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5 reasons the Olympus E-M1 will NOT get 4K video!


Andrew Reid

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One thing I'm not reading anywhere, that probably makes it impossible to handle 4K, is that it doesn't support UHS-3 speed SD Cards. Or does it?

It wouldn't have to be UHS-3 would it? The Sandisk Extreme Pro card I use in my BM Pocket cam isn't UHS-3, and that handles raw like a champ- and raw is way more bandwidth than 200mbs 4k.

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Sure. I'm using it consistently here in Jakarta; about 20% of the time. I'm on the road for awhile with only my iPhone, so I can't post examples of the video I'm shooting, but I can say that it's li

Yup.  It's freaking ridiculous too.  This is the main reason I put up with the other video limitations of the OLY cameras.  The 5 axis feature trumps pixel peeping...if you're actually using the camer

Anyone who spends their hard-earned based on a rumour is truly a twit.

Given the very large buffer of the E-M1 I'm wondering if the "4K" mode is just a short burst video, sort of like Nikon's Motion Snapshot. It wouldn't require extra hardware, it would just throw as much 4K footage into the buffer until it fills up, then processes it as it would process a bunch of stills, just compiling the frames as a video instead. It would essentially be a gimmick and even with a huge buffer it would fill up in a few seconds, but it does get you a little bit of 4K footage without worrying about hardware or heat; that could be where this rumor is coming from.

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For me rumor doesn't seem that farfetched. How Canon 50D which never had video officially, got one from Magic Lantern hack?

 

Obviously because the hardware (sensor and processor) were both capable for video but for some marketing or other reasons Canon didn't enabled it. The same idea was in the E-M1 rumor by way, hardware capable for 4K is there, Olympus just enables it now, because they were not ready at the launch of the camera. Don't want to argue about a silly rumor, we’ll soon know for a fact, just want to point that the idea is not that farfetched even more we have a precedent and a real one.

 

Also have doubts about argument No1.  The idea that 4K video needs some extra work that generates extra heat is most likely no longer valid.

 

Will try to explain, just keep in mind that am no microelectronics engineer, so this is all speculation but logic is simple enough.

Sensor is sampled / read line by line horizontally. At least that is how current generation of sensors work. Prove – rolling shutter. Most of the sensors has to skip reading one or two lines in the process in order to save time and maybe heat too. But it seems sensors used in Panasonic GM1, GX7, GH4, Nikon D7100, D5200 new generation from Sony - A6000, A5100 no longer skip lines. Image is almost moire and aliasing free. This can't be and is not achieved by strong anti aliasing filter. Prove Nikon 7100 which doesn't have anti aliasing filter has the same video quality as D5200 which has one. It is achieved most likely by whole sensor read and some smart pixel binning method. So GM1 sample the whole sensor and is in a tiny body and heat doesn't seem to be a problem. Don't see a problem to slap 4K in it if Panasonic processor itself doesn’t generate too much heat. Hence the rumor about GM2 with 4K is not that farfetched too. A5100 and A6000 are with bigger sensors than E-M1 but in smaller bodies and also seems to have full sensor readout without line skipping and heat from sensor is not a problem.

 

So question is how E-M1 samples the sensor. In his review Andrew says moire and aliasing are present. So most likely sensor skip lines during sampling, which means 4K is most likely not possible, but for different reasons. Anyway we'll know soon  :)   

 

Atomos CEO predicted 20 new 4K cameras at NAB. About 5-6 materialized. Those 14-15 cameras missing so far are coming at some point. 

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Sometimes the rumour mill is just so outrageous. 

Is it, really?

1. The sensor floats on a moving block so the body can’t act as a heat sink

 - That might be true - though - Olympus DID know about the sensors capability and cooling requirements when designing the body - they *might* have some design to the body/sensor in order to help with heat dissipation.

 

2. Finer points of the information seem ‘made-up’

- That might be nitpicking on some marketing material that's anyway is going to be overflowing with buzzwords.

 

3. Rumor says 240fps yet the hardware can’t do it

- Some other users have already pointed out the video released by Olympus themselves with 240p on the E-P5 - though not in 720p.

 

4. 4K would be a key selling point of the next model, why give it away for free in a firmware update?

- yeah - it would. However - The E-M1 is their PRO model - and a new pro model should not come after 1 year - Olympus have much longer interval between their PRO models. So far - olympus PRO cameras; OM-1, OM-2, OM-3, OM-4 (some of the om models with "minor upgrades - OM-Xn and OM-XTi), E-1, E-3, E-5, OMD E-M1. I do not expect another model for at least 2 years. - so keeping the current model up to date will keep it in market longer until they have a solid new camera. - it actually DOES make sense.

 

5. 4K requires hardware support, it can’t be added by software only

I absolutely agree. ..., but Olympus KNEW about the capabilities of the sensor when they created the camera.., and they KNEW about the other hardware requirements for better video and even 4k when they created it.  - so the question is - did they do anything about it? Olympus allways claims they put stills over video - they wanted to create their perfect camera - and they released the E-M1 with allmost the same video as all the other models. They also said "Now we're going to focus on video" - so - if they added the needed hardware (e.g. introducing thenew TruePic processor, +++) - all they really need to is to work on software to enable it. Like manufacturers of GFX cards - some cards can be "unlocked" to perform better - the hardware is already in place - just need the software to utilize it. That's why this is actually plausible. Unlikely - yes, but plausible.

