Plenty of discussions around the E-M5 sensor specs!

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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.

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  • Rinaldo

    Where are the new 12-35/35-100 Panny lenses??

  • „The camera is built around a 16MP Four Thirds sensor, almost certainly the same one seen in Panasonic’s DMC-G3. This can only be seen as a welcome step forward, as it’s a much newer and more capable sensor.” (DPreview)

    Big, Big Mysteery! LOL

    • babbit

      Although both 16MP, the E-M5’s sensor resolution is 4608 x 3456. pixels The G3/GX1 is 4592 x 3448. While there is a chance that Panasonic decided for some reason not to use those extra 50 thousand pixels or so, it does seem likely that the sensor is not the same.

      • Interesting.

        E-P3 sensor resolution: 4080 x 3040;
        GF-1 sensor resolution: 4018 x 3016;

        Though E-P3 and GF-1 share essentially the same sensor, don’t they?

        • Do they have the same “total number of pixels”?

      • simon

        There are always unused pixels at the edge of the sensor. I believe they are used as reference values when processing the image. For example, when the temperature increases the black level may increase and the readout of the unilluminated pixels can be used to subtract the correct value.

        Some of these values are even saved to raw files. In some cases, different raw converters give different pixel dimensions, or the same dimensions but slightly shifted.

        • TheEye

          I am a RAW shooter and always use the extra image area. My E-620’s images are 4100×3084 px versus the nominal 4032×3024 px.

    • ange7

      “almost certainly” … which is dpreviews guess. Wait for in-depth reviews. If DR is still at 10 and a half EVs then its the panny, 13 then “it’s a sony”.

      • Fan

        almost certainly not 13 …

        • ange7

          how come? I mean if it’s a sony (granted unlikely).

          • Boooo!

            Can’t be 13 because the raw files are 12-bit. That means 12 EV maximum…

            • JF

              why can’t you have 13 EV coded on 12 bits ? that just means that 1 bit is more than 1 EV no ?

              • Leu

                There is no way that the sample pictures are showing 13 stops of DR. I’ve seen a bunch of photos with the highlights blown out. Looks no better than the GH2

                • The highlights can always blow out if you overexpose. It has nothing with DR to do.

                • i noticed it too, the sun was blown out.

                  • Leu

                    doh. clever. I don’t think there is really any thing innovative about the sensor on this cam and trying to make it all about that takes away from stuff that really is great like the 5 axis ibis, the sweet EVF, weatherproofing (WOW), and oled display are awesome enough to me. I also don’t think basing this stuff off conjecture is in any way productive.

                    and look below for an explanation on why it is impossible to get 13 stops of dr out of this.

                  • LOL.

                • bilgy_no1

                  @ Leu

                  That means nothing. Even with 13EV DR, highlights can blow. Further, we’ve only seen jpegs. This means that processing algorithms come into play.

                  We know nothing based on what we’ve seen so far.

                  • Leu

                    it won’t have 13 stops of DR, i’d put money on it.

                • Bob B.

                  I guess it is not possible at this point in time to have a sensor sized for MFT and to have more complete DR. IF there was…there is no way that Olympus would have put all this tech into a camera (the image stabilization vid at the top of the page is unbelievable!), and not put in the best sensor that they could get their hands on.

              • BLI

                As someone already has explained, it is not technically possible with 13EV DR. If you google DR, you will find what I (an amateur) found:

                DR is related to the maximum number of photons gathered in a “pixel well” divided by the minimum detectable number of photons in the pixel well (=1). So IF the maximal number is 1024 = 2^10, then the DR is 1024:1 which translates to 10 EV. The maximal possible number is related to the size of the pixel well. But here, two practicalities comes in:

                * due to noise, it is not possible to uniquely measure 1 photon, i.e more than one photon is “on the average” needed in the well to separate the signal (= number of photons in the well). Suppose a minimum of 2 photons is required. Then the DR translates to 1024:2 = 512 = 2^9, or 9 EV.

                * the maximal and minimal number of photons is measured by an analog sensor, and then translated to a digital number using an A/D converter (Analog to Digital converter). If a 12 bit A/D converter is used, then it is maximally possible to represent the number 2^12 = 4096 (or rather 4095, but that is a technicality here). If a 14 bit D/A converter is used, then a maximal photon collection of 2^14 can be measured. This implies that the D/A converter effectively gives the maximally possible DR!

                Ok — in reality, the number of photons is not measured — but something representing this number.

                So the conclusion is: with a 12 bit D/A converter as in the E-M5, it is IMPOSSIBLE to get more than 12 EV dynamic range. In reality, it will be lower due to (1) noise, and (2) probably the quality of the A/D converter. Olympus may have “tweaked” the sensor/subsystem to increase the DR so that it is closer to 12 EV than without the tweaking.

                Sony must have at least a 14bit A/D converter to achieve the reported 13 EV DR. To reduce the loss due to noise, etc to only 1 EV is probably impressive. If Olympus could do the same, we could hope for up towards 11 EV, but not more.

                • BLI

                  I should add that in the Nikon D300 (from 2008), it was possible to choose between 12 and 14 bit numbers in the raw file. But most reviewers concluded tha there was no visible difference in the images.

                  The conclusion is that in 2008, a maximum of 12 EV was found acceptable (in reality the DR was probably closer to 10EV for the D300). People with the D300 and cameras of similar quality have produced excellent pictures. Thus: although an increase in DR is a considerable advantage, it is ultimately the photographer who makes or breaks the picture.

                  • Bob B.

                    yes…but the photographer has to compensate for something that his equipment cannot deliver. Hence: the MFT work around.

                • vam

                  The Pentax has a DR of 14.1EV according to DXOMark with 14bit processing.

                  • Hehe.. so much for DXOMark’s credibility.

                • Digifan

                  @ BLI. You interpret the data wrong!!!!
                  The difference is in between the ultimate oposites of the spectrum.
                  See below.
                  The diff between 12 bit and 14 bit is the information BETWEEN the borders of the visible colours!!!!!

                • bilgy_no1

                  There’s also a more practical approach to DR: the levels (both in highlights and shadows) between which detail is still usefully discernable. This approach is taken by DPR.

                  In this approach, noise is the limiting factor for the shadow range. It also leaves some room for pulling extra highlight/shadow detail out of a RAW file.

                • D/A converter´s bits are not necessarily related to sensor´s dynamic range at all. Basically it only tells into how many steps sensor´s output from highest available value to some minimum (might even be true dynamic range (defined by whom?) + amounts of noise) is divided. A D/A converter is also not 100% effective, it loses some in translation.
                  -p-

                  • Digifan

                    Exactly!

                    • gianca

                      Ditto.
                      DR has little to do with D/A.

            • david

              The 13 is coming from DxO’s measurements, which assume a 0dB SNR. That’s fine for measurement, but pretty useless for photographing. Photographically useful SNR starts around 12dB. So you could theoretically take a 13- or 14-bit RAW value, shift it right by a bit or two, and get a photographically nice 12-bit RAW file. Of course, for marketing reasons, no companies do that–they’d rather use 14 bits even if a couple of them don’t really help.

