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Old Aug 28, 2008, 3:34 PM   #1
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Hi All

With Photokina coming up rapidly and all the camera manufacturer's introducing various new cameras, inc the M43 from OlyPanaLeica, Canon's 15MP 50D, etc I've been wondering what Pana is likely to do with the sensors for the 4/3 cam's and what your own thoughts would be.

Personally, I hope that they improve the NMOS sensors in terms of IQ, DR and detail first and foremost and resist increasing the no of MP's being crammed onto the sensor. If their is to be an increase in MP - I don't think they should attempt to match a 50D's 15MP but aim to do what Nikon has achieved with the D3 has at 12MP - go for 12MP and knock out IQ. I know with the sensor size its going to be hard but the current sensors in my opinion are not that far behind their APS-C counter parts - the E3 produces files as good as 40D even at 1600ISO. If such a sensor exists, will we see an updated E3 this year or possibly the Panaleica Pro DSLR first or will it go into the M43's or a new 4XX/5XX first ?

Cheers

Harj

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Old Aug 28, 2008, 5:04 PM   #2
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Hi Harj,

Great question!!

If I had a wish list for the 4/3 format, this is what it would include:

An E-3A upgraded DSLR:

world class DR, 12mp I think anymore than that and it becomes awfully difficult to improve ISO using the 4/3 format. In fact, I would reduce the mp to 10 if it meant substantially improved IQ and DR, Class leading IQ at high ISO (1600), 6 FPS shooting capability ,continue with weatherproof construction, standard lenssupplied with the E-3A: 25mm f1.4 lens

I can dream can't I.........................

As for the E4xx series and E5xx series I think that these cameras are positioned fairly well in the entry level DSLR. I think the biggest problem is that Oly sales Dept doesn't work more closely with their suppliers to push those 2 series.When there is a release of a new E-3 version camera equipped with improved DR, Oly can then offer the same sensor in a slightly stripped down model - say the E530the following year.

I'm looking forward to other responses.

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Old Aug 28, 2008, 5:49 PM   #3
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If we are to believe that the image of the m43 body is true, then the next sensor will be 12mp.
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Old Aug 28, 2008, 6:29 PM   #4
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This might be an opportunity to point out that more megapixels does NOT necessarily mean smaller photosites and thus worse performance in terms of noise and dynamic range.

I recently read an interesting magazine article that points to the common, and incorrect, belief that an image sensor is wall-to-wall photosites.

In fact, MOST of the sensor is not covered with photosites. There is, in relative terms, huge amounts of empty space between photosites. Well, not realy all empty as there is space devoted to support circuitry. Nevertheless, a surprisingly small amount of sensor surface is used for light gathering. I was very surprised at how much interpolation is done in order to form an image.

The bottom line is this: with further development, it's possible to build a sensor (including 4/3 sensor) with LARGER photosites and MORE photosites. That means better DR, higer usable ISO and increased resolution. The "trick" is more efficient use of the sensor surface and there is great hope that we will see continuing improvement in this area.
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Old Aug 28, 2008, 8:21 PM   #5
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I also think that a pro camera like E3 can also keep some of the entry level stuff in it as well. Intresting to see Nikon D90 having svga video. I would like this in a cam as i have a family and sometimes capturing stuff would be nice. I miss video mode from my bridge cam C8080.

Also the Scene modes can be helpful in learning how to control the settings of a cam.

an intresting one would be to have the IR senser be moveible so we can do IR work with out the complication of filters or a major mode design then the cam can only be use for iR work I believe sony did this with there dsc 707 cam

And maybe crunshing orf files so there not big as long as data interigty is not compromissed.






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Old Aug 28, 2008, 9:33 PM   #6
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You know we've had this sort of race go on not so long ago (Well it's still going on) with computers. Intel and competitors pushing higher and higher and hard drives getting more and more storage space for even smaller sizes. Look at what's in a good notebook now, compared with a computer from just 3-4 years ago.

We knowa similar thing is going on with cameras and sensors. Saying that you can't cram any more into a sensor is like saying a few years ago,Intel can only get so manygig on their chip. (OrBill Gatessaying "who needs more than 640meg?")

