Read this Article about Sensor development and why canon has a hard time

Jul 20, 2010
1,084
7
#41
There is something I don't understand. According to Thom Hogan, Nikon design a number of their own sensors even though fabrication may be carried out by another party (e.g., Sony, Aptina etc). If we believe the claim that Sony is able to lead the sensor development field because they have the luxury of testing their designs on smartphones first, then Nikon will have limited success with their designs. However, that is not true... some Nikon sensors are supposedly even better (according to DXOMark) than the Sony equivalents!
 

3kramd5

EOS 5D Mark IV
Mar 2, 2012
2,546
111
#42
some Nikon sensors are supposedly even better (according to DXOMark) than the Sony equivalents!

There is the rub: there is no objective measure of “better.”

Sony’s “best” camera prioritizes speed. It’s “next best” camera compromises some speed for noise. Nikon’s best sensor (which I suspect is 90% Sony design), in the Z7, is sluggish at best.

It’s all trades.
 

Jack Douglas

http://www.gohaidagwaii.ca/blog/eagle-photography-
Apr 10, 2013
5,505
56
Alberta, Canada
#43
I think we need to keep things in perspective. If I were to, say, have a stroke tomorrow I wouldn't be getting any more photos. If I were to get the worlds most amazing sequence of bird photos it would only be an ego boost since I don't sell any shots nor really need to, to have a low key happy life puttering around and enjoying photography with what I have, which is super and beyond my wildest dreams a few years ago. In other words, I'm in it for fun and education and listening to all the banter about how poor everything is just subtracts from the fun. That's why at some point when a new camera starts to get this kind of commentary I unwatch the topic. The sky is falling, truly, it must be.

Jack
 
Aug 16, 2012
3,930
181
#44
I think we need to keep things in perspective. If I were to, say, have a stroke tomorrow I wouldn't be getting any more photos. If I were to get the worlds most amazing sequence of bird photos it would only be an ego boost since I don't sell any shots nor really need to, to have a low key happy life puttering around and enjoying photography with what I have, which is super and beyond my wildest dreams a few years ago. In other words, I'm in it for fun and education and listening to all the banter about how poor everything is just subtracts from the fun. That's why at some point when a new camera starts to get this kind of commentary I unwatch the topic. The sky is falling, truly, it must be.

Jack
Jack
I agree with you in the main, especially the philosophy. What gets me is the black and white view that it is either 100% fabulous or complete garbage combined with defensiveness or aggression. Above all, for us amateurs or hobbyists, it must be for fun. A lot of the arguing reminds me of Henry Kissinger's favourite joke: One professor to another, "The reason why university politics is so bitter is that the stakes are so small".
 
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Mikehit

EOS 5D Mark IV
Jul 28, 2015
3,005
216
#45
There is something I don't understand. According to Thom Hogan, Nikon design a number of their own sensors even though fabrication may be carried out by another party (e.g., Sony, Aptina etc). If we believe the claim that Sony is able to lead the sensor development field because they have the luxury of testing their designs on smartphones first, then Nikon will have limited success with their designs. However, that is not true... some Nikon sensors are supposedly even better (according to DXOMark) than the Sony equivalents!
And that is the gist of the article in the OP - that taking the basic architecture Nikon were able to push it harder than Sony themselves (Nikon have been doing this since the D800 with Sony sensors), and that is why Sony have now limited the quality of the innovations that they make available to third parties.
And you can look at this in two ways:
- Sony Corp. have decided to keep things more in-house and breaking the supposed firewalls between different sectors
- They have maintained the firewalls and the Sony engineers have now hit on a technology that surpasses Nikon ideas and the fact it is Sony who have done this is irrelevant

However the article makes a point that is often overlooked in that no matter what firewalls you put in place to make two sectors truly independent, there is still a flow of personnel and there is still water cooler gossip.
 

