Why did Fuji abandon the SuperCCD sensor?

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by RichA, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. RichA

    RichA Guest

    No matter what anyone says, even DXO, Fuji's S5 APS sensor has/had
    wider real DR than ANY APS DSLR offered. Anyone who owned one of them
    knew it basically blew away everything when it came to dynamic range.
    So what killed the SuperCCD's chances of being in the new X100? Lots
    of rumours, but what seems to be the most logical one was that the
    sensor wasn't scalable to a true 12 megapixels (No, the interpolated
    mode of the S5 did not even match the resolution of a 10 megapixel
    DSLR) because of noise. The S5 had less apparent noise than the then
    released Nikon D200 upon which it shared a body, but even though Fuji
    noise was very nice looking (even, granular, not much if any chroma)
    it was not in the same league as today's 12+ megapixel APS sensors.
    IMO, Fuji does not have the stigma of Samsung, seen as a big maker of
    second-rate electronics. They should have gone full-bore, making a FF
    sensor, with a sensible pixel count to compete at the enthusiast and
    pro-level. A SuperCCD FF with at most 15 megapixels would have been a
    great camera. As it is, it's $1200 fixed-lens camera will sell, no
    doubt, but not in the numbers of a Nikon D7000, Canon 7D, etc. Likely
    not even as much as Panasonic's GH2.
    RichA, Jan 8, 2011
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  2. RichA

    Bruce Guest

    As usual, you completely missed the point.

    The FujiFilm FinePix S* Pro series of DSLRs sold most strongly to
    wedding photographers who greatly valued its dynamic range. The
    ultimate challenge is to shoot a white wedding dress and the groom's
    dark suit in high contrast lighting and retain detail in the wedding
    dress. This could be done with low contrast films such as Fujicolor
    NPS. The FujiFilm SuperCCD made this possible with digital.

    The S3 was a particularly strong seller. It cornered the wedding
    market. Its S5 successor was very eagerly awaited because it was
    based on a Nikon body with stronger appeal to pro shooters, the D200.
    The S3 was based on the Nikon F80/N80 film SLR which was not really
    robust enough for professional use. Kodak, whose DCS Pro 14n and
    SLR/n were also F80-based, at least had the sense to replace the F80's
    shutter with something more reliable.

    So what went wrong for FujiFilm's SuperCCDs?

    Although the S5 was announced in late 2006, deliveries didn't get up
    to speed until well into 2007. Then came the bombshell - in August
    2007, Nikon announced the full frame D3 and APS-C D300.

    The D3 was the wedding photographer's dream camera. Full frame meant
    that full control over depth of field was restored once again.
    Dynamic range was also excellent, although still not quite as good as
    FujiFilm's Super CCD. But the killer feature was the D3's
    exceptionally low noise, especially at high ISOs.

    Wedding shooters particularly valued this because it meant they could
    shoot without flash in almost any lighting situation, with the D3
    sensor being effectively noise-free up to ISO 12,800.

    [The D300 also offered excellent low noise performance that was (and
    still is) the best of any APS-C camera, although it has almost been
    matched by the new 16 MP sensor in the Nikon D7000, Pentax K-5 and
    Sony A55.]

    The FujiFilm FinePix S5 Pro no longer sold well to wedding shooters.
    Since that was the S5's main market, overall sales of the camera were
    disappointing. Production of the S5 and its SuperCCD sensor ended
    mere months after Nikon started delivering D3 and D300 bodies.

    There is no place for the SuperCCD sensor in FujiFilm's X100 camera.
    That camera isn't aimed at a market that demands high dynamic range.
    The sensor in the X100 comes from Sony and is identical with those in
    the Nikon D300s and Leica X1. It gives better resolution than any
    SuperCCD and lower noise at higher ISOs.

    In the marketplace, The X100 is designed to compete head-on with the
    Leica X1. Both offer a superlative fixed focal length lens equivalent
    to 35mm on full frame or film, and giving outstanding results, but the
    FujiFilm product will be 30%- 40% cheaper. Neither will sell in huge
    numbers, but they will appeal to a similar market.
    Bruce, Jan 8, 2011
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  3. RichA

    John Sheehy Guest

    Huh? That is totally false. The D300 pixels have a read noise of about
    1.0 12-bit ADU at base ISO; the K5 has about 0.9 *14-bit* ADU, about 22% as
    much read noise per pixel, slightly less per image with more pixels
    (19.4%), and the quantum efficiency is higher, too.

