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Forums > Photography Talk > Mirrorless live view medium format camera..... Search   Reply
Photographer
Fred Greissing
Posts: 6,202
Los Angeles, California, US


How about this.

A medium format camera based around a CMOS live view sensor.

Canon maybe....

Think about it.

This is what I am thinking.

A back that could be used on technical cameras, current medium format cameras and a mirrorless compacr body.

Seeing as it would have a mirrorless body it could be a 6x7cm sensor and still be about the same size as current MF.

Live view focus and framing like the Canon 5d mark II.

Canon has extensive CMOS manufacturing capabilities and produces full frme 35mm chips for pennies compared to current MF manufacturers.

They have demonstrated the capability of producing relatively inecpensive 8x8 inch sensors that can see in the dark.

They could come out with something inbetween the two products... the Canon 5D mark II chip and the 8x8inch chip... and make a 40mp 6x7 or 6x8 sensor and at lower costs than current MF manufacturers.

None of the current MF manufacturers make their own chips.

Canon has been working on faster on chip focusing syetems too.

Apart from that enlarged (zoomed in) live view manual focus is very fast and very accurate.

Add to that the fact that even current live view focus isn't really that far off from current MF cameras. Then add to that the fact that even current live view focusing can be selected in the whole frame so no recomposition is necessary.. making it more acurate that current MF.

Well you never know...

Canon came from nowhere in Large Format Ink Jet printing and went kenk and neck with Epson in no time as far as image quality goes.
Mar 23 11 10:33 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Darin B
Posts: 998
San Diego, California, US


It's likely in the works. The 1DsIII is over due for an update and MF is viable for the 1DsIV.
Mar 23 11 10:42 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Tim Little Photography
Posts: 11,530
Wilmington, Delaware, US


I may be wrong but I cant remember Canon ever being involved with any medium format  camera. Nikon at least made lenses for the old school Bronica S2. Of course that doesn't mean that can't do it now. I suspect Canon and Nikon are watching sells and acceptance of the Pentax 645D very carefully.
Mar 24 11 01:13 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
William Kious
Posts: 8,838
Delphos, Ohio, US


Maybe a camera line based on an 8x8 sensor will become de facto "professional" gear.  In other words, anyone not using a hellishly expensive 8x8 will be thrown onto the GWC pile. 

Could happen.
Mar 24 11 01:19 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Creative Exposure
Posts: 103
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada


There's not much ether can do at the moment as Nikon Canon and Sony plants in Japan resume production as they have all been shut down due to the earth quake disaster. And I DO hope they can get back to business quickly as I am waiting for the 1Ds mark IV and the 5D mark III
Mar 24 11 01:24 am  Link  Quote 
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Photographer
GPS Studio Services
Posts: 34,615
San Francisco, California, US


It is an interessting idea for a camera.  Anything is possible, but I doubt that would be forthcoming from either Nikon or Canon.  They have never built medium format cameras.  Pentax, on the other hand ...
Mar 24 11 05:06 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
o k u t a k e
Posts: 4,660
New York, New York, US


Darin B wrote:
It's likely in the works. The 1DsIII is over due for an update and MF is viable for the 1DsIV.

MF not 35. I can pretty much say with 100% certainty that Canon will not be making their 1DsIV a MF camera. They would have to add a whole new lens line up.

The biggest issue I see with a mirrorless MF camera is the heat build up on that large sensor. I'm sure it will happen eventually but not anytime soon. I think EVIL hasn't really caught on enough in pro photography for anyone to take the risk of producing an expensive MF sensor/camera without a mirror at this point. I'm sure the tech is there, but I don't think the market is.

Mar 24 11 05:26 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
AdamPhillips
Posts: 159
London, England, United Kingdom


Darin B wrote:
It's likely in the works. The 1DsIII is over due for an update and MF is viable for the 1DsIV.

1ds mk4 is old news already

http://www.warehouseexpress.com/buy-can … y/p1518362

canon were rumored to have made a prototype MF back, something like 80MP.

