EM-1 uses Panasonic sensor per Chipworks

Started Feb 8, 2014 | Discussions
Shop cameras & lenses ▾
Anders W Forum Pro • Posts: 21,466
Re: More Interesting .....

exdeejjjaaaa wrote:

Eric Nepean wrote:

than Panasonic selling to Olympus is the fact that we now have Panasonic manufacturing a sensor with phase detect capability.

any sensor can have PDAF - only Canon does that in silicone - all others just play with CFA on top of the sensor...

In a sense, Canon does it by means of sensor toppings too. They have just been smart enough to realize that if, in addition, you cut each quadratic pixels in two rectangular ones, you can get PDAF functionality from every pixel without losing anything else.

 Anders W's gear list:Anders W's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH +28 more
s_grins
s_grins Forum Pro • Posts: 10,334
Re: What difference does it make?

exdeejjjaaaa wrote:

s_grins wrote:

Landscapephoto99 wrote:

It was subcontracted by Olympus to Panasonic, but it is Olympus' design. It has better high ISO than the E-M5 according to dpreview and others, it has better DR, slightly higher resolution, color and great AF. Competition does wonderful things. Maybe next time Olympus will contract out with Fuji or Toshiba for their sensors.

Maybe next time Oly will outsource the sensor to Fuji, Toshiba, or any other company, but this time it was a Panasonic, and for me it does make a difference.

Oly does not outsouce, because they do not design sensors - they buy sensor designed and manufactured by others.

Thanks for clarification.

With no reason I thought that Oly provides any parts manufacturer, whether it is a shutters company or LCD company or any other component company, with specifications and requirements.

-- hide signature --

Camera in bag tends to stay in bag...

 s_grins's gear list:s_grins's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Panasonic Lumix G Vario 45-200mm F4-5.6 OIS Sigma 30mm F2.8 EX DN +3 more
Landscapephoto99 Senior Member • Posts: 2,736
Re: What difference does it make?

arbuz wrote:

Landscapephoto99 wrote:

It was subcontracted by Olympus to Panasonic, but it is Olympus' design.

I don't recall any camera sensor designed by Olympus. They don't do it.

So they design it to their specifications.  This is the same that Nikon does with Sony and Toshiba.  Olympus apparently does with Sony and Panasonic.

It has better high ISO than the E-M5 according to dpreview and others, it has better DR, slightly higher resolution, color and great AF.

Not really. RAW ISO is actually worse than E-M5 according to dpreview, DXO and others.

You mean like this?  The E-M5 is at least a half stop noisier than the E-M1 according to Dpreview and Imaging Resource.

Landscapephoto99 Senior Member • Posts: 2,736
Re: What difference does it make?
1

exdeejjjaaaa wrote:

s_grins wrote:

Landscapephoto99 wrote:

It was subcontracted by Olympus to Panasonic, but it is Olympus' design. It has better high ISO than the E-M5 according to dpreview and others, it has better DR, slightly higher resolution, color and great AF. Competition does wonderful things. Maybe next time Olympus will contract out with Fuji or Toshiba for their sensors.

Maybe next time Oly will outsource the sensor to Fuji, Toshiba, or any other company, but this time it was a Panasonic, and for me it does make a difference.

Oly does not outsouce, because they do not design sensors - they buy sensor designed and manufactured by others.

Others design them to their specifications.  Just like Nikon and Pentax do with Sony and Toshiba, so Olympus apparently does with Sony and Panasonic.    I don't really care and I didn't like Panasonic technology for a long while, but at this point I don't see what the fuss is all about.

brycesteiner
brycesteiner Senior Member • Posts: 1,590
Re: Panasonic could be just subcontractor

I think they are just trying to be innovative...and, remember, they do NOT have any four thirds lenses to support, so there is no reason for them to HAVE to put PDAF in their cameras if they can find an alternative method of improving focus tracking abilities and overall focusing speed.

What do you mean? Panasonic put out lenses for the fourthirds system:

http://four-thirds.org/en/fourthirds/lens_chart.html

Are you trying to say they used a different focusing system than Olympus? I'm sure Panasonic supported their fourthirds lenses.

-- hide signature --

Make it a Great day!

 brycesteiner's gear list:brycesteiner's gear list
Olympus E-510 Olympus E-30 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus E-M5 II Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm 1:4.0-5.6 +6 more
Eric Nepean
Eric Nepean Senior Member • Posts: 2,195
Re: More Interesting .....

Anders W wrote:

exdeejjjaaaa wrote:

Eric Nepean wrote:

than Panasonic selling to Olympus is the fact that we now have Panasonic manufacturing a sensor with phase detect capability.

any sensor can have PDAF - only Canon does that in silicone - all others just play with CFA on top of the sensor...

