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Sony scraps 2020 mirrorless camera features to prioritise PS5 bill of materials cost


Andrew Reid
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To drive conversation a bit more towards cameras, Sonyalpharumors questioned the report:

1) Not so diligent journalist:

A reliable Japanese source told me this:

Quote

That Bloomberg news must be fake. Original news were written in Japan. https://www.bloomberg.co.jp/news/articles/2020-02-14/Q5GJW3T0AFB601
This news were writtine by 望月崇 “Mochizuki Takashi”. He is notorious for fake news about Sony PS5. Due to several fake news, he got fired by WSJ. Be careful!

2) Wrong Olympus new reporting:

Just recently Bloomberg said Olympus was considering selling their camera division and misquoted an Olympus manager to support the story. Well also this “rumor” was debunked directly by Olympus.

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The virus will affect all camera companies. Even when produced in Japan, there are parts made in China, which will be in short supply soon (LG cellphone factories here in Brazil were already shutdown due to lack of parts).

But this discussion made me curious about a thing: how much DRAM each camera has inside? Ok, the faster one have more due to buffering, but I'm curious about the average quantity.

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6 hours ago, leslie said:

i dont think animals are the issue, animals are quite content to keep doing what they have been doing for thousands of years and not bothering anyone, lets not take it out on the poor animals. I live in the country, i'm probably surrounded by thousands if not millions of wild animals ranging from bugs up to kangaroos, wild dogs and wild pigs and deer. There are two issues at play here 1) Its mankind in general thats the issue. Whenever man interferes with natural order of things, things get out of kilter very quickly. whether thats an algae bloom or pig / bird virus. My generation and the ones that have come after it, have benefited greatly from vaccinations and penicillin. but if you asked a virus expert they'd probably agree that microbes are starting to fight back.  2) god gave Israel food laws, some animals  are clean and good to eat, some are unclean and not good to eat. there's probably a bloody good reason why bats are unclean and bad to eat.  England learnt this lesson what ? 20 years ago with mad cow disease, there are some things, one shouldn't stick in your mouth or the mouths of other animals. That's why you should only buy 100% grass fed beef and lamb from aus/nz 😀

  China doesn't like looking bad in front of other countries any whistle blower in china is unlikely to survive the experience. Regardless or whether is is manufactured or mutated from the wild. Tienanmen Square should prove that beyond reasonable doubt,   I'm willing to bet that china would have loved to go into hong kong and the other areas that have been protesting recently with a few tanks and soldiers. The only thing keeping those protesters safe is the large amount of the worlds media being there to keep an eye on things.

getting back on topic, should you not be successful in obtaining a sony,  bmd do make a fairly viable option i'm sure 😉

I agree, the issue are not the animals, are the humans and how they use them, that's the reason I am vegetarian, but the empirical data tell us where humans are in contact with wild animals not following minimum protocols the virus transmission will continue to happens, most of them in Africa, like AIDS, and China, like different Virus.

So the only solution is humans to use better protocols, and move away wild animal from large cities.

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11 hours ago, Thomas Hill said:

Here's an informative interview about viruses that move from animals to humans and how scientists track down their origin https://www.wnyc.org/story/new-coronavirus-wont-be-the-last-outbreak-to-move-from-animal-to-human

excellent article, scientists data is always welcomed to show some lights in any topic.

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4 hours ago, BTM_Pix said:

Not to mention MapCamera having to issue a profit warning if my trip next week gets cancelled.

I hear there is a new virus coming from cameras, the first camera to human transmission has happened already with Red users.

They say the species of camera which originally spread the virus is the GFX 100 so if you come across one of those at Map Camera you better let them know you have come to take it away. Don't forget to go in wearing a biohazard suit.

Wild camera markets should all be banned and any remaining Iscoramas sent to me so I can disinfect them safely.

There is a very small chance the virus may mutate into something even more serious which literally makes Blackmagic users brains go invisible.