Mar 24 11 05:38 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Daniel Lee Mahoney
Posts: 497
Bishop's Stortford, England, United Kingdom


AdamPhillips wrote:

1ds mk4 is old news already

http://www.warehouseexpress.com/buy-can … y/p1518362

canon were rumored to have made a prototype MF back, something like 80MP.

Thats a 1D MKIV, not a 1DS MKIV.  There is no 1DS MKIV yet

Mar 24 11 06:14 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Stephen Melvin
Posts: 16,334
Kansas City, Missouri, US


Fred Greissing wrote:
How about this.

A medium format camera based around a CMOS live view sensor.

Canon maybe....

Think about it.

This is what I am thinking.

A back that could be used on technical cameras, current medium format cameras and a mirrorless compacr body.

Seeing as it would have a mirrorless body it could be a 6x7cm sensor and still be about the same size as current MF.

Live view focus and framing like the Canon 5d mark II.

Canon has extensive CMOS manufacturing capabilities and produces full frme 35mm chips for pennies compared to current MF manufacturers.

Pennies? Where's my $500 5D Mark III, then?

Fred Greissing wrote:
They have demonstrated the capability of producing relatively inecpensive 8x8 inch sensors that can see in the dark.

Oh really? The sensor I saw was for medical imaging, which has considerably different requirements from conventional photography.

Fred Greissing wrote:
They could come out with something inbetween the two products... the Canon 5D mark II chip and the 8x8inch chip... and make a 40mp 6x7 or 6x8 sensor and at lower costs than current MF manufacturers.

While that would be a cool idea, I'm pretty certain a 6x7 chip would be a six figure item. How many photographers do you think would line up for a $125,000 camera?


Fred Greissing wrote:
None of the current MF manufacturers make their own chips.

Nope. They rely on leftover technology from the aerospace and document handling industries, unfortunately.

Fred Greissing wrote:
Canon has been working on faster on chip focusing syetems too.

Apart from that enlarged (zoomed in) live view manual focus is very fast and very accurate.

Add to that the fact that even current live view focus isn't really that far off from current MF cameras. Then add to that the fact that even current live view focusing can be selected in the whole frame so no recomposition is necessary.. making it more acurate that current MF.

Well you never know...

Canon came from nowhere in Large Format Ink Jet printing and went kenk and neck with Epson in no time as far as image quality goes.

While I doubt Canon has any plans in this department, if they were to do it, I think a 36 x 48mm format would be far more likely. Some of their existing lens lineup would require minimal reworking to cover the new format, which would simplify getting launched.

Mar 24 11 06:34 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Stephen Melvin
Posts: 16,334
Kansas City, Missouri, US


o k u t a k e wrote:
The biggest issue I see with a mirrorless MF camera is the heat build up on that large sensor. I'm sure it will happen eventually but not anytime soon.

Sensors are very low power devices, and large sensors are even cooler than smaller ones. There is no heat buildup in sensors. If there is any heat, it's from the higher current devices like the processor and the LCD backlight.

Mar 24 11 06:38 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Fred Greissing
Posts: 6,202
Los Angeles, California, US


Canon and Nikon would have no trouble at all making medium format or large format lenses. They currently make extremely large glass elements.

Nikon had made large format lenses as well as medium format lenses, even for the very demanding company Plaubel.

Canon also makes lenses for digital cinema and very high end TV cameras.

Canon would also have a huge lead on any other MF lens manufacturer because they could incorporate IS and their extremely fast autofocus sytems.

Fuji has all the capacity in the world to take on design and manufacturing for 3rd parties.

A 6x7 sensor made by a company like Canon that has huge sensor making capacity would not be a six figure product.

The 8x8 inch sensor they demonstrated was designed for relatively inexpensive security cameras, it was however low res but see in the dark.

One reason why canon maybe considering something along these lines is that their high end consumer equipment has become so good that it has eaten into the high end. At this point they need to make a big leap on the professional end. It seems it would need to be more than cramming in more megapixels into a 35mm DSLR.