              Anyway, I’m 99% sure that it is indeed just the Panasonic 16MP sensor from the G3 et al, with some tweaking for 240fps readout under CAF.

            • Digifan

              Wrong!!! 12bit RAW doesn’t equal 12EV Dynamic Range.
              12bit spans the whole colour range but the difference between 12bit and 14bit is that there are 4 times more colour variations available/visible in between. The spectrum in total is the same so the start and end point of the values, but the values in between are more detailed and thus the image (might) look better.

              So your wrong!!! DR >15EV is possible with 12bit!!!!

              • BLI

                So — digifan:

                Your statement is a bit confusing. Is my error in the association of 12 bit RAW file to DR? Or is it in my association of A/D converter to DR? If it is the latter, why don’t you contact http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/dynamic-range.htm and tell them that they don’t have a clue?

              • Boooo!

                “So your wrong!!! DR >15EV is possible with 12bit!!!!”

                Is it possible with 1 bit? Maybe 2 bits… Or 5 bits? How much, exactly?

                12-bit raw files mean a maximum of 12 stops of DR – period.

                For 15 EV DR you need 15-bit raw files – period.

                This discussion is now over.

                • Esa Tuunanen

                  Actually for once you’re wrong.
                  Bit accuracy does in no way define what are the extremes of the scale:
                  One bit accuracy means only recording accuracy of two possible values and these values could be darkest what sensor can tell apart from noise and brightest before saturation (these give sensor its DR) or they could represent only two mid grey tones.
                  Same way 12bit accuracy could be used for storing only mid grey tones with extreme accuracy and very small steps between tones or then whole dynamic range with bigger steps between tones.

                  It’s really just question how data captured by sensor is read. (in simplified sense like mapping RAW data to 8 bit JPEG)
                  But as most of the information you want is typically in middle area of DR scale increasing DR scale of stored data requires increasing bit depth for avoiding loss of resolution in that most important area of tones. Or instead of linear steps you could even store mid part of DR range with smaller brightness steps and extremes of dynamic range with bigger brightness steps between tones.

                  Basically this is all about quantization.

                  • JF

                    Thank you for this clear explanation, you put words on what I was thinking…

                  • Boooo!

                    That’s only theory, as far as I know. In practice, it’s just a straight sensor dump without advanced quantization – all strictly linear mapping. So far I haven’t heard of any camera producing raw files that would weigh in mere kilobytes if you shot “pure” black or “pure” white.

      • TheEye

        “Almost certainly”? dpreviews use of oxymorons is regrettable.

    • 132324242

      an outdated sensor technology.. as usual for olympus

      • bilgy_no1

        a pointless post.. as usual for you

  • Panasonic Rumors! alé!:)

    • Me

      Because it’s 12 bit, which isn’t enough for a DR of 13 stops

      • Digifan

        See my answer above, your talking Bull Shit!!!

        • BLI

          Again, Digifan: see DPreview, http://www.dpreview.com/learn/?/Glossary/Camera_System/ad_converter_01.htm .

          Is it you who is clueless, or is it DPreview?

          • Digifan

            Well sorry but we were talking about the impossibilty to have more than 12EV visible from a sensor!!!

            YOU are talking about the limited EV from 1 file.
            I’m not saying DPreview is wrong and not the guys at cambridge as well, because that handles about the ability to capture a certain DR in ONE GO!!!!

            It’s perfectly possible to see more than 12EV from a sensor due to bracketing!!

            THAT was my point!!!!!

            • BLI

              Everyone else (including me) were talking about possible DR from a single image sample — which should be quite clear from the context.

              Of course, if you combine more than one image sample into a new image, like in HDR, you can get a higher DR — that is obvious. To do this properly, it would require fast capture of several images, preferably more than one image capture for each time the mechanical shutter opens — if possible, and then automatic combination into a single image sample.

              (I actually commented on this possibility in a discussion here on m43 several weeks ago.)

              • Digifan

                Again, Sorry BLI, but no, above people (vam, Leu, Boooo) clearly stated you cannot have 13EV or bigger from 12bit sensor/camera.
                So, I was assuming you were too.

                Difficult here, is to understand what another person really means, after all we cannot see each others reactions or body talk. and english is not everyone’s first language.

                • Digifan

                  It should have read: So, at first, I was assuming you were too

  • Mainhard Bogner

    Looking at the terrible noise ar base iso it could come from samsung , same as the 610 k back display

  • PS

    Admin

    You deserve the rest….

    C-NET Asia

    The snapper’s inbuilt electronic viewfinder makes viewing scenes a pleasure thanks to its 1.44k-dot resolution display. Besides displaying a 100 percent field of view, it also provides users with useful shooting information onscreen…..good news

  • Amseldrossler

    It can’t be the GH2 sensor, that’s just stupid. The GH2 sensor is bigger and has 18,3 Million total pixels. See here for a size comparison of the sensors:

    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1041&message=40552551&q=gh2&qf=m

    So it’s either the G3 sensor (a pretty safe bet) or some other sensor (unlikely).

    • Pei

      I know. I am surprised the guy didn’t just take a look at the sensor. Someone appears to have fuzzy logic there.

      I am going to side with DP on this one. They are about the biggest DP related website around.

  • Fan

    G3 sensor is impossible because it has a lower resolution. GH2 has the same resolution.

    • rrr_hhh

      The difference is not significative : compare the specs of the 12megs sensor cameras; Panasonic always drew less effective pixels from the sensor. Presumably because of rand pixels eliminated due to software correction of the lenses. Panasonic has adopted a less conservative option than Olympus ( they throw out more pixels to allow for heavier correction of the lenses)

      • spam

        +1

        • TheEye

          My 12-60 is not software corrected and JPG images (E-620) have a lower pixel count than do RAW conversions performed with non-Oly software.

          • rrr_hhh

            The choice is not dependent on the lens the manufacturer decide once and for all how much they will ever need for their correction. You ave to use special raw converters which don’t follow the directives of the manufacturer in order to get more pixels than in the jpegs. Then the lenses corrections designed by the manufacturer are not applied and you get all the pixels for whatever lenses.

            • TheEye

              Olympus does not apply in-camera software-based distortion correction to images taken with the 12-60. Is that so hard to grasp?

  • The sensor is intriguing, but not really important. I think the biggest news of the day is the NEX lens roadmap.

    • ange7

      they’re supposed to be making 6 new lenses this year weren’t they?

      • Only four this year, according to their roadmap. For m4/3 we have six announced so far (two Olympus, two Panasonic, one Voigtländer, one Tokina), so NEX will not catch up.

        • Pei

          No, Agent, m4/3 has four lenses announced so far. Two Olympus and two Panasonic. SONY is talking about OEM lenses, not 3rd party.

      • nobody

        Still no fast tele zoom. No fast tele prime beyond 50mm, either. And that is untill 2014.

        The wide angle zoom will not be a high grade lens, no competition to the 7-14 Panasonic zoom quality. No competition for the Olympus 12mm f2, either.