In a sense, Canon does it by means of sensor toppings too. They have just been smart enough to realize that if, in addition, you cut each quadratic pixels in two rectangular ones, you can get PDAF functionality from every pixel without losing anything else.

Good observation. But from the Chipworks report abstract I see the following:

The Olympus OM-D EM-1 contains a Panasonic 34231 (MN34230 die markings) CMOS Image Sensor with on-chip phase detection pixel array

It sounds like Olympus have also implemented PDAF in silicon. I wonder why?

-- hide signature --

Eric

 Eric Nepean's gear list:Eric Nepean's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH +10 more
Pixnat2
Pixnat2 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,157
Football fanboys must know something
6

Panasonic is a huge corporation that have many divisions. The corporation's interest is that each division should be profitable.

When Panasonic camera division states they will not use PDAF on sensor, it doesn't mean at all that Panasonic sensor division will not produce it for other companies.

Panasonic Camera Division has a strategy. Panasonic Sensor Division has another. They are independent.

When Olympus bought the sensor from Sony for the E-M5, Panasonic Sensor division lost a client. So they probably made a better offer to Olympus to produce their future sensors.

The good point is that Panasonic sensor division has the technology to make competitive sensors.

In the end, IQ counts, not who made the sensors.

P.S. All this makes me believe that the story about Panasonic not allowing Olympus to buy a sensor from other company was a huge Urban Legend

-- hide signature --
 Pixnat2's gear list:Pixnat2's gear list
Olympus PEN E-P1 Fujifilm X-E2 Fujifilm X-T1 Nikon D750 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G ED VR +12 more
peevee1 Senior Member • Posts: 6,247
Re: EM-1 uses Panasonic sensor per Chipworks

exdeejjjaaaa wrote:

madzazulu wrote:

http://chipworks.force.com/catalog/ProductDetails?sku=OLY-E-M1_Pri-Camera

so it is this one... the same as in GH4 = http://www.semicon.panasonic.co.jp/ds8/c3/IS00006AE.pdf

MN34230PL

that is a big surprise in fact... so Sony after all was not able to edge Panasonic out

Actual imaging area dimensions

(active pixel area)

17.6472 (H) mm x 13.3228 (V) mm

This is noticeably bigger than 17.3 x 13 mm. I wonder if the extra pixels just discarded?

pede59 Senior Member • Posts: 1,272
Re: EM-1 uses Panasonic sensor per Chipworks

Sergey Borachev wrote:

I don't know what commercial arrangements there are between Sony/Olympus/Panasonic in regard to the decision in the use of sensors in Olympus cameras. It should be clear there was a problem in the past with getting the best sensor from Panasonic for Olympus cameras. So, this surprising turn of event is a good sign, as it shows more flexibility for Olympus to get what sensors it need or can afford, but not everything is looking good.

What is of concern is the fact that IQ of M43 cameras has not moved at all since the first OMD E-M5 camera was released. That camera uses a Sony sensor. It has been 1.5 years at least and so something is not going well, as technology should have delivered at least some improvement however small. I don't think Sony stopped sensor R&D. Their RX100 sensor is a nice stop forward and an indication that technology does not stop and improvement is possible however little.

Of course we always want to see progress. But i bought a NEX7 3 years ago and there was no improvement since then on APSC. NEX6? Put in PDAF, but no real improvement in IQ. Fuji? Don't see much progress.

Therefore to all the gloating Panasonic fanboys, I say this. If Olympus had used a newer Sony sensor instead in its top model, there most likely would have been an improvement in IQ in the E-M1. Unfortunately, Olympus was to look after its 43 users and concentrate on PDAF and a bigger/heavier camera in the E-M1 and probably did not care so much getting the best IQ when designing it. There may have been other non-technical reasons/arrangements for using a Panasonic sensor, if that is true For example, Olympus cannot afford to have different sensors in each line of cameras, hence the same sensors as the E-M5 used also in the E-PM2 and E-PL5.

see above ... I doubt it. Sony has put their effort into building a mirrorless FF. But even the sensors in there are not better than the ones used for Nikon D800 or D600.

i consider  the EM1 not as an attempt to leap forward in IQ. Rather to build a body that handles better and will work with FT lenses. Still think it compares well with current competitors.

if any company would need to worry if it comes to sensor quality it would be Canon. Since years they are far behind what Sony delivers.

