Nikon D850 DSLR camera teardown update: the 45.7MP CMOS BSI sensor

A quick update on my Nikon D850 DSLR camera teardown post from yesterday - NRC Taiwan sent me a few additional pictures of the Nikon D850 45.7MP CMOS BSI sensor:

We already know that the new sensor is designed by Nikon, but we still don't know who is the manufacturer. Maybe some of the readers can figure it out based on those pictures.

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  • Mehdi R

    Like it

    • Jim Huang

      I went to their website, the arrow shows the dirt mark on the brand new sensor.

      • António

        Assuming that was a dirt mark was it “on the (…) sensor” being necessary to remove the covering piece ( sorry but don’t know the exact designation ) to eliminate it or on this one and could be taken out with the cleaning facility of the body?

        Anyway, it seems to be on a part outside the image formation area.

        • Jim Huang

          I’m not sure, it just says cleaning complete for the next picture. However, I think it is just on the surface, otherwise he’d mentioned it.

          • António

            Thank you for info

  • Fly Moon

    Hmmmm. As long as it performs, I really don’t care.

  • Pablo And-Jennifer Gabetta

    I’m mad. I didn’t get mine. I blame my self for wanting one!!

  • ZZ

    I’d be shocked if it wasn’t Sony …. love their Nikon tweaked sensors … their cameras, not so much …

  • Todd Davis

    Cue the Sony fanbois coming in and demanding they know without a shadow of a doubt (without actually providing any actual proof) that they know its Sony based on their expertise at building sensors (yes that was a jab at the people who call themselves experts and claim to know with 100% certainty even though they.. you know… don’t actually… you know… build or design sensors)

    • Mehdi R

      Sony makes great sensors and Nikon benefits from that, that’s all.

      • António

        So, according to you how shall we interpret Nikon’s statements about it being a result of their own design?

        • Mehdi R

          Generally speaking, not the D850 😉

        • Design and manufacturing, two different things. It’s the same every time – probably Sony made it, but that’s not important that much, as long as it’s as Nikon ordered, so probably best overall on the market now.

          • António

            That was the reason for my question to Mehdi R whose sentence finishing with an “that’s all” seemed to indicate Nikon was only collecting the “benefits”…but now he says was not directly referring to D850…

          • Todd Davis


            Like saying “well I took the photograph, arranged the lighting, composed it, did the makeup, photoshopped everything to perfection so it was the perfect image.”

            Then someone says “yeah, but The XYZ Photolab printed it… so its an XYZ Photolab photo”

            • First of all, it’s not a valid example – to paraphrase, it would be more like XYZ Photolab ORDERING the photo with full rights (and paying the photographer accordingly) and then sayin “it’s our photo” – which it is, they contracted it and bought it in this example, they’re not claiming manufacturing it.
              But more importantly – for D850 owner it really doesn’t matter who manufacture it physically – from past experience we can be sure, that it will be the best possible sensor a market can provide. Personally I think and hope it’s from Sony factory, because I believe they are the best manufacturer of most photography sensors on the market, but I also believe that Nikon will make even more out of the sensor, especially if they contributed to the design. So I am technically curious, but I’m pretty sure Nikon knows what they’re doing more then most (in this segment at least, others like mirrorless not so much).

        • ja_1410

          It just could be pure PR. “Design” can consist of many things. For example they could have “designed” requirements for the chip leaving all the development details to Sony or they could have designed every little detail and give detailed prescription of how to make this chip to the manufacturer. Either scenario is unlikely. Assuming it is Sony that made the chip, Sony has far more experience of how to manufacture chips than Nikon so most likely Sony did big part of the design that involves detail of how to actually make the chip from chunk of silicon. Nikon possibly designed performance part of the chip such as resolution, pixel size, chip size etc.

          • António

            So from “pure PR” to almost pure Nikon and back to mostly Sony your answer fits them all…I didn’t see anywhere an indication of Nikon claiming the manufacture of the sensor or “leaving all the development details” or “detailed prescription” to Sony do it.

            As you say “design” can consist on many things but certainly not to such an extent. However, from the underlaying base to the final product there is plenty of room for each customer to leave his mark in order to offer a differentiated performance from other solutions or the standard pack of the manufacturer, and this is most likely what Nikon means.

