Prediction

soundimageplus

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A prediction about the next Panasonic camera from Zone-10 repeated on 43rumors.

http://zone-10.com/cmsm/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=483&Itemid=1

The bits I especially liked were:-
I am still holding to this projection and believe that Panasonic and Olympus will be releasing cameras in February and March with pixel counts in the area of 15 MB with it being as low as 14 MP and as high as 16 MP, but most likely a usable 4:3 format of 14.7 MP. Actual usable pixel-count will vary due to the multi-ratio format of the newer sensors, as seen in the GH1, which are oversized and allow for 2:3, 4:3, 16:9 and 1:1 ratios. The sensor is likely to grow a little larger as well as the throat area in front of the sensor to accomodate a larger 2:3 and 16:9 surface area and greater sensor-shifting. The Four-Thirds lenses have a larger projected area than is currently being used by a static 4:3 image.

Due to the greater pixel density on these new sensors, the trend towards weaker anti-aliasing filters will continue and the new sensor is almost certainly to be fully AA filterless with only electronic means of correcting moire and aliasing.

If only!
 

Brian Mosley

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Yes, I seem to remember Olympus stating that they were able to use a weaker AA filter due to software filtering in their Venus V image processing engine... losing the AA filter seems quite reasonable - but I wouldn't want to see dynamic range or signal to noise worsen to accomodate a few more pixels.

Björn Uptott did an excellent illustration of the 4/3rds sensor size some time ago :



Cheers

Brian
 

goldenlight

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Personally, I'd rather they stick at 12mp and channel any sensor improvement into noise control and DR improvement - unless, of course, we really can have our cake and eat it too!
 

BillN

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I've still got my Pentax K100D - 6 mbte - and the images are really good

Who is the pixel race for? - must be 97% marketing to pitch to APs and who would never know, (plus keeping the competitive race going) and 2% for the pro market who cares - the other 1% - not thought about them - unless they are into S2 territory
 

Iansky

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I still have my doubts about us seeing a replacement for the GF1 this soon, it is still selling like hot cakes and some areas still struggle to get the kit with 20mm and body on it's own.

Personally I feel there is no need for a larger sensor as the current sensor does what it should and we do not want to see the pixel wars develop as they have in the compact/DSLR markets.

I feel that before they put more pixels/bigger sensors they should address issues with existing sensors and noise but hey, that is just my personal view.

Not going to hold my breath though!
 

Ranger 9

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Who is the pixel race for?
I've already posted this in a couple of places, but it really surprised me: There seems to be a trend for casual photographers to get huge prints made. A MWC (mom-with-camera) recently told me that she takes her favorite snaps to Costco and gets 20x30 prints made for $9 apiece (?!) Presumably Costco wouldn't be offering this if there weren't significant demand...
 

Brian Mosley

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I agree Ian, the GF1 is hardly out the door... no time for a GF2 - most likely a GH2 and there are rumours of an L2.

Cheers

Brian
 

Djarum

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I print at home 8x10's. There are a few pictures I have had done larger at Ritz. But there are some I'd like to have poster size but there just isn't enough pixels(7mp).

Dj
 

soundimageplus

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Specifications.

While basically agreeing about more pixels not always being a good idea - this little diagram shows that the difference between the Canon cropped sensor and 4/3 or m4/3 is really not that much. Considering that the 550D and 7D samples that I have seen are excellent in terms of both resolution and the ability to control noise at higher ISO's, I believe that there is plenty of leeway to both increase the number of pixels and get better high ISO performance with the next update from Panasonic.

The GH1 already has a 14MP sensor, its just that we are only to access different portions of it for the various formats. The Pentax K-x with its Sony sensor has also shown that its possible to get very good high ISO performance from a sensor not much bigger than 4/3 or m4/3.

I don't think that its asking too much to expect a 4/3 or m4/3 sensor to provide 15MP of decent resolution and a high ISO performance at least 1 stop and probably 2 stops better than it is at the moment. This should be achievable without any loss of image quality. Canon can do it, Pentax / Sony can do it. I think its reasonable to expect that Panasonic could do it to.

I for one will be somewhat disappointed if the next version of the Panasonic sensor, in whatever camera it appears in, doesn't have that improvement. If it doesn't then I think we have the right to ask Panasonic, if other manufacturers can improve the MP/Resolution/Noise relationship, why can't you?
 

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pellicle

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While basically agreeing about more pixels not always being a good idea - this little diagram shows that the difference between the Canon cropped sensor and 4/3 or m4/3 is really not that much.
something which I've posted plenty of times when I read stuff like "even with a smaller sensor" on places like photo.nzi

your 100% right, its not a significant change at all

If it doesn't then I think we have the right to ask Panasonic, if other manufacturers can improve the MP/Resolution/Noise relationship, why can't you?
or simply walk away shaking ones head and get back into the mainstream
 

viztyger

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All mFT Sensors Should be Multi-Aspect

Soundimageplus, that diagram is from dpreview's Canon 550D preview (link) and is not a comparison of sensor sizes but of relative viewfinder sizes.

My own preference is for a slightly higher resolution of around 15 megapixels. At home, I generally don't print larger than the 21x30 standard printer paper. But I do have larger photo books printed where I sometimes fill both pages with a single image.

I also hope that from now on all sensors in mFT cameras will be multi-aspect. There's no reason why I should lose so much sensor area or lens coverage when switching to aspect ratios other than 4:3. Even the over-sized GH1 sensor still only has 71% of the area of Nikon's APS-C sesnor.

And of course I'll also take any improvements in high ISO and dynamic range that I can get.
 

Brian Mosley

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Björn, is it true that you can't get all the data available from the GH1's oversized sensor in raw?

Even if the corners were lost... it would give more flexibility for cropping the raw image to whatever aspect ratio you want.

Cheers

Brian
 

viztyger

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Multi Aspect Mode

No, unfortunately not Brian. Even applications like Raw Therapee, which don't apply lens distortion correction, still crop the file to the chosen aspect ratio. There are some Panasonic compacts that will shoot a scene in "Multi-aspect Mode"l that takes a photo in all 3 aspect ratios simultaneously. You can even see the 3 differently coloured frames superimposed over the scene. The corners outside all three frames are blacked out.
 

Brian Mosley

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I'm sure the image sensor has sensels all the way into the corners - it would make so much sense to have the whole image sensor recorder in raw.

I guess that would no longer be a 4/3rds sensor though?

Cheers

Brian
 

soundimageplus

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Soundimageplus, that diagram is from dpreview's Canon 550D preview (link) and is not a comparison of sensor sizes but of relative viewfinder sizes.
Quite right. Sorry about that. Heres the right diagram!
A few quick calculations comes up with the fact that a comparable
4/3 sensor to the 550D sensor should come in at about 13.5 MP.
Since a 4/3 sensor is about .72 of an APS-C sensor.
Adding on another 1.5 MP and loosing a stop of high ISO
performance on the Canon is a trade off I'd be happy with.

There is of course another alternative.
Panasonic and Olympus abandon 4/3 and use another (larger) sensor size.
It would mean slightly less DOF (I use that phrase advisedly with the can of worms it invites opening!!!)
But really would anybody care?

You will of course now prove that you do!!
 

Brian Mosley

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Nice diagram soundimageplus.

I like the 4/3rds native aspect ratio - it seems like a good compromise to me to give better portability without losing any significant IQ for my needs.

Cheers

Brian
 

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