PDA

View Full Version : What do you want from the next E-System DSLR?



Ian
4th February 2009, 02:18 PM
Compared to the years up to 2007, Olympus has kept the new models flowing regularly:

2007 - E-410, E-510, E-3
2008 - E-420, E-520, E-30

The current line up seems to have most of the bases covered:

E-420 - budget price and compact, but no IS.
E-520 - compact and feature rich, yet remains affordable.
E-30 - the new-generation Olympus DSLR that bridges the gap between the E-520 and the E-3.
E-3 - ruggedised flagship with plenty of controls and accessories.

So where will Olympus go next? If the current range doesn't tick all the boxes, what would you like to see from them later this year.

By the way, I'm focusing on E-System models, not Micro Four Thirds.

Ian

ReggieB
4th February 2009, 02:26 PM
I included this in another post, and I think that the m4/3 is an integral part of the upcoming lineup, so I will say that E-3 should be replaced before E-520, which would be the next on slate for a replacement (E-4XX axed in my plan)

So, for the E-5:
I would get creative. Get back with Kodak (Panny could still manufacture all of their other sensors) and put some serious cash in to CCD R&D. I would like to see Oly have a camera with a sensor like in the Fujifilm S5 pro (the "Super-CCD"). A small sensor that can produce the DR of the D3X. And, since the tech from the S5 is from 2006, you could see MORE dynamic range, I would bet, than the D3X. I think this would garner them more attention in the pro market. And I would push the price point a little higher, too. This would be a Halo model, no doubt, and wouldn't make a ton of money, instead provide a flagship that increases the brand prestige. Oly is going to have a tough time growing their pro segment of the market, they will need to do something radical to pull it off. I think that this would allow them to work on the noise issue as well. Basically, a radical new technology in the sensor.

Ian
4th February 2009, 02:36 PM
I included this in another post, and I think that the m4/3 is an integral part of the upcoming lineup, so I will say that E-3 should be replaced before E-520, which would be the next on slate for a replacement (E-4XX axed in my plan)

So, for the E-5:
I would get creative. Get back with Kodak (Panny could still manufacture all of their other sensors) and put some serious cash in to CCD R&D. I would like to see Oly have a camera with a sensor like in the Fujifilm S5 pro (the "Super-CCD"). A small sensor that can produce the DR of the D3X. And, since the tech from the S5 is from 2006, you could see MORE dynamic range, I would bet, than the D3X. I think this would garner them more attention in the pro market. And I would push the price point a little higher, too. This would be a Halo model, no doubt, and wouldn't make a ton of money, instead provide a flagship that increases the brand prestige. Oly is going to have a tough time growing their pro segment of the market, they will need to do something radical to pull it off. I think that this would allow them to work on the noise issue as well. Basically, a radical new technology in the sensor.

Thanks Reggie, some interesting comments there.

My personal feeling is that Kodak doesn't have anything to offer Olympus in the sensor field. This is partly why Kodak is no longer in the E-System pictures. They have concentrated in compacts and large format digital sensors.

The Fujifilm link is the most interesting - I'm still frustrated that Fuji is a signatory to the Four Thirds Consortium but has contributed nothing. But they have a very close relationship with Nikon and I'd be surprised if that deal would be axed in favour of a tie-up with Olympus.

I also think Panasonic is making big strides with its sensor development at last.

Apart from any potential E-3 replacement, what about gaps in the existing E-System line up? Are there any? If there are, what would you like to see?

Ian

ReggieB
4th February 2009, 02:47 PM
Thanks Reggie, some interesting comments there.

My personal feeling is that Kodak doesn't have anything to offer Olympus in the sensor field. This is partly why Kodak is no longer in the E-System pictures. They have concentrated in compacts and large format digital sensors.

The Fujifilm link is the most interesting - I'm still frustrated that Fuji is a signatory to the Four Thirds Consortium but has contributed nothing. But they have a very close relationship with Nikon and I'd be surprised if that deal would be axed in favour of a tie-up with Olympus.

I also think Panasonic is making big strides with its sensor development at last.

Apart from any potential E-3 replacement, what about gaps in the existing E-System line up? Are there any? If there are, what would you like to see?

Ian

Don't get me wrong, I don't think it will happen, I just want it to happen. ;)

I think they have a strong lineup, that will be very well complemented by two m4/3 cameras. I think that the Canikon lineups have superfluous cameras. Nikon, IMHO has 9 models filling about 4 segments. Canon has 8. I don't think they need more bodies for the sake of producing more bodies. Those systems also have more lenses. I would like to see a few faster lenses from Oly before more bodies.

