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09-21-2016, 10:09 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
The E-M1 had the reputation for being the best handling mirrorless camera ever made, and it's likely the second version will continue this tradition. The major issue I see with it is that the camera itself is about the size of the first generation Sony FF cams, yet those FF cams have a sensor nearly four times larger. For those that do prefer a bigger body, wouldn't they be better off with a bigger sensor as well? Olympus's Imaging Division has not turned a quarterly profit since 2008, so it's not clear that the 4/3rds sensor in a larger body is working in terms of market profitability.
My understanding is that they did turn a profit at some stage in 2015, but point taken.

One cannot have it all, though. To get the kind of performance on offer from the E-M1 Mark II - massive frame rates, twin quad processors, et al - on a sensor four times larger one would need a bigger body than the early Sony ones and a bigger battery to power all those electronics. My guess is that Sony bodies will gradually fatten up over time too, for roughly the same reasons. I would guess that Oly are stuck with a dilemma. There is no real advantage to a small increase in sensor size, so they would have to go FF if they really wanted a change or to run twin formats. That, however, would cost a fortune in development. So it seems that Oly are making a bid for pros and high-rollers based on high-end specs with the kitchen sink thrown in, and with what sound like very high-class new lenses and a professional service plan - but all in M43 format.

We'll see. I must say, though, that some of their brand ambassadors - Neil Buchan Grant and Steve Gosling come to mind - turn in stunning images so for most purposes it is quite hard to see M43 as all that much of a disadvantage. FF comes with issues of its own, notably size/weight when lenses are added to the mix. I went to an expo by Steve Gosling earlier this year in London and he was showing pretty large prints which looked of excellent quality to me. I suspect one has to get good enough as a photographer to be near his level before "format A is superior to format B" holds much if any practical significance.

09-21-2016, 12:25 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
For those that do prefer a bigger body, wouldn't they be better off with a bigger sensor as well?
No, it doesn't. At least if you imagine a 200mm attached to a m43 vs a 400mm attached to a FF body. For sure m43 will have it's limitations but it's good enough in many cases. That's exactly why I'm not interested in FF & APSC MILCs; if I'm going to carry 2Kg of a lens, why should I care about 200gr extra for the camera? Just to give up the OVF?!

---------- Post added 21st Sep 2016 at 14:30 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
Maybe this sensor will finally be the one that surpasses APS performance.
It won't; no m43 sensor will ever surpass APSC. No APSC will ever surpass FF.
However, at some point it might be good enough to give up other advantages (either as a main or 2nd system). For me, matching the overall IQ (noise, DR,..) of K-5 is that point, at least as a 2nd camera. For someone else the bar might be lower, or higher, or nowhere.
09-21-2016, 10:55 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by farhagh Quote
It won't; no m43 sensor will ever surpass APSC. No APSC will ever surpass FF.
However, at some point it might be good enough to give up other advantages (either as a main or 2nd system). For me, matching the overall IQ (noise, DR,..) of K-5 is that point, at least as a 2nd camera. For someone else the bar might be lower, or higher, or nowhere.
The M10 right now comes pretty close to the performance of our K-3. From DXOMark :

https://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Compare/Side-by-side/Olympus-OM-D-E-M10-vers...-K-3___937_914

Hopefully that link works.

The M10 is about one ISO stop behind the K-3 in terms of noise. Dynamic range is a little lacking in harsh contrast scenarios. The gap is small compared to what it was in the previous generation of sensors. Olympus may have at least caught up to APS in some scenarios now. If so then the significance of the M1 Mk II is huge.
09-22-2016, 02:38 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
The M10 right now comes pretty close to the performance of our K-3. From DXOMark :

https://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Compare/Side-by-side/Olympus-OM-D-E-M10-vers...-K-3___937_914

Hopefully that link works.

The M10 is about one ISO stop behind the K-3 in terms of noise. Dynamic range is a little lacking in harsh contrast scenarios. The gap is small compared to what it was in the previous generation of sensors. Olympus may have at least caught up to APS in some scenarios now. If so then the significance of the M1 Mk II is huge.
Let's see what the K-70 score is. The K-5 scores better than the k-3 at DXO btw. https://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Compare/Side-by-side/Olympus-OM-D-E-M10-vers...___937_914_829

09-22-2016, 03:06 AM   #20
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The problem is that sensor tech has really stagnated. Maybe it is just that we are close enough to quantum efficiency that there aren't any easy gains to be made. The D500 and D7200 have dynamic range at base iso that is basically equivalent to a K5, but do better at isos above 400. Odds are that there will be a little improvement in dynamic range and high iso capability with this camera, but nothing dramatic.

Which is too bad, because increasing frame rates and bumping pixel counts are things that don't matter to most professionals after a certain point. Olympus makes very nice cameras and has amazing glass, but I think they have reached the place where they are going to have a harder time getting folks to switch to them or upgrade their existing Olympus cameras before their cameras are worn out.

