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Author Topic: Outside the Box thinking might provide Back to the Box product  (Read 5792 times)

Bruce Photography

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Outside the Box thinking might provide Back to the Box product
« on: February 15, 2011, 06:30:11 PM »
This is my first post so please be kind.  When I started making money with photography in the 60's, the 2.25 square format was popular but I changed to 35 mm for convenience and a larger selection of affordable lens.  In order to come up with a truely ground breaking camera without reinventing full frame lenses, why not add a larger pentaprism, mirror, and articulated square lcd viewscreen and reinvent a square 33mm by 33mm sensor that would use the same lens circle of full frame cameras today.  My guess is that even with current 21 mp sensors we'd get a square sensor with easily over 30mp with no increase in noise.  Why square?  Faster event shooting not having to rotate the lighting, cropping selection of horizontal or vertical or dare I say it, but some non-standard size.  I shoot the 5DMKII as well as the 7D and others.  But while I'm not interested in going to full medium format because of the extra size and the huge cost of buying all new lenses, I can be easily talked into a new square format that would preserve my investment of lenses and yet give me more sensor real estate.   I believe this would be a chance for Cannon to fully step out in front of professional cameras with their already well established lens line and really offer the working professional something new and flexible without having to reinvent everything.  I look forward to your views.  Perhaps Cannon will be listening.

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Outside the Box thinking might provide Back to the Box product
« on: February 15, 2011, 06:30:11 PM »

djjohnr

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Re: Outside the Box thinking might provide Back to the Box product
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2011, 07:28:12 PM »
Even better, a round sensor that reflects the image circle.  You could then either mask in the camera via firmware or via software in post. 

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Re: Outside the Box thinking might provide Back to the Box product
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2011, 08:10:28 PM »
Here is a Canon white paper about manufacturing sensors.  You can do the math about cost, but it will jump a huge amount.

www.usa.canon.com/uploadedimages/FCK/Image/White%20Papers/Canon_CMOS_WP.pdf

As you can see, a 8 inch wafer holds 200 APS-C sensors and yields about 180 good ones.  only 20 FF sensors fit, and the yield is incredibly low.  I'd extimate 14 33 X 33 sensors would fit with even lower yield.

Undoubtedly, the yield is better than it was in 2006, but the wafers likely cost more as well.  Its also easy to see why round sensors don't make economic sense, we use rectangular images almost everywhere, and to get a equivalent 24 X 36 out of a round sensor requires one larger than 36mm in diameter at a huge cost.

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Re: Outside the Box thinking might provide Back to the Box product
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2011, 09:26:51 PM »
Thanks Scale for the link to the White Paper. There are so many myths perpetuated on these forums that it's nice to read something written by the people who actually are making the cameras.

At the risk of violating my own rule about not discussing pixel size I wonder which is more likely to occur: cost reductions in the manufacture of sensors so as to allow larger sensors at less cost or improvements in imaging technology to allow improved image quality from smaller sensors.

It seems apparent that manufacturers are putting much more emphasis on improving the image quality of smaller sensors than they are putting into finding efficiencies and cost-savings in manufacturing larger sensors. My guess is that is because it is more cost effective to improve the quality of smaller sensors.

The last thing I want to do is launch another battle over megapixels. Rather, I'd like to hear the opinions of those who understand sensor manufacture as to whether or not there are likely to be any significant advancements that will reduce the cost of production and actually allow manufacturers to offer lower cost full-frame cameras.

Finally, I'll just add my own personal opinion on square vs. rectangular formats, which is that I come down strongly in favor of the rectangular format. Granted, it is what I grew up with, but I find the dimensions of the traditional 35mm format much more appealing and easier to compose. I think it makes horizontal and vertical shots much more dramatic and interesting. I know there is nothing magical about the format and Edward Weston, Stephen Shore and Diane Arbus certainly had some pretty good compositions with other formats. Then again, the 35mm format worked pretty well for Robert Frank, didn't it?
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Re: Outside the Box thinking might provide Back to the Box product
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2011, 12:28:04 AM »
I am not for or against square sensors, there is no doubt that they would be more versatile. 

My father just passed away at 93, and I, being the holder of many thousands of old family photos decided to scan them all.  Much to my delight, I discovered many old 120 format negatives as well as more modern 620 square negatives.  I have a Epson photo scanner, and the large negatives allowed me to make copies directly without resorting to old wrinkled or faded prints.  The negatives sometimes had a few flecs of dust, so I had to clean the scanner frequently, but were basically in original condition.  The quality of the images from what was probably a fairly simple fixed lens consumer camera is amazing, I did not expect them to be so sharp.

There were also a few very old 35mm negatives, but they were scratched and very difficult to get a good scan, even with a lot of tweaking of the scanner settings, and post production. These were 1940's negatives, and looked pretty primitive.

Just when I thought I was through after 2100 images, I found another large stack of 620 negatives.  I also have my own 35mm images to scan from over 40 years ago.  We have several photo albums and a large number of old polaroid prints.  The color ones have faded badly, and may not be worth scanning.  I am very disappointed with this, since I will lose a lot of family photos if I can't recover them to a reasonable quality.