3kramd5

EOS 5D Mark IV
Mar 2, 2012
2,546
111
#46
And that is the gist of the article in the OP - that taking the basic architecture Nikon were able to push it harder than Sony themselves (Nikon have been doing this since the D800 with Sony sensors), and that is why Sony have now limited the quality of the innovations that they make available to third parties.
Do you have any evidence Sony semiconductors is withholding quality sensors from customers?

They’re selling the unique 150MP BSI MF sensor to phase. They’re selling the exceptional D850 sensor to Nikon. Etc.
 

Mikehit

EOS 5D Mark IV
Jul 28, 2015
3,005
216
#47
Do you have any evidence Sony semiconductors is withholding quality sensors from customers?

They’re selling the unique 150MP BSI MF sensor to phase. They’re selling the exceptional D850 sensor to Nikon. Etc.
I was going by what the article in the OP sand did say I was describing the logic in that article, not my own evidence/suspicions:
  • There are endless rumors surrounding Sony's awarding policy for developed sensors to foreign companies. Some authors talk about a wait of half a year after Sony developed something or used it in their own cameras, others 1 year, and others 2 years later. This means, however, that all of these authors until 2017 assumed that Sony makes all its sensors after a reasonable waiting time the competition.
  • But even Sony's successor, the 42 MP full-frame camera sensor, seems to have broken up with Sony and its partners Nikon and Pentax. Sony did not pass this sensor on to Nikon or other competitors. These received only the old 36 MP version. The more high-quality 42-MP sensor Sony kept only for its own camera models (A7R and A99).
And that is far from the first article to discuss this.
 

privatebydesign

Would you take advice from a cartoons stuffed toy?
Jan 29, 2011
7,040
72
118
#48
He's a most phenomenal amateur bird photographer see - https://www.flickr.com/people/100907765@N08/
He has had the time and money to work through the best Canon, Nikon and Sony gear, and is now able to capture small birds in flight that he could not do with Canon. His comments are spread through nearly 20,000 posts on the FM site. I occasionally look at them and remember the gist: Canon is still the fastest to lock on but its AF-C is slightly jittery, leading to lower number of keepers and most importantly it is not in the same league for tracking as the A9 or D500. His BIFs speak for themselves. Now, I can get some good shots of BIFs, like this puffin travelling like a rocket on Farne, with my Canon gear (5DIV + 400mm DO II) , but I can't match that guy - but maybe I would never be able to with any gear. But, I believe him.

View attachment 180399
Looking at this image https://flic.kr/p/HBhGPT I am horrified by the noise at 3200ISO in really good light. Kieth Reeder might be a bit over the top sometimes but he has a lot of very good 3200ISO 7D/7D MkII shots that look much better. Certainly my 1DX MkII 3200ISO images have much less noise than that image. Maybe it is a function of post processing but I am shocked at how weak the IQ is.

Of course that doesn't speak to AF or Daniels comments.
 

Mikehit

EOS 5D Mark IV
Jul 28, 2015
3,005
216
#49
One other comment I read recently was from someone whose comments indicated they had a very well researched understanding from a business POV rather than that of an interested party discussing their favoured technology. Take this summation for what it is and please don't ask me for 'evidence' because it is not my logic

Sony have recently had a change in CEO and have made each division wholly responsible (corporate speak - broad cross-subsidisation will be reduced) and his view was that the semiconductor/sensor businesses is the really profitable business with the cameras being much less profitable (and having repeated new camera launches as Sony have been doing is hellishly expensive). This is the reason that the semiconductors were separated (protecting the crown jewels so to speak) and the camera division now has to fend for itself. And looking at Sony's history with technologies (yes, Vaio we are looking at you) may even be gearing to sell it off.

Take that with however much salt you want to, but I think it is an interesting perspective behind the business restructuring. One of the key challenges with these reviews is that Sony are looking at it from a business/profitability line whereas forums like this tend to run along the lines of 'this is exciting technology, I love it, I correspond with a lot of people who also love it, youtube bloggers love it the therefore it will be successful and they will not sell it'. CEOs often think of such things differently.
 

