Olympus is working on 8K video for their Micro Four Thirds cameras

In a recent interview with Focus Numerique Olympus executives revealed that image sensor with 8K video support will be coming to future Micro Four Third cameras:

“We can assure you that there is no problem in developing sensors at 33 million pixels for filming in 8K. We started the 4/3″ saga with a sensor at 5 Mpx In 2003. Now the same sensor is at 20 Mpx with a much higher image quality especially for the management of electronic noise.”

Olympus also mentioned a Bluetooth-based app (similar to Nikon's SnapBridge) and handheld high-resolution image mode could also be implemented in future camera models.


Panasonic has also been talking about 8k video for a while: their initial plan was for 2020, then it was pushed to 2018.

Via Dpreview, comparison chart: Wikipedia

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  • doge

    Why did Olympus kill their 4/3 camera line? I thought people liked these things?

    • harvey

      because while the sensors were the same size as micro 4/3s, the bodies were the same size as APS cameras.

    • They could not compete with DSLRs. They still cannot 🙂

      • doge

        I agree 100%, they’re no where near as good as DSLRs. But you’d think they’d just retool and release a series of fixed lens pocketable cameras. Take the sony Rx market.

        They must have just been losing too much money to justify anything other than scrapping it all.

        • The only advantage I see is weight and size, everything else is a compromise.

      • Hubertus Bigend

        I don’t understand that statement. As the thread starter realized in the meantime, they were DSLRs.

        Some of them (Olympus E-5, E-30, E-620) had a more complete feature set than virtually all other DSLRs of their time, even than many of today’s DSLRs. Their only problem was that, at the time, that their manufacturers couldn’t buy (or, for that matter, manufacture) sensors which were on the same technological level as those of the competition.

        The small difference in sensor size between Four Thirds and APS-C never was the problem, as Micro Four Thirds cameras prove since the advent of the Olympus E-M5. Actually, some Canon APS-C cameras come with a worse high-ISO perfomance than current Micro Four Thirds cameras.

        • Les

          Hubert,

          They failed in the DSLR market because their products weren’t competitive.
          The E-1 was a ground-breaking design, but the E-3 was a D200 copy that came out two years after the D200, and the E-5 was a D300 with worse performance.

          Consider that the E-5 came out two years after the 5Dm2, and cost more! It was a really tough sell. The Olympus had one more fps, but the Canon had better resolution, better video, better ISO, better viewfinder, bigger system, more lenses, etc.

          Maybe Olympus would have stood a chance if they had developed the E-1 instead of trying to build a sports camera that nobody wanted. As it happened, they offered cameras that couldn’t compete with APS sports cameras (D300, 7D), and they tried to sell them for the price of full-frame professional cameras.

          • Isn’t this what they are doing now? Their latest camera is more expensive than a full frame DSLR and not much better than the D500.

          • Les

            The difference is that they (and Panasonic) are now playing to the four-thirds format’s strengths: video, smaller size, potentially better lenses. Their high-end model is expensive, but the rest of their cameras offer 90% of the performance for $500-$1000.

  • I don’t read that they’re ‘working on it’.
    They basically give you the politically correct ‘anything is possible, we’ll probably look into it’, to keep you happy without actually promising anything.

    And yes, I would be surprised if megapixel counts and other numbers wouldn’t go up in time… it’s the natural progression of things. That doesn’t mean they’re going to be on top of 8K video any day time soon. They’re going to be dead last (oh wait, no, that would be Canon consumer cameras), finally catching up to the likes of Panasonic.

  • Ivan Kutsarov

    Before I even consider Olympus again, they need to fix their QC issues, failing dials, shutter failures, broken strap lugs, EVF burn, falling off screens. My E-M1 has been to repair 3 times while I had it.

    Meanwhile my 2001 Canon 1D Classic is still working like new.

    • BP2012

      Yeah and my 1976 Pentax K-2 is also still working like new.

    • Sakaphoto Graphics

      Meanwhile, my 2004 Olympus E-1, 2011 E-5, 2014 E-M1 are just fine.

  • Tony a

    played around with a 8k a few days ago, #forgetaboutit.. 1min is 1gb and thats in h.264 – i cannot edit it on my 13″ macbook pro 8gb either 🙁

    • jet

      you need at least h.265 for 8K.
      wonder how oly will squeeze the processing power in their M43 cameras and have an attractive price.

      • Jeffry De Meyer

        The processing power isn’t the problem, give it 2 generations and phones will be doing 8k.

  • jet

    yeah sure…. like everyone else is.
    but does it make sense? no.

  • jet

    people should face it m43 is already on it´s deadbed.
    in a shrinking market olympus has no chance.
    even panasonic has a greater chance with their video feature focused m43 cameras.. but they will be gone too in a few years.

  • Mr Majestyk

    I call BS on this. They’ll need a minimum of 33MP and more realistically 40MP as you never use the entire sensor for readout. 40MP m4/3 sensor when there current 20MP sensors are still bottom of the class and there sensors have o improved marginally in 3-4 years

    • Glorfindelrb

      8k UHD is 7680*4320 so you’ll need 7680*5760 in 4/3 format minimum, that’s 44.2MP.

      • Azmodan

        That’s correct, I glossed over that fact yet Olympus themselves are now talking 33MP so they clearly won’t be offering anything like true 8k video. 44MP is well beyond their paygrade.

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