After all, the OM-D sensor is Panasonic and ..

Started Apr 30, 2012 | Discussions thread
Brian Mosley Forum Pro • Posts: 20,707
Re: As a fan of this format, I hope...

bobn2 wrote:

Brian Mosley wrote:

bobn2 wrote:

Amin Sabet wrote:

Jun2 wrote:

Panasonic senor is very competitive. M4/3 is very close to performance of APS sensors from Sony and Canon. I don't think they can do better for Olympus, at least not by much.

Even if Panasonic can make the best sensors, they don't have to give their best sensors to their competitor Olympus. In addition, they can charge Olympus very high prices for their best sensors.

This is very silly thinking. Panasonic sensors area made by Panasonic Industrial Company. Panasonic cameras are made by Panasonic AVC Network Company. They are different companies, though part of the same conglomerate. Panasonic Industrial Company is one of the largest electronic component suppliers in the world, and supplies electronic components to every camera manufacturer. It has its own accounts, profit centres and so on. If its many customers were to start thinking that they were disadvantaged with respect to Panasonic companies, they would go elsewhere, as would and could Olympus if it felt that.

This is sloppy logic Bob, the signs are that Olympus did exactly that - went elsewhere.

It's not at all sloppy logic, doing business is based on trust, and if you want to stay in business, you don't betray it. What are 'the signs' exactly?

Olympus have always given Panasonic the credit for providing sensors from the E-330 onwards. For the E-M5, they say it is a completely new Olympus design, and that they will not disclose the manufacturer.

It is not as though there are not many sensor companies that would not want the business. For instance, Aptina made a 16MP APS-C sensor, probably to bid for Nikon business, which has never been used. Very likely Sony would be happy to oblige, or ST or Toshiba (who do Fuji's) or who knows.

Exactly, and competition is good for those of us using m4/3rds.

Probably not, because there is more than just the competition between Olympus and Panasonic.

As an m4/3rds system user, the only competition we have is Panasonic vs Olympus. As a system, m4/3rds is at the sweet spot of size, weight, IQ and value for money for me. I don't see any other system coming close.

Any of these would make a sensor to order if paid to do it. The point of going with Panasonic is that they share costs because it is mutually beneficial to do so .

It certainly benefits Panasonic to have the extra volume - but there must be a number of competitive factors in the balance.

You mean like Sony wouldn't supply sensors to Nikon, Pentax, Canon, Ricoh, Leica...

Of course not... I mean the volume of 4/3rds format sensors Olympus can buy, the cost & risk of establishing links with a new manufacturing partner, the leverage Panasonic are applying to Olympus as the sole supplier of their sensors up to this point. Any contractual obligations running... there must be many, many factors involved of which we have no view.

As you can see, there is a market place for sensor manufacture - if Olympus have become free to access that open market, then they could easily have chosen a more useful partner.

The most likely reason that Olympus hasn't had access to some of the more recent Panasonic sensors is most probably simply that the company wasn't willing to pay a share of the R&D costs.

What evidence do you have for this, beyond wishful thinking?

As much evidence as you have that Olympus has 'gone elsewhere'. It's hardly 'wishful thinking' because I don't care. What it is is normal commercial logic and practice. The idea that there is a PIC plot to do Olympus down by denying them sensors is fairly typical of the victim mentality that man Olympus fans seem to have got themselves into. It's a narrative that suits their whole take on Olympus as the downtrodden good guys, but it doesn't accord with reality.

You have your own narrative, which is equally flaky imho. We have no evidence - only signs and wishful thinking. My wish, is that Olympus have found a new partner - because I think it will result in a stronger m4/3rds system.

Panasonic AVC did, and why should they 'share' the sensor they paid for with a company that didn't pay? That would be the same with any custom developed part from any supplier - if the customer pays the R&D it is 'their' design, so far as other customers are concerned.

I don't think that's the way it works bob. If you buy a product (or a million copies, covering the cost of R&D) you don't get to 'own' the design.

Certainly you do, if you write that into the contract. You don't own the IP, but the supplier isn't going to supply the part you paid for to someone else without your say so.

This is a bit confused... there must be a very close partnership in the fabrication of a sensor - with the supplier bringing IP and the client (in this case Olympus) bringing their own expertise. Obviously, the 'part' will be custom.

Thus I agree with Brian that it is best for the system as a whole if Olympus has an option besides Panasonic.

Olympus will always have had options, if they were willing to pay for them.

Yes, and it looks like other options may at last be giving better value for them (and us!)

There is no evidence that either another option has been used or that it is giving 'better value'.

I agree, no evidence, only signs and wishful thinking - the E-M5 obviously has the best sensor in 4/3rds format right now - a significant step forward for Olympus so 'better value' than the previous generation from Panasonic.


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