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FUJI SENSOR


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#31 MikeS

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 05:40 PM

Good find!

But some points had to be made.

This

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is definitely NOT the widely available 16 MP IMX071 sensor found in Pentax k-5, nikon d7000, Nikon d5100. See the dissassembly of

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or the marketing materials from Nikon.

Maybe it is a newer sensor made from Sony, but not the one found in K5 for sure.

 

 

 

Very likely the K-01. It is the newest APS-C Pentax, right? I see that I interchanged K5 for K-01 from one paragraph to the next, which was unintentional. Sorry for the confusion. Of your two pictures, the K-01 is the unit in the Fujifilm cameras. (K5 has symmetrical traces on the opposite long sides, K-01 is completely different and distinctive.)

 

One must assume the most current CMOS APS-C specification was used, which appears to be the same pressing as the K-01, if not identical. The most interesting insight lays in thinking about the new sensor in the X100S. This sensor family is obviously under constant evolution. It is safe to say from the X100S that we see what will be coming to the X-Pro1 and X-E1. When or if yet more improvements we do not know.   

 

Regarding Toshiba's current position in the mainstream CMOS sensor business the following past announcements from Sony Corporation are significant:

 

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(Sale of major CMOS factory to Sony from Toshiba)

 

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 (Prior announcement of 2x increase in Sony CMOS manufacturing capability. (Just about time for the K-01 and X-Pro1 to go into final design stage ???) 

 

These two announcements are just so may tea leaves in the bottom of a cup, but indicate, based on the prevalence of Sony "plain vanilla"16mp sensors in the market place today, that Sony has taken the manufacturing lead in mainstream, APS-C sensors. The Sony/Toshiba related article stated Toshiba was looking to future markets and wanted out of a large wafer foundry in order to concentrate on newer, faster paced development of specialized products. Take a read for a feeling of what is going on here. See also my comments below.

 

The camera manufactures step into and out of the line for the various iterations of a sensor family as time goes forward. Usually, a new sensor involves a new camera with added features and a new body shape. External body features are sometimes not so much market driven, but marketing department driven. That does not seem to be the way Fijifilm thinks about design. It is to their credit and one of the attractive aspects of their image. "Different only because it is better", might be a fitting moniker to their design philosophy.

 

That said, there is a lead time to integrating new features into firmware and camera software that varies between camera models and their manufactures. It may be that Fujifilm is vigorously pushing the X100S setup into the X-Pro1 and/or X-E1 or they may have yet another iteration of firmware/software in mind based on yet a different sensor evolution.

 

It is interesting to note that Sony uses a "Flagship"24mp APS-C, and currently seems to offer only 16mp to outside companies. More interesting is that in the X100S we have an improved APS-C 16mp sensor that must have been recently developed, expressly for customer use. (Pentax, Fujifilm, et al.) The question is was this a Sony pipe line improvement or one requested, jointly or by Fujifilm?

 

I have given the opinion elsewhere that Fujifilm is pushing the X100S sensor changes through as quickly as possible to the X-Pro1 and X-E1. Please see: 

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#16. It is only speculation and could prove to be incorrect, but it is my opinion at the moment.

 

We are all eager to know when such a change might take place and can imagine that that is exactly what any manufacture would be equally eager that you do not find out. How else can all the rumor sites survive?

 

Honestly, it is better to assimilate facts we do have into a general understanding of the camera by looking to only the details that impact our use of the camera in the short run, or increase our awareness possible future products in the long run. What I call keeping the big picture in mind.  

 

Now, going to say, Toshiba, for the next, 3d generation sensor at this moment is certainly a possibility. I doubt that would not happen unless Toshiba offered something that Sony is not prepared to deliver in the same time frame. I have also observed that in the short run, big sensors are not changing in major ways. If there is some future break through, I will be just as happy as everyone else. In the mean time, if it is not broken, why fix it?

 

Despite possible future availability of the 24mp Sony sensor, from all we have seen recently, I have the impression Fujifilm is content to stay at 16mp for the moment. Please the consider the following situation.

 

With 24mp APS-C and 36mp FF, higher pixel density appears to have reached a point where serious trade-offs appear with current CMOS wafer technology in large sensor, high image quality cameras. Everyone is waiting for further miniaturization of CMOS wafer technology. There is a perceived barrier at the moment for going smaller. Both in making CMOS circuits physically smaller and in gathering enough photons in each smaller pixel. The problem is keeping good signal to noise ratios and thus wide dynamic range and high ISO clarity we currently enjoy, along with more detail, a strong feature of large sensor size. 