---------- Post added 09-22-16 at 06:09 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
The M10 right now comes pretty close to the performance of our K-3. From DXOMark :

https://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Compare/Side-by-side/Olympus-OM-D-E-M10-vers...-K-3___937_914

Hopefully that link works.

The M10 is about one ISO stop behind the K-3 in terms of noise. Dynamic range is a little lacking in harsh contrast scenarios. The gap is small compared to what it was in the previous generation of sensors. Olympus may have at least caught up to APS in some scenarios now. If so then the significance of the M1 Mk II is huge.
For whatever reason, the K3 sensor scores about the worst of all of the current 24 megapixel sensors out there and even it has an extra EV of dynamic range at base iso and half a stop better sports iso (the K5 actually has a better DXO score than the K3). The D7200 score is a lot better and really out classes the EM10. I wish Pentax had gotten the D7200 sensor for the K3 II...

https://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Compare/Side-by-side/Nikon-D7200-versus-Olym...M10___1020_937
09-22-2016, 10:05 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by farhagh Quote
No, it doesn't. At least if you imagine a 200mm attached to a m43 vs a 400mm attached to a FF body. For sure m43 will have it's limitations but it's good enough in many cases. That's exactly why I'm not interested in FF & APSC MILCs; if I'm going to carry 2Kg of a lens, why should I care about 200gr extra for the camera? Just to give up the OVF?!
That's the dilemma of mirrorless. If you have to shoot with large lenses (and some of us do), and you're either indifferent to the whole EVF vs OVF or you actually prefer OVFs, then what's the point?

In theory, you can at least mitigate the big lens problem by going to a small sensor, which is where m43 should have (and sometimes does) have an advantage. But it hasn't always worked out that way. The Olympus Pro lenses are really quite large and heavy, and they don't always scale so well when compared to FOV alternatives with APS-C DSLRs and FF mirrorless. The Olympus Pro 300 f4 weighs almost a half a pound more than the DA* 300 while costing almost 2 and a half times as much. While the Oly 300 gives more reach, add the 1.4 TC to the DA* 300 and it will give you more reach while still weighing less. That Oly 300 also weighs a quarter pound more than the Canon 400 f5.6 which, when mounted on an APS-C camera, provides the same FOV.

The Oly Pro 7-14 f2.8 weighs more than the DA 12-24. It weighs about as much as the Sony FE 16-35 f4. While the Oly does provide a bit more width in its FOV, you're gaining nothing at all in terms of weight savings. Indeed, if you compare the E-M1 with the f2.8 zoom trio with a Sony FF mirrorless and Sony's f4 zoom trio, there's not much difference in either weight or size or even price, yet the Sony f4 trio is matched to a sensor almost four times as large.

Of course, if you're willing to shoot with primes or slow aperture consumer grade zooms, there's plenty of quite small options available in m43. If you wish for pro quality zooms, you may be better off with a larger sensor format.

QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
The M10 right now comes pretty close to the performance of our K-3. From DXOMark
From my experience with the E-PL1 and the E-M5, I find that the DXOMark scores for m43 cameras somewhat exaggerate their real world performance. The E-M5 attains a higher score the the K200D. But in real world performance, I don't really see much difference in these two cameras. And at ISO 100, the K200D produces cleaner files with richer, more beautiful color. Meanwhile, my K-5 has anywhere to a stop to a stop and a half ISO advantage over the E-M5, and considerably more dynamic range as well.
09-22-2016, 11:19 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
The problem is that sensor tech has really stagnated. Maybe it is just that we are close enough to quantum efficiency that there aren't any easy gains to be made. The D500 and D7200 have dynamic range at base iso that is basically equivalent to a K5, but do better at isos above 400. Odds are that there will be a little improvement in dynamic range and high iso capability with this camera, but nothing dramatic.
I don't think sensor technology has stagnated. There are lots of incremental improvements over time. u4/3 sensor tech is a perfect example. Performance has been steadily increasing over time. I also think software/firmware will begin to play an increasingly active role to boost sensor performance.

QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
From my experience with the E-PL1 and the E-M5, I find that the DXOMark scores for m43 cameras somewhat exaggerate their real world performance. The E-M5 attains a higher score the the K200D. But in real world performance, I don't really see much difference in these two cameras. And at ISO 100, the K200D produces cleaner files with richer, more beautiful color. Meanwhile, my K-5 has anywhere to a stop to a stop and a half ISO advantage over the E-M5, and considerably more dynamic range as well.
I totally agree that the M5 is a bit behind the K-5 ... which is why I am excited about the M1 Mk II. If Olympus' claim that they surpassed APS performance then I want to see it! Let's see performance so much better that even a site like DxoMark will be able to register a measurement curve that sits higher than something the K-5/K-3 can produce.