Archphoto
4th February 2009, 03:01 PM
An E530 with higher and better ISO performances than the E520;
An E530 with the on/off switch at the same position as the old E410 (I use both the E410 and E520);
A much lower price for the E30, somewhere inbetween the E3 and the E520;
An E4 with >15Mpix at the same price of the E3 now.

And what would be verry usefull: a safe-sync build into ALL E's !

Maybe a bit unrealistic, but still...........

Peter

Bear
4th February 2009, 03:17 PM
Here's my take, more predictions than wish list.

2007 saw the E410 - an update of the E400, the E510 whcih inspite of the numbering was a completely new model and another completely new model, the E3.

2008 saw update to the E4 and E5 series and a new model in the E30.

It seems to me that the E4 series is due a completely new model and the E5 series and the E3 are due updates.

I suspect that the E4 series will be 'sacrificed' to m4/3rds. That the new E4 will be a bridge model between m4/3rds and ff4/3rds. We will see this late in the year, probably after the main Olympus m4/3rds announcements.

I doubt we will see any dramatic changes in sensor technology. There is no reasonable expectation of anything from Fuji in the 4/3rds arena and in any case the Fuji sensor technology has proved to be a bit of a dead end, a footnote in sensor development in much the same way as Foveon. What I believe will happen is that we will see the sensor technology from the E30 make its way into updated E5 series and an updated E3. Not a new E3 just an updated one to see us throught to a full replacement in 2010.

I am pretty sure that the DSLR range will, by the end of 2009, have standardised on an E30 derived sensor. There will of course be some other minot makeover features on the new and updated models. The e5 series will get quite a lot of the technology from the E30, focus sytem etc. E3 update too will get a bigger screen and some mior ergonomic tweaks.

As for my wish list - better DR tops the list. I don't know if that will be provided by the E30 sensor or not, we will have to wait and see. I would also like to see some continuous shooting speed increase to around 8 fps, perhaps using a reduced sensor size arrangement a la Nikon. User configurable for those occasions when I shoot sports or dogs ! Better high ISO performance is always a bonus but not an absolute necessity for and in any case, from all reports the E30 sensor delivers this. Other than these things I am pretty happy.

Further into the future. I don't see much changing in sensor technology for a while yet but the potential of black silicon from SiOnyx, back lit sensors from Sony and Kodak's subtractive sensor readout make the future very much worth waiting for !

Pete Riley
4th February 2009, 03:20 PM
How about weatherproofing/dust sealing for the 5** range

photo_owl
4th February 2009, 03:54 PM
where wil they go and what would I like to see are 2 different questions!

Prediction for 2009

They will bring the 530 out in line with the 30 - that's the easy bit.

They may do the same with a 430 - it's easy to do because the software shares so much with the 5xx and if they are doing one they are covering most of the design and testing issues anyway. However I agree with an earlier poster that the immediate future of the 4xx is closely tied in with the m43 developments. If Oly produces a G1 style M43 body the 4xx will be dropped pretty quickly - this doesn't rule out a 430 but probably rules out a 440.

They may produce an E4 with the 30's software, sensor and lcd. However it's hard to see that this would go down very well based on the percieved progress of the E30 over the E3 in IQ. If the E4 used the same sensor base but managed to spring an IQ surprise the E30 buyers would not be happy bunnies! If it didn't there would be no point (much as some may crave the art filters...)

On balance I expect 530 and 430 this year with an E4/E5 early next. If they have something up their sleave with a new Ex this year then excellent, but it needs to be more than the E30 indications suggest. Happy that Pany will deliver in conjunction with Oly, some interesting patents and work in progress going on but would be surprised to see it this year.

With m43 Oly need to get away from the concept that size and competence/capability are mutually exclusive. Loosing the mirror and optical viewfinder should enable them to do just that and I expect to see 2 parrallel strands of development with the consumer wide price sensitive market along one axis and the prosumer the other - the latter being weatherproof and with highest spec electronics for processing/buffer/IS/AF etc; all the things they didn't feel comfortable following through on with the 4xx series.

joeletx
4th February 2009, 04:09 PM
My wish list for E-3 replacement:

- Better low light performance with improved noise control in ISO-1600 to ISO-6400?
- Better DR and NR for long exposure shooting.
- More responsive low light focusing with existing 11 point focus setup.
- Contrast defection on live view.
- 3" with higher resolution screen.
- WF or Blue Tooth interface for direct file tranfer via Studio or laptop (instead of tethering thru slow USB in exsiting systems)
- 12MP - 14MP with noise, color, and DR perfectly tuned for optimum IQ (like Nikon has done to D300 or D3 without raising resolution)
- Full frame 4/3? This is a long shot, and probably is a fantasy but this might put Olympus into a well respected ranking.
- No m4/3 please! I have a small hand but the E-3 weight and size is perfect.