            But, at the end of the day what really matters is what we can get from the camera and its reliability.

      • MB

        Nikon makes great sensors and Sony benefits from that too so that’s not all …

        • Exactly. Nikon asks Sony (the sensor company, an entirely different corporation) to make them some photon buckets.

    • Exactly, I have no problem if the sensor is made by Sony, I do however have problem when certain websites report it as a fact without having any proof.

      • Pablo And-Jennifer Gabetta

        As far as I know this is a Nikon design.
        In the past there some Sony sensors that were tweaked by Nikon to work better.
        I don’t know who makes this one yet, but it still a Nikon design.
        It Doesn’t matter that a Pagani Zonda has an AMG engine, it still a Zonda, and not other AMG car can touch it.
        Iphone uses Samsung parts and no one cares…
        Its how is put together and executed that counts.

        • Jebagi Erol Paker

          I have a SsongYong car with Mercedes engine and transmission but still trail behind merc. on the road.

      • sickheadache

        I remember when Nikon decided to produce the way over priced D3x..and place a 24mp Sony Sensor on it..the world went crazy about the price and sony a Nikon Product…What? Then when the D800 with it’s Sony 36.3 mp sensor…the world went nuts…and today…the world is going …and it should not be…Nuts…trying to figure out about this new…Sony…I mean Nikon Sensor. Oh My Lanta!

        • António

          It seems your terrible headache is worsening…wish you can get some relief someday…for the sake of all of us.

    • BlueBomberTurbo

      How many other companies produce dual conversion gain sensors?

    • I don’t know why that would be anything for “Sony fanboys” to be proud of, though. Sony’s camera company and Sony’s sensor company are two different corporations. And, more importantly, Nikon has had a LONG history of sourcing sensors from Sony and then doing a WAY better job of processing the image data that comes off that sensor than Sony (the camera company) ever can. Nikons almost always have a stop or more of better noise performance and dynamic range. Only recently has Sony (the camera company) had enough $$ to ask Sony (the sensor company) to make THEM a sensor, (A7R2) …and they were too chicken to let Nikon get their hands on that sensor so they convinced Sony (the sensor company) to give them exclusivity with the A7R2 sensor. But now the D850 is probably going to set the bar even higher, and Sony (the camera company) can only hope they get their hands on it.

      If you ask me, “Sony fanboys” should be thanking Nikon profusely for subsidizing the Sony camera sensors for all these years.

    • I don’t see why (some) Nikon shooters take offense at a sensor being manufactured by Sony? Who cares? I shoot both brands and I’d rather Sony’s best sensor tech goes into a Nikon camera.

      Whatever makes the Nikon camera great is ultimately Nikon’s design and implementation. Even BMW and Mercedes have occasionally use a Toyota designed (or manufactured) engine or chassis, for example. Again, who cares? As long as the quality and the price are there, Johnson & Johnson can make the damn sensor…

      • I don’t think Nikon user care who is making the sensor. My issue is with people and websites making assumptions/guesses in order to prove some kind of a superiority of Sony over Nikon.

      • JOHN TANG

        I agree with you, Sony made a very good sensor the market, Nikon said that N850 sensor is designed by their company, I did not see any improvement of the image quality by Nikon D850. It has more color yellow , brown and black

        • you must be the only person who did not see an improvement in the D850…

        • marymig

          Time for a vision check?

  • Starshots

    The sensor is made by Sony.

    • Is that a guess or you can tell that from the pictures?

      • Fly Moon

        He’s just saying that from what I can tell.

  • dpanch_89

    Samsung. Since they had the tech from the NX1 of a BSI sensor but bailed on the camera market. That’s my guess.

    • No way. Nikon did not buy Samsung tech.

      • Khalid Kunji

        Well someone’s biased. There is a perfectly good chance of it being Samsung.

        • Good chance? Sure, but I want evidence. I can make many claims, this doesn’t mean they are true.

          • Khalid Kunji

            My point was that you sounded more willing to believe it was another company with an equal lack of evidence. Meh.

            • My evidence is that the website that started this whole nonsense a while back is well known for making up “fake news” to get more clicks. I cannot believe people still fall for it. You are free to believe anything you want, I am just telling you my opinion after tracking Nikon rumors for over 10 years.

