Olympus SLR boss says 12 MP is enough

Discussion in 'Olympus' started by rpd, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. rpd

    rpd Guest

    Wired http://is.gd/mWiI/12MPenough

    In an interview at the PMA (Photo Marketing Association)
    show in Las Vegas, Olympus SLR boss Akira Watanabe
    confirmed what we have known for a long time: That more
    pixels doesn't mean better pictures. Speaking to ZDNet,
    Watanabe said that "Twelve megapixels is, I think, enough
    for covering most applications most customers need. We have
    no intention to compete in the megapixel wars for E-System."

    This is fantastic news. It has been the unofficial line at
    camera manufacturers for a while now, but Watanabe is the
    first to say it out loud, and to actually base future tech
    policy on it. So what will Olympus be doing instead? Higher
    dynamic range, better color and higher ISOs for better low-
    light performance.

    Watanabe also thinks that SLR focusing is set to change.
    Instead of having a separate focus module as is done today,
    he predicts that soon systems using the image sensor will
    take over. Right now, this method is used by compact
    cameras and SLRs in live view mode. As you may have
    noticed, it's slow. Watanabe thinks that it will soon be a
    lot faster.

    We can only say "well done" to Olympus. The company has a
    history of innovation. Perhaps now the megapixel race is
    finally over, we'll get some fun new toys to play with.

    ZDNet - "Olympus has declared an end to the megapixel war":
    rpd, Mar 11, 2009
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  2. Who's this "we" that has known an universal truth for so long??
    While there's a point to what he says, he does hedge with "most apps
    most custs.", an intelligent approach.
    John McWilliams, Mar 11, 2009
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  3. rpd

    Charles Guest

    The stereo watts per channel issue died slowly and the horsepower race is
    still on for those fat cats who can afford ridiculous vehicles.

    I'd gladly stick a knife into the Megapixel beast but think that it will
    live on after death like the vampire that it is.
    Charles, Mar 11, 2009
  4. rpd

    Bob Guest

    Bob, Mar 11, 2009
  5. rpd

    Bruce Guest

    No, it isn't. It is merely a statement that the supplier of sensors to
    Four Thirds has realised the impracticability of manufacturing
    reasonably low noise sensors in that format with more than 12 MP.

    If 12 MP is the practical limit in Four Thirds, it would suggest that
    something over 40 MP would be practical in 24x36mm format (FX or
    "full frame").
    Bruce, Mar 11, 2009
  6. rpd

    SMS Guest

    LOL, of course he'd say that. What he didn't do is qualify his statement
    by explaining why going beyond 12 megapixels is not going to happen on a
    4:3 sensor.

    At least he set the benchmark. 12 megapixels for 4:3 means that full
    frame would top out at around 46 megapixels for the same pixel density,
    and APS-C will top out at around 18-20 megapixels for the same pixel
    density. Sounds about right.

    I'm amazed that the manufacturers that are down in the lower single
    digits in market share are able to carry on at all. I suppose that the
    explosion in digital SLR sales means that even someone with 5% market
    share like Olympus can sell enough to make a go of it. That they could
    even get 5% with the 4:3 system is amazing.
    SMS, Mar 11, 2009
  7. rpd

    Keith Nuttle Guest

    Question: At 12mp has the camera sensor hit the electron tunneling wall
    that the cpu manufactures hit a couple of years ago?
    Keith Nuttle, Mar 11, 2009
  8. rpd

    rjn Guest

    But if Black Silicon works out, watch for some back-peddling
    on this "sound barrier that cannot be broken" claim from Oly.
    And if B.S. isn't B.S., does the "35mm" sensor format run
    out of lens res before getting to 40 Mp?
    rjn, Mar 12, 2009
  9. rpd

    semoi Guest

    Unlimited megapixels for creating more utterly pointless images at ever
    higher resolutions that no one cares about and will be viewed through a
    medium, print or online, where all those megapixels are utterly irrelevant
    and largely discarded.
    semoi, Mar 12, 2009
  10. rpd

    SMS Guest

    No. The better resolution lenses will cost more though, just like some
    of the Olympus 4:3 lenses are ridiculously expensive.

    To get true wide angle on a 4:3 camera requires a Olympus 7-14 f4 Zuiko
    lens at about $1700, versus about $650 for a Canon or $850 for a Nikon
    wide angle zoom.
    SMS, Mar 12, 2009
  11. rpd

    John A. Guest

    But finding little details you didn't notice before, "where's Waldo"
    style, in a high-res shot is fun!

