New Sony M43 Sensor Coming in 2021 (early rumours)

tiago.ereira

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I sincerely hope it is a state-of-the-art sensor that can be used for the next generation of m4/3 cameras. The system‘s future really depends on it. If it is, l feel JIP would want to get it into a new E-M1 line camera as soon as possible regardless of how much time would have passed from the last E-M1 launch. It would show that the system can still grow and instill confidence in the new company.

Pure speculation and assuming the best case scenario... but perhaps JIP only bought Olympus Imaging because it knew a new sensor was coming?

Agree on this. If that sensor is actually to be used on m43 cameras and JIP wants to keep the business running they should release a new camera as soon as possible. That would give to community a sign that “We are here to stay!”

Not everyone has the last model and even if they do, they will like to know that they have something better to upgrade to when they want/need.

If JIP takes too long to send us a sign we might just think that the system was actually made obsolete and there is no future.

Lens roadmap update is another thing that should be shared as soon as possible, otherwise people will just think that the plan is dead and no further development will happen.
 
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BDR-529

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I was just sharing my guesses on that new sensor. Sony has been working on multiple sensors for industrial purposes (artificial vision, etc) so I would rather put my money on that then on a new camera sensor, but I might very well be completely wrong.

If a new m43 sensor with major improvements is being developed to be use in cameras, that would be great news for the system.

New m4/3 sensor is not only being developed but it has already entered mass production in September. Sony IMX492 is the very sensor that was rumoured one year ago to be the new 8k MFT sensor which will first show up in GH6

https://www.sony-semicon.co.jp/products/common/pdf/IMX492LLJ_LQJ_Flyer.pdf
This is also dual aspect ratio MFT sensor: 17:9 for C8K and 4:3 for 41MP still images

Just like the IMX299 which is used today in GH5S among other things, IMX492 is initially lauched under surveillance category. It's interesting to note that not only has IMX299 appeared in consumer camera lineup but also the dedicated Panasonic MFT sensor variant, IMX272, is now there too which indicates that exclusivity period has ended. Only the custom version Olympus uses (IMX 270) is missing from public portfolio. Had Panasonic launched GH6 as planned, they would most likely had used a custom version of IMX492 á la IMX272
https://www.sony-semicon.co.jp/e/products/IS/camera/product.html

So, rumoured sensor did indeed show up but GH6 didn't. It's nowobvious that this was not due to lack of new high-end MFT sensors. In my opinion there are two options:
1) Panny will never launch a new high-end MFT camera and they are just trying to win time with lip service and hope that MFT customers will buy S5 instead after they grow tired of waiting
2) After the 8k hype died together with 2020 Olympics, Panny realized that 8k is not going to be the killer application for next generation MFT cameras and they need way better low light performance and dynamic range instead. 6k will be more than enought for years to come and that does not require insane amounts of processing power and active cooling systems. Just a 25MP sensor with large pixels will do. Except that no new 25MP MFT sensor exists, just the 8k high end version with microscopic 2.315um pixels
 
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pdk42

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New m4/3 sensor is not only being developed but it has already entered mass production in September. Sony IMX492 is the very sensor that was rumoured one year ago to be the new 8k MFT sensor which will first show up in GH6

https://www.sony-semicon.co.jp/products/common/pdf/IMX492LLJ_LQJ_Flyer.pdf
This is also dual aspect ratio MFT sensor: 17:9 for C8K and 4:3 for 41MP still images

Just like the IMX299 which is used today in GH5S among other things, IMX492 is initially lauched under surveillance category. It's interesting to note that not only has IMX299 appeared in consumer camera lineup but also the dedicated Panasonic MFT sensor variant, IMX272, is now there too which indicates that exclusivity period has ended. Only the custom version Olympus uses (IMX 270) is missing from public portfolio. Had Panasonic launched GH6 as planned, they would most likely had used a custom version of IMX492 á la IMX272
https://www.sony-semicon.co.jp/e/products/IS/camera/product.html

So, rumoured sensor did indeed show up but GH6 didn't. It's nowobvious that this was not due to lack of new high-end MFT sensors. In my opinion there are two options:
1) Panny will never launch a new high-end MFT camera and they are just trying to win time with lip service and hope that MFT customers will buy S5 instead after they grow tired of waiting
2) After the 8k hype died together with 2020 Olympics, Panny realized that 8k is not going to be the killer application for next generation MFT cameras and they need way better low light performance and dynamic range instead. 6k will be more than enought for years to come and that does not require insane amounts of processing power and active cooling systems. Just a 25MP sensor with large pixels will do. Except that no new 25MP MFT sensor exists, just the 8k high end version with microscopic 2.315um pixels
Interesting. But noise at the image level has generally improved as pixel counts have improved. If the 41Mp sensor gives better image-level noise (newer design etc) then that would be good news. No need to go looking for a new 25Mp sensor.
 