Joe

Idle_Bull
4th February 2009, 04:16 PM
I wonder is Fujifilm might consider switching allegiances? In the past the S* Pro range offered some benefits over the Nikon cameras they were based on, but Nikon seems to have cracked the Image Quality with it's own sensors and the reasons for buying the Fuji equivalents are less pronounced.

They need a manufacturer where they can add value and also receive value. Oly and Fuji could form a very nice partnership where Oly benefits from the high DR sensors and Fuji benefits from the best Lenses on the market.

Put a Super CCD sensor in the E-3 and you'd have a camera likely to compete with the D300 replacement (which must be due soon)!

Ian
4th February 2009, 05:39 PM
I wonder is Fujifilm might consider switching allegiances? In the past the S* Pro range offered some benefits over the Nikon cameras they were based on, but Nikon seems to have cracked the Image Quality with it's own sensors and the reasons for buying the Fuji equivalents are less pronounced.

They need a manufacturer where they can add value and also receive value. Oly and Fuji could form a very nice partnership where Oly benefits from the high DR sensors and Fuji benefits from the best Lenses on the market.

Put a Super CCD sensor in the E-3 and you'd have a camera likely to compete with the D300 replacement (which must be due soon)!

It's an interesting thought. One issue that the Finepix S5 Pro suffered was in continuous shooting rate - which is very pedestrian (under 2fps in some modes). I don't know if the SuperCCD sensor technology is flexible enough to go faster. Also, the S5 Pro is really a 6MP camera, despite its 12 million photosites.

Ian

ReggieB
4th February 2009, 05:54 PM
It's an interesting thought. One issue that the Finepix S5 Pro suffered was in continuous shooting rate - which is very pedestrian (under 2fps in some modes). I don't know if the SuperCCD sensor technology is flexible enough to go faster. Also, the S5 Pro is really a 6MP camera, despite its 12 million photosites.

Ian

Both are valid points, but the camera is also, I think, 2+ years old?

I think that the four thirds sensor size might limit a Super CCD, but I am not sure. It would be tough to make a 12 MP Super CCD at the size of a four thirds sensor. But I think that to have a true Halo model in the range, they are going to have to do something different, come up with some sort of new tech. I assume they will stay with the same type of sensor for the E-5. But I can dream. *LOL

EDIT: I took some time to check out the black silicon stuff that Bear has been talking up...wow, screw Super CCDs, let's see an E-5 with a black silicon sensor, if Four Thirds secured the right to that stuff, they could make some serious headway in the market, and Pany is obviously looking for a way to do it, and Oly could use the tech in their medical imaging business, sounds like a perfect marriage to me...

Ian
4th February 2009, 05:58 PM
Both are valid points, but the camera is also, I think, 2+ years old?

I think that the four thirds sensor size might limit a Super CCD, but I am not sure. It would be tough to make a 12 MP Super CCD at the size of a four thirds sensor. But I think that to have a true Halo model in the range, they are going to have to do something different, come up with some sort of new tech. I assume they will stay with the same type of sensor for the E-5. But I can dream. *LOL

Actually, Fuji has made 12MP SuperCCD sensors for bridge cameras in the past, with sensor sizes at around a quarter the area of Four Thirds. To make a genuine 12MP SuperCCD SR sensor, you'd need 24 million photosites!

Ian

ReggieB
4th February 2009, 06:03 PM
Actually, Fuji has made 12MP SuperCCD sensors for bridge cameras in the past, with sensor sizes at around a quarter the area of Four Thirds. To make a genuine 12MP SuperCCD SR sensor, you'd need 24 million photosites!

Ian

interesting, but it seems to me like the pixel density would be too high...do you know how those cameras performed? Plenty of compacts have more pixels than they should, was this an example?

mike_j
4th February 2009, 06:16 PM
Chiefly I would like to see improvements to the mid range e5** line. Specifically an articulated LCD panel of higher quality and the current top of the line 4/3 sensor, whatever that may be at the time. With this I would hope for improved dynamic range and high ISO performance.

Firmware bells and whistles and in camera processing leave me cold but I would like a feature from my old Minoltas, a big button marked P that instantanously resets all features to user's default. Actually, I wonder if I am missing something here - I have my user settings in reset 1, I have them set on Fn button and I have Ael/Afl switched around, but pressing the Ael button only seems to reset for as long as I depress it. Anyway, I'm digressing.

The one thing I would not want is to see the e5** grow bigger and heavier - Panasonic can fit an articulated high performance LCD in a small camera - why can't Olympus do the same?

The e420 line could be killed off, replaced by a mFT pair of cameras, one basic no frills and the other more of a photographer's camera. I do think that the MFT - 4/3 adapter ought to be part of the standard kit like a battery charger.

