As you recall we had plenty of discussions on 43rumors about the E-M5 sensor. There were many open questions about the manufacturer and supposed Olympus tweaks on the sensor. And now that the camera has been officially announced discussions are still continuing!
Kirk Tuck (Click here) says that the “The folks at Olympus don’t make it a habit to divulge the provenance of the sensors they use. I guess it’s supposed to be a trade secret. So I asked a few probing questions. As you can see from the specs the sensor is 16 megapixels. I wanted to know if, similar to the Panasonic sensor in the GH2, you could use other aspect ratios such as 16:9 and 3:2 without losing resolution. The answer I got was “yes.” All but the 1:1 aspect ratio. If this is true (and I have no reason not to believe it) this will make me happy.”
But Richard Butler (dpreview) said that Kirk Tuck’s statement: “would directly contradict the conversations we’ve had with Olympus.” (According to them “The camera is built around a 16MP Four Thirds sensor, almost certainly the same one seen in Panasonic’s DMC-G3”).
The japanese Pro Photographer Kimio Tanaka goes even further. He wrote on Twitter that the sensor on the E-M5 is actually not made by Panasonic! His guess is that it is made by Sony.
So nobody is really 100% sure about the sensor but I guess Dpreview is right and the E-M5 indeed uses the G3 sensors. Anyway, what matters is the image quality and I hope some of the big known websites can soon post some well made full size image samples!
More E-M5 news:
Olympus OM-D E-M5 five-axis test at Engadget.
Olympus black E-M5 Micro Four Thirds camera and internals eyes-on (Engadget)
Olympus E-M5 : La prise en main! (OpenPN).
Hands-on at CNET Asia.
Message for readers:
After all the E-M5 buzz I had to rest. Today I have more time to catch up with other news and Panasonic rumors.
The video on top is actually the first FullHD video shot with the E-M5 and posted on youtube. It’s actually not a real good video example 🙁 Much more useful are the new full size image samples posted at ePrice (Click here). There are plenty of images and ISO samples. Hurry you pixel peepers!
UPDATE:There are many other images samples at Omuser (Click here).
P.S.: For all of you speaking Japanese Olympus is having a livestream event at Fotopus (Click here) from 11AM Feb 9, Thur, in Japan Standard Time (UTC+9) -> 2 AM Feb, 9 in GMT.
After that long announcement night I want to focus a bit on the Olympus interview at Clubsnap, on some E-M5 tidbits from Pekka Potka and first image samples.
1) Mr. Terada from Olympus interviewed by Clubsnap (Click here). Sensor: Mr Terada says: “The new 16mp Live MOS image sensor produces lower noise at High ISO and boasts Dynamic Range that is a 1/3 improvement over current sensors. Combined with an advanced TruePic VI image processor, the results ensure superb color fidelity , at high resolution, sensitivity and colour accuracy.” Future lenses: When asked about fast prime lenses he answers: “we can consider the possibility of faster and wider prime lenses.” And when asked about pancakes he says: “No comment ha ha. Its under consideration“. Four Thirds system: “We continue to be firmly supporting the E-system”
2) Pekka Potka (Click here) is giving us many small interesting info: EVF: Compared to the current external VF-2 viewfinder the built-in E-M5 viewfinder has “new optics allows also a wider diopter adjustment range between -4 to +2 diopter. Eye point is 18mm at -1“. And he says “the EVF real difference is the 120fps giving you a lot smoother experience with moving subjects and while panning.” And “Another improvement with moving subjects is a markedly shorter refresh time of EVF. E-M5´s new TruePic VI image processor has separate processors for saving images and LiveView. Now EVF seems to be on almost all the time. According to Olympus, the lag is shortened to 29ms. Stabilized EVF is another real breakthrough. Viewfinder image is always stabilized when in body stabilization (IBIS) is on. Always means here also video and with every lens.” Sensor: “It might be the same sensor as in Panasonic GX-1 or not. Olympus doesn´t tell. Olympus is now using a version of their ”Fine Detail Processing” technology which was introduced in E-5. That is an implication of E-M5 having a thin low pass (AA) filter which is good for sharpness. Olympus is using their ”Real Color” technology which is related to used RGB array. E-M5 is reading the sensor at up to double speed compared to previous cameras and that has benefits in fps rate, continuous autofocus and video quality.”
3) There are only a few image samples:
At Olympus Japan you can find a couple of images of the same scene taken at ISO 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800, 25600 (Click on the ISO number to open the image in a new tab/window). What do you think about those images?
Important: I will continually update this post with new links to news/previews image samples and preorders. But please do not reload the page every 30 second otherwise the server will crash 🙂 Latest additions are always on top of each category:
Olympus Australia says the new 75mmf /1.8 and 60mm f/2.8 lenses will be available by end of the year. What the hell???
Mr. Tarada (Olympus) said “The new 16mp Live MOS image sensor produces lower noise at High ISO and boasts Dynamic Range that is a 1/3 improvement over current sensors” About a possible future peaking feature: “I feel that magnified focusing is still better“. About future lenses: “Yes, we can consider the possibility of faster and wider prime lenses.”