    • Fly Moon

      I hope so. We need another player in the market for making sensors

      • Jeffry De Meyer

        Samsung was converting an old line used to make memory in to one to make cmos sensors a couple of months ago.

        Renesas is also starting up their own sensor production line back up after selling the previous one to Sony.

        Demand has risen again so it seems some companies think it is interesting get back in to increasing the places producing them it seems.

        Not that there is a real shortage, you can go with your design and capital to tsmc or globalfoundries and get them to make you a sensor with technology 10 years beyond what Sony can offer you.

    • According to Wikipedia only three firms manufacture BSI sensors — Sony, Samsung, and Omnivision. It doesn’t look like it’s especially exclusive tech — lots of companies seem to have filed patents for their own variations and BSI is not trademarked (as a sensor type, there are corporations named BSI)

      Nikon has used sensors from or fabbed by Samsung, Toshiba, and Aptina. I believe the toshiba sensor business was acquired by Sony and Aptina’s sensors haven’t set the world on fire. I think Sony is most likely but wouldn’t bet anything I care about on it.

      • AR_2600

        Nikon used Nikon, Sony, Toshiba and Aptina sensors. Nikon never used Samsung sensor.

        Who makes sensor is different topic. Nikon designed sensors were made by Renesas. In the meanwhile Sony bought Renesas fab.
        Such sensors were in D3/D700, D3s, D4/D4s/Df, D3100 and D3200.

        Nikon D7100, D7200 and D5 all have Toshiba sensor. Sony bought Toshiba sensor business.

        But let’s take a look at D850 sensor performance. At pixel level it’s almost identical to D500, it even has a dual gain which Sony licensed from Aptina.
        We know that D500 is using Sony sensors.
        So it’s most likely that this is a Sony sensor.

      • Adam Fo

        Well, Wiki seems wrong ?

      • Dmitry Anisimov

        It might be also that to make one state-or-art sensor you need IP from more than one company xD
        Just because someone else has some patents, doesn’t mean they can make it on their own

        • Oh absolutely. Indeed you probably need IP from multiple sources to make any decent sensor at all.

    • Alexey Matyash

      yes, Samsung, for sure, especially so, if the copper interconnecting wiring will be detected on the Nikon sensor, instead of the usual and slower aluminum one…

  • The arrow was pointed towards dirt, second picture shows the sensor after cleaning it

  • Eric Calabros

    What a solid package

    • A. F.O.

      that’s my feeling too. Seems like it will surpasse 5x the shutter 200000 photos counting!
      Nikon knows how to make great cameras.
      Not waiting for mirroless, myself.

  • Connor

    Couldn’t care less who makes it I’ve had my D850 since Thursday I’ve no complaints about the images coming out of it

    • António

      Did you use and convert medium or small RAW files, please?

      If so, do they keep the WB flexibility as a normal 14 bit NEF or is it limited as in previous cameras that used reduced RAW files?

    • Yanny Nao

      you’ll complain soon about the time it takes to process RAWs.

      • Connor

        Never had any issues processing the images from my A7RII the file size of the D850 isn’t much bigger so I don’t see it being a problem for me.

        • Luke Stackpoole

          Connor did you sell your a7rii?

          I’m trying to decide whether to get the sony or the d850, (landscape/portait, no sport or events)

          Any thoughts would be appreciated!

          • Connor

            Yes I did sell my A7Rii I had it since launch and it was no longer doing what I needed not to mention I was getting fed up with inconsistent start up times the menu’s lack of longer lenses the fact the card slot couldn’t handle the files being dumped from the buffer leaving the camera a paperweight while you waited for it to clear and the final nail in the coffin for me was the awful customer support here in the UK to get one of my lenses auto focus repaired.

            I never had any complaints about the images I got out of it though although it does make me laugh
            now when people buy it for the size and weight i’ll admit that I was the same when I first got it but there’s very few lenses that actually make that argument worthwhile the EVF was nice going to an OVF is taking some getting use to. IBIS was nice as well but only came in useful in a handful of situations if you are doing portrait or landscape I don’t see it helping you.

