The one thing that concerns me about the E-M1

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Kwick1
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The one thing that concerns me about the E-M1
11 months ago

No, it's not video (I don't care about that at all)

It's just the basic photo quality.

I see the test shots, but have yet to see a low ISO photo that blows me away with the way it renders the scene, dynamic range, etc.

I can obviously see the acuity due to the lack of AA, I can see the high ISO samples (not anything life-changing, by the way), but I'm looking for the way the highlights roll off, the subtlety of tones, the graceful way it handles colors.

I'm not saying that it can't do it, it's just that I haven't seen any (especially since 90% of the photos out there were all taken at the same press event on a cloudy day).

Many of the samples I've seen have weird sharpening artifacts (despite being OOC JPGs) and blotchy colors.

We'll see in 3 weeks, I suppose, but it has me concerned.

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Florida Nature Photographer
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Re: The one thing that concerns me about the E-M1
In reply to Kwick1, 11 months ago

This review  will address your concerns.

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Florida

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Kwick1
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Re: The one thing that concerns me about the E-M1
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, 11 months ago

Thanks, yes, I've read both parts of Robin's review, along with every other review that I can find.

The page you linked to shows the HIGH ISO capabilities.  I'm specifically talking about low ISO things like landscapes, portraits, etc.  I'm a fine art photographer, so those are near and dear to me, more so than high ISO or macros.

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daddyo
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Seems like a very odd comment...
In reply to Kwick1, 11 months ago

Your comment seem odd, given the style of photography you shoot???

But regardless, there are plenty of good low ISO samples on line to look at -- Robin Wong and Ming Thein are just two photographers whose reviews come to mind.

God Bless,

Greg

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Florida Nature Photographer
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Re: The one thing that concerns me about the E-M1
In reply to Kwick1, 11 months ago

Kwick1 wrote:

Thanks, yes, I've read both parts of Robin's review, along with every other review that I can find.

The page you linked to shows the HIGH ISO capabilities. I'm specifically talking about low ISO things

As your post clearly says. Sorry I misread it.

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Kwick1
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Re: Seems like a very odd comment...
In reply to daddyo, 11 months ago

Sorry, yes, if you look at the site in my siggnature, you'll see that's all film work and low-fi.  I have another site with more traditional work.

I've studied both Robin and Ming's reviews extensively...all parts.  Ming only posted small samples (approx. 1000px) on flickr.  Robin hasn't posted anything like what I'm looking for.

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Godfrey
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Re: The one thing that concerns me about the E-M1
In reply to Kwick1, 11 months ago

It's very early yet to evaluate what the sensor is capable of, I wouldn't worry too much. Remember that no matter whose work you're looking at, they're either all in-camera JPEGs or they're quickly processed raw files using Olympus Viewer. What you're seeing, then, is mostly some Olympus engineering team's notion of what is the best rendering ... which, while it might be fine 80% of the time, is rarely very satisfying to me.

Once other image processing tools are available (Lightroom, ACR, Phase One, Iridient, etc) a great deal more diversity will be apparent. And then the photographer learning curve will also weigh in ... I can get great results with LR on many cameras, but I haven't a clue how to get what Iwant out of Olympus Viewer.

I have no worries that the sensor isn't capable enough for my needs/desires. My order is in, and I figure, like with any of my cameras, it will take me a couple months of studied work (once LR is available to process its files) to learn how to exploit what the sensor is capable of.

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cwathington
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Re: The one thing that concerns me about the E-M1
In reply to Kwick1, 11 months ago

Did you check out this Flickr gallery? Closest I've seen to what you're looking for...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/terakopian/sets/72157635476408572/

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ulfie
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Upgrade is not perfection.
In reply to cwathington, 11 months ago

Perhaps photogs have come to expect TOO MUCH from gear upgrades.  Digital photography technology is still evolving.  It ain't perfect yet in IQ, resolution, dynamic range, etc.  Film never got there either.  So, we settled for "good enough" and lived with it.  Even enjoyed it.  As Suzuki-roshi taught, "Seek perfection in imperfection."

