Another set of Olympus E-M1 specifications


Here is another set of rumored Olympus E-M1 specifications:

  • New DSLR type grip
  • 16MP sensor
  • 81 AF target points
  • 10 fps
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Flash sync speed: 1/320s
  • ISO range: 200-25600
  • Shutter speed: 1/8000s-60s
  • 3" tiltable TFT LCD touch screen
  • EVF with 2,360,000 pixels
  • Micro Four Thirds mount only (not a hybrid mount)
  • Weight: 430g | 0.9Ib
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 122mm × 68mm × 37mm | 4.8" × 2.7" × 1.5"
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  • David G.

    Why is the lowest possible ISO setting 200 and not 100 ? Can someone explain the reason behind this ? How come the sensor cannot be one stop less sensitive ?

    • vodanh1982

      It is an Oly trick. All base ISO should start at 100. Oly put a starting iSO 200 so when people compare Oly ISO 3200 vs other brands at ISO 3200 they will say wow. The Oly image has less noise at the same ISO with others. Actually people are comparing Oly “real” ISO 1600 vs other brands ISO 3200. It is not a fare comparison.

      • Interesting, never thought of that.

        • GlobalGuy

          Admin — can you substantiate these rumors, made by Vodanh1982? (Not that I doubt him; but Nikon and others have had ISO start at ISO 200 — but they weren’t tricks, they literally started at ISO 200).

          • I am not sure I can. For this we will need someone deep in the Olympus r&d department.

          • Zos Xavius

            just compare stated with actual iso. for all its faults this is one of the more useful things dxomark tests for. the fuji x-pro overstates iso as well which is why iso 3200 looks so clean from that camera.

          • Ufupuw

            That’s absolutely nonsense. If we were to believe that Dxomark theory, then shutter speed on X100 would not change from ISO 1600 to ISO 6400 as Dxomark claims that ISO 1600 is the max ISO on X100 ..

            But guess what, bunny? Check the studio shots on DPR and Imaging-Resource for . X100. The shutter speeds gets faster exactly by 2 stops at ISO 6400 from ISO 1600 as a photographer would expect.

            Most of these nut cases who are making claims based on dxomark real vs measured ISO are idiots
            They have no clue what they are talking about.

          • Zos Xavius

            the dpreview review of the x-pro specifically states that the x-pro is under reporting iso by nearly a stop (2/3 I believe). I guess they are idiots too…..

          • Freelander

            Oly is not the only company that does this. Fuji and others do it as well. There is really no international standard base for ISO. The way you can tell is take a picture with two different brand cameras with identical settings and see if one of the exposures looks darker than the other. There’s plenty of tests out there showing this.

      • DxO uses “actual” ISO when comparing dynamic range to get around this trick. Olys at ISO 200 actually measure around 125, as do the NEXs, I think.

        • Alfons

          ISO Standard 12232 is not that simple. What Olympus does compared to other brands is they leave less highlight headroom to their photos to bring up the shadows.

      • El Aura

        Well, what is your definition of ISO with multi-pattern metering? One can well define how a given amount of light transforms into medium grey in the jpeg if there is uniform lightning and a subject with uniform brightness or if there is a fixed metering pattern (eg, center-weighed). But with multi-pattern metering on real scenes the camera can set (and thus meter) effectively what it wants, you cannot judge what is right or wrong.

        Thus if a camera decides to set two stops higher exposure than a center-weighed meter would show, you suddenly have a two-stop better noise behaviour (at the cost of highlight headroom). Or the camera could decide to keep the exposure that a center-weighed meter would (to keep the highlights) but lift the darker parts of the image by stops, you would have two stops worse ISO-based performance but two stops more headlight room.

        • Metering has nothing to do with it. I get consistent metering even between digital compacts and film… both reversal and negative. If you want, you can use an external meter for two different cameras and get comparable exposures. Differences in tone curves play a much higher role in brightness/darkness of a photo than metering.

          When you look in to a raw file’s data, it’s easy to understand the problem. We all think a raw file is about the mosaic but that’s actually the simple part. The luminance values have unusable distributions that are skewed and shifted from what we see in the reference (camera JPEG or manufacturer’s raw converter). Without at least a reference histogram, it’s impossible to determine what the correct tone curve is. So you again have to rely on manufacturer provided output to determine the correct tone curve. This is what makes measuring the real ISO a real problem.

          When we are not doing experiments this is not a big issue. With images that are properly exposed you can do a simple normalise operation and things will look good. You’ll find yourself in a lot of trouble if the image is underexposed and you want it exactly as captured, after the conversion.

          • El Aura

            Of course metering has something to do with it. Metering influence can influence the tone response curve used for the creation of the camera jpeg.