 

... so my conclusion is; the rumor mill is NOT outrageous, but does its job - publishing rumors - even some with low probability. 

 

Olympus users have been shouting for better video for years - now after the E-M1 it seems like they've focused on it (finally), and firmware ups are on its way. 4k? Maybe not (but hoping). Better 1080? I strongly believe so.

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i would be really pissed if it were true. not because i dont want oly users to shoot in 4k, but panasonic said themselve that a 120fps upgrade on the gh4 is unlikely/impossible because a firmware update can only do so much. so if oly finds a way to add something like this to an 18months old camera, it would piss me off.

 

well on the other side, this might poke panasonic that they have to work some more on awesome firmware updates. hmm. the last one made my reocrdings less stable...

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I emailed 43rumors asking "do any of the em1 rumors indicate the video image detail will improve?" and they said yes. I asked when the firmware will be announced and he said within 10 days. 

 

Even though I love the image I get from the GH3 and I love the handling, I would probably give it up for the 5-axis and better viewfinder if the EM1's video detail is improved.

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For me rumor doesn't seem that farfetched. How Canon 50D which never had video officially, got one from Magic Lantern hack?

 

Obviously because the hardware (sensor and processor) were both capable for video but for some marketing or other reasons Canon didn't enabled it. The same idea was in the E-M1 rumor by way, hardware capable for 4K is there, Olympus just enables it now... 

 

 

 

You really have to wonder how many times this needs to be addressed.  Please watch what PANASONIC said about their 4K capable GH4 and 5 axis IBIS.  Start watching at 1:03 (yes, one hour three minutes) in.

 

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/videos/watch/panasonic-gh4-webcast:-live-from-bh/3592519879001

 

You can tell even the Panasonic guy is fed up with people having this 5 axis stabilization AND 4k in one body for less than $1,700 fantasy.

 

Please people stop forcing company reps, bloggers, and forum posters to post this FACT.

 

And the 50D was a completely different situation.  There were other hardware indications that video was to be implemented.  I believe every 50D has an internal mount for a mic.  They were real close to releasing it with video.  They probably just had some quirks they couldn't address to meet a deadline.  And anyone who has used the 50D for video will tell you the video is not ready for mass market.

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Has anyone tried to put a BMPCC speedbooster into the em5 or em1?

The BMPCC speedbooster? Well, no. And you have to be careful about that one in particular I understood, because it protrudes differently. But that again, maybe that's why you're asking. :P

 

But I was actually already expecting my RJ Lens Turbo Nikon (F / G) -> M43 (much cheaper focal reducer (thanks to Personal View's Vitaly for the info), with lens collar and aperture control), but it's still not here yet unfortunately. I've got the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 with Nikon mount and am now using regular Fotga Nikon (G) to M43 adapter, but of course wanted to try out a focal reducer as well. Also because I'm planning to get the 18-35mm f/1.8 Sigma at some point.

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

Yup.  It's freaking ridiculous too.  This is the main reason I put up with the other video limitations of the OLY cameras.  The 5 axis feature trumps pixel peeping...if you're actually using the camera to shoot stuff other than a test chart.

True. After seeing the stabilization, I am dumping all my NikonD5300/CanonRebels&5D/PanasonicGH4 cameras and getting an Em1, that if it does happen that they give it 24p and 25p. Don't need anything else, the image is fine. just give me 25p!

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True. After seeing the stabilization, I am dumping all my NikonD5300/CanonRebels&5D/PanasonicGH4 cameras and getting an Em1, that if it does happen that they give it 24p and 25p. Don't need anything else, the image is fine. just give me 25p!

 

5-Axis with a fast prime lens has been a revelation to me as a shooter.  Such a great tool for so many assignments.  I do find myself being impatient with the tech and wishing the video was more robust... and, yeah, @4k.  

 

5-axis and 4K will get here soon enough though (maybe not this firmware upgrade) just wish it was here in time for my current shoot!

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The BMPCC speedbooster? Well, no. And you have to be careful about that one in particular I understood, because it protrudes differently. But that again, maybe that's why you're asking. :P

 

But I was actually already expecting my RJ Lens Turbo Nikon (F / G) -> M43 (much cheaper focal reducer (thanks to Personal View's Vitaly for the info), with lens collar and aperture control), but it's still not here yet unfortunately. I've got the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 with Nikon mount and am now using regular Fotga Nikon (G) to M43 adapter, but of course wanted to try out a focal reducer as well. Also because I'm planning to get the 18-35mm f/1.8 Sigma at some point.

 

I used the Lens Turbo on my E-M5 at the weekend, with an Ai-S 85mm f2. The shots did need varying amounts of stabilisation in post, but often just a tiny amount to smooth out vibrations. Some of them are with the x2 electronic telefocus as well (244mm equivalent, if my maths is correct? 85mm x 0.72 focal reduction x 2 m43 crop x 2 telefocus). It is incredible that you can get usable shots handheld at that length. You can also see the E-M5's codec falling to pieces at various points unfortunately.

 

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