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Olympus Q&A on Facebook (says E-M5 has a new sensor, new 43 lens coming, fast m43 zoom too?)


Hurry guys! There was a live Question & Answer session from Olympus on Facbeook (Click here). The next Q&A session will take place next Thursday at 3:00pm ET. Here are some of the most interesting answers from Olympus:

First news: Olympus says the E-M5 doesn’t use the same G3/GX1 sensor. It uses an “entirely new sensor“. But(!) keep in mind that Olympus marketing could have a different interpretation about the meaning of the word “new”. Maybe in their opinion small tweaks are enough to define a sensor as “new” :)

Second news: Again about the sensor: “The sensor is more similar to the sensor from the PEN P-3 but with an increased refresh rate or readout of the image off of the sensor. Means the black out is virtually non existant and you can shoot at a much faster frame rates.

Third news:Olympus has recently stated that they are studying a successor camera to the E-5 and another lens.

Fourth news:regarding adding the OM-D to the Pro Service program, we are studying that point now. No official word yet.

Fifth news: “ISO 100 has been removed as ISO 200 has the same low noise performance, but better sensitivity.

Sixth news: “Our in-house testing has confirmed that the E-P3 and E-M5 are faster than the V-1 or J-1

Seventh news:Currently we are focused on fast primes but it would not surprise me to see some fast zooms down the road.

That’s it!


For my european colluegues:
Silver E-PL3 with 14-150mm lens,
Black E-PL3 with double lens kit,
Silver E-PL3 with 14-42mm lens,
Red E-PL3 with 14-150mm lens,
Silver E-PL3 with double lens kit,
Silver E-PL3 with 14-42mm lens,
Silver E-PM1 with 14-42mm lens,
Silver E-PM1 with 14-150mm lens,
Silver E-PM1 with 14-42mm lens,
Black E-PM1 with 14-42mm lens,


  • Drew

    On the FB page, GetOlympus also says that “Hi Linus, The sensor is more similar to the sensor from the PEN P-3 but with an increased refresh rate or readout of the image off of the sensor. Means the black out is virtually non existant and you can shoot at a much faster frame rates.”

    • Bob B.

      Olympus….bring back ISO 50….with all the fast glass we have now…we want to open up the lens for bokeh with no neutral density filters. More choices is better!

      • Chris K

        Yes! I know ISO200 isn’t noisy, but that’s not the point. I want to be able to shoot f/1.4 in the daytime, and sometimes you need ISO50 for that.

        At LEAST give us ISO100.

        This is not an Olympus-specific problem (Nikon’s been doing it for a while, even), but it’s an annoying trend.

        • Bob B.

          YES…my GX1 starts at ISO 160. NO GOOD. I need ISO 50 for when I get my Oly 75mm f/1.8 glass grenade!!!!!!! LOL!
          (sometimes ramping up the shutter speed doesn’t work….for what you are shooting).

          • zf

            Yea, or at least make the 1/8000s shutter speed.

          • Fanboy

            Seriously! Are the only photographers out there action shooters or something? Sometimes we want long shutter speeds. Why do you think the the new canon g has built in nd filters? That’s such a cool option but ISO 50 or 100 Would be exceptable

            • @Fanboy
              there maybe a ND adapter between the lens and camera at some point in the future….

        • by daytime you prob mean very bright light situations like when the sun is at high noon. In other cases it must be possible to shoot wideopen like 1.4

        • The E5 has iso 100. They call it “low noise priority” and it does give you a little more control over noise, but of course you have to be careful to watch the highlights. Both iso 100 and iso 200 are iso 118 on the sensor according to Dx0. They just have different curves applied. I think Oly mainly doesn’t want inexperienced users wondering why iso 100 is harder to control.

        • TheEye

          Why can’t you be bothered with an ND filter?

          • Bob B.

            one more thing in front of the lens and the sensor. more sharpness, etc. lost…plus..pain in the *&& to carry around, put on…etc.etc.etc. ( why do the manufacturers take away something that is a tool and that we have had for years??????????

        • Vivek

          Buy some ND filters. Recently, I bought the Panasonic ND 8x filter. It is fabulous! Fantastic coating on it.

        • Leu

          yeah, starting at 200 is such a gimmick. Everyone with half a brain sell is totally aware that the iso 25600 on this is just relative 12800 and 6400 is just relative 3200 to the 100 being shifted to 200.

      • I totally agree with that.. ISO 200 will limit you from those situations and that is a bad tactic for the most advanced Oly m4/3rd camera thus far.. What is the point of complete elimination of 100?? Does it cause them that much time in implementing it? We sure hell need it.. Why not let US decide if we are going to use it or not? Bad bad move…

        • Bart

          Its not a matter of what it will cost Olympus to implement it, it is a matter of it costing 1 stop of dynamic range when being used. ISO 50 would be 2 stops.

          ND filter is less convenient, but will give you a better result.

        • The answer makes no sense at all. I think that whoever is answering knows less than anyone in this forum about the camera, that’s why the other comment about the sensor being new is also irrelevant.

          He said they *REMOVED* ISO 100 because it had the same noise as ISO 200.

          First, that’s not possible. It would be the first sensor in the world to be like that. Even medium format and FF sensors have lower noise at ISO 100. After all you’re exposing twice longer.

          Second, even if it was true, why waste resources in *REMOVING* a feature that’s useful for other reasons other than just lower noise (as others pointed out above)??

          (I’m referring to real ISO 100, not that overexposed ISO 200 that some previous models had, where you would have limited DR with burned out highlights).

          • Digifan

            Well you lose DR at ISO 100.
            But I think they should have 200 as base and 50 and 100 as extended options in the menu, so it’s available for experienced users.
            Just doen’t complain when the DR is limited if you use 50 or 100.

        • JimD

          See the complaints on this site over the most trivial of things and the anti m43 brigade on about ISO on other web sites (when many other cameras are no better or worse). Then you realise why Oly put it out of reach. What you may want is 100 complaints from non M43 users.

      • I’d like ISO 50 or a faster shutter speed. I’d rather ISO 50 because it has advantages in flash photography too.

      • aaa

        Posibbly faster shutter would allow the same – 1/8000 at ISO200 would be like ISO100, and 1/16000 would be like ISO50 at 1/4000. Am I thinking right?

      • mma173

        I think, it got something to do with the native ISO of the sensor. If they are to provide lower ISOs, such as 50, it would not be a real one– a digital trick instead.

  • K

    When they mention the E-p3 in comparison to the e-m5 they are referring to the focusing aspect of the sensor, not the imaging architecture.

  • metalaryeh

    That live bulb mode sounds absolutely awesome!

    • Ahem

      Exactly, that one is a killer feature for me, as I love low-light photography.