The e30 is fine, I would expect normal upgrades.

The e3 series leaves me cold. It's not on a par with the big boys photographically, possibly it has a niche as a tough go-anywhere, do anything (if you break it we'll give you another) camera for surveyors, engineers, archeologists and similar professions.

MEDISIN
4th February 2009, 06:46 PM
The E-3 has the most room for improvement. I like where the E-5XX and E-30 sit presently. The next E-X needs to separate itself from the E-30. Indesctuctible like the current E-3 but better DR, high ISO performance, faster burst rate, and a 3" high resolution display. Oh and ditch the xD slot and slap in a SDHC in addition to the CF.

Then start to trickle the E-X tech down to the E-XX down to the E-XXX models.

ReggieB
4th February 2009, 07:11 PM
The E-3 has the most room for improvement. I like where the E-5XX and E-30 sit presently. The next E-X needs to separate itself from the E-30. Indesctuctible like the current E-3 but better DR, high ISO performance, faster burst rate, and a 3" high resolution display. Oh and ditch the xD slot and slap in a SDHC in addition to the CF.

Then start to trickle the E-X tech down to the E-XX down to the E-XXX models.

I didn't even think about memory slots, I would actually prefer two CF slots in the E-3 (replacement), and I know they could fit them in that behemouth

hschnee
4th February 2009, 09:19 PM
The thing I see "missing" from the E-system lineup is more the result of the initial E-30 pricing than any missing model. The E-30 is billed as a midrange camera; to my thinking, this meant that it should split the difference between the E-3 and the E-520. As we all know, it currently sits a nearly the same price point as the E-3. So the system still lacks a midrange model.

So the first thing I would like to see is the E-30 come down to a reasonable price. It needs to be about the same as the Nikon D90, IMO.

From there, things get more tricky. I think there needs to be an E-3 replacement this summer. It should obviously include the weather-sealing of the E-3, and needs to be a significant upgrade to remain competetive. The tough part is knowing what these upgrades should be. At the least, it should have some version of the new sensor used in the E-30 and Panasonic G1. As the flagship, it really should have something better--a sensor that at the least provides more dynamic range, probably better high ISO performance, and possibly higher resolution. The thing I don't know is how Olympus can achieve this, unless they have some tricks that they intentionally left out of the E-30.

Other wishes for the E-3 replacement: a much higer resolution LCD, though the 2.7" size of the E-30 screen is fine, in order to make room for the great articulation features. A faster AF system that better tracks moving subjects is also important. Many people would want (or at least be impressed by) a higher burst rate, though I don't have any use for it. I don't know what other creative things Olympus might have in mind for their new pro camera, but I think they should avoid gimmicks like the art filters and leave it as more of a purist model focused on performance and image quality.

By the holiday season, there should be a replacement for the E-420 and 520. It seems natural that they would get the new 12MP sensor. Hopefully improved AF systems would also trickle down to these models.

As an aside, the sensor isssue is the thorniest one in all of this. A camera line seems a bit skewed when lower-cost models have higher resolution than higher models, but this kind of technology leapfrogging is difficult to avoid. It seems that any improvements is CMOS sensors for the next few years will be incremental, with each generation providing slightly better resolution, DR, high ISO performance, nosie, etc. It's nice to wish for sensor salvation in the E-3 replacement, but any of the new technologies we've been reading about is still several years off. The upshot is that it becomes much more difficult to differentiate models within a camera line, and between manufacturers. Perhaps there will be a breakthrough in current CMOS sensor technology at some point, but in the meantime, the differences between competing sensors and cameras appears to be shrinking. As for how Olympus can best set themselves apart . . . I'm not quite sure.

- Hal -

ReggieB
4th February 2009, 09:33 PM
It's nice to wish for sensor salvation in the E-3 replacement, but any of the new technologies we've been reading about is still several years off. The upshot is that it becomes much more difficult to differentiate models within a camera line, and between manufacturers. Perhaps there will be a breakthrough in current CMOS sensor technology at some point, but in the meantime, the differences between competing sensors and cameras appears to be shrinking. As for how Olympus can best set themselves apart . . . I'm not quite sure.