            The D850 is much more comfortable in the hand for me and I’ve already picked up on the controls and find it quick to change things on the fly I don’t need to go digging into the menu’s. also the touch screen is great I couldn’t go back to a camera without one and the camera can handle the big files being dumped to the cards without slow down thanks to XQD it’s nice if the situation requires you to keep on shooting. it lacks the eye AF of the Sony but not really an issue for me as I only used it a handful of times but auto focus on the Nikon is so much faster locks onto a subject near instantly and 3D tracking works beautifully I couldn’t really trust the tracking on the Sony.

            You have to look at what you need from a camera really neither are perfect but the Nikon was the better choice for me. I also found the Sony lens sample variation to be pretty high had to return a few lenses to amazon until I got a good copy not sure if that has improved now though

            • Luke Stackpoole

              Hi Connor,

              Thanks for the writeup. I feel like the Eye AF really could come in handy for static portrait work – I won’t be doing fast moving or action style work so buffer speed isn’t too much of a priority.

              I’m going to rent the two and see how I feel.

              Out of interest – you mention Amazon – what is their policy on lens returns? (within 14 days) If I wanted to try out say the 55 1.8 vs the 85, could I do so without voiding the returns policy (within reason of course, i’m talking maybe 10-20 test shots)

            • Connor

              It did work well the very few times I used it with the 55mm F1.8

              But yeah get a feel for the two I bought the D850 sight unseen but I figured it would probably be alright haha.

              I don’t know what the specific policy was but I had 3 of the 55mm until I got a good copy and each time I wanted to send one back I just told them it was faulty and they sent out a new one at the same time as collecting the old one not sure if that still holds true now. I was just super careful when taking them out of the box ect. however sample variation might be better now due to more mature production processes

            • Luke Stackpoole

              Okay thanks!

        • Yanny Nao

          nikon software is very crappy it is too slow.

          • Connor

            I’ve never had any inclination to use Nikon software. Adobe isn’t much better either I don’t think they know about the existence of higher core count CPU’s

        • Yanny Nao

          because u might be using lightroom, there was no LR support availble when I processed pics I took. I used NXD which took very long time to process. I have an i5 with 32G RAM

          • KnightPhoto

            It’s too bad, Capture NX-2 in its last couple years of life had become really quite decent speed-wise and batch processing had become reliable.

            Converted to Lightroom, good software features and keyboard shortcuts, but man is it some work to match the rendering of the Nikon RAWS. I run View NX-I simultaneously to compare the OOTC jpegs to keep on eye on my tough Theatre incandescent-dungeon work. Definitely been having better luck with Lightroom’s Camera Standard calibration for my D500 than Adobe Standard (which very often is not even close to Nikon’s rendering).

            • Yanny Nao

              capture NXD is too slow to work with. move 1 slider and 2wait for 10 mins literally to get the results.

  • Robin Ducker

    The sensor is a Toshiba. Toshiba’s fabrication facilities are owned by Sony since last year

  • Aldo

    clearly a kodak sensor

  • Randolf Sack

    It’s made by Canon

  • silmasan

    You okay at home Peter? I’m watching the news …

    • Yes, I still have power 🙂

      • silmasan

        Hang in there… as they say, after the storm comes your D850… 🙂

        • I really hoped to get it before the storm so I have something to play with when I lose power 🙂

          • 1741

            Least you know you won’t need more than one battery if you do loose power for a few days 😉

            • You would need to chaege that battery. And as you play with it the battery will get drained fast. I used 3 charges in 2 days. Only 500 images.

  • Antonio Sánchez

    There could be multiple manufacturers. The main sensor of the Samsung Galaxy S7 was made either by Samsung or Sony, and it was impossible to know which one you were buying beforehand. They had the same specifications and were virtually of the same quality.

    EDIT: Although I guess that the volume of production of the D850 does not warrant multiple manufacturers. I just wanted to stress that it is not that important.

    • Thom Hogan

      You’re correct. The size of the D850 sensor (FX) coupled with the relatively low volume means you don’t want multiple fabs doing really small runs. You probably wouldn’t optimize for yield that way.

  • Vince Vinnyp

    I also am most interested in how the pictures look. However Nikon UK NPS reps all seem to be on message that it’s confidential but it’s NOT a Sony sensor of course there is enough ambiguity around that for many variations.