 

Improving sensor feature sets aside, the software and firmware surrounding sensors is what is changing, and that is Fujifilm's expertise. At the time of initial development they had access to an excellent 16mp sensor and designed everything around it. They have now gone to a second generation of this same sensor, while at the same time Sony pushes its 24mp offering at the current limit of miniaturization consistent with overall high image quality. 

 

It seems 16mp works just fine also. I am extremely happy with image quality for one.

 

That is my two cents on sensors. All pure speculation on a thin layer of supposed facts! It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.


==m==



#32 disign

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 02:45 AM

I think You rush it a liittle, Sony are good this is true, but there are other options. Nikon used self designed 24 MP APS-C in their bottom of the line dslr - d3200, after that turned to Toshiba for the d5200 24 MP sensor. DXOMARK gives Toshiba the highest APS-C score ever.

I don't think Fuji will offer X Pro-2 with X100S sensor. They will up the ante, either with pixels, or/and noise control, dynamic range. For marketing reasons mainly, the sensor is already good, but the product is positioned as class leading, they will want the shiny stickers.

The small sensor market is saturated and a lot of the sensor manufacturers start looking at large sensors. Apart from the big guns of Canon and Sony we have Panasonic, Samsung, Aptina, Toshiba, CMOSIS and maybe others that I'm missing. Lots of sensors to choose from.

Panasonic made a mammoth sensor announcement with their filter-less technology, and if they back it up with real products ... What a great time to be a photographer.



#33 MIGpilot

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:40 AM

GREAT FORUM article:  Funny thing yesterday!  I was talking about this same issue about the FUJIFILM Xseries SENSOR. In if Sony produces the sensor for FUJIFILM,   before I read this forum article this morning.  LARRY, I believe you hit the issue on target!  I had a feeling that SONY had there some involvement to this (?)  however I am not sure.  I have a MIATA MX5 made in JAPAN but it has Ford componet parts, like also my 1993 F-150 with a MAZDA 5sp transmission.  As for HARLEY /DAVIDSON , lets please not go there.   The List can goes on But rest assured the FUJI sensor is MADE on EARTH.-----------------RAF



#34 Chronos

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:04 AM

That is one heck of a post, maybe it would be nice if some of the sony fanboys could read it.  I dont know how many times they claim the D7000, Pentax K5, and other cameras using the same sensor are "sony cameras"

 


TO be honest, im fine with it being from sony, and i understand it has been reworked and set to Fuji's specs. The same was with the D7000, I really enjoyed that camera and its overall IQ.  I also really liked the Sony NEX-5N, killer littler camera. 


Edited by Chronos, 13 February 2013 - 09:12 AM.

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#35 MIGpilot

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:36 AM

THANKS, I hope to see more chatter on this Forum SENSOR issue. I noticed the same issue in WATCH manufacturing. I am a HARD CORE SONY Fan when it comes to AUDIO/TV Electronics, but now I read SONY reviews and see of its GOOD CAMERAS quality. It must be the new world order of things. But, I will make a stand on country of origin MANUFACTURING when I purchase a high cost QUAILITY item. FUJIFILM is MADE in JAPAN , and that was one of many point on my selecting the X-E1.---------------RAF

#36 danwells

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:34 AM

     I've long wondered how integral the color filter is to the sensor? I know a third-party tech can't remove it as they can the anti-alias or infrared filters (or we'd see lots of hacked equivalents to the Leica M Monochrom - the X-e1 (or X-Pro1) Monochrom would be an interesting one, as would a D800M - what would the resolution on THAT look like?). Is it added at a very late stage of sensor manufacture, or is it more integral than that? Is an X-series sensor basically a K-01/NEX6 sensor with a different final step? It's fine if it is, that's about the best APS-C sensor out there... Or is it earlier in the production process, so the X-series sensor is related to the usual Sony sensor, but not the same? 

     Of course, the processing and electronics of the camera are entirely dependent on the color filter, so the overall interaction of the camera and the sensor is very complex. Fuji's processing is entirely their own, and has to be quite different from anyone else's, due to the X-Trans.



#37 MikeS

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 01:12 PM

I think You rush it a liittle, Sony are good this is true, but there are other options. Nikon used self designed 24 MP APS-C in their bottom of the line dslr - d3200, after that turned to Toshiba for the d5200 24 MP sensor. DXOMARK gives Toshiba the highest APS-C score ever.

