First indication that the Nikon D850 sensor could be made by TowerJazz

Even before the official announcement, I reported that the sensor inside the Nikon D850 was not made by Sony (FYI: the D850 is 45.7MP, while the latest Sony a7R III is 42.4MP). A recent teardown did now provide any additional information on the sensor manufacturer:

There have been some rumors floating online from questionable sources that the Nikon D850 sensor is made by the Israeli company TowerJazz which is also known as the sensor supplier for some Leica cameras. I have not seen any evidence to prove that claim.

Panasonic used to be a major investor in TowerJazz.

Update: the Nikon D850 sensor being made by TowerJazz was first reported by a reader here on [NR]:

During their recent Q3 financial results conference call a few days ago, the CEO of TowerJazz said this:

In the CMOS image sensor market we are investing today in technology for three main directions; next-generation global shutter technology for the industrial sensor market; Backside Illumination and stack wafers for the high-end photography market; and special pixel technology for the automotive market.

In the digital SLR market we engage with one of the leaders in the world in the development of their next-generation sensors. And in parallel on track with our 300 millimeter Backside Illumination stack wafer technology development with outstanding pixel performance.

This might be the first indication that Nikon could really be working together with TowerJazz, unless they were talking about Ricoh (Pentax) when they made that statement (Canon makes their own sensors and there are no other DSLR manufacturers today).

Here is the full conference call:

Related posts:

Panasonic to dismantle their digital camera business, unload shares of TowerJazz

TowerJazz and Yuanchen Microelectronics announce partnership for backside illumination (BSI) manufacturing in China

Via Image Sensors World

Check D850 availability: B&H | Adorama | Amazon | BuyDig | Cameta | Focus Camera | eBay | WEX | Jessops

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  • Ricky Mackie

    Can someone more experienced in business explain why Nikon won’t just come out and name the manufacturer?

    • Chris

      I am not in business/marketing but just look at the person before you.

      People’s reaction to this can be hard to predict and that who-made-this-sensor thing only speaks to a small group of pursuers.

    • RC Jenkins

      There are a lot of potential reasons. Some are related to cross marketing opportunities, some are related to partnerships elsewhere, etc. It’s generally a good idea (and almost an unwritten rule) to keep cards close to your chest to avoid indirect endorsements unless by design.

      For example, I’m sure Sony (which supplies many Nikon sensors) wouldn’t be too thrilled about this–or worse, an announcement by Nikon. And this would complicate future negotiations and perhaps current supplies. Also, what benefit does Nikon get out of doing so? If anything, other manufacturers would see that they can get sensors from TowerJazz too and get them to undercut Sony! Hello, competition.

      I’m sure Nikon could have announced it (and it may have even come up during pricing negotiations), but they’d want a steep discount from TowerJazz for the endorsement.

      After all, nothing is free.

      • ITN

        Sony know which sensors they make in partnership with Nikon, and which they do not; they are not going to be surprised to find they didn’t make the D850 sensor. Nikon benefit from a “leak” in this case because it confirms their relative independence of any particular sensor fab (by being able to work with any of a number of companies to achieve the results they want). It’s important for Nikon to have this independence because one company is not always going to have the best technology and if there was a dominant fab they could dictate prices. In Sony’s case the issue is that they are now a serious competitor to Nikon in the camera business and so it’s in Nikon’s best interest to use other suppliers and have the fabs compete with each other for Nikon’s business. Sony (Imaging) made things worse by saying something stupid about not giving their best sensor tech to third parties. By doing so they basically were asking to be left out of the bidding for Nikon’s next sensors.

        • Thom Hogan

          Nor is Canon going to be surprised as to who made Nikon’s sensors, as they’re doing teardowns of every new camera from Nikon (and vice versa).

          • Allan

            Do you rank the quality of Canon sensors below Nikon’s designs and Sony’s designs? If so, why? Why doesn’t Canon try to improve their sensors?

            • Thom Hogan

              On what parameters? ;~)

              One could say that Canon’s sensors allow for great Live View/video focus while the Sony/Nikon ones don’t (on a DSLR, of course).

              I suspect you’re talking about image quality.

              Canon’s dynamic range, particularly in terms of bringing up deep shadow detail runs behind the Sony/Nikon sensors.

              Sony is deep into BSI/stacked.
              Nikon is deep into BSI with stacked coming.
              Canon is still FSI, and I believe, still a larger process size (certainly a larger process size than the upcoming TowerJazz offerings). On the other hand, Canon’s sensor reuse and ease of fab right now probably is a cost advantage, all else equal.

              This is a bit like trying to say who has the best engine in an automobile. Depends upon what you want to do with it.

            • Allan

              “Canon’s dynamic range, particularly in terms of bringing up deep shadow detail runs behind the Sony/Nikon sensors.” I wonder why Canon doesn’t “fix” this.

              Yes, image quality.

              I would guess that this is one of the main reasons Nikon shooters prefer Nikon cameras is the dynamic range of the Nikon-designed sensors and Expeed processors.

            • Azmodan

              I guess you haven’t used the latest 5D4 or 1DXII. Despite the talk, Canon’s sensor is only behind in DR at base ISO, and runs equal at ISO 200+. If you cannot get the shot with 13.5EV at base ISO you need a new hobby. BTW the Canon 5D4 DR is the same or slightly better than the A9, and I don’t hear a single complaint about’s lack of DR. If you check the dpreview comparometer tool, you’ll see high ISO noise of Canon 5D4 is as good as A7RII and D850. Also it’s shadows can be lifted only 1 stop less than A7RII and can be lifted easily 4EV with no problems, more than enough. The main issue I have with 5D4 is still using an AA filter, other than that it’s the best sensor they have made. Yes I want more, so next I want to see BSI and another 1EV DR across the ISO range

            • Max

              “I guess you haven’t used the latest 5D4 or 1DXII. Despite the talk, Canon’s sensor is only behind in DR at base ISO, and runs equal at ISO 200+. If you cannot get the shot with 13.5EV at base ISO you need a new hobby”

          • Phil

            Canon would hardly need to teardown a Nikon camera to know where they got their D850 sensor

        • marymig

          Sony Imaging is a different company from Sony Semiconductor Solutions. SSS is much more profitable.

          • Sony Imaging bragged that they will get first look at future SSS sensors. BTW, Samsung had a smoking 28mp, cropped frame, BSI sensor in their NX1 before they discontinued the camera. Also, DJI just popped onto the market with a very high tech BSI sensor for one of their drones.

            • marymig

              If you design a sensor, SSS will make it for you. Price might be an issue.

            • PhilK

              I’d like to see a cite for that brag you mention because I have always suspected this but some people want to deny deny deny this rather unsurprising likelihood, based only on utterly predictable Sony denials. 😉

            • PhilK

              Thanks. I saw that thread before and just found it today, too.

              As I recall, certain people here dismiss the allegations as either mistranslated or made up entirely.