      • Mr. Reeee

        yeah, that sounds interesting. I’d like to see it in action.

    • Berneck

      What is live bulb?

      • Fan

        Live preview during long exposure, i.e. 2 times per second for example, the image on the screen is updated while the exposure is being done.


          Interesting, but wouldn’t that have an effect on the image from the light? I remember my Canon having a cover to go over the viewfinder to prevent light from creeping in on long exposures….

          • JimD

            An OVF may allow light to enter via the finder but an EVF is not optically coupled.

  • Hmm.. I’d be weary of any answers given by the Q&A. It’s clearly just a marketing person… Afterall one of the first responses was that it does 9fps with autofocus… which is false.

    • Mattering -> marketing

    • BLI

      You are wrong: it does 9 fps with auto focusing! I.e it autofocuses for the first picture, then locks the focus and takes the pictures. What it does not do, is autofocus with tracking at 9 fps. :-)

    • That was when you had an OVF, allowing for light to creep in from behind…
      Here you have an EVF, producing an image from the light that has already hit the sensor, which again forwards the image to the screen or EVF. Hence the image/exposure can just be affected by incoming light through the lens.

      Sorry, this was meant for Bernec1 (I tend to click on “Reply” for the underlying message instead :-/)

  • Sounds like mattering indeed. That’s what they said of the pen 3 sensor back then. Well it’s all good. A tweaked gx1 sensor is still better and the em5 as a package has great features at a really good price.

    • Funny how you are able to say that, seeing as the final firmware for the E-M5 hasn’t been released, nor do we know anything solid about the image quality.

      • PS

        The mind is already made up…how does it matter what the product is!

        • JimD

          For Sale.
          Green thingimy with wonderfull whatevers attached. 50% discount to discerning buyers.
          Delivered to you door by same day special delivery, No waiting.
          Hurry to get yours now.
          Press “Buy Now” button to purchase.

  • Me

    How many people from, or related to, Olympus still have to say that it’s NOT the GX1/G3 sensor before you guys start to accept that it’s a new sensor? It might be built by Panasonic, but it’s not the same sensor as in the GX1/G3. Period. That’s a good thing after all, isn’t it?

    • Ahem

      Why is it necessarily a good thing? G3 sensor is very good, and not all other sensors are better – or even most.

      • Bad or good, anyway a new sensor. ;-)

      • BLI

        Ok: the G3 is a good sensor. Then the E-M5 sensor is even better :-). I have seen burn-outs in pictures with my E-P3 in pictures where I didn’t dream of problems. Still, I am quite happy with this m43 camera — at least I use it more than my bigger APS-C camera, which is a truckload…

      • The Real Stig

        Because unless someone has done something really stupid, new also means improved/better.

    • Pei

      Not always a good thing. Olympus might have decided to shrink the 12mp photosite down to get 16mp. It would be even worse at hi-ISO.

      I don’t think that’s the case but G3’s sensor is a clear improvement from the 12mp so saying it is not G3’s sensor might mean bad news.

      • Umm, of course they had to shrink photosites since the sensor size is the same. I doubt the gaps between sites are big enough to close the difference between 12 and 16 mbits.

    • DR

      The point isn’t just whether its a new sensor or not, the real question is whether its a better sensor.

      So far, we haven’t seen anything to suggest that it will be anywhere like as good as the current crop of sensors in Sony/Nikon/Pentax/Fuji cameras.

      And if it is a new sensor, why haven’t we heard where it is from?

      Smells like marketing BS.

    • Michael

      On the other hand, Olympus said over and over again that the E-P3 had a new sensor, and it didn’t. THAT’S why so many don’t believe them this time.

      • JimD

        Ford builds a new car with last years engine fitted with a new air cover and induction with revised timing for lower torque.
        Is it a new car? The world seems to accept that as a new car.
        Why is it any different for a camera.

  • Bob B.

    I can’t wait until someone actually FAIRLY reviews this camera…aside from ALL of he hype!!!!!

    • admin


      • Bob B.

        What I never understand is why do these companies release such junk sample photos. Fuji did and these samples from Oly are so small you can’t tell anything from them?????

        • Mauro

          Because the engineers at Olympus are working long nights as we speak to tweak the firmware as much as they can before their deadline ;) One nice day at the end of the month or so the final pics will start appearing online..

          • Art

            Also, these people aren’t photographers but technicians. They think like engineers, not photographers.

        • Robbie

          They do have it fullsize, people attending the Taiwanese event all got a CD ROM with the full size files in it

        • here are 2 full size versions from the small ones:

        • They have stated the camera is not ready for showing final sample images. That’s why nobody has a production-level model to review yet.

    • Atle

      Yeah, i good review will be nice. Although many seems not to need that, many have already judged the quality to be horrible and the sensor crap :) Looking forward to som real info.

      • Mr. Reeee

        Or judged the exact opposite based on spec sheets and powerpoint bullet points.

    • Oh yes, oh yes. can’t wait for that too… I really want this cam because it looks so sexy and the tech specifications sound so good, and it’s really hard for me not to preorder one blind, but before I order one I want to see some serious tests! But I already wrote here in another thread that Robin Wong wrote that he has to wait about 4 weeks until he will get a cam for testing because Olympus Japan has to release an updated firmware before it’s allowed to test the cam. And I don’t think that other persons or websites will get a cam earlier :-(

      By the way, I think I spend to much time on this site the last 2 weeks, I check it every hour for any news, E-M5 makes me crazy ;-)

      • Bob B.

        LOL…cameras are so addictive! Of anyone I would like to review the camera it would be Robin Wong. He knows how to pull the most out of his equipment and he has a nice even attitude about shooting. I would respect what he has to say about the camera…as long as he stays independent. Love his photos, too.

  • windflare

    “A few questions:
    1. Does Olympus have any plans this year or next for fast pro zooms, such as the Panasonic 12-35mm or 35mm-100mm f2.8 that are coming out soon? Or m4/3rds version of the 12-60mm SWD?

    2. Are there plans from Olympus to reissue their current primes as weather-sealed versions, such as the 12mm, 45mm, and 75mm?

    3. Regarding the sensor of the EM-5, which company designed the sensor, and which company manufactured it?

    4. When will distribution of this camera reach Canada? Rough ETA?

    1) no news on new zooms other thant the 12-50mm,
    2) we did announce the development of a weather sealed 60mm macro (120mm equiv),
    3) no info on sensor manufacturer although I can tell you it’s a completely new design with our own architecture,
    4) April in Canada and the US”

    Hope this helps.

    • Thank you :-) But no fast pro zooms, that are not good news… I hope performance with FT-lenses is better now so I would buy a 14-54 II together with the E-M5 (if I really buy it ;-) ).

