Let's be clear, the ONLY thing about E-M1 that matters is...

Started 8 months ago | Discussions thread
marike6
Senior MemberPosts: 5,070Gear list
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Sensors are improving for both formats...
In reply to TrapperJohn, 8 months ago

TrapperJohn wrote:

At the low to mid ISO's, up to 3200, I don't see much difference between the EM5, the 5Dxxx the D800, 1Dx or Dx, at least by DPR's comparitive images. That's not true under all situations, the dpr image is a limited one, but the hard fact is: years ago, 5D vs E1 in the dpr images showed a big difference in IQ, whereas EM5 vs contemporary FF today using the same scene doesn't show much if any difference. Don't take my word for it - go look for yourself.

Using a relatively flat studio scene in artificial light as a comparison tool is fine for looking at acutance, high ISO noise, etc, but it doesn't even begin to tell the whole story.

Many like to talk about DxOMark tests on these forums, for high ISO, a camera like the D800 scores approximately 2900 ISO and the EM-5 around 800 ISO, so there is a substantial difference in low-light sensitivity. Not to mention that at base ISO 100 of the D800, files are clean and completely free of noise anywhere, shadows included.

But to take the Studio Scene discussion a bit farther, a side-by-side from the Olympus XZ-1 and the Olympus EM-5 at base ISO may look similar but nobody who has used both cameras will tell you that the two cameras have similar IQ. They do not. And as good as the EM-5 is, it does not have similar IQ to the D800. It's competitive to some of the APS-C offerings but does not fare well against the FFs.

I have a D800, a GH2, and I had an E-PL5 a few months ago (the closest you can get to an EM-5 without actually buying an EM-5), and I can tell you that aside from the obvious difference in resolution between the 36 mp D800 and the 16 mp Olympus (and the options for cropping 36 mp provides), the D800 is dramatically cleaner at every ISO. The DR is also better and colors are more true with the D800 (not a fan of the extremely warm color bias of the Olympus files but some like it).

DOF control, and isolating subjects is also significantly easier with the Nikon. And one reason I almost never use the 14-42 kit on the GH2 is that DOF is extremely deep with that lens and images can look flat if you are not careful. Lenses like the 20 f/1.7 or 25 f/1.4, two of my favorites, are almost a requirement for the kinds of images I enjoy.  Whereas on the D800 even a not-so-fast lens like my 70-200 f/4 VR provides terrific subject-to-background separation.

Anyway, sensors of all formats are improving at an equal pace, so I'm not sure you can say "the differences in IQ are not as obvious as they once were".

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Nikon Coolpix P330 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 Nikon D800 Fujifilm X-E1 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH +7 more
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