              Perhaps I should go seek out the original sources again. Because it makes perfect sense, based on my observation about how most large companies work, despite their promises not to do such things.

            • I’m still wondering what happened to Samsung’s 28mp, cropped frame, BSI sensor (best in class, before the NX1 was discontinued. I would think Samsung could have at least sold the technology and patents.

            • If they really sold it, we would have seen a 28MP sensor by now. Samsung doesn’t really need the cash. I think they decided to keep it as their intellectual property instead of making a few millions from it.

            • PhilK

              There seem to be a variety of mysterious elements to Samsung’s photo business, including why they abruptly pulled out of the ILC camera market when they had by most accounts an excellent product to sell.

    • IanMak

      Its an issue with branding. You want to build an island with your own brand thats not associated with other companies because you have no control over what they do.

      For example if they say sony makes their sensors. Then people would think perhaps Sony cameras are just as good as nikon cameras. Might as well buy from the mothership. Or maybe someone else got a newer iteration of a sensor from Tower Jazz. Even if its two different camera companies. You would think that company B suddenly has a Nikon D850 mark 2.

      In a world where products are more transparent like micro processors where things can be benchmarked easily. Information about fabs and lithography is meaningless. However cameras are very subjective. Even DxO who tries to consolidate camera performance into a numerical benchmark is probably just as subjective as anything else. So fab information is still worth with holding from the public. There is no drawback to it.

      Heres a good example. I literally was shopping for shampoo today. Theres like 12+ brands and about 10+ product variations per brand. Surely there isn’t 100+ manufacturers of shampoo. I highly suspect no more than 2-3 manufacturers and everything is just scented differently for differentiation. I find the same variety for DOG shampoos priced 3-4x higher than human shampoo. Surely there isn’t 100+ dog shampoo lines. Clearly everyone is just slapping a label on a generic product but of course they won’t admit to it. Then we would just buy the cheaper version of that generic product.

      • RC Jenkins

        Yes, this is true.

        For a real life example, put your reading glasses on and read up on companies like Luxottica.

        Never heard of Luxottica? Weird. They probably made your glasses… 🙂

      • PhilK

        Despite your oversimplification with the shampoo example (pretty sure there are far more than 2-3 manufacturers, though probably less than a half-dozen are responsible for most of the commonly-advertised retail brands), I agree with most of your points.

        Companies like Nikon and Canon are producing extremely technologically complex products, and their ability to continue doing so and stay competitive going forward is always a concern for customers. Especially since in the photography world, you don’t just buy a standalone product like an air-conditioner and just use it, photographers are always buying ancillary items for their existing equipment, and much of it has to be specifically designed for the particular camera you are using. So the “practical lifetime” of a product is a key selling point. If your camera is a “fringe” item and doesn’t sell in high numbers, there is a much greater likelihood that it will become “orphaned” in terms of future accessory compatibility due to lack of popularity.

        In addition, if customers get to where they believe that a company like Nikon or Canon is no longer on the cutting-edge of technology, or their products are not particularly unique, then the manufacturer stands to lose the interest and loyalty of such customers.

        Since the image sensor is probably the single most critical component of modern high-performance cameras and is responsible for many of the distinguishing characteristics of a camera, it behooves a company like Nikon to do as much as possible to distinguish themselves and their products from the various competitors out there that are buying the same sensor parts from the same supplier.

        Also, given that Sony is not only the largest sensor manufacturer in the world, but is now also a direct retail product competitor to Nikon (and a successful one at that), Nikon would be quite foolish to become overly dependent on sensors from such companies. (Regardless their official corporate line that their sensor and camera divisions are “firewalled” from each other.)

        But they also undoubtedly don’t want to make the sensor source the marketing focal-point either, because as you mention people will then start thinking that the only important aspect is the sensor source, and start thinking of the camera as some kind of generic commodity.

        So we don’t see Nikon revealing the sensor maker publicly, and we also see them regularly pointing-out when a model’s sensor is unique to Nikon.

      • Thom Hogan

        This is akin to what Apple does with its system chips. It doesn’t matter if TMSC or Samsung fabbed the A# processor in the iOS devices (or any of Apple’s other chips, for that matter).

        But, here’s the thing: it took Nikon a very long time to realize that they needed to brand EXPEED. And I don’t think they’re branding Nikon sensors, either. Their marketing is vague and inconsistent, so it fails as branding.

        D5: Best high ISO image sensor. A Nikon image sensor.
        D850: Best high megapixel image sensor. A Nikon image sensor.
        D500: Best crop-sensor performance. A Nikon image sensor. (Now in the D7500!)

        The problem, of course, is that the rest of the models, which do have Sony-derived sensors. That means that you have to have a marketing claim for those, too. And that claim should be “we get more out of Sony-derived sensors than any other camera maker.”

        • marymig

          Marketing is a serious problem at Nikon … compare Canon.

        • Max

          Are you sure the “best” dx sensor from D500 beats the Fuji xpro 2/x100f/xt2/20?

          • Thom Hogan

            They’re near equal, but yes, my words are correct.

            • Max

              I think the high iso noise looks better on the new fujis.
              And also the same when comparing the older D5300 to x100s

            • Thom Hogan

              And that’s achieved how? ;~)

            • Max

              No idea. But “best” can be vague. To my eyes the Fuji xpro2 looks better.

            • Thom Hogan

              “my eyes” is not a measurement system. In a real measurement system you find that Fujifilm has fairly high NR going on in the JPEGs, and some form of NR going on in high ISO in the raw files.

            • Max

              My eyes are more important in photography than a measuring system.
              But I guess for tech talk, pixel peeping, etc measuring systems are more important.

            • Tony Beach

              Your eyes don’t tell me what the files are capable of producing. Accusing people who care about these things of being pixel peeping techies who only aim their gear at brick walls is classic Internet snarkiness. The claim is made that Nikon produces better files, it can be measured or it can be argued whose eyes are more trustworthy, I prefer to see the measurements when it comes to answering that claim.

            • PhilK

              My response to this is the same I gave to Thom above.

              Some things are useful to measure, and our current measurement techniques and practices are advanced enough that they result in fairly broadly-accepted quality benchmarks.

              But when it comes to things like bokeh and the character and desirability of digital image noise, there are a variety of subjective factors where experienced people often disagree.

              Denying these things and expecting simplified numbers (eg DxO ratings) to tell you in absolute terms which is better is silly.

            • Tony Beach

              I’m not interested in yours or anyone else’s opinion about the quality of the noise. I can look at the files for myself as far as that’s concerned, and having just done that with DPR’s studio scene at ISO 3200 and using NX-D for the D500 and RAW FILE CONVERTER EX 2.0 powered by SILKYPIX for the Fujifilm X100F and using the default settings for each and opening them up in Adobe Photoshop as 16 bit TIFFs using Adobe RGB color space, my opinion is the D500 file looks much nicer than the X100F file. Now I’m sure Thom has gone beyond this sort of analysis, otherwise I believe his assessment of the Fujifilm APS-C sensors would have been much more harsh.

