24mp sensor for m43? 3.2micron pixel pitch!

Started May 9, 2013 | Discussions thread
azazel1024 Senior Member • Posts: 1,139
Re: 24mp sensor for m43? 3.2micron pixel pitch!

Dunno. Honestly I kind of doubt it.

a 24mp m4/3 sensor would be a jump of 50% in total pixels. The Step from 12mp to 16mp was only an increase of 1/3rd. I doubt we'll see a bigger jump in the next generation of sensor, whenever that comes. I'd honestly suspect more like a 20-22mp sensor as the next move. I could certainly see some advantage in marketing for even just going 20.1mp so they could say they have "more than a 20 megapixel sensor"!

A move to 24mp with the increase in pixel count of 50% and reduction in per pixel size of 50% area would probably cause some issues in dynamic range and sensitivity that might be harder to counter act with improvements in sensor design and processing. I'd be resonably confident they might be able to tackle it, but it might end up that you have a 24mp sensor with the same DR and roughly noise response that you have with the current 16mp sensors, or at most it might be just a wee nudge better.

I think Sony/m4/3 makers would rather an increase in DR and noise over just throwing more megapixels at the wall. So I suspect there will be a compromise in pixel count. Which brings me back to suspecting once a new sensor comes along, what is likely is something that is just a hair over 20mp. It gives some bragging rights (even if it doesn't have as many pixels as APS-c or FF cameras do) and probably makes it easier to improve other areas of sensor rather than raw pixel count. That is probably more important to the vast majority of actual photographers at this point than pixel count.

I know I'd rather have a 16mp sensor with another stop of DR, go up to 51,200ISO as well as one stop lower noise through out the range rather than a 24MP sensor with the exact same DR and ISO/noise as my current OM-D E-M5 sensor. I wouldn't mind more pixels, but I don't find 16MP limiting at all. I did, on rare occasions find 12MP limiting. I have a few pictures I took/my wife took at the Grand Canyon with her E-PL1 that are just a bit soft/low res in 13x19 print size. I've only printed a couple of times bigger than 11x14 from my E-M5 files (and nothing bigger than 13x19), but my E-M5 files, resolution wise, deffinitely hold up better than the 12mp files from my wife's E-PL1. It is very noticable (to me) in 13x19 prints and only just noticable in 11x14s if I look moderately closely. The 13x19s are obvious if you are standing closer than 3 or 4 ft (again, to me).

Anything greater than 16mp is almost a waste to me. It does add a bit of ability to crop in to the picture and still be able to do the largest prints I'd ever really consider doing (which is 13x19) and it might improve the quality of my largest prints just a small amount. It would also give maybe just a very small quality bump if I ever did decide to print huge (anything bigger than 13x19 would be huge to me. I could maybe see doing an 18x24 to go over my fireplace mantel some day, with the right picture).

I certainly don't do 20x30 or 24x36 or something like that. However, I can certainly notice the quality difference in an 11x14 print taken at ISO400 vs ISO1600. Small though. I can easily tell the difference between ISO6400 and ISO800, even if the ISO6400 might be just dandy for a moderately large print (well, of the right picture). I'd certainly see a bigger benifit in print quality to have a stop better noise response than I would in a 50% bump in pixels for 98% of the pictures I take. Same with increased DR.

I also suspect that Olympus/Panasonic/Sony are going to have the same sensor for at least another couple of years. Manufacturers seem to go roughly 3-4 years between really new sensor overhauls. We are only about a year in to the sony 16mp m4/3 sensors, so I'd imagine at LEAST one more iteration of Olympus m4/3 cameras using the same sensor, maybe/probably 2 more iterations before we see a new sensor. I would be kind of suprised if Olympus didn't update its processing engine this fall with a new OM-D camera though, which might bring increases in image quality with the same sensor (one would hope).

So the OM-D E-M6 likely will have the same 16mp sensor as the E-M5. The E-M7 a year or two later might have the same 16mp sensor as well. The E-M8 probably will have an all new sensor. I would hope not a 24mp one, but maybe more like a 20mp sensor.

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Many things dealing with Olympus and their OM and Pen cameras, plus my general photography and musings http://omexperience.wordpress.com/

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