Rumours that Panasonic is slowing/postponing Micro Four Thirds gear

whumber

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I have seen only screenshots of this rumoured 41MP datasheet which has never been in the public portfolio but it looked like the very same 47MP design. The only difference was that it was listed as 4/3 sensor Instead of oversized "1.4" and this 41MP is indeed the maximum 4:3 aspect ratio area that fits inside MFT image circle.

I'm not sure which IMX492 datasheet you are reading because the official one behind the link lists 30fps frame rate for full 8k (17:9) at "Basic Drive Mode". It doesn't even list 4k or 6k frame rates and I'm absolutely certain that there is no consumer sensor that can read [email protected] Even [email protected] is still a tall order for full sensor width readout.
The datasheet you posted lists all pixel drive mode at 24.17fps on the SLVS-EC interface for the IMX492. The 41MP sensor is/was the IMX594CQR, the original spec sheet is no longer publicly available but there are still sections of the spec sheet floating around.

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 

BDR-529

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I can even show the rumour site where this clip is coming from
http://thenewcamera.com/panasonic-gh6-camera-may-use-sony-41mp-sensor-imx594cqr/

There was one essential piece of information missing though. In another rumour this chip was correctly listed as 4k "color square pixel array" (CQR) sensor which makes a lot more sense.

"IMX594CQR – 41MP sensor able to record DCI 4K"

It can also record DCI 4k at 120fps (and use all pixels) and split into 41MP Quad Bayer sensor but not both at the same time.

Here's a better explanation about FF version of this Sony CQR sensor:
http://thenewcamera.com/sony-a7s-iii-to-feature-15mp-quad-bayer-sensor/

A7S III is a 12MP 4k-only videocamera with spectacular 15db dynamic range and low light performance but I don't know what happend to that theoretical 61MP resolution in the process because all reviews claim that still images are only 15MP. It can, however, record DCI 4k @120fps and use all pixels in doing so.

In other words IMX594 would be the next 10MP 4k-only video sensor for GH6S or BGH2.

EDIT: now I even found the place where the rumour about true 41MP MFT sensor came from. It was EOSD forum and lo and behold, they were really talking about Olympus 2020 releases:
"If my sources are correct, Olympus will soon announce a 41MP MFT mirrorless camera using a variant of this sensor:"

Below that message was copy of IMX492 datasheet and the writer had only listed the resolution which m4/3 camera would use - also 41MP instead of the full 47MP. Anyway, there indeed were rumours about 41MP Olympus Camera for 2020 which never realized most likely because this sensor does not have PDAF sites and Olympus would have had to pay for a custom sensor development as they did with IMX270.
 
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fortwodriver

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Canon made the historical change to sell their sensors because they needed to upon up a new inflow of cash and compete with Sony on sensor manufacturing...
Um... what exactly about it is historic? They have been selling CCD and CMOS sensors for a long time for industrial purposes. The sensors they're selling are not for amateur/pro photography, rather they are for machine vision, automotive, and AI vision applications.

It just happened to be picked up by a blogger and the rumours began to spread that because Canon wasn't selling cameras (they're actually selling lots) that they decided to put their sensor tech on the market. That's not accurate.
 

Mike Wingate

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Well the G9 with updates has been around since December 2017. A long time without a replacement, despite FF models. 3 long years.
 

BDR-529

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Um... what exactly about it is historic? They have been selling CCD and CMOS sensors for a long time for industrial purposes.
Apparently Canon themselves didn't know this because one month ago they made a song and dance about this announcement on their own website:

“Canon has been manufacturing CMOS sensors since 2000 for exclusive use in Canon products. Building on that expertise and success, Canon is now committed to starting external sales to collaborate with various industries. Canon CMOS sensors feature unique designs to meet the needs of demanding vision applications.”

Well, maybe they have done that earlier but why keep it secret if the purpose is to increase revenue and why make it public only now?

If we look at camera sensors, especially APS-C ones, I don't believe that even Canon can any longer afford to develop new sensor alone for a product category that is all but disappearing because even Canon is pushing entry-level FF models below previous APS-C price points. It's also an annoying fact that Canon has so small APS-C sensor (1,6x crop) that nobody else is able to use it but m4/3 could use one as a seriously oversized multi aspect-ratio ersatz-sensor.
 
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fortwodriver

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Apparently Canon themselves didn't know this because one month ago they made a song and dance about this announcement on their own website:

“Canon has been manufacturing CMOS sensors since 2000 for exclusive use in Canon products. Building on that expertise and success, Canon is now committed to starting external sales to collaborate with various industries. Canon CMOS sensors feature unique designs to meet the needs of demanding vision applications.”

