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President Hiroyuki Sasa says E-M5 sensor is from Sony!


Yahoo Japan reports that Olympus President Sasa confessed the Olympus E-M5 sensor has been made by Sony. If the news has been reported correctly than it’s nice to hear that within the Micro Four Thirds world we have some sort of competition even on the “sensor level”. Now, if only Canon would join the m43 world…joke! This is not going to happen :)

E-M5 preorder links: Amazon, Adorama, B&H, Jessops, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Amazon France, Amazon Japan and Digitalrev.

E-M5 accessory list:

There is the official CS-36FBC Olympus case. A leather half case from Hong Kong. A full leather case with strap from Cina. Than we have half cases from two well known producers, Zelenpol, Kaza and Gariz.

Batteries, and other things:
The Olympus GS-4 strap and the DSTE E-M5 batteries you have to use with an extra charger. There is an E-M5 car charger a new E-M5 LCD screen and a Front Cover+ Top Panel.

  • Kaiser Soze

    Well it all makes sense now. Panasonic just has not been able to increase the quality of their sensors like Sony has. If Sony can keep producing good sensors for micro 4/3 and Olympus, Panasonic & and the others can produce good glass the system will mature in a very short time

  • Pretty damn interesting!

  • jake

    I saw the original interview in Nikkei paper here in Japan and I was dissapointed it was not a Toshiba or an Aptina.

    • mooboy

      Why does it make any difference after the fact who made it?

      Now, will everyone who said same sensor as gx1 please do a public retraction :)

      I never went to pixel peeping levels, but just never looked the same ‘signature’ as gx1.

      • Tim

        “Why does it make any difference after the fact who made it?”
        We already knew that sony make good sensors. if it was someone else it would have meant a healthier market with equal competitors.
        I suppose that it is not so bad as it is. Sony, Canon, Samsung, Panasonic, Sigma and Aptina make larger sensors that can compete on more or less equal basis.

    • Dumdum

      What a lame comment. It doesn’t matter even if some backwater factory in some remote locale developed the sensor, as long as it delivers the goods, and by most accounts, the E-M5’s sensor does.

  • David

    That explains why the output reminds me a lot of my old NEX-5N, very interesting.

    • Digifan

      What BS

      • Dumdum

        Digifan, I agree.

  • Yun

    No wonder . Since when Olympus over perform Pana in sensor technology ?
    It’s good news for M4/3 users .
    This definitely will put more pressure on Pana to come out something that really can compete .

  • MikeS

    That’s great news. Panasonic’s sensor stinginess was holding back Olympus’ cameras. Imagine if the G3/GX1 sensor had ended up in the E-P3!

    • E-1


  • SWWT

    Does it even matter who made it? Doesn’t Olympus completely design it, then send it off to some other company to just merely fabricate it?

    Or do they actually use a Sony designed sensor, then tweak it to their liking?

    • mclarenf3

      I think it actually is the latter. But either way, it’s good to see another partnership, even if it’s not really a part of the m43 group.

    • Miroslav

      My view is it’s somewhere in the middle. If you design a diesel engine and want Ferrari to produce it, they’ll say they don’t have the technology. But if you design a petrol engine similar to theirs, they could do it.

      I suppose the situation is the same with the sensor producers. Sony presented Olympus with the technology available and Olympus designed what they wanted within those limits.

      • spam


  • southbymidwest

    Probably explains the production delays on the OMD ;-)

    • Farrukh


  • Achiinto2

    I wanted to laugh at those who always insist the sensor was from Panasonic. This should prove them wrong.

  • Adriaantie

    Sony rules……. It is pitty that Sony dit not design the em5. Than it would be a truly beautiful en good camera.

    • Ulli

      You must be joking right?
      A sony part in my camera? yikes! ;-)

      • The Real Stig


    • mooboy

      Sony DID design the OM-D, except they used model number NEX-7.

      You’re obviously a lying troll. If you really hated EM-5 and m43 as much as you claim, you’d have got a NEX or Canikon.

      • E-1

        Don’t feed the troll.

    • awaler


    • bart

      Oh, hey Adriaantje, did you know Sony males a full frame camera? Please go buy it and drown in bokeh.

    • The Real Stig

      Why is it a pity? Your constant trolling suggests you would never buy one anyway because it wouldn’t ever be good enough for you. So why does it matter to you what the aesthetics are of a camera you obviously would never buy anyway?

