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Author Topic: Hot Full Frame Autumn: New Cameras  (Read 38603 times)
Tony Beach
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« Reply #100 on: July 31, 2008, 08:54:25 PM »
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That's a 12MP camera, which as I *said*, was about what you needed to replace 35mm film, given that it's a Bayer type design.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=212138\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I read your "8-12 million true full color locations" in the context of Foveon sensors as meaning 12 MP BFA is less than film.  My confusion comes from your mixing two different mediums in a format discussion, so my apologies for that.  As I see it, 12 MP resolution is 12 MP resolution regardless of the format as long as they are the same medium (Foveon and BFA are of course different mediums), but DR for larger photosites is obviously greater (all other things being equal) than it is for smaller photosites.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #101 on: August 01, 2008, 12:12:00 AM »
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Hi,

I got the impression that Olympus has very good lenses, mostly based on Photozone tests. It also seems that they have quit strong antialiasing filter, which essentially means that their lenses resolve higher then their sensors. So Oly would need to improve their sensors to match their lenses.

I guess the four thirds equation doesn't hold with current trends which seem mainly to be focused on noise and high ISO. It would be much more valid for low ISOs.

Historically there has always been an advantage for larger sensors whether analogue or digital. If  other factors are taken into account there can be an optimum, like maximum quality and minimum cost.

The advantage of small formates is that they work well with large apertures:

1) It is less hard to develop high aperture lenses for small formats.
2) Small formats need large apertures because of diffraction limits.
3) Small formats give more depth of field at the same FOV (Field Of View) so larger aperture can be used.

Erik


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I can think of one serious advantage to four thirds at this moment: The lenses. Who cares about the bodies? They're just going to be replaced. Most don't have any need for more than 10mp, myself included, and those who do are even more of a "niche market" than the market for 4/3 consumer slrs. The lenses, however, consistently score as best-in-class, and as far as the "small range of often expensive lenses" goes, it covers everything from 14mm to 1200mm equivalent, and there are very well-built, high-performing, and yet inexpensive lenses to cover most of that for those who don't want to pay a lot.

Other makers like Canon and Nikon have more lenses available, but many of them do the exact same thing, such as an updated version of an old lens, or a manual focus version and an AF version, or several lenses covering only marginally different ranges and aperture ranges. I'm sure that after 4/3 has been around for as long as, say, EOS mount, it will have just as many outdated, redundant lenses to choose from alongside its better lenses of the future.

As for people "voting with their feet" against 4/3, it's interesting to note that Olympus has increased sales, and there were quite a few people who switched to Olympus with the E-3 announcement. Of course, there are always people who switch systems for a new camera, but if it was all bad over here, there wouldn't have been nearly as many... hardly suggests the system is fizzling out.

The comparison of 4/3 current position to that of APS film back in the day seems a little erroneous as well; with APS film, you had several different brands trying to sell poorly designed products to be used with a more expensive film format, alongside their more established, superior 35mm products. You didn't get outstanding lenses thrown into the mix, you didn't get less expensive cameras, and you certainly didn't get image quality comparable to even the cheapest current Olympus DLSR. It was a really bad set of circumstances for APS. 4/3 has it quite a bit better, and they're doing quite well for it.

Always a niche? Possibly. Dead? I don't think so.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=211844\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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Cartman
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« Reply #102 on: August 01, 2008, 03:31:08 AM »
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Just to be clear, I don't wish failure on 4/3.  Quite the contrary, I not only love options for consumers, but am the sort of person who likes to go my own way and buck the norm.  Moreover, I don't wish that anyone be left high and dry.  I just wanted to throw my prediction out there based on a five year time line.  I, for one, just don't see consumers finding enough that 4/3 offers that DX size offerings can't do better.  Though it is tough to find direct matches for comparisons, I think lens size too is just too close to make a difference to consumers.  Frankly, I hope I'm wrong and have to eat metaphorical crow five years from now when someone digs up this thread.  Of course I'll say I told you so if I turn out to be correct.
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NikosR
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« Reply #103 on: August 01, 2008, 03:43:37 AM »
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The advantage of small formates is that they work well with large apertures:

1) It is less hard to develop high aperture lenses for small formats.
2) Small formats need large apertures because of diffraction limits.
3) Small formats give more depth of field at the same FOV (Field Of View) so larger aperture can be used.


[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=212246\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I cannot comment on 1) but it might well be true. Still it has zero effect for the end user unless the reduced cost results in reduced price

2) This is making a virtue out of necessity. I fail to see how this fact is an advantage

3). Of course this can always be turned on its head and in combination with 2) be nullified as an advantage.

The same arguments have been used for DX vs FX and IMO all these arguments prove nothing.