        I could go on with the f0.95 Voigtländer primes, but I’ll stop here.

        It will take years, if it ever happens, until the NEX system will be competitive to the m43 system.

    • bilgy_no1

      Biggest news? Not for me. I don’t have a NEX camera.

  • JF

    Dxo will give the answer !

    • Anonymous

      The xz-1 has the same sensor as the the lx5 however the lx5 sensor is multi aspect and the xz1 is not , Panasonic said in interviews some time ago that it would not give anyone the multi aspect ratio sensor fri the gh2 and I believe It has given Olympus the same sensor with out the multi ratio aspect , it’s not the same sensor but it’s close enough to look like they went back on there word so they are not giving permission to olympis for it to be disclosed , the only reason for olympus to tell who made the sensor is that they do not have permission from the sensor vendor to do so

  • ihateidiots

    The claimed jump in performance doesn’t suggest it is a Sony sensor anyway.

  • Bob

    Hi Admin,

    any news on a GH3 launch?

    Thanks mate!

    Bob

    • Very interested!
      Admin, news about GH3?

      • admin

        GH3 is not coming the next months :(

        • Leu

          Any rumors about the GH3? (not the launch)

        • Too bad… no E-M5 60p and no GH3…
          I have to work with my old camera that limits me…
          Thanks admin for the excellent work done so far!

        • rrr_hhh

          Is that a FT5 rumor ? ;-)

  • Jesper

    So the multi aspect was real after all? except for the 1:1

  • JF

    It could be Nex-C3 sensor which starts at 200 iso and is not best Sony sensor (I don’t see Sony giving there best nex7 sensor…) It would be a good news as it’s a good sensor but panasonic is the most likely solution…

    • Olaf

      If they give their best sensors to Nikon, why not Olympus?

      • JF

        Yes, good remark…

      • OlyPan

        +1

        • marilyn

          +2 but in according to olympus there jpeg is one hell of the king of jpeg

    • ihateidiots

      Excepting maybe the 24MP sensor, none of the NEX sensors have the same pixel density as the Four Third Sensors. The last remaining company left is Samsung. Which will be hilarious because Samsung’s tech isn’t that much better than Panasonic, if not worse.

      • JF

        yes I forgot pixels density…

      • Aptina? Fuji? Canon?

        • ihateidiots

          Aptina’s sensor tech seems to be as good as Sony’s judging from the Nikon 1 performance?

    • nobody

      Sony Semiconductor sells their sensors to anybody who is willing to pay, even the direct competition of Sony Imaging. The new 36mp FX sensor starts to appear in a Nikon camera now.

      I don’t think Oly would have any problems if they would wish to buy Sony sensors. Prices may be a different issue.

    • BLI

      The Sony 24Mpx APS-C aspect sensor would only give a 14.7 Mpx 4/3 aspect ratio sensor — this is assuming the same pixel density. So it is not the Sony sensor.

      • nobody

        Of course not, the base ISO is different also.

        I was referring to the claim that Sony Semiconductor might not be willing to sell their best sensor. Which is a wrong assumption, IMO.

  • Werda

    I think it´s not a sony sensor, because Iso start´s with 200.

    • JF

      nex-C3 starts at 200 but not same pixels density…

      • Werda

        Ok, thanks didn´t know.

  • Olympast

    It could be an Aptina sensor? The same company that made the Nikon 1 sensor.

    http://www.aptina.com/products/image_sensors/mt9h004/

  • Valk

    I don’t know enough about sensors, but looking at the sensor specs:

    Pana GX1 Total Pixels: 16.6 Effective Pixels: 16.0
    Pana G3 Total Pixels: 16.6 Effective Pixels: 15.8
    Olym EM5 Total Pixels: 16.9 Effective Pixels: 16.1

    The fact that the EM5 has more total pixels, wouldn’t that suggest that it may be a different sensor?

    • ihateidiots

      Well, it could well be that Panasonic took a bigger cut off the wafer… I mean, photosites are photosites on a silicon wafer…

      The real way to resolve this is to figure out what the pixel size is, but that information isn’t quite available.

    • Maybe, maybe not. I suspect many of the specs are gross estimations.

    • rrr_hhh

      The numbers of effective pixels was already different between Panasonic and Olympus 12 Meg’s cameras, so that doesn’t tell much.
      The number of total pixels however may give a cue, unless there was a typo somewhere in the chain, that the sensor is not the same that one can find in the G3/GX1

      • bilgy_no1

        You’re right. It’s amazing how often your response has to be repeated. Don’t people read first?

    • You’re right. The total number of pixels should be the same if it’s the same sensor.

      • bilgy_no1

        No, it shouldn’t. See previous Panasonic/Olympus cameras with the same 12MP sensor.

        • Previous have the total number of pixels be the same anyway where many so is use.

        • I just checked the E-P3, GF-2 and GF-3. Both Panasonic and Olympus state 13.1 MP as the total number of pixels (according to The Image Resource).

          • L

            you should compare E-P3 to G-1… And it still state 13.1 total MP

    • I think the next camera from Pansonic will have a sensor on total 16,9 mpx, maybe in (G4) or ;-) G5.

    • Fan

      GX1 is actually = G3, the numbers on the dpreview site are wrong

  • BoiTokyo

    Mr.Tanaka didn’t tweet so as the article said.

    “btw, the sensor in E-M5 isn’t made by Panasonic. Some people put Panasonic forward but it’s just a mistake. I won’t talk about this in CP+ Oly booth”

    He almost declared it’s not Panasonic.
    He’s been so close to Olympus.
    He wouldn’t “declare” something wrong IMO.

    Now here in TOKYO ppl wonder if it’s SONY, SAMSUNG, or Aptina.
    I’d be really happy if it’s a real multi-aspect sensor that’s not most likely so.

    • ihateidiots

      The guy’s just a photographer. He’s not even an Olympus employee.

      • BoiTokyo

        Yet I think we can believe it’s not Panasonic already, many assertions enuff.
        Would Oly make it clear? NO way, yawn.

        • Leu

          Oly wouldn’t make it clear if it WAS panasonic.

    • rrr_hhh

      Well he said that Panasonic shouldn’t be put forward, not that they weren’t involved ! It s not the same thing. I take it to mean that it is only partly a Panasonic sensor since they have made a lot of work on it, concerning readout time,focus acquisition etc. they told more or less the same thing when the E-P3 was issued.

      They take the Panasonic sensor as a starting point and improves the way the data collected by the sensor is transmitted and worked out by the camera. Mr Tanaka just wanted to outline the work achieved by Olympus and the part they took in the sensor design.

      The main information spilling out of those discussion and failed hopes just points to how much the users would like another sensor than the Panasonic ! And increase the reason why Olympus want to get the original manufacturer of the sensor in the background.. It is a marketing guy speaking after all : he has to draw attention to the positive facts and to bring Olympus work in the foreground.