      • mooboy

        If it was a totally new designed Olympus sensor, then I don’t think it makes sense for them to go to 16mp since they’ve said before 12 is enough. Definitely still sounds like a variation of the G3 sensor to me

        Personally, I would love it if they could do a brand new 12mp sensor to match the D700’s in terms of high ISO noise and DR etc.

        Anyway, I just found buyers for my E-PM1 and VF2 in anticipation of this, so I’m happy :)

        • JF

          +1 I would prefere a version of the EM-5 with 12 Mpix high dynamic sensor

  • safaridon

    Well if its more related to the sensor in the EP3 then it wouldn’t be 16MP! Very strange information form Pany rep, so they don’t want people with the Pens to upgrade?

  • disco

    a new sensor… so i assume they’ll be using this for the next 3-4 years eh?

  • Mar

    Hmmm, I asked about following up with the successor to the E-5 and this is what I got:

    – We know as much as you do at this point, Olympus has recently stated that they are studying a successor camera to the E-5 and another lens

    New lens? Sounds promising :) Hopefully, they’re not talking about the vapourware 100mm macro heh.

  • Reza

    Olympus is considering (not official yet) to include E-M5 in the pro service program. Interesting!

    Also they don’t know about the level of weather proofing on Panasonic lenses (they do not coordinate on weather proofing technology?)

    Finally, OM-D is rated for 100,000 shutter actuations! Cool!

    • P

      Thats not much..E-3 and E-5 were rated for 150000 actuations. 100000 is quite common.

      • Pei

        Still better than the PENs with their 30000~50000 shutter.

        You’d think smaller shutter such as those on m4/3 would be easier to make and faster than 1/4000s.

        • Esa Tuunanen

          Because of same size sensor shutter needs to be physically as large as in 4/3… And smaller size of the camera PENs might actually cause shutter unit’s mechanism to be less robust because of need to save space.

          • Pei

            Very good point Esa. I did not take shutter size into consideration as I don’t believe their already small size would need to be reduced further.

        • Reza

          My E-P1 is still churning out pic after pic, with almost 26,000 so far. I hope the old dog doesn’t go down as it gets into its 30s~40s!

    • flash

      Maybe he saw the display prototype, and thought without any glass in there the water would go straight to the sensor. :)

      I am sure that the weather sealing is mostly compatible, one company will not say much about another company, if they are being nice.

  • 4B12BRO

    “Kerry, Olympus recently stated that they are now studying plans for a 4/3 successor and lens”


    • Hope on the to, yeah. :-)

    • Sorry but “studying plans” is a very early stage as it means “no decisions and no base for decisions”.

  • Tadeo

    lets ask chipworks to dismantle an E-M5 and se what´s inside its guts!!!

  • MichaelKJ

    20 minutes ago from Get Olympus

    “no info on sensor manufacturer although I can tell you it’s a completely new design with our own architecture,”

    Are we expected to believe that this Oly spokesperson really knows nothing about the manufacturer, but does know that “it’s a completely new design and architecture”?

    • Fan

      He knows nothing. He just tells you what he was told to tell.

  • “ISO 100 has been removed as ISO 200 has the same low noise performance, but better sensitivity.”


    While I agree high ISO’s are great, low ISO’s are also great, it allows you to use brighter lens’ in daylight (1/4000th shutter is a limitation here), it also slows down shutter for other motion effects.

    And I also think this marketing person is just making excuses, lower ISO’s if at base gain, will indeed have better performance, just due to the fact of more photons being able to hit the sensor for a given exposure.

    • Eric

      ISO 100 was already fake on E-620. ISO 200 was base gain and ISO 100 was just a digital division. You don’t get better high lights at ISO 100 compared to ISO 200. So dropping ISO 100 is just a technical issue embedded in marketing talk.

      • It doesn’t matter if it’s fake ISO100 or native ISO100, but we need ISO100 for creative reasons. Shooting wide open @ f/1.4 in daylight is a bit of a problem with ISO200.

        • Eric

          I agree, ISO 100 could be usefully. I’m shooting snowy and sunny mountains also. ND filters inside in the body would be nice.

          • Esa Tuunanen

            ND filters just don’t help any with lack of DR.

            As every modern tech sensor of APS-C size has base ISO of 100 (or lower) this smells really like another Panasonic old tech sensor with tweaked read out circuitry a’la EP-3.

            • BLI

              The “old tech sensor” from Panasonic is not that old. The G3 sensor has about the same performance as the old E-P3 sensor when it comes to noise and DR, with higher resolution and a pixel density only beaten by the Aptina/Nikon 1 sensor and the X10 (!) sensor (+many snapshot sensors…). The G3 pixel density is higher than that in the NEX-7 (slightly :-)), and considerably higher than that of the D800. Ok — I guess Sony could have gotten more juice out of the sensor if they had made one with the same high pixel density. But I am not sure that the Aptina sensor would have been better with the same density.

            • TheEye

              An ISO 100 setting won’t help if the sensor has base ISO 200. Improved high ISO performance trumps optimized low ISO performance from a marketing standpoint, whether you like it or not. TANSTAAFL. Maybe someone will eventually make a camera that is optimized for low ISO.

        • >It doesn’t matter if it’s fake ISO100 or native ISO100, but we need ISO100 for creative reasons.

          The fake ISO 100 is still there if you shoot raw. You just overexpose by 1 f-stop and bring the brightness down when you develop it. You will get cleaner images than at ISO 200, but the highlights will be burned out and overall the DR will be limited.

          *REAL* ISO 100 is what’s more needed. And ISO 50, why not.

        • aaa

          Having 1/8000 and 1/16000 shutter speed would also be enough, right?

          • Eric

            >Having 1/8000 and 1/16000 shutter speed would also be enough, right?

            For me yes. I don’t care so much for more dynamic range. I just want to shoot portrait (in full light+snow) at larger aperture than f/8.0.

    • @joesiv
      I agree. What a load of crap. If they want to make ISO200 the base that’s fine, but they at least need to give us an ISO100 boost like Nikon does. ISO100 is far more useful for creative reasons than any art filter is. Heck, I’d even love to have an ISO50 mode for long exposures. Who wants to carry a pocket full of ND filters around?

      • Mar

        Just overeexpose ISO200 shot by 1EV and then pull it down in post (RAW) and you’ll get the same thing.

        Jeeezz…. this high/low ISO obsessions…. why can’t you just get a good ND filter which you need anyway even with ISO100 cameras…..

        • While that helps its notthe solution because the entire data is already shifted. Unless you find a raw converter that doesn’t honor the shift.

          • aaa

            It was shifted in previous cameras which had fake ISO100 anyway from what I remember.

