 100 MP Phase One - there may also be a Super 35 version in a movie camera or two, and there are certainly 1" versions ), but ALSO make at least four or five older-generation sensors (20 MP APS-C in the A5100, 24 MP APS-C in the A6000 and other cameras, both 24 and 36 MP full-frame, and the 50 MP 44x33mm sensor). Five years from now, will any of those still be in production? If the 50 MP sensor is an "orphan", its price may go up while Fuji still wants to use it.


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#58 gdanmitchell

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 05:54 PM

The next thing that should be kept in mind about 44 x 33mm sensors is that the claim made by Phase One about the cropped MFD format sensor being over 60% larger than a full frame small format sensor is a highly misleading marketing ploy. Pentax should be commended for not playing this outrageous game, but there sadly remains a difference between meaningful real world sizes and exaggerated marketing sizes. A cropped MFD sensor may be 60% larger by surface area, but resolution is a linear function, which means we must compare format sizes in terms of linear size difference. The true increase in linear size of a cropped MFD sensor over FF small format is more like 20%.

 

In addition to not strictly speaking being medium format at all, cropped MFD sensors represent too small an increase in linear size to be meaningfully differentiated from FF small format sensors. Given that sensor development is driven by smaller formats, the pace of development of small formats tends to additionally outstrip that of MFD, thus further tending to rapidly negate this 20% increase in real world linear size difference, as MFD sensor development lags behind.

 

Another way of putting it is that the improvement in IQ from newer smaller format sensors may be such that there may be ever dwindling yield from increasing sensor size in order to get cost-effective and cost-meaningful improvements in IQ, unless MFD sensors can come down in price while keeping pace in their technological development with smaller format sensors. I am sure Fuji are aware of this and are furiously having board room debates over it, just like we are.

 

You over-simplify in a few ways.

The size comparison is tricky, especially since one format uses a 4:3 aspect ratio and the other uses 3:2. If you prefer the 3:2 aspect ratio and would crop the mini-MF images to get it, the comparison looks less favorable than if you prefer 4:3 and currently crop your 3:2 images — which is what I do. From the former perspective moving to 33mm x 44mm means that you would have to "throw away pixels," and that makes the option seem less appealing. However, from my point of view, I am currently throwing away pixels with FF or cropped APS-C and I would get to keep all of them with 33mm x 44mm. (From that point of view, considering the actual used pixels in the two formats the crop factor of FF compared to MF looks like 1.9x!)

 

Sensor pixel resolution is not the only issue, so even thinking that "50MP is 50MP" is not quite the whole story. The system resolution of a larger format sensor is better than that of a smaller sensor system and can benefit more from excellent quality lenses. The effects of diffraction blur come on at different apertures as well on the two formats. There are differences in dynamic range and noise response, too, along with depth of field.

 

While all of those are potential benefits of the larger format, there are also some minuses. For example, coverage of a given angle-of-view will require a longer — and likely heavier and more expensive — lens. Certainly types of lenses are less readily available. The entire system is larger and heavier, and it is probably pricey.

 

The question will really come down to the preferences and needs of individual photographers. For some, the 1.5x cropped sensor Fujifilm format is ideal. For others a mini-MF system could be ideal.

 

Dan


Edited by gdanmitchell, 13 March 2016 - 04:32 PM.

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#59 EyesUnclouded

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 06:46 PM


The question will really come down to the preferences and needs of individual photographers. For some, the 1.5x cropped sensor Fujifilm format is ideal. For others a mini-MF system could be ideal.

 

 

Exactly right. Not to mention potential Fuji MF users would be a very unique group of people: not the usual MF crowd (but many would be tempted perhaps), but also high-end mirrorless and DSLR pros, people in more diverse photographic disciplines than "MF-proper" in general.

 

This is what I'm looking forward: a unique system, such as the X-System was unique in many ways.

