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large chip prosumer cameras


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#1 Trevor Swaim

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Posted 14 December 2005 - 05:06 PM

I might be showing my total lack of knowledge on the subject, but why cant (or why don't) manufacturers just use larger but lower density chips on their prosumer cameras. my understanding is this would do nothing to the image itself except provide a shallower depth of field. Is this correct? if so is it somehow more expensive to do this? if not then what is the reason? I would think that this would be a huge selling point to all of the low budget filmmakers out there

this is continuing in my quest to get a poor mans genesis.
1080 24p 4:2:2 10bit (or better)
removable lenses using a industry standard mount
35mm like DOF
records to cheap reliable media like the iomega revpro disks (ala grass valley)

I really think this baby would sell like hotcakes if it were brought to market for under $7,000. what do you all think?
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#2 Michael Collier

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Posted 14 December 2005 - 05:48 PM

The only reason large chips cost more is the production costs. Material costs for chips arent too high. A $5000 drum of proccessed silicon will produce up to a hundred dies, and those can make lots of chips depending on the size.

The problem is the cost of design, the cost of production, and the cost of all those fancy robotic machines which actually etch the circuts on the chip. If you go from 1/3" to 2/3" you have actually reduced the number of chips comming out by a factor of 4. since those are more costly the camera they are put into will be more costly than a prosumer. Since they cost more you must put better features into that camera to seperate it from the prosumers. Since those cost money the price goes up (and up and up) since they sell less and only to pros, advertising costs go down, but total sales also go down, so profit margins are driven up.

In the end its a give and take that results in a GV costing 20,000 (not a bad price for a 2/3" HD camera with 100mb/sec compression (aprox 5times HDV)

1/3" chips are cheap because once they design them, they know they will sell possibly a hundred thousand units in any given market.

Search the web for DIY cameras. They can be made, I have seen some that look DAMN good. Find a good chip, mount it in an old bolex (so it will accept standard lenses) and get a demo board (most CCD manufacturers have these availible, and output to uncompressed 'CAMERA LINK' format. hook that up to a computer and capture away. Then you just need a computer program to turn the bayer pattern into color, and to do white ballance etc. Its tough but it can be done for under 8k, a DIY uncompressed HD camera that accepts standard lenses. (3 chips is much harder. try and super sample 4to1 to reduce bayer effects.)
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#3 Trevor Swaim

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Posted 15 December 2005 - 05:16 AM

ok, thanks a ton for the info! the DIY is probably over my head but i'm going to look into it.
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#4 Mitch Gross

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Posted 15 December 2005 - 12:21 PM

A larger chip means a larger optical block, a larger lens system and a larger power supply an system support to run it. You get a much physically larger camera, which generally is not something the Prosumer market wants. There are cameras such as these with either 1/2" or 2/3" sensors in SD for close to the price range you mention. The Sony DSR390, JVC 5100, Ikegami HLDV7A, Panasonic DVC200 and others. But the camera companies need to make a profit and the bigger you make it the more it costs to make and the smaller the market.
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