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Thread: Should Olympus make a larger sensor?

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    Default Should Olympus make a larger sensor?

    Well with the a7/7R on the way, the RX1 already out Sony has three systems that are full frame. Nikon is rumored with the full frame D4H that will be a compact hybrid and now I read that next year Fuji will have an x200 that will be full frame. Five years ago I thought full frame sensors would be a thing of the past, not so. It seems everyone is jumping in and I feel Canon will have little choice but to follow suit.
    With all of that should Olympus get in the game? I know many will argue 4/3 is full frame. But now that Olympus is on board with Sony a full frame camera certainly would be easier to do. If Olympus did would you be interested?


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    Default Re: Should Olympus make a larger sensor?

    Quote Originally Posted by cosmonaut View Post
    But now that Olympus is on board with Sony a full frame camera certainly would be easier to do. If Olympus did would you be interested?
    that's just the reason why Olympus won't make FF sized sensor camera. why would Sony allow a direct competitor to their camera in that format, especially when they finance Olympus?
    my tools: Oly E-M5 + 45mm/1.8 + Oly E-520 + 12-60 + 14-42 + 70-300 + Sigma 105mm + ec-20 + FL-50R + large no. of MF lenses(like: Oly 90mm/2 macro, Oly 50mm/2 macro, Oly 500mm/8 reflex, Oly 55mm/1.2, Kiron 105mm/2.8, Nikkor 20mm/4 , Sigma 8mm fisheye, Soligor 135mm/2 and many others).

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    Default Re: Should Olympus make a larger sensor?

    Well Sony supplies sensors to several companies. I think they may share some of their technology. Just like Olympus and Panasonic.


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    Default Re: Should Olympus make a larger sensor?

    I don't think the sensor is going to be the problem here. Sony seems to be happy to sell sensors to those who wants one.

    But I suspect that Olympus would break their back if they were to produce a full-frame system. They will need a good setup of lenses for the system to be viable; and they will also have to design a new mount. We have seen that Olympus has not been able to develop the 4/3 line while concentrating on the -4/3 systems. If they now should stop developing the -4/3 line and work on a new FF system, I think they will lose the remaining customers they have.

    I think the way forward for Olympus is to continue improving the Pen and OM-D range and add the missing lenses a Pro system need.
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    Default Re: Should Olympus make a larger sensor?

    None of my current ZD or MZD would be compatible with it, unless they do the A7 number, and even so, I've heard there are compromises with microlenses.

    Other than shallower DOF for portraits, what would a larger sensor get me?

    If I want a larger sensor, there are several very good systems already on the market, with an extensive lens selection, at competitive prices.

    Oly should stick to what they do best.
    E3, E1, E330, EP1, EM5
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    Nikkor: 105 1.8, 400 3.5, TC301 teleconverter
    FL-50, STF-22

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    Default Re: Should Olympus make a larger sensor?

    No. They won't and should not.
    If you need the full frame go somewhere else.
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    Default Re: Should Olympus make a larger sensor?

    I can't see how it makes sense to them from an R&D and engineering standpoint. Not just a new body, but new lenses since none of the existing Zuiko lenses would work on a FF body. Their market is consumers and pros that want a smaller body with good image quality. They'd have to establish a new market against Canon and Nikon which already have the market share and up and comers like Sony which has way more money behind it.

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    Default Re: Should Olympus make a larger sensor?

    It seems ironic to me, but the biggest threat to the 4/3 system is IMO the Sony ff mirror less cameras.

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    Default Re: Should Olympus make a larger sensor?

    It isn't rocket science. They could build a FF and keep the size down to something a lot like the old OM series. They could resurrect some of the old OM glass and bring the specs up to modern standards. They could, but I'm not sure they should do it. They are banking (quite literally) everything on the m4/3 series, if they take their eyes off that ball it could be very bad news for Olympus and for anyone invested in Oly hardware. Yes it will still work if Oly falls of the perch, but how many people would stick with an orphaned system? They have found a market niche that they need to concentrate on not losing so, like Big Greg says, it doesn't make sense. The FF market is dominated by Nikon and Canon with Sony bringing up the rear, for Olympus to break into that segment they would have to devote way more money and human resources than they can afford for the foreseeable future. Plus the fact that they don't seem to want to do it any more than Panasonic does, their collective heart would not be in the game, a sure fire way to lose big time.

