According to a Yahoo Japan news story
translated by a DPReview forum member (link
), Olympus President Hiroyuki Sasa revealed in an interview that the sensor for the Olympus OM-D E-M5 was made by Sony! The story was also picked up by DC Watch Japan
This is big news for the Micro Four Thirds system for a few reasons:
1) Sony has been making the best sensors around for at least a couple of years now, a fact that Mr. Sasa apparently endorsed during the interview. Sony has been happy to sell these sensors to Nikon, Fuji, Pentax, and others. Now apparently Olympus users get to enjoy the benefits as well.
2) Panasonic, up until now the supplier of sensors for all Olympus Micro 4/3 cameras, wasn't sharing all their best sensors with Olympus. Recall that when asked why the excellent GH2 sensor wasn't featured in the Olympus E-5 DSLR, Panasonic Senior Product Manager Sven Dabelstein had the following to say (source
Originally Posted by Google translation
It is true that we supply for some time the captors to Olympus, and we have entered into a partnership towards the establishment of the Micro Four Thirds protocol, but beyond that, it is undeniable that we are competitors in the same market, and it seems sense that each firm should reserve a space to develop differentiated products with unique technologies.
3) Unless they are also going to buy sensors from Sony, there is now pressure for Panasonic to improve their sensor designs in order for their cameras to remain as competitive as possible with Olympus cameras.
4) If Sony can supply sensors to Olympus at a lower price point than Panasonic, it's possible that we'll see the OM-D sensor in the upcoming "entry level" Pens, ie E-PM2.
I can't really see any downside to this news as far as we consumers are concerned. Anyone see a problem?
Source: Yahoo Japan
via 1001 Noisy Cameras
Edit: discussion of this story already underway in our forums: OMD EM5 Sensor Made By Sony