09-23-2016, 02:58 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
I don't think sensor technology has stagnated. There are lots of incremental improvements over time. u4/3 sensor tech is a perfect example. Performance has been steadily increasing over time. I also think software/firmware will begin to play an increasingly active role to boost sensor performance.

I totally agree that the M5 is a bit behind the K-5 ... which is why I am excited about the M1 Mk II. If Olympus' claim that they surpassed APS performance then I want to see it! Let's see performance so much better that even a site like DxoMark will be able to register a measurement curve that sits higher than something the K-5/K-3 can produce.
Charts don't tell one what something is like in practice. For example, after dark I get better street and cityscape shots from my Oly gear than from Pentax. The reason is not the sensor but how it can be used. Oly's lenses are excellent at wide apertures and their IBIS is very good too. The combination allows me to shoot at the same or lower ISO using a wider aperture and/or a slower shutter speed than with a Pentax combination. I can process in DxO OpticsPro whose Prime noise reduction engine is amazingly good. Overall, a better result even though the M43 sensor is no better and likely worse.

I'm sure you're right about software improvements to sensor performance becoming more prominent. Besides, the industrial and military folks will be constantly looking at ways of improving sensor performance, as will the mobile folks (and they are the ones with the R&D money). A plateau in the consumer sphere doesn't mean the whole thing has ground to a halt.
09-23-2016, 03:13 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
I don't think sensor technology has stagnated. There are lots of incremental improvements over time. u4/3 sensor tech is a perfect example. Performance has been steadily increasing over time. I also think software/firmware will begin to play an increasingly active role to boost sensor performance.



I totally agree that the M5 is a bit behind the K-5 ... which is why I am excited about the M1 Mk II. If Olympus' claim that they surpassed APS performance then I want to see it! Let's see performance so much better that even a site like DxoMark will be able to register a measurement curve that sits higher than something the K-5/K-3 can produce.
DXO Mark scores aren't the be-all end-all, but we have been stuck around a max of 14 EV of dynamic range at base iso for APS-C and full frame cameras for quite awhile -- maybe this Olympus will get to that mark too, we'll see. Sports iso scores for APS-C are stuck around 1400 (which is where they have been for a long time), while for micro four thirds they are stuck around 850. The newest sensors from Sony in the A7s and A7r II give dynamic range boosts at high iso at the cost of less dynamic range in low iso situations.

The K-1 has an old sensor, but its sports iso score is 3200 while the one in the A7r II is 3400 -- not the sort of difference that inspires confidence that sensors are dramatically improving.

These are the two things -- high iso and dynamic range -- that matter to me when it comes to sensor performance. We have more than enough resolution and I don't care about 4K video and PD AF sensors on the sensor. But those are things that it seems that Sony is focused on right now, in order to get mirrorless performance up to or past that of SLRs.
09-23-2016, 11:57 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
I don't think sensor technology has stagnated. There are lots of incremental improvements over time
There's been a few minor improvements here or there, but for the most part progress in sensor development, which had been experiencing huge leaps in the first decade of this century, suddenly came to a crawl in about 2010. Most of the low hanging fruits of sensor development were picked by 2010 and improvement since has been very difficult.

QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
Oly's lenses are excellent at wide apertures and their IBIS is very good too.
Generally speaking, the 5-axis stabilized Oly cams are better for hand-held shooting than any of the Pentax APS-C cams (at least at wide to short tele focal lengths). I was out the other evening shooting with the DA 15 and a K-5iis. I struggled to get sharp shots at 1/40 sec. On the E-M5, I've gotten sharp shots at 1/4 sec.

QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
If Olympus' claim that they surpassed APS performance then I want to see it!
Olympus is claiming that the E-M1ii improves DR by an entire stop. While that would certainly be a welcome improvement, it still would leave it short of the best APS-C cams.

QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
My understanding is that they did turn a profit at some stage in 2015, but point taken.
In the early months of 2015 there was some talk that Olympus' Imaging Division was beginning to turn a monthly profit, but that doesn't appear to have been true. People often confuse Olympus as a whole with its Imaging Division. Olympus has a very profitable medical orientated business that subsidizes their imaging division.
09-23-2016, 02:27 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
The M10 right now comes pretty close to the performance of our K-3. From DXOMark :
My recent experience with a M10 may be of some relevance to this thread.

I recently bought a new M10 for $400 (body and kit lens). I was pleasantly surprised to find I could easily get a more or less perfect ETTR RAW exposure because of the display of the hgram in the VF and a dedicated Ev wheel at my fingertips and all this before I actually released the shutter. Also by carefully checking the unprocessed RAW results in ACR I find the hgram as displayed in the camera and that displayed in ACR are more or less the same. Further processing in Photoshop confirms that the camera knows what the sensor is doing so far as exposure is concerned and gives very good final results.

Maybe not a big deal to some but it is to a RAW ETTR shooter like me. Trying to do the same with my K5 is a real pain in the a**.
As far as the rest of the camera is concerned only time will tell.
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