      Me, I get down on my knees and kiss the ground in thanks that Sony had nothing to do with the E-M5 apart from the sensor!

      There are two brands of products I will never buy from again. Number one is Sony and number two is Phillips. Sony make good looking, expensive, garbage that is fine tuned to break or die, within minutes of the warranty expiring. I have owned enough of their trash to know.

      • Chad

        a bit heavy on the histrionics I think. I have a tank like A900 sitting here (4 years after production) that I doubt will be failing anytime soon. Nothing has fallen off my NEX-7 either. Guess I’ll have to wait a few more years for this Sony junk to fall apart…

        • The Real Stig

          You reckon?

          Walkman FM2
          ICF 2001
          ICF Pro 80
          MDR – D77
          SE K750i

          In today’s money, that’s probably €2-3K+ down the drain. I am genuinely very glad you are having better luck than me.

          • Chad

            You are comparing apples to oranges. Different divisions, different products, different markets.

            I have owned most modern mirrorless cameras at one point and found them to be of relative quality in terms of hardware problems. Your mileage may vary but I have yet to hear of wholesale failures in the Sony line that are any worse than Fuji, Oly, Panny, Canon, Nikon. All have had issues of some sort, although I would say Oly and Panny have been the best of the bunch. But to bash Sony as a generalization is, well, an unwarranted generalization.

    • .monodrift

      Troll harder, Adriaantie.

      • scalia

        yeah me too:
        W950i, have 2 of them, died almost at the same time. even my older Nokia is still going strong

    • Dumdum

      What a stupid comment. The E-M5 is a good design as it is. I’d rather have the E-M5 over the more menu-dependent NEX-7. You’re free to take your lust for Sony over to a Sony forum.

  • pelex

    It sort of reinforces the rumor about the Sony/Olympus partnership?

    • Esa Tuunanen

      Not really.
      In past ten years Sony’s semiconductor division has made/sold sensors to most digital camera brands, including Canon.

  • Pei

    Means m4/3 will never be as good as NEX IQwise but better than before this deal. Also means SONY holds Olympus’ life line.

    • ljmac

      That doesn’t necessarily follow – they can just have lower MP. It has been speculated that this sensor is a 4/3rds sized version of the 24MP Sony APS-C sensor, so it has basically the same performance (with desirable Oly tweaks) but less MP. And I don’t know about you, but 16MP is more than enough for me.

      • mooboy

        I think Pei is doing same as claiming NEX will never be as good as Nikon D800 IQWise…

        But, like, well duh. Unless there was a sensor manufacturer well ahead of all competitors and totally unwilling to make large size sensors for the likes of Canikon, you’d always expect m43, all other things being equal (lens quality etc) to have worse IQ than the bigger sensor varieties.

        The question is, can it get close enough that you’re willing to take the IQ compromise for the smaller size and weight. And for me, the answer is yes.

        • Pei

          Thank you. You got my point. Unless Panasonic exceed SONY technologically, bigger SONY sensor will always rule over smaller SONY sensor.

          • Dumdum

            Pei, it looks more like your point is Sony is your lord and savior, just looking at the intended all-caps that’s reserved for Sony. Your bias easily shows.

      • Frederic Hew

        Well, in which case you could say Sony holds the lifeline of Nikon, Pentax, Ricoh and Leica as well… did I forget anyone?

        Olympus is far better off having an alternative, and I hope this will drive Panasonic to push their sensor technology a little bit further.

    • Starred

      So Nikon cameras are also inferior to Sony models?

    • mooboy

      As for Sony holding Olympus’s lifeline – still better than Panasonic being the sole provider of m43 sensors. Now, if tomorrow Panasonic shut down its camera division, Olympus with Sony could go on and our m4 lens collections could still be used.

      • Bob B.


    • Frederic Hew

      Well, in which case you could say Sony holds the lifeline of Nikon, Pentax, Ricoh and Leica as well… did I forget anyone?

      Olympus is far better off having an alternative, and I hope this will drive Panasonic to push their sensor technology a little bit further.

  • tom

    i still think it’s funny/lame that Olympus was so secretive about it for a long time. Really, who cares?

    • Panny had lots of bad rep in the last financial year which ended this May.

      Now in June it is a good time to disclose the loss of the exclusive partnership with Oly.

      I think Oly simply played nice to the Panny.

  • One can only dream that the partnership with Sony might sometimes lead to a small mirrorless FF.

