Sensor shift on new E-M5ii - 40Mp images

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by pdk42, Jan 15, 2015.

  1. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I' m really looking forward to this. I do a lot of landscapes and this looks like the antidote to my current musings over trying a Sony A7!

    I wonder how it will work with respect to raw files and merging them. Will the camera do the merge itself into a 40Mp raw? Or will that need some PC software? Either way, I expect it'll take some time for LR to support it.
     
  2. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Jason
    The problem I see with this is that it only works for a few situations. Even in landscape, I'd fear that the wind blowing would effect the total image. I'm really surprised they just didn't up the MP count. My guess is that Sony hasn't yet make another step in performance. This is an attempt to increase MP without sacrificing IQ, but again, I'm guessing it will be limited.
     
  3. KBeezie

    KBeezie Mu-43 Top Veteran

    697
    Sep 15, 2012
    Grand Rapids, Mi
    Karl Blessing
    I'd also be curious about image quality with various m-4/3 lens as well as adapted lens. In theory the adapted lens would still provide decent coverage, but you would be seeing some of the optics you weren't using before, and some of the native lens might be trimming the coverage quite a bit close to save cost (but I don't know how much movement or shift is really needed to result in a 40MP image from a 16MP Sensor area).

    And like you said, it's effective for a few situations depending on the speed of the exposure. Studio situations would be ideal if using (good) continuous lighting with stationary objects. But I do wonder if there's enough of an overlap combined with software processing that there may be some kind of built in anti-ghosting/etc type of feature. And I'm also curious if the sensor shift mode is restricted to jpeg, or if a raw file could be saved.

    To me the sensor shift is a feature padding gimmick, useful to some, but for most it's bragging rights and playing the old megapixel game.

    :p But what if you can tell a client you can give them a 40MP shot of a group photo? :D (assuming Uncle Fred doesn't become two-headed).
     
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  4. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    Look how long we had the original 12 MP mu43 sensor. Oly is just at the mercy of other companies in this regard.
     
  5. KBeezie

    KBeezie Mu-43 Top Veteran

    697
    Sep 15, 2012
    Grand Rapids, Mi
    Karl Blessing
    Megapixels isn't everything though, was quite true even back then.
     
  6. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    It will output a JPG, just like HDR.

    If it outputs a 40mp RAW file, PM me, I'll send you my address, come by and I'll take you out to lunch.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  7. DoofClenas

    DoofClenas Who needs a Mirror!

    947
    Nov 9, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    Clint
    I'm hoping it will be...but I'm not holding my breath.
     
  8. rparmar

    rparmar Mu-43 Top Veteran

    639
    Jun 14, 2011
    Limerick, Ireland
    Highly unlikely the image quality from this will match what is possible with the larger Sony sensor. Just buy the A7.
     
  9. m43happy

    m43happy Mu-43 Veteran

    435
    Feb 18, 2012
    40mp raw file would be amazing. I'd have to buy a new computer though to handle that. lol
     
  10. tosvus

    tosvus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    632
    Jan 4, 2014
    If it spits out a 40MP Raw, I'm very interested, otherwise, not.
     
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  11. broncophil

    broncophil Mu-43 Veteran

    243
    May 23, 2010
    I'm in the same boat as you with the a7. The one thing that bothers me about mu43 is the noise. And I don't think it's been addressed with the em5ii
     
  12. RichardB

    RichardB Snapshooter

    443
    Nov 19, 2012
    Maryland, US
    Richard
    I don't need more than 16MP, and I'd worry about noise from downsizing the photoreceptors. What I like about sensor shift is that it can sample all colors at each photoreceptor site. It gives higher resolution, and also more accuracy because the colors are measured directly and not inferred by de-mosaicing from the color filter.
     
  13. dwkdnvr

    dwkdnvr Mu-43 Regular

    79
    Aug 8, 2012
    Denver
    Well, maybe. Sensor-shift certainly offers the potential to work as you describe, but I think it remains to be seen whether this is actually what Olympus implements. I certainly hope it's something along these lines, and brings a taste of what Foveon offers to m43. However, that's setting some pretty high expectations, and the 'jaded realist' in me thinks that it's more likely that Olympus will deliver a watered-down HDR-like JPEG only feature. I really hope I'm wrong, though.
     
  14. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I read some more about pixel shifting and whilst I can see that there are limitations, I think that if Oly can do a decent implementation then it will be something worth having. I found this video which is interesting:

    http://spectronet.de/de/videos_2013/video-combination-of-pixel-shift-technology-and-th_hov4erpg.html

    I'm assuming (hoping!) that Oly will use an electronic shutter to take the multiple shots. That way, the total exposure time will be minimised. If it's close to n x shutter speed then it could still be useful for many subjects.