It makes me want to buy a medium format digital, but, It would not really be a practical walk around camera compared to my 5D MK II.  I've been thru the develop your own film and print the photos back in the 1960's.  I don't have the patience to do that any longer.

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Re: Outside the Box thinking might provide Back to the Box product
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2011, 01:10:07 AM »
I hate to admit this on a Canon forum, but I shoot a lot of medium format film with non Canon cameras.  This is mostly in 6x7 format (with a Mamiya RB67), but recently I also picked up a 6x6 camera (a Mamiya 6).  One problem I've found is that cropping is more difficult in square format.  Paper and photo frames generally come in standard sizes - 8x10, 11x14, 12x16 and so on.  I either end up with wasted paper if I print the photo square, or I crop out at least 25% of the negative.  Also, if you want to display on a computer monitor - moniters are rectangular, too.  When you are cropping from a square negative to output in a rectangular format, a lot of the negative is wasted.  Rectangular formats are just easier to use.  I've often heard that 6x7 format is called the "ideal format" because you can print on most common paper sizes with minimal loss.  I also think 35mm is a good format, because it almost matches my monitor.  You'd find that having to crop every image if you were using a square format would become a major chore. 
     
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Re: Outside the Box thinking might provide Back to the Box product
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2011, 02:33:51 AM »
At the risk of violating my own rule about not discussing pixel size I wonder which is more likely to occur: cost reductions in the manufacture of sensors so as to allow larger sensors at less cost or improvements in imaging technology to allow improved image quality from smaller sensors.


CMOS process is a relative stable process and  has been around for a long time.. We cannot expect any substantial cost reduction in sensor from the process alone, except moving from 8 inch wafer to 12 in wafer. With  the same amount of physical work (mostly done with automation), a little more chemical, and a slight modification in process and you end up twice as much sensor.
As for improving the sensor performance, we should have high hope. just look at the latest sensor from Nikon( Sony). However, we have already pushed beyond the capability of the lens resolution with 18MP APS_C sensor.

As a foot note: Most other electronic device are enjoying huge cost reduction in the last 40 years due to the advance in processing technology and cost reduction in the processing itself and hence the internal device on the silicon is getting smaller and smaller and resulted in the actual silicon in each IC is getting smaller and smaller and hence it is getting cheaper and cheaper.  Unfortunately. This  does not appy to the DSLR snesor. The sensor size is fixed. So there is no cost reduction in shrinking internal device. Instead we end up with higher pixel count. We have moved from 2MP (APS-C) to 18MP (APS-C) in the last 15 years or so.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2011, 12:15:09 PM by Rocky »

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Re: Outside the Box thinking might provide Back to the Box product
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2011, 02:33:51 AM »

leGreve

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Re: Outside the Box thinking might provide Back to the Box product
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2011, 03:23:36 AM »
This is my first post so please be kind.  When I started making money with photography in the 60's, the 2.25 square format was popular but I changed to 35 mm for convenience and a larger selection of affordable lens.  In order to come up with a truely ground breaking camera without reinventing full frame lenses, why not add a larger pentaprism, mirror, and articulated square lcd viewscreen and reinvent a square 33mm by 33mm sensor that would use the same lens circle of full frame cameras today.  My guess is that even with current 21 mp sensors we'd get a square sensor with easily over 30mp with no increase in noise.  Why square?  Faster event shooting not having to rotate the lighting, cropping selection of horizontal or vertical or dare I say it, but some non-standard size.  I shoot the 5DMKII as well as the 7D and others.  But while I'm not interested in going to full medium format because of the extra size and the huge cost of buying all new lenses, I can be easily talked into a new square format that would preserve my investment of lenses and yet give me more sensor real estate.   I believe this would be a chance for Cannon to fully step out in front of professional cameras with their already well established lens line and really offer the working professional something new and flexible without having to reinvent everything.  I look forward to your views.  Perhaps Cannon will be listening.

Agree 100%... there's no reason why they couldn't do it. The current rectangular format is not utilizing the possibility of a circular lens to its fullest.

So please Canon, put that square chip soon.
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torger

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Re: Outside the Box thinking might provide Back to the Box product
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2011, 08:13:07 AM »
Here is a Canon white paper about manufacturing sensors.

I've always wondered how large part of the cost of the camera that is the sensor. Does anyone know? It seems to me that if you buy a 5D a much larger part of the money goes to finance the sensor than if you buy a 7D.

The white paper says that a full-frame sensor can be 20 times more expensive than APS-C. The 5D is about $2500 and the 7D $1500. Is the 5D sensor as much as $1000, or even more?

I guess the square sensor would be 31x31 mm to fit within the image circle of 44mm (about 10% more area than 24x36), not 33x33 as suggested in the initial post. I guess there would also be some technical difficulties to fit the mirror in there.

I guess you also could argue that 24x36 actually is better use of the image circle than 31x31. It certainly will be if your compositions most often is in 3:2 format. If I would use square format I think I would crop them to some rectangular format most of the time, but perhaps that's only because I'm not used to square composition?