    Panny sensors were a mixed bag for Oly. While they allowed it to step up the ISO in 4/3, from the Kodak sensor, they held back the Pens, to the point that some believed they could never rival a dSLR.

    I’d like to have the news confirmed, but it does make good sense, after seeing the jump in performance of the OM-D,

    It also disproves the theory that a 3d party maker doesn’t have the motivation to make a 4/3 sensor, which is very good.

    • hlbt

      DC Watch (web site run by Impress, one of Japan’s largest tech publishers) confirmed the news with Olympus IR.

    • Esa Tuunanen

      Except for GH-sensors told by Panasonic reps to be different design (+exclusive to their cameras) Panasonic has been getting nowhere in dynamic range since probably 5 years old 12MP sensor Olympus was stuck with so this news fits well to DR results of TechRadar’s review.

      That DR is quite well in line of DxOMark’s results for APS-C DSLRs with roughly similar pixel size Sony made sensors.

      Whether this sensor is fully designed by Sony or does include some Olympus tech in design is irrelevant for as long as it delivers step forward in performance.
      Though this is really two steps because that old 12MP sensor could compete neither in DR nor SNR…

  • mister_roboto

    so… after all of the defensiveness of not telling everyone who made it we get a “lol Sony did it” from the CEO?

  • nik

    but e-m5 sensor is even better than nex-5n

  • JP

    No wonder the E-M5 beats the crap out of the GH2!

    • REP96st

      Yeah, Right?? A Camera released in 2012, beating the Crap out of a camera released in 2010! Who would’ve thought…?

      • JP

        It is what it is REP69, rep that.

        • REP96st

          Well, that’s to be expected, right? It’s a brand new camera in the same class, isn’t it Obvious?


          • Dumdum

            Still, it is what it is. Rep that. DUH.

    • 54t4t

      By beat the crap I take it you mean no difference at low iso for any size of a print and less than a single stop at high ISO LOL

      • Dumdum

        Troll harder. Your post doesn’t evoke feelings of rage and anger.

  • 43shot

    Who cares. Really.

    • Martin

      Right! This news only means that Olympus got addicted to their marketing strategy of keeping blogs life by leaking snippets of information, then returning to secrecry until their products need a fresh coverage in the blogs. Actually, “made by” is too generic a term to constitute any informartion at all.

    • The Real Stig

      Everybody who says ‘who cares’, probably.

  • ljmac

    If true, this news lends credence to the idea that Panny shafted Oly with their sensor selection, explaining why they were stuck with that crappy old 12MP sensor for so long. If Panny had let Oly use the GH sensors or even the G3 sensor, I suspect they wouldn’t have bothered to go to Sony.

    • REP96st

      “If true, this news lends credence to the idea that Panny shafted Oly with their sensor selection”

      Like Panasonic held Olympus by the balls… Stop with all the foolishness and the Sony Knob-Slobbing. Olympus can use whatever sensor they want. They chose a Sony one. Big deal. Apple makes the Macbook Pro, but not everything in it is made from Apple, nor can anyone limit it spec wise, unless patents got in the way.

      • bilgy_no1

        exactly, everyone uses parts made by everyone else. Olympus also use Amoled screens by Samsung.

        But this was a big mystery for some time. Nice to have it cleared up…

  • Robbie

    LOL Remember so many experts claiming the EM5’s got the same sensor as GX1…

    • 43shot

      Yes, but not as much as all the BS about the sensor in general. Why does it matter unless one is waging stock bets? Who cares who makes the sensor? People with no life that only want to debate nonsense on top of nonsense, Choose the camera that works for you and stop dwelling on who makes the sensor.This is all about the insecurity of validating ones choices.

      • REP96st

        Exactly… It’s fools trying to justify their Sony purchase with lousy glass. That, or the fanboy that creams for anything Sony.

      • JP

        43Shot – well the OM-D provides superior results to all previous MFT cameras – much of that is thanks to the new sensor – whatever brand it really is.

      • dau

        . Anyone who frequents a 43 rumour forum cares a little bit. Even if it is a little hard/difficult to admit…

  • Miroslav

    Wow! That’s a blow for Panasonic. Competition is good. Canon will not join m4/3, but will Sony? They have the sensor now. They can leave APS-C to SLTs and make NEXes with m4/3 sensor. There is no way to make NEX lenses smaller if the sensor remains the same.

    Incidentally, there are still no DxO sensor test results for E-M5.