An intelligently marketed digital back system at a price only canon can afford to manufacture could be very succesfull.

A relatively low cost back would apeal to the art photography market when combined with 4x5 cameras, older MF cameras etc. Canon could on the other end combine it with a fast IS high tech and more expensive MF lens system and rigs for the high end pro.
Mar 24 11 09:20 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Frozen Instant Imagery
Posts: 3,632
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland


William Kious wrote:
Maybe a camera line based on an 8x8 sensor will become de facto "professional" gear.  In other words, anyone not using a hellishly expensive 8x8 will be thrown onto the GWC pile. 

Could happen.

Sorry to rain on your parade, but a company is unlikely to introduce a brand new format (like 8x8) because it means making a new range of lenses, and taking the huge risk that it will be accepted. Lenses, especially high quality large lenses for a large sensor, are expensive to design and manufacture. Lens design is part engineering, part art, and part black magic smile

Building a new camera body that works with existing lenses is a far smaller risk, and in the current environment, that kind of risk is much easier to accept.

Also bear in mind that not everyone uses expensive gear. There is a whole subculture of photographers who flaunt their use of cheap gear as a sign of how uber-cool they are. smile

Mar 24 11 02:15 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Phil Drinkwater
Posts: 4,714
Manchester, England, United Kingdom


Question isn't whether they can... question is whether they *should*. How much money is in that market compared to the DSLR and P&S market? Low I would guess.

They could do it for "bragging rights" or to fund R&D into sensor design (sort of like Formula 1 cars - if you know what they are wink  ) but they'd need a whole new infrastructure - training, support networks etc...

My guess is that they'd have to be very serious about that market if they were to enter into it, and my guess is also that the technical issues (although significant) could be the least problematic part of making it work financially. Certainly though, even with the technical elements, it would be very costly and would mean designing a whole new set of lenses, as has been highlighted.
Mar 24 11 02:28 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
o k u t a k e
Posts: 4,660
New York, New York, US


Stephen Melvin wrote:

Sensors are very low power devices, and large sensors are even cooler than smaller ones. There is no heat buildup in sensors. If there is any heat, it's from the higher current devices like the processor and the LCD backlight.

Makes sense that the processor and LCD are the main sources of heat. Either way, for those who shoot MF, they are usually doing so in order to get the highest image quality. Shooting constantly in live view heats up the camera (At least that's what the manuals say). When the camera heats up so does the sensor which leads to a decrease in image quality and more noise. So not really a good thing when it comes to marketing a mirrorless MF camera. They'd have to separate the LCD and processor somehow without making it too cumbersome.

Mar 24 11 03:02 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Stephen Melvin
Posts: 16,334
Kansas City, Missouri, US


Fred Greissing wrote:
A 6x7 sensor made by a company like Canon that has huge sensor making capacity would not be a six figure product.

Low end APS format dSLR's are in the $300 range.
Low end 35mm format dSLR's are in the $3,000 range, for a sensor that's twice the size.
645 format digital cameras are in the $30,000 range, for a sensor that's 2 to 2.5x the size of 35mm.
A 6x7 sensor would be four times the size of a 35mm sensor. That projects out to $300,000.

There are other variables involved in cost, of course, but chip size is the primary driver. In general, when you double the chip size, the cost goes up 10x.

Fred Greissing wrote:
The 8x8 inch sensor they demonstrated was designed for relatively inexpensive security cameras, it was however low res but see in the dark.

Actually, we don't know what it was designed for, other than as a publicity stunt. Remember the 120 megapixel APS-H sensor they announced just prior to the 8x8 sensor?

Fred Greissing wrote:
One reason why canon maybe considering something along these lines is that their high end consumer equipment has become so good that it has eaten into the high end. At this point they need to make a big leap on the professional end. It seems it would need to be more than cramming in more megapixels into a 35mm DSLR.

