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Author Topic: m4/3 sensor future  (Read 1797 times)

johnvanatta

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Re: m4/3 sensor future
« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2018, 04:23:14 PM »

I wouldn't worry too much about sensor development. Bayer filtered CMOS is by now a very mature technology. It was roughly four years between the EM-5 and the next sensor generation in the Pen-F, and while the difference is there under scrutiny, it's not noticeable for a great many photos. Street photography is particularly forgiving, since actually obtaining peak IQ is so difficult. A slight miss in focus matters more than a few MP on the sensor. The next sensor generation, still a few years out, will have an even smaller delta compared to what's currently available.

If there's some completely new sensor technology that m43 isn't getting, that'd be the time to consider switching. I've read plenty of rumors about organic and curved sensors. But neither is in mass production anywhere, and likely won't be for years. And Panasonic is one of the leading developers of organic sensors--if anything, m43 would get them first.

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Telecaster

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Re: m4/3 sensor future
« Reply #21 on: December 30, 2018, 05:03:10 PM »

For me the sensor issues raised here are mostly matters of curiosity. I don't feel there's anything significant lacking in the current 20mp m43 sensor(s). Though with a super-high photosite density sensor, Olympus and/or Panasonic could explore oversampling techniques. This might lead somewhere useful.

-Dave-
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DP

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Re: m4/3 sensor future
« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2018, 06:56:43 PM »

Sony and Canon are the two largest sensor manufacturers, and neither have any vested interest in MFT.
Sony Semi is sensor manufacturer - it makes sensors for anybody who buys, including Sony Imaging, Canon, Olympus & Panasonic, etc... as such they do not have any vested interest in anything other then to sell as much as they can to whoever buys
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hogloff

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Re: m4/3 sensor future
« Reply #23 on: December 30, 2018, 07:35:38 PM »

Sony Semi is sensor manufacturer - it makes sensors for anybody who buys, including Sony Imaging, Canon, Olympus & Panasonic, etc... as such they do not have any vested interest in anything other then to sell as much as they can to whoever buys

Right...they will happily continue to sell you 2015 sensors...but do you think they'll spend a lot of R&D designing new sensors for the likes of Olympus...especially if Panasonic lose interest in M4/3.
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BJL

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Re: m4/3 sensor future
« Reply #24 on: December 31, 2018, 12:46:19 AM »

Though I see little need in going beyond 20MP (or even 16MP), I will point out that internet pundits have been declaring that an increase in pixel count in 4/3” format will lead to hopelessly bad noise and DR ever since the original 5MP CCDs, and the lens resolution limit of the format was for a long time declared to be 12MP. The sensor shift high res. modes show that >40MP is possible with good current lenses, even if not of much interest to most ILC users.

So pesssimsts, please back your predictions with science.

P.S. 20MP sensors in 1” format scale to about 35MP in 4/3”
« Last Edit: December 31, 2018, 12:50:46 AM by BJL »
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mecrox

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Re: m4/3 sensor future
« Reply #25 on: December 31, 2018, 05:40:43 AM »

Though I see little need in going beyond 20MP (or even 16MP), I will point out that internet pundits have been declaring that an increase in pixel count in 4/3” format will lead to hopelessly bad noise and DR ever since the original 5MP CCDs, and the lens resolution limit of the format was for a long time declared to be 12MP. The sensor shift high res. modes show that >40MP is possible with good current lenses, even if not of much interest to most ILC users.

So pesssimsts, please back your predictions with science.

P.S. 20MP sensors in 1” format scale to about 35MP in 4/3”


But isn’t a sensor shift-high res-image made up of lower-res images so the lens never has to resolve more than the pixels on the sensor? But maybe I have this wrong.


Anyway, I doubt science will play much part in any outcome. That will be decided by consumer preference and sheer financial firepower. Oly versus everyone else, now everyone else has piled into mirrorless, is a tough fight. Everyone else has common formats. Only Oly stands aside. M43 has worked extremely well for me and still does, but now I’m leery of putting more into the platform which I never thought I would be. There is quite a chance we’ll all end up on FF whether we like it or not, imho.





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BJL

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Re: m4/3 sensor future
« Reply #26 on: December 31, 2018, 11:46:30 AM »

@mecrox,

the sensor shift high res mode cannot create detail that is not present in the image delivered to the focal plane, so those high res images are a legitimate measure of the quality of the image delivered by the lens.

