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Just Posted: Olympus OM-D E-M5 test samples

By dpreview staff on Mar 16, 2012 at 20:25 GMT
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Just published: studio test samples from the Olympus OM-D E-M5. We've just received a production-standard E-M5 so have rushed it into the studio to shoot our standard test scene. These shots have been added to our preview, but can also be accessed from other camera reviews or from the standalone comparison tool. Have a look to see how it stacks up against its rivals, or download the Raw files to subject them to your favored workflow.

Our early testing suggests the E-M5 is around 1/3EV less sensitive at each ISO setting than the standard would suggest it should be.

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Comments

Total comments: 458
12
agray88
By agray88 (Apr 7, 2012)

Any idea when the full review will be complete? Anxiously waiting here!

0 upvotes
Mtsuoka
By Mtsuoka (Mar 29, 2012)

it's m43 but not really pocketable.. and looks like some cheapo 70's film SLR on ebay...and expensive

what is the point of this??

0 upvotes
ericimbs
By ericimbs (Mar 30, 2012)

to take photos.

6 upvotes
The Silver Fox
By The Silver Fox (Mar 30, 2012)

The appeal of m4/3 is that its bodies and lenses are both smaller and lighter than DSLR's. There has never been a promise that they be pocketable (though quite a few are when coupled w/ an appropriate lens). As for expensive, well, given the feature set of the E-M5, the cost is entirely reasonable. You can always step down in terms of features and abilities to any number of other offerings in the m4/3 line.

1 upvote
Sergey Borachev
By Sergey Borachev (Apr 2, 2012)

The point is simple, it is spearheading the movement to replace DSLRs, which could be just specialised tools in a few more years. This is a game changer, and the first of many more cameras that are small but have serious features and quality that will end the Stone Age camera design of flapping mirrors. This will mean a new world order in cameras in future. As sensors and EVFs continue to improve in the coming years, it may become clearer. The days of DSLRs are numbered.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
threeOh
By threeOh (Apr 24, 2012)

It's already been delegated to a very specialized tool. What hasn't changed are the buyers that will pay for a "less than a full frame" dslr, as they consider themselves specialists.

0 upvotes
OneGuy
By OneGuy (Mar 26, 2012)

Oly E-M5 is also a cam of opportunity to expand the m4/3 system.

Guessing the E-M5 will sell well, other m4/3 camera approaches could be considered. It is always easier to offer new styles in an up-market.

So I think it's time for a dual-pancake lens. Instead of zooming (and expecting a constant optical quality throughout da range), have one switchable lens with, say, 40 and 80 mm equivalent. The idea is to offer superior optical quality albeit with just two and fixed focal lengths.

Remote EVF. The idea is to have a small EVF close to your eye but then have both hands free to freely point to where you may get the best framing.

2 upvotes
historianx
By historianx (Mar 25, 2012)

Recently I was lucky enough to be at my local cam store when the O rep showed up with a black demo EM5, grip, 12-50 KL, and battery holder. We could look thru the EVF, but the main view screen was disabled. Because the KL doesnt interest me, we threw on two prime lenses, the 12 F2 and 45 F1.8, and I have to tell you it felt so ergonomically correct and comfortable, horiz and vert (yes the grip has a vert shutter button) that, with the publication of these test results, had me sold right there.--except I want a silver one. Those two silver primes just looked odd on a black body. And the "pentaprism" bulge people whine about looks a lot better in person than here on DPR. O may have a winner here--now if they can just bone up on Marketing 101 and get that part of their act togetner... also has a very robust BQ to it, clearly O took a cue from the E-3/5 here.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
boho
By boho (Mar 22, 2012)

you don't really need a image stabilization for wide-angles. do you?

"coroander
By coroander (2 days ago)

I should add that the faster primes available for this system (particularly at normal and wide-angle) combined with an image stabilisation system that works with these primes, means that in many situations you can use much lower ISO settings than with an APS-C body from Sony or Nikon or Canon. "

1 upvote
Yaroha
By Yaroha (Mar 22, 2012)

It is better to use image stabilization in low light conditions with low shutter speed without increasing ISO numbers thus having more detail in picture even with wide-angles lenses.

0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Mar 22, 2012)

Think of it this way: landscape photographers use wide angle lenses, don't they? And they use tripods with those wide angle lenses, don't they? And isn't a tripod just another form of image stabilization?

Anything that can give you a less shaky image will help you maximize the sharpness potential of any lens you use.

4 upvotes
Yaroha
By Yaroha (Mar 22, 2012)

Agree

0 upvotes
Gaz81
By Gaz81 (Mar 20, 2012)

Here is a link to the user manual, might be of some interest

http://olympusamerica.com/files/oima_cckb/E-M5_Instruction_Manual_EN.pdf

4 upvotes
filcon
By filcon (Mar 19, 2012)

I must admit, that when I first saw the quality of the jpeg out of this new baby, I was blowen away by the way the noise has been dealt with on this 43 sensor...well done Olympus! However, on closer inspection, the noise fix comes at a price of blurring fine detail. I would feel happy printing a reasonably large print up to 3200 and at 6400 would have to take the print size down.

I see that some are intent on selling their APS-C cameras and going all the way with the E-M5!! That would be a retrograde step of throwing the baby out with the bathwater!! I compared the 3200 jpeg file download from both the E-M5 and the D7000, and the noise was better in the E-M5 than the Nikon, but the detail due to blurring was not up to scratch in the E-M5 file. Note, the D7000 file was not a real issue with noise, it just had a more film like look to it. Be carefull before you make any rash moves and turn a corner you can't retreat from.

Spoken by an old Olympus dog from way back. Love the E-M5

1 upvote
coroander
By coroander (Mar 20, 2012)

The reason for dropping APS-C cameras in favour of the E-M5 isn't to get the best sensor for the first half of 2012, but to get a camera that has a decent sensor, that's 1/2 the size and weight; a camera with nice fast primes (really unavailable for APS-C), a camera that is weather sealed, and a camera with a good flash system. That is, a much smaller camera with few limitations and huge advantages in portability.

As a complete system, the E-M5 looks amazing. It's not just the sensor.

Comment edited 5 times, last edit 8 minutes after posting
11 upvotes
coroander
By coroander (Mar 20, 2012)

I should add that the faster primes available for this system (particularly at normal and wide-angle) combined with an image stabilisation system that works with these primes, means that in many situations you can use much lower ISO settings than with an APS-C body from Sony or Nikon or Canon. You can't compare ISO 6400 with ISO 6400 when one camera has faster lenses and image stabilisation and draw any sort of conclusion about which is best for "most" situations.

Comment edited 6 times, last edit 9 minutes after posting
12 upvotes
J2Gphoto
By J2Gphoto (Mar 20, 2012)

In no way am I trying to say the E-M5 is better. But compare it to the new D800 images up to 6400, hell even 12,800 and tell me that is not impressive for a $999 m 4/3 compared to a $2500 FF for many of us this is a perfect affordable option. I rarely went over 1600 ISO on my E-5. To have usable 6400 is more than I could ever ask for, and the colors it maintains even next to the D800 makes me look forward to owning this camera.

5 upvotes
filcon
By filcon (Mar 20, 2012)

All of those comments are fine as long as you are not concerned about high ISO fine detail smudging. The E-M5 just doesn't stand up on this one point! I love the portability of the Oly and the great choice of Zuiko glass. Also having used optical view finders and good EVF's, I still prefer the latter!

Keep in mind that whatever can be done with a 43 sensor can also be done with an APS-C sensor, only better! I know that's controversial but it is fact due to physical size. As I have previously said, the Nikon method involves sacrificing a little noise that is film like for fine detail. Also the two major producers default their cameras with less sharpening than you see on the E-M5 which means they have more room to move in post production.

Don't get me wrong, Oly have done a great job with this new offering and they need to be commended for it, however they will always remain on a knife edge while competing with larger sensors. I Just hope Oly don't sell off the camera division.

1 upvote
coroander
By coroander (Mar 21, 2012)

Number of lenses faster than f2.8 for APS-C and M43 cameras*:

Canon: 0

Nikon: 1 (52mm equiv. f1.8) NOT Image Stabilized

Sony NEX: 1 (75mm equiv f1.8) Image Stabilized

M4/3: 7 (24mm equiv f2.0, 35mm equiv 0.95, 40mm equiv f1.7, 50mm equiv f1.4, 50mm equiv f0.95, 90mm equiv f1.8, 150mm equiv f1.7) All lenses stabilised using IBIS.

It's not necessary to use as high ISO with fast, image stabilised systems. Cameras are not just sensors.

* excludes use of heavier, bulkier full frame lenses (approx. 4 times the volume (or more) of M43s lenses) Note that even resorting to full frame lenses will not find a 24mm equiv f2.0 or faster for your APS-C camera.

Comment edited 8 times, last edit 14 minutes after posting
8 upvotes
J2Gphoto
By J2Gphoto (Mar 21, 2012)

I must have biased Oly eyes because I dragged that little box all over that photo with the D7000 in the next window and I did not see more blurring in the E-M5. I seen less noise and truer color, and more detail. Take it up to 6400 and drag it over the print. You can still clearly read the E-M5. The blacks still look black and the reds still look red. Blue is blue. I'll take the E-M5 any day.

0 upvotes
DarkShift
By DarkShift (Mar 21, 2012)

"All of those comments are fine as long as you are not concerned about high ISO fine detail smudging."

You should NOT compare the JPEGs to judge details.

Look at the raw files. Different story, and OM-D does very well against APS-C cameras. Better chroma noise than NEX-5N at 3200ISO.

0 upvotes
david ngeow
By david ngeow (Mar 22, 2012)

i dont really understand why ppl like to compare for a tiny bit of thing. i believe that no camera can win in every aspect. there is always some reason for choosing a camera and that's already make it a winner.

I've seen many ppl boosting about his camera & lenses because of brand (mainly canon & nikon) but came out with crappy pictures. How about the purpose of your camera? What you use it for and what you want in a camera? For the company pov, what is the market needs? A huge DSLR? guess not.

Im totally ignorant in technical aspect and i dont think that little blur on detail or how clean pic from other camera matter much as i own an Olympus E500 with twin kits lens and a 14-54. I live through the noise and blur details and i learned to value the camera and the photographer skills more than "omg there is some noise". Im not a pro photogs but at least im capable to made a nikon user with his proud lens follow me leeching angle & composition. So system or skills matter?

Regards David

0 upvotes
compositor20
By compositor20 (Mar 19, 2012)

After opening in raw therapee 4 I can say:

It is better than what is expected from this sensor size:

Iso 25600 from nikon d4 is slightly worse in DR than iso 6400 of OM-D (but with higher color saturation).

Nex5N is slightly ahead at iso 6400 but with less DR (almost equal shadows in OM-D but the OM-D has noticeable more highlight headroom) it has a little more color saturation too.

At base iso it has much better DR performance, and color saturation than Panasonic GX1 both in the shadows and in the highlights (at high iso its more or less a stop of difference adding shadows and highlights so iso 3200 in gx1 is like 6400 in OM-D).

It has +- the same DR as Canon 1D Mark IV at base iso.