  • Jekins

    If the sensor is more similar to the sensor from the PEN P-3, is possible sensor E-M5 = old sensor 12mpx interpolated to 16mpx? mmmhhh

    • Fan

      no, that’s not what he meant and they would never get away with that

  • IHUR

    New architecture and improved sensor, ‘world first’ 5 axis IBIS, but sample pictures/video so far are either slightly out of focus (looks kinda like hand shaking OOF) and soft or noisy, lack of details and DR

    • BLI

      The first Nikon 1 pictures were terrible. Yet, the camera apparenly turned out to have decent image quality comparable to that of the E-P3 — according to Steve Huff, Kirk Tuck, Thom Hogan, and others. I wouldn’t make an assessment based on pictures taken by “amateurs” with a preproduction version of the camera.

    • Digifan

      The picture of the watch has VERY VERY shallow DOF!!
      The only plane in focus is the flat surface with two screws.
      So you’re right, the rest is out of Focus.
      Isn’t that what everybody’s craving about shallow DOF from a 35mm system?
      Now you have shallow DOF and it’s not all in focus. What the hell.

  • DMA

    Any real news on the E-5 replacement (I guess called the E-7) other than “studying”? Something would be nice. Please. Pretty please. I
    would love to see improvement in two areas:

    1) High ISO performance.
    2) Better AF in low light.

    • nobody

      How that? Didn’t Olympus promise the world’s fastest AF when the E5 was introduced? ;)

      • DMA

        It’s the Low Light AF performance that’s the problem. You can’t use S-AF as it’s next to useless. It’s either C-AF or manual regardless of lens (I’ve got the 12-60mm, 50-200mm SWD & the Leica 25mm) & even then there can be plenty of focus hunting.

    • Jolyon Smith

      DMA – I haven’t seen any “news” on an E-7 yet, but I think it is fair to expect that if/when an E-7 arrives it will incorporate the new sensor and image processor, which together seem to be responsible for some pretty stunning high-ISO performance.

      My personal wish list for the E-7 is (building on the already excellent E-5) in no particular order:

      * 5-axis IBIS
      * 16MP (E-M5) sensor, or better
      * GPS
      * Wireless storage mode (via wifi or Bluetooth)
      * Low ISO availability (i.e. a lower floor than ISO 200)
      * larger screen (3.5″+)

      Once I get my hands on an actual E-M5 and see how the EVF looks and performs and what features it provides (in viewfinder focus area magnification ?), I might even find myself wishing to see the E-7 go mirrorless, as long as it either maintains a 4/3 mount or comes with a adapter in the kit.

      • Anonymous

        Excellent wishlist list for E-7 (or E-M6 for that matter).

      • Ditto.

      • Reza

        Here’s my prediction on E-7.

        1. Olympus believes the E-x line should be updated every 3 years. (E-1: 2003, E-3: 2007, E-5: 2010). So E-7 will be introduced in the Fall of 2013. That is almost 20 months from now.

        2. Based on the past 3 models, the E-x line will have the same electronics of an E-xx or E-xxx of roughly 9 to 15 months behind. So, the E-7 will have the internals of whatever camera Olympus introduces in this year’s photokina.

        3. In this photokina, Olympus will introduce the PEN equivalent of E-M5, perhaps with some bug fixes and features addition (most probably ironing out all the possible wrinkles in the new sensor + IBIS combination), and possibly a slightly faster processor.

        4. So here you go, E-7 in 2013, with the electronic guts of E-M5 with some minor additions, but with all possible bugs and issues ironed out.

        5. One possible surprise: If Olympus solves the PDAF issue in software by the end of 2012 (which I believe will eventually happen, sooner or later) then the E-7 will be a souped up OM-D, physically the same size of the current E-30 (or maybe between E-30 and E-5 but I doubt it). That’s IF they have solved the PDAF through CDAF issues completely, otherwise they will stick to 4/3.

        • DonTom

          Olympus does this right, ironing out the bugs in the cheaper lower bodies before presenting it all in the most expensive and full featured model.
          In contrast, Audi put all their latest and greatest in our Audi A8, but it’s the buggiest piece of c*#p I’ve ever owned! Mercedes does it the Olympus way, much better.

          • JimD

            They make cars? I thought they were a supermarket chain.

            • Lockx

              You’re thinking of Aldi mate.

              • JimD

                I know, I use both, one for my groceries and the other to hit when the neighbour parks across my drive and I can’t get the Range Rover out.

  • MichaelKJ

    My understanding is that the Live MOS sensor was developed by Panasonic and, I assume, is trademarked. If this is true, then the OM-5 has to be using a Panasonic sensor.

    • nobody

      No, LIVE MOS is an Oly trademark, see here:

      • YukMa

        Thanks for the link. I’m not sure how Live MOS was linked to Panasonic.

      • Good find… but odd. Filed in 2006, and then got a status of “abandoned” with no record of use. It has a description nothing to do with sensors in general.

        On the other hand in 2006 Panasonic announced their first iteration of “Live MOS” sensors, which were used in Panasonic/Olympus/Leica bodies. And have been using it ever since.

        Seems like an interesting history, that marketing term… Either way, I think Panasonic sensors are the current users of that term.

      • MichaelKJ

        Thanks for the info. I was relying on a post on dpreview and Wikipedia.
        Nevertheless, since Panasonic has made all of the sensors for mFT it has been the only manufacturer of Live MOS sensors, at least until now.

  • Boooo!

    New 4/3 lens? I’ll believe it when I see it…

  • Camaman

    Fifth news sounds like a lie and an excuse…

  • fgl42

    Fast primes make so much more sense for this system than fast zooms. Please Olympus, keep focusing on the primes. No more zooms! Thanks.

    • I never use primes, 2 or 3 fast zooms will be welcome for many people I think.

      Something like 14-54, 12-60 or 50-200.

      • Mr. Reeee

        I rarely use zooms, 2 or 3 more fast primes will be very welcome for many people I think.

        10mm, 105mm, 150mm, 300mm, would be a good start.


        • flash

          10mm nice, 150mm better. With the 150 I do want auto focus. I think we will have a 10mm by this time next year.

          Thinking about that 75mm it may be the portrait lens for me. Its degrees of view match what I am currently learning with; I originally thought it was much narrower which would be a turn off.

          Zooms are for Pros and Amateurs, Primes are for enthusiasts.

        • +11

        • 17mm f/1.4

      • I would like to see some fast zooms in the near future as well. To build fast zooms which are not too bulky and heavy is one of the major advantages of the m43 system. Although I also use and like primes, I prefer not to have to change the lens too often.

    • Ahem

      +1. When I get the 12mm I’m all-prime :)

  • om-4

    New E-7 probably means recycle E-M5 front plate, make new top plate and backside to accomodate depth in body for 43 flange distance.