To stop that happening and to avoid a worldwide blackmagic plague, Grant Petty must immediately put an EVF, IBIS, autofocus and E-mount on a 6K Pocket camera, and hand it out for free to EOSHD users. The WHO agrees that is the only solution.

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Rolling shutter is a side effect of the sensor read out being clocked down. Companies slow the read cycles down to controll heat because these chips are installed into cameras with poor heat management ability.

Sensor "x" in a tiny body will be clocked down very slow to keep it cool and that sensor will produce a nasty rolling shutter skew. However, that same exact sensor placed in a larger actively cooled body can support faster readout cycles and can greatly reduce rolling shutter artifacts.

Remember, the data "amount" a read cycle produces is the same weather it's scanned at 30 milliseconds as it is at 15 milliseconds. So ram stacking doesnt exactly effect rolling shutter readout clocks. Ram buffering DOES effect the data "amount" that can be collected in that read cycle. (4k, vs 6k vs 8k worth of photosite voltage collection values per second)

In other words, a sensor with plenty of stacked RAM could easily still have a rolling shutter problem if it's readout needs to be clocked down to keep it cool. So an 8k readout with a zillion megs of onboard RAM will still have crappy rolling shutter if it's read clock is 30 milliseconds. 

Heat control is why we have rolling shutter today....especially on Sony cameras because Sony is forced to clock their sensors down because of the size of Alpha bodies they are installed in.

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22 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

Much as I enjoy talking about death statistics on a camera forum...

Just going to point this out and be done with arguing with you.

Screenshot 2020-02-20 at 00.36.28.png

0.02% between 10-39 died.

If you take people in their 30's alone, the percentage is even smaller and probably only greater than zero because China murdered a doctor.

So when you say "Actually virulent virus tends to take out proportionately greater numbers of young healthy people"

Maybe it's you who doesn't know what you're talking about. Which is a bit worrying if you really do work for big pharma!

Either that, or it doesn't apply in the case of the coronavirus and flu. Which is what we're talking about here.

Still - It is a disaster and a tragedy for China and for the economy.

My thoughts are with all those affected - the sick and those livelihoods ruined, from the lone businessmen to entire trades (like tourism) put on hold indefinitely.

As for camera manufacturing, everyone who relies on a supply chain of parts from China will be impacted not just Sony.

DRAM is a problem for Sony, you can't deny it. It is in every camera they make.

If the supply dries up they are fucked.

But yes... It's all the slow processor's fault if A7 IV doesn't have a fast DRAM buffered sensor readout 🤨

That is incidental, in pandemics it is the very young and very old who die disproportionately. There is something called a cytokine storm which takes out those with strong immune systems, typically young adults. Basically if you have a strong immune system and have not previously been exposed to a particular virus you can generate a huge amount of the cytotoxic molecules that kill the infected cells. You will see this happening primarily in young adults. They don't only kill infected cells however, they kill anything they encounter. That results in organ damage which in turn will result in death if severe enough, that will be the case if you have an exceptionally vigorous response or are in generally poor health (ie less capable of surviving the effects of that damage). That is how most viral infections kill people in outbreaks.

The biggest sample set in relatively modern times was the 1918 flu pandemic, you can read up on it if you want, but the groups hardest hit were the very old and young adults.

As far as DRAM is concerned, as I pointed out before, supply is an issue primarily for low cost high volume products. It will have zero affect on high end cameras. Nobody in there right mind is going to take a small volume of DRAM feeding a high end high margin product and redirecting that to a low end low margin product where the actual amount of DRAM involved is negligible to the amount required. No one runs a business like that, and if they do they tend not to stay in business very long, because it is a stupid thing to do. If DRAM prices increase because of short supply (for example) the a7SIII price will increase from, say, $4500 to $4600, a 2% increase. Something like the PS4 may go from $500 to $600, a 20% increase. Obviously the effect is dramatic for the PS4 but negligible for the A7SIII. The increase will kill the competitiveness of the PS4 but have no effect on the competitiveness of the A7SIII. And just rerouting a few more units of DRAM to the PS4 is not going to change that calculation.