It has the same shadow noise as panasonic gh-2 but with just a little better midtones and with much more headroom in highlights (half a stop at least)

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
veroman
By veroman (Mar 19, 2012)

I can't help but wonder why anybody thinks they can judge a camera's real-world performance by viewing images ... 100% or otherwise ... on the web. When all is said and done, the OM-D E-M5 is a somewhat better M4:3 camera than its predecessors,but not by much, I'm afraid.

Truth is, it's highly doubtful anyone will see real, palpable differences between this new camera and the E-P3 or E-P2 for that matter when printed to even large sizes.

No, what the OM-D is all about ... as with so many products these days ... is its body design, and I happen to like it ... being an old guy from the film era. Underneath the skin, though, it's yet another M4:3 camera ... and apparently a good one. But it's no Nikon D7000/Pentax K-5/Canon 5D beater. How could it be?

2 upvotes
deep7
By deep7 (Mar 19, 2012)

I don't think I can judge many aspects of a camera's real world performance by viewing quality photos, taken under carefully controlled conditions - I know I can! Especially when I have both jpeg and raw files to play with.

You may not see much difference with large prints in many cases but, when detail, dynamic range or poor light are a factor and when the photographer has the skills and lens to get the most out of a situation, you most certainly will. The question is "is that difference enough for you?". For me, well let's just say I'm saving my pennies.

4 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (Mar 20, 2012)

Don't forget about handling and the lens you use with the camera. Your result may not be the same as DPR's because your shooting style is different.

0 upvotes
rusticus
By rusticus (Mar 29, 2012)

>I should add that the faster primes available for this system (particularly at normal and wide-angle) combined with an image stabilisation system that works with these primes, means that in many situations you can use much lower ISO settings than with an APS-C body from Sony or Nikon or Canon. You can't compare ISO 6400 with ISO 6400 when one camera has faster lenses and image stabilisation and draw any sort of conclusion about which is best for "most" situations.<

No - Buy the APS-C Pentax K-5
it is clearly better

1 upvote
ybizzle
By ybizzle (Mar 19, 2012)

There is nothing more I love than a camera with the latest tech but with the retro looks of yesterday (hence why I bought both the Fuji X10 and X100 cameras). That said, I cannot justify purchasing this camera over say the X100 or the X-Pro 1 mainly due to sensor size and I personally prefer Fuji's take on the retro looks. However, the image quality from the camera is indeed quite good so for those wanting a m4/3 cam, you can't go wrong with this beast.

3 upvotes
Pete_Murrell
By Pete_Murrell (Mar 21, 2012)

Curious...can the other camera companies offerings in m4/3 take Oly's superior lenses?

0 upvotes
colorfotos
By colorfotos (Mar 22, 2012)

Yes, Panasonic is the only other company that makes micro four thirds cameras as of now. Though Panasonic cameras would work with Olympus lenses perfectly fine, you won't get image stabilization with these lenses as Panasonic cameras do not have imager based IS and, perhaps, slower auto focus than what you get with Olympus OM-D / EP3.

0 upvotes
Rubenski
By Rubenski (Mar 19, 2012)

Techie talk doesn't matter to most buyers, it's a cool machine with great specs and I'm sure it's going to produce great photos if used properly and you'll have some big fun at the same too!

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 29 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
James70094
By James70094 (Mar 19, 2012)

I love all the people posting that this is the same sensor as the GX1 or even the GH2. The GH2 sensor is a bit oversized and the E-M5 sensor is not. That's a known fact at this point. The E-M5 sensor also has a different amount of sensor sites and pixel count that both those sensors. That means it physically can not be the same sensor as the GX1 or the GH2. Some other sites already have confirmation that it is not.

As the for the performance. It's a major leap forward for Olympus. I only care abot comparing it to my current cameras. I don't care how it stacks up to another system because I won't be changing anytime soon. And the RAW results put this camera on par with the NEX5n. To get a real feel for it, several of us got together, printed out the test images. We marked the back of the images with a sticker containing which camera and setting was used. Then we took turns picking out the best and laying the images in order on the table. That produced some startling rtesults.

5 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Mar 19, 2012)

I haven't seen confirmation that it's not the GX1 sensor, just Olympus saying that they won't confirm who makes the sensor.

0 upvotes
James70094
By James70094 (Mar 19, 2012)

R Butler, how can they be the same? They are physically different and have a different number of photosites and pixels. Saying they are the same is like saying a 6 cylinder engine is the same as a 4 cylinder engine. The GX1 and E-M5 sensors are physically different. It's physically impossible for them to be the same.

1 upvote
SamTruax
By SamTruax (Mar 19, 2012)

We can't be certain yet that they are different.
Mazda gets more horsepower out of their little engines than Ford does out of the very same engine. Maybe Olympus is modifying the Panny sensor...or maybe it is completely new. I don't think there is anything out there yet that indicates one way or the other with complete certainty.

0 upvotes
Louis_Dobson
By Louis_Dobson (Mar 19, 2012)

James, no camera uses the whole sensor. A different number of pixels in different applications is normal.

I have my fingers crossed it is not the GX1 sensor.

0 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (Mar 20, 2012)

He's not referring to the effective pixel count, but the total number of photo detectors on the sensor. E-M5 has 16.9 MP, while GX1 has 16.6 MP. Since the sensor size is the same, the E-M5 should have a slightly smaller pixel pitch. Could it really be the same sensor?

0 upvotes
rscott
By rscott (Mar 22, 2012)

When I asked the Olympus rep who made the sensor, all he was allowed to say was "Not Panasonic".

0 upvotes
rochesch
By rochesch (Mar 19, 2012)

It would be nice if people would look at the numbers. The E-M5 has the same sensor as the GH2, not the GX1. The GH2 sensor is slightly bigger. The Olympus processor has increased the dynamic range by one stop according to other web sites (check 43rumors.com). I'll take that and buy it!

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Mar 19, 2012)

Are you sure about that?

http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/richard/photos/1730597/sensors

3 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Mar 19, 2012)

This whole comment board has lost it's collective mind. lol. I'm reading people selling their D7000s, comparing the OM-D to the X-Pro1, 5D Mk II and 645D!!! Wow. It's a decent body, but when the DXOMark ratings come out, you'll see that like the GX1, whose sensor it shares, it has limited DR, and color depth. Over-sharpened JPEGs are meaningless, RAW is what you need to look at. And compared to the best APS-C, it's not as good in low-light and has poor DR. Full-frame like the 5D and D800, forget it. I shoot m43, and love it. But with these larger sensor bodies, it's absolutely no contest. In real world images you'll see the difference in performance between a top APS-C or FF and the OM-D.

I get that you like this body as fans, but dropping your D7000s and K-5? You are in for a real shock when real images come back. Is it a nicely specified camera that is "good enough"? That's a different story. Is it better than the best of other formats? No way.

3 upvotes
mister_roboto
By mister_roboto (Mar 19, 2012)

Do you just troll µ4/3 news postings all day?

3 upvotes
James70094
By James70094 (Mar 19, 2012)

Really? I have a 30x20 poster on my wall taken with a E-P1 that looks great. Several people asked me where I bought it. That's the only real world result I care about.

7 upvotes
quangzizi
By quangzizi (Mar 19, 2012)

Too insecure about his statement that he has to say again and again that he shoots MFT. Btw, if I want to seel my 5D Mark II for this, it is my choice right? It's not always about sensor performance that dictates what I should carry around.

5 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Mar 19, 2012)

People might be going a little overboard with the image comparisons. I just like m4/3 because I like a lighter, more compact ILC alternative to my 60D and 5D, while still delivering good image quality. And it's nice to know that the image quality of the E-M5 really isn't too far off from my 60D and 5D. In the real world, I think all these cameras are "good enough" for all but the worst pixel peepers.

4 upvotes
DarkShift
By DarkShift (Mar 19, 2012)

I recommend you open RawTherapee yourself and take a look at these OM-D raw images vs. competition, and you might be surprised.

High ISO noise is maybe one stop behind 5D mkII but that's not a surprise given the FF sensor.

Much better in chroma noise than NEX-5N, which looks quite awfull at 3200 ISO with large blobs that are not easy to clean. Was that touted as the IQ king of mirrorless cameras by many?

Nikon D7000, not much difference at ISO3200. OM-D seems to have more luminance noise, but less chroma noise.

What was "shock" to me was quality of images of last generation EPL-2 paired with a good prime lens, and exposed properly.

No question that the m4/3 has a positive future as the sensor tech gets better.

6 upvotes
dko22
By dko22 (Mar 19, 2012)

Looking at RAW samples in almost every relevant area, concentrating on the shadows, we're talking here about 1/2 a stop worse than the 5d2 and 1 stop worse than the D700. The D4 adds just about another stop. I cannot find any APS-C that is superior at 3200 (which is the highest I would normally need to shoot) and barely so at 6400 ISO. I am not making any allowance for possible incorrect ISO calibration which is yet tbd.

Of course this is purely looking at high ISO noise and detail. The samples in themselves show nothing about dynamic range and other attributes. Still, I am quietly confident that this is a better sensor overall than the GH2 which, high ISO apart, is pretty decent and flexible with careful exposure.

2 upvotes
Nerdybeng
By Nerdybeng (Mar 19, 2012)

Not sure if someone else has already posted this, but here's OM-D EM-5 in real live action:
http://robinwong.blogspot.com/

Comment edited 48 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Antony John
By Antony John (Mar 19, 2012)

Yup, it's been mentioned.
Quite complimentary.

0 upvotes
cesaregal
By cesaregal (Mar 19, 2012)

The EM-5 / 45mm F1.8 portrait kit is fantastic.

3 upvotes
jomtominium
By jomtominium (Mar 19, 2012)

Reading all these posts got me thinking about why I enjoy photography and it comes down to the moment.... capturing a moment in time... wow...… and it's documented for ever, for family, for future generations, for history to look back at. I really don't care about pixels, or whether iso's are what they say they are, or whatever.
what I want is a camera that I can carry around with me, that gives me decent enough quality pictures, is responsive when it needs to be, that can be used in all weather conditions and that I can feel confident in delivering the results I demand of it.
I hope the Olympus lives up to this and that it will become one of the iconic cameras for those of us who enjoy the art of photography as was the OM1 in it's day.

12 upvotes
Antony John
By Antony John (Mar 19, 2012)

Fully agree. it comes down to 'capturing the moment' - whether for personal or more widespread viewing that are different target audiences.
How many have destroyed old family photographs because the quality of the technology was not up to today's technology?
Repainted the Mona Lisa because the colours were not accurate and the brush stokes not fine enough (comparison to more MP)?

3 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Mar 19, 2012)

If all you need is something for the Kodak moment, grab a P&S made by the ill-fated Rochester firm, while supplies last, or one made by its survivors. There are water-proof and shock-proof versions too. Weather-sealed is not quite the same thing.

Most old family photos get dumped or destroyed, not because of the technology, but because no one labeled them or because no one remembers (or cares to remember) the images therein. More pictures get taken every day than in all of world history up to about 1930, without that adding a shred to anyone's historical merit or immortality. Fewer and simpler pictures might be an improvement! Handwritten correspondence, which has almost disappeared, was arguably a more memorable and therefore superior record of people.

1 upvote
Antony John
By Antony John (Mar 19, 2012)

@ CY,

Although I agree with most of what you are saying i have family pictures that go back to the second world war. I know who the family members in the pictures are (some are group pictures) and so do my childeren.
Depends on who wants to remember or accept their heredity.

