Tried E-620 in store today- big mistake

Started May 1, 2009 | Discussions thread
alexisgreat
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Re: Interesting that this preview says noise on the 620 is superior to even Canon!
In reply to alexisgreat, May 7, 2009

Another review talking about lower noise on the 620:

At 100 ISO all three cameras are delivering clean, detailed results as you’d hope, but already there are visible differences in processing and noise reduction. Most notably, Canon’s EOS 450D / XSi applies greater processing for a smoother-looking result that may avoid visible textures and speckles, but suffers from a subsequent reduction in sharpness compared to the other two models here. Indeed the Canon crops look comparably soft, or even slightly out of focus, but the kit lens was confirmed to be in sharp focus using magnified assistance in Live View.

At 200 ISO, subtle noise textures have appeared in the background of the E-620’s image, but it’s nothing to be overly concerned about at this point. The Canon remains smooth and slightly soft-looking thanks to its processing, while the Nikon continues to strike a good balance of detail and lack of artefacts.

With the sensitivity increased to 400 ISO, the Olympus E-620 exhibits slightly increased noise levels, as does the Nikon D90, although to a lesser extent. Once again the Canon avoids any visible textures due to its smooth processing. There’s still lots of detail in all three crops, but subtle tonal differences on the darker leaves in the flower arrangement are becoming less defined now.

At 800 ISO there’s a noticeable drop in quality across all three models. Noise textures have become quite visible on the E-620 and while there’s some undesirable chroma artefacts appearing, the Canon suffers worse in this particular effect; indeed while the E-620 has more visible noise than the EOS 450D / XSi at this particular sensitivity, the overall result is preferred as it looks less electronic. In the meantime, the Nikon D90 is also showing more noise than before, but it’s still holding it together well with subtle tonal details retained when they’ve turned to mush on the other two.

At 1600 ISO, noise artefacts continue to increase, but the differences remain similar to what we saw at 800 ISO: namely the Canon suffers from the worst chroma noise and looks least natural, while the Nikon continues to find a good balance between visible artefacts and retained detail.

The EOS 450D / XSi bows out at this point, leaving the E-620 and D90 to offer a 3200 ISO option. There’s obviously a great deal more visible noise on the E-620 here compared to the Nikon, although on the plus side, minimal chroma artefacts and a reasonable degree of retained detail means you may be able to clean-up a 3200 ISO shot on the Olympus for smaller reproductions or emergency use. There’s no doubting the D90’s superiority here though, and it even goes onto offer a half-decent 6400 ISO option which is arguably as good as the others at around 1600 ISO.

So the E-620 exhibits greater noise than its rivals here as you might expect for a camera with a smaller sensor area. But this new Olympus does hold-up well with a sensible approach to noise reduction and processing which retains detail and natural-looking results up to the highest sensitivities. Indeed while the Canon EOS 450D / XSi delivers smoother results out-of-the-camera, the resulting softness and chroma artefacts at higher sensitivities would lead many to prefer the default output from the Olympus.
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