In the current implementations the only real advantage I can see is in size and weight of the very long lenses. But it is there that the real competitive advantage has been minimized by Oly pricing and camera offerings as related to the target market.
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BJL
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« Reply #104 on: August 01, 2008, 02:16:35 PM »
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I, for one, just don't see consumers finding enough that 4/3 offers that DX size offerings can't do better.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=212262\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Why specifically do you expect the next five years to be so different from the last five years: Canon EF-S and Nikon DX selling best, followed well back by the FourThirds mount (Olympus+Panasonic), K-mount (Pentax+Samsung), and Alpha-mount (Sony) systems at roughly comparable market share?

A valid prediction of a major change from what has been observed so far surely requires some evidence of other changes that will cause it.

Instead, the main trend I see is technological improvements allowing the mainstream of camera users to meet their performance goals with ever smaller and lighter gear, often through a shift to smaller formats. That trend has been going on ever since the enlarger was invented, allowing negatives to be smaller than the desired prints!
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BJL
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« Reply #105 on: August 01, 2008, 02:28:43 PM »
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In the current implementations the only real advantage I can see is in size and weight of the very long lenses. But it is there that the real competitive advantage has been minimized by Oly pricing and camera offerings as related to the target market.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=212263\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Never mind the "very long lenses" or any of the high priced, low volume stuff. Look at the mainstream long lenses like the 40-150/4-5.6, 50-200/2.8-3.5 and 70-300/4-5.6, compared to the proportionately longer lenses needed with the larger photosites of larger format sensors. Then ask if the size advantage of such mainstream lenses and bodies can help to sustain to a viable market share.  (Put aside talk of achieving market leadership; I leave that to some Sony enthusiasts!)
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Plekto
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« Reply #106 on: August 01, 2008, 02:51:34 PM »
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I read your "8-12 million true full color locations" in the context of Foveon sensors as meaning 12 MP BFA is less than film.  My confusion comes from your mixing two different mediums in a format discussion, so my apologies for that.  As I see it, 12 MP resolution is 12 MP resolution regardless of the format as long as they are the same medium (Foveon and BFA are of course different mediums), but DR for larger photosites is obviously greater (all other things being equal) than it is for smaller photosites.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=212208\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

No problem

It's hard to get it all straight most of the time, since there are so many overlapping definitions and terms that are used multiple ways.  That said, my personal term for pixels in most cameras is "sub-pixels", since a true pixel is a full-color location.
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tetsuo77
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« Reply #107 on: August 01, 2008, 03:46:50 PM »
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Some points I want to talk about, and mainly, have to agree with Bernard

-What is DX? I remember it from the film, it was the ability of the camera to decode the ISO value of the roll.

-I have to fully agree with Bernard again, and shout: ARE WE MENTAL ABOUT THE SIZE? If it is about impressing the client, then I could agree somehow about the size factor as a WOW factor. But we still have to remember that almost any of the point and shoot currently available with decent performance will put to shame high end machines marketed five-six years ago. Pushed enough, any system will be able to produce good enough images. If you have to hike and travel as light as possible, the smaller the equipment the better.

-That being said, I think that Olympus, Pentax and Sony are trying to play a different approach to the war Nikon and Canon are having. Which is fine, and smart at the same time [coming back to this later on].

-The lens issue. A nominal 300mm lens is a 600 lens in full format, and a 400 in APS-C sensors. That means that the lens is way smaller than what a APS-C owner or a Full Frame owner has to carry around. Because, to be honest, if you were to use those long lenses, you would either hike for birding-landscape photography, or do sports photography. Two activities where size does matter, and the bigger the lens, the more of a hindrance it becomes.

-The lens approach of each brand is quite different. And personally, I find Canikon lens catalogue to be too big and too messy. You will find the very same specs for the very same focal with different qualities and separated by some hundred of euros/dollars. Still, if you go for the expensive one, you will find that you only gain half a stop of exposure, but the quality of the lens is not as good as the cheaper version. That happens quite a bit with Nikon, specially if one is trying to build up a system composed of a FF body and a APS-C back-up. You will find that the lens which performs brilliantly on the FF body does not a good job with the APS-C body, and the other way around. That is most definitely not a good way to get a good system, and if fidgeting up close, will make you buy a double system. Not good.

-Regardless the size of the companies [where only Sony is comparable to Canikon], and as stated by other people before, the sales are driven by shelf space AND something called market inertia. If you do not get enough shelf space in big stores where most of the market share is decided [FNAC, WallMart, BestBuy, and so on], then forget about making it big. Pentax and Olympus lost that war precisely when those big box retailers started to gain momentum. Therefore, they are starting to differentiate themselves with size and price. Specializing in small bodies [Olympus] and small lenses [Pentax].