    • Steve

      Do you need to see somebody’s benchmarks to justify a purchase? The output suits your needs or it doesn’t, period.

      • Miroslav

        No, no, that sensor suits my needs, I’m just waiting for another camera body with it, don’t like E-M5. My hopes are with “PEN revolution”.

        I’m just curious how it compares to other 4/3 and APS-C sensors in numbers, but strangely DxO is not publishing the review although the other sites have done it couple of months ago.

        • Khufu

          Because they, at DXO, have been hoodwinked, bamboozled, flabbergasted by those results ;p

          • Anonymous

            DXO is sponsored by… certain companies. If they publish the tests, they eat up the sales of those companies’ cameras.

        • Steve

          To tell you the truth I generally prefer the ergonomics of the E-P3 over the E-M5, though the sensor, focusing speed, and weather sealing are much, much better on the newer one. I can understand where you are coming from.

  • Ganec

    If it is the same senzor as 24M Sony APS-C at pixel level, why E-M5 starts with ISO 200 and A57 with ISO 50?

    • n457

      There is not stated that it’s the same sensor! It says the sensor is developed by Sony.

      • Martin

        At least the translation doesn’t even say “developed”, but uses the overly generic term “made by”. Which could mean anything.

        • n457

          Right, “made by”, my mistake.

  • Khawag

    This is another winning point from Sony. E-M5 is just another Sony’s camera, like Nikon’s D800.

    Perhaps we should rename it to Sony’s E-M5 and Sony’s D800

    • Pete

      then we have to remane many Peugeot to BMW because the engine is the same.
      then we have to rename every 35mm kamera to LEICA M because the film is the same they used first?!

      very strange to read all this, without olympus there would be no 43 at all!

      • mooboy

        Hope you didn’t write that message on a Foxconn iphone…

        Meanwhile, I bet they use Pansonic capacitors in the EM-5, as well as a Samsung screen, so I think it should be called the Panasonic Sony Samsung E-M5…

    • Anonymous

      well,finally olympus can get rid of the fucking panny sensor,great!

      • JP


    • The Real Stig

      By your lack of logic, every iPhone and iPad is in fact a Samsung product – LoL …

  • Brod1er

    The big question is whether Panasonic can match or improve on the Sony sensor. I do like the flexibility of the multi aspect GH sensors, but will switch to Oly (and the new IBIS) if Panasonic can’t do better with the GH3. Certainly good to have more choice now between manufacturers.

  • lorenzino

    The excruciating dilemma of who made the sensor inside my camera…

    knowing it, I can certainly take better pictures!

    • Gianluca


    • Chez Wimpy

      Of course it matters. If the sensor inside my 5D2 were “sony” I would go tripodless when shooting sunsets knowing I would push shadows without banding. As it stands, Canon sensor means banding nightmares, so I pack my tripod, bracket shots, and manual blend in PS. The EM5 has a serious advantage over other m43 cameras when it comes to wide DR imaging (and the added ability to shoot handheld freely, without resorting to tripod bracketing). Now we know why.

      • Dumdum

        Chez, to assume that the branding on the sensor affects banding in images captured is all hogwash. Sony has offered sensors with banding before (the 10 MP one used in the K10D back then), which just goes to show that the branding on the chip is irrelevant – the actual product does.

        • No Name

          No, branding is important. Sony sensor = great shadow detail. Canon sensor… ermm, good for nothing? hahaha.. kidding. Don’t compare current Sony with older Sony, that kinda pointless knowing that sensor tech advances. Man, you all should be happy that the sensor is made by Sony, world best sensor maker!

  • Sunny

    Never mind who´s making the sensor – I want to see the image quality of the m5 in an E-PL5 – or E-P5 with integrated vf!

  • Ilikeit

    Two sources of sensor is good thing for m43 system. Three – even better. Hey, Sigma, please make a body with m43 Foevon sensor – it will be better business than your strange system.

  • Mathias

    The funny thing is if Sony used the exact same sensor technology for NEX, just with the bigger APS-C surface area, they would get more Megapixels than the OM-D, but with the same per-pixel-quality. So downscaled to the same resolution the NEX would then have better per-pixel-quality. Which means a NEX would then clearly beat the OM-D from a sensor point of view. This is currently not the case, so it seems the NEX sensors probably have some room to improve. Or if Sony made a full frame sensor using the exact same sensor technology as is used for the OM-D, the full frame sensor would have about 64 Megapixels with the same per-pixel-quality as the OM-D. So my best guess is that the OM-D and the Nikon D800 are using the very latest Sony technology, but the sensors currently used in the NEX series are probably half a generation behind.

