Discussion in 'X-E1 and X-E2' started by David Castello, Feb 7, 2013.
IS IT MADE BY SONY?
IS THE FUJI SENSOR,CAPABLE OF MAKING LARGE PRINTS WITH FUJI LENES?I SHHOT SEASCAPES ON THE CENTRAL COAST OF CALIFORNIA.
I want to buy the Fuji X-E1 camera system, and trade all my Canon gear in.
Fuji claims it is their own sensor. All this means is that they designed it, but it could well be fabbed anywhere. On the other hand, there are very few fabs capable of making sensors, and they may serve most of the camera companies at one time or another. Sony Semiconductor is one such fab, and they manufacture designs by anyone who comes to them, including Sony Camera. However, they are a separate company within the huge Sony conglomerate. If Fuji designed it and Sony Semiconductor manufactured it, it does not make it a Sony any more than a Nikon should be rebranded Mitsubishi, since they have the same relationship to their parent brand.
You could go to any of the fabs with a sensor design and a truckload of money and you will get exactly what you wanted. No matter if Toshiba or Sony or Panasonic did the fabrication, or all three, the sensor will be exactly what you ordered.
Realize that Not-Made-Here, while common in the western world, is uncommon in Japan. Intellectual property is freely licensed to rival companies and everyone makes stuff for everyone else. For the first many years, all Canon lenses were made by Nikon. Cosina manufactures for everyone. The Nikon FM10 is made by Cosina, and the camera has had cosmetic changes to be sold by Rollei, Olympus, Canon and a number of others. Most Carl Zeiss lenses are made at Cosina, as well as all things Voightlander and the Epson digital rangefinder. Minolta made the Leica CL. Fuji made the Hasselblad XPan, and is rumored to be making all Hasselblad H equipment presently. My German Plaubel Makina 67 was initially made by Copal, and later by Mamiya. Contax cameras were made by Kyocera, who also made Yashica. Vivitar lenses were made by Tokina, Cosina, Kiron, Komine, Samyang, Olympus, Kobori, and even Perkin-Elmer who built the Hubble Space Telescope. Samyang of South Korea also sells as Bower, Rokinon, Walimex and Pro-Optic. Fuji flashes are made by Sunpak.
This would be most unusual in the west, where most things are branded by the company who made the product. Most Japanese companies are part of a family, and the operate as traditional Oriental trading-companies, no matter how high-tech the product may be. If there is a gap in their product line-up and they don't have the capacity to manufacture it, they order from another manufacturer who makes it to their specification. Fuji flashes, though made by Sunpak—whose own line is fairly low-end—are in every way Fujis, since Fuji stands behind them. The fact that Hasselblad lenses are re-branded Fujinons is in general a very good thing.
And yes, there is no limit to the size a photograph can be printed by any camera. The only limitation is the size of the photo printer. Of course, an old 5MP point-and-shoot will not be able to match the quality of a X-Pro1. At proper viewing distance, you would be amazed at how good it actually looks. The human eye is very forgiving in the case of huge prints.
If you want very large prints, go medium format. If you want billboards ,you can use a point and shoot and your billboard can look great. If you want a camera that can give you dslr quality in a smaller form, than the X Series might or might not work for you. What are you not getting from your current camera system that makes want to make a camera switch or system addition?
EASIER TO CARRY,SAME IMAGE QUALITY,LOVE THE SMALLER AND LIGHTER SIZE.IS FUJI GOING TO HAVE A PORTRAIT LENS 80MM--105MM LENS.
The 60mm f/2.4 has the same field of view as a 90mm lens, so sits right in the middle. Later, there will be a 56mm f/1.4 about the same as an 85mm field of view. By a narrow margin, the 60mm is my most used lens of the original trio of 18mm, 35mm and 60mm. Superb!
Do you know who has used the 14mm 2.8 lens/
Interesting post Larry.
I knew that the way the Japanese firms operated was much more cooperative than the USA/European model as I have dealt with them before. In some ways it makes it much easier to work with them as they usually have a partner firm that can supply but when they say No it is a definite No!.
I didnt know all the various interactions and manufacturers and branding crossovers.
Do you have a reference source for some of this manufacturer/brand information so I can have a browse ?
A fascination with how my cameras came into being. I have no idea if there is a single source, though Wikipedia—taken with a spoonful of skepticism—is a rich resource.
And obviously Panasonic makes some Leica cameras. Or is some other company making cameras for Panasonic that will be branded either Panasonic or Leica?