      • BoiTokyo

        Yeah, he’s such a marketing cameraman speaks out a lot.
        I heard it’s not panny anymore from him, and two other people related.
        Whichever is ok unless the change is great.

  • matt

    “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.”

    huraaaay :D

  • reverse stream swimmer

    There is a coincidence with Canons new G1X camera, which has an oversized 4:3 aspect ratio sensor, that possibly also would fit a Olympus camera. Canon makes the sensor, splits the production volume bettween their own and Olympus products!

    Or is Olympus sourcing not only the OLED from Samsung, but also the image sensor. Samsungs new 20 Megapixel sensor would when reduced to Micro Four Thirds suit very well also.

    But in my opinion, the Panasonic G3 / GX1 sensor is most likely!

    Somebody will jump in and say Sigma Merrill Foveon?

    The mystery will continue!

  • peroni

    Whatever sensor it is, please please please next time start at ISO50 and stop at ISO6400 if going higher poses tech challenges.

    With the many fast lenses why do you need those crazy high ISO?
    Leave ISO 200000+ for the ‘soccer mom’ models

    • Because when the pixel wells are full, they´re full. If they fill up at 200 iso, they will overflow at 100 iso or lower. You will have to make a sensor with higher well capacity to go lower on iso and that requires new technology, unless you lower the resolution.

      • peroni

        Ok, they could choose a different sensor or technology or whatever is needed.
        Or build in ND filters.
        Am I the only one wanting this?

      • nobody

        Sony has that technology.

        If you’d cut a m43 sensor from the same wafer the Sony 24mp DX sensor is cut from, you’d have a 14.9mp m43 sensor with a base ISO of 80. And much better DR.

        It’s a pity Oly didn’t go that route.

        • JF

          yeah that would be perfect….

  • kray

    there’s nothing in the hump….

  • Zaph

    We just need to wait for someone to take the thing apart and look at the stamp on the sensor.

    • Miroslav

      +1

      Who cares who made the sensor. It’s the image quality that counts.

      Buy the camera, take it apart and you’ll know.

      Btw, if it was Sony sensor, we’d have focus peaking, HDR, HHT, panorama and similar features that all new cameras that use Sony sensors have ( Ricoh and Pentax ).

  • SF

    Will be the same G3 sensor with a little extra space for IBIS.

  • Nobody has even the smallest hint (aside from FT2-style rumors) that he sensor wouldn’t be the one from G3/GX1, haven’t you?

    Just think a bit, guys.

    If somebody had developed a 4/3 sensor just for the sake of Olympus why this sensor would have had exactly 16 MP and why would have kept in secret this development?

    • admin

      +1

    • nobody

      You don’t need to develop a new sensor just because it is a different sensor size. The Canon G1X sensor is nothing new, for example. Just a smaller piece from the same wafer that the 60D sensor is cut from.

      • Esa Tuunanen

        You’re wrong, G1X has wrong pixel pitch for just cut down 60D sensor.
        Also that would have left SNR and DR same while they’re now lower which causes ironic situation of compact sensor G12 giving better DR at its base ISO than this hyped big sensor G1X.

    • BLI

      Eh? The fact that there are no solid rumors that it is different from the G3/GX1 sensor should prove that it is a G3/GX1 sensor??? There are no solid rumors that it is a G3/GX1 sensor either. We are just speculating. Ok, some speculations are more realistic than others. But they are, nevertheless, speculations.

      A few facts, though:
      * it can not be an existing APS-C shaped sensor of 24 Mpx or less — that would simply not allow for 16 Mpx 4/3 sensor
      * if it is an existing 4/3 sensor, it must either be that of the G3/GX1, or that of the GH2. The Canon G1X has 14 Mpx and is larger than the m43 sensors, and cannot possibly give 16Mpx sensor for the E-M5
      * otherwise, it would have to be a new design.

    • Steve

      Why keep this development in secret? Simple: NDA. Olympus doesn’t want the information known, obviously, so it makes sense for the manufacturer not to disclose their client’s proprietary information.

      • +1

        In addition to NDA there are also much fewer opportunities for the source of the sensor to get leaked. Most of the rumors seem to be either deliberate leaks or from press releases that are widely distributed before the camera is released. If Olympus wants to keep quiet the first does not apply and since there is nothing about who make the sensor in the press releases the second does not apply either.

        As for why they want to keep this quiet I am not sure but it seems to be an industry standard. I have read that Sony makes the 10 MP sensor used in Canon S95 and many other high end compacts but the companies never release that information. Maybe they think they will not have a competitive advantage if the public knows the other companies are using the exact same sensor. Or maybe Sony thinks it will hurt the sales of their cameras.

        If the OM-D uses the same sensor that the G3 has a lot of people might decide that for half the price they can live without weather sealing and the other distinguishing features of the OM-D. Unless the OM-D has better dynamic range I am leaning towards the G3 myself. I shoot RAW so the inferior JPEG engine of the G3 is not an issue even though I like the weather sealing, dual control wheels and supposedly faster AF of the Olympus.

        • @Dave Lively – There are probably many people such as yourself who have been putting off buying a G3 until the competition is out. Perhaps sales of G3 will improve now or be unaffected by E-M5 release?

      • bilgy_no1

        “Why keep this development in secret? Simple: NDA. Olympus doesn’t want the information known, obviously, so it makes sense for the manufacturer not to disclose their client’s proprietary information.”

        Why wouldn’t Olympus want this information known? With all the b**ching about Panasonic sensors, changing suppliers would provide Olympus with a huge marketing opportunity!

        People, there are no conspiracies. Olympus just got another piece of silicon from Panasonic, either the G3 sensor, or a 4/3 only version of the GH2 sensor. Olympus then went to work with it on sensor read-out, processing, etc.

  • Camaman

    I cant reach the samples everybody’s talking about on that omuser site. Asks me for registration. http://www.omuser.com/viewthread.php?tid=179813

    Are they available anywhere else or is there a direct link? :-(

    • BoiTokyo

      deleted. No wonder.

  • A few more or less pixels on the sensor is no indication of sensors being different, just about adaptation to different camera bodies.
    95% same sensor as G3/GX1 = slight development as the newest sensor installation is fractionally better than the older. Normal development of an existing design.
    Engadget: I do not trust sites that re-print the pree release as it was true. Engadget states the EM5 has “worlds fastest AF”. This is probably only true under certain (lab) conditions that may not relate to real world photography. It is one thing that the producer does extreme bragging – why in the world just repeat that shit – if you want to have some kind of credibility.
    You can read everything on the net, don’t trust what you read!

  • OlyPan

    Maybe….just maybe….. It’s a sensor from Canon G1X.

    • spam

      How could they make a sligtly larger 14MP sensor into a 16MP mFT-sensor?

    • Forget it. The Canon sensor has just 14 MP despite of its slightly bigger size.

      • ihateidiots

        Never mind that the performance is about equal to what Panasonic has achieved…

  • Pixnat

    Look at those new full res samples

    http://www.mu-43.com/f42/two-full-resolution-sample-olympus-e-m5-images-9mb-each-21340/

    Maybe it could help to speculate :-) Canon sensor?