    • this is what I was told too

      • Thom Hogan

        I’m pretty sure that Nikon UK was told by Nikon Japan. Nikon Japan seems to be emphasizing their input in this sensor, probably because they got so burned by Sony Imaging emphasizing that the A9 sensor was uniquely theirs. The truth, of course, is that both sensors have some underlying technologies that are the same ;~).

      • AR_2600

        Can you remember D7000-D800 connection? D500-D850 is similar. Similar sensor technology.
        It’s interesting that D500 looks like a BSI sensor although Nikon never mentioned it.

        • ITN

          The D500 sensor is not BSI.

          • AR_2600

            Who said that?

            • ITN

              Nikon. For example the D850 press release says “The D850 is Nikon’s first digital SLR camera to be equipped with a backside illumination CMOS sensor.” So the D500 could not be BSI.

            • AR_2600

              They did not say yes or no on that topic. But it looks like a BSI.

            • Nakayamahanzaemon

              The D850 is the first Nikon DSLR which has a BSI sensor. Nikon says so in its Japanese site.

    • Chris Phillips

      Why would it be confidential? Not really that big of a deal since its a Nikon baby anyway.

  • Thom Hogan

    This is correct. Nikon has used Renesas several times. Nikon also used Toshiba before Sony acquired Toshiba, though the Toshiba/Nikon sensors all appear to be Exmor derivatives.

    As you note, Aptina was acquired by Omnivision, and then began exiting the camera sensor business. The Aptina sensor was used in the original Nikon 1 cameras, and much of the Aptina IP that Nikon relied upon was licensed to Sony.

    While BSI isn’t exclusive, I’m pretty sure that Nikon wouldn’t go to someone who isn’t producing such sensors on a big scale, because you don’t want to be beholden to poor yields as someone ramps up. Remember, this is an FX sensor. Yields are very important and something you can’t ignore.

    As I’ve said from the beginning, everything about this sensor appears to be Sony fabbed.

    • MB

      Aptina was acquired by ON Semiconductor not Omnivision, not that it maters much:
      Other than that you are right 🙂

      • Thom Hogan

        Too much typing at night. I meant On Semi, not Omni.

    • MB

      Also for company geeks :|)
      Sony actually acquired only single Renesas Tsuruoka 12″ Factory, not the whole company …
      And it seems that Renesas is now back in image sensor business … although noting large enough for photography …

      • Nakayamahanzaemon

        You’re correct. Sony only bought part of Tsuruoka factory. The other part of Tsuruoka factory was bought by TDK.

    • Dmitry Anisimov

      btw. you estimated back in 2006 that FF sensor costs 10x to produce compared to aps-c sensor. what do you think the ratio is now?

      • Thom Hogan

        5x to 6x, but…

        This whole move towards BSI/stacked is increasing costs again, as is the lower number of chips being ordered.

        • Dmitry Anisimov

          This your estimate was from 2006 before Nikon or Sony FF cameras and number of FF chips was low.
          Given that Sony introduces BSI in FF sensor but not APS-C doesn’t look cost increase would be significant.

          • Thom Hogan

            Sorry, but the economics of sensors still favors APS-C by a considerable margin, just not as big a margin as in 2007.

            Things that have helped full frame sensor economics (and APS-C by the same margin) are: use of larger dies, and benefits to yield through process improvement. Benefits to full frame not shared by APS-C are demand increase (minor benefit) and stitching improvements (major benefit). Things that have hurt full frame sensor economics: switch to BSI, switch to stacked.

            All in all, the sensors in the Sony A9 and D850 are back up in cost in comparison to the sensors in the D3400/D5600, and even D7500/D500.

            The rule of thumb is 3.5x. Take your parts cost and multiple it by 3.5x to get the net consumer price impact. So, if we assume for a moment that an APS-C sensor is US$35 and a full frame one is 5x, the net difference in price to a consumer should work out to be US$525. I don’t think it’s any better than that, and given the use of elaborate tech now in the full frame sensors, I’m pretty sure it’s far worse than that.

            • El Aura

              And you have a little bit extra for larger mirror mechanisms, viewfinder prisms, and shutter.