- Hal -

From what I have been reading about that black silicon, even though information regarding it has just been released it has been worked on for a decade now, and they have approached the media now because it is ready to be put in to use...

funkyoldcortina
4th February 2009, 10:04 PM
interesting read this post,

while they are doing all the major upgrades you guys wish for could they add a second infra-red receiver on the back of the bodies so you can stand behind the camera and use a remote? - really useful for nature, landscapes etc not to have to lean round the camera to trigger the remote shutter release, (also means you can be in a hide and trigger the camera without being seen)

and while they are at it why not let you change settings from the remote! no more nudging the exposure wheel round to take several images for a HDR shot and moving the camera!

sorry rant over!*whack

MEDISIN
4th February 2009, 11:21 PM
while they are doing all the major upgrades you guys wish for could they add a second infra-red receiver on the back of the bodies so you can stand behind the camera and use a remote? - really useful for nature, landscapes etc not to have to lean round the camera to trigger the remote shutter release, (also means you can be in a hide and trigger the camera without being seen)



oh yeah, can't believe I forgot that one! Feels silly to be reaching around the front of the tripod to trip the shutter with the IR remote. speaking of HDR, why not add AE bracketing in 2EV steps!? sometimes 1EV doesn't seem to be enough.

Bear
4th February 2009, 11:23 PM
bloody brilliant - can't believe I missed this - annoys me every time I use the remote.

Kuifje
4th February 2009, 11:54 PM
Me thinks that there could be room for an E-5xxxx body. A truly entry level E-body with surprising features and IS. Not that I would want one but I think it would sell like crazy.

More sensors in the market, more market share and more lens sales. Certainly would support 4/3 sustainability ..

Is the E-30 the end of the E-3xx line? Most likely.

I hope that Oly keeps the "mature&relative slow" lifecycle time for the pro-models. But an up-grade would be nice half way. So an E-3 MK II would be what I would hope for and in 18 mnths a step change ..

hschnee
5th February 2009, 02:46 AM
Excellent idea about the remote! I've been forgetting the little things . . . the auto bracketing could use some improvements as well. The cameras should be able to take a whole sequence of frames with one press of the shutter release; and there is no reason the mirror should have to flip down and up for each frame in the sequence.

I'd also like to see a near-far and hyperfocal-distance focus/exposure mode. For hyperfocal distance, focus on the closest point you want in focus, and the camera would set the focusing distance and aperture so that everything from that point to infinity is in focus. For near-far, set two focus points, and the camera would set focus and aperture so DOF would cover the range between the two.

- Hal -

Wolves
5th February 2009, 03:40 AM
oh yeah, can't believe I forgot that one! Feels silly to be reaching around the front of the tripod to trip the shutter with the IR remote. speaking of HDR, why not add AE bracketing in 2EV steps!? sometimes 1EV doesn't seem to be enough.

Another reason I love my OwnUser Grip on mt E510 :D

Hmmm, I say 5 focus points instead of 3, one over and under the middle point, would be more comfortable in the lower range bodies.

Move the USB port to the side and not around the buttons.

Loose the Darn XD slot and put in SD!!!!!!!!!!!

2EV bracketing

Other than that, just the improved basics like dynamic range and ISO

And as for the E-X bodies, I don't know, I never use them so no input.

Maybe a way to use Live-View on the laptop screen when shooting tethered?

Bitrix
5th February 2009, 04:21 AM
Thank you Dave, you said it!
I bought the remote for my C-5060 and I was surprised and annoyed when I discovered that it was only possible to use it from the front of the camera. The disappointment was even greater when I found out that the situation was the same when I bought my E-3oo and the E-510.

Torvald

Ian
5th February 2009, 09:55 AM
interesting, but it seems to me like the pixel density would be too high...do you know how those cameras performed? Plenty of compacts have more pixels than they should, was this an example?

SuperCCDs have generally been regarded as good performers, especially in terms of noise handling.

I've been thinking about the pro requirement for resolution. Stock agencies generally ask for 50MB files. That's equivalent to about 18 million pixels. That said, files from selected 10MP cameras are usually acceptable with some careful interpolation with tools like Genuine Fractals. Some latitude may be required if you need to crop of course.

Ian

Xpres
5th February 2009, 10:51 AM
For me, I'd like to see a bigger brighter viewfinder more like an OM-1.
More focus screens available - clear one for example -, much better dynamic range and high ISO performance and a 'pro' file size - and this all put in a body reembling an e330 but with an articulating screen.
I guess I might be alone in that but I do like the ergonomics, particularly the placing of the viewfinder nearer the corner. Very unlikely to happen but that's what I'd like.:\

Ian
5th February 2009, 11:11 AM
For me, I'd like to see a bigger brighter viewfinder more like an OM-1.
More focus screens available - clear one for example -, much better dynamic range and high ISO performance and a 'pro' file size - and this all put in a body reembling an e330 but with an articulating screen.
I guess I might be alone in that but I do like the ergonomics, particularly the placing of the viewfinder nearer the corner. Very unlikely to happen but that's what I'd like.:\

You aren't asking for much! :D

An OM size and bright finder is not really possible. The E-3 finder size is a big improvement compared to earlier E-System models, but it's still a smaller and less bright view compared to an OM, especially an OM with, say, a 1.4 lens.