            • PhilK

              So your first post states “I prefer to see the measurements”, and your 2nd post states “I can look at the files for myself as far as that’s concerned”.

              Well make up your mind, then. ;-D

            • Tony Beach

              They are entirely consistent. Lacking measurements other than Bill Claff’s which do not necessarily account for “under the hood” NR being applied to the Fujijilm camera’s data, I can just look at the files that are available to me and I can take measurements with the tools available to me. In this case, that’s the DPR studio scene, ACR, NX-D, Silkypix, and Adobe Photoshop.

              I would add that I initially opened the files using ACR, and the “muddy” quality of the X100F file was evident to me there, which caused me to go and download the Raw converter made available at Fujifilm’s website. Just looking at the ACR conversions “as-is” from DPR the X100F file seems to have less noise, but also no more resolution and less acuity than the D500 file. There are odd artifacts in the ACR conversion of the X100F file, and the Silkpix conversion had harsh tonal transitions.

              My point is that I have done everything to give Fujifilm the benefit of the doubt here, and I suspect I’ve spent more time on this now than you have, but feel free to prove me wrong about that by showing me what you can get out of that DPR ISO 3200 scene from the X100F. If on the other hand all you have to offer is your opinion then I couldn’t care less about that.

            • PhilK

              There you go again, telling people that if you don’t have a measurement system that tells you something looks better, then people should stop believing what they see with their eyes and perceive with their brain.

              We’ve had this discussion before here and the same thing applies to audio equipment.

              Photo and Audio recording and reproduction equipment is made for one purpose: to capture and reproduce images (or sound) so that we can enjoy high-quality replicas of those images or sound (or modified versions of same) that we can only perceive, as humans, with the usage of our eyes. (or ears)

              So as far as I’m concerned, since the ultimate arbiter of the sensory experience is always going to be human eyes (or ears), trying to tell people to distrust those biological sensors of theirs in all cases unless some dweeb with a measuring box says OK is just dumb, to put it lightly.

              As I pointed-out many times before: the human race’s ability to build equipment to measure things our senses tell us evolves and improves continually. We will always find new ways of quantifying sensory input. In the meantime, proclaiming that only the equipment and techniques we currently have at our disposal as the sole determination of reproduction quality is absurd.

            • Thom Hogan

              Gee, at least I’m consistent ;~)

              My experience with people who tell me that they can see or hear something “better” is that when we sit down and I can actually put two well captured images up side by side and point things out to them is that they realize that they WEREN’T seeing something.

              Most people come at things like this with a confirmation bias. They see and hear what they want to see and hear.

              I don’t dispute that there are “golden ears” and “golden eyes,” but they are very rare in my long experience.

            • PhilK

              I’m not even referring to “golden ears/eyes”. I’m talking about the practice of wholesale dismissal of the value of trusting one’s eyes/ears to determine which reproduction system/chain is doing a better (either more accurate or just more appealing) job of reproduction than another.

              It’s one thing to remind people that senses/perceptions can be fallible in some cases, quite another to essentially suggest to strangers you’ve never met that they have absolutely no idea what they are talking about when they share their observations made with their own senses.

            • BVS

              Don’t forget that the ISO numbers are skewed by one stop in Fujis, so Fuji ISO 200 = Nikon ISO 100, Fuji 6400 = Nikon 3200, etc.

            • PhilK

              I’m not up on all the current techniques, but I’d expect a reputable testing lab to take this into account. (Eg, use measured ISO sensitivity, rather than what is claimed on the equipment dials etc)

            • Thom Hogan

              It’s far more complex than that. You absolutely have to be careful to note who is making such distinctions and who isn’t, but you also have to understand what it is they’re doing to “conform” the results. Among those that I know who I’d say are truly at the top of the game at this, there’s even contention about how ISO plays into things.

              You have to be careful about assumptions that aren’t true. For instance, while we don’t have reciprocity failure in digital sensors, we do have issues that affect both extremes. The D5, for instance, collects 14-bit data but it has math errors in some of the gain adjustments that come into play in the deep shadows. Many of the sensors with high reported DR are not linear in the highlights. The list goes on.

            • PhilK

              It’s not complex, ISO is a worldwide standard that is strictly defined. If it were not, then camera repair shops would not be able to calibrate light-meters on cameras.

              Now you could say Fuji diverges from the ISO standard in their camera ISO setting but only at this EV value or with that color of subject, or some extreme end of the tonal curve, etc, but I don’t think that’s the issue. I was under the impression that many have found Fuji cameras to be consistently over-rating their ISO settings, based on standard tests. (eg 18% grey targets lit in standard ways at median EV values)

      • TurtleCat

        That reminds me of my Logistics classes in school years ago. The teacher talked about how a lot of canned foods are made. They’re called shinies in the industry and labeled according to the branding. There are some differences within the factory, though, as different quality gates are set up between different lines. Like the premium goes to line 1 and almost premium to line 2, etc. But you’re essentially right: not as many manufacturers as brands. And when you look into the brands themselves, often you’ll find subsidiaries of a larger conglomerate.

      • TurtleCat

        Another thing I thought of is gasoline. In the US almost all gasoline is refined by BP. All gas stations take the exact same input source and just add some additives to it and brand it differently but there isn’t much useful differentiation between “top tier” gas and other stations. Usually just an additive or two that may not really do anything valuable.

    • David Peterson

      What negative impacts might there be to revealing it?
      What benefits are there?

      Compare and contrast the two.

      Is easy to understand how Nikon came to this course of action.

  • Proto

    Using a Leica supplier can add snobbery to D850? 😛

    • lol 🙂 the Leica Q is a very good camera

    • Gerard Roulssen

      What a coincidence; the two cameras I use are Leica Q and D850 🙂

      • Same here, almost 🙂

      • I use the Q and D5. There are more of out there than we think!

      • Same here 🙂

      • chrisgull

        I almost use a Q.

        • PhilK

          I want to use a Q so do I qualify? ;-D

  • cBBp

    I am sorry, as much as I Hate the guy, the angry photographer (Ken) said this first and found this out along time ago.

    • I had no reason to believe anything the angry photographer says given his previous history of making up stuff. I also don’t repost any rumor I see online just to create clicks like some other websites. I only believe rumors from my sources. It seems that this is the first time we have something that can link Nikon with TowerJazz.

      • akkual

        Judging by his flickr feed, I would also say that having an expensive camera sets do not make you a photographer.

      • Big_Scotty

        He has such an inferiority complex, and such low self esteem he actually made a video about being correct (this time) 🙂

        • The funny part is that he is still not correct 🙂 TowerJazz did not confirm what he claims, not even close – it’s all in his imagination which is why I will never believe a word he says. Not sure how some people can watch this crap.