0 upvotes
cesaregal
By cesaregal (Mar 19, 2012)

You're right but consider we are in a transitory period with quick technical improvements. We all learn discussing and posting our good or bad opinions. Consider that recent high ISO results improvements allow us photograph in all light conditions.
Meanwhile we all do what you do : capture moments in time.

0 upvotes
Antony John
By Antony John (Mar 19, 2012)

My personal prognosis:
Comparing the E-M5 with the D300S (I have a D90 so closest equivalent), D7000 - the D90 upgrade - and the Nex 5N (because it was there as default).
In terms of ISO 6400 Raw, the 5N and the D7000 are virtually identical (hardly surprising) and better than the E-M5 which in turn is better than the D300S.
Reverting to the ISO 6400 JPEGS, the E-M5 betters the 5N followed by the D7000 and lastly the D300S.
Lens edge sharpness, the E-M5 wins here.
Surprisingly the 'dark current' (black) of the E-M5 also wins the award in this comparison (presumably better A/D converter noise).
So, if one is willing to play around with RAW files then the 5N and D7000 will probably return the best results.
However, if one wants direct JPEG output with no PP, the E-M5 wins the day.
Horses for courses really.
One of course has to consider the photographer's needs in respect of other facilities (ergonomics, size, system etc) - which will determine the perceived quality for any individual.

1 upvote
Bluetrain048
By Bluetrain048 (Mar 19, 2012)

I want to know what the shadow noise is like in low ISO files, for example when pushed a couple of stops. My D7000 is very good at this, but I am itching to get rid of all the weight.

I think I will buy this.

0 upvotes
Bilgy_no1
By Bilgy_no1 (Mar 19, 2012)

Check out this thread at the m4/3 forum on DPR. It's a comparison between the 5D mkII and the E-M5, both pushed several stops from a RAW file in a shadow area (left of the Bailey's bottle in the studio scene). E-M5 looks still very good after a 3.34 EV shadow lift.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1041&message=40938905

0 upvotes
BBnose
By BBnose (Mar 19, 2012)

Irresistible! 9fps per second with incredible image.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Mar 19, 2012)

I thought that the Canon G1 X looked rather dorky.... but this latest Oly job is definitely prehistoric. Before the war, anyhow. :-))

0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Mar 19, 2012)

It's ironic how the rangefinder style cameras such as the Fuji X100 and Fuji X-Pro1 actually pre-date the Olympus OM-style cameras, making them even more "prehistoric". And yet, people love its design.

I think a lot of people are tired of the "modern" melted soap-bar look that so many cameras have these days. They all seem to blend together. It's nice to have alternatives in aesthetic and functional design.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
20 upvotes
dholl
By dholl (Mar 19, 2012)

"modern melted soap-bar look"...

brilliant description! Also fits pretty much every single car made since 1991.

10 upvotes
Biowizard
By Biowizard (Mar 19, 2012)

I still have and love my original OM-1, which I bought new in 1976 (showing my age, I know!) - and part of what made me buy it at the time was its gorgious looks and handling against the Canons and Nikons of the day. Seems some things never change! :-)

Brian

4 upvotes
Virvatulet
By Virvatulet (Mar 19, 2012)

Actually, there is nothing fundamentally wrong with organic form language; in fact its influence has been instrumental in developing better ergonomics into products. And when cars are considered, organic forms enable better aerodynamics facilitating both high performance and fuel economy.

But overdoing it and getting carried a way with seemingly endless possibilities of modern production technology is another thing. Doing it with taste has proven to be the ultimate challenge so few industrial designers are capable of coping with. As to my self, I like my gear best in industrial, utilitarianistic and even militaristic embodiments, therefore pure melted soap-bar look rarely succeeds in catching my eye.

BTW, the melted soap-bar look is the most politically correct way of describing it, more vulgar expressions include cows eating flowers on a meadow and… you'll get the idea.

0 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Mar 19, 2012)

Exactly how should a camera look? Is a soap bar worse than taurine protuberances? Must they be paraded like koteka, the New Guinean phallocrypts?

Arguably, only cell phone cameras avoid a prehistoric or paleolithic appearance. However, one could also claim that they revert to marine creatures of the Cambrian era.

0 upvotes
Antony John
By Antony John (Mar 19, 2012)

@FrancisCarver,

Well I hope your happy driving around in your Hyundai than an E Type Jag.
Sometimes, designs reach a pinnacle and designers have to produce something 'different' rather than 'better' to distinguish themselves.
I'm not sure why the human has not evolved only one eye to suite the monocular viewfinder of a DSLR ... Now that would be a thing of beauty ...

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Mar 19, 2012)

"E-type Jag?" The one that spent four days out of every week of her life in the ye' ole' Jaggo repair facility?

Ford and Chrysler today are ripping off their own designs from their 1960s and early 1970s glory days. And Fiat is ripping off Fiat almost 6 decades later. Even Chevrolet has ripped-off its old Camaro. It's pervasive in the field of automotives and cameras, and probably other industrial sectors as well.

I guess it is cheaper for a camera mfr like Olympus to buy something really old off of eBay, reverse engineer its body, and then put in today's electronics into the old chassis.

0 upvotes
Antony John
By Antony John (Mar 19, 2012)

@Francis Carver
Guess you've just answered my posting in the affirmative.
there's nothing wrong with classic design.
I was reffering to the shape of the E Type Jag. IMHO nothing comes close and probably never will.
Style is unsurpassed.
Look at what classic cars sell for these days. Hundreds of times there original price. Ask yourself 'why?'.
How much have Harley's changed IRO design over the years as compared to say Hondas?
When you hit perfection, you don't easily (or inteligently) discard it.

0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Mar 19, 2012)

@Francis Carver-- It's funny how you get all worked up about designers supposedly "ripping off" classic designs from the past, but you have no problem with cameras that rip off other current designs, resulting in a slew of modern melted soap bar cameras that look so much alike!

And BTW, the main aesthetic thing that the E-M5 has in common with previous OM bodies is the shape of the viewfinder hump. Virtually everything else is different, if you truly put an old OM next to an E-M5 and made a point-by-point comparison. So the reality is that your inference of Olympus just buying "something really old off of eBay, reverse engineer its body, and then put in today's electronics into the old chassis" is baseless, irrational, and ridiculous-- much like a lot of your other postings!

Comment edited 55 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
aris14
By aris14 (Mar 19, 2012)

Oly and mainly Pana invested on 4/3s. Matsushita's guys seem to know well than in less than 5 years a 4/3 sensor wil deliver the same IQ as a full 35 sensor of the previous year the way Canon 1Ds 1 and II have practically been surpassed from 2011 APS sensors etc.
The next thing I am waiting is serious job in approaching cam's design which suffers from the memory of roll film existence some years ago. Who needs a flat back with a lens stitched on it anymore? Small video cams show the way I guess, I think that the cam designers have to wait the last marketing dinosaurs to pass into oblivion...

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Mar 19, 2012)

In five years; time, there probably won't be any 4/3rd and very little Micro 4/3rd cameras still around. We have got way too many sensor sizes and form factors already -- some of them have gotta go.

0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Mar 19, 2012)

@Francis Carver- Your concern about "too many sensor sizes and form factors" is rather pointless because it's all about selecting a camera brand's system-- which is the way it's always been. Back in the film days, Canon, Pentax, Nikon, Minolta, Olympus, Contax/Yashica RTS lenses weren't interchangeable with one another, even though they all used 35mm format. Today, Canon, Pentax, Nikon, Sony, Olympus/Panasonic m4/3 lenses aren't interchangeable with one another either, and the format still doesn't matter!

If you really want to talk about a particular system disappearing in five years time, a much better bet would be the Pentax Q or Nikon 1 systems. Those systems aren't doing too well. It's possible that standard 4/3 might not make it either. But m4/3 looks like it's in good shape and has a very healthy future.

11 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Mar 19, 2012)

@aris14- "Who needs a flat back with a lens stitched on it anymore?"

The "flat back" accommodates the large rear LCD screen, and the area that remains is where your hand and a few control buttons go. Just look on the back of the E-M5. Do you want that rear LCD removed? I don't. Do you want the right hand grip position moved? I don't. What for? Just to have change for change's sake?

As for "a lens stitched on it", where else did you want to put the lens? Do you not want a lens at all? Do you want a fixed lens? Do you want it looking like the Lytro light field camera?

As hard as it might be for some people to believe, the current form factor of these cameras is actually the outcome of years of steady camera evolution and tweaking. If you think you have a better design, definitely propose it! If it's good, people will buy it. But don't assume that camera designers are making current cameras look like film SLRs simply out of habit.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Mar 19, 2012)

@Francis Carver - "In five years time, ...very little Micro 4/3rd cameras still around."

Ironically, m4/3 actually has a unique advantage in the camera world because it's the only lens system that has two independent camera companies designing and marketing camera bodies for the m4/3 system! That puts them at an advantage because it doubles the resources, doubles the marketing, doubles the selection of camera bodies for this particular system. Obviously, the NEX system doesn't have the luxury of having two independent companies designing cameras for the NEX system; it's all on Sony, and Sony alone! The same goes for Pentax's system: it's only Pentax and Pentax alone.

Given that m4/3 has the advantage of two different companies making camera bodies for it, my guess is that your prediction of "very little Micro 4/3rd cameras still around" in 5 years is way off base. People are drawn towards camera systems with a broad selection of lenses, but m4/3 also offers that for bodies!

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
15 upvotes
Nils lveby
By Nils lveby (Mar 19, 2012)

I miss cameras in hasselblad and roliflex style where you work it from above.

2 upvotes
MrGubrz
By MrGubrz (Mar 19, 2012)

Lower em5
Flip up screen
Look down
Touch
Tada! ;D

1 upvote
Bluetrain048
By Bluetrain048 (Mar 19, 2012)

@Francis Carver - "In five years time, ...very little Micro 4/3rd cameras still around."

That's what people on here kept repeating / chanting when 4/3rds first appeared. When that died down after about 5 years, the next one was that "4/3rds sensors will never cope above 8mp".

Many of us seem to want to restrict photography to a monopoly that fits the lowest common denominator (ie: canikon apsc). For many others, that option is doesn't meet their needs, thus there will always be alternatives, such as m4/3.

1 upvote
Antony John
By Antony John (Mar 19, 2012)

@ Francis Carver
With 'miniaturisation' being the flavour of the day, it's more likely that the large, unwieldly cameras will dissappear first rather than the smaller ones.
That's unless you still use a brick sized mobile and cart your "portable computer" around on the back of a truck ...

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Mar 19, 2012)

@ T3: "m4/3 actually has a unique advantage in the camera world because it's the only lens system that has two independent camera companies designing and marketing camera bodies for the m4/3 system!"

Well, two camera makers is only one more than just only one, right? Meanwhile, look around and see how many camera companies are making FF 135, APS-C, and 1/2.3-inch sensor digital cameras today. That many, yeah.

Micro 4/3 sensors have the added disadvantage that the sensor is in the off-beat 4:3 aspect ratio. That does not make much sense even for still pictures. And makes zero sense in 16:9 video recordings.

Maybe it will not be Micro 4/3 form factor disappearing, but with the dozens of various size and aspect ratio digital sensors out there now, the market certainly cannot absorb all of them.