    E-5 was a reworked (new backplate) E-3 so, to cut cost they’ll prolly recycle some parts of the E-M5 and bring the size down for the new E-7 to about E620 and call it the worlds first smallest pro-weathersealed-43 with fastest AF.

    Wait, there is more… First built in GPS with VistaR. That is Trademarked Vista Reminder. The camera knows when you have to take a picture of any interesting landmark you happen to pass. Through built in Wifi it instantly uploads to FaecesBook with corresponding facts of your incredible VistaR moments.

    • joora

      They really doen’t have to bother with modifying the OM design, they can just use E-5 body and stick that sensor and assembly into it. Good enought E-7!

  • Carlos

    I don’t understand why people want GPS built into your camera. What is the advantage of having it? Is it just, Geo-tagging?

    • flash

      Documentation of what you shoot. As an individual I do not see much use for it (other then insurance claims), but in using pictures as evidence for a job it would be nice. I understand it helps eat up batteries on some cameras, so it is not with out its downside.

    • I find GPS valuable for travel photography… to pinpoint photographs and recall locations. This feature is more valuable than it seems since (when used consistently, liberally, or always), the photos provide a travel diary of sorts, automatically generate a map of the trip (e.g., in iPhoto/Aperture).

      Oh, also landscape photography. Some compositions are surprisingly hard to recreate (or even locate). So GPS is nice for peace of mind… or blogging about to share coordinates with others interested in the location. Also nice to duplicate shot across seasons.

      Also nice when on water — i.e., without landmarks — to trace travel route. Yes, more travel photography usage. :-)

      And then the whole GeoTagging/Social Media connection to iPhone etc. (which I don’t do) is worthwhile to some too.

      • Ahem

        Wait, the camera has GPS in it? Finally! I’m pre-ordering!

        edit: oh it doesn’t. You got me all excited. Still considering a pre-order…

  • che fool

    So what’s the verdict on AF with 43rd lenses?

    • Most informative, objective answer I noticed was: faster than E-1. So that sounds like 43 autofocus speed may be reasonable, though not optimal.

      • che fool

        thanks. i have the e-3 and e-510. how does the e-1 compare to those?

        • I’m just a parrot on this one — repeating the answer. I do not have an E-body to compare!-)

        • Nikku

          Slower, but really not that slow. I hope one of the Fn buttons can be assigned to focus lock…

        • Reza

          I do have an E-1. The focusing speed is similar to the focusing speed of E-P1 and a non-smc lens, for example Panny 20mm. It is noticeable but less than a second, so it’s never annoying.

          • Digifan

            I, too, have an E-P1 and still an E-1 (allthough I use the E-5 nowadays), but the E-1 with 14-54mm is definately much faster than an E-P1, no doubt.

            Slow focussing wasn’t a caveat of the E-1.

  • flash

    I saw a question about tethering, but did not catch the response. Did anyone see the answer?

    • Carlos

      I don’t think they answered it, however, you can always go to their FB page and read the comments on their wall.

      • flash

        Thank you,
        I did not know about the wall.

        For me tethering is fun, but I have used it on some E-5s and was impressed in how it was setup. It saves a bunch of steps in taking shoots of stuff in a studio. The E-5 even released a software kit, so you could add it to what you wanted to if you are a programmer, that would be nice for me.

    • I think tethering question referred to software support for OM-D series like that of the E-5 series. And I believe the answer was left open, probably referred back to Tokyo. I believe the real answer is that Olympus needs to figure out how “pro” the OM-D series really is… as there were a variety of questions regarding “pro” level feature support for the OM-D (including service contracts, tethering support, 4/3 lens autofocus support, etc..).

  • Anonymous

    Here you can read a very insteresting preview and analysis about the om5.
    It’s in spanish but you can use the Google translator

  • io

    Of course it is not the G3 sensor. It just performs exactly like it :D

    DXO will tell us…

    • pdc

      And ChipWorks will tell us even more.

  • I’m sure its a classic case of olympus marketing lies, i’m betting on slightly modified G3 sensor

  • Neonart

    Well, Im sold. Pre-ordered silver. I would have preferred the leatherette thats on the black, on the silver too, but oh well.

    I love my EP3 and VF2, so this will combine both and add some improvements to image quality Im sure.

    I must admit though, that I still think the EP3 in silver is a better looking camera. I told my wife I was selling the EP3 and she said “That beautiful silver camera you just got! Why?” LOL.

    • BLI

      Black or silver, that is the question.
      * do silver lenses look ugly on a black body?
      * is the silver body more visually forgiving wrt black and silver lenses?
      * silver lenses with a shade of gold — like the 12/2 and the promised 75/1.8 — do they stick out like a gold tooth in a Hollywood pearl white smile on the silver body?

      • Neonart

        I agree the silver will be more forgiving when using black/silver lenses.

        But it appears to me the black EM5 just looks more finished, with a cooler leatherette.

        Maybe if the dials on the silver would be silver it might finish the top better.

        However, I’m still in for silver. Black looks too serious.

    • MichaelKJ

      I actually prefer the leatherette on the silver. It looks more like the leatherette on my OM-1.

      • Neonart

        It does look more retro, but that skin on the black is so cool.

      • Neonart

        On second thought, I’d love the EM5 just like the EP3. Silver top, stainless body! Oh yeah! Bling-a-licious!

      • +1

  • Camaman
  • Bob

    Doesn’t this turkey know that low noise isn’t the only reason for lower ISO? Like being able to use wide apertures or slow shutter speeds. Is Oly really that clueless?

    • DR

      Yes? :)

      But they know how to beat their fanbois into a frenzy.

    • TheEye

      My guess is that even that turkey knows what an ND filter is. ;-)

  • flash

    Close-up of Sensor. Looks a little square to me.

    • TheEye

      That picture was shot from an angle instead of head-on. Do you know what foreshortening is?

      • flash

        Yes, and in spite that I think it looks a little square here; I did not say square. There are pictures of a sensor being showing off the IBS syatem straight on also (so you do not even half to do math), but that sensor looks a little different then this one. Does it look like a Panasonic sensor?

        • TheEye

          “A little square” is like “a little pregnant.” All sensors look “a little bit alike.” ;-)

          • Geoff

            What I want is a round sensor with suitable programming to enable me to have a fish eye effect with any lens I use, a round sensor so that no pixels will be redundant when in this mode.

  • napalm

    I think what they mean as “new” means new relative to what they were previously using. Doesnt mean an entirely new sensor

    • MichaelKJ

      The stupid thing about all of this is that everyone knows that we will eventually find out who made the sensor, as well detailed information about it. Oly’s refusing to share this information with us now is not good PR and implies a lack of openness and honesty with their customers. Given Oly’s unwillingness to provide more details, my take is that they feel that revealing more information would detract from the appeal of the OM-5.