JonSnih

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New m4/3 sensor is not only being developed but it has already entered mass production in September. Sony IMX492 is the very sensor that was rumoured one year ago to be the new 8k MFT sensor which will first show up in GH6.

Talk is about a new sensor which will enter mass production in Q1 2021. It is not available now.

I highly doubt that Oly/OM would put 40MP+ monster in future cameras. As you said 8K is just a hype. 4K is fine for masses in near future, 5K/6K would be more than enough for post production. Even A7Siii is still a 4K machine. M43 is about clever approach - HQ in smaller package, smaller RAW files, low-res (20-28MP) sensors with faster read out speed and AI computational features (HHHR) for those who need it. Future hi-res gaming/streaming/footage is in upscaling anyway.
 

WaltP

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BDR-529

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Talk is about a new sensor which will enter mass production in Q1 2021. It is not available now.

Since we are talking about Sony sensor here, it's most likely just the same rumour over and over again:

Techradar 12.6.2020:
" The Panasonic GH6's sensor details provide one of the juiciest rumors to date. It will reportedly be based on the Sony IMX594 or IMX492, which are Four Thirds camera sensors listed for use in security and surveillance cameras. "

Mythical IMX594 does not appear anywhere in the internet except that one Spanish Facebook posting about "leaked" GH6 specification but let's assume that it's just the custom version of IMX492 design for Panasonic just like current IMX272 used to be for first three years (and oly IMX270 still is).

This design is a dual aspect ratio sensor also known as "oversized" sensor. Sounds strange untill you take a piece of paper and ruler but the sensor is actually so large that corners don't fit inside the m4/3 image circle. Trick here is that you don't actually use these corners at all.

Instead you'll crop two areas which both have diagonal just below the 21,6mm image circle size and leave sensor corners to their own devices.
1) 17:9 area where you use the full width of the sensor but not the full height and get C8K resolution of 8192*4320 pixels (35MP)
2) 4:3 area where you use full height of the sensor but not the full width and end up with 7408 * 5556 pixels (41MP) still image

Full size of the sensor is also missleading 47MP but it's never used in MFT applications. IMX594 is - assuming it exists in the first place - a consumer camera sensor because it's been referred as a 41MP sensor which is indeed the size of m4/3 image you can take with it.
 
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pdk42

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Out of interest I downloaded some GH5s raw files. The noise performance is very good, as is the DR. Pity that they decided to omit the IBIS. Although I'm not sure I could live with only 10.2Mp - the loss of fine detail would eventually frustrate me.
 

L0n3Gr3yW0lf

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I've been praying to the Prophets of the Gamma Quadrant Wormhole for years for a new sensor. But as much as I would like to see it implemented ASAP it's not that easy, as one would guess (though I am no manufacturing engineer).
My, pure, speculation is that the next up in line for an update in Pen F II but, like the E-M5 III before it, it's more likely to get the current 20 MP on-sensor PDAF of E-M1 III. And as E-M5 III was recently updated and E-M1 III was the last to be updated, the only possibility would be the E-M1 X II.
Given the past history of (on average) 4 year lifespan of a generation, this gives JIP 2 more years to work on upgrading to E-M1 X II. It's difficult to speculate what sort of improvements the sensor would bring, but if it's 4 to 10 extra Megapickles the camera will need a redesign of its pipeline for more ultra-fast RAM to increase buffer capacity for 18/30/60 FPS in RAW, upgrade to UHS-II, or a newer/better fast storage capacity like Compact Flash or XQD. Dual True Pic IX will most likely need more cooling to keep the fast performance needed for the extra readout and (inevitable) faster AF. I do hope that even with smaller R&D and budget they can bring more AI Detection & Tracking. Even a redesign for a new and bigger battery may be necessary for the extra juice needed to more performance and less not forget better EVF: JIP needs to improve the EVF because the market has moved fast in improving the EVF both in terms of speed (blackout-free) and IQ ( 4 & 5 Million Darts). Such EVFs will require more cooling (sources of light still generate heat even at such small sizes) and power requirements for high refresh rates like 120 Hz or 240 Hz.
Since E-M1 X II is the top dog in terms of expectations and price it makes sense to put down such investment of best of the best and then let it trickle down as one gets the production rolling and manufacturing cost lowering with time. Ex:
E-M1 X II release in 2023 -> trickle-down features and performance with developing the E-M1 IV and release it in 2025 -> trickle-down some features and performance once again with developing the E-M5 Mark IV and release 2026 -> and keep rolling progress and trickle-down to lower the cost of manufacturing and using the maximum available R&D funds (low as it may be). Pen F can fit in this just as well, as a filler until the new tech is read, same with E-M10 if they still wish to keep it that is.
I would see the stacking of cameras like this:
Top-End (Professional): E-M1 X (my personal estimate: 2.500 - 3000 £ MSRP)
High-End (Professional): E-M1 (1.600 - 2000 £ MSRP)
Mid-Range Travel (Prosumer): E-M5 (1.200 - 1.500 £ MSRP)
Mid-Range Street & Portrait (Prosumer): Pen F (800 - 1.100 £ MSRP)
Low-End for Beginners & Travel (Consumer): E-M10 (500 - 700 £ MSRP)

But all of these is just b*!"$*&^ droppings from my brain and unlikely how it will happen.
 