The "NEX system" is an APS-C sensor camera group, and a whole lot of companies make APS-C sensor cameras. But 4/3rd -- only one. And Micro 4/3rd -- only two. Not the same thing, is it?

0 upvotes
Vet3shaws
By Vet3shaws (Mar 19, 2012)

T3, please note the following article about Sony's release of the E-mount reference. Since the news release, I've only heard of 2 Sigma Lenses and no bodies that has come of it. So Sony's conglomerate is behind the confidence-boosting Panasonic-Olympus team-up.

http://www.photoclubalpha.com/2011/02/08/zeiss-cosina-sigma-and-tamron-nex-e-mount-future/

Zeiss, Cosina, Sigma and Tamron – NEX E-mount future
Sony Corporation announced today it will disclose the basic specifications of its “E-mount” for interchangeable single lens cameras, without fee, to manufacturers of lenses and mount adaptors, starting April 1st, 2011. This was previously confirmed at the photokina press conference – now they have revealed that Carl Zeiss AG, Cosina, Sigma and Tamron will all be working on the E-mount system as independent lens makers.

“This opens the way for manufacturers of various lenses and mount adaptors to effectively develop products conforming to “E-mount” specifications”, say Sony.

0 upvotes
Bilgy_no1
By Bilgy_no1 (Mar 19, 2012)

@ Francis Carver
Olympus and Panasonic enjoy more market share with m4/3 than they ever did with 4/3 DSLRs. It seems the system is selling very well in Japan and Asian markets, with Europe and the US a little bit behind in the curve.

I think a camera like the E-M5 will make a huge difference in 2012 for the breakthrough of m4/3 in the Western markets. Just look at the huge amount of attention it's getting on this forum.

1 upvote
T3
By T3 (Mar 19, 2012)

@ Francis Carver - "Micro 4/3 sensors have the added disadvantage that the sensor is in the off-beat 4:3 aspect ratio."

You mean the 4:3 aspect ratio that virtually every digicam uses? LOL. Yeah, soooo "off-beat." Go look at the Canon G1X. It uses a 4:3 aspect ratio sensor. Go look at the Canon S100. It uses a 4:3 aspect ratio sensor. Go look at the Panasonic LX5. It uses a 4:3 aspect ratio sensor. The reality is that 4:3 aspect ratio sensors are more widely used that 3:2 aspect ratio sensors! So your point is a major fail! LOL.

0 upvotes
Antony John
By Antony John (Mar 19, 2012)

@Francis carver:
"Well, two camera makers is only one more than just only one, right? "
Well that's 100% more so guess that's significant?
Tokina, Kenko and Tamron are also now offering lenses for m4/3rds as well. Sigma will follow. Seems that they have now identified the sales potential.
if one looks at the comparisons of the cameras under consideration, the Oly 50mm macro blows the other lenses out of the water - as expected - so no need to look any further anway. Oly's lenses have always been amongst the best on offer and what they don't offer now they soon will.

0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Mar 19, 2012)

@Francis Carver- "Well, two camera makers is only one more than just only one, right? Meanwhile, look around and see how many camera companies are making FF 135, APS-C, and 1/2.3-inch sensor digital cameras today. That many, yeah."

Your small mind still doesn't get it. "One more" camera manufacturer is still 100% more than any other lens system has! That's double what any other lens system has!

Also, yes, "many camera companies are making FF 135, APS-C, and 1/2.3-inch sensor digital cameras today"...but none of these lens systems are interchangeable and compatible with one another!!! Hahaha! For example, Sony, Canon, and Nikon all make FF systems. Sounds great, until you realize that you can't interchange their lenses and bodies with one another! So it doesn't matter if they all happen to use 35mm! That's what your feeble mind doesn't grasp! With the m4/3 system, m4/3 lenses can be used on both Oly and Panny m4/3 bodies! So, again, your point is a total FAIL!

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
bydloman
By bydloman (Mar 19, 2012)

Is there a button or a way to shut down the screen without using the sensor on the viewfinder?

Does it saves battery too?

0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Mar 19, 2012)

If you mean shutting down the EVF, how do you plan on composing your image? I'm not sure how much battery that saves, but it's still a lot better than using the rear LCD for composition. The EVF will use less power than the much larger, more power-hungry rear LCD.

Plus, some people like to make the argument that a DSLR with optical viewfinder saves so much battery power, but they forget that DSLRs are so much larger and heavier than an OM-D E-M5. A Canon 60D with battery weighs 755 grams, while an E-M5 with battery weighs only 425 grams. That's a 330 gram difference in weight, and that's before factoring in the weight difference of the lenses! So basically, if you carried an extra battery or two with you because an EVF consumes more power than an optical viewfindser, you're still well below the size and weight of a DSLR.

Comment edited 12 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
deep7
By deep7 (Mar 19, 2012)

You can shut off the screen with the Pen series, to save power, and can programme a function button to turn it on and off just when you need it. I'd expect the EM5 to offer the option of having the main screen off all the time and the electronic viewfinder on all the time, if that's what you mean? Actually, that might not save battery power. I've read that some other cameras actually use more power to run the electronic viewfinder than the rear screen! Can't recall which model. Spare batteries are very light to carry if you're out for more than a few hours though...

0 upvotes
szlevi
By szlevi (Mar 19, 2012)

There's a proximity sensor around the viewfinder which shuts off the main LCD screen when you look into the EVF, that saves a LOT of battery time for sure.
The other way around, I don't think so and it wouldn't make sense at all as the EVF eats next to nothing batter compared to the huge LCD, let alone has much better resolution for composition etc etc.

0 upvotes
bydloman
By bydloman (Mar 19, 2012)

I obviously mean to permanently shut down the the big screen, the main one, like a DSLR, while using the viewfinder, without the pointless need to switch the power between the screen and the viewfinder all the time.
How could you possibly even think at another way that makes sense?

0 upvotes
krugorg
By krugorg (Mar 19, 2012)

Yes, you can also manually switch to w/e you want and it will stay that way.

0 upvotes
bydloman
By bydloman (Mar 19, 2012)

Thanks.

0 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (Mar 19, 2012)

@bydloman

Short answer, no. (If I understand you correctly)

The reason is what you see in EVF is exactly the same from LCD, they are both from the image sensor. When you shot off sensor, you shut off metering also. Digital camera is all revolving around sensor. You can save battery by using EVF only, since it's a smaller screen than the back screen. Now I might want to take that back. Since E-M5's LiveView screen is actually AMOLED screen, which is a technology that draws less power per square inch. But since that back screen is much larger than the LCD in the EVF, so I am not entirely sure. We need to see a test result of that. Maybe DPR or some other site will make a test of that.

EVF is not OVF. What you see from OVF is through the lens (TTL), EVF is through the sensor.... It means what you see in EVF is what you're going to get in the final photo.

0 upvotes
Vet3shaws
By Vet3shaws (Mar 19, 2012)

Deep7, the Nex-7's EVF uses a tiny bit more juice to run than the LCD. We're talking about 15 shots less over almost 400 on one charge. I just carry extra batteries, since I have so much space. 2 extra batteries for $15 was worth it. I've since forced myself to pick my shots more. I use to fill both my 16GB cards every time we left the house with the camera. That was then.

0 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Mar 19, 2012)

Or you could just turn off the camera when not in use.

What would use more power? To leave a camera on for 30 minutes with the EVF-only mode, for the sake of one shot every five minues? Or to turn on a camera every five minues and shoot once?

If you are shooting lots of pictures in succession, of course you'd have the camera on for that episode.

0 upvotes
Jops Oriol
By Jops Oriol (Mar 19, 2012)

This camera is an interesting one for me, more if sometimes it can works has a videocamera too (non a professional one). I work in graphic projects, but I also do a lot of photos of the family and on travels.
I read in a preview that the continuous focus on video is not so good (in 0.95 firmware). Someone can comfirm this? For video could be better cameras like the Sony (Nex5N/7) or Sony SLT (a57/a65)?
It's true that the stabilizer of that eM5 is a little noisy? I read it in a preview too.
I think this 2 things are the only ones that could be "bad" in this camera. This and pass the "border" of 1.000Euros for a good camera.
Some months ago I was watching for a EOS600D, but now I see there're more interesting and good options! Thanks.

1 upvote
szlevi
By szlevi (Mar 19, 2012)

Maybe I've seen a way too much broadcast video in my life but based on footage I've seen both NEX cams are pretty awful when it comes to video, I think. And Olympus won't be much different either - it does not even go up to 1080p60 like NEX ones do.
OTOH it is also likely that it won't shut off due t overheating like NEX cams do after 15-20 minutes of recording, which makes the Sonys useless for even family/event videos (imagine recording my daughter's hour-long school event in 2-3x 15 mins pieces with cooling period between... NEX sucks for video.)
I don't expect much but based on latest videos it will be decent for family stuff in 1080i60 - check out this one, shot entirely with O-M E-M5: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdzlld6-o1c

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (Mar 19, 2012)

@szlevi NEX-5N and NEX-7 awful for video? Broadcast video?
You really don't know what you're talking about, that is clear.

The NEX-5N and 7 are two of the very best mirror-less cameras for video. After the GH2, they are the best. They're great in low-light, great for shallow DOF work, and are the only game in town for 1080p60 and unlike the OM-D, they offer 1080p24 like the 5D mk II.

Is this an example of the "awful" video from NEX-5N, you are talking about?
http://vimeo.com/31349130

Comment edited 40 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Mar 19, 2012)

marike6:
>The NEX-5N and 7 are two of the very best mirror-less cameras for video.
ASP-C sensors need cooling every 15 minutes or so. 5Ns need lube jobs to muffle audio clicks. EOSHD rates the cheap HX9V's on par with ASP-C cameras.

>They're great in low-light, great for shallow DOF work,

According to Camcorderinfo tests, the NEX devices require greater minimum light than do the HF G10 or TM900. Narrow DOF is a curse, unless you are shooting a staged event.

>and are the only game in town for 1080p60

Several P&S offer the same for less $.

>and unlike the OM-D, they offer 1080p24 like the 5D mk II.

"Filmic" = slow shutter in any mode.

If the OM-D E-M5 conquers rolling shutter, and surpasses Sony's OIS, it is a real contenter.

Nonetheless, pros will prefer $5k FS100 or NXCAM rigs that have all the controls they want, and toy on the side with FF on tripods for occasional DOF effects, and avoid fast pans or sudden action.

1 upvote
J2Gphoto
By J2Gphoto (Mar 18, 2012)

I read a quote in a forum ( not sure what one) but they said "the best camera is the one you have with you" As an E-5 user I honestly never carry it around with my large back pack bag, with my flash, lenses, etc. I take it out for walks with me and I get tired of having it around my neck. So I carry it. I can deal with it no problem but I really like the idea of this camera and even though it is bigger than the PEN's it is still small enough to be a great walk around camera. I cannot wait to get mine. It's going everywhere with me. :)

7 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Mar 19, 2012)

Any camera with a protruding lens is, arguably, not the one you will "always" have with you. On the ther hand, some cell phone owners use no other camera, even on trips. Are they worse off? Not by the "always with you" criterion. They can also take pictures when others can not.

0 upvotes
JohanP
By JohanP (Mar 18, 2012)

This is the answer I needed. I'll order one now and replace my D7000. I just can't resist the design and as it seems it's a good performer.

