Surprise: Olympus E-M1 uses a Panasonic sensor!

Started Feb 8, 2014 | Discussions thread
Kim Letkeman
Kim Letkeman Forum Pro • Posts: 33,422
Re: Would have been an even nicer surprise...

BarnET wrote:

gnewsch wrote:

Chipworks also says the E-M5 uses a Sony sensor indeed. So I guess we can all agree that currently there is not much difference between the various 43rd 16mp sensors.

There is a big difference between the old 16mp panasonic sensors and the newer sony and panasonic sensor. The difference between the em-5(sony) and gx7(new pana) is insignificant.

The GH2 as first gen was much worse in shadow as ISO rose higher ... but the rest are virtually identical at higher ISO.

However, I'll grant that the Sony sensors have more dynamic range and are thus more forgiving against earlier Panny sensors.

The panasonic

G3 GX1 and gf6 use an old cheaper version(only video output is worse) as the gh2.

Cheaper has nothing to do with it. These sensors were just as expensive in their day, as it costs a bundle to tool up for a new part. This sensor is somewhat weaker at video than the GH2 (where the GH2, G5 and G6 are simply outstanding) ... but the G3 and GX1 can be hacked and then they get fairly competitive (the GX1 was already quite a bit better than the G3 from what I have read.)

For stills, they have slightly finer grain in my opinion than the GH2 through G6. But the G5 and G6 have higher dynamic range, pulling close enough to the Sony sensor for my taste ...

Gh2 g5 g6 use the larger 18mp multi aspect. But the multi aspect function is unfortunately disabled in the g models.

Yes, but their video is so good that one presumes that it may still be used for that. For stills, though, you live with the crop. And yet the newer versions of the sensor have much better dynamic range than the GH2 so Panny have probably improve read circuitry etc in these derivatives.

These sensors have significant less dynamic range at base iso as the new models. Also about an stop lower sensitivity. So ISO 1600 on the gx7 will look about as good as ISO 800 on the g6.

And the GM1 is even better at high ISO ... Panny is pulling rabbits out of hats with their new sensors in this area. Dynamic range is also very competitive.

That is a significant difference that closes the gap to most Apsc based camera's. Apsc does still have an resolution advantage since you get similar dynamic range and ISO performance at 24mp.

If you crop for portraits, the difference is about 1/3 stops ... there is no relevant difference.

Or you will get better ISO performance if you choose fujifilm.

Yeah ... sort of. Fuji do a great deal of smearing of their RAW files, so the XTrans units look amazing at 6400 ISO. But look closer and you will see that m4/3 -- despite the much higher levels of grain -- also have higher levels of retained detail.

The Fuji output in RAW (check the comparator at DPReview) does look seductively clean ... and for JPEG shooters, who are already compromised in this way, that might be a great thing. But I think there is enough extra detail in m4/3 to compete in RAW against the X-Trans.

YMMV of course ...

 Kim Letkeman's gear list:Kim Letkeman's gear list
Nikon Coolpix 990 Fujifilm FinePix F770EXR Nikon D90 Nikon D600 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 +15 more
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