If you have a vineyard and are producing wine in limited quantities, do you put it in the expensive bottles or do you put it in the cheap bottles? Keep in mind that your production cost is the same both ways. I find it hard to believe that you seriously would put it in the cheap bottle because you otherwise would not have enough wine to fill all your cheap bottles. That is just flat out a stupid. No business runs like that. In short supply the low margin product is the first to get cut.

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On 2/20/2020 at 4:28 AM, abehalpert said:

Wow Sony is lame. Looks like Canon is back on top. That being said, I just bought an FS7. The second-hand prices are crazy right now! I'm years late to the party, but the form factor and codecs are right and my clients like them in spite of the color science. I hate the color science!


It is crazy how cheap the FS7 is now. I've sometimes ponder what if I'd got a FS7 instead of my Sound Devices 833, as they're selling cheaper on eBay (sometimes significantly so!!) than what I paid for an 833.  Eh, distractions!

The question though, does the FS7 still retain a high value in the marketplace for an owner op to own? (as in, will you be in demand and get work? Or will another camera come in and be the new fashionable "in camera". As if so, that would explain the big drop in value of a FS7! I'm inclined to think the FS7 still has a lot of life left in it however, thanks to its slow motion, 4K 10bit, ergonomics, etc)

As for color science, there has been good work done to get the most out of it:

https://www.provideocoalition.com/hack-alexa-lut-into-sony-f-cameras/

 

 

On 2/20/2020 at 4:28 AM, abehalpert said:

The coronavirus is such a nightmare. I thought it was only killing the infirm, but according to the BBC article it looks like a lot of middle-aged folks are dying, too. Maybe they would have survived in hospital? So sad...

 

With the quality of care in some "hospitals", they'd probably have been better off at home. 


 

On 2/20/2020 at 5:01 AM, Andrew Reid said:

The virus has a 2% mortality rate


I'd be extremely skeptical of any statistics out of China. 

Read this, if you were not already skeptical of Chinese data, you will be now:

https://www.reddit.com/r/dataisbeautiful/comments/ez13dv/oc_quadratic_coronavirus_epidemic_growth_model/

  

On 2/20/2020 at 11:37 AM, Video Hummus said:

Yes I’m afraid we might have the next major disease outbreak. It could very well become a Spanish flu type event. Why? It’s killing heathy 30 year olds that receive intensive medical care along with the old and infirm. It’s like the flu on steroids.

It causes the bodies defense systems to attack your own body in an overreaction, causing septic shock, and death.

It needs to be treated very carefully and thoughtful less we have a major outbreak.

Man, I've already got Ankylosing Spondylitis (form of arthritis, due to a messed up and overly active immune system), I really hope the coronavirus doesn't reach New Zealand!

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On 2/20/2020 at 1:44 PM, User said:

China has ZERO interest in crippling its economic engine.

Maybe maybe maybe not. 

If you will all indulge me and put on your tinfoil hats together with me, I have a theory I wish to share....

My theory: China used to have an awful awful government policy called "the one child policy", this caused many issues, one of which is their current massive gender imbalance. Coronavirus is killing more males than females. Perhaps the Chinese Communist Party is secretly fixing one god awful bad policy with another (secret!) god awful bad policy? I mean, what could ever go wrong! Seems like a genius plan. 

My mother's theory: China is trying EXTREMELY HARD to contain the virus, so it won't spread too far. Very very few deaths have been recorded outside China. Why is this? So that in a few years time, when WW3 starts, then China will have an entire population who are immune to this supervirus. China will possess the most lethal bio superweapon there ever is to unleash upon their enemies! To the Chinese rulers, a few thousand deaths (or even a million or two) will seem like a very small price to pay for total world domination. 