    Just some random thoughts. Personally, I’m more than happy with the quality the OM-D delivers.

    • Dannecus

      The biggest impact on IQ is the lens, given the same sensor Oly has a serious advantage in the glassware.

      • Sunny

        It´s not only the lens or the sensor – it´s the combination of lens-quality, sensor-quality, software-quality, processor-quality and knowhow/philosophy.

        • No Name

          How about photographer factor?

    • Geoff

      I think it’s a mistake to write off Sony glass that simply, unless Sony are developing their Lens technology from scratch. Let’s not forget the Minolta legacy where they had some of the best Glass available, that history would never have been written off by Sony, unless Konica damaged it in those intervening years which I think highly unlikely.

      • bart

        Sony bought technology, but lacks the ability to develop what they bought. Proper lens desighn is not just a matter of technology, but also of having the proper mindset for designing useful things based on that technology, and that isn’t something you can just buy and merge into your company.

      • Dumdum

        It remains to be seen if Sony also retained the same engineers Minolta had. There are no news if any or all were absorbed by Sony in addition to the designs that Minolta already had.

  • Do

    Good news is that this sensor will probably be found in all Olympus MFT cameras in the near future since Sony produces these sensors exclusively for Olympus and therefore Olympus probably must buy a huge amount of them.

    • ashwaniman

      Sony that produces this sensor exclusively for Olympus ?
      I’m sure Sony will only do this if they have some other interests. Maybe Sony intends to do something with that sensor …

      • rrr_hhh

        Sell it to Canon for their coming mirrorless which is more or less the size of mft ? I know that Canon build sensor for his own DSLRs, but 1) they buy compact sensors elsewhere; 2) their own sensors are no more leading the market; they need a very good sensor in a mirrorless with smaller sensor; so why not getting one from external sources ?

  • Brod1er

    Alien technology. Really amazing the development. I am now ready to upgrade from my GH1. Thanks aliens!

  • E-1

    Oh no! What will the GH2-owners-who-need-the-M5-sensor-to-be-from-Panasonic–for-their-self-esteem-and-insisted-without-any-fact-in-every-discussion-here-and-on-DPreview-that-the-sensor-is-from-Panasonic now do to keep their self esteem up?

    Glad this stupid discussion ends now.

    • Duarte Bruno

      I hope they keep taking photos with their GH2s (like I do).
      This is really good news. Competition is good. I hope Panasonic pushes forward and gets back a stop or two of DR on their sensors. Resolution is fine as it is.

      • E-1

        I’d hope that too! But if past behavior is any indication, my hopes are low. People who take their self esteem from the gear they buy and show off, are not interested in taking photos.

        • Rep96st

          I don’t agree. I would still buy this camera, Sony sensor or not, but I’m waiting to see what Canon and Panasonic does first. Even still, I’m leaning towards the em5

  • B. Thominet

    “This is nto going to happen”
    so sad… and stupid

  • Makes no difference to me, except I’m enjoying thinking about all the “experts” from here who were so certain it was the GX1 sensor. Just goes to show that people only see what they want to see.

    • omdconvert

      I agree I don’t understand how people concluded this was the G3 sensor:

      Makes you wonder about camera reviews

      • Anonytrackball

        I made a single dot 1 picolitre print of the same shot from 5 cameras (135 to phone) all on the same paper and could not tell the difference. Should I panic? Should I give up? Should I spend the next 10 years in therapy? How will I ever be able to read a pixel peeper report ever again, when these guys wave their eyes and pet analyser over the image, multiply it by their own magic number ($ dependant or like best) and produce pages of highly detailed results?
        Oh dear me, I will never be able to take a proper photo.

    • Dumdum

      If that thought gives you a rise in your pants, then okay. But I doubt you’d be able to see the difference between the G3 sensor output and the Sony sensor output by yourself, too. A lot of things go into the final image, and not just sensor raw data. You can standardize all sensors across all makers, and yet image outputs from each will still differ.