Also, Panasonic has clearly not abandoned MFT: it is running two very different formats with different pros and cons. Just like everybody including Fufifilm
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Aram Hăvărneanu

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Re: m4/3 sensor future
« Reply #27 on: December 31, 2018, 11:50:07 AM »

You can't know what Panasonic will do with MFT.
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faberryman

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Re: m4/3 sensor future
« Reply #28 on: December 31, 2018, 12:25:40 PM »

You can't know what Panasonic will do with MFT.
Panasonic has had some very successful m43 cameras and has a good working partnership with Leica for lenses. I can't see them abandoning  that in the near term. m43 is a different market than FF, particularly with the SR1 body clocking in a $4500.

John Camp

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Re: m4/3 sensor future
« Reply #29 on: December 31, 2018, 01:57:28 PM »

I really hope Panasonic stays with m4/3. It has the economic and engineering firepower to support the system. The thing I don't understand about camera manufacturers right now is that they put out quite good small cameras, like the RX100 and its rivals, for which there still seems to be a steady market, but when they get to ILCs, they want to go big -- if the rumors about the new uber Oly are correct, it's essentially the size and weight of a small DSLR...I think it may come in larger than a Z7, though the smaller m4/3 lenses will help. And the new FF Panasonic...what's all that about? Why would Panasonic want to go head-to-head with established FF makers like Nikon, Canon, and Sony, and the well established APSC of Fuji? It seems crazy. It simply seems to me that there could be a good long-term market for a small, precise, high-quality mirrorless system that would look a lot like the GX8 with lenses that look exactly like the m4/3 lenses. I understand that some people need the big bazookas -- especially landscape guys and maybe sports photographers. But really, how many landscape photographers are there? When I was working for a newspaper back in the 90s, the paper bought F4s and then F5s for staff photographers, and the photographers were buying N90s on their own because they could do most everything the F5 could do, with a fraction of the weight. I guess we'll see. I'm really pulling for m4/3, though. In in traveling to New York last summer, I literally carried an m4/3 system in a Dopp Kit -- two bodies, three lenses, two extra batteries and a charger. 
« Last Edit: December 31, 2018, 03:57:00 PM by John Camp »
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BJL

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Re: m4/3 sensor future
« Reply #30 on: December 31, 2018, 02:46:13 PM »

You can't know what Panasonic will do with MFT.
It’s a glib truism that we cannot predict with certainty, but I am going on (a) Panasonic’s own statement that MFT and “L” serve distinct markets [to me, an obvious fact], and (b) the absurdity of the strangely fashionable idea that any ILC maker is going to abandon its far higher volume, higher revenue smaller format for a high-end 35mm format ILC only strategy—especially not one that is likely confined to fourth place in that sector behind C/N/S
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hogloff

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Re: m4/3 sensor future
« Reply #31 on: December 31, 2018, 02:59:12 PM »

@mecrox,

the sensor shift high res mode cannot create detail that is not present in the image delivered to the focal plane, so those high res images are a legitimate measure of the quality of the image delivered by the lens.

Also, Panasonic has clearly not abandoned MFT: it is running two very different formats with different pros and cons. Just like everybody including Fufifilm

In a declining market like the camera market...how much of their limited R&D budget do you think they'll spend on MFT versus their new venture? Obviously they weren't all that happy where MFT was taking them or they wouldn't throw their hat into the FF ring.
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hogloff

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Re: m4/3 sensor future
« Reply #32 on: December 31, 2018, 03:35:47 PM »

It’s a glib truism that we cannot predict with certainty, but I am going on (a) Panasonic’s own statement that MFT and “L” serve distinct markets [to me, an obvious fact], and (b) the absurdity of the strangely fashionable idea that any ILC maker is going to abandon its far higher volume, higher revenue smaller format for a high-end 35mm format ILC only strategy—especially not one that is likely confined to fourth place in that sector behind C/N/S

How many MFT cameras do you think Panasonic sells in a year? I believe Olympus outsells Panasonic and here are some numbers for Olympus:

FY 2018 number sold:  420,000
FY 2018 revenue: 468,000,000 yen

FY 2019 estimate number sold: 370,000
FY 2019 estimate revenue: 373,000,000 yen

A decline of 12% in units sold and 20% in revenue.

Now do you see why Panasonic might be looking elsewhere ::)

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Telecaster

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Re: m4/3 sensor future
« Reply #33 on: December 31, 2018, 03:49:09 PM »

My suspicion is that Panasonic sees the L system, in the longer term, as mainly a video platform. In the meantime, though, they can be a patient player in the 35mm game, maintaining a stable foothold in case there's the kind of shakeup amongst the current Big Three that they judge as working to their advantage.