    • Anonymous

      Good find! Looks good.

      • gianca

        The resolution of these pics is the EXACT resolution as my GH2.
        4608 x 3456.

        If that’s true that’s good news. VERY good news.

  • Admin, I’ve just found an FT5+ source which said that the E-M5 certainly had a FILM sensor!

    • Ross

      :D

    • rrr_hhh

      You are wrong then, because film rarely ad more than 9 EV of dynamical range ! :-)

  • spam

    From the press release:
    “A 16.1-megapixel Live MOS Sensor and TruePic™ VI image-processing engine for superior image quality and high sensitivity”

    Live MOS is a Panasonic name/process for their sensors that combine the worst (or was it the best) from CMOS and CCD. Most manufacturers don’t disclose who has designed/produced the sensor unless there is som specific feature they are advertising, but Live MOS is a dead giveaway.

    The sensor is the same or almost the same as the G3/GX1 sensors (which also don’t have the exact same specs), but being in two Panasonic models of the same generation are obviously closely related.

  • For me, it absolutely doesn’t matter from which company the sensor is if it delivers good pics ;-)

    But there is written it’s not a Panasonic sensor:

    http://pen-and-tell.blogspot.com/

    “Der Sensor: gegenüber der E-P3 etwa 1,5 EV weniger Rauschen. Und 0,3EV mehr Dynamikumfang. Und nein, es ist kein „aufgeblasener“ Panasonic-Sensor…”

    • BLI

      Kein “aufgeblasener” Panasonic-Sensor = no pumped up Panasonic sensor. Ok — this is probably a second hand source :-), and the accuracy and interpretation of the statement depends on how well he understood the original Olympus statement and what is meant by “pumping up”.

    • jazzcrab

      Das habe ich auch gelesen. Ich glaube ja immer noch an Samsung.

      • Camaman

        So this means 1.5EV less noise and 0.3EV more DR?

    • acahaya

      it just states that it is not a “tweaked Panasonic Sensor”. It could be an original (not tweaked) Panasonic Sensor or not a Panasonic Sensor at all.

  • BoiTokyo

    Tanaka guy joined in some talks with OLY&PENTAX OFFICIAL guys@ CP+.
    He showed up in OLY’s OFFICIAL ustream too.
    That guy clearly says it’s not PANASONIC and those still consist on Panny are wrong,
    clearly anyway.

    So is this still less than FT2-style rumors?
    Yawn, judge yourself :D

  • Kodak maybe?

  • D3xmeister

    Live Mos is a Panasonic Trade Mark. The sensor illustrated shows that it is not a multi-aspect ratio sensor. So it’s pretty simple, this IS the G3 Panasonic sensor.

    • BoiTokyo

      again, “LIVE MOS” is a trademark of OLYMPUS.
      Here’s an evidence.
      http://www1.ipdl.inpit.go.jp/syouko/TM_DETAIL_B.cgi?0&1&1&1&14&132878504811496704223190
      copy&paste ライブモス if you aren’t familiar to Japanese, cheers.

      • I believe you :-)

        • BoiTokyo

          Well, besides what’s written a guy in Panasonic goes “oh it’s not Panasonic there are other manufactures use “LIVE MOS” anyways”.
          + when I see the gap of continuous shootings in the two makers, it’s more likely someone else…tho it maybe depends on shutter’s capability too.

          Maybe someone among Canon, Aptina, Samsung and SONY.

  • BoiTokyo

    Ok, some convo @CP+

    “Is the sensor Panasonic?”
    “That topic is gaged but maybe you can see when you consider big changes in result…”
    “I wish it weren’t a Panasonic”
    “Maybe we can live up to your expectations”

  • 132324242

    so where do we stand….

    the OM-D uses an outdated sensor technology.. as usual for olympus.
    all the hype was just that.. hype.

    • Rchard

      How many times are you going to post the same drivel in this thread? Go to canikon-land and stay there.

    • PS

      I think I know where you stand…..

      Oly can do all they want, for you it is just …hype

      • D3xmeister

        Yeah, 6 month outdated technology.

        • Don´t you know, photography was invented 5 months ago. Anything older than that is unusable by definition.
          -p-

    • Steve

      Why do you people say these things???? Are you just trolling or what?

      We don’t know who makes the sensor, if it’s new or old.

      We haven’t seen any real image examples from a production unit.

      You know nothing, I know nothing, nobody knows anything. Yet it’s “just hype”.

      Right.

      • BoiTokyo

        m4/3 Sensor has been a great concern for many.

        • Steve

          Of course. But “outdated” and “just hype” is utterly, completely meaningless as 132324242 knows nothing about the sensor. Same as the rest of us.

    • Leu

      Whatever this camera lacks in sensor inovation is made up for by the weatherproofing, the OLED display, the really nice body design and grip, and especially the 5 axis ibis.

      • Bob B.

        um, no it isn’t.

      • Digifan

        What in heavens’name does it lack in sensor innovation.

        Are you sure it’s an “old” sensor? You know who made it?
        You seen RAW’s and tests allready?

        Tell us, because WE don’t know the above yet!!!!

        So STFU about sensor and IQ, nobody but Olympus knows!!!!

      • Fan

        Yeah I will buy it even if the sensor is not top of the class. I love the system!

  • Vivek

    “Tweaked Sensor”

    Panasonic have their sensor on a flex strip. This is cheaper to manufacture.

    Olympus when they use the same sensor have it fabricated with a ceramic casing in order make the sensor shakeable (to have IS). This “tweaking” makes the sensor unit more expensive.

    Every Panasonic sensor that Olympus use (especially when there is IS present), is “tweaked” and made according to Olympus’ specifications.

  • Mainhard Bogner

    As we ve been always with the worst sensors on the market, we re concerned, yes

  • Kasteel

    The sensor is manufactured under the requirements of Olympus, but by Panasonic. No Sony, Aptina or other at this time. It’s a Pana sensor “modified” by Olympus.

  • BLI

    I have used Excel and DPreview specifications to calculate the number of Megapixels (Mpx) in an m43 sized sensor, with identical pixel density as in a number of other sensors. See below. This clearly shows that the only possible *existing* sensor technology in the E-M5 are Panasonic sensors (obviously) and Aptina sensors (as in the Nikon 1 series — but they must then have made a new sensor with lower pixel density than that in the 1 series…). All other sensors simply have too low pixel density! Even the D800!

    Of other sensors, only the one in the NEX-7 comes close to having sufficient pixel density — but still that sensor has too low pixel density.

    This also shows that the Panasonic technology after all is not that bad… considering the pixel density. It also shows why the D4 has such good image quality/ISO range.

