E-M1 uses Panasonic sensor!

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by sge998, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. sge998

    sge998 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 14, 2013
    San Francisco, CA
    Surprised everyone? Just when everyone's praising about the E-M1's image quality and how it's leaps and bounds better than its Panasonic counterparts - namely GX7 & GM1, it actually uses a Panasonic sensor. The only difference is the added Phase detection and no Anti-alising filter on the E-M1.

    Head over to Chipworks to check it out yourself. The sensor inside the E-M1 is "Panasonic MN34231". :thumbup:
    • Like Like x 8
  2. orfeo

    orfeo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 27, 2013
    Not really surprised by Oly anymore. I don't mean to be rude but the marketing plateform for me is pretty obvious.
  3. Halaking

    Halaking Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 17, 2012
    Los Angeles
    Real Name:
    Everybody thought the sensors of EM1 & EM5 are made by Sony included me, anyone want to tear down his EM5 to see what brand is the sensor?:biggrin:
  4. alex66

    alex66 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 23, 2010
    What does it matter? Nikon have all their sensors outsourced, Pentax-Ricoh tend to buy in Sony designs even a load of Canon compacts use Sony sensors. Nikon have various makers build them to their spec and Sony use a Nikon stepper in their sensor fab machines. There is a whole lot more to a camera than the sensor or who makes their component parts, the magic is in the mix as they say. If you look at high end audio where some designers or makes get an aura of originality you will find a whole heap of off the shelf parts, one famous British maker is as far as I know using a 1973 RCA application note as their power amp design to great acclaim. What they have done is tweak and perfect the design, so who cares if the EM-1 has a panasonic or a Sony chip its what it produces that matters.
    • Like Like x 2
  5. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    • Like Like x 3
  6. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    Panasonic probably let Olympus get dibs on their latest sensor tech for IBIS as seen on the GX7.
    • Like Like x 2
  7. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I think the positive note here is that Panasonic sensor development is on par with Sony. More vendors means more choices and also bodes well for the future of M43.
    • Like Like x 5
  8. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Real Name:
    It really doesn't matter who made the sensor on the E-M1 as long as it is on par with the performance of the Sony sensor in the E-M5, but it does explain why the E-M1 suffers from severe hot-pixel problems in long exposure shots (with NR off) when the E-M5 doesn't. It is a completely different sensor after all!

    Now I'm curious whether the E-M10 uses the E-M5 sensor or the E-M1 sensor sans PDAF pixels, and whether it suffers from the same hot-pixel issue in long exposure shots with NR set to off...
  9. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I think it's obvious that Oly doesn't design and make its own sensors. Sensor design has evolved over a fairly long period now and teams that know how to do it well can't be conjured up overnight. The camera industry is stuffed with outsourcing of components and the sensor is no different. We know that Nikon use both Sony and Toshiba for sensors - so what?

    I think what is interesting though is that it's now clear that the sensors in the E-M5 and E-M1 are quite different; and yet, so many journos and users have been happily claiming that the IQ is identical because the sensors are "the same", or "closely related". As hkpzee notes, we ought to have seen through this given the quite different long exposure noise patterns between the two cameras.
  10. _Matthias_

    _Matthias_ Mu-43 Rookie

    Jan 4, 2014
    Stuttgart, Germany
    Real Name:
    Is this the same sensor as in the GX7? It wouldn't make much sense for Panasonic to give Olypus a better chip than they put in their prime model. That would be an interessting twitch to comparisons of sensor capabilities of the two cameras.
  11. Lisandra

    Lisandra Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 16, 2010
    The hot spots were dealt with in firmware quite a while ago. The Sony sensor in the em5 bands badly if you push the shadows, the em1 does not.
  12. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    No, I don't agree. There is still a difference between the two sensors on long exposures (see this article http://wrotniak.net/photo/m43/em1-em5-dark.html which has some pretty convincing evidence).

    As regards banding, I've never seen it on any of of my E-M5 shots and it was something I'd suffered for years with on my Canon gear, so I knew what I was looking for. The Wrotniak article confirms this too:

    Banding (what banding?)

    Good news here: my dark noise frames show no banding — and that is true for both cameras. For comparison, the E-30 was showing what I called "traces of banding", the effect was quite visible in the E-3, and even more visible in the E-510.​

    This lack of banding and the ability to push shadows was one of the factors that pushed me over the edge when I switched to u43.
  13. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    Real Name:
    rob collins
    Really? Has Panasonic image sensor business ever been profitable in the any year in the last 10? I dont think so. On that basis, Panasonic is more likely to be the ones subsidizing Olympus to buy its sensors.

    I wouldnt be too impressed with Panasonic if I was you - they have generated 2 of the top 10 biggest losses in Japanese Corporate History in the Last 2 years. In fact Panasonic's losses over the last two years are equivalent to the GDP of Iceland which is pretty impressive.

    Incidentally that chip is 1080 60fps capable. Right? But Olympus didn't bother with it?
  14. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    Real Name:
    this reminds me of the fact that DxOmark test shows neither EM1 nor GX7 could achieve the sharpness score as EM5 with same lens mounted. I know many of us here have participated in the discussion and no cause of that have we found. If the EM1 and GX7 share the same sensor while EM1 lacks an AA filter, it could be explained why EM1 has got better sharness score than GX7, but both fall behind that of EM5; Panasonic sensor might not be as good as Sony sensor in term of sharpness according to DxO's doubtful results.
  15. FlyPenFly

    FlyPenFly Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    Certainly makes sense why the E-M1 is not as good as the PM2, PL5, and M5 at ISO performance. Interesting to note though that the Olympus imaging pipeline is notably better than Panasonic even when using Panasonic's sensor.
  16. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 24, 2011
    Viera, Florida USA
    Real Name:
    Wasn't the whole point of the m4/3 consortium to share design and tech?

    General Motors could make the sensor for all I care, I love Oly's jpg engine, and don't care what DXO says about my camera with numbers. I care what the images coming out of my printer say. I don't dislike Panasonic, I just prefer the form factor of the Olys (so far), don't shoot much video, and quite often shoot straight to jpg. That makes the Oly's a perfect fit for me.

    Though that new GM1 is calling to me... I'd love that with a 25mm 1.4.
    • Like Like x 2
  17. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    But ... but this bit just isn't true ;
    I've never seen this illustrated, or even discussed.
    There may be a couple of nutters who say such things, but there are always going to be nutters.
    • Like Like x 5
  18. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    Personally, I am open to either brand and would prefer it they work together to produce a better system (which they at times do not). I like seeing good products from either brand, and am happy to use either. I suspect 90% of the other people in these forums are in the same boat....
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Lindsay D

    Lindsay D Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 2, 2013
    West Sussex, England
    Real Name:
    I can't say that it matters to me who makes some of the parts in my cameras. All that matters is that the equipment performs in the way I expect it to. My VW 4x4 has some parts which are common to the Porsche Cayenne, and my Porsche contains some Audi parts. All of those parts are good and are compatible in quality. It's quite common for similar manufacturers to cross pollinate each other.

    I do see small differences between the output of the EM1 and my EM5/EPL5, and I thought perhaps it was due to having the most recent processing software, but maybe it's the sensor. Doesn't bother me, the output of all of the recent Micro 4/3 cameras is outstanding.
    • Like Like x 6
  20. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 24, 2011
    Viera, Florida USA
    Real Name:
    There's no room for that here. With but 58 or so posts, maybe you haven't learned that this is a respectable group, well above this sort of comment. We value your opinion, not your attitude.
    • Like Like x 13