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Kwick1
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Re: Upgrade is not perfection.
In reply to ulfie, 11 months ago

ulfie wrote:

Perhaps photogs have come to expect TOO MUCH from gear upgrades. Digital photography technology is still evolving. It ain't perfect yet in IQ, resolution, dynamic range, etc. Film never got there either. So, we settled for "good enough" and lived with it. Even enjoyed it. As Suzuki-roshi taught, "Seek perfection in imperfection."

Yes, I'm not looking for perfection, especially in what is essentially a "throw away" digital camera with a very finite life.

And yes, I embrace the wabi sabi aesthetic (as my photos show in the sig link)

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Anfy
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Kwick,
In reply to Kwick1, 11 months ago

Kwick1 wrote:

No, it's not video (I don't care about that at all)

It's just the basic photo quality.

I see the test shots, but have yet to see a low ISO photo that blows me away with the way it renders the scene, dynamic range, etc.

I can obviously see the acuity due to the lack of AA, I can see the high ISO samples (not anything life-changing, by the way), but I'm looking for the way the highlights roll off, the subtlety of tones, the graceful way it handles colors.

I'm not saying that it can't do it, it's just that I haven't seen any (especially since 90% of the photos out there were all taken at the same press event on a cloudy day).

Many of the samples I've seen have weird sharpening artifacts (despite being OOC JPGs) and blotchy colors.

We'll see in 3 weeks, I suppose, but it has me concerned.

I was a bit skeptical on real improvements of E-M1 over other m4/3 for IQ, and in fact I think in the ISO 200-3200 range there's little more room that, say, an E-M5: but then I saw the ISO 100 (A.K.A. LOW) on Imaging Resource Comparometer (http://www.imaging-resource.com/IMCOMP/COMPS01.HTM): the difference with other ISO is there, see for instance the difficult red leafed fabric on the left side of the image. It is a great improvement if you plan to shoot at that speed.

Hope this helps.

Ciao!

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Anfy
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Really...
In reply to Kwick1, 11 months ago

Kwick1 wrote:

Sorry, yes, if you look at the site in my siggnature, you'll see that's all film work and low-fi. I have another site with more traditional work.

I've studied both Robin and Ming's reviews extensively...all parts. Ming only posted small samples (approx. 1000px) on flickr. Robin hasn't posted anything like what I'm looking for.

No need for excuses: I really appreciate, at the contrary of the other forumer, your work!

Ciao!

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Skeeterbytes
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Re: The one thing that concerns me about the E-M1
In reply to Kwick1, 11 months ago

Lacking RAW processing codecs and profiles it's not possible to evaluate the ultimate E-M1 picture quality. They should at the very least be modestly better than E-P5 images due to the new Truepic VII and rumored AA filter removal. For now, it's safer to pixel peep E-P5 images and extrapolate a slight improvement over those. They will not dramatically differ, so if that's your goal then this is unlikely to be your next camera.

Cheers,

Rick

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ulfie
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Re: Kwick,
In reply to Anfy, 11 months ago

Good point, but perhaps it's only a red-channel thing.  I'm not techie geek, just guessing.

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Loryh
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I second that; image quality will be great, I'm sure
In reply to Godfrey, 11 months ago

Hi there;

I remember when the early EM-5 preview photos were out, and even the first photos sent in by the folks that got the early EM-5 cameras; I saw nothing that made me want to move from my E-5.

However, the photos that were coming in started getting better and better, and not only did I buy the EM-5, but I ended up selling my E-5 and never looked back, and I shoot a lot of landscapes so that is what was most important to me.

I trust Olympus to deliver on their promise of a great camera, and until there are raw conversions programs available, I don't expect to see earth shaking results.