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Re: Outside the Box thinking might provide Back to the Box product
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2011, 10:10:03 AM »
I have to add my 2 cents about the issue of format size. Not really about the tech more the format. I no alot of people are used to the 35mm format and the digital variants, but i wonder if anyone has used or still uses medium format cameras? I was a student of fine art photography and to start with film was a massive no no for me. I just didnt like the fact there were anything between 1-35 frames on various film formats and the massive cost and time of production. Although I love being in the darkroom i would hate to edit 200 images from negative to paper, its just not economical in todays workflow. So i prefer digital purely for this reason.

But with film there is a quality that will never be produced from digital, it is so natural, the images of a good medium format camera feels like you could fall into them, they are beautiful. It is inherent in the medium, there are not many fine art photographers that use digital because they cannot get the same feel (not quality), Sally Mann still use collodion prints!! using a glass plate! Gursky uses a 10x8 large format same can be said with Jeff Wall. Not because digital is bad but because there is a quality to film which digital cannot match, digital is alot more flat. It is easy to say there is no difference, but if you shot medium format for a week its very easy to understand. Before i get carried away with how much i love film i have to say i rarely use it.

Simply because i love the digital workflow, endless images at no cost and easy editing compared to the darkroom. I also love digital because it is fantastic quality but in a different way to film, they are almost two different mediums that need to be treated differently.

The thing that is nice about film is the lack of happy snappy shooting. The medium teaches you how to see, with having only 12 shots on a 6x4.5 medium format camera and the cost of producing them really makes you look for those moments, the task of framing and composition with medium of large format is such a great feeling. I come away with alot more 'Good' pictures than i do with digital.

Also i think that the 6x7 is the nicest format available, 35mm is slightly too squished for my liking and i always crop to a squarer rectangle than the complete rectangle that is 35mm or APC. Dont think that i am ranting because im old or stuck in a way. My digital camera is pretty much all i use, but i do love going back to my 6x4.5 Bronica or my 6x7 Bronica because the image making process is a joy, but afterward the use of my DSLR makes it all worth while. Sometimes you can take for granted how much tech are in these things when you are out in the field with a light meter and a maximum shutter speed 500/s and changing the film back for a change of ISO.

The square format is one that never really took my fancy, regardless of the actual size squarer or more rectangular i prefer the rectangle format.

Anyone interested in fine art photography should get hold of the BBC 4 production of "The Genius of Photography". It will go through photography that is not widely expressed in todays view of photography.

Btw just to let people know i am 22 years old and im obsessed with technology, design and photography (or i wouldnt be here) I am a graphic designer and photographer. Working for a newspaper, i photograph advertising material, weddings, automotive (racing and events) local events, wildlife, landscapes (both as i live in Cumbria) and use alot of the images in the making of adverts, posters, page layouts etc for the newspaper. The thing i love the most is creating imagery from a fine art perspective but is technically spot on. What people forget is that its not the kit its being able to see, you cannot be creative without being technically minded (what the camera and lenses can do for your creativity) and you cannot make good imagery being technically perfect you need to be able to see.

I no off topic but never mind

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Rocky

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Re: Outside the Box thinking might provide Back to the Box product
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2011, 10:48:14 PM »
Here is a Canon white paper about manufacturing sensors.

I've always wondered how large part of the cost of the camera that is the sensor. Does anyone know? It seems to me that if you buy a 5D a much larger part of the money goes to finance the sensor than if you buy a 7D.

The white paper says that a full-frame sensor can be 20 times more expensive than APS-C. The 5D is about $2500 and the 7D $1500. Is the 5D sensor as much as $1000, or even more?


If you use the number from Canon white paper. It is about right. The Cost of CMOS wafer is about $800, throw in the micro lens, AA filter, etc. that may round up to be $1000. 200 site per wafer for APS_C. that will be $50 per APS-C sensor.  FF sensor is 20 times more. That will make it to be $1000 per sensor. However, we should quetion the actual site count of the APS_C per wafer. 200 sound too high. 75 is a more realistic number. (Any- one can work out the number by himself). So the white paper is trying to justify the high cost of the FF DSLR

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Re: Outside the Box thinking might provide Back to the Box product
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2011, 03:25:22 AM »
But with film there is a quality that will never be produced from digital, it is so natural, the images of a good medium format camera feels like you could fall into them, they are beautiful.

I think many photographers that shoot film do so to stand out, to get a touch of uniqueness in their work. Large format film is a lot more romantic than 35mm digital that anyone can easily handle (technically). 35mm digital is crowded to say the least. However, I personally get a bit suspicious when a photographer makes a big thing out of the format he/she uses. In a way I think it's more "honest" to just go for the format that gives the best possible technical quality, and make pictures with that. A "unique look" if any is then a product of the content rather than the production process.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2011, 04:47:42 AM by torger »

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Re: Outside the Box thinking might provide Back to the Box product
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2011, 03:25:22 AM »