      • Or it could be due to business reasons? I think Olympus’s decision to not speak of the sensor maker is wise. People are far too presumptuous about quality based on the maker name. I’ll judge the pictures it produces with my own eyes and decide.

        • napalm

          Agree. The result would be more important than who made it. I just hope it wont be like E-510 when the new sensor introduced some problems like banding

      • flash

        Maybe not, we are talking about the M5 and as they say any publicity is good publicity. I bet even some people will buy the camera due to the financial scandal, they will remember the name in back of their head and it will be familiar. Who ever made the sensor had to make it for Olympus so it would fit in their camera design. It will be incrementally better then the P3 sensor probably. The next sensor release will be much better probably. The P3 gave us focus speed, this gives us 5 axis and bulb.

        Olympus will give us a camera with only one or two real improvements so they can give us a camera next year with one or two improvements. Damm they are like Microsoft and their feature list time frame.

        • napalm

          Apple does iterative releases also. Or maybe almost 90% of manufacturers

          • Digifan

            So what you say is buy an Olympus, at least THEY have two or three new items with every release.
            You didn’t mention sensor so, what you mean is (apart from the Nikon 1 and Pentax K-01), don’t bother with any other camera because there’s nothing new in them!

        • napalm

          Double posted

      • Nikku

        Could also be a confidentiality agreement. If Panasonic truly did give Oly their best sensor, they would NOT want that to be general public knowledge, because of the perception (deserved or not) that Oly can squeeze more performance out of Panasonic’s sensors than Panasonic can. It would most definitely cut into Panasonic’s GH2 sales.

      • Steve

        Nobody but us geeks cares about the sensor manufacturer. Does it produce good images? That’s all 99% of people care about. We’ll know that part soon enough. Who made it is completely irrelevant.

        Old tech is also irrelevant. You can find very compelling pictures taken with Leica M8 (2008), Contax N Digital (2002), 1ds Mark II (2004).

        • Steve

          sorry, I should have said “concerns over old tech are also irrelevant”.

  • 43shot

    Pre-orders are not orders they are in a sense “reservations” as many are cancelled before they ship. I will cancel mine if I’m not satisfied with sensor results before then. I’m more skeptical now than before, if this sensor was really better they should have been bragging much more. I’m not getting a good feeling from them and that makes me want to wait for other options. Tic Tock.

    • Steve

      We are 48 hours since the announcement and you are “not getting a good feeling” and worried they are not bragging enough??? Real tough crowd here.

      Almost 2 months until it is shipped. Step back and get some distance here.

      • 43shot

        I’m I marketing person for a fortune 50 company. I know when I smell BS. I like the camera not the BS parts of their marketing. I don’t like BS marketing because I came from the field where the BS marketing people messed up our relationships with clients. Make a good product and emphasize its real strengths and you will likely do well. Try to BS the weaknesses and people see though it and you have lost them. When you launch a product you launch it with all you have or make sure there is no garbage being distributed before you do. It seems they have done many things well and may have a issue with a dated sensor tech. If not. they are not doing a good job dispelling that. If they are in a hurry to get info out before it is ready for prime time then they may know or fear some other product releases. We shall see shortly.

        • Steve

          Exactly what are you talking about? It was just announced. The release websites look great. We are lacking a ton of image samples but that’s about it. Nobody but pixel peepers cares about the sensor manufacturer.

          Your average camera buyer looks at features (the feature set looks great so far), numbers (16MP!), sample images (not out yet, just announced and not on sale yet) and reviews (not out yet, but neither is the camera). All this nonsense about the sensor manufacturer and “outdated tech” is us camera geeks talking in the echo chamber, that’s all. The average buyer doesn’t know or care about that.

          So please tell me what exactly Olympus is doing so wrong with this launch.

          • Rchard


          • Esa Tuunanen

            Lack of dynamic range shows without the slightest pixel peeping.

        • Digifan

          Man you come off as fake.
          EVERY company’s marketing talks bullshit, just look at the ads of Nikon, Canon and Sony.
          Innovations Olympus made in 43 are integrated in their ads as if they invented them.
          Look at th 600D and Nikon 1 ads, it says it all.

          You as a marketing person , supposedly for a big 50 company, should know that.

          So why do you get cross over Olympus’ claim?

  • Miroslav

    “ISO 100 has been removed as ISO 200 has the same low noise performance, but better sensitivity.”

    is as arrogant as

    “CS: Will peak focus be coming soon?
    TT: Maybe in future. I feel that magnified focusing is still better.”

    Thanks for telling us what we should do with our cameras, Olympus. Just add some features and let user decide.

    • TheEye

      Just shoot Raw and use +1 EV. I’m sure you can manage that, should using an ND filter prove too difficult. ;-)

      • Miroslav

        There are too many “just add xyz thing” about E-M5. No flash: just put that included clip on flash; no ISO 100: just put on ND filter; no proper way to hold camera with larger lenses: just add grip(s). They’re unnecessarily complicating user lives by stupid design decisions. Instead of pushing a few buttons or turning a wheel, you’ve got to carry a bag full of accessories and spend time putting them on camera and taking them off. Where have portability and ease of use gone? Not to mention the costs of all those accessories… Thank you very much Oly.

    • If ISO100 is less sensitive than ISO200, Olympus could shoot itself in the foot by adding it. Many reviewers shoot using the base ISO, and it’s entirely possible that they would be disappointed with the quality, leading to poorer reviews and less sales. Not defending Olympus here (I’d like ISO100 myself), but just offering up a possible explanation.

      As to the focus peaking thing, again, extra features cost time to develop and incorporate. It’s possible than Olympus learnt of the focus peaking after the E-M5 was technically finished. Also, from what I’ve heard, magnified focus offers far greater precision than focus peaking, and some user reports say that the Sony focus peaking is not easy to use unless there is a lot of contrast.

      I just don’t think the reality is as black and white as ‘Olympus is ignoring what we want and being arrogant!’

      • flash

        I thought most DSLR and SSC faked iso 100 now, at least that is what I read. It is not like film that gives you much more resolution when you went to slower ISO ones.

        Now a faster shutter speed would be nice.

        • Esa Tuunanen

          Every single modern APS-C DSLR has base ISO of 100. (or lower)
          Their sensors had higher base ISOs something like half dozen years ago.

          And Nikon 1’s smaller less sensitive pixel sensor has wisely base ISO of 50 with better DR than G3/GX1 sensor. (even Powershot G12’s compact sensor has better DR at base ISO of 70)

          • reverse stream swimmer

            The G12 sensor is a good CCD (Sony’s), but it’s successor G1 X has a native Canon CMOS. The G12 also beats the CMOS based G1X with respect to DR. It seems CCD can challenge CMOS, unless it’s of digital output architecture.