            • It seems to me that the sensors can be printed out in sheets and cut to size before the support circuitry is added, so the economies of scale can apply to different sized sensors sharing the same sensel design. And defects aren’t important because all sensors have defects which are mapped and handled in software later. It’s not like CPUs which become more vulnerable to fatal defects with larger die sizes, but more like RAM or which has its defective addresses remapped. It thus follows that your cost assumptions are likely pessimistic.

              I know this is something Apple does with displays, and don’t see why it wouldn’t apply here. I’m going by the explanation of BSI manufacturing I see here:


            • Thom Hogan

              Not sure what you mean by this. The current trend is “stacked,” which means marrying additional layers to the sensor wafer. This has allowed Sony, for instance, to put large amounts of buffer RAM in the sensor itself, rather than outboard.

              There are design consequences of every decision. Put your circuitry outside the sensor and you very well may be read noise limited (as opposed to photon noise limited).

    • Thom, what’s your estimated timeline for you D850 book? I enjoyed your D500 book and anticipate a repeat success.

      • Thom Hogan

        I don’t give out ETAs. Obviously, it’s something I’m working on.

        • Tony Beach

          I just read your D850 Blog today regarding troubles with Adobe default conversion of the D850, and specifically regarding that camera as well as in general with Adobe and Nikon cameras, does it make a difference using Colorchecker Passport to profile the camera?

          • Thom Hogan


            Basically, if you want neutral color and proper exposure, you can’t count on the Adobe Standard conversion these days.

    • Bob Newman

      “Though the Toshiba/Nikon sensors all appear to be Exmor derivatives.”
      They are not remotely Exmor derivatives. They have column ADCs, but Toshiba design which bears little in common with Sony’s.

      There have been two Toshiba designed sensors in Nikon DSLRs, the TOS-5101 used in the D5200, D7100 and D7200 (often incorrectly credited to Sony due to DPR’s incorrect speculation) and the T4K54 used in the D5. Both are Toshiba designs and have little in common with Sony designs (except as above, use of column ADCs)

  • Chris Phillips

    Hey Pete how’s things down there with the storm ? all well I hope!!

    • lost power… otherwise not bad

  • the winds are not bad – I am far from the eye, but I guess close enough to lose power

    • Chris Phillips

      Well lets hope it all ends well, been on the live stream coverage in YT , they say it will lose its power once it hits land and they are hopeful it will downgrade to a force 2 . God bless brother our prayers are with you down there.

    • jmb2560

      stay safe!

    • A. F.O.

      the eye is gone!…
      but the winds remain and the center of the storm is more in the direction of Orlando that of Tampa…(CNN live). Stay safe.

  • eric

    I wonder when nikon and sony will merge?

    • never

      • eric

        i wouldn’t say never but i do believe they’ll be big mergers in the future as the camera market continues to shrink.

        • ITN

          The ILC market isn’t really shrinking as a whole. Nikon’s sales probably stabilize after they dump Snapbridge and realize that it’s a source of many people feeling Nikon products are a sham. Nikon problems are mostly on the software side and Sony isn’t really any better judging from some of their products. If there were to be acquisitions maybe Nikon should purchase a good software company.

          • eric

            Nikons internal problems are only a small part of a larger pattern. Dslr’s have been declining since 2012, mirrorless sales have simply been a stop gap so far, and the point/shoot market can’t really hold its own against the proliferation of increasingly good smartphones. At some point, something has to give. Either Nikon or another camera maker miraculously invents a new market or more likely, companies start to explore merging.

            • ITN

              The consumer digital camera buying craze was never going to last long; it had to come to and end as the vast majority of people who bought cameras have little interest in photography – they bought digital cameras because it was the new gadget to buy. In my opinion it is best that Nikon focus on the high end and stop silly aspirations in the consumer gadget market. There is no benefit from a merger between camera companies as the product lines and philosophies behind them are too different. And continuing sales largely depends on a continuation of the line. Merger would basically involve termination of camera and lens lines and lost sales and unhappy customers as a result.

            • eric

              Lol, if Nikon abandons the lower end market and only focus on the high end they’ll definitely crater in size. The high end is saturated with choices right now, all good. It would an unwise decision from a profit point of view.

              Mergers are not all bad. Companies can cut costs by merging, share tech, and still operate independently.