    Camera/Sensor Equiv E-M5 size (Mpx)
    Oly E-M5 16.0
    Sony NEX-7 14.7
    Sony NEX-5 9.9
    Nikon D800 9.5
    Nikon D4 4.2
    Nikon CX 19.4
    Canon G1X 12.2
    Samsung NX-200 12.2

    • karay

      This also shows that Panasonic should have quit the megapixel race a long time ago :(

    • Thomas

      Still,
      The sony sensor in the NEX7/A77 is way better, with only marginal differance in pixel density. So it shows, that Sony simply has the best technology.
      And honestly:

      give me a 10MPix Olympus cam with the IQ of the NEX5, i will take it!
      Btw: where is Fuji here? Seems to have like D4 Performance with Pixel Density of NEX-5!

  • 4B12BRO

    Soooo the battery grip is 279$ and MMF-3 179$ which brings my next camera to a total of 1457$…Not bad. Wish they would do like in Japan and give a free MMF-3 with the purchase of an E-M5

    “When shooting with the E-M5 and two batteries, you can choose which battery to use first; once it’s drained, the camera will start using the second battery for uninterrupted shooting.” Nice…was it always like that?

  • Bob B.

    All this discussion is pretty funny. It would seem that there are a lot of people in denial. I use a full-frame sensor DSLR. I also use an up-to-date MFT camera. The fact is …is that the MFT sensor cannot perform as well (ie, record highlight and shadow) in real-life lighting situations with a wide dynamic range. That is still a fact, even with the glorious OM.
    I love this system…hopefully this situation can change. I am not a tech guy at that level…so I cannot talk about that end of things…all I know is that in February of 2012 when I use my MFT digital camera…I have to be VERY aware of blown highlights. More-so than with my FF digital SLR.
    We all want that to change, but it has not changed yet, and we are given, at this time no inklings of any advances in MFT sensor tech that are going to give us the improvement that we seek. Hopefully that will change soon. The system begs for it.

    • BLI

      Well, my table shows why you get better DR from the DSLR — the pixel density tells it all. To get something comparable in the m43, the E-M5 should have had a 12 Mpx sensor based on new technology — not based on the old E-P3 sensor, but on new technology of Sony, Aptina, Fuji, etc. Or from Panasonic, based on their latest technology. The problem is that 16Mpx in an m43 sensor implies an extreme pixel density — that is the main problem.

      • It’s not all about pixel density BLI, for example, there are some small sensor cameras that have higher DR than m43 cameras (G12 for example), calculate that pixel density. Also the new generation of Sony APS-C sensors (actually the last ones too) have much higher DR than the previous ones, mostly in the shadow noise.

        I have FF cameras (D700, D3S), and despite thier pixel density, they still have less DR than APS-C cameras these days. They have other qualities that make them still worth it though.

        It seems to me that it comes down to both pixel density and sensor technology. Unfortunatly there is no reason why Panasonic doens’t have the same DR as the APS-C cameras, other than Panasonic just can’t or is focusing more on high ISO.

        Like someone else posted, I’d prefer super clean high DR ISO50 to base IS0 200 that’s already showing noise (less latitude in post).

    • Boooo!

      I was just shooting blackbirds on snow with my E-3, believe it or not. Oh, I wish I had a sensor that could capture 14 stops of DR…

      • Esa Tuunanen

        Also modern base ISO of 100 would be good with the snow basically multiplying light level.

    • DR

      Very true Bob.

      The other issue is the latitude for adjustments in the RAW Files. My FF has just so much more room to play with than the micro4/3 that it hurts.

      I’m hanging out for a decent sensor, but I have my doubts this is it.

      • Bob B.

        Yes…it is frustrating in post. …but the cameras are soooooo much fun that we come back for more. I would be happy with more latitude in a 12mp image..if that was possible.
        The tech in the video at the top of the page with the IBIS is mind-blowing. Is a little more DR too much to ask?

        • Vivek

          Get any of your Panasonic cams converted to IR (~780nm) and you will see amazing DR. These NMOS sensors are just truly amazing in Infrared.

          For reasons I can not figure out, the AF is also a lot faster!

          • Bob B.

            Dammit….I just sold my GF1!!!! LOL!

    • Can you say where many stop we need, so we not blow highlihts, for example in sunshine.

      • Thomas

        The human eye has how much? 24EV? I think when we reach like 18 EV, you dont have to worry about blown highlights. I think that Sigmas Foveon or the new generation of Sony Sensors already have a very good DR. You barely need more… i would be happy about like 12 EV… its really not too much asked! Not our 10 EV we have at the moment! But im not asking the topnotch 14EV of a K5…

        As is stays, i stay with the Sigmas for bright sunshine photography. there are almost no cameras that can catch up with this IQ.

        • Martin

          Depending on the source you ask, the human eye can perceive a contrast ratio of 4,000:1 to 10,000:1 under normal conditions. Which translates to 12 to 13.3 EVs. After reasonably long adaption, the human eye can, however, do much more. But under normal conditions, our mFT sensors fall just 1 to 2 EVs short of the capabilities of the human eye. As long as you avoid shooting JPG, a file format which should have been replaced long since.

          • There is nothing that prevents jpeg from covering the same dynamic range.

            • Martin

              In the standard 24 bit sRGB JPEGs we are currently using, representing that contrast would require tone mapping. Which means that you can represent it, yet not with the standard encoding function.

    • Fan

      It can change, it just takes a few more years until they get access to better sensors. Eventuelly the sensor size will turn out to be sufficient for really good photography.

    • Summary of Bob B’s remarks: “I have to expose correctly or I don’t get good results. Boo-hoo!”

      Yes, his nostalgia-format DSLR has a larger shadow-to-highlight range than his MFT camera. That means that, depending on the brightness range of the original scene, there will be a small number of photo situations in which the DSLR will work and the MFT won’t.

      Meanwhile, there will be a larger number of (low-contrast) situations in which it makes no difference, and an almost infinitely large number of (high-contrast) situations in which neither camera will capture the full range of brightnesses.

      In those situations, the photographer has to make a choice about what part of the range is the most significant, and adjust exposure to capture that. It’s no different from the old days of using limited-latitude slide films.

      The photographer still has to use his/her intelligence to produce the most effective picture, regardless of the equipment s/he chooses. Some people seem to be in denial about that…

      • Vivek

        Haven’t you heard of the “auto-magic” cameras? ;)

      • And yet, those limited-range slide films have been, and continue to be, the medium for some of the most beautiful images produced.

        • flash

          Yes.

          What is the EV of slide film? Is there a chart? When used as a slide you got what you shot.

          I use to shoot Kodachrome 25, it was my film of choose. For work shots I mostly used various E6 film, do to excellent E6 labs in my city with same day development, usually 100 speed. I learned to appreciate my OM-2n it had the only on camera metering that I trusted for slides. Never missed a shot with it. Missing would of been a real bad problem.