          • Nope. The camera meter, no matter how fancy the implementation is, has nothing to do with sensor response or final tone curve. Even all these scene-recognition, matrix, morpheous, intelligent blah blah meters do is give us or the camera a single EV value so we can set the shutter, f-number and ISO.

            I doubt sites like DxO even use the camera’s meter anyway. If you wanted to measure the sensitivity/response between two cameras (or a camera and a known response) what you do is shoot the same scene with identical shooting parameters for both cameras and observe the “captured brightness” differences between the two images. This can be done at a particular gray point (e.g. 18%), multiple gray points or even for the RGB channels separately. If you look in the ‘R avg’, ‘G avg’, ‘B avg’ and ‘L avg’ columns in the test below, you can see these observed sensitivity differences between the cameras although their shooting parameters were made identical (even light path):

          • El Aura

            You really believe that the metering “has nothing to do with sensor response or final tone curve” with how raw data are converted in the camera jpeg? That the tone response curve is fixed for all camera-jpegs (for a given set of jpeg-relevant settings)? What do you think features like Nikon’s Active D-Lighting do actually do?

          • Real isos are measured off raw data. Active d lighting and DRO, etc. are done in post.

            There’s nothing for me to believe… I work with raw data enough to know the problem.

          • El Aura

            But real images are mostly made with whatever the camera ISO is, not the measured one. What if a camera when set to ISO 3200 produces something close to 3200 for a uniformly lit target but once you get into real targets it gives the scene a stop more of expensive than other cameras but whose camera jpeg still looks like that of other cameras in terms of general brightness?

            Such a camera will lead people to believe that ISO 3200 produces actually quite good images, whereas another camera which doesn’t do that will appear worse. Now, will the measured ISO for a grey target reveal that difference between the two cameras? No, it won’t. But at the same time you cannot blame camera A for not following the ISO standard since the ISO standard gives the cameras carte blanche when multi-pattern metering is used.

          • I think we’re starting to talk about two different things here.

            If we’re talking about measuring the real ISO, then the meter doesn’t matter because you would use constant exposure times and light levels. What goes in to the JPEGs also doesn’t matter because you’d be looking in to the raw files.

            “What if a camera when set to ISO 3200 produces something close to 3200 for a uniformly lit target but once you get into real targets it gives the scene a stop more of expensive than other cameras but whose camera jpeg still looks like that of other cameras in terms of general brightness?”

            What ALO (Canon), ADL (Nikon), DRO (Sony), etc. conceptually do is lift the shadows and lower the highlights. Whether or not the subject is uniformly lit doesn’t matter here because if it’s uniformly lit and in the “shadow region”, its brightness will likely be lifted or if it’s uniformly lit in the “highlight region”, its brightness will be lowered. In actual implementation they are likely more complex by adapting the curve to ensure reduced clipping.

            Conceptually this no different to shooting in the “landscape” colour mode vs. “portrait” colour mode. In the former, you will see more contrast in the image and in the latter you will see less contrast but the mid-tones will remain the same.

            “But at the same time you cannot blame camera A for not following the ISO standard since the ISO standard gives the cameras carte blanche when multi-pattern metering is used.”

            I have a feeling that you’re under the impression that multi-point/region metering somehow causes different regions of the sensor to have different levels of sensitivity. For example, set your camera to the M mode with fixed shooting parameters but vary the metering mode and see if there are changes to the captured image. Otherwise, I can’t see why you think it’s relevant to this topic.

    • ke

      A lot of dslrs and mirrorless cameras start at ISO 200. Its nothing unusual.

      • Nowadays most (if not all) DSLRs start at ISO 100 and have ISO 50 as “boost” as well.

    • Harry

      I’m with you on that Dave. I wounder if someone could hack into the system and change the settings..

    • gr8fan

      You meant ‘more’ sensitive, I think.

    • Chris R.

      They could. There’s no real reason they couldn’t. But the lowest non-push ISO setting in a digital camera is the ‘native’ sensitivity the chip has to light (The ACTUAL sensitivity). Digital chips at present can only be hardware-sensitive to the native setting, then the rest is digital witchcraft from there–software modifying it, rather than a change in hardware (currently, anyway. There are companies working on a hardware solution to ISO changing) The advantage of having a higher native ISO is that your images will have less noise at 200 than a sensor that’s natively 100, set to 200. Sort of. This is the way it has been explained to me several times, and I’m often confused by the whole concept, lol.

  • Frenchie

    Why does MFT have their head stuck in 16MP? Sony put a fabulous 20MP 1″ sensor in the RX100 and the 14MP in the Nikon V2 is also darn good. Why can’t Panasonic and Olympus get beyond that 16MP ceiling????