            • ITN

              My experience with mergers is that the larger unit becomes more stiff and less flexible and there is a lot more money spent on administration and many projects die because someone high up there decide they’re not the focus any more, irrespective of the project’s merits or the needs of the customers. Generally speaking, smaller companies can do more diverse things, are more enthusiastic about what they’re doing and a large number of small companies can offer more choices for the consumers.

              I don’t agree at all that the high end photo gear market is saturated with choices. For many things there are only one or two supplier(s) that can be seriously considered. And in such a case prices are very high because there is no healthy competition. I would prefer if there were more manufacturers who each offer a broad variety of specialized products, with roughly equal market shares and think it would be better for the customers: more choices, lower prices (since there is no monopoly) and more variety in product philosophy.

              The consumer camera market is very different from the professional and high end amateur market: consumers want light weight, the smallest possible size, and a great degree of simplicity of use rather than unique results, high performance and a great degree of control which is given at the high end. As a result of trying to cater to every possible customer, there is no consistency of quality and performance across the Nikon product lineup. Since for the longest time there was little competition, there are many areas of potential product improvement which were left unattended by Nikon. Now that they have some difficulty they are finally straightening up and offering standout products such as the D850, 105/1.4, 19 PC, 70-200/2.8 FL etc. But if there had been more competition (instead people would buy whatever it was that Nikon would bring to the market for many years, even though it wasn’t very good) they would have done better earlier.

              Canon give me the greatest of worry: they couldn’t care less about the competition’s image quality or feature benefits offered by others instead they artificially limit features on their cameras in order to sell specialized products to different needs rather than offering all the features they could offer in each product. Customers bitch about the missing features but continue to buy their products in masses. This has to be put to an end; Canon has a too dominant position in the market. If Nikon have finally stopped to produce one Coolpix after another and one D3x00 after another with no substantial change then their resources are freed to offer stiffer competition to Canon and the new high end lenses and cameras are definitely a good sign. I think the successful new high end products by Nikon are only happening because sales in the entry level / consumer categories have dried up and Nikon is forced to focus on the high end where there is steady sales. Sony also is focusing on the high end though they don’t offer much in terms of telephoto options. But both need to do a lot more to put a dent in Canon’s dominance. And no they should not merge as there is too high a risk of product line termination by decision of some higher up who only has volume of sales in mind. Sony and Nikon collaborate as before and they should continue to do so, but not merge. A merger would not only result in likely some product line termination but also make it more difficult for Sony to offer sensors to the rest of the industry. And it is in the interests of photographers and consumers that Fujifilm, Olympus and Panasonic continue to offer products with competitive sensors.

        • I don’t know about the future, I thought you were talking about those BS rumors from last year.

          • eric

            no, im just speculating down the road.

    • Nikkor300f4VR

      Only two thing will merge:
      Ones money vs Nikon’s bank account, and ones hand vs ones new D850.

  • Alexander Gray

    I literally just laughed SO loud I woke the cat. Hahaha.

  • Nakayamahanzaemon

    It might not be so funny. Rumor has it that Canon is making sensors for Sony by contract. Fujitsu was making sensors for Sony at Mie fanctory at least until a few years ago when Fujitsu sold some of it to Taiwan’s maker. If the rumor was true, Nikon would have Canon-made-Sony-sensors inside. It could be funny in some sense, though.

    • Dmitry Anisimov

      Sounds silly. Did they say which Sony product featured Canon-made sensor?
      However I’d be much pleased to know if it was true.

  • fjfjjj

    The D850 sensor is fabricated by TowerJazz and uses synthesizable IP from Forza Silicon. The part number is NIM3801. You’re welcome.

    • manattan

      Its amazing that you know that, and your post should be promoted.

  • If only LBCAST technology hadn’t been a dead end… :-/ #nikonnostalgia

  • Ric of The LBC

    And what a fine sensor it is.

  • steeler_fanatic

    Rather than Nikon and Sony merging, in my fantasy world Apple would spend a little of its $250B cash to outright purchase Nikon as a wholly owned subsidiary. Nikon gets real software, marketing, space in the Apple Store and supply chain leverage. Apple gets return on its investment from immediate increase in Nikon sales and longer term leverages the image processing and hardware technology in future products. Future cameras leverage technology strengths of both (IOS, common technology platform, etc.). Won’t happen but like I said – fantasy world.