Technology is moving along and although it's harder shoving all that stuff in a camera than a computer, I think we'll see more breakthroughs soon. You can be sure that Oly is on top of the 4/3 movement.
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Old Aug 29, 2008, 12:27 AM   #7
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Brent Gair wrote:
Quote:
In fact, MOST of the sensor is not covered with photosites. There is, in relative terms, huge amounts of empty space between photosites. Well, not realy all empty as there is space devoted to support circuitry. Nevertheless, a surprisingly small amount of sensor surface is used for light gathering. I was very surprised at how much interpolation is done in order to form an image.

The bottom line is this: with further development, it's possible to build a sensor (including 4/3 sensor) with LARGER photosites and MORE photosites.
I assume that article didn't cover the sensors used in FourThirds cameras, because there are a few facts you are missing.

From the first FFT (Full Frame Transfer) CCD sensors, to the LiveMOS/NMOS sensors used in today's FourThirds cameras, there is LESS empty space required between photosites for circuitry than on other CCD and CMOS sensors.

I won't go into FFT CCDs as used on the E-1, E-300, E-500, and E-400 as that's now ancient history, but if you want to read about it you can at:
http://www.olympus.co.uk/consumer/E-1_dslr_6839.htm

In that link note the sentence, "Therefore the photodiodes can be madelarger in a FFT CCD." Olympus has kept this philosophy with using LiveMOS/NMOS sensors instead of CMOS.

With NMOS you get the same benefits of the larger photosites of FFT-CCD with the power saving capability of CMOS sensors, because NMOS photosites require less circuitry than CMOS. I can't find the link to explain this right now, but when I do I'll post it. So again NMOS already has larger photosites than CMOS.

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Old Aug 29, 2008, 5:41 AM   #8
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Scouse wrote:
Quote:
You know we've had this sort of race go on not so long ago (Well it's still going on) with computers. Intel and competitors pushing higher and higher and hard drives getting more and more storage space for even smaller sizes. Look at what's in a good notebook now, compared with a computer from just 3-4 years ago.

We knowa similar thing is going on with cameras and sensors. Saying that you can't cram any more into a sensor is like saying a few years ago,Intel can only get so manygig on their chip. (OrBill Gatessaying "who needs more than 640meg?")

Technology is moving along and although it's harder shoving all that stuff in a camera than a computer, I think we'll see more breakthroughs soon. You can be sure that Oly is on top of the 4/3 movement.
Actually, Bill Gates said in around 1981 that he didn't think we needed more than 640k of memory, not 640M !!!!!!
That's how far we've come!!!
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Old Aug 29, 2008, 8:23 AM   #9
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OK I think the point is getting lost. My senser bigger than yours ok the maths always go's for the larger senser. Unless Olympus invents aTardis sensor (DR WHO) lol.

anyway my point is this olympus went for the 4/3 because they could get eqivelent image quality from this size of senser with 35mm film. so at the end of the day if i take a pic with cam A 4/3 and same pic with cam B FF and printed them out to say A3 would you be able to tell the diffrence.

unless you go above iso1600 then 35mm film at iso 1600 was just crap so come on guys get real. 4/3 might always be just behind ff sensers on the isopart. but has its own advantage over ff. so at the end of the day its like large frame 6" x 6" and 35mm two diffrent systems each one has its own benifit. pick a sytem that suites your photography style and likes.

but the topic is what would we like our digital cams to have be like in the future ?
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Old Aug 29, 2008, 8:48 AM   #10
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What next for 4/3?? I suppose it's not related so much to 4/3 sensors, but development in 4/3 cameras....

4/3, because of its smaller format & flange distance, lends itself to being able to attach other lenses (Nikon F, Canon EF, Pentax K, Sony/Minolta A, Minolta MD, Olympus OM, etc)

Of these, the Canon EF & Sony/Minolta A, just like the 4/3 mount system are completely electronic.

What I would like to see, is a "smart" mount adapter for Canon EF & Sony/Minolta A to 4/3 mount. These "smart" mounts would have built in electronics that would "translate" AF, aperture, CPU information, so that Canon EF & Sony/Minolta A lenses could be used seemlessly with Olympus 4/3 (and Panasonic/Leica) cameras. That would add a HUGE number of AF lenses to the 4/3 world.
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