Dare I say it, you would need an electronic finder to get close to the viewfinder size and brightness experience you are looking for.

Ian

Xpres
5th February 2009, 12:14 PM
Dare I say it, you would need an electronic finder to get close to the viewfinder size and brightness experience you are looking for.

Ian

As long as I couldn't tell the difference I wouldn't mind at all... In fact a zoom control for the viewfinder would be good for MF use. Like the live view magnified view but smooth through the range controlled from a wheel - great for quick fine focus.

MikkoH
5th February 2009, 03:05 PM
I will propably buy the e-530 to replace my e-510 in the summer 2010 if It has a bigger OVF and perhaps 5-7 focuspoints. 10mp would be nice but I doubt it's going to happen.

One simple thing I would love, would be the ability to allmost completely customize allmost everything in the camera. One could just plug the camera to the computer and arrange the menus as one pleases or set the dof-button to activate c-af or something similar. My father's e-3 is pretty customisable as is my e-510 but not as fully as they could be. The e-400 -series are not really great in this regard. I really wonder why no camera-manufacturer has done this? It would be cheap to implement and allmost completely in firmware except for maybe adding a few buttons. I'm not one of those people who think more options are confusing :D.

But the single most important thing would be adding more lenses to the lineup. Just one 1200$ telephoto and I would be completely satisfied for a few decades.

Ian
5th February 2009, 03:15 PM
I will propably buy the e-530 to replace my e-510 in the summer 2010 if It has a bigger OVF and perhaps 5-7 focuspoints. 10mp would be nice but I doubt it's going to happen.
One simple thing I would love, would be the ability to allmost completely customize allmost everything in the camera. One could just plug the camera to the computer and arrange the menus as one pleases or set the dof-button to activate c-af or something similar. My father's e-3 is pretty customisable as is my e-510 but not as fully as they could be. The e-400 -series are not really great in this regard. I really wonder why no camera-manufacturer has done this? It would be cheap to implement and allmost completely in firmware except for maybe adding a few buttons. I'm not one of those people who think more options are confusing :D.

But the single most important thing would be adding more lenses to the lineup. Just one 1200$ telephoto and I would be completely satisfied for a few decades.

Not sure what you mean regarding 10MP? Intrigued!

Ian

ReggieB
5th February 2009, 04:36 PM
SuperCCDs Stock agencies generally ask for 50MB files. That's equivalent to about 18 million pixels.
Ian

So D3 and D700s aren't high enough resolution for a stock agency? I am sure they are examples of cameras whose photos they will accept once you increase their size, but still, that seems like a dumb requirement to me.

Bear
5th February 2009, 04:39 PM
I sell stock through Alamy. They have a 50+mb file size requirement but I have never had a picture rejected after upsizing in Photoshop. Sometime I have posted files from my old 6mp cameras upsized to 50+mb. It is not something to be overly concerned about.

MikkoH
5th February 2009, 05:01 PM
Not sure what you mean regarding 10MP? Intrigued!

Ian

Well, 10mp would be enough resolution for most of my uses. I've gotten fairly big prints of excellent quality from my e-510, some even cropped. I think a modern 10mp sensor could have better dr and less noise than a 12mp sensor. I realise that the e-30 for example has better dr than my e-510 eventhough it is 12 mp, but I feel that if the same technology would be used to make a 10mp sensor it would be better in many aspects except in resolution. For example the 10mp sensor of the e-3 has better dr than the one in e-30, allthough it could be that e-3 uses more sophisticated components in it's construction to achieve it's dr.

shirley
5th February 2009, 05:08 PM
I sell stock through Alamy. They have a 50+mb file size requirement but I have never had a picture rejected after upsizing in Photoshop. Sometime I have posted files from my old 6mp cameras upsized to 50+mb. It is not something to be overly concerned about.

Hi Kenton,
I dont want to hijack this thread but I am interested in selling through Alamy. Do you find it is worthwhile i.e. do you sell much :D ? If so do you have any tips?
Shirley

Ian
5th February 2009, 05:17 PM
Well, 10mp would be enough resolution for most of my uses. I've gotten fairly big prints of excellent quality from my e-510, some even cropped. I think a modern 10mp sensor could have better dr and less noise than a 12mp sensor. I realise that the e-30 for example has better dr than my e-510 eventhough it is 12 mp, but I feel that if the same technology would be used to make a 10mp sensor it would be better in many aspects except in resolution. For example the 10mp sensor of the e-3 has better dr than the one in e-30, allthough it could be that e-3 uses more sophisticated components in it's construction to achieve it's dr.

