Official: D850 sensor was made by you know who

ahsanford

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Aug 16, 2012
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https://petapixel.com/2018/06/15/the-nikon-d850s-sensor-is-made-by-sony-report/

I just don't get why Nikon is guarded about this. The truth will always come out and it's best to be ahead of the story with your version of it.

- A
 

Talys

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Feb 16, 2017
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ahsanford said:
https://petapixel.com/2018/06/15/the-nikon-d850s-sensor-is-made-by-sony-report/

I just don't get why Nikon is guarded about this. The truth will always come out and it's best to be ahead of the story with your version of it.

- A
No no no, they have it the wrong way around... Nikon has been secretly making all of the Sony sensors for the last decades! ;D

Congrats to Sony for making the nice D850 sensor. It's too bad Sony didn't give it some of the on-sensor autofocus abilities so that the D850 would have usable autofocus in live view mode.
 

sebasan

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Probably for Sony, selling sensors is a great business, but if Sony decides not to sell more sensor to Nikon, Nikon is almost done. Sony is going to take its market share easily. I won't bet on Nikon nowadays.
 

Talys

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Feb 16, 2017
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sebasan said:
Probably for Sony, selling sensors is a great business, but if Sony decides to not sell more sensor to Nikon, Nikon is almost done. Sony is going to take its market share easily. I won't bet on Nikon nowadays.
I don't think that will happen, but it is certainly a risk that one must be aware of. TBH, this is quite sad :(

It also bodes not well for a Nikon mirrorless (and virtually excludes any possibility of me buying one), because the "Nikon" mirrorless sensor will probably not be better than the Sony (a7/9) in terms of on-sensor autofocus.
 

ahsanford

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sebasan said:
Probably for Sony, selling sensors is a great business, but if Sony decides not to sell more sensor to Nikon, Nikon is almost done. Sony is going to take its market share easily. I won't bet on Nikon nowadays.
That's not how it works, though. Sony can't pull out the rug once a deal is made. I'm sure they've signed up to support a product line for its whole lifecycle.

Sony could prevent Nikon from supplying chips on future Nikon body designs. But Nikon would know this well in advance of commercialization and they could just plan to drop one of their own sensors in there. They still design & fab sensors for other lines.

- A
 

ahsanford

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Talys said:
It also bodes not well for a Nikon mirrorless (and virtually excludes any possibility of me buying one), because the "Nikon" mirrorless sensor will probably not be better than the Sony (a7/9) in terms of on-sensor autofocus.
That's fair.

But how's the D5 sensor for LiveView AF? I think Nikon designed that one.

- A
 

BillB

EOS 6D MK II
May 11, 2017
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I have wondered for a while whether Nikon will end up being the brand name for Sony DSLR cameras.
 

sebasan

EOS T7i
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ahsanford said:
Sony could prevent Nikon from supplying chips on future Nikon body designs. But Nikon would know this well in advance of commercialization and they could just plan to drop one of their own sensors in there. They still design & fab sensors for other lines.

- A
That's what I meant. The D850 is going to have always a Sony sensor, but Sony could decide not to sell sensors for new Nikon cameras. Nikon would know that, but, is Nikon ready to make excellent sensors like the ones in their last cameras? If they were lazy in that department because they have been purchasing the sensors, maybe they need a lot of time to catch up.
 

privatebydesign

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I'm not into sensor manufacturing so really don't know, but is there a difference between providing a sensor design to a manufacturer to produce for you and you alone and just buying a sensor off their production line that the manufacturer designed and built on spec?

It seems to me even companies like Ford and Mercedes don't actually manufacture many of the parts in their automobiles they get third party manufacturers to do a large proportion of the work. Sometimes that is to a custom design and spec, sometimes it is a part common across automobile manufacturers.

Shouldn't the idea of the design and spec be more relevant than the actual producing company? More to the point, who cares who made what, as a photographer I am only interested in the actual output.
 

Mikehit

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Jul 28, 2015
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privatebydesign said:
I'm not into sensor manufacturing so really don't know, but is there a difference between providing a sensor design to a manufacturer to produce for you and you alone and just buying a sensor off their production line that the manufacturer designed and built on spec?

It seems to me even companies like Ford and Mercedes don't actually manufacture many of the parts in their automobiles they get third party manufacturers to do a large proportion of the work. Sometimes that is to a custom design and spec, sometimes it is a part common across automobile manufacturers.

Shouldn't the idea of the design and spec be more relevant than the actual producing company? More to the point, who cares who made what, as a photographer I am only interested in the actual output.
I agree.
Olympus has used Olympus sensors, Sony sensors manufactured to Olympus design and used Panasonic sensors manufactured to Olympus design.
In fact, the D800 used a Sony sensor to their design and they got more out of it than Sony could in their cameras. Fact is, Sony sensor is a completely different and completely independent division of Sony corporation and they do their own thing. And as I understand it the sensor division is vastly more profitable than the camera division so will sell wherever they can continue to make those profits.
 