    Perhaps Guy is right, the biggest threat is from FF (Sony or otherwise), not only to 4/3 but also APSx formats as well. But, the market segment Olympus has targeted may have no interest in FF with its bigger and heavier gear it may only be the relatively few users who want something that the smaller sensors can't deliver, whatever that may be. I'd wager a guess that the majority of m4/3 users just want something better than a cell phone or P&S camera. I also suspect that most of us here aren't in that majority, we are more likely to want excellent IQ and a good selection of glass to pursue something more artistic than snapshots for Facebook.

    Time will tell, stay tuned.
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    Default Re: Should Olympus make a larger sensor?

    Simply can't envision Oly developing a lens suite from scratch at a price folks would be willing to invest in, as part of a very-late-to-the-table system entry into a saturated market segment.

    That said, when they unveiled the Pen mockup my second thought was: upscale that to a larger 4:3 system--36x27 mm--and you might just have a killer system that leapfrogged the archaic "full frame" standard while undercutting mid format at sizes below extant FF dslrs.

    Yeah, they could stuff a Sony 36x24mm sensor into a big Oly mirrorless body, but in 2013 at least that makes no sense.

    Cheers,

    Rick

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    Default Re: Should Olympus make a larger sensor?

    I don't quite get the whole FF thing....It's relative to 35mm film cameras, and that's not really full frame. It's miniature. The direction of technology is smaller and more robust; look at phones, look at computers, tablets....A sensor smaller than traditional 35mm film already produces results that are for practical purposes indistinquishable. The 4/3 system is unique, innovative and has produced great results from the beginning. The newest iteration of a 4/3 sensor, which is the same for 4/3 and m4/3, is just that much better and in a few years will be even better yet. I would like to see Olympus revive 4/3, make a new very professional level body, perhaps even with built in grip, top of the line for serious professionals. I would also like to see them come out with a 200-400 f/4-5.6 HG SWD lens. One of the selling factors in 4/3 is the 'crop' factor, the 'reach' one gets, and such a lens would be ideal for sports and wildlife. It would certainly be a smaller market that m4/3, but it could be a long standing market....The two systems would compliment each other very nicely. It probably won't happen, but that's what I'd like to see and I dare say there are many others as well....

    Edit: thinking about it now since writing this out, I began to think of.....well, the possibility of.....cause I think I read about something like this last week......interchangeable sensors, or, in the case of Oly, replaceable sensors. So, imagine if you will, an E-x model (or m4/3 as well), which, after a few years, you could send in to have the sensor replaced with the newest, latest, greatest one.....That doesn't work to well for profits, in terms of selling new cameras....but for us 4/3 lovers, it would sure be neat....
    Last edited by kenwae; 10-27-2013 at 11:00 PM.
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    Default Re: Should Olympus make a larger sensor?

    Makes no sense at all.
    Do we want huge lenses again?
    Olympus imaging don't, or won't be allowed by the profitable divisions of the company, the funds to develop yet another lens range.
    Don

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    Default Re: Should Olympus make a larger sensor?

    Regarding sensor size/lens size. My understanding is that the Digital Zuiko lenses are that size in order to throw an image circle covering the FT sensor when mounted with a mirror in between the sensor and the flange. m.Zuiko lenses are smaller, because they throw the same image circle for a much shorter distance. Would it not be possible to create a mirror less body with a larger sensor, that utilised the larger image circle at that shorter distance?

    Ah, no it wouldn't, because of the sensor being inside the focal point. Forget what I just said, carry on as you were.
    Thomas
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    Default Re: Should Olympus make a larger sensor?

    In a word, no.