    • ITN

      And the majority of people who are not Apple customers but use Android would get what?

      • steeler_fanatic

        More than what they get today. I don’t see any obstacles to producing Android and Windows versions of the save apps as what would be provided by Apple for iOS and MacOS – similar to iTunes. Also Apple could provide a robust SDK for both iOS and Android and you would get the full creative force of independent developers creating unique Apps for Nikon. In this scenario, Android users would get more than what they have in terms of interoperability with their Nikon cameras. Apple would generate incremental revenue through their App store for iOS apps. However, without some other revenue stream, it probably doesn’t make sense for Apple to do this acquisition which is why I think is likely to not happen.

        • iTunes and iOS are hugely different things. Simply put, I can install iTunes on a PC, but I can’t install iOS on my $99 ZTE ZMax Pro.

          I don’t even think iTunes exists on the Android platform. Does Apple even have an account in the Google Play Store? Not the last time I checked, but that was years ago.

          OK, I checked. Apple Inc. has an account on Google Play, and yes they have some sort of iTunes app. But that’s it. Their only other app is called “Move to iOS” (lol, no thanks!) …and a Beats app.

          Ironically, even though this collection of apps is downright pathetic and utterly reeks of Apples attitude towards healthy competition, …it does tell us something: When Apple buys a physical product outright, (Beats) …they DO support it on non-iOS devices.

          • steeler_fanatic

            I was just using iTunes as an example where Apple developed an application for a non-Apple platform. It would be relatively easy to port an IOS app to an Android platform as evidenced by the enormous number of cross-platform IOS and Android apps that exist today (developed by third parties of course).

          • steeler_fanatic

            The other point I was trying to make was that most Android apps would come from Android developers, not Apple.

  • Nikkor300f4VR

    Canon owners would hang themselves.. nobody want that, lot of our friend use Canon.

  • Nikkor300f4VR

    The sensor was made by Toshiba.

  • MrOzMan

    Went to a D850 product presentation last week. The Nikon rep said it was designed by Nikon and manufactured by Sony. The rep said that Sony doesn’t have the ability to use those sensors, nor do they have the ability to know about Nikon’s proprietary technology. I don’t know how that works, but that was the claim.

    • Sounds about right, according tho this:

      Basically, BOTH Nikon and Sony Imaging have confidentiality agreements with Sony Semiconductors, each time either of them contracts with Sony Semiconductors for a new sensor.

      However, it is assumed that eventually once the technology is either available for 1-2 years, or reverse-engineered, …the OTHER company may then go to Sony Semiconductors and ask for technology XYZ.

      That’s why we’ve begun to see a slight technology split in recent generations. Even though the D810 and A7R2 sensors were undoubtedly spent at least some time being in development at the same time, (and Sony Semiconductors probably knew about them both) …we did not see the A7R2 get ISO 64, and we did not see the D810 get BSI.

      But now the D850 has BSI, and who knows, maybe the A7R3 will get ISO 64.

      It seems however that Sony Imaging has finally grown its sales volume to the point that they don’t need to just do “hand-me-down” sensors from Nikon anymore. The last time that happened was with the A7R and the A72. (I’m not sure if the A7S/2 sensor is Sony’s own, or if it’s a re-used D3s sensor?)

  • koenshaku

    According to the tongue of the fat man the sensor maker is Tower Jazz an Isreali company that makes Leica sensors that is 49% owned by Panasonic.

    • Michael

      Same guy that predicted D820 name with hybrid viewfinder and no problems with supply and stock upon sales launch?

      • lol… he was 100% sure…

      • koenshaku

        I don’t watch him that often to know, but i did hear he made such claims also. Lol

        • I think not watching him is the best solution, otherwise he will continue to make stuff up in the future.

          • koenshaku

            I agree lol

    • I say 100% BS clickbait, like anything else he claims

      • koenshaku

        Probably so, another user on here posted it here in the forums I think a day before he did also though so I dunno. It seems the internet has ran with it at this point though lol

  • sexyjon

    I have heard it is Towerjazz sensor.

    • how does a Towerjazz sensor look like?

  • Eno
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