My (Chinese) GF's theory: social security payments are going to become unsustainable in the future. This is true everywhere in the world, but especially so in China. Due to their "one child" policy and thus the demographics of their aging population. What better way to balance their budget than by killing off all the old people? Financial genius! Short term pain, for long term gain. China keeps the #1 spot for economic powerhouse forever. 

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Quite extreme conspiracy theories mate!!

I think in the aftermath, China's government wished it away for 1 month and tried to get the doctors to shut up, and then the government really started to shit themselves once they realised the virus was a novel infection and incredibly dangerous. Of course they are trying hard to contain it, and other governments are as well. If they wanted to create some evil virus to destroy other countries, they'd make a vaccine first and give everyone in China immunity, keep the vaccine to themselves and let the virus loose, no need to kill 2% of the population with the flu.

I am not sure why some of the world's citizens have this view of China as an evil non-people, when they are people just like you and I, working within a system and (mostly) doing their best. The Chinese government is immensely powerful and has flaws, no doubt, but it isn't set on wiping out the planet with a lab-made disease.

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19 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

I hear there is a new virus coming from cameras, the first camera to human transmission has happened already with Red users.

They say the species of camera which originally spread the virus is the GFX 100 so if you come across one of those at Map Camera you better let them know you have come to take it away. Don't forget to go in wearing a biohazard suit.

Is that how you got yours so cheap? 😉

Genius! 

Might try that out myself at the local store, definitely a lot cheaper to buy a yellow biohazard shoot than to buy a new Fujifilm camera. 

  

On 2/20/2020 at 8:24 PM, leslie said:

That's why you should only buy 100% grass fed beef and lamb from aus/nz 😀

Thanks for supporting NZ's economy! 😉
 

On 2/20/2020 at 8:24 PM, leslie said:

  China doesn't like looking bad in front of other countries any whistle blower in china is unlikely to survive the experience. Regardless or whether is is manufactured or mutated from the wild. Tienanmen Square should prove that beyond reasonable doubt,   I'm willing to bet that china would have loved to go into hong kong and the other areas that have been protesting recently with a few tanks and soldiers. The only thing keeping those protesters safe is the large amount of the worlds media being there to keep an eye on things.


If someone wants to create a new conspiracy theory linking them releasing the Coronavirus with China being desperate to regain control of Hong Kong and looking for any excuse to do so...  I'm sure there is fertile material there! 😉

 

6 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

Quite extreme conspiracy theories mate!!


Just shared it for fun! (of course I don't seriously believe it, just was amusing speculating the craziest thing we could. Likewise neither does my Mother or my GF totally believe their own "theories")

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10 hours ago, Mokara said:

That is incidental, in pandemics it is the very young and very old who die disproportionately.

Coronavirus isn't classed as a global pandemic yet.

As the chart shows, it isn't killing proportionally more young people with a strong immune system like you suggested earlier. They are almost all 60+

You see this is what's great about watching the BBC (even in its current Tory government crippled form) you can come to the internet armed with the facts and not some bullshit.

10 hours ago, Mokara said:

As far as DRAM is concerned, as I pointed out before, supply is an issue primarily for low cost high volume products. It will have zero affect on high end cameras.

So you run out of high-spec DRAM and it has no affect on high-end cameras, how did you work that one out?

No DRAM = no camera!

10 hours ago, Mokara said:

Nobody in there right mind is going to take a small volume of DRAM feeding a high end high margin product and redirecting that to a low end low margin product where the actual amount of DRAM involved is negligible to the amount required.

A7 series is not small volume, they make tens of thousands a month!

In addition each camera is a big memory hog - LSI, buffer, even stacked sensor, and it is fast stuff too.

10 hours ago, Mokara said:

If DRAM prices increase because of short supply (for example) the a7SIII price will increase from, say, $4500 to $4600, a 2% increase. Something like the PS4 may go from $500 to $600, a 20% increase.

Obviously the effect is dramatic for the PS4 but negligible for the A7SIII.

This is exactly what Sony is trying to mitigate.

Cutting DRAM use across all ranges of devices, to keep the PS5 BOM cost down.