Fundamentally, DR depends on the ability of the sensor to record (accurately) a very wide range of tones. The smaller the photosite on the sensor, in theory, the less light it receives and records, and the greater chance there is that errors creep in. So the signal becomes weaker and can represent less tones, while data error (noise) becomes more significant.

You can correct for noise, but in doing so, you lose more dynamic range.

So the theory goes that the more pixels you cram onto the sensor chip, the more noise you get and the less dynamic range. And this is true if you compare like with like.

But sensor manufacturers are moving the goal posts with each generation of sensor they develop. They are constantly improving the photosite well sizes and the efficiency of the sensor microlenses, and producing cleaner circuits and more efficient analoge to digital converters. This is why today's 12MP E-30 produces much better images (arguably!) than a five year old 5MP E-1.

I don't think the 12MP Panasonic LiveMOS sensor in the E-30 offers a huge improvement in image quality over the E-1's older 10MP part, except in one area - banding at high ISO. This is one issue that is important to me, so I'd welcome that sensor in a new model from Olympus.

Ian

Ian
5th February 2009, 05:24 PM
So D3 and D700s aren't high enough resolution for a stock agency? I am sure they are examples of cameras whose photos they will accept once you increase their size, but still, that seems like a dumb requirement to me.

Without up-scaling, even 12.1MP D700 images would not be acceptable to most agencies as uncompressed image files would only 36MB (3x the total pixels, (R, G, B 8 bit channels for each pixel, or 3 bytes per pixel)).

But up-scaling is routinely accepted as long as it is done properly.

If you had an 17MP camera, and did not crop the image, an uncompressed file (say a TIFF) would be 51MB, and so would not require up-scaling to meet the 50MB threshold.

Ian

ReggieB
5th February 2009, 05:25 PM
I don't think the 12MP Panasonic LiveMOS sensor in the E-30 offers a huge improvement in image quality over the E-1's older 10MP part, except in one area - banding at high ISO. This is one issue that is important to me, so I'd welcome that sensor in a new model from Olympus.

Ian

I think that his argument would still stand. If you applied that tech, which is newer, to a 10MP sensor, it also wouldn't have banding, and it would perhaps have better DR.

MikkoH
5th February 2009, 05:35 PM
Fundamentally, DR depends on the ability of the sensor to record (accurately) a very wide range of tones. The smaller the photosite on the sensor, in theory, the less light it receives and records, and the greater chance there is that errors creep in. So the signal becomes weaker and can represent less tones, while data error (noise) becomes more significant.

You can correct for noise, but in doing so, you lose more dynamic range.

So the theory goes that the more pixels you cram onto the sensor chip, the more noise you get and the less dynamic range. And this is true if you compare like with like.

But sensor manufacturers are moving the goal posts with each generation of sensor they develop. They are constantly improving the photosite well sizes and the efficiency of the sensor microlenses, and producing cleaner circuits and more efficient analoge to digital converters. This is why today's 12MP E-30 produces much better images (arguably!) than a five year old 5MP E-1.

I don't think the 12MP Panasonic LiveMOS sensor in the E-30 offers a huge improvement in image quality over the E-1's older 10MP part, except in one area - banding at high ISO. This is one issue that is important to me, so I'd welcome that sensor in a new model from Olympus.

Ian

You are absolutely right and I totally agree that well size is not directly proportional to the amount of noise and dr of the sensor and efficiency is getting better and better with each generation, but I still feel that I would prefer a 10 mp sensor of this new generation instead of a 12mp. It would probably be better IQ-wise or atleast a bit easier/cheaper to manufacture.

I too don't like the banding at high iso on my e-510 and by no means should this 10mp sensor I'm talking about be just a modification of the old 10mp sensor. It probably wouldn't sell as well to the masses who might think mp is everything.

Bear
5th February 2009, 06:04 PM
Shirley - so far a complete waste of time - not sold enought to make the effort of converting and uploading worthwhile. I didn't give it a fair try though and was distracted during the process of setting up my offerings there so I don't think it is entirely their fault - maybe 50:50. When I get some time I am going to go back to it and try to make something of it.

John Perriment
5th February 2009, 10:20 PM
I'd also like to see a near-far and hyperfocal-distance focus/exposure mode. For hyperfocal distance, focus on the closest point you want in focus, and the camera would set the focusing distance and aperture so that everything from that point to infinity is in focus. For near-far, set two focus points, and the camera would set focus and aperture so DOF would cover the range between the two.

- Hal -

Canon tried that and it doesn't work. I'd rather have a range of primes with dof marks for each aperture engraved on the lens barrel.

John Perriment
5th February 2009, 10:33 PM
I suppose the obvious answer is more pixels, better high ISO performance and increased DR. But I bet we'll all still be saying that when we've got 50mp, noiseless ISO 12800 and 27 EV DR!