3kramd5

EOS 5D Mark IV
Mar 2, 2012
2,546
111
#50
I was going by what the article in the OP sand did say I was describing the logic in that article, not my own evidence/suspicions:


  • But even Sony's successor, the 42 MP full-frame camera sensor, seems to have broken up with Sony and its partners Nikon and Pentax. Sony did not pass this sensor on to Nikon or other competitors. These received only the old 36 MP version. The more high-quality 42-MP sensor Sony kept only for its own camera models (A7R and A99).”

And that is far from the first article to discuss this.
Yes, and they’re all filled with unqualified assumptions. Implicit in that one above is that Nikon and Pentax wanted to buy the 42MP sensor but Sony Semiconductor said no.

Your later post is more in line with my suspicions:

The semiconductor business was made into its own corporation (not division) to free its operations from the potential meddling of Imaging’s leadership.

It’s likely (from statements) that Imaging paid for some of the sensor development in the a7rii/iii, and that the sensor will remain exclusive, as will others custom designed for Sony cameras on their dime. However it’s abundandly clear that Sony Semicon is selling quality sensors, not turning away business.
 

dtaylor

EOS Rebel T7i
Jul 26, 2011
899
41
#51
But, I believe him.
What image has he captured of a bird in flight which could not be captured on Canon equipment? I'm browsing his flickr and he is good, but it has all been done before. To be honest most or all of it was accomplished before modern AF systems, back when you might have had 3 AF points in a frame.

Where is the unique shot, the shot that modern Canon AF supposedly cannot handle?

I'm not going to dismiss his opinion that the A9's tracking might be in some way better at this task, though I'm not going to accept it as gospel truth above all other opinions either. "Better" covers tiny differences and differences of opinion/experience.

But "better" and "can do things the other cannot" are two very, very different claims. The latter has been made yet not supported. If the latter is true then it should be easy to support. Example: the Canon 50 f/1.2L can produce bokeh that no 50 f/1.8 can. But I don't see any supporting images for the claim that the Sony A9 is capturing birding shots which were impossible before.
 
Last edited:
Aug 16, 2012
3,930
181
#52
What image has he captured of a bird in flight which could not be captured on Canon equipment? I'm browsing his flickr and he is good, but it has all been done before. To be honest most or all of it was accomplished before modern AF systems, back when you might have had 3 AF points in a frame.

Where is the unique shot, the shot that modern Canon AF supposedly cannot handle?
Show us some of your own BIFs that are similar or better so we can see what you can do for comparison.
 

dtaylor

EOS Rebel T7i
Jul 26, 2011
899
41
#53
Sony have recently had a change in CEO and have made each division wholly responsible (corporate speak - broad cross-subsidisation will be reduced) and his view was that the semiconductor/sensor businesses is the really profitable business with the cameras being much less profitable (and having repeated new camera launches as Sony have been doing is hellishly expensive). This is the reason that the semiconductors were separated (protecting the crown jewels so to speak) and the camera division now has to fend for itself. And looking at Sony's history with technologies (yes, Vaio we are looking at you) may even be gearing to sell it off.
I kinda doubt Sony will sell off their camera division, but it's not outside the realm of possibility. Sony makes their money off gaming and semiconductors. Cameras do not amount to much in their budget. For all the hype mirrorless has not taken over the market. And while Sony is big part of mirrorless tech and push, they are just a fractional part of total mirrorless sales. Last year Sony was 3rd in MILCs in Japan behind Olympus at #2 and Canon at #1.
 

dtaylor

EOS Rebel T7i
Jul 26, 2011
899
41
#54
Show us some of your own BIFs that are similar or better so we can see what you can do for comparison.
Really? You're going to try to deflect for an ad hominem setup?

Point me to a picture that he has taken which cannot be taken on anything but a Sony A9, or drop the claim.
 
Aug 16, 2012
3,930
181
#55
Looking at this image https://flic.kr/p/HBhGPT I am horrified by the noise at 3200ISO in really good light. Kieth Reeder might be a bit over the top sometimes but he has a lot of very good 3200ISO 7D/7D MkII shots that look much better. Certainly my 1DX MkII 3200ISO images have much less noise than that image. Maybe it is a function of post processing but I am shocked at how weak the IQ is.

