6x7 digital sensor will it ever happen?

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by elliotnewman, May 15, 2007.

  1. I have a Mamiya RZ, and love the format size, I got it a few years ago thinking
    that, given time they will release a full frame digital back for it... but the
    more that time passes the more I start to wonder if ever one will be released.
    Is there no market for one? Or does the technology not exist? Or, indeed would
    it not be cost affective to produce?
  2. No. The economics don't justify it.
  3. Never is long time but its likely to be a very long time before you see one. The technology is there but the cost of manufacturing a flaw free 6x7cm CMOS or CCD is horrific due to the number of rejects.
  4. even, say, if it was only 16mp? or 22mp? true, the point of 6x7 is more resolution, but the noise ratio and dynamic range would be great wouldnt it? Or is it regardless of the pixels?
  5. Rough calc suggests that a 6x7 digital back would be perhaps 9528x8120 pixels or 77MP. Todays existing digital back champs are about 33MP. Eventually, almost certainly, the cost of production of a 77MP will be reasonable, BUT only if there is sufficient demand to drive the development. Every photography dreams of more resolution, BUT realisticallly, today, most folks computers would choke on 150-300MB digital files that a 77MP back would likely generate and would turn into 500MP PS files after layering, etc. First I would need to afford a Quad-Core Intel, with 16GB memory and 4TB of hard drive space, before I would drool over a 77MP back. Just my two-cents worth...
  6. It may exist eventually, but will require widespread changes in manufacturing processes, and incredibly expensive re-tooling of silicon fabrication plants. I shouldn't expect anything for a considerable time.
  7. A true 645 sensor would be a start! The current backs, used almost exclusively by pros, seem to deliver more than enough quality for most commercial applications. This, and the fact that 6x7 slrs are quite inflexiable due to their size must make the demand for 6x7 chips pretty small. Back manufacturers are probably concentrating on producing backs with the current sensor sizes cheaper.

    True 16bit, better long exposure/high iso performance and more affordable backs are the immediate future I think.
  8. It is just a matter of economics. Of course we already have the technology to make these. They will ALWAYS be more expensive to produce than the smaller sensors, and you have to wonder how much longer the megapixel race will last. Who wants to give a client a 400MB TIFF file? It will ALWAYS be slower to process and work with, and more difficult to store. It will always take a lot longer to work with in Photoshop too.

    I don't think the market will ever be there.

    Remember film days: did most professionals move up to 8x10 cameras to get maximum resolution? No, other factors become more important once resolution becomes sufficient, such as size, weight, handling, camera features, cost.
  9. The market for a 6x7 sensor is much smaller than the market for a 6x6 sensor. And if ever an affordable 6x6 becomes available is questionable though much more likely.

  10. ok, interesting and fair points yes.

    So you guys dont think there will ever be a 6x7 sensor? Surely a 22mp 6x7 sensor will offer better image quality than if those same pixels are squeezed into a 6x45 22mp sensor?

    I love the RZ, as do many others... but yeah I do see the points laid out by everyone.

    Has anybody read the magnachrom issue no1? Its got a really good round up of the backs available... :

  11. I think a 6x6 sensor is even less likely since most people want rectangular prints. If you need a rectangular print, 6x6 would have just wasted pixels over 645, and that is just too expensive to justify. With film it doesn't matter much.

    In any case since buying a camera with a near-FF 645 sensor costs much much more than most 6x7 existing users' investments in 6x7 lenses, you might as well give in and go with the flow.

    I bought a Mamiya 7 because I wanted to shoot film and didn't think I could ever buy a medium format back even for a 645. I now think it may be possible in a decade or two, but I don't think we'll see affordable 6x7 digitals in my lifetime.
  12. I like to think that with my Mamiya 7II and Nikon 9000, I am shooting digital 6x7. As many
    have said, even if the price comes down, there's still file size and equipement size. I can
    quickly edit 100 6x7 transparencies in the time it would take 5 77MB files to open on my
    fairly new computer. Quality aside, film is easier for me to use. I do shoot digital Nikon as

    Check out the sensors on digital telescopes, and how they have to cool them. It's pretty
    neat, but also shows a lot of the issues with larger sensors.
  13. I think they are up to 48x48mm now, so maybe they reach something bigger soon.<br>Regards<br>Martin
  14. I think you'll see multiple sensors combined to achieve the equivalent aggregate sensor size long before a single huge sensor.
  15. Well this is how they make the current medium format sensors, but it's still expensive.
  16. jtk


    6X6 sensors are obviously already " affordable" for many who make their livings photographically... a matter of depreciation Vs cash flow from real work.

    Cost is similar to the smog analyzer in your local service station. That mechanic charges $65+/hr USD if he has minimal skills, so a real professional photographer, who charges at least three or four times that rate, should find similarly priced MF digital equipment cheap..if his clients really do need more than 12MP.

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