By now you would think somebody would have figured out who manufactures the sensor by studying disassembled cameras. I suspect Fuji at least engineers the CFA and IR filter assemblies that cover the sensor. They may even make these parts. The naked sensor could mve made to their specifications by a third party. It would be cost effective for Fuji to add their CFA/filter assembly to a widely used naked sensor. So SONY is a logical source.
The new Leica sensor is made in Belgium.....
With regard to the sensor question, in disassembly of the X-Pro 1 it was confirmed the sensor was made by Sony. I will discuss this in the context of expanding on what was my very first post. I felt the existence of the X-Pro 1 foremost showed expertise in management. Boldness to embrace new ideas, pulling together a design group which by definition would be an eclectic group of engineering experts and then pushing forward to achieve its product vision. It is the organization process itself we can discuss here. It is the important part in understanding the relationship between Sony and Fujifilm.
This idea of having expert suppliers is not particularly a Japanese phenomenon. It is just one aspect of a large pantheon of modern business management principles. That the Japanese are adept at using them is legend. It is core to their ascendence to a major economic power following their misguided folly of imperial aggrandizement. An 18th century notion that died a long, painful and costly death in two world wars. They subsequently determined, as did the Germans, that in accounting for their defeat, economic ascendancy would achieve similar goals. Not that much changed about the Germans or Japanese. They rebuilt and they just kept coming on, this time with pencils and slide rules instead of knives and guns.
Japanese culture was particularly well suited to adopt what are generally accepted as American methods of organization and management, notably championed by the late Peter Drucker, a noted consultant and teacher. He first had the idea of taking working executives back into the class room. However, there are several other individuals of the mid-twentieth century that influenced business organizational thinking. The story goes beyond this, as without willing manager/students, it is not possible to implement new ideas.
Some of the best organizational minds of the last half of the twentieth century were the droves of very young Americans placed in positions of immense authority during WW2 and who left the war behind them already vastly experienced, capable managers, often just thirty years old and younger. In no other setting would so many young men be placed in such positions, to quickly sink or swim and thus be handed the keys to later success: wisdom beyond their years.
This had a tremendous impact in the American post war period. It is not at all surprising the war also produced new thinking in proving or challenging thought about organization and logistics. This does not denigrate the British, Japanese or German strengths in organization from which much can also learned. Or, for that matter the Italian, French and Russian examples, all case studies of enormous importance in the events leading up to and the outcome of that war. Let it be said the basic American twist was the need for flexibility; adopt the necessary, chuck the rest.
The story is told that so many of these management and logistic innovations were American that it is surprising that the Japanese were early adopters of these ideas. The Japanese merely selected those features that were adaptable to their culture, while many American businesses were frequently slow to recognize, much less to implement such changes. Established American business traditionally sought control and command from the top down. This control culture was frequently not supportive of the fertile mind in the upper reaches of management.
General Motors is a prime example. We all know what happened there. For example, how is it possible a holder of key vehicle stability patents was also one of the last to adopt these features to their vehicles? All the while smugly making money from patent licensing! It is a wonder of the world the various systematic managerial blunders this company made for decades. While this thirty years slide was in progress, there was the rise of the Silicon Valley out of sheer pluck and imagination, the cash supplied to these fertile minds by venture capital. They were new, they were young, they were eager to adopt best practice examples of their parents generation. The rest of the world watched in wonder.
One must step aside from a notion of brand image and the public face of a product or company to examine modern design-manufacturing synergy. In the automobile industry, switches, wiring harnesses, interior parts, transmissions, differentials, wheels, glass, nuts and bolts are made by expert outside suppliers in varying proportions. Specified or designed in shape and function by one company, but produced by a separate company who might even control most of the internal design for the part in question, such as an automotive transmission or differential or a control computer and its attendant sensors.
Particularly, production of control computers and sensors for engine, transmission, and other vehicle electronic control are usually outsourced. Design, architecture and functionality are all specified in close cooperation with suppliers, who have the machines and expertise to physically produce the product, as well as both design and QC expertise. Today, such designs are done and tested in computer simulations by the customer's engineering staff well before any silicon is poured.
In most cases these control computers are evolutionary in their development, as are photographic processors and their sensors. This implies close partnership between the suppliers and the client design team. Either end of this relationship can be captive organizations of or independent organizations to the end customer. What combination these relationships assume to some extent depends on the product and the company, but the trend in electronics industry has long had a very loose amalgam of companies offering their technology and/or their manufacturing expertise to various, sometimes competing customers. This is indeed true of photographic processing computers, their sensor and attendant down stream parts, such as display, interface and control buttons.