So this apart, I've been thinking how I'd like my E3 improved and I really cannot think of anything significant enough to justify upgrading if my wishes were to be incorporated in a E3 replacement.

So, Olympus, do what you want. I'm happy with what I've got. If I do miraculously find some spare cash this year I'd much rather spend it on lenses, and there's plenty in the present range that I'd love to own!

Kuifje
8th February 2009, 06:42 PM
Let's see, Canon kept it's big seller the 400D and added the 450D covering two basis. Would there be room for something in between the E-520 and the E-30?

The logic would be to reduce the price of the E-520 and introduce a higher grade E-520. Could be even a new line E7xx, or E9XX could be popular numbers :) If the E-30 borrowed the shutter asembly and high speeds from the E-3 one could guess that a one level up E-520 could add some of the features that you guys mentioned. Swivel screen, articulated maybe, etc.

So, will the rumored missing body to be introduced at the PMA be an addition to the E-X20 series ?

(Rumor at sites like dpreview is that Oly will introduce 3 x 4/3 body at PMA. The E-30 is announced. One of the E-420 or E-520 will most likely be up-dated. But sofar E-4X0 and E-5X0 have never been announced at the same time. So there is room for another FT body)

About a month to go and we will know more ..

Maybe time to start a PMA rumors thread :D I'll add one that there are not two but three mFT bodies on the Oly roadmap. And we may see two already at the up-comming PMA ..

Joergen
8th February 2009, 07:05 PM
A possible move is to make a new 3-digit series with a weathersealed body, possible also more rugged than the current series. A camera for those wanting a tough but light and not to expensive travelcamera. Could be the coming E-530 in new clothing.

I have always found it strange that oly has two fine lines of weathersealed lenses, but only one (pro)body to match them.

Kuifje
8th February 2009, 07:50 PM
So,

E-4X0 all in a small package
E-5X0 enthusiast
E-XX0 more rugged companion to go with the weather sealed High grade lenses
E-30 non weather sealed "Artist" camera with E-X functionality
E-X flagship

Could happen I guess ..

Graham
14th February 2009, 01:41 PM
I'd like to see a firmware extension of the way the Program Mode works.

The "P" mode should be expanded to provide optimised EVs that includes variation of ISO, as well as A & S that is matched to the focal length of the lens and the capabilities of the IS and AF. Limits should be able to be set in the same was as the Auto ISO is now, such that the "AV Curve" of the P-Mode is pre-determined.

While it is virtually covered by the "Auto" mode that is available on most of the range, there are occasions when it would be nice to be able to set the Top Pro cameras to a mode that will optimise the settings.

It might be "nice" to have the ability to set this all up through the Master/Studio software, but that's maybe something more for those that like to play a lot... :D

*chr

lekkousa
15th February 2009, 05:53 AM
An update to the flagship E-3, starting with a 920K LCD, and further refinements to the sensor, better range and noise control.

Xenophos
15th February 2009, 11:57 AM
Interesting discussion. I'd like to see GPS - things are getting interesting in this regard with social networking and Apple's recent iPhoto upgrade. BT or WiFi would match nicely.

Improved DR and noise go without saying. I don't think they should increase MPs until this is sorted.

I doubt Oly will give the consumer level cameras an articulating screen - they need features to differentiate the Ex and Exx range.

If the 4/3 included an adaptor, I guess losing the E4xx would be OK. Does it let a full 4/3 lens do everything a 4/3 lens can on a 4/3 body?

I'd like to see Panny work on the original L1 concept, it filled a niche, but it probably won't. Heck, I'd like Panny to manufacture a few more of their current lenses so you can find them! But I think the reality is they'll focus on 4/3.

click-click
15th February 2009, 01:08 PM
Most of the above, and:

1. Digital vertical level in viewfinder and liveview.
2. Smaller remote (RM-1) and a slot on the camera body to store it.
3. Zuiko/EXIF: focusing distance in EXIF data
4. GPS with compass data (mostly for landscape pictures)

Russ
6th May 2009, 11:01 PM
Thank you Dave, you said it!
I bought the remote for my C-5060 and I was surprised and annoyed when I discovered that it was only possible to use it from the front of the camera. The disappointment was even greater when I found out that the situation was the same when I bought my E-3oo and the E-510.

Torvald
What if Bluetooth was added to the cameras, and IR was removed? Olympus could sell a simple Bluetooth remote. Also, cellphones, like my G1, could be used as highly configurable remotes. It should even be possible for the camera to transmit a low res image to the phone/remote. This would open up all kinds of possibilities!

Wolves
7th May 2009, 04:13 AM
I'm pretty sure for next year this will start to become a thing for cameras of all makes by adding bluetooth. Probably will be more of a start on pocket cameras.