Well their current high end is 21 megapixels, which is the same pixel density as 2004's 20D. Current state of the art for APS cameras is 18mp, so we have a considerable way to go with 35mm full frame. At least to 200mp, I'd say.

Fred Greissing wrote:
An intelligently marketed digital back system at a price only canon can afford to manufacture could be very succesfull.

Could it? What's the business case for it? I think the separate back system is a dead end. Integrated cameras are superior in virtually every aspect. The reason for backs in the first place was to make it easy to switch from color to b&w to Polaroid films. With digital, there's no need for this. And selling backs means fewer sales of lenses, where the company's real profits lie.

Fred Greissing wrote:
A relatively low cost back would apeal to the art photography market when combined with 4x5 cameras, older MF cameras etc. Canon could on the other end combine it with a fast IS high tech and more expensive MF lens system and rigs for the high end pro.

The art photography market is best addressed by garage- and warehouse-sized operations. A behemoth like Canon wouldn't be able to make a profit selling to that market.

Mar 24 11 03:52 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
William Kious
Posts: 8,838
Delphos, Ohio, US


Frozen Instant Imagery wrote:
Sorry to rain on your parade, but a company is unlikely to introduce a brand new format (like 8x8) because it means making a new range of lenses, and taking the huge risk that it will be accepted. Lenses, especially high quality large lenses for a large sensor, are expensive to design and manufacture. Lens design is part engineering, part art, and part black magic smile

I wasn't ware that I was having a parade. 

I'm guessing that there will have to be an evolution of lens design at some point in the not-so-distant future.  Let's face it, the technology hasn't changed much in a few decades.

Besides, that huge sensor you see now will be refined and miniaturized.  The only reason it's so damn big?  Because they used today's tech to build it.

Frozen Instant Imagery wrote:
Also bear in mind that not everyone uses expensive gear. There is a whole subculture of photographers who flaunt their use of cheap gear as a sign of how uber-cool they are. smile

Uh, yeah.  I know.  I'm still using a 30D because I can't afford the new bells and whistles.

Mar 24 11 03:59 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Fred Greissing
Posts: 6,202
Los Angeles, California, US


Stephen Melvin wrote:
Low end APS format dSLR's are in the $300 range.
Low end 35mm format dSLR's are in the $3,000 range, for a sensor that's twice the size.
645 format digital cameras are in the $30,000 range, for a sensor that's 2 to 2.5x the size of 35mm.
A 6x7 sensor would be four times the size of a 35mm sensor. That projects out to $300,000.

Don't base your costs on current MF backs.

Consider the Pentax 645D at $ 9,000 ish with a complete camera body...

Also Sony has a full frame 25MP body at under $ 2,000

There is a huge difference for a company like Canon or Sony making their own chips compared to Dalsa that is now part of Teledyne that is basically a military tech company that is built around military budgets.

Mar 24 11 04:25 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Fred Greissing
Posts: 6,202
Los Angeles, California, US


Stephen Melvin wrote:
Well their current high end is 21 megapixels, which is the same pixel density as 2004's 20D. Current state of the art for APS cameras is 18mp, so we have a considerable way to go with 35mm full frame. At least to 200mp, I'd say.

There is no advantage to putting 200mp behind 35mm format lenses.

There is also a fundamental difference in the look of larger MF lenses and LF lenses with large and very large image circles.

Mar 24 11 04:32 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DAVfoto
Posts: 2,324
New York, New York, US


QC with the size of a 6x7 or 6x8 sensor goes down keeping the quality of each sensor the same with each camera, thus making the cameras way more expensive, I dont remember what it was but the sensor material is hard to keep exact from the sheet.  or something like that, basically the bigger the more problems are to arise in the material
Mar 24 11 05:42 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Stephen Melvin
Posts: 16,334
Kansas City, Missouri, US


Fred Greissing wrote:
There is no advantage to putting 200mp behind 35mm format lenses.

Of course there is.

Fred Greissing wrote:
There is also a fundamental difference in the look of larger MF lenses and LF lenses with large and very large image circles.