    • Martin

      I find asking FF-like performance from mFT a bit weird. Actually a manifestation of doublethink, as most mFT users would insist on telling every compact camera user that s/he can’t expect comparable performance to mFT due to smaller pixel size, yet ask for the very same when relating their own sensor format to FF. Every sensor size is a compromise, even FF. You have to decide where your personal sweetspot between practicality -size- and price-wise- and performance is. The G3/G1x sensor is by no means bad and even the DOXmarks are where they should be for a current sensor of that pixel density. Sure, the sensor in Nikon’s V1 has marginally higher colour depth (+0.3 bits compared to the G3) and contrast (+0.4 EVs) despite its marginally higher pixel density (+20%) , but then it has considerably weaker high ISO capabilities (usable ISO down by ca. 50%). This looks more like different preferences in the design of the read-out circuitry than like a technology gap in sensors.
      The only sensor in the mirrorless world with a similar pixel density that seems to perform better is the NEX 7’s. I wouldn’t even dare to compare to DSLRs, as their sensors represent different compromises than the continuous readout with high rates required by the all-time live view and high-speed contrast AF in recent mirrorless cameras. Try the live view or the movie recording capabilities on any affordable DSLR and you’ll notice immediately.

      • PS

        you are Dead right!!!

      • gianca

        DR for a film is tricky to compare to digital, as it is not linear as a digital sensor recorded image: it is only linear in the middle of the exposure, then it roll off in a manner different for every different stock of film, which gave film his natural look as it was almost impossible to clip whites.
        I got old film photographs of sunsets where the sun is yellow while having real decent detail in the shadows.
        That’s impossible to do with any current digital camera (even $50.000 ones!) unless you use some amount of bracketing.
        That’s why some photographers, mostly old ones like me that were used to that DR luxury are clamoring for more, as it honestly unless we get 18 stops in one exposure it’s never going to be enough to easily equal the look of film.
        For now I’d like to dream I could at least get the same DR as in the GH2 while having the same color IQ of the E-3 in a MFT body…
        Maybe the E-M5 is it, or maybe not…

    • Esa Tuunanen

      > The fact is …is that the MFT sensor cannot perform as well (ie, record highlight and shadow) in real-life lighting situations with a wide dynamic range.
      Which isn’t the fault of 4/3 sensor size but Panasonic sensor tech.
      Sony’s 24MP APS-C sensor pulls over two EVs/stops better DR from only slightly larger pixel than G3/GX1 sensor meaning four times the DR if we use absolute/linear scale.

      But instead of modern sensor with better image quality next sensor we propably get from Panasonic is only about increasing MarketingPee count to 20.

      • Richard

        According to dpreview Canons EOS 7D only has 9.8 EV of DR, must be a real shite of a cammera

        • PS

          For some of those here….Canon shit doesnt stink!!!

  • Jim H.

    Maybe Lomo Lubitel is trying to make a comeback and the mysterious new sensor is theirs.

  • adriaantie

    So this is my question: Should i wait for the Olympus E-M5 with kitlens or buy the Nex7 with kitlens for every day shooting (hollidays, kits enz…..). Which camera can give me the best pictures.

    • Berbu

      I was going to buy NEX7 for my legacy lenses but I changed my mind. I will buy OMD and NEX-5N for legacy lenses.

  • L

    So according to both DPR and imaging resource, the sensor on E-M5 has a slightly higher pixel count comparing to GX1 and G3.

    Maybe its just a OEM sensor manufactured by Panasonic but designed by Olympus? So that they can claim this is not a “Panasonic” sensor.

    The problem with this is that the technology to make the sensor is restricted to what Panasonic has on their production line. Its like Panasonic opened their door and said “Look, here’s our plant to produce the G3 sensor. Now give us your design and we’ll make it for you. But only to the capability of this plant…” Therefore there won’t be too much differences between the G3 sensor and the new sensor.

  • compositor20

    could it be a Toshiba sensor like Fuji x10? Could people compare file size of fuji x1 pro ? it is 16 mp too! and that lack of color noise at high iso and good saturated colors dont look panasonic…

    • BLI

      Ok — here are the numbers for the Fuji sensors, see below. This shows that the Fuji X10 has an extreme pixel density. But it would need to be scaled up a lot, and it is hardly as good as the sensor in the E-P3, so the pixel density should perhaps be reduced to improve DR, ISO quality, etc.

      Camera/Sensor Equiv E-M5 size (Mpx)
      Oly E-M5 16.0

      Fuji X100 7.4
      Fuji X10 46.5
      Fuji X-Pro1 9.4

  • Thomas

    Honestly:
    So much hype because of 0,3EV better DR??? I mean… wtf?
    Where is the sensor specialized for “high dynamic range”? Well, not in THIS OM-D, maybe in another? :-/

    Oly should really take the old GH1 sensor and tweak this one, with MARatio and so on… everybody would be happy.
    The E-M5 is gone for me. I think i stay with my E-P1 and rather buy next to my DP2 the new DP2m. I think thats way smarter. I need dynamic range, and Olympus/Pana dont seem to understand people. The ISO Perf. of my E-P1 is more than enough for me, i barely go further than ISO1600…

    Or maybe the Fuji System becomes the “perfect choice”.

    • Camaman

      And for 1,5EV less noise apparently… :-)

      • BLI

        Is the reduction in noise (1.5 EV) mainly in the high ISO area? I seem to recall that the Panasonic sensors have a dramatic drop in DR for high ISO numbers compared to Sony sensors. If correct, this may imply that the DR is “dramatically” improved for high ISO numbers, but relatively little at base ISO.

        Anyway: everyone knows that m43 is a compromise, and that it is not realistic to get both high DR and high resolution. The big win is of course to get a small/light camera which is a joy to use, and which you actually use much more — most users (including myself) are weaklings and lazy fellahs who require a car to haul around the big FF gear.

        Ok — those who need better quality: good luck with other cameras. I will stick with m43; I want to use my camera, which doesn’t happen with the FF equipment. And I will continue to dream of better sensors, better batteries, tethering, etc.

  • om-4

    Whatever make the sensor may be, Olympus hasn’t got much choice.
    Without acces to the GH2/3 sensor or no intention to make a video forward camera Olympus is now stuck with this sensor untill Pana is willing to share or when groundbraking new stuff turns around (maybe Samsung).

    Olympus now has three lines. 43, Pen and OM-D all photography oriented. Pana has G, GF and GH with GH more video oriented and multiaspect sensor.

    In reality Olympus has just one line. One sensor in three guises.
    So bottom line is that the next 3 cameras be it 43 or Pen will have the same sensor.

    Olympus has to buy in bulk to lower costs and only differentiate product by cosmetics and features (add, distract artfilters. display. etc).

    Let’s hope the E-M6 will bring revolutionary sensor to Olympus.

    • Scott

      Everybody wants everything now days. Best lenses largest aperture, smallest body, best dr, best low iso performance, perfect evf tilt swival swing display, shoot better video than movie cameras oh and the best they want all of this for $$$$$$nothing LOL

      Have you ever watched one of those road races where the corvette races with the bmw’s and porches? Just because the corvette has the largest engine doesnt mean its going to win the race.