  • Seems mant thinks “Sony developed sensor = Sony did it 100%. That is not true. Sony developes sensors TOGETHER with many camera makers, including Sony imaging. Nikon – Sony cooperation is very successful as Pentax – Soný. It’s not just the physical sensor, it is also about processor and communication and programming.
    To me it seems Sony has taken the lead in sensor development the last years leaving for instance Canon behind. For Panasonic and Samsung that wre behind Sony from start this must be a huge problem: Sony must have a huge budget for development given they supply several brands. By that Sony learns a lot based on the different requirements (from brands) they have to reach.
    Canon, Samsung and Panasonic – can they really catch up and pass? Don’t think so, it is a fast moving target.
    The result: If you want to sell cameras in the future, Sony sensors are the most secure choice.
    We are approaching a monopoly here……………

    • One more thing: It will be really interesting what Pana launches up to Photokina. Oly EM-5 has set a quality standard but also a price level. Can Pana really match this?

      • JP

        Panasonic cannot touch the OM-D. Even the hard core video guys, the ones that always point out the lack of 24 frame rate, cannot deny that the OM-D has the best stabilization of any non dedicated video camera. Video on the OM-D looks like it was shot with a Steadycam. And once Oly adds the other frame rate, it’s over for Pana and their oversaturated images. I’ve used a number of Panasonic lenses and cameras, they all seem to suffer from the same problem, blue skies that always look incorrect (except for the Leica/Panasonic 25 mm FT lens- that one gets it right without having to post process.)

    • reverse stream swimmer

      ever heard about reverse engineering?

      Patents may protect to some extent, but Korean and Chinese are experts in copying others design ideas. Sensor design and performance will become commodity, so any advantages for one brand will soon be flattened out. Expect Canon and Samsung tight to follow, if any current advantages exist by others.

      • k

        I wonder how often reverse engineering is a profitable endeavor for microchip design.

  • mocha

    Again, this proves Sony is good at making sensor but not good at doing the engine. You never get a perfect image quality from NEX-5N until you process the image from her own ARW RAW file. JPEG is always over compressed but never reserve an option for the finest quality. I have checked the samples of E-M5 with 75mm F/1.8 from dpreview. The image quality is really good at ISO 1600, even a little bit out performance the 18MP images from Canon APS-C serious. If M4/3 can focus or adjust aperture by hand, I may use it on the NEX-5N body. LOL

  • Bryan

    SONY RULES !!!

    • Anonymous

      Humm…… No!

  • BLI

    This rumor *may* be true. The interesting thing (if true) is that then Olympus *must* have specced the sensor, and Sony made it according to specs — the pixel density on the E-M5 sensor is *higher* than that of the NEX-7 (a 24Mpx APS-C sensor scales to 14Mpx m43). In other words: the E-M5 sensor is *not* a NEX-7 chip sliced to m43 size.

    • Zune

      Yes i think this is a new sensor anyway, and baybe after spec. from Olympus.

  • JF

    Finally ! All the measurements I saw until now where showing sensor performances at least on par with Nex-5N, maybe better. I’m not very surprised it’s a Sony one…
    After using a GH1, I can say that E-M5 sensor is really really better, no banding, very clean iso 1600 (I shot night concert at 1600 iso few weeks ago and was amazed by the results !), better DR at iso 200 with a lot more informations in the shadows…
    I wonder what Dxo is doing ? they are comparing Nikon D800 to D800E and concluding it’s same sensor !! Wow !

  • > Yahoo Japan reports that Olympus President Sasa confessed the Olympus E-M5 sensor has been made by Sony.

    Not particularly surprised. In DPR’s E-M5 review, in the RAW image comparator, E-M5’s closest match noise-wise was the NEX-5N. Push-ability of the RAWs too on par with other Sony chips.

    I just hope that the O&P partnership on m43 wouldn’t suffer.

    But considering the price bracket of the E-M5, I gather Oly *is* careful not to discomfort the Panny and very likely would continue to use the Panny sensors in lower-tier models (PEN vs. OMD). (IMO Panny deserves the slap after refusing to share the GH’s sensor with Oly.)

  • Hamed

    i don’t think so that Sony who’s made the sensor because the result of the long exposure from the OM-D is very noisy & bad specially in Raw mode any thing above 1s is noisy :( even while the NR is on :(

    did any one notice that problem?

    just try & see :( .. Olympus still poor in this situation

    i will cry :(

    • Pixel size is smaller on the Oly EM-5 sensor compared to APS-C sensors. Same goes for the total sensor area. Law of physics still prevails.
      Considering this, the EM-5 IQ still is great! (I do not own one :-) )

    • The Real Stig

      I think Sony do dark-frame noise subtraction from long exposures – which is a processing engine thing, not a quality of the sensor.

