Olympus going to drop pixel count?

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by RichA, May 28, 2011.

  1. RichA

    RichA Guest

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  2. RichA

    Bruce Guest

    So some unknown, nameless and faceless guy is claiming that Olympus
    has decided to break free of the double stranglehold placed on the
    company by having to use Panasonic's low pixel count sensors.

    He claims that Olympus is going to achieve this by designing a low
    pixel count sensor in-house and then have it manufactured by

    So which part of the double stranglehold would Olympus escape?

    The low pixel count sensor?

    Or relying on Panasonic?

    Or, as it would seem, neither?

    Great rumour, Rich. ;-)
    Bruce, May 28, 2011
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  3. RichA

    RichA Guest

    Well, Nikon kept the 12 megapixel sensor going for a long time, and
    designed its own sensors for Sony to make.
    RichA, May 28, 2011
  4. RichA

    Bruce Guest

    But Sony never kept Nikon in any kind of stranglehold. Far from it;
    Sony bought Nikon steppers to make the sensors, and both companies
    benefitted greatly from the deal.

    So there's no comparison, really.

    I believe there is a way around the Olympus problem. Panasonic could
    allow Olympus to use the excellent GH2 sensor in the E-5 successor
    provided that the camera did not offer video. Olympus would at last
    have a competitive Four Thirds DSLR with a superb sensor, Panasonic
    would make good money out of selling the sensor and sales of the
    Panasonic GH2 would not be hurt. Win/win.
    Bruce, May 28, 2011
  5. R. Mark Clayton, May 28, 2011
  6. RichA

    Eric Stevens Guest

    Eric Stevens, May 28, 2011
  7. RichA

    Rich Guest

    I don't know what transpired between Kodak and Olympus, but they should
    go back to them. The images from their CCDs were at least different from
    the competition. As it is now, they are similar to the APS offers but
    not as good, solely because of size.
    Rich, May 29, 2011
  8. RichA

    Bruce Guest

    Olympus and Kodak fell out because Kodak was unable to supply a
    competent sensor with more than 5 MP. Kodak presented a series of 8
    MP sensors with very high noise that almost killed off Four Thirds.
    The format survived only because Panasonic came in to the market and
    supplied Olympus with competent sensors.

    It would be perfectly understandable if Olympus never dealt with Kodak
    again after that. Olympus owes Panasonic a debt of gratitude for
    saving Four Thirds - and also for developing the Micro Four Thirds
    format which now provides Olympus with the majority of its income from
    interchangeable lens cameras.
    Bruce, May 29, 2011
  9. RichA

    Rich Guest

    The micro 4/3rds format and sensor size is the same as 4/3rds. The
    sensor size didn't change, the mirrors disappeared the the bodies
    Rich, May 29, 2011
  10. RichA

    Bruce Guest

    I didn't say it did.

    The Micro Four Thirds mount is very different from Four Thirds. The
    lens flange is almost 20mm closer to the sensor.

    Four Thirds was developed by Olympus. The Micro Four Thirds format
    was developed by Panasonic, coming as something of a shock to Olympus.
    Bruce, May 30, 2011
  11. RichA

    RichA Guest

    That is true, I imagine it does effect the design of the lenses, since
    Olympus is the only company to really show any interest in designing
    semi-telecentric lenses to compensate for the way sensors with
    microlenses behave with non-perpendicular light paths. But with in-
    firmware correction of aberrations adds another variable (if you shoot
    JPEG) to the equation. Having said that, I don't really know how
    substantially the micro lenses are different from the old 4/3rds,
    apart from their focus plane shift.
    But they quickly offered their own products.
    RichA, May 30, 2011
  12. About a week ago I bought an Olympus 9-18mm m4/3 for my G1 and G2, and my
    guess is it's essentially the same lens as the similarly spec'd 9-18 in the
    original 4/3 version, just put in a telescoping mount for the m4/3 cameras.
    I should think that's the easiest and cheapest way for Oly to adapt existing
    lens designs for the shorter flange distance cameras.

    This would also explain why Olympus lenses like the kit 14-42 m4/3 are so
    much longer in their operating position than the similarly spec'd Panasonic
    lenses. So being "semi-telecentric" may be more a happy by-product than
    anything else.
    Neil Harrington, May 30, 2011
  13. RichA

    RichA Guest

    If Olympus is simply slapping new bodies on the 4/3rds lenses and
    doubling the prices in the process, that is unfortunate. The 4/3rds
    lenses were bargains in most cases, compared to the competition in APS.
    RichA, May 30, 2011
  14. Checking the actual specs for the Olympus 4/3 and m4/3 lenses just now, I
    see they are not exactly the same after all, though close enough that the
    newer m4/3 could be a relatively small change to the original design, I

    The original 4/3 had 13 elements in 9 groups, 1 ED element and 2 aspherical
    elements; the newer m4/3 has 12 elements in 8 groups, 1 ED element, 1 HR
    element (whatever that is), 2 dual surface aspherical elements and 1
    aspherical element. These descriptions are from DPReview. It seems likely to
    me that adding more aspherical surfaces might allow them to reduce the
    number of elements by one.

    In other specs they are generally the same. Both are f/4-5.6 max aperture,
    both focus to 0.25 m, both have 7 rounded diaphragm blades. The original 4/3
    has a larger filter ring but I suspect that's only because it uses a very
    different style of lens hood. Actual diameter of the front element looks the
    same. The m4/3 lens does not come with a hood at all (boo).

    When the m4/3 lens is removed from the camera in its extended (operating)
    position, set to 9mm (greatest physical length but the rear element is in
    its rearmost position), it looks to me like the rear element is about 20 mm
    ahead of the flange. Since this is quite unusual for an ultrawide zoom, it
    seems to suggest that the lens design is really intended for a 4/3 SLR with
    its 20mm greater flange to focal plane distance.

    Prices for these two lenses are very close, both of them now about $600 U.S.
    on Adorama.
    Neil Harrington, May 31, 2011
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