Having said that, though, I am seeing some really beautiful images, though not landscapes yet...

regards,

Lory

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cosmonaut
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Re: The one thing that concerns me about the E-M1
In reply to Kwick1, 11 months ago

You have to remember that the shots you are looking at are not with the final firmware. This seems to be the case with many new cameras coming out. I wouldn't worry. Olympus has never released a camera without some type of IQ improvement. Even if its slight. I still wouldn't expect full frame quality.

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Kwick1
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Re: The one thing that concerns me about the E-M1
In reply to cwathington, 11 months ago

cwathington wrote:

Did you check out this Flickr gallery? Closest I've seen to what you're looking for...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/terakopian/sets/72157635476408572/

Thanks, those are nice.  I'm noticing everyone at that press event is only posting 1024px photos.  I'm wondering if that was one of the conditions they were told to stick to.

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Olymore
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Re: The one thing that concerns me about the E-M1
In reply to Kwick1, 11 months ago

Only one thing ? You're obviously not trying hard enough.
I'm sure others will come to your aid over the coming weeks.

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jhinkey
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Re: The one thing that concerns me about the E-M1
In reply to Kwick1, 11 months ago

The real test is comparison of RAW files that have the highlights brought back and the shadows lifted.

Pulling back highlights and lifting shadows really reveals a sensor's characteristics and is one reason I love my D800 as the NEF files are very very malleable, even at higher ISOs.

My GH-2 is just fine at higher ISOs, until I start trying to bring back highlights and lift shadows using the RW2 files - then they tend to fall apart due to noise, color cast, banding, etc.

We will have to wait for a RAW converter that supports the EM1 (and GX7) to really evaluate these new cameras/sensors.

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knickerhawk
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Don't get your hopes up
In reply to Kwick1, 11 months ago

Kwick1 wrote:

No, it's not video (I don't care about that at all)

It's just the basic photo quality.

I see the test shots, but have yet to see a low ISO photo that blows me away with the way it renders the scene, dynamic range, etc.

Relative to what? I don't think Oly is claiming to break in laws of physics with this body and since the EM-5 was already knocking on the door of ideal SNR for this sensor size, I wouldn't be getting my hopes up for meaningful (i.e., obviously visible at normal web viewing) improvements in what you're seeing.

It seems like with every new camera there's this bi-polar manic/depressive reaction that goes on in these forums about the image quality. "Oh my God! It's SO much better than X camera." Followed by: "Oh my God! You'd need a microscope to see any improvements over X camera." Rinse and repeat...

I can obviously see the acuity due to the lack of AA, I can see the high ISO samples (not anything life-changing, by the way), but I'm looking for the way the highlights roll off, the subtlety of tones, the graceful way it handles colors.

Ironically, I'm not seeing anything to get excited about with the purported better acuity due to removal of the AA filter. The resolution chart shot at IR shows very little difference when compared to the EM-5 and what's there looks unfavorable to the EM-1 in the form of increased aliasing. It kind of reminds me of the debates in the Nikon forum about the D800E vs the D800. Yeah, under ideal conditions (great lens and tripod mounted), you'll see a difference. For most real world applications though, the loss of the AA filter doesn't provide much to get excited about relative to a comparable camera with an already light AA filter.

The stuff about tones and colors is another opportunity for depression and disappointment if you really expect much of an improvement relative to the EM-5. (I'm assuming here we're talking about RAW and not JPEGs). The good news is that your processing is the real difference maker here anyway.

I'm not saying that it can't do it, it's just that I haven't seen any (especially since 90% of the photos out there were all taken at the same press event on a cloudy day).

You and I both will be pleasantly surprised if there's much of a visible improvement at low ISOs relative to the current generation of Oly cameras. On the other hand, let's not forget that the IQ we're going up against is already really quite high. Especially at low ISOs, the camera probably isn't the limiting factor. Let's not forget that better ergonomics, improved IBIS, AF enhancements and the fantastic looking new lens ARE worth getting excited about.

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