Talys

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Feb 16, 2017
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privatebydesign said:
I'm not into sensor manufacturing so really don't know, but is there a difference between providing a sensor design to a manufacturer to produce for you and you alone and just buying a sensor off their production line that the manufacturer designed and built on spec?

It seems to me even companies like Ford and Mercedes don't actually manufacture many of the parts in their automobiles they get third party manufacturers to do a large proportion of the work. Sometimes that is to a custom design and spec, sometimes it is a part common across automobile manufacturers.

Shouldn't the idea of the design and spec be more relevant than the actual producing company? More to the point, who cares who made what, as a photographer I am only interested in the actual output.
In fairness, the article writes, "This seems to confirm the fact that Nikon designed the D850’s sensor and had Sony manufacture it to Nikon’s specifications."

The problem with not making their own sensor is that the sensor is a critical part of a digital camera, and if they were to have someone else make it, the characteristics might not be identical.

In the same fashion, you don't care about who makes a computer chassis or glowing lights for the fan, but you might not choose AMD Ryzen (or Intel Core) processor based computers, if AMD or Intel were offloading CPU manufacturing to Taiwan Semiconductor.

There is also the issue of this being a pretty small world. There aren't many top-tier companies making CMOS Sensors for cameras, so if not Sony, then who would make it? Canon...?
 

ahsanford

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privatebydesign said:
Shouldn't the idea of the design and spec be more relevant than the actual producing company? More to the point, who cares who made what, as a photographer I am only interested in the actual output.
Personally, I just find the supply chain side of it interesting.

To others, some think camera companies are first and foremost sensor companies. And if you aren't making your own sensors, what are you selling? What is your business based on? What future could you have?!

I find the above argument inane. To think all of Nikon and Canon's ingenuity and know-how is really just about sensors would imply that they should just curl up and die because they are already 'losing' on that front to Sony. Or that Sony could pull out the rug on one company and put them out of business (...when they'd rather just sell everyone more sensors) -- it's all a bit much for me.

I happen to be one of those weirdos that likes a strong ergonomic design, great interface, lenses, etc. and I wouldn't give two hoots if Canon started licensing Sony sensors for my chosen level of products (5D, FF mirrorless someday) -- provided DPAF or some future QPAF was still in the picture. Now I don't think Canon wants to do that for a host of reasons (pride, profitability, they aren't that far off from Sony presently, etc.), but it wouldn't break my heart if they did.

- A
 

AlanF

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Aug 16, 2012
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Doesn't Canon use Sony 20.1mpx 1" sensors in various G cameras?
 

Durf

Picture Taker - Image Maker
Some may be surprised that the Sony Alpha line of cameras are basically restructured and re-branded Minolta cameras.....

I personally don't think it's really all that big of a deal Nikon may be having Sony making a sensor for them, the D850 is a beast of a camera and Sony really doesn't have anything like it. I could care a less that it may have a Sony made sensor.

Personally I'd rather have the Nikon D850 or even the Pentax K-1 over any Sony Camera right now, but that is just me and my preference.

All those smaller cameras seem to me would be like trying to mount a 70-200mm to a friggin gopro! ;)
 

ahsanford

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Durf said:
Some may be surprised that the Sony Alpha line of cameras are basically restructured and re-branded Minolta cameras.....

I personally don't think it's really all that big of a deal Nikon may be having Sony making a sensor for them, the D850 is a beast of a camera and Sony really doesn't have anything like it. I could care a less that it may have a Sony made sensor.

Personally I'd rather have the Nikon D850 or even the Pentax K-1 over any Sony Camera right now, but that is just me and my preference.

All those smaller cameras seem to me would be like trying to mount a 70-200mm to a friggin gopro! ;)
The Sony A99-II is 42 MP x 12 fps with a decently chunky grip for big lenses. That's not far off from what the D850 is offering (at least at a superficial market-segment level).

- A
 

Mt Spokane Photography

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Mikehit said:
In fact, the D800 used a Sony sensor to their design and they got more out of it than Sony could in their cameras. Fact is, Sony sensor is a completely different and completely independent division of Sony corporation and they do their own thing. And as I understand it the sensor division is vastly more profitable than the camera division so will sell wherever they can continue to make those profits.
I think that you may find that the sensor business is currently going down hill. Smart phone sales are what drives the Sony sensor sales, and they are in the dumps.

The good news is that sensors for other applications, such as automotive are strong. Camera sensor sales are only a tiny blip as far as Sony sensor sales go.

http://image-sensors-world.blogspot.com/2018/02/sony-reduces-image-sensor-sales-forecast.html