            The Nikon CX sensor has some smart Aptina™ DR-Pix™ architecture, and performs impressive in the Nikon 1 system (beats the G1X at DR by the way). Impressive also with the embedded phase detection array. So, it’s not only Sony that can build high performing sensors.

            Just waiting for the Panasonic GH3 sensor to catch up…

      • Miroslav

        On my E-PL1 I use ISO 100 not just because of lower noise, but to overcome flash sync speed limit of 1/160s. By lowering ISO to 100, you essentially get aperture corresponding to 1/320 exposure at ISO 200 and that’s much more manageable on sunny days. And better than E-M5’s 1/250 limit.

        And don’t tell me to get FL-36R or some larger flash because it effectively doubles camera size.

    • Vivek

      Yes, magnified focusing is better than “peaking”!

      If you want ISO 25 equivalent, use an ND filter.

      I recommend a 58mm size so that it can be used with the new 17/0.95 Cosina lens as well.:)

    • bli

      ??? This is not arrogance at all!! The first statement is perhaps stupidity. The second is most likely a realistic engineering asessment of the design choices made. I would guess that the design choices were locked before the NEX-7 was announced, and virtually noone talked about focus peaking before that.

      • Miroslav

        Both functions are software based and thus much easier to implement. I guess they could be added via new firmware and I suppose wouldn’t take much R&D time.

    • +1

  • twoomy

    Will somebody make a bright zoom that has edge-to-edge sharpness already? Something akin to the 12-60mm? I don’t care if it’s big and expensive; it will still be smaller than anything that Nikon or Canon SLR’s take.

    • I am also waiting for a fast zoom, and I am really disappointed that Panasonic does not yet seem able to deliver this year… :-(

  • Dana

    Absolutely fantastic news this week. Thank you Oly.

    Can’t wait to get one.

  • Tags

    If they had the same mentality about lowest iso with the E-pm1, then Olympus is crazy! Long exposures at ISO 200 on the e-pm1 were absolute garbage. I’ll admit, ISO 200 images in decent light looked awesome, but sometimes you need to exposure for 20 seconds to several minutes for sunrise and sunset pictures. I can’t have this be the only camera that I take with me when a 20 second exposure turns into mush (or devastating noise in raw files).

    I’ll reserve judgement until I try this camera out in the field. Olympus, if you are listening, please put in ISO 100 or even ISO 50 just to remove all doubt!

    It sounds like a marketing ploy to say “our sensor is so good we can start it at ISO 200 with the same image quality”. Wrong, there are other reasons we want ISO 100, it’s not just about noise. If my Panasonic LX5 can make some impressive (for the sensor size) long exposures at ISO 80, then a camera of this price/caliber better deliver. This is the last time I’m taking a risk on a new Olympus micro 4/3.

    Also, considering camera makers seem to be focusing on upping the ISO instead of paying attention to the other end of the spectrum, I think we only have ourselves to blame. This is what happens when everyone complains their micro 4/3 camera can’t go to ISO 256,000,000,000. If Olympus read a lot of threads, they would probably gather that almost everyone always shoots in nearly complete darkness! People that do that shoot one format- full frame. I would never shoot a 4/3 camera in extremely poor lighting conditions for critical work, period. Anyone who does should have their head examined.

  • Mainhard Bogner

    Already e p3 at 12800 was completely useless, they didn t learn snd incorporated iso 25k which will be same, useless

    • Digifan

      Euh, Why?
      It’s with all consumer/emthousiast camera’s, the last ISO stop is useless, but the 12800 will be usable. For me that’s more than enough.

  • reverse stream swimmer


    Olumpus has got the latest and the best Panasonic sensor which delivers analogue output signals, contrary to the GH series of sensors (for faster video output) which delivers digitally output with an attached A/D converter. Olympus buys a matching 12-bit A/D converter, probably a newer and different one used in the G3/GX1. This A/D-converter paired with Olympus TruePic VI image processor will give Olympus hopefully some improved performance over the Panasonic siblings G3/GX1.

    Of course the scream for better high ISO performance of the Olympus cameras has affected the product development team for the camera, so they have based on the users cry over the years, prioritized high ISO performance over base ISO dito.

    Look at this example:
    The sensor delivers an outpult voltage, not perfectly clean since the output signal also contains som noise. This output signal is digitized using the A/D, which also adds noise. The A/D has an operational dynamic range, so the designers has to define a ‘base ISO’, which could be say ISO100 or ISO200.

    If starting already at ISO100 with base ISO, for each additional ISO increase in the final camera, the noisier the final image will look like. dpreview will measure the performance at ISO3200, which is 5 stops of degraded performance. However, if setting the base ISO at ISO200, it’s only 4 stops of degraded performance. It’s the manufacturer’s way of masking the weaker light gathering capability of the physically smaller sensor.

    Rather I agree with having the base ISO set at ISO100, which is more in line with my type of photography, I don’t care if the new OM-D ISO setting is now upped to ISO25600!! Starting base ISO at ISO200 comes at a cost too. You need to turn upp the signal gain of the A/D, which adds noise to the total image chain processing.

    Conclusion; -We could get not a full stop, but a fraction of a stop better Dynamic Range (DR) from this sensor & A/D combo, if starting at a lower base ISO. So my recommendation is a message back to Olympus; -We want base ISO to be optimally set for maximised DR, be it ISO80 or ISO200 or whatever. Personally, I don’t see myself shooting above ISO6400.

    • Esa Tuunanen

      > masking the weaker light gathering capability of the physically smaller sensor.
      In sensor tech you don’t read light gathered by whole sensor, you read light gathered by single photosites/pixels!
      It’s area/size (=light gathering capability) of that pixel which decides max performance for certain tech level.
      And Sony’s 24MP APS-C sensor just happens to have only slightly larger pixels which give over two EVs/stops more dynamic range at base ISO of 80 while providing at least same performance at every ISO.

      So it definitely isn’t about physics and tech not allowing better performance from this size sensor.

      • reverse stream swimmer

        I agree the superiority a full blown digitally architectured image sensor provides, giving not only faster & better video output, but probably having much easier to counter noise by averaging the sampled signal both in time and spatial domain to begin with. With a cleaner signal to feed the ADC, that can even be 14-bit for the mentioned two EVs/stops more DR results. I suppose, with the current analogue output sensor architecture, this is about as good as it can be.

        Just waiting for the Panasonic GH3 sensor to catch up…

  • ISO 200 = better sensitivity? Good for natural light photographer but bad for those who use small modifiers with 2400ws packs.

    New 4/3 lens = Like button! ^_^

  • om-4

    Maybe Olympus can take a page from Nikon’s playbook.
    D800 is offered in two versions. One with and the other D800E without AA-filter.