 

 

here you go: http://photorumors.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Pentax-645z-scored-101-at-DxOMark.jpg

Too bad we only got this within a comparison. I would have liked to see the FullSNR and other measurements

 

 

I hadn't seen the exact numbers, thanks mate.



#60 Sator-Photography

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Posted 20 March 2016 - 06:59 AM

Here is something interesting:

 

http://pentaxrumors....mp-sony-sensor/

 

Just as I predicated, the Pentax 645 system is full frame ready, which is why the body is quite big. It looks like the next iteration of the Pentax 645 will have the Sony 100MP full frame MFD sensor in it. 

 

My own preference is for full frame, but I do see there is an equally cogent argument to be made in favour of a dedicated cropped MFD system, with lenses specifically dedicated to this sensor size just as in the X-system. The pros would include:

 

1. Smaller body especially if it is mirrorless, and hence more portable. Less of a studio camera and more practical. 

2. Smaller lenses (lighter and less expensive), or else faster lenses (e.g. f/1.8) more competitive with full frame small format

3. Smaller sensors are catching up with larger formats in their performance making it increasingly unnecessary to resort to brute increases in sensor size to improve IQ. This will become more marked after the release of the organic sensor, and in years to come. What would be the point of full frame MFD once smaller format sensors all reach the 100-120MP theoretical limit of current lens resolution?

4. A dedicated cropped medium format system is a good complement to the cropped small format X-system

5. May appeal to a wider market due to portability and relative affordability

 

If Fuji go for a cropped MFD system, they should wait until Sony upgrade their 44x33 sensor to around 80MP. Sony sensors will likely fairly soon bump up their sensor resolution across the board so that no sensor format has the same/higher maximum resolution than the sensor size one step above it. So if Sony sensors increases their full frame small format sensor resolution to around 50MP, they would have to also bump up the resolution of the 44x33 sensor to around 80MP. I am sure Sony cameras are itching to bump up the resolution of their full frame small format cameras up to around 50-60MP, but Sony sensors will only release such a sensor after concurrently bumping the resolution of the format just above it (i.e. 44x33) up to around 80MP. If Fuji do release a dedicated cropped medium format system, they should release it straight after Sony upgrades the 44x33 cropped MFD sensor. They should not use the 51MP version currently used in the Pentax 645Z, as this is likely imminently about to be rendered obsolete (in both performance and resolution) by an impending upgrade to the full frame small format sensor for the next generation of Sony full frame small format cameras.

 

Cons of a cropped MFD format system are:

 

1. Insufficiently differentiated from full frame small format (especially given Sony's trend towards incorporating newer innovations such as BSI and copper wiring sooner into small format sensors than into MFD sensors—clearly Sony invests more R&D into small format sensor development)

2. Might look like the full frame Pentax 645's sad little brother

3. Arguably not really medium format. Once Pentax brings out full frame 645s their advertising department would never stop reminding us of this fact.

4. Neither fish nor fowl. Too small to be genuine MFD, too big to be 135 format. It will fall between the cracks in the marketplace. Is 44x33 a format with a future?

 

The thing that will decide the way Fuji go are probably practical ones:

 

1. Whether Panasonic are willing to cooperate in manufacturing an organic 44x33 sensor in future (Panasonic have a relationship with Leica whose S System is a 44x33 cropped MFD system so maybe Leica might come aboard as a future sensor buying client; although once again the S System may also be full frame ready like the Pentax 645 system)

2. What market research dictates as to relative demands for a cropped vs full frame mirrorless MFD system (this is probably the most decisive factor of them all)

 

Either way, irrespective of whether Fuji choose to make a cropped or full frame MFD system, we all know that they make extremely thoughtful, measured and insightful choices when determining the critical foundation structural characteristics of a system, characteristics that will define the boundaries of the system for decades to come. Whatever they choose to create, it will likely be something quite remarkable. 


Edited by Sator-Photography, 20 March 2016 - 01:11 PM.



 
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