I don't think Fuji will offer X Pro-2 with X100S sensor. They will up the ante, either with pixels, or/and noise control, dynamic range. For marketing reasons mainly, the sensor is already good, but the product is positioned as class leading, they will want the shiny stickers.

The small sensor market is saturated and a lot of the sensor manufacturers start looking at large sensors. Apart from the big guns of Canon and Sony we have Panasonic, Samsung, Aptina, Toshiba, CMOSIS and maybe others that I'm missing. Lots of sensors to choose from.

Panasonic made a mammoth sensor announcement with their filter-less technology, and if they back it up with real products ... What a great time to be a photographer.

 

Excellent comment - the perfect counter balance to my earlier conclusion, which said the marketing department must be pushing for the X100S sensor as a ver.2 or MK2 X-Pro1-1a and X-E1a. I felt it would simply be a running change to production and went to some length to differentiate this idea from an new design X-Pro 2, which must come later. I have just now stated in the context of putting out new cameras ever year is a behavior Fujifilm management tries to resist as exampled by the X-100s. They correctly prefer to upgrading a successful existing design. It sets a precedent for what we can expect in the near future.

 

As to the Panasonic announcement, it stated production technology must also be developed to prove the concept. This can take time or can quickly fall into place, but 12 months is not a short period of time for that part of the project. This type of announcement underscores my position in the Fuji News section on the miss-understood "Views on FF" thread that Fujifilm's choice of APS-C (and the existence of Panasonic/Olympus MFT) underscores the long term engineering view that sensor technology will obviate any FF design advantage at practical reproduction sizes and methods.

 

The new players in the industry have long ago taken the low ground - cheap consumer cameras. They have established MFT, as the next level beyond larger sensor consumer cameras, LX7 and X20 not withstanding. Players like Pentax, Sony and now Fujifilm are challenging conventional APS-C Nikon, Canon cameras. This is a classic product market takeover, low segment to high segment. What I am suggesting is the new players are also firmly convinced that technology will prove MFT or APS-C as the correct place to be for high quality imagery. There are detailed arguments that for reasonable reproduction sizes this is the correct view. FF won't die, it will just become redundant as both consumers and professional photo buyers accept this argument. Arizona Highways, who until very recently required 4x5 film, now excepts 8mb or larger RAW submissions. I rest my case.

 

On the choice of making new camera later and/or upgrading the sensor in existing cameras, I just want to leave the possibility open that the new X100S sensor and attendant logic may 'drop in' to the existing production assembly line by just using different parts. After all, it involves only a different sensor, a couple of chips. Add tweaks to already developed software/firmware routines and a tweak to the die used to cast the body top by adding an "s" or whatever and there you have it. My view is the possibility that we both may have our cake and eat it too!

 

In closing, you are most certainly when correct taking the big picture view. What I have asked, is the X-100s an example of things immediately to follow into the other two camera bodies? "It will be interesting to see how this plays out." is really the operative statement. I totally agree with you, with that one qualification.


Edited by MikeS, 13 February 2013 - 02:08 PM.


#38 wyldberi

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 04:42 AM

Mike S.'s post is excellent and enlightening.

 

It reminds me how quantum physics reveals the misconception we live with concerning the nature of reality. Based on our senses we think the world exists as Newton described it. But when we look closer, we come to realize the ideas we have about reality are based on observations made by our senses that are very limited in scope.

 

When I walk around in the world and interact with other people, I tend to think in terms of individuals who do various jobs and put their mark upon the products they produce. When it comes to cameras, I want to believe there's a gray-haired guy sitting at a workbench in Tokyo fiddling around and soldering circuits that eventually becomes the latest and greatest, updated model.

 

In reality, there is no Mr. Fujifilm; there's only the corporation, run by a board of directors, who oversee department heads, who hire scientists and engineers and product design specialists and lawyers and secretaries and janitors and night watchmen, who do their jobs to buy groceries and pay their rent, and what we wind up with is the X-E1 camera body and multiple new lenses that are among the best consumer grade optical instruments ever marketed.

 

Who makes the Fujifilm X sensor? Is it the production line worker who assembles the parts given to him? Is it the company who hires the production line worker? Or is it the corporation that owns the company who hires the production line worker?

