Yesterday we featured a photographer’s DIY teardown of the Nikon D700, offering a peek at the camera’s guts. It was interesting, but a bit outdated since the camera was released back in July 2008. iFixit and Chipworks have just finish their own teardowns of a camera that’s much more recent: the Nikon D600 “entry-level” full-frame DSLR.
In addition to analyzing the use of Sony sensors in Nikon DSLRs, Chipworks has also published an article that explores Canon’s full frame sensors. It’s quite technical, but the main points can be grasped without understanding the terms being thrown around:
On the process side, the 1D X is remarkable in that Canon continues to stay with the 0.5 µm process generation it has used for every APS-C and FF device analyzed. While the use of a mature fab likely gives Canon a competitive edge via lower manufacturing costs, it may also weigh heavily in its product development [...] Given the geometric constraints of 0.5 µm design rules, Canon seems content to hang around the 21 Mp resolution for recent FF sensors through the use of shared pixels [...]
So, back to the rumors of Canon allegedly readying a high resolution competitor to the Nikon D800. Will Canon finally move off that 0.5 µm generation? It is worth noting that September 2012 marked the 10 year anniversary of Canon’s announcement of the world’s first CMOS FF sensor, the EOS 1Ds [...] every Canon FF sensor analyzed since has used the same 0.5 µm design rules. It is a credit to Canon that it has remained competitive by continuing to optimize its pixels fabricated in a relatively mature process.
What they’re saying is: if Canon wants to continue fighting in the megapixel wars with Nikon and Sony, it’s going to need to shake things up a bit in its sensor department.
Canon stays the course [Chipworks via CanonWatch]
P.S. If you’re into comparing the technical aspects of camera sensors, check out Digital Camera Database. It has a sensor comparison tool designed for you.
Electronics reverse-engineering company Chipworks has published an article that discusses and reviews Nikon’s use of Sony CMOS sensors in certain DSLRs:
The recent high profile Apple vs. Samsung patent infringement case further emphasizes the incestuous nature of the supply chain for components in consumer electronics. Apple has traditionally sourced a great many components for its smartphones and tablets from its competitor Samsung. An analogous relationship exists in the DSLR world where Nikon both designs its own CMOS image sensors (CIS) to be fabricated by a foundry partner, and sometimes uses CIS components from its camera competitor Sony [...] What is somewhat interesting is that after a run of Nikon-designed CIS devices in Nikon FF and APS-C cameras, Sony has muscled its way back in for the FF format D800 [...]
Sony supplies the CIS for the D800, a camera with the resolution (36.3 Mp) and performance that approaches the performance of medium format cameras for some applications [...] While there are certainly those who groan at the prospect of cranking up the resolution of a FF sensor, the D800 appears to be a disruptive event in the FF camera segment – one that Canon is rumored to likely respond to.
Chipworks notes that the D800 has the smallest pixel size of any full frame sensor it has examined so far. Canon is reportedly hard at work testing tiny pixels of its own.
Full Frame DSLR Cameras – Nikon vs Sony [Chipworks via Image Sensors World]
All the way back at the beginning of 2011, Nikon Rumors confirmed that the image sensors in Nikon’s D3, D3s, D700 and D3100 were all designed by the Japanese company itself. And now, a recent teardown of the D3200 by Chipworks shows that Nikon was behind the sensor found inside that camera as well. There has been speculation for a while that Nikon is distancing themselves from Sony sensors, and if rumors of the full-frame D600 sensor being made by Aptina turn out to be true, then the list of Nikon cameras left sporting Sony-designed sensors will be getting pretty short indeed.
(via Nikon Rumors)
Tech analysis company Chipworks recently did a teardown of the Nikon D7000, and confirmed that the 16.2 megapixel APS-C sensor within is manufactured by Sony (the IMX071 to be exact). This is likely the exact same sensor used by Sony in the A55 translucent mirror camera and the A580 DSLR.
To see what a Nikon 7000 looks like
blown up tore down, check out the in-depth analysis.
Teardown of the Nikon D7000 DSLR (via Photography Bay)
Update: Apparently the sensors in the D3, D3s, D700, and D3100 are all made by Nikon. D90 is Sony. Nikon Rumors has more here.
Image credits: Photographs by Chipworks