    • Marco

      He says a lot of things, no surprise if, sometimes, some of them, may be close to the truth. Statistically, it is difficult to be always wrong…

      • correct

      • But just to repeat – we still have no confirmation that any of this is true, this is just a “first indication” that shows a potential link between Nikon and TJ. Nothing more.

        • Thom Hogan

          See what I wrote earlier this week on my site. Everything I see from TowerJazz is about future product. As far as I can tell they aren’t producing large sensor BSI/stacked yet in production quantities. The statement at the teleconference was forward-reference (2018).

      • PhilK

        Yes: even a stopped analog clock displays the correct time twice a day. 😉

      • A. F.O.

        Ah! Ah! Good one 🙂

    • RC Jenkins

      I don’t think the angry photographer has ever said anything first.

      • if he doesn’t make it up (D850 with a hybrid viewfinder) he takes it from NikonRumors and presents it as his own source – has been doing it for a while

      • El Aura

        I think some of his nonsense might be original.

    • fjfjjj
      • lol, this where he got his info… not surprised at all

  • AnnoyingOrange

    Now if Nikon would only put PDAF on their sensors next. And IBIS would be nice too!

    • Chris

      IBIS might cause axis of lens not perpendicular with cmos plane. Lens VR normally was designed to keep it corrected as much as it could.

      Fuji is not lying about IBIS harms IQ. In Sony system, with stabilized lens attached IBIS will only work with 2-axis to ensure maximum IQ. I think that’s just evidence of this claim.

      • AnnoyingOrange

        IBIS can be made to work with lens VR. Fujifilm only says things to make themselves look good (and I’m a Fuji user from Nikon).

        • Chris

          I added something to original comment.

          It is redundant for stabilized lens. If Nikon keeps implementing lens VR you end up paying more for this.

          For lens that doesn’t have VR, you might get weird image due to the issue I brought up earlier. Imaging objects closer to you develop purple/green fringes at the same time.

          • RC Jenkins

            There are a few technical clarifications we should make. (For the record, I shoot both Nikon & Fuji).

            IBIS only causes ‘perpendicular issues’ if it is set up to move along the z-axis (sensor forward/back). But this is true for VR too. And for framing by the operator itself–we move in 3 dimensions. Generally, for low motion + handheld scenes, it’s better having stabilization than not. For tripod shots, these can be turned off–and you’re back to ‘normal.’

            If I remember correctly, Fuji’s claim was mainly based on corner vignetting–that its lenses don’t project a larger image circle. This can largely be software corrected to a point–and this is how most IBIS bodies handle corners. But they key is that IBIS can be turned on & off–if you don’t want to use it, turn it off, and you’re back to a still sensor.

            For Nikon & Canon future mirrorless designs, this can be an advantage–they can design all lenses to project a slightly larger image circle right off the bat so that they don’t have this issue.

            IBIS & VR are also not redundant; nor are they mutually exclusive. IBIS tends to work better at the wider end (for precision), and VR tends to work better at the longer end (to avoid drastic sensor shifts for a slight movement). Overall, both are beneficial for handheld shooting–particularly in mirrorless applications that self-correct.

            The PDAF concern is a somewhat valid one, but one that I don’t think manifests itself in the real world. The addition of micro-lenses and dual-pixel designs has largely solved this.

            In a theoretical sense, PDAF, IBIS, and VR can harm image quality in the most perfect shooting scenarios. In the real world, however:
            1) they can be turned off
            2) they can improve focus speed & motion blur caused by the operator

            So they have some real benefits. The practical tradeoff is typically in costs.

            • Chris

              VR was design to keep such issue minimum. They redesigned asph lens to bring some tolerance. I believe this was discussed 2 decades ago when they first introduce in-lens stabilization.

              Well I think at least now VR can provide about 5 stops, while IBIS+lens stabilization about the same (~5.5)? Many things Sony claimed are good on paper but when they translate into reality some issues exist.

              I don’t think IBIS+VR will have advantage of both as only part of each system is working while you have both on. They don’t stack linearly.

            • RC Jenkins

              To suggest that VR was designed to keep the issue at a minimum but IBIS was not is naiive. By nature, both will have the same potential issues and are designed to minimize it. You’re all over the place in the explanations with irrelevant topics. Aspherical lenses will benefit IBIS the exact same way they will benefit VR. Either the lens elements move or the sensor does. But the way this works is that they both move relative to each other and to the scene, regardless of the individual component that is physically moving relative to an absolute reference point.

              The VR vs IBIS stops are not absolute limits–and as I mentioned, each does better in different scenarios.

              They can interact just fine in practice. Who said anything about linear interaction between them?

              And again, you seem to be suggesting that VR and IBIS can’t be turned off. They can be. Easily.

              A single camera’s inclusion of IBIS doesn’t mean that every camera must have it. Nor does a single lens’ VR require that all lenses have VR.

              You seem to be arguing that IBIS has no applications, when this is completely false. I can take the exact same (il)logical approach with anything. For example: “Processing more megapixels causes more heat and lower battery life; therefore high resolution sensors are inferior and not beneficial in any case.” This is a false premise.

            • Chris

              VR does better for tele and ibis does better for wide angle doesn’t equal to IBIS does better than VR in wide angle.

              In short, pick your poison. IMO this is redundant. However you still have choices, just turn right out the door.

            • RC Jenkins

              What exactly do you think “better” means?

              “Better” is a relative term that compares the two. “VR does better for scenario A” absolutely means “VR does better [than IBIS] in scenario A.”

              There are simple geometric reasons for this related to field of view. On a 500mm lens, motion of 1mm may require the sensor to move drastically (several mm) to compensate, or the lens to move only 1mm. Conversely, on a wider angle or retrofocal lens, the lens would have to move drastically to compensate for a small movement–or IBIS could move slightly. At a normal focal length, the movements (and performance) would be largely equal.

              So again, these aren’t mutually exclusive–they’re complementary technologies that have the same single underlying principle.

            • Chris

              To be honest, if you want Nikon to release a body in the future based on Sony’s perception of how camera should be made, why don’t you go buy a Sony now?

            • PhilK

              You made some good points previously but this one just sounds like sour grapes and name-calling.

              Personally I think that there is still a place for both in-body and in-lens stabilisation, both by themselves or working together.

              But the devil is in the details. I have speculated in the past that it may be that Nikon’s top-quality VR tech is as good as it is in part because Nikon may embed some kind of VR “intelligence” into the lens electronics themselves. But this may be hard to combine with IBIS since the lenses were likely designed before such a possibility was likely and cannot have their algorithms changed after they are manufactured. This is just one of many factors that could influence the actual implementation of some kind of hybrid system. It doesn’t necessarily mean that either tech is “inherently superior” to the other. As RC Jenkins pointed-out, I suspect there are some cases where in-lens stabilisation has the advantage, and some cases where in-body stabilisation has the advantage. Depending on the specific implementation, of course.