-Dave-
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Telecaster

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Re: m4/3 sensor future
« Reply #34 on: December 31, 2018, 03:55:28 PM »

FY 2018 number sold:  420,000
FY 2018 revenue: 468,000,000 yen

FY 2019 estimate number sold: 370,000
FY 2019 estimate revenue: 373,000,000 yen

A decline of 12% in units sold and 20% in revenue.

Let's see if the actual numbers match these estimates before drawing conclusions from them. Estimated by whom?

Not that the numbers would surprise me. Camera segment sales are declining…and "full frame" is unlikely to be a safe haven.

-Dave-
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DP

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Re: m4/3 sensor future
« Reply #35 on: December 31, 2018, 04:37:24 PM »

Right...they will happily continue to sell you 2015 sensors...but do you think they'll spend a lot of R&D designing new sensors for the likes of Olympus...especially if Panasonic lose interest in M4/3.

1) you really do not know what Sony designs now, you only know what they sell or announced already

2) they announced new 43 sized sensor which is not yet in any released dSLM ( https://www.sony-semicon.co.jp/products_en/IS/sensor2/products/index.html )

3) R&D is not exactly different & separate per each sensor... technologies like multiple ADCs on die, dual gain, BSI, stacking are developed and then implemented across all sensor sizes/manufacturing facilities gradually

4) they designed 11mp 43 sensor for a very niche subset of small segment of m43 cameras


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hogloff

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Re: m4/3 sensor future
« Reply #36 on: December 31, 2018, 05:58:05 PM »

Let's see if the actual numbers match these estimates before drawing conclusions from them. Estimated by whom?

Not that the numbers would surprise me. Camera segment sales are declining…and "full frame" is unlikely to be a safe haven.

-Dave-

These numbers right from Olympus financial presentations. The outlook for FY2019 has been adjusted down in November from their previous estimate in August:

FY2019 projected units sold down from 520,000 ( Aug ) to 370,000 ( Nov )
FY2019 projected revenue down from 474,000,000 ( Aug ) to 373,000,000 ( Nov )

Not a pretty picture.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2018, 06:03:41 PM by hogloff »
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hogloff

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Re: m4/3 sensor future
« Reply #37 on: December 31, 2018, 06:03:02 PM »

1) you really do not know what Sony designs now, you only know what they sell or announced already

2) they announced new 43 sized sensor which is not yet in any released dSLM ( https://www.sony-semicon.co.jp/products_en/IS/sensor2/products/index.html )

3) R&D is not exactly different & separate per each sensor... technologies like multiple ADCs on die, dual gain, BSI, stacking are developed and then implemented across all sensor sizes/manufacturing facilities gradually

4) they designed 11mp 43 sensor for a very niche subset of small segment of m43 cameras

Logic only says that Sony would go after the big fish first...and leave the crumbs for others to scramble over. Olympus camera market share in 2018 is only 3.5%...and is projected to only sell 370,000 cameras. That's minuscule compared to the other areas Sony deals with. Since Panasonic sells even less cameras than Olympus...I can't see Sony giving the M43 market much attention.
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RichDesmond

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Re: m4/3 sensor future
« Reply #38 on: December 31, 2018, 06:47:24 PM »

For me the sensor issues raised here are mostly matters of curiosity. I don't feel there's anything significant lacking in the current 20mp m43 sensor(s)...

-Dave-

Totally agree. I’ve been using m4/3 for 8 years now, and even the original 12mp sensor did most of what I needed. With the newer 16 and 20mp sensors A2 prints look great, and I’ve certainly never run into a situation were I was thinking, “Jeez, if I just had a better sensor this shot would be possible.”  ;)

Some other random thoughts:

Whoever said earlier in this thread that the camera was the least important thing was exactly right.

m4/3 has always been a bit player in the digital ILC universe, so I don’t quite understand how its current market share is a portent of doom.

This site’s slow drift into the hardware/technology oriented abyss continues.  :(
« Last Edit: December 31, 2018, 09:07:30 PM by RichDesmond »
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BJL

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Re: m4/3 sensor future
« Reply #39 on: December 31, 2018, 07:14:40 PM »

Logic only says that Sony would go after the big fish first...
Logic says that with enough resources, a sensor maker will go after as many markets as are profitable, and Sony’s _two_ new sensors for MFT suggest that Sony Semi considers it a worthwhile market.

(I do not know if it matters that Sony has an investment in Olympus)
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