    And you've never heard of cropping?
    John A., Mar 12, 2009
  12. rpd

    SMS Guest

    Right, I'm sure you do.

    Market share means having the revenue to develop those new designs and
    to amortize all your marketing and sales expenses over a much larger
    number of sales. In short, market share means a lot. Which is why
    Konica-Minolta bowed out of the digital camera business, and why Pentax
    is trying to survive by co-developing with Samsung.
    SMS, Mar 12, 2009
  13. rpd

    Me Guest

    That's a seriously flawed (and all too common) assumption when comparing
    different formats.
    Take for example, a Canon G10, with 1/1.7" sensor and 14.7 mp.
    It's about resolution - right?
    The G10 resolves 2450 l/ph - not bad
    Extrapolate that pixel density to a 35mm frame and you've got:
    864mm2 (35mm) and 43.3mm2 (1/1.7")
    So 14.7 megapixels * 864 / 43.2 means that 294 megapixels is the "limit"
    for 35mm based on the G10 example instead of 4/3 12mp you use. Do you
    think we'll see that - and if not then why not?
    Me, Mar 12, 2009
  14. rpd

    Paul Furman Guest

    No because of processing power & speed... though that might be solved
    too. Also few people need 8-foot wide prints (5-foot if square). Of
    course if it didn't slow you down & storage wasn't an issue, it's always
    nice to be able to crop!

    Paul Furman

    all google groups messages filtered due to spam
    Paul Furman, Mar 12, 2009
  15. rpd

    Me Guest

    It's more than that - though I agree.
    Smaller format lenses resolve better than larger format lenses. That
    could be conveniently ignored in the days of film, when the film itself
    could be a fixed limiting factor - and resolution of "half-frame" and
    smaller formats truly sucked. But now that (particularly) small-sensor
    high pixel count digicams can resolve several times greater linear
    resolution than even the finest grain film, it is an issue.
    I'm not saying that ultimately there isn't a potential resolution
    advantage to larger formats - just that it's importance is usually
    vastly overstated.
    Unfortunately, "format bigots" seem to be perpetuating some
    manufacturers marketing-speak with slr cameras. Not that
    Canon/Sony/Nikon mind - as it provides great revenue for them, including
    a terrific and ongoing revenue stream for very expensive new 35mm format
    It would be a great shame if quality equipment was limited to the old
    35mm format - as that loses one of the great advantages of high pixel
    density sensors - and that is smaller equipment with better than or
    equal to performance of 35mm film.
    Me, Mar 12, 2009
  16. rpd

    Mark Thomas Guest

    T.Adler wrote:
    (the usual Keoeeit abuse)

    Please folks, do not respond to this poster further until you are fully
    aware of his background.

    "T.Adler" is the anti-dslr- and chdk-troll, aka Keoeeit, Vern, X-Man,
    Baumbadier, Casiobear, etc, ad infinitum.

    He's well known for the 'attitude', and that's being kind. He can be
    found on many forums, is frequently banned (eg Steve's Forums,
    photography-on-the.net) and he's usually quite easy to spot, by his
    withdrawn posts and images. He doesn't like leaving a trail, but is too
    incompetent to not be recognised wherever he goes..

    (and still always posts from cpinternet..)

    Stands out like the proverbial puppy nuts.. (O:

    For further details, google "keoeeit minnesota". You'll see his posts
    are often lamenting about how he lives alone...

    Umm, any questions?
    Mark Thomas, Mar 12, 2009
  17. rpd

    SMS Guest

    Thanks, after I responded I realized that our friend has returned. One
    more for the kill-file.
    SMS, Mar 12, 2009
  18. rpd

    Bruce Guest

    No, there is still some image quality to be had beyond the current
    offerings of "only" 24 MP. The problem is, what has to be sacrificed to
    gain those extra pixels? Is there are market for a 40+ MP sensor that
    is as crippled as the Panasonic 12 MP sensor for Four Thirds?
    Bruce, Mar 12, 2009
  19. rpd

    Bruce Guest

    That lens might be superb, but it may never get the chance to deliver
    images of more than 12 MP because of the limitations of Four Thirds.
    Bruce, Mar 12, 2009
  20. rpd

    Keith Nuttle Guest

    Olympus has been manufacturing cameras for over 50 years. They were the
    camera for micro photograph in the 50's.

    My old Miranda still works perfectly bought it in the late 60's.
    Interestingly I had to get it cleaned about a year ago. No one would
    touch it because of its age, until I found a guy working in an antique
    shop with antique cameras, who did a great job.
    Keith Nuttle, Mar 12, 2009
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