Dateline Canonikon China, 4/1/13
Digital imaging manufacturers express concern about looming megapixel shortage.
Megapixels are important components in any digital imaging device. With digital cameras, cell phones and tablets like the iPad all having digital cameras, demand is at record levels. Each sensor contains millions of the red, green and blue pixels.
Megapixel supply shortages will extend into the first half of next year as an accelerating Megapixel battle more than doubles the pace of growth in global consumption even as mines extract a record amount of megapixels. The attached photos shows the Big Megapixel Mine in Canonikon China, one of the largest megapixel mines in the world, and as you can see, the mine is already very deep. It is unclear just how long before it will be mined out.
Demand will outpace supply by 316,000 metric tons in the first six months, more than all pixels in London Metal Exchange warehouses, Arclays Plc estimates. Production has lagged behind consumption since 2012, when the Nikon D800 was introduced. With a 36 megapixel sensor, we simply couldn't supply pixels fast enough! The wait time for a new D800 was months when they were first introduced, due to the shortage.
Canon has also increased demand, with the Canon EOS 5D Mark III with 22 megapixels. Demand for this camera has been very strong, and demand for the D800 and D800e continues to be high.
The United States, which uses 51 percent of the world’s megapixels, is rebounding from seven quarters of slowing growth. Housing starts in the U.S., the second-largest consumer, reached a four- year high last month. Japan continues a very strong demand for cameras and cell phones with high resolution cameras and business confidence unexpectedly strengthened in Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, and the third largest consumer of pixels.
“U.S. growth will continue and Europe is increasingng, so the demand will continue to grow. It all falls back to China, and whether they can find new veins of pixels” said Dominic Schnider, Singapore-based global head of non-traditional assets at UBS AG’s wealth-management unit.