5 upvotes
Entropius
By Entropius (Mar 19, 2012)

Make sure you investigate the available lenses first. There are some good ones around but there may not be what you want.

0 upvotes
Bilgy_no1
By Bilgy_no1 (Mar 19, 2012)

@ Entropius
That's sound advice in any case. But of all the mirrorless systems, m4/3 is the one with the most options in terms of lenses.

0 upvotes
jhinkey
By jhinkey (Mar 18, 2012)

Would be nearly the perfect compact camera for me, except there are no compact wide angle primes to go along with this fantastically compact body.

They need a 8/4 and a 10/2.8 and a compact 12-35/2.8 (I know that Panasonic is coming out with one, but it remains to be seen how good and how compact it is).

Also, for us landscaper types a multi-aspect ratio sensor would have been perfect!

0 upvotes
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Mar 18, 2012)

samyang makes a nice small 7.5mm fisheye

0 upvotes
Bilgy_no1
By Bilgy_no1 (Mar 18, 2012)

There are plenty compact wide angle options, even in primes. The 8mm f/3.5 Fish-eye, the Samyang 7.5mm fish-eye, The Olympus 12mm f/2 is very compact as well, let alone the Panasonic 14mm f/2.5. Then there are extremely compact UWA zooms: Olympus 9-18 and Panasonic 7-14. The latter lens gives you 8mm f/4, plus a whole lot of other options.

The lenses you do mention are very exotic in any system.

5 upvotes
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (Mar 18, 2012)

I agre on te need for a larger selection but I also feel that many are asking for fast and compact AF lenses which are to a degree, incompatible.

2 upvotes
jhinkey
By jhinkey (Mar 19, 2012)

Still no rectilinear primes under 12mm and I find, though small, the 12/2 not all that compact when you put it on a OM-D E-5.

0 upvotes
Tape5
By Tape5 (Mar 18, 2012)

One can get too preoccupied with tech talk. Photography is about documentation of traces that accelerating charges leave in the universe by producing photons of varying frequencies.

When a photon arrives at a sensor, having moved through the lens, it passes the bar to another quantum particle : the electron.

We will see in the coming decade a better management of these electrons with better engineering.

However, the mind only interacts with photons. Keep taking photos. With whatever camera you have. Trust your retina and your mind. That is where good photography is. It is the mind that gives any significance to these flying photons. And no technological breakthrough will ever match it.

12 upvotes
stimmer
By stimmer (Mar 18, 2012)

wow that was good.

0 upvotes
Greynerd
By Greynerd (Mar 18, 2012)

Surely most photography is documenting the reflection of these photons by inert objects to produce an image of the object. Technology is surely important for the accuracy of this process.

0 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Mar 19, 2012)

What about bosons, quarks, and neutrinos? Let's blame them for bad pictures!

1 upvote
Damo83
By Damo83 (Mar 18, 2012)

Seriously impressive detail and sharpness in these samples. At higher ISO there still seems to be exceptional detail although as others have pointed out there is some smearing occurring; more than some APS-C sensors.

Looks very promising.

3 upvotes
aris14
By aris14 (Mar 18, 2012)

The first clear Olympus victory towards competition...
Its design still bothers me though...

1 upvote
Mtsuoka
By Mtsuoka (Mar 18, 2012)

looks like this one gonna beat "current" APS-C offerings..
think about it:

why 35mm film, with all the advance in film technology, never replaced MF film?

Comment edited 37 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
petrocan
By petrocan (Mar 18, 2012)

well you are right, it can't possibly replace bigger size sensor. But if it gets to the point where it's excellent enough. people might just settle for that. I was just like the film days, 35mm was getting excellent enough so 35mm rule the landscape of photography. 35mm did replace medium format in a lot of field. It just didn't totally replace it.

0 upvotes
Douglas F Watt
By Douglas F Watt (Mar 18, 2012)

Clearly the best m4/3 sensor performance ever, and better in low light than Nikon D7000, Canon TS3i, Sony A65, and even the Pentax K-5. However, let's not get too carried away, as this is just the latest manifestation of the REAL story in DP, namely, sensor and (to a lesser extent) software evolution to improve low light performance. Systems have been, in that regard, leapfrogging each other for years, and although this is an impressive jump (one of the bigger ones for sure), someone will jump over this sensor's low light performance. Keep in mind that the Sony A65 is probably better in low light than the full frame Sony A900 (admittedly neither is a low light phenom). In 10 years, if one extrapolates from current trends, one might predict we will have APS-C sensors in the 36+ megapixel range with at least decent to good low light resolution in the 3200-6400 ISO range.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (Mar 18, 2012)

You need to look at RAW, as smearing detail in JPEG doesn't equal good high ISO performance. RAW is where you should look, and the seemingly cooked RAW of the OM-D can't keep up with the D7000 or K-5 nor will it be anywhere close, less than 3 EV, to the huge DR of the Nikon and Pentax.
The OM-D, a good small camera, but its LiveMOS sensor won't have anywhere near the DR and color depth of the 16mp Sony Exmor sensor of the K-5, D700, et al.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (Mar 18, 2012)

Keep that koolaid torch lit that this is as good as the D7000/K-5 sensor. No examination of the raw files reveals it as such and if you look at other websites like Focus Numerique, it certainly doesn't suggest so.

It is good, but I don't think this catches that Sony sensor in ISO, certainly will not in DR and color depth (the Sony sensor uses 14-bit RAWS after all with real data beyond 12 bits).

I personally want to see the DXo Scores roll.

1 upvote
J2Gphoto
By J2Gphoto (Mar 18, 2012)

True, but for a lot of people ( and a lot who shoot Olympus) there is a point where a camera reaches where most will say " this is perfect" or " good enough". I have never cared for the rush for the latest and the greatest and to do it just because they can. I think the more the improve and the more expensive they get, the smaller the market for said camera's is going to be. I sold my E-5 for this camera. Not so much the ISO performance, but the performance in such a small weather sealed package. 36mp? $2500+ bodies? You can have them. This body is going to last me for years, and is going to go with me EVERYWHERE I go. With the 4/3 adapter I will get with my pre order I can still mount the BEST glass Olympus makes if I need it. Maybe not a pro camera BUT more than capable of professional results, and that works just fine for me. :)

10 upvotes
DarkShift
By DarkShift (Mar 18, 2012)

@Raist3d

K-5 has better high ISO, but the lens (Pentax 50mm/2.8 macro) seems really soft for a macro lens. Overall OM-D has much better detail because of better lens used.

1 upvote
szlevi
By szlevi (Mar 19, 2012)

Ahahah, scared trolls like Raist3d et all are out in force - sour grapes, huh?
It EASILY bests all NEX or SLT ones from Sony when it comes to ISO 3200-6400 (and probably even higher but those are too noisy for my taste on any system) as well as Nikon D7000, Canon 7D, even Pentax too, while matching them at lower ISO.

Try harder and you will be able to swallow it: it's a brand new, non-Panasonic small MFT sensor and Olympus' new sauce that currently beats the lineup for $1k, period.
Yeah, it makes your equipment resell value a lot lower immediately - tough luck, sorry. :D

1 upvote
MrPetkus
By MrPetkus (Mar 18, 2012)

I wish Pentax had made this camera instead of the Q or the giant K01 which doesn't have provisions for an EVF. I'm going to buy this.

1 upvote
T3
By T3 (Mar 19, 2012)

I think both Pentax and Nikon are regretting their decisions to opt for such small sensors in their mirrorless systems. 4/3 is the smallest sensor I would ever want to go with for an interchangeable lens camera system. When you go too small, you give up creative DOF control. Creative control is one big reason why many of us choose ILC systems in the first place!

2 upvotes
Gaz81
By Gaz81 (Mar 18, 2012)

I'm thinking of moving from my Canon 5D classic, looks like a pretty good camera.

Can't say I'm that bothered about ultra high ISO, seemed to have managed with a 3200 max!

Also, my first proper camera was an Olympus OM-1MD, so it's full circle!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/gpsutton/3499290688/

3 upvotes
Mtsuoka
By Mtsuoka (Mar 18, 2012)

maybe you will move away again..

1 upvote
beomagi
By beomagi (Mar 18, 2012)

5DC images have a wonderful smoothness to them that i've yet to see even from some current APSC systems. Hold on to that 5D. Besides - it's not like you'll be able to replicate that DOF with m43rds in most cases.

2 upvotes
Gaz81
By Gaz81 (Mar 18, 2012)

It's true, there is something special about the 5DC images. I also want a more portable system though.

0 upvotes
beomagi
By beomagi (Mar 20, 2012)

I hear ya. I use an ep3 as my portable system, and 5D with 50mm/15-30mm for getting serious.

My last vacation to my sister-in-law's wedding I took my 5d+50mm 1.8 and ep3+20mm. It's not that the focal lengths are a little different, but it's a whole other animal. There's just so many shots I took that I was glad to have the 5D or ep3 for.

I get more detail from the ep3+20mm. Lots more. My wife notices the detail. What the 5D wins on is creamy bokeh and very smooth color transitions. In low light especially. Now if my kid is moving around indoors - the 5d loses. AF is horrible. The ep3 even without the assist light will focus, and with it you'll nail a pic -grainy at iso 3200 but usable. Use a bounce flash and it's all good.

Another win is when I get overexposure. There's very little headroom in my olympus raw. The 5D has headroom in spades. I'm hoping to tinker with some om-d raws to see if it's better in that regard. Not a deal breaker, just something to keep in mind.

/ramble...

0 upvotes
djst
By djst (Mar 18, 2012)

I don't really care if it's best in class or whether the sensor is new or the same as some other Panasonic camera. What I care about is that the E-M5 is *significantly* better than my current E-PM1. Its ISO 6400 output even rivals the E-PM1s ISO 1600 images! Plus, it has better dynamic range, higher resolution, and a seemingly very impressive image stabilization system. I'm sold. The E-M5 is no doubt going to be my next camera as soon as I can pick one up!

7 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (Mar 18, 2012)

That would be pretty much the way I would look at this. Kudos.

2 upvotes
Mtsuoka
By Mtsuoka (Mar 18, 2012)

or may I say that you got the wrong camera in the first place?

1 upvote
BJL
By BJL (Mar 18, 2012)

djst,
that is a lot like my criteria:
(1) it will give significantly better results for a healthy proportion of the sort of photos I like to take than the kit I have now (4/3 SLR)
(2) even better quality is possible with other cameras and systems, but those further gains will be smaller increments in quality, and only visible at all in a small fraction of the shots I like to take, and would come at a considerable penalty in kit size, weight, and cost.
And as a bonus,
(3) I can get the 4/3 lens adaptor and use the lenses I already have, even with IS, and I can fall back on carrying the SLR as well when I want two lenses ready for instant use.

1 upvote
Spunjji
By Spunjji (Mar 19, 2012)

Mtsuoka - That's rather a bold assumption, isn't it? If size and weight were primary considerations then it may have been the right camera *at the time*; that doesn't mean it has to remain the right camera forever though. :)

0 upvotes
Timbo101
By Timbo101 (Mar 28, 2012)

I agree. Sensor size, etc. is irrelevant. The point of a camera is to take photos and it's the quality of the photos that matter. This camera performs far better in low light than my Canon 40D and not because I bought the wrong camera - the 40D was a good camera at the time but technology has improved since then...

