I still do not know how exactly Olympus new sensor shift feature will work. I only know from trusted sources that you shoot up to 40 Megapixel from the 16 Megapixel sensor by combining 8 shots. A readers sent me this with his very personal guess about how this could work:
I am not a source but just a normal E-M5 user, so the information I give is just a suggestion to how Olympus can create a 40 Megapixel photo by 8 frames with sensor shift and processing and has nothing to do with what they have actually done. (I assume the engineers of Olympus are smarter than me.)
The attached illustration show how 8 frames with sensor shift may result in a 32 Megapixel raw photo where the pixels are arranged diagonally with all color information is recorded in each pixel position. This color information can then be rearranged to a normal photo through processing. The resolution of the photo depend on the chosen resolution in the processing and is therefore not the actual resolution of the sensor, but with all color information in all the recorded pixel positions, my guess is that the end result will be just as good as a 40 Megapixel sensor where the color information need to be calculated by interpolation between the pixels.
If you find the illustration and explanation useful, you are free to use it for your webpage, but make it clear that this is not a rumor, just a suggestion to how it could be done. Also, I want to be anonymous even though I write to you with my real name.
Hope sources can confirm or deny his “tech-guess” soon :)