Panasonic Adopting the Sony A7 Philosophy?

Discussion in 'Micro 4/3 News and Rumors' started by ijm5012, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Legend

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    (FT4) Panasonic following the Sony A7 "philosophy" - 43 Rumors

    Based on the latest rumor (so take it for what it's worth), it sounds as if Panasonic may be adopting Sony's philosophy with how they handle their A7 line, and applying it their cameras as well, with a "stills" oriented camera, "low light" oriented camera, "video" oriented camera, etc..

    To be honest, I'm a bit perplexed by this.

    From a "stills" perspective, what more could they add to the existing GH5? A higher resolution sensor is extremely unlikely, as we haven't heard of anything beyond the current 20MP m43 sensors. I suppose they could introduce something like Olympus' hi-res mode, but other than that, what more could be done to the GH5 to make it "stills" oriented (other than stripping away video features)?

    As for the "low light"/"video" camera, the assumption here would be a reduced MP sensor with larger pixels for better low-light performance. Assuming the camera would be able to shoot C4K, a 4:3 ratio sensor would need to be at a minimum 12.6 MP (4096x3072), and that would be with no oversampling at all. If we look at the latest Sony and Fuji cameras, one reason their 4K footage looks so great is that it's oversampled and then downres'd to 4K. If Panasonic were to oversample by 1.5x, the sensor would need to be 28.3 MP (6144x4608), which would result in worse low-light performance because of the even smaller pixels.

    I suppose that Panasonic could make a GH5 with a sensor designed around 1:1 readout for C4K, but given the success that the GH5 has had on the market thus far, I guess I would question why bother? The GH5 is selling extremely well, so why bother messing with it?

    The other option could be that this rumor is slightly incorrect, and that the "high end stills-oriented camera" is the GX9, where the GH5 remains as the video-oriented camera (that is still a great stills cam BTW).

    Very odd. I supposed we'll find out in a month or so...
  2. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Hmmmm - it could be just random non news. OTOH, maybe it's a differentiation they plan via marketing rather than reality. Wouldn't be the first time someone had tried this.
  3. dlentini

    dlentini Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 26, 2015
    From the rumor:
    “They are trying to follow sony with the A7 series.
    So Flavours of GH5.

    GH5 for Stills
    GH5 Low Light etc

    Not sure if they all will be announced at the same time.”

    I found this very unlikely, as that will require several different sensors, if they don't do any clever software tricks.

    I really hope this is not true as I think the GH5 is a bit to large for being a primary stills camera.

    And one thing I really appreciate with m43 is that you can get camera bodies of very different size and spec and still use the same lenses.
  4. DanS

    DanS Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 8, 2016
    Central IL
    Im going to go with fake news.
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  5. srhphoto

    srhphoto Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 26, 2012
    It would certainly get my attention if Panasonic introduced their version of

    - high res mode
    - live bulb
    - live composite

    On to a 'stills' orientated body. These are certainly features that help give Olympus the edge for stills currently IMHO.

    • Agree Agree x 3
  6. dirtdevil

    dirtdevil Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 9, 2017
    New type of sensor ("organic" or whatever their project was called a couple of years ago) ?
  7. Hypilein

    Hypilein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 18, 2015
    Really hoping this is not the death of the GX9 (although, like others here, I also think the rumour seems unlikely).

    That said, if they could add Hi-Rez (even the original version in the Em5mkII) and some of the other Oly stills features, I would be very pleased.
  8. xaositect

    xaositect Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 22, 2017
    Tamas Varga
    I can't see what new features could a soon to come gx9 that the gh5 doesn't have already except exterior design and more affordable price... pretty sure sensor will be the same or a new 20 MP sensor that's improved slightly. i'm pretty fond of the gx8 body design but then again if it'll be just a stills oriented 20MP m43 camera the olympus e-m1 ii is already the perfect one of that. So I guess it's gonna be a relatively affordable(1000-1200 euro) gradual improvement of the gx8.
  9. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    Sources say Panasonic will have "ten times more top end models"...
    • Funny Funny x 2
  10. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    I'm not sure that this is necessarily a valid assumption. After all, before the 36MP D800 came out in 2012, the highest resolution FF camera was the 24MP D3X. Before the A7r II came out, there had never been an FF sensor with BSI. Before the GX8 came out 2 years ago, we hadn't heard of anything beyond 16MP for 4/3 sensors.

    Let's be honest, M4/3 sensors are behind the curve in terms of technology. There are lots of technological improvements that have shown up not only in smaller sensors, but in larger sensors that haven't yet come to M4/3.

    Sony's 1" BSI sensor first came out in the RX100 II back in 2013. It didn't have any of the fancy stacked DRAM or PDAF pixels that the newest RX100 V and RX10 IV have, but it was still a fairly large BSI sensor. An 4/3 sensor cut from the exact same wafer would be ~39MP, just like that. And based on simple surface area and the performance of that 1" sensor, it would actually have better dynamic range performance and low-light performance than any current M4/3 sensor, at least when downsampled to the same resolution as any other competing M4/3 sensor.

