Why did Fuji abandon the SuperCCD sensor?
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RichA <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>No matter what anyone says, even DXO, Fuji's S5 APS sensor has/had
>wider real DR than ANY APS DSLR offered. Anyone who owned one of them
>knew it basically blew away everything when it came to dynamic range.
>So what killed the SuperCCD's chances of being in the new X100?
As usual, you completely missed the point.
The FujiFilm FinePix S* Pro series of DSLRs sold most strongly to
wedding photographers who greatly valued its dynamic range. The
ultimate challenge is to shoot a white wedding dress and the groom's
dark suit in high contrast lighting and retain detail in the wedding
dress. This could be done with low contrast films such as Fujicolor
NPS. The FujiFilm SuperCCD made this possible with digital.
The S3 was a particularly strong seller. It cornered the wedding
market. Its S5 successor was very eagerly awaited because it was
based on a Nikon body with stronger appeal to pro shooters, the D200.
The S3 was based on the Nikon F80/N80 film SLR which was not really
robust enough for professional use. Kodak, whose DCS Pro 14n and
SLR/n were also F80-based, at least had the sense to replace the F80's
shutter with something more reliable.
So what went wrong for FujiFilm's SuperCCDs?
Although the S5 was announced in late 2006, deliveries didn't get up
to speed until well into 2007. Then came the bombshell - in August
2007, Nikon announced the full frame D3 and APS-C D300.
The D3 was the wedding photographer's dream camera. Full frame meant
that full control over depth of field was restored once again.
Dynamic range was also excellent, although still not quite as good as
FujiFilm's Super CCD. But the killer feature was the D3's
exceptionally low noise, especially at high ISOs.
Wedding shooters particularly valued this because it meant they could
shoot without flash in almost any lighting situation, with the D3
sensor being effectively noise-free up to ISO 12,800.
[The D300 also offered excellent low noise performance that was (and
still is) the best of any APS-C camera, although it has almost been
matched by the new 16 MP sensor in the Nikon D7000, Pentax K-5 and
The FujiFilm FinePix S5 Pro no longer sold well to wedding shooters.
Since that was the S5's main market, overall sales of the camera were
disappointing. Production of the S5 and its SuperCCD sensor ended
mere months after Nikon started delivering D3 and D300 bodies.
There is no place for the SuperCCD sensor in FujiFilm's X100 camera.
That camera isn't aimed at a market that demands high dynamic range.
The sensor in the X100 comes from Sony and is identical with those in
the Nikon D300s and Leica X1. It gives better resolution than any
SuperCCD and lower noise at higher ISOs.
In the marketplace, The X100 is designed to compete head-on with the
Leica X1. Both offer a superlative fixed focal length lens equivalent
to 35mm on full frame or film, and giving outstanding results, but the
FujiFilm product will be 30%- 40% cheaper. Neither will sell in huge
numbers, but they will appeal to a similar market.