The fundamental difference doesn't get all that noticeable until you are in true LF territory. In particular, 8 x 10 and larger -- then there's a real difference to the look. Sometimes with the smaller formats. I've been considering whether to get an Aero Ektar and a Speed Graphic to get that old large format look with the crazy shallow depth of field.

But with modern, small aperture MF lenses (which is about all that's available), the look just isn't all that different. And this is coming from a guy who shot nothing but MF film for over a decade.

Mar 24 11 08:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Stephen Melvin
Posts: 16,334
Kansas City, Missouri, US


Fred Greissing wrote:
Don't base your costs on current MF backs.

Why not? You're basing yours on complete speculation. At least mine have real numbers behind them.

Fred Greissing wrote:
Consider the Pentax 645D at $ 9,000 ish with a complete camera body...

$10,000, and the sensor is barely bigger than the 5D's. The diagonal is 55mm, vs 43mm for a 35. The 6x7 sensor you're desiring has a 90mm diagonal.

Fred Greissing wrote:
Also Sony has a full frame 25MP body at under $ 2,000

And it's a loss leader from a company that mass produces sensors for most of the rest of the industry. It's unlikely that it's profitable.

Fred Greissing wrote:
There is a huge difference for a company like Canon or Sony making their own chips compared to Dalsa that is now part of Teledyne that is basically a military tech company that is built around military budgets.

In theory, a company with military budgets ought to have a huge advantage, but they sure don't seem to.

Mar 24 11 08:09 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Vanishing Point Ent
Posts: 1,688
Los Angeles, California, US


Fred Greissing wrote:
How about this.

A medium format camera based around a CMOS live view sensor.

Canon maybe....

Think about it.

This is what I am thinking.

A back that could be used on technical cameras, current medium format cameras and a mirrorless compacr body.

Seeing as it would have a mirrorless body it could be a 6x7cm sensor and still be about the same size as current MF.

Live view focus and framing like the Canon 5d mark II.

Canon has extensive CMOS manufacturing capabilities and produces full frme 35mm chips for pennies compared to current MF manufacturers.

They have demonstrated the capability of producing relatively inecpensive 8x8 inch sensors that can see in the dark.

They could come out with something inbetween the two products... the Canon 5D mark II chip and the 8x8inch chip... and make a 40mp 6x7 or 6x8 sensor and at lower costs than current MF manufacturers.

None of the current MF manufacturers make their own chips.

Canon has been working on faster on chip focusing syetems too.

Apart from that enlarged (zoomed in) live view manual focus is very fast and very accurate.

Add to that the fact that even current live view focus isn't really that far off from current MF cameras. Then add to that the fact that even current live view focusing can be selected in the whole frame so no recomposition is necessary.. making it more acurate that current MF.

Well you never know...

Canon came from nowhere in Large Format Ink Jet printing and went kenk and neck with Epson in no time as far as image quality goes.

Converting the Mamiya 7, would make the most sense, while
costing the least dollars.

The lens line is already in existence.

Mar 24 11 08:24 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Fred Greissing
Posts: 6,202
Los Angeles, California, US


Stephen Melvin wrote:

Fred Greissing wrote:
Don't base your costs on current MF backs.

Why not? You're basing yours on complete speculation. At least mine have real numbers behind them.


$10,000, and the sensor is barely bigger than the 5D's. The diagonal is 55mm, vs 43mm for a 35. The 6x7 sensor you're desiring has a 90mm diagonal.

And how much do the phase and hasselblad backs that use the same 40mp sensor of the Pentax cost?

The Phase One P40+ is $ 18.000 just for the back. And the mamiya AFD III is $4,000

$ 22,000 compared to $9,900

Mar 24 11 09:40 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Stephen Melvin
Posts: 16,334
Kansas City, Missouri, US


Fred Greissing wrote:
And how much do the phase and hasselblad backs that use the same 40mp sensor of the Pentax cost?