      Learn how to use your camera and you will not need all that best of stuff

  • The sensor and what’s in the hump:

    http://www.engadget.com/…5-mirrorless-camera-and-internals-eyes-on/#4806105

    • flash

      Thanks that will save me from having to put an E-m5 on the old table saw. No one can figure out the sensor from these picture? Actually, the EM5 sensor has to be a little unique to work with the Olympus IS, but it could of been derived from a Panasonic. Every post I read about its quality is that it is very good, or very poor; I guess its just fan-boy arguments on either side. A sensor is not a camera, or even optical results. I wonder how good are the lens to the sensor now, the resolution of the glass is not as most of us think it is. I think in less then 3 years the glass will be the limiting factor in resolution and DR.

    • The is most air in the hump, so the room is for more in hump in future. ;-)

  • Brüno Banäina

    some fun guys in a german olympus forum compare the om-d to 5DII and (drum) to D700 in noise performance (accoding to websamles form an olympus marketing site….), are they for real? first samples show disturbing noise from iso 800 just like on any m43 camera, (btw mkII is nothing special in iso performance the D700 is and D3s and D4 even more…)

    they are comparing a FT size sensor packed with 16 mpx to a four times bigger sensor with 12 mpx i can’t help myself, but i thing those olympus fanbois are about the dumbest fanbunch in the blogoshpere, they must be nutz, so much wishful thinking ivolved that they get bittered, maybe in a a year or so they can try a D700 and see what’s going on, and what they have been missing for the last 4 years.

    i also noticed since the D4 and D800 announcement there’s plenty of cheap (around 1200 eur) used D700s on the market, i guess people which can handle an E5 (hence D700) in size body will make their math, not falling for the latest and greatest marketing sensations

    • BLI

      Some fun guys haven’t discovered that the E-M5 is a different camera and a different size than the E-5, and that the lenses of even 4/3 are considerably smaller and of at least comparable quality as to those of the D700 :-).

      Of course we know that the sensor quality of the O-M5 is inferior to that of the D700. But still it is fun to compare the quality?? (I might actually upgrade my D300 to a D700, just as a “serious” camera.)

  • RaviSun3D

    I am seriously waiting for a Good reviews of E-M5, and hope it’s video quality at-least match with unhacked GH2 or AF100. And also hope that sooner or later it gets hacked by Vitalie!

    Is GH3 launching any time soon?

  • 43shot

    Well, since it is bigger than my GF-1 I’m going to get one of these for my pocket. What will they put in a P&S next? If they can get all this into this tiny guy it seems the OM-D is lacking features:)

    http://www.amazon.com/Canon-PowerShot-Stabilized-Wide-Angle-3-2-Inch/dp/B0075SUJ4W/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=I197YBIB2IOX5C&colid=1YIV7LSDPHEOW

  • I am impressed by the Olympus IBIS-5way. It has a much larger range of motion than I anticipated — really looks useful, powerful. I assume it will only get better in the future.

    Imagine putting an extreme IBIS-5way on a full frame lens with more room for the sensor to adapt to capture the picture. Then it could move a whole half a frame side to side. That would be amazing… and that (original) OM glass could get extreme IBIS-5way!-) And a full-frame tilt-shift would be even roomier!

    On a more serious note, the new IBIS also takes up heaps of room in the body, making the ultra-compact, featureful, and rugged E-M5 body all that more impressive a feat.

    • I think in E-7 will the be more room for IBIS use like the.

      • I am thinking the same thing. The E-7 may be a beast. Amazing (and heartening) to hear Oly is gearing up to release more FT lenses. The pro FT/MFT market may exist after all! I can hardly wait for the first FT/MFT bridge camera (assuming the E-M5 ain’t it).

        • Boooo!

          “Amazing (and heartening) to hear Oly is gearing up to release more FT lenses. ”

          Huh???

          • “Old” rumors from different thread: http://www.43rumors.com/more-e-m5-tidbits-future-olympus-primes-and-four-thirds-system-support/comment-page-1/

            Article:

            > Mr. Terada from Olympus interviewed by Clubsnap. […] Four Thirds system: “We continue to be firmly supporting the E-system”

            &

            >Napalm:
            >“It’s been up in the air about whether or not Olympus was going to continue making DSLRs. However, last night I got a message from someone at Olympus saying they were starting to work on a new Four Thirds DSLR and new Four Thirds lenses.
            >- PhotographyREVIEW”
            >saw this from his youtube account

            • jacek

              now that’s a trusted source – youtube comment :)

              • Yup, you got me. “news” –> “rumors”. :-P

            • Boooo!

              Oh wow, that would be awesome if true! I’ve started saving money for an E-7 when the Ogawa interview came out; I’m wondering if I should take a job on the side to also get a couple new (or old-new) lenses…

  • Imaging Resources also takes for granted that the sensor would be a Panasonic one:

    http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/omd-em5/omd-em5DAT.HTM

    • Swejk

      … Image Capture 4608 x 3456 (15,9 MP, 4:3) 3:2 ?

    • Berbu

      This is nothing but a speculation.

  • BoiTokyo

    “ah, we chose the sensor regardless of the rumor going on for a biz tieup”
    so is that, that S? really.(from CP+)

    • S as in Sony (not Samsung)? This news could get interesting. How’s that sensor’s performance again…?

  • Am I the only who can see this as a 3 axis IS??

    The only way you can compensate for Pitch and Yaw is if the top/bottom move in/out and the left/right sides move in/out…

    Still, compensating for Roll now is pretty good. :)

    • babbit

      What you just described was 5 axis. In 3 dimensions, which is the dimensional space that we and the camera occupy, there exist 6 axis of movement. 3 translational axis (x,y,z) and 3 rotational axis (pitch, yaw, roll). It is the definition of what axis movement is. By having 5 axis of movement, the sensor can basically move in all directions (both rotational and translational directions) simultaneously except for 1.

      • Thank you! That’s what I was trying to explain. :) Rotational movement and Translational movement!

        I can tell you now that the PEN’s IS gyro moves along an X and Y axis. I know this because I have dismantled an E-P1 before. The CCD sits on two rods so there is *only* an up/down, left/right motion to compensate for the translational X,Y axis but when this was advertised, they said it was for Yaw, Pitch and horizontal/vertical. That’s the “3” axis stabliser.

        For “true” yaw/pitch stablisation, the CCD needs to move in/out as I said before.

        But now this twists, compensating for Roll! :)

        I’m still gonna go with a 3 axis (X&Y, Translational and Z Rotational [Roll]), simply because the top/bottom don’t move in/out (for Pitch) and the left/right sides don’t move in/out (For Yaw.

        Having said all that, it’s still much of a muchness if you move the camera up vertically than if you roll it up in a Pitch motion.

        This is a good read: http://www.pekkapotka.com/journal/2012/2/8/olympus-om-d-e-m5-hands-on-preview.html

        And also this picture: http://www.pekkapotka.com/storage/5-axis.jpg?__SQUARESPACE_CACHEVERSION=1328666603629 counts the the X axis as two (horizontal and pitch).

        EDIT: Also, if there are 3 axis’ and two types of motion (making 6) then what is missing?

  • Berbu

    Mr. Tanaka didn’t say it’s SONY. He said it is not Panasonic. He is a very trustful photographer and he will do lectures at Olympus booth.

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