So, it is not at all unusual that Fujifilm would have a sensor manufactured by Sony. The design and fabrication of the actual analog-digital imbedded transistor circuitry is Sony's expertise. This analog-digital interface is a very complex area to simulate and is only done on extremely powerful computers by small teams of extraordinary ability. It is in this sense a Sony sensor. It is important to say it is only the sensor, for which a control/processing computer is needed and Fujifilm would ask, can we make it do this, and this or thus, all in conjunction with the Sony technical staff. This would lead to the specification of the sensor, perhaps unique in design, perhaps an off-the-shelf product packaged to fit into a given space. The absence of a anti-aliasing filter suggests an opportunity for special optimization of the sensor, making it a unique Fujifilm project, but I have never read any technical reference to that fact.
Thus, as to the level of interaction at the design level for the actual sensor, we are not in a position to comment. It is not even important beyond the fact that there is a relationship between Sony engineers and FujiFilm engineers regarding this sensor. The sensor is merely a small part in the overall design process. After all, the sensor itself is just the analog-digital converter from which an electrical pulse must be dealt with. There is much more to do in processing that signal output any anything special about the sensor. This is where Fujifilm expertise really takes over. After all, they were doing something no one had done before. They were putting a thin color array filter over the sensor unlike any before it and leaving off the anti-alizing filter.
As is noted, in controlling these electrical pulses, Fijifilm did do something different with its filter array (famously). Fujifilm engineers also have assuredly designed the chip circuitry of the X-Trans dual processor engine to receive, organize and process these digital signals. This is exclusively a brilliant Fujifilm achievement. This latter step is far more critical than what particular sensor has produced the signals. Be that as it may, all the buttons, switches and housing could well have come from suppliers who provide similar, larger sized parts to the automotive industry, in that the expertise required is identical in each case.
To these ideas is must be added that the photo sensor design process is very complex. This holiday season at a party, the chief scientist of a company that specializes in this very level of the optical sensor design told me in conversation that, "No one person can understand it all". I might add his company is unrelated to and far, far ahead of the general camera sensor industry. He said it takes a team of twenty engineers to oversee the various technical details, each using his expertise to assemble the entire sensor project and yet another team to develop the control firmware. His company has no manufacturing capability, but they are responsible for several innovative technical achievements that are imbedded in various existing products. Thus, they are part care of a multi-company team, a team within a team of organization necessary to produce modern electronic goods.
It is important we recognize that Fujifilm is in a similar position. While having design, testing, assembly and manufacturing capabilities, making a camera is by no means done without outside cooperation at many levels. Its "X-Team" core staff are only highly trained, innovative engineers in flexible groupings such as described by this chief scientist. They are surrounded by a host of in-house and external production, logistics and consulting teams, the whole depending in part of what expertise exists inside Fujifilm and what is felt better out-sourced both for the sake of 1) established superior expertise, or 2) manufacturing and design complexity in the case of a (Sony) sensor, or 3) of economy such as in specifying the switches, knobs, EVF, back screen and so on, to outside companies for production runs of these unique parts.
This is how the modern, "post-industrial' world is largely structured. In this sense, using Fujifilm and corollary examples are just a convenience to explain this phenomenon. It is in the execution of these organization details that we realize the X-family of cameras are fundamentally a consummate organizational achievement by the Fujifilm senior management.
Brilliantly explained, MikeS!
While I don't have any insight into the organizational R&D interactions that helped to make a camera project like the X-Pro1 / X-E1 happen, I have observed similar cooperation in the area of smart phones with the development of its various subsystems such as Bluetooth, high-speed wireless data communication or data compression for voice signal transmission. All of these design areas are highly specialized and are driven either by dedicated business units in large corporations or small, highly flexible and specialized independent organizations, all tied together by superordinate project teams and multiple levels of contractual commercial agreements.
If you then hold such a highly complex end product in your hands, you begin to wonder how it is possible to design and produce such complexity that in the end provides a user experience of sheer simplicity and elegance...
Another question on the Fuji X PRO 1 and XE 1,does either camera work with studio lights in a studio?
Obviously any camera that has a hot shoe can use a device like a Pocket Wizard to trip strobes or use an on-camera or in camera flash to trip strobes with optical slaves.
The X-Pro1 has a traditional PC flash connector built in.
Great contribution Mike S, i'm impressed
Very interesting read. Would you have a link to a description of the process or any supporting information regarding the statement above that I lifted from your post? I'm quite curious.