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Old Mar 23, 2011, 9:28 PM   #1
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Default FT sensors... the GH2 sensor .. the best todate

DPR finally reviewed the Pana GH2 and the most striking bit of their review to me was regarding the sensor :

"With the GH2 Panasonic has finally demonstrated that it is able to compete with the APS-C format competition when it comes both to resolution and critical image quality. Although the GH2's Micro Four Thirds sensor is smaller than those found in cameras like the Canon EOS 60D and Nikon D7000, it runs them both pretty close. Up to ISO 3200 in fact, we'd stick our necks out and say that the GH2 can hold its own against any of the current crop of APS-C format cameras on the market, which is high praise indeed."

"As far as noise is concerned, the GH2 offers the best performance that we've ever seen from a Micro Four Thirds camera. Up to ISO 800, images are essentially noise free, and although noise is visible in images shot at ISO 1600 and 3200, it is only at ISO 6400 and above that it really becomes problematic. "

Thats pretty high praise indeed and makes me wonder even more if Oly could have got their mits on this sensor for the E5 that they might well have hit a home run with the E5. As it is they've done an amazing job with the sensor that they have but what if they had the GH2 sensor ?

I'm hoping that someone at Oly in Japan at some point once the Japanese have been able to recover from that awful tragedy that the E5 shouldn;t be the last of the FT cameras, esp if Pana is able to produce the sensors that are as good as the other crop sensors. Pair a e5 with the GH2 sensor and say any HG/SHG lens you wouldn;t even think about switching systems unless it was to FF.

Cheers

Harj


Last edited by HarjTT; Mar 23, 2011 at 9:32 PM.
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Old Mar 24, 2011, 7:51 AM   #2
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Hi Harj,

I've read the HG2 review from front to back twice now and, if anything, come away from it convinced that the E-5 is the last fourthirds camera we'll see.
Reason being, that Panasonic, with the GH2, has proven that the fourthirds format can indeed produce images at high ISOs that rival any cropped sensor. Also, an EVF can be made that equals or is larger - in size- to an optical viewfinder (larger than the Canon 60D). They can then install it in a smaller body (micro fourthirds) and supply smaller sized lenses that offer real advantages.

If, as you say, Olympus was able to match this Panny sensor with their own jpeg engine and stick it into the E-5, that would have indeed been a marvelous camera to own. Unfortunately, it wouldn't have increased sales for Olympus, outside of their current base of users.

I think, with the release of the GH2, Olympus' next pro camera will be a micro fourthirds offering that can somehow utilize the existing fourthirds SHG and SG lenses. Complete with larger EVF and larger sensor.

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Old Mar 24, 2011, 10:55 AM   #3
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I think, with the release of the GH2, Olympus' next pro camera will be a micro fourthirds offering that can somehow utilize the existing fourthirds SHG and SG lenses. Complete with larger EVF and larger sensor.
Zig
Zig, I think you're right but to be a pro camera they'll need to produce an EVF that can track fast motion without smearing.

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Old Mar 24, 2011, 11:19 AM   #4
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Zig, I think you're right but to be a pro camera they'll need to produce an EVF that can track fast motion without smearing.

Ted
Hi Ted,

I agree. And, I should have prefaced the term "Pro" as it should be taken with a grain of salt.

It's clear that Olympus seems to have solved the problems of getting the most out of the sensors they currently have by developing a jpeg engine and using aliasing filters that bring out the most possible. Panasonic, on the other hand, has been doing great work in developing electronic viewfinders, contrast detect autofocus systems as well as their latest 18mp sensor.

I hope somewhere down the line they can merge their attributes and come up with a killer body. I for one would love to see an Olympus body more closely approximating the shape and of the GH2 with a built in EVF.



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Old Mar 24, 2011, 12:14 PM   #5
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Panasonic, on the other hand, has been doing great work in developing electronic viewfinders, contrast detect autofocus systems as well as their latest 18mp sensor.

I hope somewhere down the line they can merge their attributes and come up with a killer body. I for one would love to see an Olympus body more closely approximating the shape and of the GH2 with a built in EVF.

Zig
I agree that at some point this will come together. Ironically, the speedbump in getting an EVF that can track fast motion, is that pro videographers never want to pan their cameras fast (the audience gets nauseated) so pro video cam makers haven't has a motivation to improve their EVFs in this regard.

And I agree that in a pro camera body, the EVF needs to be built into the body as Panny does.