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    Default Re: Should Olympus make a larger sensor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Baldwinson View Post
    Makes no sense at all.
    Do we want huge lenses again?
    Olympus imaging don't, or won't be allowed by the profitable divisions of the company, the funds to develop yet another lens range.
    Don
    Well Sony is doing it with lenses not much bigger than Olympus lenses. So it can be done. With that Olympus certainly has the best performing camera on the market hands down. Every aspect of their camera are a cut above the rest. Dust reduction, IBIS, lenses quality, focus speed you name it. But it does seem to be a trend, full frame, that is getting popular and affordable. The a7 price isn't much more than the price of the E-M1 and the same as the E5.
    I truly love Olympus and would love to see them expand into other areas.


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    Default Re: Should Olympus make a larger sensor?

    I honestly don't think that Olympus has the R&D capacity for much new stuff.

    Even the 40-150 f/2.8 is rumoured only for the latter half of 2014. With the High grade UWA zoom and the other high grade telephoto, I bet we already know everything they are going to release in the next ~1.5 years.

    EDIT: reading up the latest rumours seems like the 40-150 f/2.8 will be coming in the first half of the next year. Still, doubt we're gonna see anything else in the given timeframe. This year Olympus has only come out with one lens - the 12-40mm, and two m4/3 cameras (E-P5 and EM-1). Last year they released 3 cameras and 3 prime lenses. This is not a company capable of fighting in several fronts.
    Last edited by Edmunds; 10-28-2013 at 10:17 AM.
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    Default Re: Should Olympus make a larger sensor?

    I think they could do it, but really
    the difficult part is the lens suite,as it takes years to get set up with that
    and funding it would take away investment in m43rds

    so look at it this way
    APSC is having its blood pumped to cheap FF
    some are already lamenting having lost D400 and whatever 7D would become
    not that the cameras that replace them are bad (though it seems Nikons QC has taken a hit)
    but the evacuation from sophisticated APSC will sooner or later have an impact on low end APSC
    that void is a bigger opportunity for m43rds, as the biggest most intensive surviving non full format system

    it is already having an impact on higher end FF, with middle ground FF falling to cheap FF, and why not
    this dilutes the profit mix for FF and takes the growth pop out of underfunded APSC
    I actually think it might work for Sony, but is a bit dangerous for Nikon and Canon

    what Olympus have to do is find what is missing for western users perspective to refit and refill a global market
    focus on improving m43rds and providing the diversity the system needs

    there are still easy to find prospects to be filled in m43rds cameras
    a bomb proof fixed lens sports camera, $300 go anywhere
    a high end, stabilised, HDMI or 4k video oriented camera
    Riley

    Olympus User, Pro Photographer since 2003

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    Default Re: Should Olympus make a larger sensor?

    Shouldn't Olympus rather just be Olympus? I value FF 35 very much, but Olympus planted its flag. It should stay behind it, with both the platforms disadvantages and advantages. There is too much "me too" as it is!
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    Default Re: Should Olympus make a larger sensor?

    I think the camera business will soon be like in the good old film days. We don't need a new camera body every year. The E-M1 is as good (or better according to DPReview) as any APS-C image sensored camera body. The difference is back to the quality of a lens and not the body. As it used to be. So I think the APS-C could be dying and mirrorless and FF will stay alive. But I don't think many people really need a FF body - only some but not all. The small size of Oly mFT bodies will sell - even I found the mFT attractive over my E-3 and 12-60 mm combo!

    Personally I don't see much advantage in FF over mFT other than easier control of DOF. But then that is solved by an Oly prime lens! I think people used to complain how to focus the Sigma 50 mm f1.4 lens correctly anyway.

    So sales of new cameras will slow down as most of us here - and I am not mentioning the majority of hobbiests at all - cannot use the current camera to the full. We need good lenses and time to use on photographing. Not new bodies (I know I will soon buy an E-M1, though) !

    So no idea for Oly to go FF.
    Last edited by Jarkko; 11-05-2013 at 08:04 AM. Reason: typos!

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    Default Re: Should Olympus make a larger sensor?