            • Chris

              It might sound like that but I think that;s just the scenario. Why stay with a brand that you don’t like… I really cannot see the point. How much does these cameras cost today? We spend enough hours arguing here and the time should really be used to earn money for those system one like to own.

              In the past I heard of things like some people bought AKG headphones and later felt that they like the sound of sennheiser. Then they spent 3-4 times of what a sennheiser costs to make the AKG sound like a sennheiser and often that didn’t work out well.

            • PhilK

              Your AKG/Sennheiser example sounds like an oversimplification designed to support an oversimplified opinion. 😉

              There are many, many reasons people continue to tolerate situations that are not 100% appealing to them. Life is not boolean or binary, many decisions are not simple, factors for and against are oftentimes not exclusive.

              I can tell you what I think is counter-intuitive though: spending time on a Nikon rumors site telling people they shouldn’t be reading it and instead should be out taking pictures or “earning money”. Perhaps you should listen to your own advice, then? 😉

            • EnPassant

              Nikon’s VR and Canon’s IS was invented when all common SLR cameras still used film. IBIS was not possible.

            • El Aura

              Note that the vast majority of IBIS systems sit in mirrorless cameras (Pentax DSLRs are the exception). In (D)SLR systems stabilised lenses have the added benefit of stabilising the viewfinder and the PD AF system (which IBIS cannot do in DSLRs).

            • PhilK

              Important points indeed.

            • Thom Hogan

              IBIS was first patented by HP on an idea from a retired engineer. Can’t remember the exact date, but we’ll be coming up on the expiration of that patent soon, which will probably open the floodgates for everyone to adopt it.

            • marymig
            • Thom Hogan

              Currently, most lenses are 4-4.5 stops. Olympus’ dual design hits 6 stops.

            • Chris

              I am pretty sure that’s because the small sensor and relatively (compared to sensor) large opening of MFT mount that make the extra stop possible.

              Well, at least I think FF has the extra stop of ISO to spare.

            • Thom Hogan

              Close, but no large leaf-filled object.

              First, let’s deal with lens IS. The IS elements are always put at or very close to the optical center of the lens. Tilting them at that position does not cause perpendicular issues to speak of.

              Fujifilm, like Nikon and Canon, had the issue of trying to explain why lens IS was better than sensor IS. Thing is, both systems have pluses and minuses, which is why you see that Olympus and now Sony moved to dual IS systems. The complexity and math is incredible, my hats are off to them for getting this so right.

              Eventually, everyone will move to this dual form of IS, I’d guess. And the image circle issue is only a problem if you didn’t think about image circles with forward tech ;~).

    • Connor

      I could be completely wrong on this and feel free to correct me.

      I have the D850 and the on sensor AF sucks. fine for stuff that isn’t moving and calibrating lenses but little else.

      But the D5 AF sensor inside it is Phase detect. so couldn’t Nikon in the upcoming mirrorless sometime in the next year or so simply scale that up to the 45MP sensor? I mean they already have the algorithm down for things like tracking so I don’t think it would be all that hard for them to make a mirrorless with solid focus capability.

      IBIS would certainly be nice I had it in my A7Rii and did come in quite handy when using primes however i’ve not missed it much in my D850 as most of my glass has VR.

      it will be interesting to see what Nikon does next not sure what they are going to do with regards to the mount I wouldn’t mind a D850 body with the mirror removed as the mirrorless is smaller wears off once you start putting big glass on it and the grip on my D850 is the best i’ve ever had on any camera i’ve owned.

      If they move to a new mount that’s fine so long as they make a solid adaptor like you find on the canon EOS M

      • PhilK

        The way PDAF works in a Nikon DSLR is with a separate AF sensor array. (Separate from the actual image-capturing sensor, placed in the bottom of the mirror box and receiving light via a small “submirror” underneath the main mirror which reflects light up through the viewfinder.) So the D5’s image-capture sensor itself does have not “built-in phase detect”.

        Nikon DSLRs have always used traditional “contrast detection” AF for live-view and video mode, which uses the standard imaging output from the image-capture sensor for AF. This is why the performance of live-view and video AF is not very good on Nikon DSLRs.

        Canon on the other hand now uses a patented “dual pixel” image-capture sensor, where a large number of the imaging pixels are split into 2 sensor points which are combined to produce the imaging output, but used as differential phase-detect pixels to generate an on-sensor phase-detect AF signal. (Rather than use a dedicated PDAF sensor that requires the mirror to be down in order to work)

        Nikon has already filed patents for multi-pixel on-imaging-sensor AF (quad-pixel, as I recall), so we may very well see an advanced version of multi-pixel AF in future Nikon digital cameras, along with improved live-view and video AF compared to their current models.

        • marymig

          Expect that will be arriving soon…D5s or D6?

          • PhilK

            Perhaps, but actually I’d guess the product we will see it on first will be their upcoming MILC. (mirrorless interchangeable lens camera)

            Especially since there is apparently some degree of image-quality compromise entailed in devoting some of the sensor pixels to AF functions, all other factors remaining the same.

            I’d think Nikon would be more sensitive about image-quality concerns on their flagship DSLRs, and more motivated to improve video shooting AF performance on a MILC product than on their DSLRs.

            (Personally I think if they release a MILC with uncompetitive video AF they will severely cripple that product line’s initial market success, whereas they have been able to market DSLRs with uncompetitive video AF for a number of years now without destroying their market standing. (It has, however, damaged Nikon DSLR competitiveness in the marketplace and will only become more of a factor over time.)

      • Kob12

        Your opinion of the D850 AF capabilities is totally opposite to Steve Perry’s as he showed in his video review.
        His says that his BiF keeper pics by D850 are fairly close to the ones he got using the D5. The D5 collection was better, but not by much.

        • Connor

          I wasn’t knocking the dedicated AF sensor that thing locks on to a subject ridiculously quick and tracks extremely well i’m super happy with it.

          I was only knocking the contrast on sensor focus in live view compared to on sensor focus from other makers it’s pretty bad fine for landscapes ect but I won’t be tracking a bird in flight.

      • marymig

        IBIS is not really useful for long lenses.

    • akkual

      I prefer as little as possible moving parts inside my camera body.

      • PhilK


        So you can just have many times more moving parts in all those VR lenses. ;-D

        But yeah, keeping the movable sensor support structure functioning accurately and reliably over time could be challenging, I suppose.

  • This has been apparent since the A7RIII release. Sony would have never released the A7RIII so soon after the revealing of the D850 if the D850 had a Sony sensor in it.

    • yes – this could also be the reason why Nikon did not go with a Sony sensor this time

      • RC Jenkins

        It’s certainly possible that Nikon is avoiding Sony to avoid competition, though I’d guess the main driving force was likely cost-cutting–which seems to be Nikon’s recent theme.

        I bet TowerJazz gave them great pricing. Sony’s sensor division doesn’t need this business as much as TowerJazz does.

