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Future of m4/3?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by slackercruster, Jul 22, 2012.

  1. slackercruster

    slackercruster Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 18, 2012
    NE US
    Can the sensor be enlarged very much in an m4/3?

    Or is the growth potential in higher mp sensors that are about current size?

  2. pheaukus

    pheaukus Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 22, 2012
    The sensor size (in mm) is part of the definiton of m43. If the sensor were larger, it would not be m43 any more. See here:

    Whitepaper (Summary of Standard):

    "4. System Outline
    The Four Thirds System refers to an interchangeable-lens type photography system based on an imaging sensor with a diagonal length of 21.63 mm, which is half the diagonal length of the 135 film format (36 mm x 24 mm).
    The Micro Four Thirds System refers to an interchangeable-lens photography system with a shorter flange back length than the Four Thirds System. It uses an image sensor matching the Micro Four Thirds System (Micro Four Thirds System Sensor), and is an extension of the Four Thirds System.

    Or did you mean higher sensor resolution, in megapixels?
  3. gsciorio

    gsciorio Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 29, 2011
    Miami, FL
    Pixel count was the first conversation to become passe next is sensor size. You don't need to big sensor to get dynamic range or low noise. The OMD is proof of that.

    If someone needs to have high pixel count for a specific purpose (like making massive prints) then I recommend renting a Phase One.
  4. slackercruster

    slackercruster Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 18, 2012
    NE US
    Oh...I thought the M4/3 means a lens size mount and a sensor ratio of 4/3. Didn't know it meant a special sensor size.

    If that is the case, then the OP only concerns future growth as how high the mp's will go if there is not room to use larger sensors.
  5. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Sensor size would stay the same, but progress can continue to be made in dynamic range, noise, tonal range, etc, not just in megapixels. m4/3 will always have a bit less of this stuff than the larger sensors, but will also have an advantage on lens size.

    Just as long as sensors in m4/3 keep pace technologically with those in APS-C and FF.
  6. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    If the OMD is an indication I would guess better DR, high ISO and detail are all on the horizon. Sensor size won't change. The entire system is built around it.
  7. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    Sensor technology constantly improves. M43 sensor can easily be over 30MP in resolution in the future. Look at Sony's much smaller 1" sensor at 20MP with no hit on IQ. In the old sensor designs, higher MP count (smaller pixel pitch) was found to affect low light IQ and DR. This is no longer the case with the new generation Sony sensors. I wouldn't worry about m43 IQ being competitive. Optics plays a HUGE role in IQ. Sharp lenses allow to get away with an AA filter and sharpening has dramatic impact on low light/high ISO performance. The results can can match APS-C sensors. m43 format allows for much more compact lens designs still retaining great optical qualities (Panny 20, 14, Oly 45, etc).
    I would worry more about lack of on-sensor PDAF than IQ. But the again it is expected that either GH3 or the next OM-D will finally introduce PDAF making sports photography a breeze with LiveView and bring video AF to a whole new level which no DSLR can even approach.
    One of the main issues with m43 is very high cost of the system for what it offers with no budget options. I'm afraid this isn't gonna change as both Canon and Nikon take over mirrorless market keeping m43 marketshare low and still divided between at least two manufacturers. I always recommend going with Nikon or Canon DSLR for those whose budget far outweighs the need for smaller size. E.g. Nikon 35mm f1.8 is under $200, same with nifty fifty, etc.
  8. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    This statement is not exactly true. Of sensors from the same "generation", larger MP will always yield better DR and low light results.

    I think what you meant to imply is that technology is advancing faster than the "laws of physics" allowances for larger pixels. A newer sensor can perform better than a larger sensor with larger pixels of even 1/2 or 1 generation older.
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