EM5: RAW vs. JPG (issues)

Started Mar 19, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Timur Born
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EM5: RAW vs. JPG (issues)
Mar 19, 2012

Even though the pixel pitch of the E-M5 should correspond to the 24 mp Sony NEX-7 sensor its RAW output here on DPR resembles the output of the 16 mp NEX-5 sensor, which is quite a feat.

Unfortunately the good RAW performance does not seem to translate to JPG quality at higher ISO settings. For some this may seem academic, but for those wanting to shoot moving kids and people in dim indoor light without constant use of a flash it is vital.

Judging from the images here on DPR and from the measurement shots at Chip.de it seems that the E-M5's JPG engine smears - or rather frays - detail, including distinct straight lines. Furthermore JPGs considerably lose saturation, turning some shadow colors to grey, even though there is plenty of color information left in the RAW.

It all begins to visibly fall apart at around ISO 1600 with both quirks/issues!

I posted these in another thread, but feel that they deserve their own discussion (especially since the other thread's name was really academic). So sorry for the double-post.

ISO 3200 (noise reduction off/minimum according to Chip.de), ISO 1600 doesn't look much better.

ISO 6400 (no idea what noise-reduction DPR uses):

Is this noise-reduction, compression artifacts or something else? From Robin Wong's blog review I noticed that the E-M5 tends to produce reticulation noise patterns with noise-reduction turned off and leaves some odd speckles with low noise-reduction settings. So I tend to blame NR, but others may have a better idea?!

Sony Alpha NEX-5 Sony Alpha NEX-7
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