        • This could also explain the rumored D850 sensor shortage – TowerJazz probably does not have Sony’s production volume. It could also explain the unexpected low D850 price 🙂

          • PhilK

            I’m inclined to think that the pricing strategy is driven more by strategic objectives than single-component prices.

            Which is why many camera makers over the years have produced identical camera models with certain features disabled, and sold them for different prices.

            Because a moderate manufacturing cost differential is generally less important than the value of offering a broader product line with more SKUs to target different market segments is, in terms of overall sales and profits. Especially when the added production volumes obtained by offering more SKUs and bringing the retail price down on the lower-priced models to appeal to more high-volume segments of the market ultimately lowers the production cost on all the items due to increased economy of scale.

  • citrate

    It could be that this company is helping Canon making their BSI sensors.

    • Yes, it could be, but unlikely. Their statement does NOT tell us that the D850 has a TowerJazz sensor, it just tells us that they are working with a major DSLR company and there are only three choices there: Nikon, Ricoh (Pentax) or Canon. I would even go down to Nikon and Canon only since they said “major”.

      • citrate

        To some extent, I think canon needs bsi technology more than Nikon does.
        Nikon can always get high speed/resolution/performance sensors from Sony. Maybe they already have.
        Canon needs help for their sensor development to stay relevant in the long run.

        • PhilK

          The fact that Nikon “can” get sensors from Sony isn’t really the important part. There are many strategic dangers in:

          A) becoming overly dependent on a single supplier for a super-critical component of the majority of your products, and especially when:

          B) that particular supplier also happens to be a very aggressive and successful competitor to your actual finished product built from that supplier’s critical component(s).

          • Thom Hogan

            Yeah, we keep coming back to the word “get” (the surrogate for “manufactured by”).

            I can “get” image sensors for a half-dozen reputable sources these days, and if I had my own complete design, I’d probably be able to fab it at even more sources.

            We have three very different approaches to image sensors among the Big Three:

            1. Canon is “me only.” They dedicated a fab early and that gave them an early advantage. It may have given them pricing advantage, as it was repurposing of an existing asset. But when process size became a factor, they had to redo the fab, a huge sunk cost that has to be spread out over future product.
            2. Sony is “sensors for anyone.” Sony Semiconductor is a business in and of itself, with clients from smartphones to autos to cameras, and a whole bunch of others. They have the same problem of sunk fab costs that have to be spread over every sensor they make, but they make so many they are probably the state-of-the-art in image sensor fab. They do three things: (a) Premade sensors you can buy off the shelf; (b) Sensor technologies they’ve built in those premade things that you can mix and match (a bit) to form a new sensor; and (c) they’ll make whatever design you hand them. Costs are higher for c than b than a.
            3. Nikon is agnostic. They’ve had in-house sensor design teams since the late 80’s. They’ve deployed those team’s designs to at least four fabs that I know of, and TowerJazz would make five. But they also have bought sensors from others, and taken advantage of that (b) option from Sony. What Nikon doesn’t have is sunk fab costs, and given Nikon’s huge decline in volume lately, that’s probably a good thing.

            Nikon’s problem is this: image sensor fabbing is near capacity, and Sony has taken over a couple of their options and is running them at capacity. It was actually imperative on Nikon’s part to find additional fab space if they want to continue doing their own designs.

            • PhilK

              Are you positive about “C”? That would surprise me a bit, actually. Because it seems like it would run counter to their own strategic interests, and a dangerous undertaking for a competitor to engage in as well.

              Using up production resources to produce a sensor competitive with their own products (including sensors and cameras), and a 3rd-party putting their company’s “crown jewels” in the hands of a producer that is in a position to either steal their IP for their own products or artificially constrain production or quality if it becomes a competitive threat seems like a pretty risky business venture to me.

            • Thom Hogan

              Well C may be a bone of contention now between Nikon and Sony. But it was clearly there before. Nikon’s position was altered somewhat by Sony’s actions (buying the Renesas and Toshiba fabs).

      • Thom Hogan

        Again, that statement was forward-looking. Sensors just don’t appear out of the blue, they are multi-year project, just as camera designs are.

        There must be something imminent for TowerJazz to have made that statement, but if they had been in production with such sensors earlier this summer, they would have made that statement then, I believe. They had several opportunities to.

        • HD10

          Indeed. One possibility: sensor with quad-pixel AF for Nikon’s mirrorless.

          It makes sense for Nikon to farm this sensor outside Sony Semiconductors so as to not give Sony Imaging a heads-up on what’s coming. Even with an NDA, the risk of Sony Imaging knowing of any sensor Nikon ordered from Sony Semiconductors is high so Nikon is better protected by ordering this sensor from Tower Jazz.

          • marymig

            Makes business sense.

  • marymig
    • Markus

      Everytime I read something from Thom I enjoy his analysis but everytime I feel bad for Nikon afterwards. I’m a huge Nikon fanboy but I question that afterwards 😉

  • Ed

    Wow, that’s a big surprise. And here I am speculating that the Nikon D850 sensor was made by Samsung because of the past rumor about Nikon trying to acquire Samsung’s camera market. Of course Nikon will deny anything about that news, but at the back end of it they might have still made a secret negotiation to still get it. If anyone remembers Samsung’s NX1 APS-C camera back 3 or 4 years ago, that camera also sports a BSI CMOS sensor and it had a high MP count (28MP) for an APS-C size. So since the Nikon D850 also have a BSI coupled with the rumor of Samsung’s camera market, I put both things together and assumed that it might be using Samsung sensors. It all sounded plausible looking at the prespective, but I guess I was wrong.

    • Well, keep in mind that this is not a fact yet. They could work on the next Pentax full frame DSLR camera.

    • PhilK

      Well, it could be a Samsung sensor. Samsung is still one of the top sensor makers, not to mention either the 1st or 2nd largest microchip maker in the world. (They’ve been catching-up to Intel for a while now)

      • Thom Hogan

        Yes, true. People keep forgetting that Samsung is very much like Sony Semiconductor: they’ll fab for you for the right price.

  • marymig

    Hmm…I was under the impression that Sony Semiconductor Solutions made the sensor for Nikon.

    • Well, nothing is confirmed yet – TowerJazz just made that interesting statement.

      • marymig

        Thom Hogan suggests that the first image sensors produced by TowerJazz for Nikon won’t be out until mid 2018.

        • could be – maybe they were talking about the future and not about the past (D850)

          • Thom Hogan

            That’s my belief, Peter.

            Now what would catch my attention is if Nikon took any existing sensor off a Sony-owned fab and put it on TowerJazz. That would be a statement that can’t be ignored.

      • RC Jenkins

        For what it’s worth, they said: “In the digital SLR market we have engaged with one of the leaders in the world in the development of their next-generation sensors.”

        From my experience, that doesn’t mean anything. To me, that phrase means “We are actively discussing a partnership / agreement, but we have not yet sold anything or come to an agreement.”

