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Patent And Technology Partner To The World's Most Successful Companies

Patent And Technology Partner To The World's Most Successful Companies

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Inside the Nikon D600

Inside the Nikon D600 – the outsideThe DSLR market is hopping these days as buyers bounce between “good enough and convenient” on their smart phone to “great and worth lugging around” for their main camera. The digital still cameras (DSC) that sit in the middle of the market are hurting with falling sales, but that is a subject for another story.Overall, the industry has stepped-up the premium category with mirrorless designs, specialty formats, and lower-priced DSLRs. The Nikon D600 sits at the higher end of this trend and is a full frame (FX) camera and it touches the enthusiast buyer with a price point around $2,000.Taking apart the shell you see that a typical DSLR is a very complex piece of electronics and machinery. When you compare it to a typical smart phone sensor (that would fit in the viewfinder) you can clearly see the difference and understand what you are buying on a visceral level.To wrap-up the intro, we apologize to the fine folks at Henry’s Photography for ignoring their sticker that offers their excellent training classes (at picture at right). Sorry – we aren’t going to need photography classes for this camera.
Nikon D600 Teardown - the boxNikon D600 Teardown - the backNikon D600 Teardown - back off
For the step-by-step teardown with a focus on system repairability visit iFixit.
Some key devices (click image to zoom on all images):
  • Toshiba TMP19A44F10XBG Microcontroller
  • Nikon EL175 1207 EXPEED 3 image processor
  • Samsung KB2G08460 DRAM x4
  • Inrevium TE4320RD SD/SDIO/eMMC Host Controller
  • Spansion 128 Mbit GL128S90DHI02 Flash Memory
  • BU9794AKV LCD Controller (Rohm)
  • BU8796KV (Rohm)
  • Wolfson WM8946E Stereo CODEC
  • MEMSIC C23500

Uncategorized:

  • D811 1208E
  • Nikon EL-166
  • Nikon NHHS-2
Nikon D600 Circuit Board 1 Side 1Nikon D600 Circuit Board 1 Side 2Nikon D600 Circuit Board 2 Side 1Nikon D600 Circuit Board 2 Side 2
A closer look at the sensorNikon and Sony have long worked well together (and competed) for their consumer and enthusiast level cameras. We blogged on this in our short focus on DSLR sensors.This trend continues with the Nikon D600 using a Sony IMX128 sensor. We see the die markings “Sony” and on the back of the package are the product markings “IMX128″. It features:
  • 24 Mp FX format
  • Continuous shooting at 5.5 fps
  • 1080p30 video
  • 5.9 µm pixel pitch
Nikon D600 Image Sensor - Sony IMX128 image 1Nikon D600 Image Sensor - BackboardNikon D600 Image Sensor - Sony Die MarkNikon D600 Image Sensor - Back Code
Looking a little closerFor those interested in an even closer look at the pixels, we have a few shots out of our scanning electron microscope. First at right is the pixel size confirmation. Then we have a top view of the pixels.A tilt view provides an interesting look at the microlenses.Etching below the surface, we have Metal 3 and Metal 1 (the “wires” appearing as light grey in the images at right). For those who don’t follow pixel design closely, fill factor is very important because the metal lines used to get the signals off the pixels serve to block light from reaching the photocathode.
Sony IMX128 Metal 3 SEMSony IMX128 Metal 1 SEM
And one moreDSLR’s pretty much universally contain a second sensor to auto focus (though there may be a trend to putting these pixels on the primary CIS array in the future). Nikon calls it the “Scene Recognition System” for evaluating “situation, brightness and color”.We don’t get a lot of technical interest in these parts, but here in the assembly under the mini lens. You can see it is a fairly complex device with RGB pixels. A look at the die shows an analog part manufactured in an older geometry. Since the device isn’t super high volume we would expect that there wouldn’t be cost benefits to choosing the latest process technology.
secondary sensorNikon D600 Autofocus SensorNikon D600 Autofocus Sensor X-RayNikon D600 Autofocus Sensor Pixels
Analysis Available on Devices Described in this TeardownNikon D600 / Sony IMX128 CMOS Image Sensor Imager Process Review – Modules 1 and 3