RichardC

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I am quite confident that Oly R&D is still working on the future high-end OM-D camera(s) (the R&D spend is still around $35M + HR costs a year). What would be real reason for JIP to get imaging division without any future potential? In the ILC realm full of gearheads you need more than new releases of excellent lenses and firmware updates. Also the E-M1iii looks like a very clever way how to monetize old components they had from original E-M1ii. The mark III is kind of a placeholder. They knew that a new Sony sensor is under development. Moreover they (with Panny) ordered it very likely. I would not be suprised to see a new E-M1iv somewhere in Autumn 2021 or Spring 2022 at the latest.

Concept to production is still measured in years rather than months - so your time scales are probably not far from the truth.
 

Mike Wingate

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Please wake me up when something appears in the shops. Shops, I remember them, similar to pubs. You went in . Paid money and were given something in return. How old fashioned. Never catch on.
 

RS86

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You can forget Oly as they are not in camera business anymore. JIP won't be developing anything in the near future, if ever.

You're totally wrong as Olympus kept 5 % share of the new company & JIP got the R&D from them.
 
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BDR-529

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I hope you're wrong. Unless the whole JIP thing is just a smokescreen for a complete shutdown, surely JIP must have a go-forward plan.

Knowing that JIP is a private equity firm, they sure did have a plan to make a profit out of this deal. Financial - not optical - engineering is the sole skill of these companies and quick profit is their only target.

I might have missed some latest news but did Olympus do exactly the same thing as Sony: keep 5% of the company and a seat in board of directors but under no circumstances let loan sharks have access to your most valuable asset - Olympus brand,

Insice Imaging October 2020
"The Olympus brand does not appear to be part of the deal which will see all the other assets of Olympus imaging – including use of the sub brands M.Zuiko, OM-D and PEN – transferred to private equity operating under the OM Digital Solutions brand.

Olympus has used tricky forms of words to falsely reassure Olympus fans and supporting retailers that the Olympus brand will continue to be used by OM Digital Solutions as part of the deal: ‘will utilize the Olympus brand for a certain period‘…"
 

BDR-529

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VAIO continue to update their laptop range.

VAIO continues to buy off-the-shelf laptops from Taiwanese ODM manufacturer who develops and manufactures them. Vaio Corporation just kindly sends them the "VAIO" logo to be printed on the cover. If you had money, you could go ahead an buy the very same laptop with "RichardC" logo on the top.

Note also that Vaio Corporation is not allowed to even mention SONY brand under any circumstances and they never aquired rights to VAIO logo. Sony still owns VAIO brand and logo and only leases them to Vaio Corporation.

Unfortunately there are no m4/3 camera ODM manufacturers from whom OM Digital Solutions could buy generic high end m4/3 cameras and brand them with whatever logo they are actually allowed to use.
 

RS86

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VAIO continues to buy off-the-shelf laptops from Taiwanese ODM manufacturer who develops and manufactures them. Vaio Corporation just kindly sends them the "VAIO" logo to be printed on the cover. If you had money, you could go ahead an buy the very same laptop with "RichardC" logo on the top.

Note also that Vaio Corporation is not allowed to even mention SONY brand under any circumstances and they never aquired rights to VAIO logo. Sony still owns VAIO brand and logo and only leases them to Vaio Corporation.

Unfortunately there are no m4/3 camera ODM manufacturers from whom OM Digital Solutions could buy generic high end m4/3 cameras and brand them with whatever logo they are actually allowed to use.

They can buy the parts and use the R&D they got from Olympus. Not that difficult.
 

BDR-529

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They can buy the parts and use the R&D they got from Olympus. Not that difficult.

If it's not that difficult, then why did Olympus end up making $200M loss with this business in one FY and ended up dumping everything to first passer-by?
 

RS86

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If it's not that difficult, then why did Olympus end up making $200M loss with this business in one FY and ended up dumping everything to first passer-by?

Can be many things. That was not the point.

You and the other poster here are suggesting JIP can't produce cameras at all, even when they got R&D from Olympus.

Doom mongering in full glory.
 
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