What, no Olympus is dead posts?

Discussion in 'Olympus' started by Stacey, May 11, 2005.

  1. And 217 is only a factor 4 smaller than full-frame 35mm. And my guess is
    that a sensor tolerates a lot more defects than a CPU.
    PCs are not getting cheaper. You get more raw performance for the same kind
    of money. And then the latest software eats up most of that performance.

    If PCs were getting cheaper, there should be plenty of sub-$100 PCs.
    True, but the reason smaller sensors are popular are not just price. Many
    people prefer small cameras.
    I'm not sure that as much effort has been spend on improving the yield
    of larger sensors compare to CPUs. The largest video sensors that were
    produced in significant quantities were 2/3". Given the price of those
    cameras, the yield probably didn't matter all that much.

    Now that Sony produces large quantities of 1.5x crop sensor (for the D70)
    and Canon 1.6x crop sensors (for the 300D/350D) it starts to make sense to
    reduce sensor costs.
    Philip Homburg, May 13, 2005
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  2. Stacey

    Ian Burley Guest

    A factor of four is major in terms of wafer yield and the new 146mm core is
    one sixth the area of a 24x36 full frame sensor.
    PC's aren't getting cheaper? That's simply not true. When I was doing a lot
    of IT trade publication writing up until 3 years ago the typical PC price
    had remained largely the same for much of the preceding decade, but prices
    have since fallen very steadily, while specifications have continued to
    improve. Not all of this is down to the CPU; hard drives and monitors have
    fallen dramatically in price, but so have CPU prices as well.
    That's irrelevant this debate, which is about DSLRs, which are, by nature,
    large cameras.
    Absolutely, and that supports my argument that the smaller DSLR sensors,
    like you mention above, will increase the divide between them and full frame

    Ian Burley, May 13, 2005
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  3. Stacey

    Skip M Guest

    What you said doesn't negate what I said. Ian said that Intel improved
    yields by keeping the chips small, etc. That has nothing to do with the
    sensor question. The chips respond to their own set of physical limits, and
    they don't have to sense light, as camera sensors do. Yes, technically
    speaking, there is little difference in the two, but there is a world of
    difference in usage. It was mainly his size comparison to which I objected.
    A Ferrari F1 is much smaller than an M1A1 Abrams tank, but put it on the
    battlefield, and it will get obliterated in a heartbeat. But put that same
    tank on the racecourse at Monte Carlo, and it won't even get around the
    I'm not sure that Canon loses money on the 1Ds bodies they sell, but I'll
    concede that their profit margin may be lower on that than on the 20D, for
    instance. What probably does cost them money is Canon Pro Services and
    their lease program for bodies and equipment. Because, indeed, many people
    do buy cameras based on what they see in magazines and on TV, and not just
    in the ads.
    Skip M, May 13, 2005
  4. Stacey

    Ian Burley Guest

    Ah - I'm sorry if I was a bit clumsy in my analogy. I can see where you
    might have found fault, so hopefully I can clarify.

    I was trying to illustrate my point that there is much less scope to reduce
    the cost of a very large IC, like a full frame sensor. Some folks hope that
    as PC CPU costs have dropped over the years, despite steadily rising
    improvements in performance, that the same expectation can be applied to the
    manufacturing of image sensors.

    The reason why this kind of expectation is bound to fail is that while CPU
    manufacturers have kept the sizes of their CPU cores down and even shrunk
    them from generation to generation and so reaping the benefit of small
    chip/high yield cost savings, full frame sensor will always be huge and very

    I hope that makes better sense!

    Ian Burley, May 13, 2005
  5. Stacey

    ASAAR Guest

    You were talking about Pentium 133's and Pentium 200's. From what
    I recall when they were sold, prices of low end computers were not
    too far below $2000. It would be several years before prices of low
    end computers would drop below $1000. A couple of years ago prices
    were as low as $500. They're cheaper than that now, close to $300.
    And as the prices dropped, performance increased. Choosing a price
    known to be far below the current minimum computer price ($100) is a
    silly way to try to demonstrate that prices aren't falling. And
    bringing CPU intensive software into the picture is irrelevant if
    you're talking about computer prices. Performance is usually
    measured by tests such as the Dhrystone and Whetstone benchmarks.
    Feel free to compare computer's power using current applications,
    but that's a measure of something else entirely.
    ASAAR, May 13, 2005
  6. Stacey

    ASAAR Guest

    Are you so easily distracted, or are you speaking for others?

    Let's not get distracted by muddying the waters with the addition
    of APS sized sensors. :) I like the idea of 4/3 DSLRs. But many
    people that consider upgrading to 4/3 from P&S cameras worry about
    spending lots of money on lenses that probably wouldn't be
    compatible with full frame sensor DSLRs that they might eventually
    upgrade to. I think it is misguided, but that won't stop people
    being concerned about that.
    ASAAR, May 13, 2005
  7. Stacey

    Ian Burley Guest

    I admit that the term 'microscopic' is an exaggeration, but the latest
    Northwood core is one-sixth the area of a 24x36 sensor and this iteration of
    Pentium 4 has a relatively large transistor count.

    Yield percentages may fluctuate but the fact is that you will get a
    relatively huge number of good small or medium sized chips off a wafer than
    huge 24x36 ful frame sensors.