      • Martin

        I would be surprised if the EM-5 wouldn’t offer dark-frame substraction. The Pannies have it (as a switchable option if you mind the delay imposed by taking the dark-frame image), as do all the competitors I know of.

        • Bart

          Olympus cameras offer 2 different settings for handling noise:
          – noise filter (none, low, standard, high)
          – noise reduction (off, on, auto).

          The second of those (noise reduction) is dark frame subtraction. In auto mode, it will only use this for long exposures (2s +), whereas on and off should be obvious.

          The camera will actually create the dark frame after taking the initial picture, by taking a second picture with the same iso + ‘time’, but keeping the shutter closed. This is quite noticeable due to the extra time it takes.

    • Ross

      I did try it, but at ISO 200. While dark areas are compressed (in the JPEG output), the main appearance looks good.

    • JF

      Coming from GH1, I feel that the E-M5 long exposure IQ is very good ! Less chroma noise and no banding…
      Long exposure shots with E-M5:

      • Lovely shots JF

      • Anonymous

        That is a LOT of noise for a dozen seconds at base ISO…

        • JF

          Maybe you’re right, I should add that I probably increased exposition by at least +1EV in PP and lightened the shadows. I never tried any APS-C or FF so I don’t have any idea if it’s better or not concerning noise but I can tell you that my GH1 is shit compared to E-M5…

      • Neonart

        Those are beautiful!

        Unless you print posters out of every photo, those are fantastic for most uses.

        Fact is those are far better shots than so many crappy shots taken by lousy photographers with some full-frame wonder camera.

  • st3v4nt

    While this news answer some of the question, but I probably more happy if there’s a news about OM-D updated firmware with some additional function. i.e Custom Menu, Focus highlight and so on….

  • Ken

    The OM-D sensor isn’t that much better than the GX-1. Not worth the change. But it is nice that the quality is getting better and better.

    • Napilopez

      That depends on what you mean by “not much better”. In terms of dynamic range, it is way ahead, almost 2 stops based on the latest numbers I’ve read. And the RAW samples I’ve tried I’ve downloaded and played with certainly suggest that, compared to my G3. For some people, that’s even more important than the 1 stop-ish improvement in noise performance.

  • PeRo

    In which way the Olympus uses a proprietary trademark “Live Mos” to denote the matrix of Sony?

    • Ross

      I would think by having it made to their specifications & for them, i.e. 4/3’s, then they can then call it what they want. That’s my guess anyhow.

    • Anonytrackball

      Its an Olympus trade mark. I think that’s possibly why the are able to use it.


    I’m still curious why it’s taking so long to be DxO marked. I’ve been enjoying my OM-D for over 2 months now and I know the sensor performance is very good but I’m interested to see their numbers as are many others I’m sure.

    • hlbt

      For political reasons, that’s for sure.

    • JF

      +100 and they had time to test D800 AND D800E which give the same results +/- measurement uncertainty…so interesting ! :D

  • SteB

    Whilst I’ve always thought that in the end the probability was that Canon would use their own proprietary lens mount for their mirrorless system – I also think that it is almost certain that Canon have at least considered the idea of using a m4/3 lens mount. That they appear to have settled on a format very similar to m4/3 indicates that from early on Canon considered m4/3 as around the ideal compromise for mirrorless systems.

    It would actually have been commercial incompetence for Canon not to have considered the m4/3 option. There are advantages and disadvantages to Canon joining m4/3 or using their own proprietary lens mount. Even Canon will struggle to provide the lens range avaiable for m4/3 or even to catch up. Sony with their NEX system have been hampered by the lack of dedicated lenses. You can see that many NEX users are frustrated by the limited range of lenses. It is not commercially a good idea for lots of photographers to buy your system cameras, be reasonably pleased with the cameras themselves, but frustrated by the range of system lenses and accessories. Because they are likely to switch systems, and you then lose a long term customer.

    Overall I think there is a low probability that the Canon mirrorless system will have a m4/3 mount. But it cannot be completely discounted as a possibility.

    • Dumdum

      Most likely it will be similar to the G1X’s sensor, and marketing can claim bigger sensor status (even though the real-world difference is small, but they can blow up their diagram in printed materials and ads to make it look bigger).