Well, maybe they have done that earlier but why keep it secret if the purpose is to increase revenue and why make it public only now?
Canon didn't actually say it like that, Nikkei said it. In fact they said the same thing in 2016. Canon sold linear CCD and CMOS sensors for research and scientific purposes. Canon and Kyocera were in bed together for years. Kyocera had Canon imaging tech in their lens-development group.

There are many uses for smaller-than-full-frame sensors than just amateur camera imaging systems. The future is still more or less centred around machine imaging which doesn't need to have so-called full-frame sensors. APS-C isn't really that small, and the difference between APS-C and Canon APS-C is 0.1 times. Remember Foveon was even smaller, as their APS-C multiplication factor was initially 1.7.

Full-Frame is not entirely useful for machine imaging or AI. A large pixel sensor will resolve less small detail than a smaller sensor of the same number of megapixels with a higher pixel density, anyway. They have VERY good small-pixel technology, where pixel density is more important than pixel size.

Full-Frame was actually pushed to market by Canon as a way of acquiescing to the largely American phenomenon of "bigger-is-better." It's great that people think a Cadallac Escalade is better than a Fiat, until you try to drive that Escalade down a tiny Italian alley. ;-)

I think we can all admit that amateur photography gear acquisition has tumbled dramatically. Practically everyone who wants an ILC or is pressured into owning one, has one, and they're all pretty good. There are many new industries that require imaging, and that's what Canon cares about for growth.

It's also no secret that a lot of industries did use m43 sized sensors for machine vision for the same reason. That sensor size was a good compromise of size, manufacturing cost, pixel density, and versatility. Many of those sensors didn't even have Beyer overlays.
 
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L0n3Gr3yW0lf

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Um... what exactly about it is historic? They have been selling CCD and CMOS sensors for a long time for industrial purposes. The sensors they're selling are not for amateur/pro photography, rather they are for machine vision, automotive, and AI vision applications.

It just happened to be picked up by a blogger and the rumours began to spread that because Canon wasn't selling cameras (they're actually selling lots) that they decided to put their sensor tech on the market. That's not accurate.
Sony's own revenue profits are higher and more stable then Canon and they are not decreasing compared to Canon's own finance situation even with the pandemic.
Source:
https://www.macrotrends.net/stocks/charts/SNE/sony/revenue
https://www.macrotrends.net/stocks/charts/CAJ/canon/revenue
Sony sells all their sensors in almost every dimension to countless manufacturers/partners/customers ... which outstrips Canon's industrial customer base by the sheer volume, where almost everyone is suffering from the shrinking camera market and economical state Sony seems to be making money because it sells to everyone they can find:
https://petapixel.com/2020/04/23/ca...ropped-80-in-q1-but-the-worst-is-yet-to-come/
https://www.digitalcameraworld.com/...figures-for-q2-2019-spoilers-they-arent-great
https://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/IR/library/presen/er/pdf/20q1_sonypre.pdf
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2...-billion-chip-plant-smartphone-image-sensors/

" Profits for its sensor division surged 59 percent to ¥76.4 billion, a record for any quarter. " That's 736 Million $ in profits after all the manufacturing and distribution costs for Sony 2 years ago.
Reports on the market share for imaging sensors are dominated by sony as well:
https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Co...enge-Sony-s-stronghold-in-image-sensor-market
https://www.dpreview.com/news/41964...half-of-the-image-sensor-market-share-in-2019
... with Samsung being the only manufacture that is actually trying and managing to compete with Sony.

And this effect is seen again in semiconductor manufacturing as well, where everyone else can't keep up with TSMC in both volume and advancement in node size and complexity manufacturing, Intel has fallen behind, and with recent reports saying that Intel secured a deal with TSMC to make their lower-end chipsets and i3 CPUs at TSMC and (AMD's old division) Global Foundry can't keep up with the demand because of the huge demand on new silicon on almost every single electronic market set: smartphones, ARM, x86, automotive, etc.
The more you sell, the more you grow, the more money you make, the more reputation you gain, the more in-demand your services are, the more you sell ... and on and on.
 

Bushboy

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The new LUMIX S5 is 24MP full frame
UHD 4K video
6.5 stop image stabilisation
96MP high res
Panasonic
Who wouldn’t want one...
 

speedy

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The new LUMIX S5 is 24MP full frame
UHD 4K video
6.5 stop image stabilisation
96MP high res
Panasonic
Who wouldn’t want one...
Me for starters. I'm stil enamoured with lenses such as my PL15, my new little 10mm Laowa, my Siggy 56 1.4, nnd my other primes that have no equivalents in any FF system, let alone Panasonics new to the market FF lineup. I have no interest in starting a new system, all over again, when I've spent the last 6 years or so collecting a brilliant little kit, that does 99% of what I ever want.
 