    Ian Burley, May 13, 2005
  8. I don't know where you buy $300 PCs, but what I see is that shops start
    at around 500 euro. Which may be slightly less then 10 years (more if you
    compensate for inflation), but not enough to warrent the claim that PCs
    are getting cheaper all the time.
    Philip Homburg, May 13, 2005
  9. Stacey

    Ian Burley Guest

    Us Europeans pay a lot more than our American friends - Dell in the USA is
    selling 2.6GHz Celeron PC with 256MB RAM, 17 inch CRT monitor, Windows XP
    Home, CDRW drive, speakers and admittedly not much else for US$299, or about
    EU?240, or UK£162. The cheapest Dell UK deal appears to be £277 inc. 17.5%
    VAT (£236 excluding VAT or $436, EU?346). This time last year the cheapest
    Dell was £336 inc.VAT and had 128MB compared to 256MB today.

    Ian Burley, May 13, 2005
  10. Stacey

    Skip M Guest

    Much better sense, I thought you were looking at it the other way, that
    there was a similarity between the CPU issue and sensors. :)
    Skip M, May 13, 2005
  11. Stacey

    Ian Burley Guest

    Just dug out some old mags;

    2003 cheapest Dell £499
    2004 £336
    2005 £277

    That's a halving in price in two years. Maybe a sub-$100 PC isn't so silly
    after all!

    Ian Burley, May 13, 2005
  12. Stacey

    Ian Burley Guest

    Ian Burley, May 13, 2005
  13. Stacey

    Ian Burley Guest

    Both cameras have good and bad points. It's down to individual preferences
    as to which is the right choice.

    EOS-350D good points: Small, light, low noise at high ISOs, fast shooting.
    EOS-350D bad points: Too small for some, lightweight construction,
    unremarkable plasticky kit lens with plastic mount.

    Olympus E-300 good points: Solid construction, responsive controls, very
    good image quality at lower ISOs, especially via RAW processing, very good
    and well made kit zoom lens, quiet and refined, value for money.
    Olympus E-300 bad points: Unusual styling not for everyone, noise at high
    ISOs, slow continuous shooting rate, small buffer.

    Conclusion: both take great pictures for the money in normal conditions, the
    Canon is better when you need to turn the ISO up but the Olympus will
    probably survive knocks better. In many ways the two cameras are aimed at
    different customers.
    Ian Burley, May 13, 2005
  14. You seem to have a great liking for the E300. However I had to go back to the
    shop after 3 days and ask them to exchange the 40-150 lens because it is hunting
    when seeking focus. Then I tested the camera against the Canon S1 pro which is
    also 8 Mpx and saw that the 14-45 just does not hack it. Mine was very weak on
    fine details and did not even compare to my Canon S1.

    That is 2 lenses faulty out of 2 - not a bad job for Olympus that I previously
    thought well of.

    Lens has been returned to Olympus who claim they have not recieved it and do not
    return calls. Every time I phone them there is a different promise and a
    different excuse for not phoning. I have at the moment faxed the post office to
    see if they can trace the lens which is no good to anyone in the present
    condition. One would think that when an item is posted in a special security bag
    which has a number to identify it, somebody somewhere in Australia must be in
    possesion of the damned thing - wish I had bought the Canon instead but the
    cleaning mechanism and prior knowledge of Olympus clinched it for them.
    Now I shall not need the cleaning as it will take some considerable time to get
    to changing lenses.

    B.Pedersen Latitude -31,48.21 Longitude115,47.40 Time=GMT+8.00
    If you are curious look here http://www.mapquest.com/maps/latlong.adp
    nesredep egrob, May 14, 2005
  15. Stacey

    Stacey Guest

    Probably from canon users thinking it's like the one in the canon kit? This
    one is far from a low quality lens.
    The 40-150 is an OK lens at it's price point. IMHO it's not as sharp as the
    14-45. Until it's down 1 stop on the short end and 2 stops on the long end
    it's pretty soft but at those points down to f11 it's plenty good. Here's a
    full image:


    And a 100% crop shot at 150mm with that kit lens.


    Neither of the kit lenses are as good as the more expencive ones but what
    "kit" lenses are? It sure beats the 40-150 that comes with the Drebel. :)
    Stacey, May 14, 2005
  16. Stacey

    Stacey Guest

    Philip Homburg wrote:

    Sure they are. I had well over $1000 in my first pentium 100 machine in
    1995, now you can go buy a $400 system and some of those even come with a
    printer! Factor in inflation and my first machine would have needed to be
    around $300 for them to even be the same price.
    Stacey, May 14, 2005
  17. Stacey

    Stacey Guest

    And what's amazing is the operating system is probably 20% of the cost now
    and they still can sell them at this price.
    Stacey, May 14, 2005
  18. Stacey

    Stacey Guest

    Think about that they sell all the 1Ds bodies they can make and then wonder
    why they would limit the number if they were making money on them? I also
    feel this "hope" of a cheap full frame sensor will keep people buying their
    legacy glass which the developments costs were long ago amortized.

    If they were interested in selling a cheaper full frame sensor camera or
    could, why keep upping the megapixels of their top end camera and then
    dropping the current one rather than dropping the price of last years "king
    of the hill" and continueing to produce it?
    Stacey, May 14, 2005
  19. Stacey

    Stacey Guest

    Exactly. I think the canons/nikons are nice, just not my cup of tea.
    Self cleaning sensor, everyone seems to ignore this feature except the
    people cleaning their sensors and then they say that it's not a problem...
    Stacey, May 14, 2005
  20. Stacey

    Skip M Guest

    They probably limit the number made to keep quality control easier, those
    sensors are most likely the culprit.
    I don't think that Canon has any real interest in selling a significantly
    less expensive full frame sensor camera, either. The price will come down,
    inevitably, but not to the sub $2000 level hoped for by some, probably more
    like $5000, obviating a need for a 1.3x 1D type camera. And that isn't what
    "keeps" me buying "legacy" glass, it's the quality of it vs. non "L"
    Skip M, May 14, 2005
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