We had some discussions with our trusted rumor sources. One of our most important questions were about sensor size.
1) Will Olympus and Panasonic ever go full frame?
First short answer, it is not the right time for them to go full frame! Why? Over 90% of the market is driven by consumer oriented models. They don’t need full frame because it is simply to expensive for the great mass of people! Secondly, in time of crisis, development resources are small and you have to focus on existent technology trying to make them better. Thirdly, the difference in quality terms between 4/3 sensor and full frame is small. If you do pixel piping and huge big prints you will see a difference but that’s all. Real improvement can be made with new concept of camera size (like the Olympus m4/3 mockup), better LCD’s (Oled screens avaiable for 2010?), and maybe video recording capabilities.
2) Why is full frame important?
It is important for companies which have a big pro-market. But to get inside the market is quite difficult and not worth it for companies like Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax (with the exception of medium format), Fuji, etc
3) Will Olympus and Panasonic ever go full frame?
They know a micro four thirds concept applied on a full frame sensor would make a lot of publicity in the techworld. Everybody would talk about it! I believe that after the financial crisis, when things will be clearer, they will try to go this way if they have enough resources.
one more thing…
Sensor development goes not only in the direction of size, but of basic sensor concept. Panasonic is working on new HDR sensors which can capture huge a dynamicrange (not so far away from the concept developed by Fuji).
Are you satisfied?