        • Thom Hogan

          That’s the actual statement, yes. The commentary I heard from a couple of analysts who were talking about that statement is that this wouldn’t have been said without a forward commitment from said DSLR company. In other words, there’s a sensor that will enter production soon for that company.

          As I noted in my article, you have to put all TowerJazz statements together in order. It’s clear that they decided to target camera image sensors, and it’s clear that they’re making progress at that. It’s also clear that they won’t have a production ability to do stitched BSI and/or stacked until the new China plant opens.

  • RC Jenkins

    I referenced this below, but I would think a more appropriate headline would be “First indication that Nikon may be in talks with TowerJazz for sensor production.”

    • I agree, that makes sense – will change the title. The statement they released could mean many things.

    • But then again, I said “could be” which indicates that it may or may not be, so my title is actually accurate. I did not say “it is made by TowerJazz”.

      • RC Jenkins

        I agree that it’s technically accurate, but I just think it’s important to think about the accuracy of what it implies as well.

        From what I see above, there is no more indication that the D850 sensor (specifically) is produced by TowerJazz than by Sony/Toshiba or any other manufacturer.

        What I heard in the audio was that they’re just now testing their first runs of BSI wafer manufacturing now, and that they won’t be ready for customer applications until Q1 next year.

        Since we know the D850 uses a BSI sensor, I think this very likely means that TowerJazz is not the manufacturer of the D850’s sensor.

        • Could very well be, we don’t even know if they are talking about Nikon.

  • Michiel953

    In the modern manufacturing world it’s never simple. What would be really interesting to know is whether it was a chicken or an egg. Did Nikon order an off-the-shelf sensor from whatever supplier (don’t think so), or did Nikon provide a complete detailed design for a supplier to manufacture without any further input (not likely either). I’m thinking design and construct partnerships as you see in the construction world.

    • Thom Hogan

      Yes, this is indeed the question. Always has been the question with Nikon, as they have teams that work with others to produce the sensors they want, as well as a team that builds near 100% Nikon designs (like smartphone CPUs, there’s no 100%: most license ARM core technology, then do interesting things with that).

      • Michiel953

        In several industries it’s quite common to co-design components of a final product with suppliers. Interesting stuff.

  • EnPassant

    Who else could it be than Nikon?
    Canon and Sony both develop and make their own sensors and don’t seem interested getting any help from others, unless they simply can buy a competitor.
    Pentax are just too small to be a leader and anyway until now seem to have bought Sony’s sensors off the shelf.
    Nikon on the other hand fits the first suspect description. They have a long history of sourcing their sensor from other producers to avoid being dependant of buying all sensors from a single source that also happens to belong to the same owner as one of their competitors in the camera market.

    • It could be Nikon, but they could also be talking about a future sensor, not about the D850.

  • Max

    Interesting. I think it’s a good thing that there are still other sensor manufacturers that make large sensors, including Canon making their own sensors,after Sony acquiring Toshiba.
    And didn’t they buy Aptina as well?

  • CaMeRa QuEsT

    Peter, I really doubt that TowerJazz was able to sprung from Leica volumes to Nikon volumes in such short notice without telling the whole world about it (they have to tell their investors, for example), also the D850 sensor’s behavior is much closer to the A7RII/A7RIII’s and the D810’s and the D500’s, both of which are made by Sony, than the latest FF Leica’s (APS-C Leicas also use Sony sensors). It’s not impossible (hey, Aptina came from nowhere to making all sensors Nikon needed in their 1 system up to the J4/V3) but the info at hand just doesn’t add up to what you speculate.

    • I agree, I am just reporting the first potential link between Nikon and TJ. There is so much nonsense on this topic online that I had to make a post about it.

    • Max

      And Aptina made some of Nikon’s APS-C sensors too.

      • Thom Hogan

        Did they? I’m not at all sure about that. It seems like Aptina-licensed technologies made it into Nikon DX sensors at some point, but they also were licensed by Sony.

    • Michael

      Where is the Nikon volume? There is no word on my D850 since August. This is just pathetic. They may have had a better production volume with Sony.

      • It was the same case with the D800 and that sensor was made by Sony for sure.

  • Wade Marks

    People on this site need to keep in the mind the name of this site is Nikon “Rumors.” The admin of this site has phrased everything correctly; he is not stating anything as a fact, only as a speculation.

    That being said, as others have noted, there are only 2 major players in the DSLR world, Canon and Nikon, and Canon makes their own sensors. The wording of the statement is vague enough that we do not know if this refers to current and/or future work.

    But it would not be so hard to believe that this company is supplying the D850 sensor to Nikon. The number of megapixels do not align with anything else made by Sony. Sony has become more of a competitor to Nikon, and Sony may not want to supply Nikon with sensors or Nikon may not want to give Sony the business, or any intellectual property relating to Nikon design requests, or even tip off Sony about their future plans.

    Kudos to the site admin for all of his work; he definitely keeps the world of Nikon interesting.

    • RC Jenkins

      “People” also need to understand what a “rumor” is. This is a conclusion based on a large leap, not a rumor.

      There are strong indications in the audio that TowerJazz didn’t make the D850’s sensor–for example, how they refer to their test runs of their first BSI wafers happening now, ready for customer manufacturing in Q1 2018.

      “Engaging” doesn’t mean “actively manufacturing”–in most business settings in my experience, it refers to pre-sales activity. Post-sales is referred to as a customer acquisition.

    • marymig

      Sony Semiconductor Solutions does make exclusive sensors for their customers…including Sony Imaging as well as Nikon. Nikon may well have gone to SSS with a design and have SSS make it for them. SSS is a much larger profit center than Sony Imaging for Sony.

  • Benjamin Brosdau

    Towerjazz themselves stated however that they would start providing sensortech based on BSI only from the middle of 2018. Since the sensor for the D850 includes a BSI design and was released even before the statement from Towerjazz concerning BSI, it remains doubtful that they are the provider.

    • Davo

      Thom Hogan has a piece on this issue on his website and it appears his opinion mirrors yours.

      • Thom Hogan

        I’ve been watching TowerJazz for some time now. It was clear they wanted a piece of the camera image sensor market. That became really clear after Sony made a presentation that said they’d basically have all of the non-Canon camera image sensor market by 2018 ;~). TowerJazz has a different opinion.

        But you have to stack TowerJazz’s statements in order, note what they actually say, to get to an understanding of where they’ve been, where they are today, and where they’ll be soon.

        My interpretation is that TowerJazz could make an A9-like sensor sometime in Spring 2018. But not until then. They are building a portfolio of technologies and capabilities almost the same way Sony Semiconductor did, via acquisition and licensing. And they’re nearing parity.

        I have no doubt that Nikon was watching that closely and wondering if that might be an advantage for them at some point (e.g. TowerJazz more aggressive on design wins and thus pricing). Moreover, it would pull volume from Sony Semiconductor that has been implicitly helping Sony Imaging. I’m sure Nikon has been strategic and tactical about this. It’s one of the things they’re really good at.