10 hours ago, Mokara said:

If you have a vineyard and are producing wine in limited quantities, do you put it in the expensive bottles or do you put it in the cheap bottles?

Expensive wine comes in more expensive glass?!

🤨🤨🤨🤨🤨🤨🤨🤨🤨

10 hours ago, Mokara said:

Keep in mind that your production cost is the same both ways. I find it hard to believe that you seriously would put it in the cheap bottle because you otherwise would not have enough wine to fill all your cheap bottles. That is just flat out a stupid. No business runs like that. In short supply the low margin product is the first to get cut.

Low margin product or low cost? Big difference. It's quite possible the A7S III is a low margin product and they are cutting down on the larger buffer, or stacked sensor DRAM, or some form of 4K/120fps that makes possible, instead sticking with 4K/60p and keeping the PS5 BOM under $450... And I bet it is not just one product they are making sure doesn't divert vast quantities of short supply DRAM away from the PS5.

Probably the same decisions are being made in Sony's smartphone division.

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49 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

Coronavirus isn't classed as a global pandemic yet.

As the chart shows, it isn't killing proportionally more young people with a strong immune system like you suggested earlier. They are almost all 60+

You see this is what's great about watching the BBC (even in its current Tory government crippled form) you can come to the internet armed with the facts and not some bullshit.

So you run out of high-spec DRAM and it has no affect on high-end cameras, how did you work that one out?

No DRAM = no camera!

A7 series is not small volume, they make tens of thousands a month!

In addition each camera is a big memory hog - LSI, buffer, even stacked sensor, and it is fast stuff too.

This is exactly what Sony is trying to mitigate.

Cutting DRAM use across all ranges of devices, to keep the PS5 BOM cost down.

Expensive wine comes in more expensive glass?!

🤨 🤨  🤨  🤨  🤨  🤨  🤨  🤨  🤨 

Low margin product or low cost? Big difference. It's quite possible the A7S III is a low margin product and they are cutting down on the larger buffer, or stacked sensor DRAM, or some form of 4K/120fps that makes possible, instead sticking with 4K/60p and keeping the PS5 BOM under $450... And I bet it is not just one product they are making sure doesn't divert vast quantities of short supply DRAM away from the PS5.

Probably the same decisions are being made in Sony's smartphone division.

 

The point is you seem to think that young people do not die in these outbreaks, when in fact young healthy adults do, and precisely because they are healthy. This happens every flu season btw, but just in relatively few cases so you usually don't hear about them. The fact that the doctor who died was young does not mean he was murdered, he just got infected by the virus and he was one of those people who got taken out by his immune system. It happens, especially with virus that comparably novel to human immune systems. That is extremely evident when you look at the mortality figures for the 1918 pandemic, there is a huge spike in mortality rates for the population in their mid 20s and early 30s. The reason is because of the way immune systems work and what happens when they encounter a virus that is substantially different from what came before.

People infected by Coronavirus mostly have mild symptoms, but if your immune system does not recognize it right away you are going to find yourself in those 1918 like demographics. That is pretty much what happened to that doctor.

A7 sales may be thousands a month but PS sales are millions. Rerouting some DRAM is not going to significantly affect supply, and you still don't have a reasonable explanation for why they would rather use that DRAM to sell a few extra low margin products rather than high margin products. If they stopped all camera sales completely to direct the DRAM to PS units, it would increase the amount of DRAM for PS production by less than a percent, that would have absolutely no affect on production costs for the PS4.

The A7S series are high margin products. They might not make a lot of overall profit from the camera compared to other sectors but the profit per unit will far exceed what they make from a PS4. 

In any case Sony are offering sensors with stacked DRAM for third party use, so why would they use this "precious" supply of DRAM to equip other companies cameras but not their own?

Plus, if they are not using DRAM in the sensor stacked buffer then they have to be using it in a discrete buffer, which means they are still using the same amount of DRAM, lol. 

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