    Perhaps Olympus can offer an E-M5L.
    L would stand for low iso. Bring back the 12mpx and tune it down to ISO50 with a max of ISO6400 with clean 3200 and forego video altogether (Leica doesn’t do video)

    To compete with GH2 a retweaked E-M5V should offer all formats/framerates. Let user decide which rate to use not give half the options that PAL users are not that happy with.

    • Agent00soul

      When will people understand that there is no way to “tune down” the minimum iso without totally redesigning the sensor? The only way is to artificially reduce the sensitivity by putting a fixed ND filter in front of it. But that will reduce quality for all iso sensitivities but the lowest.

  • The marketing trick that Olympus keeps the interest for the product at a high level by not divulging the sensor manufacturer seems to me somewhat unethical.

    • “Unethical”? Please…
      This bit of info can’t matter that much. Just look at the images the camera produces when they become available. Cameras are for making photographs, you know.

    • Digifan

      Sorry but now I have to laugh. You are serious?
      What’s unethical about managing to be in the spotlights, EVERY company tries to do that.

      I think some here have lost it!!!!!

  • I think that during Q&A and interviews with manufacturers their prime goal is selling. Meaning that what they have now is the best you can get. The sensor issue is sensitive ! :-) Thus the rather diffuse information. No way we will know the quality of images until we see impartial tests.
    For me the supplier of the sensor is a lot less intersting than the results from it. (Of course if Oly choses another supplier than Pana that is of interest as it increases the risk for less interoperability lens – camera Pana – Oly)

    • admin


    • Digifan

      There is nothing to sell yet.
      Only preorders are availble, and they will be cancelled if the product is not up to it.
      Before the big batches sell there will be reviews.

      Anyone preordering that’s having doubts about the IQ or build have lost their marbles allready.

      I think most here are like little children that whine if they don’t have their way.

  • Speaking of discussions: Did you notice that the number of comments for the dpreview E-M5 hands-on article is about to set a new record? 824 and counting!

    Shows the huge interest in the camera. Plus, most of the most popular comments are very positive.

    • Miroslav

      Here as well – there have been 700+ comments in the post where the first image was published, beating by 300 the previous record. Olympus could have had big success if they haven’t screwed up on small things, but that’s the story of m4/3 bodies in the last couple of years :( … Once the novelty has worn off and heads cool down, people will realize there are cameras that offer much better value for money. Another missed opportunity.

      • What do you mean by “screwed up on small things”? I have the Panasonic G3 and it suits me very well for what I need it for. Now, the E-M5 is the first serious alternative. For about 30 grams more, I would get IBIS, weather sealing, more buttons and Olympus colors. Sounds great to me!

        • Miroslav

          Some small things that matter to me:

          -compared to E-P3:
          no built in flash
          no ISO 100
          no proper grip ( with addon grip, camera’s much larger )
          no AVCHD

          -compared to mirrorless competition:
          no focus peaking
          no PDAF ( via sensor or adapter )
          no articulated screen, just tilt
          no high speed sync speed
          no HDR
          no in camera panorama

          For me E-P3 is much better choice if you want IBIS and Olympus colors. And you save some 500 USD…

          • Thanks for that list. There is certainly some room for improvement in the EM-5. ISO 100 or even 50 would indeed be nice and an articulated screen too, even if it is just to protect the screen (For me, a camera without screen would be perfect).

            When it comes to the flash, I’m glad the EM-5 has none, and I don’t care about video.

            Are you sure the E-M5 has no AVCHD?

            Anyway, viewfinder and weather sealing would be enough for me to prefer the M5 over the P3.

          • Neonart

            Ep3 does not have ISO 100

          • Lockx

            As someone that does photography as a profession I’ve got to say that most of the stuff you’re complaining about not being there – HDR, Panorama, etc. – is stuff that I wouldn’t use in the camera even if it was there.
            In camera ability seriously sucks compared to what can be done at a later point, with much more customisability and control using programs that are designed only for that particular thing.

            Also with prior models in both ranges, as many have commented, the ISO 100 is not exactly native to the sensor, but done digitally by shifting the curve. There’s a reason ND filters exist.

            • Miroslav

              I agree with all you’ve said, but as someone who does photography as a hobby and something completely unrelated for living, I’ve got almost no time to post process, not even to sort my photographs sometimes. I’ve got unsorted pictures from 2009 on hard drives and don’t know when I’ll be able to delete unwanted ones :(.

              So anything that can speed up my workflow a bit is welcome. And there are some situations when you’ve got no time to search for ND filter, put it on and then take a photo. Sometime you don’t even have space to take ND filter with you.

              But the designers of E-M5 assume we have space in our bags for addon flashes, filters, grips, important moments that can be frozen so that we can put appropriate filter on our lens and then take a photo and half an hour per photo after we come back from our holidays with 1000+ images. And above all, money to burn by buying all those things that could have been in camera.

              In an ideal world, I’d have several cameras, some film, some medium format, some FF, one for every possible occasion and appropriate lenses, filters, flashes, diffusers, adapters, film scanners and computers for post processing. A truck to carry all the gear and unlimited time to perfect each photo. But in this age, the only way is to take several photos with the best camera you’ve got with you and just delete bad ones afterwards.

              Btw, much more expensive and pro orientated Nikon D800 has HDR mode, so I don’t see why E-M5 wouldn’t.

  • BLI

    What constitutes a sensor? In the photovoltaic industry, some companies produce the wafers and cut it up in specified sizes, while other companies add circuitry, mounts, etc and sell the finished solar cell/panel to the customers.

    Similarly, one could argue that one company produces the wafer with pixels, while the same or another company adds circuitry (A/D converters, etc), filtering, mounting (in IBIS), etc. for cameras.

    If an existing wafer is used, the pixel densities of *existing* wafers dictate that the only realistic producer of the E-M5 wafer is Panasonic with either the G3/GX1 wafer or the GH2 wafer; alternatively the wafer in the Nikon 1 line *if it is possible to cut out larger wafers than those in the CX sensor*. All other existing wafers have too low pixel density, and can not achieve 16 Mpx in the m43 sized wafer. (Ok — the wafer in the X10 sensor could, but I don’t think the image quality would be sufficient.)

    Thus: in order for the wafer producer to be different from Panasonic, either Aptina has to have made special wafer sizes for Olympus (which I doubt) or another manufacturer has to have made a *new* wafer with a new pixel density. The latter is possible, of course, but that probably would make the sensor expensive with Olympus as the only user (Pana will most likely use their own wafers).

    To conclude: with this interpretation of “sensor” (which in fact is quite accurate!), the wafer is only a part of the sensor, and Olympus can rightfully claim it is their design if they have added their own circuitry, mounting, etc. It is even possible that they have suggested minor tweaks to the wafer.

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