All in all, I [for the third time] will have to agree with Bernard and not only make compulsory to buy a 4/3 body periodically, but buy a pancake lens or the smalles t lens available for the needed focal length.
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Tony Beach
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« Reply #108 on: August 01, 2008, 03:49:21 PM »
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...my personal term for pixels in most cameras is "sub-pixels", since a true pixel is a full-color location.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=212394\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Well, I think that would be a photosite from which the pixels are derived.
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Plekto
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« Reply #109 on: August 04, 2008, 12:47:01 PM »
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Yeah I know - I just have an issue I guess with their definitions, so I like mine as it makes it a bit clearer that they are pulling their typical marketing tricks.
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Rob C
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« Reply #110 on: August 04, 2008, 01:16:38 PM »
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There have been points made in defence of Oly that insinuate that having smaller lenses of the same focal length gives the advantage of double the reach for the same buck when compared with the same focal length on the full-frame (35mm olde worlde) camera systems.

Why should that be an advantage? You have not gained an iota of real image real estate; you have just created the need to magnify the Oly capture much more than you would the 35mm capture to get to the same point on paper - the print.

Guess digital photography is sometimes more about maths and the constant juggling of figures than about images.

Rob C

EDIT: just to admit that digital keyboard dyslexia (DKD) has struck again!
« Last Edit: August 04, 2008, 01:18:34 PM by Rob C » Logged

BJL
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« Reply #111 on: August 04, 2008, 04:47:52 PM »
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There have been points made in defence of Oly that insinuate that having smaller lenses of the same focal length gives the advantage of double the reach for the same buck when compared with the same focal length on the full-frame (35mm olde worlde) camera systems.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=213021\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
The issue is not smaller lenses of the same focal length: it is being able to use a shorter focal length to get an equally detailed image of the same subject from the same distance. Here, sensor resolution is a key.

Strictly speaking, these focal length needs are determined by sensor resolution in l/mm (along with lenses having adequate resolution), which is closely related to photosite spacing. But the strong and persistent general trend is for smaller formats to offer a higher density of photosites and a higher sensor resolution in l/mm, leading to the shorter focal lengths needed (or more reach with equal focal length, as with a 70-300 used with various systems.) Will EF-S and DX someday offer 40% to 60% more photosites than 4/3 (equal photosite density) just to allow improved telephoto reach in a "4/3 crop mode"? My guess is no; if anything photosite counts in mainstream SLR systems will soon level out.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2008, 04:49:01 PM by BJL » Logged
Ray
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« Reply #112 on: August 04, 2008, 09:44:04 PM »
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The issue is not smaller lenses of the same focal length: it is being able to use a shorter focal length to get an equally detailed image of the same subject from the same distance. Here, sensor resolution is a key.

Strictly speaking, these focal length needs are determined by sensor resolution in l/mm (along with lenses having adequate resolution), which is closely related to photosite spacing. But the strong and persistent general trend is for smaller formats to offer a higher density of photosites and a higher sensor resolution in l/mm, leading to the shorter focal lengths needed (or more reach with equal focal length, as with a 70-300 used with various systems.) Will EF-S and DX someday offer 40% to 60% more photosites than 4/3 (equal photosite density) just to allow improved telephoto reach in a "4/3 crop mode"? My guess is no; if anything photosite counts in mainstream SLR systems will soon level out.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=213058\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


BJL,
If we had an internationally recognised standard for dynamic range, detailed and real MTF charts for every lens sold, then we could work out precisely before buying a camera system, what the resulting potential image quality would be.

This would save a lot of useless debate as to which lens is better and provide consumers with a solid reference upon which to base their buying decisions.
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Cartman
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« Reply #113 on: August 06, 2008, 11:55:03 AM »
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I think the latest JD Power customer survey is interesting.  It seems to me that average consumers are not so impressed with the image quality of 4/3.

http://www.jdpower.com/electronics/ratings...ra-ratings/dslr
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Slough
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« Reply #114 on: August 06, 2008, 12:08:10 PM »
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BJL,
If we had an internationally recognised standard for dynamic range, detailed and real MTF charts for every lens sold, then we could work out precisely before buying a camera system, what the resulting potential image quality would be.

This would save a lot of useless debate as to which lens is better and provide consumers with a solid reference upon which to base their buying decisions.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=213098\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Except that MTF plots only have limited value. I know from experience how worthless they can be.
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timescapes
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« Reply #115 on: August 06, 2008, 03:08:28 PM »
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I think the latest JD Power customer survey is interesting.  It seems to me that average consumers are not so impressed with the image quality of 4/3.

http://www.jdpower.com/electronics/ratings...ra-ratings/dslr
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=213438\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Canon got a lower score for "appearance"?  
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Ray
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« Reply #116 on: August 06, 2008, 07:25:29 PM »
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Except that MTF plots only have limited value. I know from experience how worthless they can be.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=213443\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I think you might be referring to theoretical MTF plots based on how a particular design should perform.