0 upvotes
IvanKatzev
By IvanKatzev (Mar 18, 2012)

I am really impressed by the sharpness and color rendition in ISO 1600. Some really good work from Olympus this time. :) I will have to save up some cash for this baby, but so far it seems to be worth it.

1 upvote
BerthaDUniverse
By BerthaDUniverse (Mar 18, 2012)

Like to see how it does in astrophotography, something at ISO 1600, 3200, and 6400... at say 15 to 40 seconds to see how it does with stars and the Milky Way.

1 upvote
Gaz81
By Gaz81 (Mar 18, 2012)

Will be good to see with the simulated long exposure

1 upvote
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Mar 18, 2012)

Damn, what had they done to the sensor?! I can't wait for the DR tests.

2 upvotes
NoFunBen
By NoFunBen (Mar 18, 2012)

The JPG images are great, the raw ones only average.
What ever olympus is doing to process the JPG's may be the best in the industry. It takes the noise away from jpg's like only after market raw programs could do in the past.
if you have any other 4/3 camera it is time up grade.

4 upvotes
Mtsuoka
By Mtsuoka (Mar 18, 2012)

what's done to JPEG can be done to raw as well
there is no such thing as "in camera JPEG superiority", unless you are a fan

3 upvotes
Timbukto
By Timbukto (Mar 18, 2012)

I must be a fan then, because the Oly JPG processing looks like it cheats compared to the competition. At high ISO, it must get some insider info somewhere to know that the bottle labels are actual foil material that glints and is not really old newspaper. Someone must have told it that the blue tin robot is a mixture of tin and plastic even at high ISO, and not something all plastic at that point like almost every other camera.

18 upvotes
Anthony
By Anthony (Mar 18, 2012)

You're not the first person to say this. I've been a member here on DPReview for 12 years, and I recall the same discussion when Oly released their first decent digital. Phil Askey (he used to own this site), proved that we (as consumers) couldn't produce the same quality JPG from RAW, as OLY did "in camera"

4 upvotes
J2Gphoto
By J2Gphoto (Mar 18, 2012)

I have shot JPEG with every Olympus I have owned, and they have always had amazing JPEG processing. I have had comments about how they like how I did this and how I did that and it was never me it was always the camera. My sister and my nephew both shoot Nikon and have asked why my photo's colors seem better than theirs. ( neither consider themself to be a photographer by any means). I just say " well that's why I shoot Olympus" A question both had asked me more than once. I only shoot RAW when it for someone other than me and I need to have the control in lightroom.

0 upvotes
deep7
By deep7 (Mar 18, 2012)

I played with the 200 ASA RAW file using RPP to get the file close and finished with a few tweaks in Lightroom. Yes, Olympus have done very well with JPEG processing but it's still possible to do better on the computer. The ACR conversions posted, by the way, are not quite right yet (oversaturated in places, not quite getting the last drop of detail) but I'd imagine the public version will be better. What we are seeing here is excellent but there is a bit more potential yet!

0 upvotes
sglewis
By sglewis (Mar 19, 2012)

Mitsuoka makes one of the classic silly arguments, in my opinion. Of course some cameras have superior JPG output compared to others. Perhaps it can be reproduced by processing RAW files. Some people never use RAW. Other people never use it for 90% of their shots. Some use it exclusively. Some use it, but aren't as "good" as the pros in processing it and CAN'T make such good exposures.

Personally, I rarely use RAW. I shoot RAW+JPG if it's an important set of shots, but I still do that "just in case". Not everyone makes their living with cameras 100% of the time and never shoots for fun. Of those who shoot for fun, sometimes we don't have or don't want to have the time to painstakingly edit RAW files, and as such, fantastic out of the camera JPGs are a real, proven advantage to us. Your workflow is your workflow. Mine is mine. They don't have to be compatible, but you can't be right 100% of the time and cover every one else's process. Do what you will, I'll do what I will.

1 upvote
ZecaMuzzio
By ZecaMuzzio (Mar 17, 2012)

I have also downloaded the files from Canon EOS Mark VI to compare.
Guess what? Olympus OM-D beat it! all the way from ISO 3200 up to ISO 25600!
Amazing!

4 upvotes
Narek Avetisian
By Narek Avetisian (Mar 18, 2012)

Canon EOS _WHAT_ Mark VI? LOL:))))

1 upvote
ZecaMuzzio
By ZecaMuzzio (Mar 18, 2012)

Hi Narek,
The test files are available here at dpreview. Download them yourself and you will see that OM-D files beat canon in contrast and noise. I did not believe as well ;-)

1 upvote
SamTruax
By SamTruax (Mar 18, 2012)

Can't wait for that EOS... what was that # again? It's going to beat everything.

0 upvotes
highwave
By highwave (Mar 18, 2012)

LOL

This dialog should be published.

I guess I'm a fan of canon eos-missing #-VI too

0 upvotes
ARTASHES
By ARTASHES (Mar 18, 2012)

As I said in my comment that has been deleted (I don't know why) Oly is cheating on ISO values so it isn't a fair comparison

0 upvotes
Spunjji
By Spunjji (Mar 19, 2012)

Artashes - You appear to be roughly correct, based on the EXIF values. Interestingly enough, so are Sony with their NEX-5N, to a lesser extent - both in comparison to the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV.

If DPReview could be clearer on this in their full review, it would be nice.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Mar 19, 2012)

We do include statements about ISO accuracy in our reviews.

However, neither the EXIF from this shot, nor the figures DxO quotes are proof of a lack of ISO accuracy. Our early testing suggests the E-M5 is about 1/3EV less sensitive than you'd expect at a given ISO. We'll test it fully in our review.

1 upvote
Sergey Borachev
By Sergey Borachev (Mar 17, 2012)

Stupendous!

84 and Gold!

6 upvotes
zupa
By zupa (Mar 17, 2012)

Would the results be the same if I used this camera with an adapter and my four thirds lenses? Does using the adapter and I assume the larger than m43 lenses make any difference?

0 upvotes
Macx
By Macx (Mar 17, 2012)

The test samples were actually taken with a four thirds lens and an adapter: The Olympus 50mm f2 Macro! So, from an optical/image quality point of view it would be the same. (And in the case of the higher grade four thirds lenses, perhaps even better!)

However, the four thirds lenses are much slower to focus on a m43 body than the dedicated m43 lenses are. It depends from lens to lens how bad it is, but you should look more into this for your particular lenses if this is important to you.

Comment edited 48 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Mar 18, 2012)

@ Maczx, I don't know that I would say MUCH slower to focus, depending on your 4/3 and m43 body and the situation. Yes, I have had some terrible 2 to 3 second waits with these lenses and an adapter, but mostly the wait is under 1 second, especially at shorter focal lengths, and I have even caught birds in flight with the Olympus 40-150 + adapter. No, I would not recommend 4/3 lenses and m43 bodies for action photography under ANY circumstances, but guys who do that professionally (or as enthusiasts) are probably looking at other systems anyway. For us normal snapshooters, the adapted lenses work fine.

0 upvotes
Macx
By Macx (Mar 18, 2012)

@Bob: Ah, not too terrible then. :)

0 upvotes
CriticalI
By CriticalI (Mar 17, 2012)

Looks good in RAW and JPEG. DR in highlights remains to be seen, but this deserves to be a popular little camera. Feature set is most impressive of all current mirrorless models.

0 upvotes
rusticus
By rusticus (Mar 17, 2012)

>Der APS-C - 43 Lücke ist nun geschlossen<

ha, ha, ha ;))
Unfortunately, only a dream
Ok, I buy no MFT, but many will buy the OM-D

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Just Having Fun
By Just Having Fun (Mar 17, 2012)

There is a DoF difference betwen M4/3 and FF. Between M4/3 and and APS, it is not really noticable because of the wide APS aspect ratio. My primary camera is a Sony DSLR, and from experince, I can say the slightly smaller sesnor can do just as much with DoF.
Now APS lenses will always be larger. M4/3 will never be able to compete with their BIG size.

0 upvotes
coroander
By coroander (Mar 17, 2012)

There's an increase in DoF going from FF to APS-C and an increase in DoF going from APS-C to M4/3. That would put M4/3 at a disadvantage in terms of DoF control, except that there are a lot of fast lenses for M4/3 that you won't find for APS-C unless you are willing to use even larger FF lenses with your APS-C camera (often with less useful focal lengths). That there are fast (including f0.95) lenses available for M4/3 really makes the DoF issue a non-issue.

What's even more interesting, however, is that the smaller sensor favours low-light -- that is it doesn't penalise very large apertures with paper-thin, almost unusable DoF. This advantages low-light photography, where the smaller sensor would otherwise be at a disadvantage. In my view, M4/3 sensors are simply a better size for balancing DoF with aperture.

To be certain, M4/3 users will not be at a disadvantage with regards to DoF control, the available lenses take care of that potential issue.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 12 minutes after posting
13 upvotes
TrapperJohn
By TrapperJohn (Mar 17, 2012)

Um, the whole point of M43 is the lenses are as sharp or sharper than APS glass, but much smaller.

A different way to look at this is - APS based micro cams will never be able to compete with M43 on lens size.

9 upvotes
SunLyte
By SunLyte (Mar 18, 2012)

There are a lot of great MFT lenses, but all things being equal, the best lens on a smaller format will be outperformed by a "cheap" lens on a larger format. MFT is a solid competitor, if not replacement, for low end APS-C cameras but they're not yet surpassing high qualify APS-C cameras like the D7000.

2 upvotes
zigi_S
By zigi_S (Mar 18, 2012)

SunLyte. Please tell which lenses for aps are better than zuiko SHG.

0 upvotes
xca1iber
By xca1iber (Mar 18, 2012)

@Sunlyte: Well ...in my view the dpreview sample images show OM-D images already surpassing D7000 in IQ at all ISO levels ..WOW! ...I don't care about what others say about this and that ...what I see from these images after comparing with APS-C or event FF format camera's ...I am more than impressed!!! Eagerly waiting for DXO review to come out to confirm what dpreview shows.

1 upvote
SunLyte
By SunLyte (Mar 19, 2012)

@xca1iber: No, they're not surpassing the D7000 and I have no idea how you are drawing that conclusion. The EM-5 is a little better than the GH2, but not at the level of the D7000.

Why wait for dxo? If you want to see the difference between the EM-5 and D7000 for yourself you can do this:

1) Set DPR's image quality widget to ISO6400 and RAW for the EM-5 and D7000 then download the JPEG files provided by DPR.

2) Open the JPEGs in photoshop and set brightness to +100, then zoom in to 100% view.

3) Scroll the image until you are looking at the spools of thread and you will see that the D7000 has minimal noise in the dark area while the EM-5 has quite a bit.

4) Next, move the viewer over the queen of hearts and again you'll see that the EM-5 has a lot of noise; the D7000 does not.

I love the MFT format but I don't delude myself into believing that it's something that it's not. The EM-5 is better than the GH2 in some ways, but not overall. It's not replacing the D7000.

1 upvote
SunLyte
By SunLyte (Mar 19, 2012)

@zigi_S Try reading what I wrote more carefully. Zuiko SHG lenses are not for MFT; and while there may be adapters to use them on MFT cameras, they would perform better on the format for which they were intended to be used. It also defeats the purpose of MFT if you're using large lenses on the camera. You lose the compactness that MFT is all about while also hindering the performance of a great lens. It's a bad idea x 2.

