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The E-M5 sensor is reportedly manufactured by Sony, but one should not make assumptions about sensor quality simply by manufacturer— many factors are involved in 'sensor image quality', including the quality of the electronics needed to make images from the sensor.
The 4/3 size sensor allows the design and construction of higher performance lenses than is otherwise possible with larger sensors. This is a real advantage over APS-C and full-frame cameras, but it does limit resolution and noise characteristics. Still, with a few more years, 4/3" sensor technology should improve.
Sensor size vs Sony NEX-7
Let’s compare the sensor size and resolution of the E-M5 and the Sony NEX-7 sensor.
The NEX-7 sensor is 63% larger. The pixel pitch of the E-M5 is 266 lp/mm vs 255 lp/mm for the Sony NEX-7, about a 4.3% difference (linearly), or about 8.8% in area. Hence, everything being equal, we can expect slightly higher noise in the E-M5 sensor as compared to the Sony NEX-7.
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Diglloyd Guide to Mirrorless offers comprehensive integrated coverage of most APS-C and full frame mirrorless cameras and lenses.
Special emphasis is placed on Sony full-frame, including Sony lenses and the high performance Zeiss Batis and Zeiss Loxia lenses plus Rokinon/Samyang and others. Fujifilm X, Olympus and Panasonic M4/3, Sigma dp Merrill and dp/sd Quattro are also covered in depth. Years in the making, it offers a wealth of material for choosing and using a mirrorless camera.
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