L0n3Gr3yW0lf

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The new LUMIX S5 is 24MP full frame
UHD 4K video
6.5 stop image stabilisation
96MP high res
Panasonic
Who wouldn’t want one...
The thing missing for me on that is a decent or better HHHR veriong the Olympus implementation, a high speed mode (20 FPS with pre-buffer option) and a lightweight and cheap alternative to Sony 200-600mm on L mount. Sigma will come up with one but who knows when, Tamron hasn't come out with one even in E Mount and Nikon with Canon as well no option there either (unless you want to count the RF 100-500mm but it has a bit less reach and smaller aperture for it too).
The pains of a new mount. Even with 3 major contributers it's still slow to build up and Panasonic has limited R&D as well as production capacity that needs to be shared with Micro Four Thirds, as big as Panasonic is their imaging division is only a small part that gets a certain capacity of budget. (For example Canon has no less then EF, EF-S, EF-M and RF along with the cinema line but they are so much more focused on what the company does and makes that most of their effort is concentrated on that. Even that, Canon seems to be dropping their focus on EF and EF-S mount to focus on RF)
 

RAH

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The new LUMIX S5 is 24MP full frame
UHD 4K video
6.5 stop image stabilisation
96MP high res
Panasonic
Who wouldn’t want one...
If I were going to go FF, this is almost definitely the camera I would get. But the big lenses, poor telephoto reach (vs m43), and the pain of starting a new lens mount is a real show-stopper for me (like others).
 

fortwodriver

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And you get fat, slow to react, top heavy, & fall over. And the cycle continues
Not really. Canon just acquired Toshiba's medical imaging business. That includes all of their endoscopy, MRI, and CT scan technology. They are already introducing new enhancements to those platforms.

Medical and business imaging will always be a FAR greater draw for them than consumer camera sales.

Most of the blogging world is claiming the sky is falling just because manufacturers are dialing back their R&D on cameras and are slowing product cycles. These are gigantic corporations. If they feel some other industry will make them money while cameras are falling, they'll shift.
 
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D7k1

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I think the new lifecycle is going to be in the 3-5 range. Cameras are now "good enough" for the majority of every user. Pro's are sensitive to spending money (as all business should be) and Hobbyist seem not to be printing in the majority. This type of lifecycle given the state of the current cameras allows for the traditional product life cycle to apply to camera. it's in year 3-5 that cash cows are mooing:)
 

archaeopteryx

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PS with focus bracketing Raw is the way to go IMHO
It's certainly one option for stacking. Probably the most influential factors on workflow choice are whether it's field or studio image capture, the total number of MP needing to be processed, the available camera body and computing capacity in post, budget (if any) for changing those, and approach to archiving brackets.

If the fps limitations and increases in processing time imposed by using raw are acceptable and the stack is compatible with Photoshop's entry-level implementation then, sure, it follows you'll get fine results that way. However, I'd be hesitant to suggest it at higher frame counts on considerations of bracket acquisition duration, processing time, and stacker abilities.

In regards to Panasonic's ability to influence stacking workflows, the changes which seem most likely to occur are higher bit rates and incremental increases in bit depth for post-focus along with the ongoing gradual increase in fps and buffer size which helps a little with focus bracketing. For some time now, ILC manufacturers have been converging to a platform model for cost containment and I suspect that extends to reuse of processing engine ASICs as well as sensors. So my current guess is Panasonic's waterfall will probably be S or video line introductions that move to GH and G single digit, then G(X) two and three digit.

Panasonic enables different encodings on different bodies but the most prevalent offering of interest for increasing pixel-level image quality on vNext G series post focus is probably 4k 4:2:2 24p 400 Mb/s, though it's unclear if post focus can use that or only goes with 30p. Panasonic 8k introduction would presumably bring 500-1300 Mbit/s to compete with Canon (1900-2400 Mbit/s if they want to match RED) and 8k post focus. I think assessing the value of that will probably require getting whatever the hardware ends up being and comparing 4k, 6k, and 8k versions of stacks though.

I have it mapped to a button, too.
Me too. Maybe the most useful small change Panasonic could make for focus stacking would be enabling the manual focus ring in post focus so that it wasn't constantly necessary to toggle in and out of post focus in order to preview different parts of the bracket. Sure, you see something of the bracket on the initial depth scan and again as the bracket proceeds but that doesn't help much for composing. Or for ensuring the camera's positioned so that objects aren't closer than the minimum focus distance in setting up macro images.

