Olympus keeping tight lipped about OM-D sensor

Olympus OM-D
Who made the 16 million pixel sensor inside the OM-D E-M5?

Olympus is refusing to name who manufactured the sensor for its new Olympus OM-D E-M5 Micro Four Thirds camera, with speculation suggesting it has been remanufactured from the Panasonic G3.

The Olympus OM-D's sensor is a 16 million pixel Four Thirds Live MOS sensor, which is the same resolution as both the G3 and the more recently announced Panasonic GX1.

Speaking to us at the European press launch of the OM-D, Toshiyuki Terada from Olympus Japan, said, "We can't say who manufactures the sensor itself, but we can say it's a new device, not just for Olympus, but for the industry."

Other rumoured manufacturers of the sensor include Fujifilm, which seems fairly unlikely given that it has only just announced its own Fujifilm X Pro1 compact system camera and it uses a novel sensor design which it doesn't manufacture itself, and Sony, which is known to create sensors for other camera companies including Nikon.


It would make sense for Panasonic to have manufactured the Olympus sensor, as both the companies work to the same Micro Four Thirds standard and have a joint development agreement.

Olympus claims that the sensor inside the OM-D offers improved noise and dynamic range performance, when compared to older models in its line-up, such as the PEN E-P3.

Speaking of the decision to increase the resolution to 16 million pixels, Terada said, "In the past we have said that 12 million pixels is enough, and we haven't changed that position - but if we could put more in, then why not?"

The E-M5 is thought to be the first camera in the OM-D line-up and will be available from April with an RRP of £1,149.

Amy Davies

Amy has been writing about cameras, photography and associated tech since 2009. Amy was once part of the photography testing team for Future Publishing working across TechRadar, Digital Camera, PhotoPlus, N Photo and Photography Week. For her photography, she has won awards and has been exhibited. She often partakes in unusual projects - including one intense year where she used a different camera every single day. Amy is currently the Features Editor at Amateur Photographer magazine, and in her increasingly little spare time works across a number of high-profile publications including Wired, Stuff, Digital Camera World, Expert Reviews, and just a little off-tangent, PetsRadar.