Pictures taken on a D7000 with a $200 35mm Nikon f/1.8G (52mm) will be better than your MFT with a $2000+ SHG lens. It will also outperform a great MFT lens like the $600 Leica 25mm f/1.4, which is among the best available for MFT...and a Nikon FX camera like the upcoming D800 will beat the D7000 using a cheap $200 Nikon 50mm f/1.8G lens.

1 upvote
coroander
By coroander (Mar 19, 2012)

@SunLyte: Nikon makes only one lens faster than f2.8 that's specifically for APS-C (the 35mm f1.8 you mention). It is a good lens, but it's neither more contrasty nor sharper than the Panasonic Leica 25mm lens for m43, and it's slower.

Besides the fact that Nikon makes only one fast lens for APS-C cameras, their FF lenses are not as fast as the m43rds equivalents. Olympus makes a f2.0 24mm equiv, but try to find such a lens for APS-C for your Nikon -- you won't find anything faster than f2.8 (even if you go to FF). Ditto for the Olympus 150mm f1.8 equiv. You won't find anything near focal lenth that is faster than f2.0 and those apertures are only for heavy, expensive FF lenses, otherwise you're stuck with the 85mm f3.5 (127mm equiv) for APS-C.

Oh and i forgot to mention, because of the way Olympus does IS, these are all IS, something you just won't get with most fast primes for systems without IBIS.

M43 has great lenses (with more on the way!) and now a great body.

Comment edited 5 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
SunLyte
By SunLyte (Mar 19, 2012)

@coroander
You seem to be a bit confused. The f/1.4 on a MFT camera would be equal to a f/1.9 lens on a Nikon DX camera. It's not "faster" than the 35mm f/1.8G and it does cost 3x more. Stopped down to f/2.8 the 35mm Nikon is at least as sharp as the $600 Leica. I have both of them.

"you won't find anything faster than f2.8"
Wrong. Nikon makes a 24mm f/1.4G which is 36mm on a Nikon DX and 24mm on FX - the Olympus 12mm f/2 is a nice lens but on Nikon DX it is equal to f/2.8 and on FX it is equal to f/4.

Nikon also has 50mm f/1.4 and f/1.8 lens options, $500 and $200 respectively.

You do not need IS for every situation, and for those where you would the nikon lenses offer in-lens stabilization which works very well.

My MFT camera is a GH2 so to say "and now a great body" seems to imply you haven't been paying attention. The GH2 has been around since 2010 and it is the best MFT camera you can get, especially because of the versatility it offers in shooting video in addition to stills.

1 upvote
Spunjji
By Spunjji (Mar 19, 2012)

SunLyte - It is unfortunate that while you have made a competent argument up until your last post, you seem to be (deliberately or otherwise) confusing the issue of lens "fastness". An f0.95 on M43 is still f0.95 in terms of light gathering ability. DoF is another matter of course, and it's more like f1.9 on FF and roughly f1.4 on DX, but these are separate issues and it helps to be clear on what you're referring to. Personally I have experimented with wide apertures on large sensors and have found them to be more of an inconvenience than anything, so the DoF increase is advantageous to me.

Anyway, my point is, coroander has a better argument here than your slightly muddled reply gives credit for.

3 upvotes
SunLyte
By SunLyte (Mar 19, 2012)

A 50mm f/2.8 lens on a 35mm format camera has the same light gathering capability as a 25mm f/1.4 on MFT.

Nikon DX has a baseline advantage of about 0.88 stops over MFT, while Nikon FX has about 2.3 stops advantage. Another way to think of this is in terms of the dot projected by the lens onto the sensor. The lens is designed to project a round dot that covers a sensor entirely. If you were to mount an MFT lens on a 35mm camera with an adapter, that dot would be enlarged but the quantity of light passing through the lens would remain the same. You'd lose over 2 stops of light compared to a lens designed for the larger format.

Going the other direction, if you mounted a lens designed for a 35 mm camera on a MFT body the additional light provided by the lens would simply be discarded due to the physical size of the sensor.

The same is true for Nikon DX and FX lenses. An f/1.4 FX lens on a DX camera is about f/1.9.

1 upvote
plasnu
By plasnu (Mar 17, 2012)

Sony's Lens apparently sucks...

0 upvotes
thewhitehawk
By thewhitehawk (Mar 29, 2012)

With the exception of the Zeiss, and their own 50mm 1.8, they are pretty mediocre, and even their own 1.8 is, at best average.

If I had some better lenses I could reuse, I would most likely get the Nex-7 for it's sensor, interface, and bells and whistles...

For someone wanting to make a new system on a small format camera, this is one of the best options right now.

0 upvotes
role_of_72
By role_of_72 (Mar 17, 2012)

The APS-C - 43 gap is now closed. And everyone lives happily ever after :)
Good job, Oly!

15 upvotes
Barry Fitzgerald
By Barry Fitzgerald (Mar 17, 2012)

Depth of field ;-) Nice try though wrong sensor size issue remains!

7 upvotes
Brian Mosley
By Brian Mosley (Mar 17, 2012)

Don't worry Barry - Depth of field will be solved with the arrival of global shutter and more processing power to m4/3rds... enough time to collect some decent lenses ;)

1 upvote
DarkShift
By DarkShift (Mar 17, 2012)

Yes, DOF is better with m4/3 unless you're after cheesy over blurred backgrounds.

No need to stop down so much, which gives higher shutterspeeds.

14 upvotes
role_of_72
By role_of_72 (Mar 17, 2012)

As I know DPR studio samples were seldom about depth of field comparison so obviously I was referring to iso performace.

About depth of field: DOF advantage (large vs. shallow) depends mainly on the purpose of your photography so it is quite relative.

5 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (Mar 17, 2012)

Those blurry backgrounds some people love (and I do too) do not rely exclusively on sensor area; the lens' focal length and maximum aperture play an important role too.

9 upvotes
cesaregal
By cesaregal (Mar 17, 2012)

I agree, Manuel.
With Zuiko 45 f/1.8 you can reach good quality of the bokeh where you need it : portrait.

0 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (Mar 17, 2012)

Thanks, cesaregal. If only people knew what an OM Zuiko 50mm/f1.4 can do on an E-P1! And the completely washed-out backgrounds I get with a Vivitar (OM-mount) 75-300/f4.5-5.6... No, this isn't just a sensor thing!

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Zalllon
By Zalllon (Mar 17, 2012)

Ha ha ha, OM Zuiko 50mm F/1.4 on 4/3 (micro or otherwise), been there done that. This is a great little travel / hobby camera, so that's a nice niche it will fill.

4/3rds help make money to put the gas in my car, while FF pays for the car. End of story.

Comment edited 27 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
zxaar
By zxaar (Mar 18, 2012)

@ManuelVilardeMacedo ,yaa true but I am still trying to figure out which MFT lens could give me DOF of 85mm F1.2 on canon 5D shot wide open. Could you name one.

0 upvotes
SunLyte
By SunLyte (Mar 18, 2012)

What most of you are failing to realize is that the larger format sensors have thinner DoF at any given f-stop. Sure, if you shoot with a prime lens on MFT wide open you'll get nice blur, but let's say you want to stop down to f/4 or even f/6.3 - the DoF will be greater meaning that you cannot get that same level of control over background blur.

1 upvote
deniz erdem
By deniz erdem (Mar 18, 2012)

sunlyte you dont make any sense. first this than the wierd 'bigger lenses are better' comment above,...

dof will be greater at f4? of course it will be. than you would someone who wants cheesy blurry backgrounds stop down to f4?

1 upvote
cesaregal
By cesaregal (Mar 18, 2012)

Another important parameter in DOF is focusing distance.
Sensor dimension, focal lenght, maximum aperture (if you can use it or better maximum aperture you practically can use), focusing distance.
Well, but we must see total lens performance too.
Not a question of competition m4/3 versus FF, but we can have a m4/3 portrait kit lighter with an excellent lens (Zuiko 45 F1.8).

2 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (Mar 18, 2012)

zxaar, please don't troll. This isn't about who's got the biggest... erm... lens!

2 upvotes
zxaar
By zxaar (Mar 18, 2012)

@ManuelVilardeMacedo domp be fanboi just let us know the answer to the riddle.

0 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (Mar 18, 2012)

When I find out what language you employed when you wrote 'domp be fanboi', I'll try to find what the riddle was, zxaar :)
Seriously, you asked a question to which nobody has an answer, because you're comparing chalk and cheese. Thought you'd got it the first time!

2 upvotes
radix1
By radix1 (Mar 19, 2012)

Noktor 50mm f/0.95

cheers

2 upvotes
zxaar
By zxaar (Mar 19, 2012)

@ManuelVilardeMacedo may be if you tried to understand the point other person is making you might have got it. Rather than that you were too busy calling people trolls. Anyway the point is as far as DOF is concerned larger sensor do hold their advantage no matter how much technology improves for sensors. If everyone wanted deep DOF then we might all have bought cell phones and be happy that they are good enough. In fact the way things improving smaller sensors(pentax Q) would rule the world because of compact system could be designed around them. @radix1 the 50mm F0.95 has 100mm eq on FF and not 85mm as I asked. Nice try though.

0 upvotes
cromdeg
By cromdeg (Mar 19, 2012)

Another point is that as far as DOF is concerned, smaller sensor do hold their advantage for maintaining a usable DOF while keeping lens as wide as possible, to obtain higher shutter speeds. I had a friend using 5DII who had to stop down to f5.6 (therefore increasing his ISO) to obtain a decent DOF. Paper-thin DOF is nice on Portraits (occasionally) and a headache for much else. MFT's 45mm is more than adequate for my thin DOF needs.

Also, what's the point of looking for an 85mm 1.2 equivalent in MFT? It's like asking for FF + lens setup at under 500 grams.

1 upvote
bewing77
By bewing77 (Mar 19, 2012)

@deniz erdem several reasons you may want to stop down. Maybe you wabt to use your lens where it's sharper, which rarely is wide open. Or maybe you need to get the shutter speed down for flash sync.

Anyhow, the thing that makes current m4/3 unsuitable for professional work is the fact that there are simply no fast zooms. I basocally use three lenses on FF when working: the 24-70 2.8, the 70-200 2.8 and the 50 1.4. Of those, m4/3 only has something similar to the last one. Sure, there are some other nice primes, but for many types of professional work zoom lenses are required since they allow you to work much more quickly and control perspective with higher precision.

1 upvote
SunLyte
By SunLyte (Mar 19, 2012)

@deniz
If what I'm saying isn't making sense to you, then you need to stop commenting and learn some photography basics.

I did not say "bigger lenses are better", I said that average quality lenses on a larger format will rival the best lenses on a smaller format. This typically means better color rendition, gradation and fine detail.

Having a wider degree of control over DoF is an advantage of a larger format. It's a matter of physics...and most lenses, especially fast primes, need to be stopped down for sharpness regardless of camera. This is why images taken on "full frame" DSLRs seem to have a 3D pop - the high level of sharpness they can get by stopping down, while still blurring the background like MFT does wide open.

0 upvotes
RickMatt
By RickMatt (Mar 19, 2012)

@SunLyte
I dont see how an average lens on a larger format can rival the best lenses on a smaller format. An average lens is an average lens, regardless of the sensor size. A 35mm 1.8 used on a D7000 will not suddenly morph into a stellar lens when used in D700. Unless you are obsessed in thin DOF, in that case, any lens in FF is fantastic.