I hope however that with the real E-M5 replacement, Olympus would use a Sony sensor and deliver some improvement in IQ when it is released later in the year, about 2 years after E-M5. It is unlikely that Panasonic has any sensor that has better IQ than all the current and old ones, or else it would have used it on the GX7 or GH4. I would still look to Sony for the best sensor and some real improvement in IQ. This particular news if true can also be read as bad news if Olympus could not afford to use the best from Sony. The IQ of the E-M5 was great 1.5 years ago as it compared extremely well or better to those in all other mirrorless cameras then, including the larger APS-C ones. Now, it is not, and Olympus cameras can only distinguish themselves with 5-axis IBIS but not in IQ. Most of us had thought there should be some IQ improvement in the E-M1, but there is none and now we know why - Panasonic's sensors.

Lets pray so that Olympus is not stuck with this Panasonic sensor for all its later cameras.

SHood Veteran Member • Posts: 4,583
Re: More Interesting .....

Eric Nepean wrote:

than Panasonic selling to Olympus is the fact that we now have Panasonic manufacturing a sensor with phase detect capability.

Perhaps in the next generation or two of micro four thirds cameras, we will see some more with phase detect autofocus capability.

I have been considering an upgrade, but constant upgrading is expensive, I think I'll wait and see what the next year brings.

-- hide signature --

Eric

Panasonic seems to be going in a different direction with DFD for AF tracking. It would be interesting to see a comparison between the E-M1 and GH4 for AF tracking.

I hope Panasonic's solution does succeed as it has the greatest chance of providing accurate AF tracking in lower light.

-- hide signature --
 SHood's gear list:SHood's gear list
Sony RX100 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F4-5.6 OIS Olympus M.Zuiko 300mm F4 IS Pro
BushmanOrig Senior Member • Posts: 2,975
Re: EM-1 uses Panasonic sensor per Chipworks

Hi

I can sense you obviously made the step into video and you are having much fun in doing so. I think it is not many traditional photographers that manage this step. I tried several times and never really got hooked......

Possibly in the future a winning concept could be a less complex video functionality but with top video out put quality. For example Panny will continue to offer those more serious with absolute top video quality and functionality and Olympus could fill a less complex video functionality but with top top output quality......a few options came to mind.....:-

- Full Manual control during recording

- Class leading IS during recording

- 24/30/60/25/50 all progressive with a choice of 18, 24, 75, 80MBits/s cabability

- Different formats plus edit friendly formats

- Unique filters and art filters to help make the output interesting

- Like I said - focus on output quality and not No of functions to configure.....

- Basic in camera editing

I do think video will become part of stills photographers output and us older guys avoiding video will only benefit from mastering the basics. Media like iPad and other has so many options today to mix and present the different formats.....

Finally I agree with you on the fact that Olympus has the history of camera building and yes its in their DNA.......similar I think of Panasonic as having video in their DNA......

Finally all said I do keep a Panny body in my "collection" and I do enjoy using it for stills......

I wish the 7 - 14 were not so expensive.......:-((

Siegfried

-- hide signature --

I love equipment..........and photography....

jalywol
jalywol Veteran Member • Posts: 7,455
Re: Panasonic could be just subcontractor

brycesteiner wrote:

I think they are just trying to be innovative...and, remember, they do NOT have any four thirds lenses to support, so there is no reason for them to HAVE to put PDAF in their cameras if they can find an alternative method of improving focus tracking abilities and overall focusing speed.

What do you mean? Panasonic put out lenses for the fourthirds system:

http://four-thirds.org/en/fourthirds/lens_chart.html

Are you trying to say they used a different focusing system than Olympus? I'm sure Panasonic supported their fourthirds lenses.

My bad, yes they still have three lenses in their four thirds lineup, but all of these also have M43 alternatives.  However, Olympus has sixteen lenses, nine of which cover focal lengths/apertures/focal ranges that are not available in M43.   It makes much more sense for Oly to go to greater lengths to support their 4/3s customers as a result.

-J

Hwirt Forum Member • Posts: 59
Re: EM-1 uses Panasonic sensor per Chipworks

I think you meant "silicon".

 Hwirt's gear list:Hwirt's gear list
Samyang 85mm F1.4 Aspherical IF
Iliah Borg Forum Pro • Posts: 19,773
Re: What difference does it make?

Others design them to their specifications.

What are those specifications?

-- hide signature --
Anders W Forum Pro • Posts: 21,466
Re: More Interesting .....

Eric Nepean wrote:

Anders W wrote:

exdeejjjaaaa wrote:

Eric Nepean wrote:

than Panasonic selling to Olympus is the fact that we now have Panasonic manufacturing a sensor with phase detect capability.

any sensor can have PDAF - only Canon does that in silicone - all others just play with CFA on top of the sensor...

In a sense, Canon does it by means of sensor toppings too. They have just been smart enough to realize that if, in addition, you cut each quadratic pixels in two rectangular ones, you can get PDAF functionality from every pixel without losing anything else.

