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Discussion in 'Micro 4/3 News and Rumors' started by Amin Sabet, Jun 23, 2012.
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Hmm ... interesting. I wonder if this will ultimately lead to Sony parts (namely image sensors) in Olympus cameras? I can also imagine Olympus building lenses for the E-mount since last year Sony was actively trying to get every third party lens maker to develop E-mount lenses.
In all honesty anything we say is just speculation until Oly or Sony make official announcements about how this partnership will work.
If the Sony deal falls through and they do a deal with Terumo, I wonder if they would sell off the camera division.
Sony could use more quality lenses (especially affordable ones) for its Alpha mount as well as its E mount. And Oly would greatly benefit from not having to rely on Panasonic for sensors. This tie-up could be a very good thing, indeed.
Sony semiconductors would be happy to sell sensors to anybody (Nikon, Pentax, and for compacts practically everyone). However, they're unlikely to design a specially-sized sensor for a single niche customer, so unless Olympus is willing to put an APS-C or FF sensor in their cameras, I'm not sure what good it would do them.
In terms of lenses, Olympus would have to redesign them for the larger sensor to make them in E mount. Given their situation, that seems like a poor use of limited resources.
I had that thought as well...
You have a valid point. But if Sony has skin in the game - meaning they have an interest in a thriving Olympus - it might be worth it to produce :43: sensors. And it might not take that much engineering to re-size an APS-C sensor for :43:
Conversely, doesn't Olympus have plenty of full-frame film lens designs on its shelf? How expensive would it be to give them state-of-the-art coatings and autofocus motors? Especially if they have a customer who will give them a healthy minimum order?
This deal would move Sony's share in Olympus up to 10%. Hopefully if it goes through they will share some of their sensor tech and not just medical equipment technology.
IMHO that would be the best case scenario for Olympus camera aficionados.
Sony is making money on their cameras. Why in the world would they absorb the dilutive Olympus camera program instead of eliminating a competitor to their very profitable NEX line? The only realistic business decision would MAYBE to keep Zuiko making lenses, albeit for a mount and e mount, but there is no legitimate business case that ends with both Sony and Olympus products competing in the marketplace.
Is it just me, or would anyone else laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh if Sony ditched NEX for m43 for their "pocket" mirrorless push?
(I know, it wouldn't happen, but I'd just ROFL if it did).
Maybe I'm missing something here, but it should be perfectly well possible to build an m43 camera that has an APS-c sized sensor. They'd just have to restrict the active portion of the sensor (in software, or perhaps with some sort of mask) to match the image circle of the m43 lenses. I half remember reading that Nikon full-frame cameras do something similar if a lens designed for their APS-c cameras is attached. Given the likely cost-per-unit advantage of APS-c sensors, it may not be a bad idea. Some of the extra pixels at top/bottom and/or the sides could be used for other things, maybe even as a dedicated focus aid etc. etc.
You're right that they certainly could use a full APS-C sensor, and just crop for the imaging pipeline. It would require a certain amount of extra work (and waste some space in the bodies) but it's by no means impossible.
However, the 16MP sensor cropped to 4/3 size leaves about 10MP which is probably not enough. Even the 24MP sensor when cropped only gives 16MP. And the 24MP sensor doesn't seem to be any better, on a per pixel basis, than the current Panasonic 16MP sensor.
Regarding the costs, Sony has the volume advantage, but Panasonic has the size advantage (larger size invariably makes for lower yield), so I'm not really sure who comes out on top in the end. I wouldn't be surprised if it were a wash...