Panny did rewrite DFD system from scratch for S5
Source? All I can find is one block of widely repeated text (DPR to rumour sites) which claims 1) performance improvement of existing feature recognition and tracking code and 2) AI feature additions. I'm unable to locate any evidence of S5 specific changes at the DFD level.

description of updated 6k (18MP image) Post Focus system sounds just like the one you described
Source? The S5 manual is, if anything, more cryptic than the m43 manuals and I'm unable to locate any description indicating post-focus implementation changes anywhere in the S line.

Who wouldn’t want one...
Me neither. Whilst I'd be delighted to have the thousands needed to afford an S5 and lenses for it, if I wanted to lug around a 135 system I wouldn't be using m43. A corollary of that is, if I had thousands for an L mount system, I'd get better pictures by using the money to take several months off work and go places with the m43 kit than having a 135 system but being camera poor. Not that it'd be a great idea right at the moment but my budget's not one where there's so many thousands that buying an L, Z, R, E, or X system now and taking off with it later would be a possibility later.
 

Bushboy

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In 10 years time, I will get one, and report back how delighted I am with it.... 😁
The problem these guys have got is the cameras we have right now are more than most of us will ever need. My m5ii is fantastic... I won’t be upgrading for years yet. And I will never, be buying new...
If it were possible to buy an S5 for the same as a M4/3, would anyone get the M4/3??
I certainly wouldn’t, but a few would. Good for Telephoto, macro, and portability. Great lineup of lenses. How long can we expect new improved M4/3 gear to keep being made? Who’s going to buy it? What do you do with the old stuff?
 

BDR-529

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Me for starters. I'm stil enamoured with lenses such as my PL15, my new little 10mm Laowa, my Siggy 56 1.4, nnd my other primes that have no equivalents in any FF system, let alone Panasonics new to the market FF lineup. I have no interest in starting a new system, all over again, when I've spent the last 6 years or so collecting a brilliant little kit, that does 99% of what I ever want.
If current MFT kit meets 99% of your requirements, you don't need a new body - be it FF or MFT - at all so the whole question of "Which camera should I buy next" noes not apply to you.

I have no intention of selling my current MFT gear because my kids are using those as well. No matter what I buy next, I still have access to everything I can do now. This leaves me with in a very good position to compare alternatives.

If I go for FF, just a basic kit of S5 + 24-105 f/4 could cover 50% of what I shoot and almost all video. It would finally solve the problems I have with low light sports video. Add two fast primes and we are close to 90%

If GH6 finally arrives and I buy that, I still don't have a fast zoom for low light video because no such thing exists for MFT and I'm afraid that the key selling point of GH6 will be 8k video. Insane amount of microscopic pixels which will certainly not help to improve low light performance or DR for that matter.

It all comes down to price. If price of GH6 is anywhere near the combined price of S5 and 24-105, upgrading MFT kit makes absolutely no sense to me. A mere BGH1 is currently selling around $2000€ and GH6 must be way much more than that.
 

speedy

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If current MFT kit meets 99% of your requirements, you don't need a new body - be it FF or MFT - at all so the whole question of "Which camera should I buy next" noes not apply to you.

I've never said anywhere that I need a new body. The thread title says Panasonic is slowing/postponing new releases. I'm happy about that. Technology has pretty much stagnated, I don't want/need new & shiny for the sake of new & shiny. Personally, I don't do video, so a GH6 is of pretty much zero interest to me. I will be interested to see what spins off a few years down the track as a stills version though.

I have no intention of selling my current MFT gear because my kids are using those as well. No matter what I buy next, I still have access to everything I can do now. This leaves me with in a very good position to compare alternatives.

If I go for FF, just a basic kit of S5 + 24-105 f/4 could cover 50% of what I shoot and almost all video. It would finally solve the problems I have with low light sports video. Add two fast primes and we are close to 90%

An S5 & 24-105 f/4 makes the oddest choice I've ever heard of for low light sports video. Really strange to my way of looking at things. You'd be far far far better off with a 24-70 & 70-200 f/2.8 combo. Exponentially better off. But, you're the one that's got to pay for it, & lug it around. Not for me thanks. You admit you need the right tools for the job, but want to buy something unsuitable.

If GH6 finally arrives and I buy that, I still don't have a fast zoom for low light video because no such thing exists for MFT

You've not heard of the 10-25 f/1.7?

and I'm afraid that the key selling point of GH6 will be 8k video. Insane amount of microscopic pixels which will certainly not help to improve low light performance or DR for that matter.

We're only guessing at this point. Wait & see what appears, befor writing it off.

It all comes down to price. If price of GH6 is anywhere near the combined price of S5 and 24-105, upgrading MFT kit makes absolutely no sense to me. A mere BGH1 is currently selling around $2000€ and GH6 must be way much more than that.
 
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