In Japan (Click here) yo can order the body or kit and get either a free MMF-3 or 32Gb Class 10 SD card.
And Clubsnap (Click here) posted a full interview with MR. Terada! Here is the text:
“CS (Clubsnap): Top of mind concern is actually how Olympus is intending to build back trust with consumers after the recent accounting scandal? TT (Terada): I would like to apologize to our clients and want to confirm that our Imaging business is separate from the department that was in the news. Business at Olympus Imaging Corporation is going on as usual. We continue in building client loyalty and trust by continuing to develop and introduce new products and by making sure that our service to clients is good. CS: The PEN series has been a huge success since it was first launched appealing to a younger generation , which segment of the market is the OM-D targeted at ? What’s Olympus rational in the OM-D E-M5 design and when was it concieved? TT: We began to consider the M4/3 system 3 to 4 years ago. We identified 2 target groups of users of the 4/3 system : Customers who wanted an easy to use camera and customers who were serious photographers looking for a compact system that was easy to carry in any situation. The 1st product, the PEN E-P1 was developed and introduced to distinguish it from a DSLR. 1 year ago, we considered the concept of a FULL System that benefited from using a viewfinder where composing from a large LCD screen was difficult (eg with longer lenses) CS: Please share with us more on the new 16mp live MOS sensor and 3D autofocus found on the OM-D? TT: The new 16mp Live MOS image sensor produces lower noise at High ISO and boasts Dynamic Range that is a 1/3 improvement over current sensors. Combined with an advanced TruePic VI image processor, the results ensure superb color fidelity , at high resolution, sensitivity and colour accuracy. TT: Autofocus is faster (fastest in the world) because of the new 3D tracking autofocus technology. Apart from being faster, it is also more accurate. TT: 3D autofocussing sequentially tracks subjects (even subjects that are moving directly towards/away ) and works best at 4fps CS: How is 5 Axis Image Stabilizing in the OM-D different from normal image stabilizing? TT: Current image stabilizing technology relies on 2 axis. The problem was that rotating/rolling actions could not be compensated. 5 Axis Image Stabilizing takes care of this problem with 2 magnets front and back with the sensor ‘floating’ in between. It takes care of pitching, yawing, horizontal/vertical AND ROTATIONAL movements. An entire new mechanism had to be designed to make this possible. CS: I noticed that the OM-D body and the new lenses are splash proof, will it need much maintenance on the part of the owner ? TT: Owner will need to just wipe a wet OM-D with a towel to dry it off . It can withstand heavy rains and is built to the standards of our E-series of cameras and lenses. Our E cameras has not received a ‘Wet Claim’ warranty yet till today. The OM-D line weather sealing are of the same standard in sealing. CS: Will peak focus be coming soon? TT: Maybe in future. I feel that magnified focusing is still better CS: Any plans to make a lens adaptor to allow the use of older OM lenses onto M4/3 bodies like the OM-D ? TT: I cant remember the model , I think its MF2, but we have one already CS: ha ha Oops… CS: Many photographers who adopt the Micro 4/3 system have been using these cameras for street photography and photojournalism type images but lens choices are still limited. How difficult would it be to design and manufacture an ultra wideangle prime lens eg a 10mm f2.8 ? TT: Technically it is possible…. it might be a little big if you want fast f-stop . We already have the ultra-wide 9-18mm zoom and the recently released 12mm f2. Yes, we can consider the possibility of faster and wider prime lenses. CS: When will the OM-D be available to the public ? Which countries will get it first ? TT: Soonest on sale will be around mid to late March. Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan should be the first countries in Asia to receive them CS: What will the OM package be like? Body only? Body with Kit Lens ? Jimmy Loh (Olympus Imaging Singapore GM): It will be in 3 combinations … Body Only … Body + the new 12-50 zoom … and Body + 14-42 zoom + 40-150 telezoom CS: The current OM-D max shutter speed of 1/4000s is limiting especially with minimum ISO of 200…. Any plans to increase max shutter speed? TT: Yes this will be a problem in shooting in bright sunlight, we will consider this in future CS: What about lenses for birding? eg. a 300mm. TT: We would like to cover the photography field so yes that is a serious consideration we have to think about in the future CS: With the EP3 and now EM5, the fastest Contrast Detection AF in class, do you think that CDAF can now rival PhaseDetection AF in speed and AF tracking? TT: This is reliant on shooting speed and it is difficult to test side-by-side CS: Any plans on introducing pancake lenses in future ? TT: No comment ha ha. Its under consideration CS: The XZ-1 compact has been a huge success since its launch in 2011. Can we expect an upgrade sometime soon? TT: Yes there will be a successor to the XZ-1….. ha ha ha but cannot reveal anything yet. CS: And with so much attention on M4/3 Olympus seems to have been a little quiet on the E-series TT: We continue to be firmly supporting the E-system”
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