    There is nothing that compares to the Nikon D7000, the Pentax K-5, or the
    Sony A55, for APS-C DR, and only the FF D3X touches them, as far as DSLRs
    go (slightly higher noise floor, but slightly less photon shot noise).
    John Sheehy, Jan 8, 2011
  4. RichA

    Bruce Guest

    Do you ever take photographs, or do you just waffle on about pet
    theories and paper specifications?
    Bruce, Jan 8, 2011
  5. RichA

    RichA Guest

    Pentax's KX was the first (I think) to sport the new lower noise APS
    Sony sensors. Pretty interesting, considering it was a very
    inexpensive DSLR, with some problems of its own, mostly to do with
    vibration and focus issues.
    RichA, Jan 9, 2011
  6. RichA

    Paul Furman Guest

    Ack, I'd never heard of that Leica, can't imagine they'll sell many of
    those! I hoped the Fuji would be much less expensive, I wouldn't pay
    $1200 for a compact fixed lens APS camera.
    Paul Furman, Jan 10, 2011
  7. RichA

    John Sheehy Guest

    What difference would that make? What I said is completely true.

    People who ask if people take pictures when they make technical
    statements are morons, grasping at straws in a pathetic attempt to make
    people to stop writing or saying things that remind them of how little
    they know.

    I suppose you would prefer incorrect information?
    John Sheehy, Jan 10, 2011
  8. RichA

    Paul Furman Guest

    Where that kind of design has worked in the past is a cheap family
    snapshooter, and it is very appealing for that use (and street
    shooting), but not at $1,200.
    Paul Furman, Jan 10, 2011
  9. RichA

    Bruce Guest

    I note you were unable to answer the simple question I asked.

    Perhaps we should set up a new newsgroup for people like you,
    something along the lines of "alt.measurbators". Note there is no
    mention of "photo" in that title.

    In the meantime, welcome to my kill file, and don't bother replying .
    Bruce, Jan 10, 2011
  10. RichA

    Bruce Guest

    Retro has strong appeal to a small market, but it doesn't come cheap.
    I carry an X1 all the time. It does the same job as my old Contax T3
    35mm p&s. That wasn't cheap either - I suppose in today's money, it
    wouldn't be so far from $1200.
    Bruce, Jan 10, 2011
  11. RichA

    Jeff Guest

    What a silly nasty person you are. But I guess I was put in his kill
    file some time ago.
    Which shop does he work in?
    Jeff, Jan 10, 2011
  12. RichA

    Bowser Guest

    Hey, take it easy on John. At least he's not talking about banding in
    the 5D II.
    Bowser, Jan 10, 2011
  13. RichA

    Bowser Guest

    The little Leica is a complete waste of time. Slow, average image
    quality, nothing special about it at all, really, except for that very
    expensive red dot.
    Bowser, Jan 10, 2011
  14. RichA

    Bruce Guest

    This from the expert in the La-Z-Boy who has never seen or touched
    one, let alone used it. Read an online "review", did you?

    The so-called "reviewer" probably never saw one or used one either,
    but that company's red dot seems to have been like a red rag to two
    bulls, resulting in the usual jealous bullshit.
    Bruce, Jan 10, 2011
  15. RichA

    Bowser Guest


    I tried one, and compared it alongside a GF1. The AF in the Leica was
    glacial, and rendered the camera nearly useless. And please show me
    what's special about its images. Anything I shot (converted RAW) showed
    no advantage over the GF1.

    You want to buy a red dot, help yourself. I'll save my money for a real
    Bowser, Jan 11, 2011
  16. RichA

    Bruce Guest

    In your dreams.

    Dream on, Bowser.
    Bruce, Jan 11, 2011
  17. RichA

    peter Guest

    Careful. As soon as you call Brucie on anything, he claims to ignore
    what you say.
    peter, Jan 18, 2011
  18. RichA

    peter Guest

    As predicted.
    peter, Jan 18, 2011
  19. A pity - I have a lot of respect for John Sheehy's contributions.

    David J Taylor, Jan 18, 2011
  20. RichA

    peter Guest

    So do I and I think most of us who think.
    Brucie claimed he took the predicted action.
    peter, Jan 19, 2011
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