The Phase One P40+ is $ 18.000 just for the back. And the mamiya AFD III is $4,000

$ 22,000 compared to $9,900

The wonders of running the numbers for a larger production run. Pretty amazing, huh? But you're not going to get those kind of numbers for a 6x7 camera. Even if they got the sensor price down to 4x that of 35mm, the lenses will still be very expensive at the quantities we'd be talking about. Hell, Canon's professional lenses are averaging nearly $2,000 a each as it is.

Mar 24 11 09:48 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Fred Greissing
Posts: 6,202
Los Angeles, California, US


Stephen Melvin wrote:

The wonders of running the numbers for a larger production run. Pretty amazing, huh? ........

Canon's professional lenses are averaging nearly $2,000 a each as it is.

I don't thing the Pentax 645D was a particularly large production run... I'd say the same volumes as Phase or Hasselblad.

It's more about marketing strategy. Pentax = make it at a good price and put it on retail shelves. Phase and Hassleblad like Broncolor and the likes go through more of a pro dealership sales route with higher markups, "wine and dinning" etc.

Mar 25 11 10:15 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Monito -- Alan
Posts: 16,524
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada


The problem with larger format sensors (24 x 36 mm and up through Medium Format) is not one of cramming enough sensels onto them.  It is a die mask problem and yield problem.

When you make an APS-C sensor, you can do it with a single stepper mask image.  If you make a larger sensor like a full frame (24 x 36 mm) sensor, then you have to align two or more masks together.  That is expensive because many alignments have to be rejected.

Once you have a mask, then it is difficult to get good yield off the semiconductor dies.

First, the larger chip size means that there is much more wasted space on the die.

Second, the larger chip area means that there is much higher probability that a fatal defect will occur in the chip.

So even if you made a 6.0 (six) MPixel sensor in a 6x7 cm format, it would be very expensive.  It would cost about the same to make a 60 MPixel sensor in that size, just a little bit more.
Mar 25 11 10:26 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Fred Greissing
Posts: 6,202
Los Angeles, California, US


Monito -- Alan wrote:
The problem with larger format sensors (24 x 36 mm and up through Medium Format) is not one of cramming enough sensels onto them.  It is a die mask problem and yield problem.

When you make an APS-C sensor, you can do it with a single stepper mask image.  If you make a larger sensor like a full frame (24 x 36 mm) sensor, then you have to align two or more masks together.  That is expensive because many alignments have to be rejected.

Once you have a mask, then it is difficult to get good yield off the semiconductor dies.

First, the larger chip size means that there is much more wasted space on the die.

Second, the larger chip area means that there is much higher probability that a fatal defect will occur in the chip.

So even if you made a 6.0 (six) MPixel sensor in a 6x7 cm format, it would be very expensive.  It would cost about the same to make a 60 MPixel sensor in that size, just a little bit more.

Well I have heard from a client that Canon is working on large sized sensors for security cameras due to the low light and dynamic range they can produce resulting in better forensic capabilities. These cannot be expensive or the security market will not buy them.

While the chip size can be expensive you are less likely to have a fatal error when the photosites you are building are much much bigger than current systems.

Keep in mind that things that were considered impossible less than a year ago have been achieved today. For example speed on large CMOS sensors. Canon achieved 60 fps off an 8x8inch sensor.

Mar 25 11 10:43 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Stephen Melvin
Posts: 16,334
Kansas City, Missouri, US


Fred Greissing wrote:
I don't thing the Pentax 645D was a particularly large production run... I'd say the same volumes as Phase or Hasselblad.

Your thinking is incorrect. In interviews, Pentax executives said they were able to get the price down by bumping the quantities way up. Everything I've heard from my sources suggests the Pentax is outselling the rest of the MF market combined.

I've found the interviews very interesting reading. For instance, they confirmed my speculation that they left out the low pass filter purely for cost reasons, and they'd prefer to use a CMOS sensor and hope to use one in the next generation.

Mar 25 11 10:55 am  Link  Quote 
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