    As regards raw - I can see the challenges, but doing a composite raw image would be the sensible thing to do. Why go to the trouble of sensor shifting to gain improved effective resolution if you then just do sharpening, noise reduction and compression on the result?
     
    • Like Like x 2
  15. DigitalD

    DigitalD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    505
    Jan 10, 2014
    Miami
    David
    Reading through the Olympus Patent - My Own Deductions...

    I started to read through the Olympus Patent and it seems to me like there is possibly a hybrid action of physical and software magic happening to create the 40mp image. Note: everything in Italics is a copy past out of the patent translation.

    The patent describes the sensor's Bayer filter basically has a secondary color 1px off of the original position, with another filter color to gather the "shift" image information.
    "The imaging device 112, the first color color filter having a pixel and a pixel having a color filter of a second color at least sequence is. Estimation calculation unit 132....."

    [​IMG]

    So when the image is 'read' into data this happens:
    According to claim 5 or 6, wherein the estimation calculation section is the value obtained by adding the pixel values ​​of two pixels arranged along a vertical scanning direction in the high-resolution image intermediate pixel value

    Whats seems like is happening is a highly advanced interpolation process while increasing light gathering capabilities of the sensor surface itself. Like taking a pixel at 1bit and converting it to 2bit while also increasing the physical resolution. It talks throughout the patent about every megapixels value actually being calculated at 2x2 instead of 1x1.

    Now at one point in the patent it clearly states the problem the invention is designed to address, The fact that taking 8 photos over a length of time will cause problems with movement or image degradation. It then goes on to discuss how this invention is meant to address this with filter layer and calculation software.
    According to one aspect of the present invention, the pixel shift photography by the image pickup device has a pixel is at least arranged with the color filters of the pixels and a second color having a color filter of the first color is performed and... This makes it possible to obtain a high-resolution image with less number of shifts.

    It also goes on to explain that the first photo is taken normally, the second photo is taken 1/2 pixel in the horizontal direction, a third vertically and 4th vertically. Hence the 4 shots not 8.

    This is a diagram of the sensor movement from the Patent Document
    000017.

    From this it potentially means that the Sensor moves very slightly to gain the shift and is only taking as little as 4 pictures to gain the 8 images. And if it happens during the vertical scan it could potentially happen very quickly as well as with an electronic shutter. Moreover if the sensor is moving so slightly you are not using additional areas of the lenses 'unintended' by the manufacturer. Which seems like a very sound product design as you won't see additional anomalies the lens doesn't already have. And this would also mean you could NOT get a 'layered' photo because there is light/color interpolation happening, not 8 full photos being 'stitched' together.

    Below is a simulated image from SLR Lounge but you can see that it even has the potential to clean up noise. Hypothetically because if the pixels are interpolated of sorts it would smooth out the image and color rendering at the same time.

    [​IMG]

    Of course this is just my opinion of the document so far after spending only a short time this afternoon reading through the patent info. Its translated so its quite garbled. If only I could read Japanese! :idea:
     
    • Like Like x 2
  16. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Wow - that sounds really interesting and really very innovative. If it delivers I can see me placing a pre-order on a camera for the first time in my life! It'll be interesting to see how they price it vis-a-vis the E-M1.
     
  17. RichardB

    RichardB Snapshooter

    443
    Nov 19, 2012
    Maryland, US
    Richard
    I don't think that image is a mere simulation. It appears in Hasselblad's brochure for its H5D-200c MS pixel-shift camera, which you can buy today for just $45,000 (body only).

    The image improvement looks like increased contrast or sharpening, but it is natural and without artifacts. Ideally, the method reduces the LOSS of contrast and sharpness that commonly occurs during Bayer-filtered imaging.
     
  18. DigitalD

    DigitalD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    505
    Jan 10, 2014
    Miami
    David
    Ah yes I know that camera, but didn't recognize the image. I wasn't sure where SLR got that image but I was just showing their example of what sensor shift can do. It should have been obvious to me as I think that's the only camera that can do it at the moment lol! Now if the EM5II can produce those kind of results, well then wow!
     
  19. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    Bangkok
    rob collins
    I find it interesting and rather strange that given it is a technology based on taking multiple images that Olympus hasnt tried to address the noise issue.

    Even median stacking just 3 images (without any pixel shift) should have a quite dramatic impact on reducing the resulting noise from an image (up to 90%).

    http://petapixel.com/2013/05/29/a-look-at-reducing-noise-in-photographs-using-median-blending/
     
  20. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Who says they haven't? As you say, image stacking will reduce noise naturally.