    • Zos Xavius

      compare high iso between the RX100, V2 and OM-D and it should be obvious why they are holding the line

    • Aaron Carn

      I would imagine that pushing beyond that is a trade-off (perhaps due to processing etc atm) that they feel isn’t worth the 4-5 extra MP. I personally feel that consumer / pro-sumer cameras have leveled out a bit in the ISO department the last 3-4 years, more of just incremental gains (I know every little bit helps) but where will the MP and ISO war end…??

    • johnny

      16MP is far enough for most people. I’m still using sRAW on 5D.

      • Genkakuzai

        Agreed. I’m doing quite well with the 12 megapixel on my D700 still, selling prints and what not. Hell I even sell quite a lot of shots taken with my old D80 with its “awfully low” 10 megapixel count. Unless you’re printing bigger than 1 meter, or crop the shit out of your photos, you’re likely to be just fine with 16 megapixel. Worth mentioning is that the actual difference between 16 megapixel (4616 x 3464) and 20 megapixel (5160 x 3872) is pretty damn small in regards of resolution. For some reason people seem to forget that bit. That being said, a higher megapixel count is never a BAD thing, quite the contrary. But the difference is far less than people seem to think. Seeing as the vast majority of people don’t print larger than A4, I invite anyone to spot much of a difference between an A4 print from a 12 megapixel camera and an A4 print from a 20 megapixel camera. Good luck! ^^

    • george

      maybe the lenses are not sharp enough to resolve 20+
      maybe they just want to sell a 24 MP next year (after selling everybody a 16 this year)

      • Mardock

        Because more megapixels means more noise at higher ISOs, effectively limiting how and what you can shoot in low light.

        Everything is a trade-off.

        • george

          not everybody needs low light high iso, many landscape photographers use a tripod, and iso 200 is all they need, those photographers need pixels for large prints. my fireworks with the city in the background, and landscapes at dusk are mostly in the iso 200 range and are tack sharp without noise.

          maybe make two versions and see what sells (i doubt that it would be much of a cost factor to drop in a different sensor on the same body)

          they may event sell 2 cameras to the same customer that way

          note, neutral density filters are selling because iso 200 is too high in some cases.

    • MJr

      They can’t even manage ISO100 at 16MP, i’d rather have them fix that first … then we’ll think about it. 😉

      • El Aura

        How do you think is the base ISO related to the pixel size? By what mechanism does it get harder to get a lower base ISO as the pixel size decreases?

    • Neopulse

      What do you do that requires such a large MP count?

      • Marco –

        Hy mp is very nice for cropping. Nothing more.

    • They seem to be taking the Apple/Leica approach where the manufacturer decides what’s best for their users.

      All these people who say “x MPs are enough” don’t understand simple things like the benefits of downsizing an image to x MPs from larger image instead of capturing the image at x MPs. They also think the noise/signal of a sensor is primary determined by the pixel size.

      Unfortunately, to stay ahead in the game, manufacturers have to accommodate this technologically ignorant crowd. And once they tap in to that segment, the money keeps pouring (e.g. Apple iPhone, etc.)

  • Holy flash sync! That’s a nice surprise.

  • Ross

    These dimensions are that of the E-P5. Either someone’s taken a bad guess or the base camera is more like a PEN, but this adapter (for 4/3’s lenses), what will it consist of?

    • Ross

      Actually, I think someone might be having a lend of us here.

    • MJr

      The current Adapter is fine, and even weather-sealed. All it needs now is a sensor with phase-detection pixels behind it and voila … “100% compatible”.

      • Ross

        Actually, the MMF-3 body is plastic & I wouldn’t trust anything too heavy on it really (yeah, I know you should hold the heavy lenses & not by the body). I would hope there was a more solid one for ‘pro’ use.

  • MikeB

    Is this a weatherproof body like the E-M5?

  • Tags

    ISO 200… again. Serious cameras drop down to 100 at least, if not 50. It sucks to need a ND filter when shooting outdoors or trying for low ISO long exposures. It’s not all about high iso!

    • El Aura

      So you think sensor designers can increase the saturation capacity at will?

      Not quite, there is a limit how many electrons (per mm^2) a photodiode can hold. It can be tuned to some degree but there are always trade-offs (and technological progress hopefully will shift that limit further upwards).

      • I guess you mean the saturation capacity is about how many photons a photodiode can hold, not electrons.

        • Sebastian

          It can hold photons? Wow. I thought by definition they move with the medium’s speed of light.

          • Yeah the photodiodes hold them and when you add some butter they look and taste just like popcorn

  • Giannos Menelaou

    Dimensions seem to be a lot smaller than the EM-5

  • Marco –

    The only things I “envy” in this camera are the evf and the ibis. For all the rest I prefer my samsung nx300.

  • Neopulse

    Hmmm still wouldn’t convince me between an EP-5 and it.

  • Steve Thomas

    At this point to release a 16mp camera is ridiculous!

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