 

Or is it the corporation who hired and assembled the product design team that came up with a different, out-of-the-box way of conceiving how electronic optical sensors can be used to produce superior images at a lower cost, and who then engineered that idea into something concrete that works, and handed the design specifications over to the corporation's production department, who then hired the corporation which owns the company who hired the production line worker to put together the subassembly that gets shipped to a production facility somewhere in the world that is owned and operated by Fujifilm, and assembled into a product that, I hope, lives up to its growing reputation?


To my way of thinking it really doesn't matter who provides the actual labor, or who pays the wages owed to that laborer. The key element is the intellectual property that put the whole thing together, and in this case, that would be Fujifilm.


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-- Robert M. --

X-E1 / X-E2  |14|23|27|60|90|18-55|55-200|120-400|


#39 danwells

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 09:39 AM

I agree completely that, regardless of how integral the X-trans filter is or isn't to the sensor, the ideas belong to a team of engineers at Fujifilm who seem to have a fair few real photographers in their midst, having given us a line of cameras that is a particular joy to shoot with... I'm not at all sure how one would redesign the X-series in any beneficial way. Sure, one could drop in a sensor with phase detection ( maybe more pixels, although the X-e1 has higher image quality than a NEX-7, which is the only mirrorless with more pixels - some of that is lenses, though). It seems like X-trans has some real benefits, and it would be a shame to go back to Bayer (which would be the most likely sensor-level redesign). The bodies are almost perfect from a control viewpoint (a few tweaks like weathersealing or a different AF button placement would be welcome, but how many of us want to see a fundamentally different X body)? The lenses? They might BE perfect, at least in comparison to what else is out there in the mirrorless world. The nice NEX bodies are hampered by a wide selection of lousy lenses, and the good Micro 4/3 lenses are at least as expensive as the Fujinons, no better, and often less versatile (a bit slower, less range in the case of the REALLY expensive Panasonic zoom that competes with the Fuji 18-55).

 

What would people want to see in an X-e2 or X-Pro2? Anything I can think of falls in the category of dropping in a slightly modified sensor or tweaking the body with one moved button or some seals...



#40 magicaxeman

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 04:44 PM

And obviously Panasonic makes some Leica cameras. Or is some other company making cameras for Panasonic that will be branded either Panasonic or Leica?

 

Thats not techinacally true, panasonic own the rights to use the leica name and are licensed to use its test equipment etc (which they have from leica)
Over the years this has resulted in an agreement thats seen leica use panasonic tec in leica badged camera's and also seen panasonic able to sell camera's & lenses badged with leica, though they are built by panasonic, they are built to pass leica's specs.

I had one of the 45mm macro's badged as leica, but it wasnt leica build quality, just the optics met their min specs



And obviously Panasonic makes some Leica cameras. Or is some other company making cameras for Panasonic that will be branded either Panasonic or Leica?

 

Thats not techinacally true, panasonic own the rights to use the leica name and are licensed to use its test equipment etc (which they have from leica)
Over the years this has resulted in an agreement thats seen leica use panasonic tec in leica badged camera's and also seen panasonic able to sell camera's & lenses badged with leica, though they are built by panasonic, they are built to pass leica's specs.

I had one of the 45mm macro's badged as leica, but it wasnt leica build quality, just the optics met their min specs

 



#41 MIGpilot

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 06:51 AM

This is the reason I jumped on this Forum ARTICLE to Share with the X forum members.---  And still the JURY on the sensor verdict is not out.  I would not care if ( Mattel along with Fisher Price TOY'S) made the darn thing as long it was NR#1 and Reign Supreme quality.  THEN, it sure would be fun to find out.  So come on FUJIFILM?  tell your devoted customers whats in the BAG?---------------------RAF

 

After the debacle with the current sensor and QC issues that have cost Fuji in so many ways, that the 20 would NOT have any form of the current sensor was for me, a foregone conclusion, even if Fuji had to buy them from an OEM. Fuji DO buy them from outside suppliers.In the case of the sensors used in the X-Pro1 and the X-E1, they are Sony sensors. They have visible Sony ID stickers on Fuji's own display shots, evidently. This has been shown in the X-Trans forum next door.X-Trans refers to the unique RGB Colour Filter Array which is placed over the sensor which is then decoded, in the X-Trans pattern rather than Bayer, to produce colour information from a black and white sensor, just like all camera sensors except Foveon.The X-Trans CFA will be possibly placed over the sensor by Fuji, or it could be built to their specifications and fitted by the sensor manufacturer - in any case, it doesn't really matter who does what, because it is the unique end result which matters.

 

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