      Canon does have the manpower and money to be able to produce lenses in good time for their mirrorless camera. Their APS-C and FF lenses are pretty much complete, and they’re already now just tweaking old designs and updating them, so they can zero in on mirrorless lens design fully. It would be interesting what Canon comes up with since they have shown lately that they can do pancake lenses, too. Interesting times we live in.

  • Traciatim

    Well, I guess hat settles it. Olympus E-M5 is officially off my list of purchasable cameras. Sony is the pinnacle of evil, their track record of consumer abuse is extensive. I still can’t believe anyone who is sane could possibly look at this company and buy any of their products.

    • steshaster

      @Traciatim: you’re sXe right?

    • NT

      Same here. Sony will never have my money if I can avoid it.

    • REP96st

      There’s a lot of Sony parts in a lot of things, but I feel you, customer loyalty is a the low end of the totem pole for sony. Their only goal is to feed the sheep, Profit.

    • Steve-O

      Rule out Nikon, Pentax and who knows who else as well. I’ve never heard of their sensors causing consumer problems, only the best images in their class. And with Olympus processing, I expect more good things to come.

      I personally am happy with the news if true, Olympus is finally unshackled from Panasonic who did them no favors with their crappy 12 MP sensors and by with-holding the good stuff (GH)for themselves.

      Who knows, we might have seen the E-M5 a year earlier were it not for Olympus being unwilling to release a flagship camera with a low-grade Panny sensor.

      • NT

        I do not care. Sony has repeatedly decided to use the money from customers to hurt said customers. Giving money to Sony will just empower them to hurt their customers even more. No more of that. Not my money.

    • Do you have an Iphone or an Ipad? Their camera chips are made by Sony my friend.


      • NT

        Nops. And if I had I would have tossed them. I would rather go back to silver than giving money to Sony. They are that bad in my book.

        • SteveO

          What color hair shirt do you wear :) ? Hey, it’s your choice and that’s fine.

        • Nikku

          Oh brother. Slain any windmills lately?

  • Chris K.

    Now if only Fuji would license their sensor…(Imaging the Pro-1 sensor + one of the Voigtlander lenses? Low-light heaven.)

    • Art

      Fuji XPro-1 has the Sony’s 16 MP sensor but the CFA is designed by Fuji. It has better noise performance and sharpness, but the color information is inferior compared to bayer filter. Really look at the studio images on DPR. Color separation is worse

  • IT Geek

    Come on Pany throw that GS, IS Enabled Sensor out to the wild already!

  • Viktor

    Its a fuji.

  • CRB

    Ok, its official…panasonic is really incompetent…

  • cosinaphile

    im no fan of sony in general but im glad that my omd has that good sensor

    it is so much better than the hand me downs panasonic allowed oly to use in the otherwise excellent ep3 … thing to happen to oly m4\3 in a while

    panny held oly back …. but nolonger ,, thanks to that goood sony sensor

    lets own that truth trollsters ….shall we ?…lol

  • Irresistable user

    Congratulation to the partnership of Sony and Olympus. I don’t know the difference between Sony-Olympus and Sony-Nikon. Maybe Sony designed and made this sensor and then Olympus tweaked it. However, after a world-stunning sensor in D800, this is another proven acheivement for Sony as a true leader in photography industry. Their next generation sensor in NEX9 may be even more outstanding.

  • Firstly, I’m glad the cat is out of the bag now, and we know. I don’t know why there was a lot of secrecy, Sony have a good reputation for sensors. They’re good enough for Nikon to use across their entire dSLR range.

    It’s also kind of weird that this had been kept a great secret for so long (no-one really knew it was Sony, right?) and yet the person who revealed the secret ‘accidentally’ was the President of Olympus? That’s pretty strange.

    I sold my NEX-5n for the OMD, and was always glad of doing so (irony?) The picture quality isn’t any better using the same lens, but because the OMD is smaller and performs equal, it in my opinion is better. That’s not even going down the lens debate which is the true reason people choose m4/3 over NEX.

    When it comes to sensors, you’re an idiot if you think Sony aren’t the expert on the matter. But when it comes to cameras, well I think the traditional camera companies have an edge (although I do appreciate the electronic technology companies like Sony and Panasonic bring to cameras).

    I guess this news also heats up the GH3 vs OMD battle later on assuming Panasonic develop a new sensor for it, we have a genuine different rather than same sensor/lens, so it will be interesting to compare.

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