Very thin DOF is not an advantage when you are shooting events where you need to keep apertures wide for faster shutter speed, and keep a bigger area in focus.

3 upvotes
Spunjji
By Spunjji (Mar 19, 2012)

@Bewing - You're right, M43 is not yet ready for professional work. I'm not sure why that's relevant here (nobody said it is suitable for pros), but you're still correct; just trivially correct.

@Sunlyte - Please verify your claims with evidence. With the exception of a couple of decent high-volume nifty-fifty lenses that outperform their value, my experience of "average" APS-C lenses has been dismal (it is, however, limited to Canon). I have had no similar issues with my Four Thirds and m43 kit. Professional FF Canon kit is awesome, but commands an exceptionally high price tag that remains high for second hand kit. High resale value is great for pros, but for amateurs like me it results in a system lock-out.

And yes, you're correct that you can get a wider range of DoF with full frame, but you're still dodging the point that M43 gives a *wide enough* range of control for most people. Also missing the point that m43 lenses *tend* to be sharper at wide apertures...

0 upvotes
SunLyte
By SunLyte (Mar 20, 2012)

@RickMatt
"A 35mm 1.8 used on a D7000 will not suddenly morph into a stellar lens when used in D700."
No, but there is a 50mm f/1.4 for FX that will beat the 35mm f/1.8G. Also worth noting that the D7000 has a wider dynamic range than the D700 due to its efficient processor - counter-intuitive but true.

@Spunjji
Please feel free to disprove my claims with evidence. If you feel that I am wrong then you should check for yourself - you probably wouldn't believe any "evidence" I present anyway.

The general quality of MFT lenses is high. I would say that they are better built than many of their APS-C counterparts. Optically they are very close if not better than APS-C certain scenarios, such as a well-lit scene - but that's not saying much. The wider dynamic range of a larger format allows it to capture more information with each shot, which means more possible detail to extract (assuming you shoot raw). Sharpness is not the only metric that matters.

0 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (Mar 23, 2012)

I'm so tired of people comparing 4/3 to compact camera sensors... yawn.

0 upvotes
Antony John
By Antony John (Mar 17, 2012)

I read an (audio) article years back entitled "Noise about Noise" and it seems that there are many posts below that could be termed as such.
The perception of "Camera Ninjas' seems appropriate - hired assasins.
As this is a DPReview site and as the forum is hosted by them I for one will wait to see what their conclusions are rather than jump to conclusions based on other sites in particular as regards ISO accuracy.
As DPReview has quite a strong following I guess others feel the same.
DPReview reviews seem to be well implemented, analysed and unbiased.
In the final analysis, whether to purchase a camera comes down to:
1. Do I feel comfortable using it
2. Does it take good pictures.
3. What service levels can be expected (which will vary from country to country)
4. Do the ancilliaries meet my expectations (lenses and other 'accesories').
In other words simply 'Does it meet my needs'.

3 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (Mar 17, 2012)

I like your comment, but I wouldn't call lenses 'ancillaries' - unless you can actually take photos without them.
Lenses are not unimportant, as most people seem to believe nowadays (n. b. I'm not saying you're one of them). A camera without a lens is just a body; a body with a lens is a camera. Both are as important, but you will notice seasoned photographers buy bodies according to their lens' collection. That's because lenses last longer, while bodies keep coming and going due to obsolescence or malfunctions.
And I'd rank image quality first.

3 upvotes
Antony John
By Antony John (Mar 17, 2012)

Yes manuel,
Lenses are forever, bodies come and go.
Didn't mean to down-cry lenses. the points were not particularly in order of importance.

2 upvotes
ecm
By ecm (Mar 17, 2012)

What can I say? Bravo, Olympus! A winner of a sensor/JPEG engine combo for certain.

The JPEGs are actually very strong; a bit of false detail creeping in at 3200 ISO but nothing that would be objectionable at 8X10 - and that nice punchy Olympus color is maintained. The 6400 ISO shots are pretty bad, but I would bet significantly better than most pocket cams at ISO 1600.

Compared to the T3i, the OM-D is clearly the "winner" at 1600-3200 JPEG, but (perhaps unfortunately, perhaps not - depending on what you prefer) the Oly JPEG engine is clearly wringing everything out of the raw file. The Canon is much improved when shooting raw, the Oly, not so much.

I also note (again!) what an awesome lens the Zuiko 50mm f/2.0 macro is - m4/3 users should be clamoring for a new version dedicated to the mirrorless format without the focus issues. I'd also like to see more about the new 12-50mm - hopefully with the OM-D review?

Again, Bravo Olympus! You needed a winner.....

2 upvotes
Tim in upstate NY
By Tim in upstate NY (Mar 18, 2012)

The 45/1.8 comes very close to matching the 50/2's sharpness and overall IQ and it AF's very fast and it's only $300!

1 upvote
MichaelKJ
By MichaelKJ (Mar 18, 2012)

It is now $400--still a bargain. If there is a reputable dealer selling for $300 please let me know.

0 upvotes
ecm
By ecm (Mar 19, 2012)

I'll make one more comment about this and then shut the %#$ up.... I'm reading comments like"I'm going to replace my pro-level dSLR brand X with this digital wonderkind!!!" and I think it's silly.

If you have a RAW workflow, this isn't the camera for you. If all you shoot is JPEG, then this camera's got a lot going for it - punchy, clean ISO 1600, with false detail becoming obvious by ISO 3200. But the RAW files are lacking; even the T3i (which has been roasted on the forums for it's "poor" high ISO performance compared to the D5100) has better RAW output. In the past, Olympus's strong suit has been OOC JPEGs - and they continue in that tradition.

I have always disagreed with DPR's choice of the (almost perfect) Zuiko 50mm f/2.0 macro that they've got franken-lensed on that body; it is without equal. If the m4/3 12-50 is as good as the 4/3 12-60, then they've got a lens that'll live up to that sensor, otherwise - people will be wondering where the image quality went.

Comment edited 49 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
brkl
By brkl (Mar 17, 2012)

That's pretty remarkable. As good as the best of APS-C it seems.

5 upvotes
brkl
By brkl (Mar 17, 2012)

Hmph. I take that back. Looking at the ISO 6400 JPEG EXIF and comparing E-M5 and Nex 7, E-M5 is getting a lot more light.

E-M5 Exposure value = log2 (6.3^2/(1/1600)) ~= 16

Nex 7 Exposure value = log2 (8^2/(1/2000)) ~= 17

So that's a full stop more light for the E-M5. The ISO 3200 Nex 7 shot has the same EV as the ISO 6400 E-M5 shot (log2 (8^2/(1/1000))). Therefore, if you want to compare those cameras, you have to choose Nex 7 shots with a stop lower ISO to get a matching exposure.

That's still a good result for the E-M5, but not as shocking.

(Wolfram link for the logarithmic calculations: http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=log2+%286.3%5E2%2F%281%2F1600%29%29%2C+log2+%288%5E2%2F%281%2F2000%29%29%2C+log2+%288%5E2%2F%281%2F1000%29%29
)

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
Uri Ben
By Uri Ben (Mar 17, 2012)

they are both excellent cameras ( I am sure about the nex 7 and I really hope for the E-m5 as I never use it - like nobody here either) for my needs now, the Nex -5n is the best - in a couple of years I will look around again and buy the nex 9 , or the E-m7 or whatever.

0 upvotes
odl
By odl (Mar 17, 2012)

brkl,
That is assuming the light levels were that same for both shots.

0 upvotes
brkl
By brkl (Mar 17, 2012)

odl: Yes. But is there any reason to suppose they weren't?

0 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (Mar 17, 2012)

4/3 size sensor is smaller and need more light. It affects when you should take your photos. I've read quite a few photography books on how to take photos, then I came to a conclusion: they were written for film photography using a 35mm (FF) camera, and they don't apply to 4/3 photography. They always suggest morning and dusk lights are the best lighting, not true for 4/3. You shoot around early morning and late afternoon because of that 1 stop difference in EV you mentioned. For those of us who can't wake up during sun rise for the best time of the day for FF photography, actually that's an advantage, as useful daylight for you is actually extended.

APS-C is in between FF and 4/3 so the adjustment of shooting style is negligible. You can either use FF style or 4/3 shooting style. For most tourists, I think 4/3 and APS-C are actually better sensor sizes than FF unless you keep shooting in low light. Lesson? Shoot around your tools' advantage.

0 upvotes
dgrogers
By dgrogers (Mar 17, 2012)

brkl, they changed the lighting setup for the tests.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1041&message=40930304

0 upvotes
Hen3ry
By Hen3ry (Mar 17, 2012)

Lesson, Louie? You’re confused, I'm afraid. You’re just quite wrong.

The m43 doesn’t need more light than the FF because of sensor size and the notions about shooting in morning or afternoon light (not dawn or dusk) rather than the middle of the day are visual art universals for aesthetic reasons to do with the color of the light and the interplay of light and shadow for modelling -- nothing to do with more light or less light being available for the sensors.

Sorry to have to disabuse you.

Cheers, geoff

0 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (Mar 18, 2012)

@Hen3ry

Try shooting with 4/3 sensors for a few years and shoot maybe 5000 photos per year and see if I am wrong about this. This came from experience of shooting that many photos for two and some years, with each scene shot bracketed for half dozen shots, and some shots have been shot at different times of the year with various lighting condition, so I know how to squeeze the most detail out of 4/3 sensor. I also shoot film (35mm), so I know exactly why some photography books suggest why one should shoot in some lighting condition and that method truly works for 35mm film (FF). But when it comes to 4/3 sensor, sorry, you have to push the shooting time 1-2 hours back in the morning. Don't just reject it down right. Keep an open mind and try it and see if I am wrong about this.

0 upvotes
brkl
By brkl (Mar 18, 2012)

dgrogers: Huh. I wish they had a light meter in the scene. It gets difficult to make any conclusions regarding the actual performance of the cameras. I would at least like to know the procedure they use to make sure each shot gets the same amount of light.

0 upvotes
Sosua
By Sosua (Mar 18, 2012)

Louie, they mention shooting in that light due to the quality, temperature and angle of light.

Nothing to do with exposure and everything to do with aesthetics.

Think about it more artistically than technically.

Geoff is quite correct.

0 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (Mar 19, 2012)

I hope both of you and Hen3ry realize, I am not talking about color temperature (I use a gray card, so that's negligible), color saturation, direction of shadow and some such, I mean stuff that you will notice when you pixel peep, like detail, noise level, some stuff that makes your photo extra sharp, rather than aesthetic appeals, which can be done with any type of camera if done right. Aesthetic appeal is a subjective measure, which using it to judge the quality of the sensor, which is the main topic we are talking about, is unfair, don't you think so?

Comment edited 30 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Antony John
By Antony John (Mar 17, 2012)

Test samples not available:
DPReview, just a thought but I guess that you are running multiple servers. Just wondering if all the secondary servers are being correctly updated from the primary one?
Strange that some have no problems with access to the test samples whilst the 'Standalone Comparison Tool' that I can get to work has no E-M5 listed in the camera database.

0 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (Mar 18, 2012)

It might be the browser setting. Just a guess....

0 upvotes
Total comments: 458
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