Of course that doesn't speak to AF or Daniels comments.
That shot is phenomenal, and all you can do is to get out your magnifying glass and look for pimples.
 

dtaylor

EOS Rebel T7i
Jul 26, 2011
899
41
#56
Looking at this image https://flic.kr/p/HBhGPT I am horrified by the noise at 3200ISO in really good light. Kieth Reeder might be a bit over the top sometimes but he has a lot of very good 3200ISO 7D/7D MkII shots that look much better. Certainly my 1DX MkII 3200ISO images have much less noise than that image. Maybe it is a function of post processing but I am shocked at how weak the IQ is.
I would agree, but I also wouldn't assume it's indicative of the sensor's best IQ. The image was either severely underexposed and he recovered it and post processed to try and clean it up, or it's an extreme crop. I'm critical of hyperbolic Sony claims, but I'm certain the A9 sensor is capable of higher IQ than this.

It is a well captured moment, but also one that could have been captured with camera AF systems dating back to the late 90's at least.
 

privatebydesign

Would you take advice from a cartoons stuffed toy?
Jan 29, 2011
7,040
72
118
#57
That shot is phenomenal, and all you can do is to get out your magnifying glass and look for pimples.
Not at all, this image was shot with a 7D MkII at 10,000ISO http://kazemisu.me.uk/images/aviemore/012.jpg.

I wasn't belittling the A9 capture or the skill it took, I was belittling the IQ out of the A9, which is a perfectly valid point.
 
Aug 16, 2012
3,930
181
#58
Really? You're going to try to deflect for an ad hominem setup?

Point me to a picture that he has taken which cannot be taken on anything but a Sony A9, or drop the claim.
No shot is impossible on any camera - taking a large number of shots and getting one or two keepers is always a possibility. I do admit that I can occasionally get shots like those but the keeper rate is low. Do you try to take shots like those - they are just so difficult?
 

privatebydesign

Would you take advice from a cartoons stuffed toy?
Jan 29, 2011
7,040
72
118
#59
This is a 200% crop from a correctly exposed 1DX MkII shot at the same settings 3200iso, f8, 1.2500 sec. There is no sharpening or NR applied to the first image, the second shows a 100% crop before and after of the same shot with and without heavy NR and sharpening.
 

Attachments

Jul 26, 2011
899
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#60
No shot is impossible on any camera
Thank you.

- taking a large number of shots and getting one or two keepers is always a possibility.
Canon and Nikon shooters using cameras over the past two decades could get good keeper rates with wildlife including BiF. That doesn't prove the A9 isn't giving a higher keeper rate, or giving a similar rate with less practice. Maybe it is for some people. I certainly won't deny the possibility.

But that belief by an A9 user should not be blown into 'shots others can't get' no matter how good his portfolio. Unless, of course, his portfolio actually includes shots of a technical nature which just cannot be found in the portfolios of others. I saw great shots, but I didn't see truly new/unique/technically never before achieved shots. (I doubt that exists for BiF.)

I do admit that I can occasionally get shots like those but the keeper rate is low. Do you try to take shots like those - they are just so difficult?
You have the equipment (5D IV; 5Dsr; 400 DO II; 100-400 II) and there are people producing incredible portfolios with that equipment. I would give the generic action photography answer of opportunity, settings, technique. You have to be out shooting a lot. You have to have your settings dialed in (including any AF adjustments). And you have to practice until you have technique down. Same as for any other action genre. Even a short pause in shooting (say, a few months) will drop your keeper rate until you've spent a few days shooting and are back in practice. I've experienced that with sports shooting. And I've read that Nat Geo photographers went through this all the time. Their keeper rate at the end of an assignment was far higher than at the beginning.

At any rate, he's not that good automatically because of an A9. And buying an A9 will not magically put anyone at his level overnight. He likely shoots that subject matter far, far more than you realize.