    The GX8 was also the first M4/3 camera to get the Sony 20MP sensor, which we hadn't heard a peep about before it was released.

    So if Panasonic is actually serious about releasing a "high end stills" camera, it is not at all inconceivable that they could have a 30-40MP BSI sensor with PDAF pixels. That is technologically feasible today. They could pay Sony and have them design and fab that sensor.

    Do I believe that Panasonic would be so bold? No, not at all. That would be huge news, would revolutionize the M4/3 space, but would also potentially tear away the $2000 price ceiling that we've seen established for M4/3. Would people be willing to pay $2500 for an ultra-performing high-res, PDAF-enabled M4/3 stills camera? I don't think so.

    But it's absolutely, totally within their grasp technically.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. gcogger

    gcogger Mu-43 Veteran

    May 25, 2010
    That gets my vote, although perhaps with the word 'slightly' removed - after all, it is 43rumors... :) 
  12. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Legend

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    FYI, your claim is not correct. 43rumors had a post talking about new m43 sensors, including a 20MP one, back on April 8, 2015. The GX8 was announced on July 16th, 2015, more than 3 months after the mention of a 20MP m43 sensor, so we did indeed hear about the 20MP sensor before it was implemented in a camera.

    With the impending Lumix camera announcement only a month or so away, I would assume that if it were using a radically different sensor, we would've heard about it.

    I'm still a believer that the camera will be a GX9, with an updated processor for modest high ISO noise improvements, with the biggest addition being the addition of IBIS-stabilized 4K video. I would love for Panasonic to implement something like Olympus' Live Bulb/Time/Comp features, but I'm not holding my breath.
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  13. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Fair enough, I had probably even read those rumours at the time, but obviously long since forgotten.

    That said, I think my overall point does hold true. The 28MP BSI sensor in the Samsung NX1 was a total surprise. The 42MP BSI sensor in the A7r II was a total surprise. The 46MP BSI sensor in the D850 is a complete surprise. There may have been rumours or inklings about these things happening, but there wasn't the up-front tech info detailing Sony's off-the-shelf options like there was for the humdrum 20MP IMX269 listed there.
  14. DanS

    DanS Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 8, 2016
    Central IL
    This is what I think as well. They will announce the GX9, with IBIS, 4k video, and more stills oriented features. I don't think we will see any sensor changes till Panasonic gets their own fab fully flushed out.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    There is no technical reason why a better u43 sensor couldn't be produced (higher Mp, more DR etc). We know that the 1" sensors have both higher pixel density and use later technologies such as BSI, copper wiring and such like. Why is there no u43 sensor with these developments? - some would say it's because the main u43 manufacturers no longer do their own sensors. But that's not true. Nikon have just launched the D850 and its sensor is spectacular - but it's designed (at least partially) and produced by a new Israeli company called TowerJazz. TowerJazz are owned 49% by... Panasonic.

    The reason why we don't have a better sensor can only be due to economics or lack of vision by Oly/Panasonic.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. DanS

    DanS Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 8, 2016
    Central IL
    Designed and partially are the key words here. Getting from a design to working silicon in a cost effective manner is no easy task. Specially when you are wholly or partially reliant on third parties who might have their own agendas.
  17. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Do we have any actual evidence that the D850 sensor was made by TowerJazz and not Sony? Doing a bit of sleuthing, the only references that I see to that end up being sourced back to a video by the Angry Photographer on YouTube. That guy is a total crackpot, and not a single thing that he says should be taken as reliable or verifiable. He's the main reason that people started talking about "flat lenses" and "depth rendering" being associated with element count.

    The only thing that is for certain is that Nikon says that they designed the D850 sensor. I would believe that. But I would bet dollars to donuts that Sony fabbed it.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Legend

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Agreed, the whole "flat rendering" thing is a crock of shit, right up there with why vaccines are bad for you.

    But your last sentence, you said you'd bet that Sony created it. Why are you so certain? Why do you think a company other than Sony didn't manufacture the sensor? From my perspective, if I were Sony I would be hesitant to build the sensor for the D850 because of how it would perform against their own A7R II. So if Nikon were getting pushback from Sony, why not look elsewhere to see who could deliver a sensor that would beat the current full-frame king, the A7R II?
  19. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Ah, OK - I didn't go hunting for original references to that TowerJazz claim and I can see now that in fact most posts about it either say nothing about their source or else point back to that YouTube video. I agree that it's a long way from being authoritative - in fact, on balance it's more likely to be junk than truth!

    My point about 1" sensors still stands though.
  20. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    No disagreement from me at all. 4/3 sensors are technologically behind the curve compared to both 1" sensors and APS-C sensors, and even FF sensors.

    While I understand why that bothers a lot of people, I'm actually not in a tremendous hurry to upgrade my GX7, so being so far behind the curve gives me hope that at some people either Olympus or Panasonic will actually stop dragging their heels and put a modern sensor in their cameras. And then I'll get a big improvement, all in one go!

    It'll be like a Canon user going from the elderly 18MP sensors plagued with low DR and banding and jumping all the way up to the modern (if not quite state of the art) 24MP sensors in the 80D or SL2.
    • Agree Agree x 1
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