  • Markus

    If true, this would be a great choice for my understanding, especially when going mirrorless. If I understand correctly, the AF will be a serious sensor issue then and Nikon showed with the Nikon 1 how to develop a seriously fast AF on a mirrorless. Tower showed to provide very good AF for the Panasonic cams (Olympus too?).

    I think it is good to part with Sony.

    • Thom Hogan

      TowerJazz has nothing to do with Panasonic focus. Panasonic uses DFD, not PD for focus, and DFD is external to the sensor.

  • Spy Black

    If I’m not mistaken, Sony stills hold a patent on BSI, no? Possibly other patents as well?

    I think Nikon is at least licensing BSI from Sony, if not others in the production of the sensors, so Sony makes out on the sensor design anyway.

    • Thom Hogan

      The semiconductor industry is rife with patents and cross patents. The dual-gain thing Sony uses was an Aptina patent licensed by Sony after Nikon used it.

      What TowerJazz just said is that sometime in 2018 they’ll be able to duplicate all the current key technologies in their new China fab. They also claimed advantages OVER Sony in process size for large sensors, including how full frame sensors work over the stitch that’s necessary to make them.

  • Frank O’brien

    I reallly don’t get the point of all these discussions really FORUM style. If camera produce astonishing images, the quality is high, Who cares about the sensor? Would you buy another camera if you now know the sensor is made by a company based in Greenland or in Bangladesh? It is not a matter of knowledge it is just a matter of FORUM TALKING. For what I saw on the comparison (because unfortunately do not have the D850) the sensor is one of best on the market. stop who cares about who did it? Relax and keep shooting and calm down you Forum curiosity.

    • PhilK

      A lot of people here read this news site because they are not only interested in photography per-se, they are also interested in the photographic industry as a whole. (And Nikon in particular, of course)

      Many here interested in what Nikon’s future prospects are as a supplier in general, because people don’t like to get stuck with expensive door-stops when the manufacturer either downsizes, becomes financially troubled or goes out of business entirely and can no longer support existing products, will no longer produce things like lenses and accessories for them, and 3rd-party lens/accessory manufacturers stop producing such items because the demand drops.

      • Frank O’brien

        Well, all depends by us. If we don’t buy a camera just because the suppliers…… well, you are directing the market already, if we buy it independently from the manufacture, probably long live to the company and more future for our gear. However, I got the point but if we start to think about future let’s talk about other huge problems rather than be sure to have a company future. this is really ephemeral and a COGAS (Compulsive-Obsessive Gear Acquisition Syndrome). If company as Leica and Fuji survived I doubt Nikon will be out of the games, just be less impactful on the market doesn’t mean be bad or low quality products.

        • PhilK

          I will never understand the people who come here to read this Nikon rumors site and then proceed to complain that people here should not care about rumors and news about Nikon, and instead just buy the products and forget about Nikon’s current place in “the industry”.

          What are you here for?

          • Frank O’brien

            Looking for an hint of D650 and Bumped into this. but the funniest things is that honest people who say honest (sometimes rude) things are seen as complainers. So the choice is either follow the mass in what is to the trend of the moment or just don’t say anything because you are not part of the mass. it is not even possible give an opinion in nowadays? Regards.

            • PhilK

              You’re imagining something that isn’t there. I wrote that I didn’t understand people who do what you seem to be doing (coming to a camera rumors blog, and then criticizing people for spending time on such blogs reading about camera rumors) because it seems cognitively dissonant. I did not proclaim that you should not be allowed to do that, I stated that I didn’t understand it.

              As far as people who “think they are just being honest but others accuse them of being complainers” – that’s an age-old rationalization a lot of people like to invoke whenever something they say or write is criticized for any reason. There are a lot of “honest” statements in this world that remain nonsensical, or even downright offensive. 😉

          • True. It simply doesn’t occur to them not to read and/or comment about the said post.

        • marymig

          You do realize that Leicas are essentially unaffordable for us “common folk”

  • Nikon User

    Sony will buy out Tower Jazz sooner or later, I hope Nikon will start thinking of making their own sensors like Canon does.

    • Thom Hogan

      Heavens no. Why would Nikon pay billions of dollars to create a new fab from scratch when their volume of sensor use is <6m a year? Do you realize the implied cost per sensor?

    • marymig

      No. It would never pass the anti cartel authority.

  • Amir

    Oh my! That is why my co-worker,Abdullah, phoned me early this morning and told me that he will burn his newly arrived D850 first thing in a memorable ceremony! Peter’s given rumor explains everything! Of course,I suggest him to sell it to me,but he angrily cut the line!

    • Integral Moments

      that’s just ridiculous and if this is true what you are saying about your Muslim co-workers, they are way strict religious people who doesn’t realise that the Israel company is a multi international share holders which include a variety of nationalities… Plus this is a Nikon rumours not Nikon religion rumours so that’s not a place to share this kind of comments just to grab some attention

      • Amir

        Oh my!!

    • Michiel953

      Not funny.

  • Michiel953

    All this interest in “ who makes the sensor?” appears rather trivial to me. Are you as interested in who made or who designed the engine in your car?
    It’s actually a Ford petrol engine in my car, which is not a Ford, and it also doesn’t say “Ford” on that plastic cover topping off the block.

    • It’s just interesting and there is a lot of false information on the Web on this topic.

      • Michiel953

        Interest measured in numbers…

  • Eno

    The bar code in the middle of the chip translates to: 6AM309015-240002711086801

    • Allan

      And this tells us … what?

      • Allan

        1. Across – Company not sure what to do next.
        Answer: Nikon Corporation of Japan.

        • Allan

          1. Down – Best rumor site about Nikons.
          Answer: Nikon Rumors.

      • Eno

        To us probably nothing but to someone with more knowledge on those things, who knows…

    • fjfjjj

      The official part number is NIM3801, as I mentioned here before idiots ran away with the info as if it was their own discovery: … You can see both the “M3” and the “801” encoded. “NI” stands for Nikon of course.

      • This still doesn’t tell us who made the sensor right? Or I am missing something?

  • Pablo And-Jennifer Gabetta

    I said this a long time ago…

    • tomskyphoto

      And you’re still wrong…

  • Gobbler

    Good sensor, horrible company name.

  • tomskyphoto

    So something that has just been announced – particularly the implementation of BSI in future Towerjazz sensors – has actually already created the D850’s BSI sensor in the past? What’s this? ‘Back to the Future Reloaded?’

    And seeing the crappy performance of the Towerjazz contraption in the Leica Q it’s even harder to believe. Still waiting for Techinsight’s analysis.

  • Tony Johnson

    Hard to believe you’re taking credit for this news.

  • I will just put this link here if anyone is interested:

  • OSCE-NYSE General

    Doesn’t matter who made the sensor, its a great sensor, it works amazing.

  • Rick

    That’s bad

    • not bad at all, he has been spamming this forum with his videos for a long time

  • Wow…

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