I'm referring to real MTF tests of the actual lens sold. MTF charts don't tell you  everything, such as degree of distortion, for example, and such factors as chromatic aberration may also not be specified, but I would think that any serious CA would show as reduced MTF at a particular frequency.

I believe even quality of bokeh can be revealed in MTF charts. When the sagital and meridional lines diverge considerably, the lens is likely to have poor bokeh.

I know of no other set of specifications that can describe the optical quality of a lens more thoroughly and usefully.
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Ray
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« Reply #117 on: August 06, 2008, 07:55:39 PM »
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Canon got a lower score for "appearance"?   
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=213477\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Good! It's the appearance of the picture taken that counts.  

Most reviews and personal accounts of the Oly 4/3rds system that I've come across seem to dwell on ergonomic and 'feel-good-in the-hands' issues.

I suspect this is because no-one expects a smaller format to produce image quality that is quite as good as that from a larger format, although it might be very close, depending on choice of lens.
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Ray
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« Reply #118 on: August 06, 2008, 09:19:26 PM »
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The lens issue. A nominal 300mm lens is a 600 lens in full format, and a 400 in APS-C sensors. That means that the lens is way smaller than what a APS-C owner or a Full Frame owner has to carry around. Because, to be honest, if you were to use those long lenses, you would either hike for birding-landscape photography, or do sports photography. Two activities where size does matter, and the bigger the lens, the more of a hindrance it becomes.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=212405\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The lens issue is difficult because we never see direct shoot-outs between comparable set-ups. There's no doubt that the Oly 4/3rds sytem in general is lighter and less expensive than FF 35mm, but no-one expects a 4/3rds sytem to provide images of equal quality to the Canon 1Ds2 and 1Ds3, or the Nikon D3, or even the 5D with similar quality lens of equivalent focal length.

Cano or Nikon owners who want the longest telephoto reach with their current lens will opt for the cropped format, such as the D300 or 450D, and it's here the comparisons become nebulous.

A very light and inexpensive 4/3rds package would be the E-420 with Zuiko 70-300 F4-5.6, for example. What is the nearest Canon equivalent? The 450D with 70-300 IS F4-5.6, perhaps? Or the 450D with 100-400 IS F4.5-5.6.

The former package is of similar cost and weight, but the Zuiko lens has a longer reach. The latter Canon combination is heavier and more expensive but has a slightly longer reach (640 as opposed to 600, 35mm equivalent).

Has anyone seen any competent comparisons of such combinations? I would expect the E-420 to have the edge at 300mm compared with the 450D at 300mm, but at equal equivalent focal lengths (for equal FoV shots) the 450D might have the edge. It also makes a difference which edge is used for equal FoV, that is, which aspect ratio is preferred.

If the composition requires a 4:3 aspect ratio, then that Zuiko lens at 300mm is equivalent to only 554mm FF 35mm and the 100-400 at an equivalent of 640mm would have to be better in the sense of providing a more detailed image, and lower noise too.

(I got that the wrong way round initially  . If the 450D image is cropped to a 4:3 aspect ratio, then its sensor is effectively 19.7mmx14.8mm, not much bigger than the E-420 17.3mmx13mm).
« Last Edit: August 06, 2008, 09:28:20 PM by Ray » Logged
Er1kksen
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« Reply #119 on: August 06, 2008, 09:23:17 PM »
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I think the latest JD Power customer survey is interesting.  It seems to me that average consumers are not so impressed with the image quality of 4/3.

http://www.jdpower.com/electronics/ratings...ra-ratings/dslr
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=213438\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Erm... someone enlighten me, but I'm not quite sure how these JD power surveys work... do people have to actually prove that they are customers who own the things they're rating? Do they rate these cameras side-by-side, or just rate the ones they own? Or is this all anonymous and unsubstantiated? Can they vote more than once?

For anyone who's been over at DPReview and looked into the forums, you'll find people who claim that they bought a certain product and then go on that forum just to trash it, and many are found out as having never touched the product and being fanboys for a competing brand. Fortunately, such trolls seem to be largely absent here.

I, for one, find it fishy for a study to show the two leading, big brands recieving a 5 star rating in overall and the other three recieving a 2 star rating in overall.

Personally, as an honest customer, I find nothing dissapointing about the output of my Olympus E-330 at up to 12x16 at base ISO, and the newer models have considerably improved on even that, making higher ISOs and larger prints usable. I guess these "average consumers" unhappy with Olympus DSLR image quality must be printing 40x30 at ISO 1600 and up.

Also, it's noted that sony and pentax also recieved the same low rating for "picture quality," so apparently it's not a format-related problem. Based on the fact that sensors in many previous nikon, sony, and pentax branded cameras have been shared, I'd venture to say that it's more of a market share-related issue we're seeing here. And we all know how important that is to image quality.
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