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Old Mar 24, 2011, 12:50 PM   #6
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I have my doubts whether "real time" video finders that can truly replace optical finders in higher enthusiast cameras like the one in the E5 for all types of subject capture will ever see the light of day, much less during my lifetime.

Current EVF's like Olympus' VF-2 are good enough for probably 80-85% of what I like to shoot. It could have easily been used in my recent trip to White Sands or any of the nature or portrait shooting I do. It would not work well for multi-image burst shooting at the horse races I like doing 4 months out of the year, it did not work well the one time I tried last year at a night major league baseball game and it's definitely an inferior way of capturing professional hockey after 3-4 tries at games this year.

Depending on what comes down the pike over the next 2-3 years (the E5 gives me at least that much time to wait and see), no doubt decisions will have to be made by several of us as to what will work for what we like to do. I did find it interesting reading an article someone posted last week that Canon sees no need in coming out with a mirrorless system..

http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk...ws_306394.html
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Old Mar 24, 2011, 2:40 PM   #7
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Personally, I'm not sure how far things are going to progress with the EVF and whether in 2 years they will be as good as the OVF's. There was an interview with the lead Pana cam designer regards the GH2 last year where he stated that due to pressure from their marketing teams resources had to be diverted from EVF's to development of the new higher MP sensor. Its possible that a company the size of Pana in 2 years may be able to really push EVF's to the point where they are as good as an OVF. If thats the case then great I'm all for it.

The problem that I see with MFT and esp Oly is that the lenses optically apart from a couple from Pana can't compete with the Zukio HG and let alone SHG glass. All of the lenses so far have been standard/consumer grade glass and nothing special other than the 20F1.7 and 7-14F4 both from Pana. If they bring F2 or faster zooms, how big or small will they be ?? How much smaller will a 35-100F2 in mFT be ??? From what I've seen of the current crop of MFT zooms I don;t think an SHG version will be small at all., unless they comprise the optical quality and use software (aka Pana) to correct for distortion, CA,PF etc. Thats the main reason why there is only one Leica branded mFT lens available as Leica have openly stated that theyre not willing to compromise on optical quality of a lens or have the Leica name on such a lens.



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Old Mar 24, 2011, 2:50 PM   #8
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Greg and Harj, I share your skepticism about a true pro EVF happening any time soon. But I really don't think it's because that technology can't be developed - if the Pro videocam manufacturers thought their customers wanted one they'd develop it. But as I've said, tracking really fast motion is something pro videographers try to avoid.

So the pro still camera market would need to support it, and I also don't think that's gonna happen. In the long run, if we want that we'll probably have to move to Nikon. I'm hoping my Oly E5 and glass will last a very long time, because there's no way that in my 70s I'll be able to afford the Nikon gear.

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Old Mar 24, 2011, 3:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Depending on what comes down the pike over the next 2-3 years (the E5 gives me at least that much time to wait and see), no doubt decisions will have to be made by several of us as to what will work for what we like to do.
Better than 70% of the photography that I do involves static subjects, landscapes, seascapes, etc. and macro. I can easily see myself having a GH2 mirrorless camera complete with the built in EVF. This camera body would allow me the flexibility of continuing to use my current 12-60mm SWD, 50-200mm ED lens or, for that matter, any Olympus fourthirds ZD Digital lens that I might feel necessary in the future. The immediate benefits to me would be in the larger viewfinder than is currently found in my E-30 or E-PL1, better low light performance,

In those situations where I need to photograph fast moving subjects birds etc.
My E-30 will hold me in good stead until such time as the E-5 becomes more realistically priced or preowned ones become available.

For the last 6months I've been evaluating various Nikon and more often Canon bodies as well as lenses that would replace what I currently have.
I've come to the conclusion that;
1- I just don't want to part with the Olympus lenses I have.
2- Better than 70% of my photography can be done quite well with the camera system I have right now. I just can't justify, in my own mind, replacing my system for the other 30%

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Old Mar 25, 2011, 10:30 AM   #10
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I'm in the same boat, except that I've ADDED lenses to my kit (9-18 and 50mm macro to go with the 12-60 and kit lenses) and upgraded the body to the e30 cheap on ebay. This meets my needs 90% (better noise performance and higher ISO would be nice) but I now feel I have a good enough system to wait out the uncertanties, and when the oly "pro" mft body is a reality I'll have a path to move to. If it never materializes, then I'll see about switching to another brand. Meantime I have years of fun ahead of me...
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