    I say bring it on, as long as they resurrect 4/3 mount and my glass can be used natively at portion of that sensor.
    With their digital zoom technology Olympus would find a way to make up those missed megapixels.

    Then, when there is whole range of lenses which can be natively used - then they can start adding FF glass...one by one.
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    Default Re: Should Olympus make a larger sensor?

    FF is irrelevant.

    This whole competition thing between manufacturers based on sensor size, megapixels, ISO capabilities, frames per second, etc etc, is a marketing gimmick to keep people distracted and buying equipment.

    The mark was passed some time ago where image quality from a variety of sensor sizes was more than adequate for almost anything, and where choice based on format dynamics and available lenses is the only sensible way to choose equipment. I have a pretty nice FF camera, and have owned a whole bunch of darn good APS-C cameras as well. Yet my ten year old E-1 still makes absolutely delightful and pleasing photographs—because the sensor is good and the lenses are superb.

    Yeah yeah yeah ... more mpixels, more editing headroom, more sensitivity overhead means more photo opportunities. There were an infinity of photo opportunities when I was shooting with ISO 400 35mm film cameras, I couldn't get to them all. An infinity squared set of photo opportunities with all the stuff we have to work with today is just more stuff that I haven't got time to get to.

    I chose to go with the E-M1 and FourThirds format, deliberately and with delight. I like the format's dynamics ... more light and more DoF ... the current sensors are excellent, the current bodies are excellent, and there are scads of top-notch lens choices. This is my primary system ... I use my FF camera for much more limited purposes, when its format dynamics and unique lens characteristics make a difference that is advantageous.

    We'd all do much better to forget the marketing competition and concentrate on making photographs, telling stories with our photos, and helping each out improve our photography.

    G
    ... beginning to sound like a grumpy old man ...

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    Default Re: Should Olympus make a larger sensor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    FF is irrelevant.
    Can I quote you on that

    I totally agree with you.

    Let's look at the major pro-FF arguments:

    Shallow DOF: I can get that -4/3. It's not just the equipment; technique is as important. And it is easier for me to get good DOF without closing down the aperture.

    Images from FF sensors have a 3D feel that "crop" don't: I have never seen any of that. I have seen lenses that does magical things, though.

    FF is better at High ISO: True, but it is only important if you need it. How many shoot regularly at ISO 6400 and above? I need decent ISO 3200 performance once in a while, but all modern 1" sensors and larger delivers that today.

    FF is more ergonomic: No, a large body can be more ergonomic. But ergonomics is really about a good design. Personally I find Leica M unwieldy, but others love it.

    FF is better for action: No, it is the advanced PDAF sensors that work better than CDAF; and you get those on APS-C bodies too.

    I might sound like I don't like FF; I do. But it is not the holy grail - it is just one of many choices.

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    ... beginning to sound like a grumpy old man ...
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    Default Re: Should Olympus make a larger sensor?

    What about the FFers claim that you get better wide angle results with FF? My daughters partner went from a D7000 to a D600 because he wanted better wide angle. So he shoots with a 35mm on it. Seems like nonsense to me.... I can do better than that with my 14-54.


    Add me to the list of old grumpies!

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    Default Re: Should Olympus make a larger sensor?

    If I wanted full frame, I would buy full frame. I simply have no interest. As to where the market is going .. that's another story.
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    Default Re: Should Olympus make a larger sensor?

    They (full frame expounders) are now called FFFanboys!

    I've listened to their arguments and justifications for years. I read many of them carefully. Godfrey listed many of their arguments. I, too, am not buying it. But I have. I've purchased and used Canon and Nikon FF. I've owned and borrowed many APS-c equipped camera's.

    I'm as good at pixel peeking as the next guy.

    So, why do I always end up back with a sole Olympus in my bag.... starting with the E-1 when it was new, and a follow up E300, followed by many others.

    So many valid arguments here to stay with the creative company Olympus from when they were a leader in creativity in film .. ie, the OM series and many others.

    I'm happy with my E-PL5, and pondering either an OM-D (EM-5) or "bite the bullet" EM1.

    FF... I think not!

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