Good observation. But from the Chipworks report abstract I see the following:

The Olympus OM-D EM-1 contains a Panasonic 34231 (MN34230 die markings) CMOS Image Sensor with on-chip phase detection pixel array

It sounds like Olympus have also implemented PDAF in silicon. I wonder why?

Not the silicon, I would think. It's just a matter of what's on top of the silicon. All it takes to make an ordinary pixel into a PDAF sensor is to restrict the angle from which photons can enter it and it doesn't take any change to the silicon to accomplish that. The special thing about the Canon 70D sensor is that it makes all the pixels serve as both ordinary pixels and PDAF sensors. With the solution commonly used, e.g., on the E-M1, it is either or, not both and.

 Anders W's gear list:Anders W's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH +28 more
exdeejjjaaaa
exdeejjjaaaa Veteran Member • Posts: 7,734
Re: More Interesting .....

Eric Nepean wrote:

The Olympus OM-D EM-1 contains a Panasonic 34231 (MN34230 die markings) CMOS Image Sensor with on-chip phase detection pixel array

It sounds like Olympus have also implemented PDAF in silicon. I wonder why?

on chip means above the chip - for example : http://www.dpreview.com/news/2010/8/5/fujifilmpd

 exdeejjjaaaa's gear list:exdeejjjaaaa's gear list
Sony Alpha 7R II Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Phase One Capture One Pro +23 more
Landscapephoto99 Senior Member • Posts: 2,736
Re: What difference does it make?

Whatever you see is probably the specifications.  Olympus, Nikon and Pentax do not manufacture their own sensors.  OTOH, they are large buyers who have their sensors custom made by Panasonic, Sony, Toshiba and others.  For example, the most recent enthusiast DSLRs for both Nikon and Pentax have their sensors made by Toshiba, but they are not the same.

Iliah Borg wrote:

Others design them to their specifications.

What are those specifications?

-- hide signature --
exdeejjjaaaa
exdeejjjaaaa Veteran Member • Posts: 7,734
Re: What difference does it make?

Landscapephoto99 wrote:

exdeejjjaaaa wrote:

s_grins wrote:

Landscapephoto99 wrote:

It was subcontracted by Olympus to Panasonic, but it is Olympus' design. It has better high ISO than the E-M5 according to dpreview and others, it has better DR, slightly higher resolution, color and great AF. Competition does wonderful things. Maybe next time Olympus will contract out with Fuji or Toshiba for their sensors.

Maybe next time Oly will outsource the sensor to Fuji, Toshiba, or any other company, but this time it was a Panasonic, and for me it does make a difference.

Oly does not outsouce, because they do not design sensors - they buy sensor designed and manufactured by others.

Others design them to their specifications. Just like Nikon and Pentax do with Sony and Toshiba, so Olympus apparently does with Sony and Panasonic. I don't really care and I didn't like Panasonic technology for a long while, but at this point I don't see what the fuss is all about.

Olympus does not have much different specifications from what Panasonic camera division 'd want for itself (except in video department)... the only difference might be in what lays on top of sensor - Olympus probably wants their own CFA specs, their IR/UV cut filter specs and no AA filter... but for the sensor itself I bet both companies on the same page in terms of what is the size, readout parameters, noise parameters, etc, etc - so Panasonic just did the best and then probably approached Olympus with their price (including CFA laid out to accomodate PDAF) that was competetive vs Sony or may be Olympus like Nikon decided that it is good to have > 1 supplier in any case (for as long as both deliver comparable solutions).

 exdeejjjaaaa's gear list:exdeejjjaaaa's gear list
Sony Alpha 7R II Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Phase One Capture One Pro +23 more
exdeejjjaaaa
exdeejjjaaaa Veteran Member • Posts: 7,734
Re: What difference does it make?

Landscapephoto99 wrote:

Whatever you see is probably the specifications. Olympus, Nikon and Pentax do not manufacture their own sensors.

Nikon at least was/is able to design sensors (and outsource fabrication)... Olympus and Pentax never were able to design imaging sensors... that is a major difference... again - look @ patents - you will never find anything from Olympus or Pentax related to what is in chip (in silicone and how it is laid out there) vs what is on top of it.

 exdeejjjaaaa's gear list:exdeejjjaaaa's gear list
Sony Alpha 7R II Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Phase One Capture One Pro +23 more
Iliah Borg Forum Pro • Posts: 19,773
Re: What difference does it make?

Landscapephoto99 wrote:

Whatever you see is probably the specifications.

No, that is not the answer.

Now, here is the situations. Sensors are still developed from "what is possible", not by specifications. Specifications are written post factum.

the most recent enthusiast DSLRs for both Nikon and Pentax have their sensors made by Toshiba, but they are not the same.

How do they differ? Details, please.

-- hide signature --
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads