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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
Pete_Murrell
By Pete_Murrell (Mar 17, 2012)

I have only one question that may not be answerable by people in this forum however I will ask it anyway.
I currently use 4/3rds stuff and obviously I love it. I was just wondering if anyone has heard rumours about Olympus releasing a camera with this sensor in the 4/3 lens mount range (Maybe an E-6 or 7)? ... because I can't see myself investing in a whole new range of lenses but based on this small snippet, this sensor is pretty special. Fingers crossed. Can't wait for the full review.

0 upvotes
tkpenalty
By tkpenalty (Mar 17, 2012)

I doubt that theres demand for 4/3rds gear right now, but you do have the option of retaining your lens kit because olympus does make an autofocusing adaptor for 4/3rds lenses.

However, with that said if a m43 company uses a random sensor layout (xpro 1 style) there would suddenly be a demand for low noise, high speed AF prioritised cameras imho.

0 upvotes
Andy Elliott
By Andy Elliott (Mar 17, 2012)

Olympus have (just) publicly stated that they are working on an E-5 replacement right now and also on an mFT-FT adapter that will allow focussing of FT lenses as well as they do (or better) on current FT bodies.

0 upvotes
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (Mar 17, 2012)

Pete... there will probably be an E5 successor and maybe even one more after that one. But it will likely be another "E3 refresh" with a new sensor and and a few more tweaks, to keep the R&D cost minimal.

This is relatively easy for Olympus to do, and it helps them sell out their inventory of HG and SHG lenses. These lenses are very profitable, and virtually useless on M4/3 bodies.

I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for some hybrid adapter so you can use a 3 pound SHG lens on a 9 ounce EPM1 body. There might be a few people who want to do this, but you can probably count them on the fingers of one hand.

0 upvotes
J2Gphoto
By J2Gphoto (Mar 17, 2012)

All they have said is that the E-5 successor is in the works. I'd imagine they will use this sensor and the 5 point IS system in it. Maybe upgraded focus. I shoot with an E-5 right now but am in the process of selling it. The idea of getting smaller with that lightning focus and high ISO has me drooling.

0 upvotes
bluevellet
By bluevellet (Mar 17, 2012)

Olympus flat out says they're planning a successor to the E5. But two words of warning:

1. cónsidering how long it took Olympus to release the E5, your E7 could be a long wait.

2. And if it's going to take this long, an E7 could ultimately be all talk to keep users such as yourself from going to another brand.

0 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (Mar 17, 2012)

And consider they never wanted to release E-3 in the first place, E-5 is a thank-you E-3 loyalists, we haven't abandoned you SHG lenses users token of kindness from Olympus, I think E-7 (or whatever they're going to call it) will be a refresher like many people suggest. Which is not a bad idea from R&D cost point of view. Pros who chose Olympus to begin with know very well it's the lenses that make this system great, not bodies. An updater would be enough. Honestly, I think 16MP from 4/3 size sensor is a big surprise to me already. I care for an E-620 replacer more than an E-5 replace, if you want to know. SHG is silly on smaller bodies. SHG is all about IQ, not size. E-7 (or an E-50) would be more appropriate for SHG users.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Hen3ry
By Hen3ry (Mar 17, 2012)

I have to say from a marketing point of view that I would be very surprised to to see a DSLR successor to the E-5. In honesty, if I were Olympus and it was technologically possible, I would be developing a 43 > m4 adapter that would provide high performance with the 43 lenses, so that the E-M5+adapter could be seen as a legitimate E-5 successor.

At the same time, I would continue work on upgrading the already excellent EVF and work hard towards an electronic shutter.

I would also work through that list of wonderful 43 lenses and produce m43 mount versions of them.

I see these as directions for the future. I simply cannot see that a DSLR has a place -- and then notion of having two parallel lines of lenses makes me shudder! :)

Cheers, geoff

0 upvotes
sauchiyong
By sauchiyong (Mar 18, 2012)

There will be no adaptor that can improve fast focus of FT lense on M43 camera faster or smaller than M43 lenses, since M43 impove focusing by moving small internal lens elements, like 45mm f1.8, lenses length do not change during focusing... and M43 correct lens error with processor in camera for jpg...

0 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (Mar 19, 2012)

If I remember it correctly, 4/3 system uses 7 contact pins, and m4/3 uses 9. Two more pins are for CDAF, and that's the AF system that's been vastly improved in latest m4/3 models. They could try to miniaturize the current SHG glasses and adds CDAF mechnism to it, but many people already said before (in other sites), it's quite difficult to make SHGs smaller than they already are, though they are by no means small, and they are pretty darn heavy (because of the level of complexity in design and super large aperture). I don't see size conscious m4/3 users would be interested in such heavy glasses, even if they can make them smaller.

Comment edited 30 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Pete_Murrell
By Pete_Murrell (Mar 21, 2012)

All your replies are great...but left me on the knifes edge of 'almost' answering my question. I have invested a lot of money in my 4/3 lenses. And I love them. If I were to buy the em 5 and the 4/3 to M4/3 lens converter...is this an option? Does the converter decrease the cameras/lenses capabilities?

0 upvotes
rocklobster
By rocklobster (Mar 17, 2012)

All this talk about ISO error is quite understandabale with cameras having different tone curves. It is long known that the G3/GX1 tone curve doesn not roll oo into highlights wheras the E-Px does roll off somewhat and then there is the slope of the curve - apples and oranges for the JPEG output. The acid test is how they comprare on the RAW image.

Tell me I am wrong?

Cheers

0 upvotes
Pete_Murrell
By Pete_Murrell (Mar 17, 2012)

What about for people who don't care for long hours of post exposure mucking around and don't shoot in RAW? Instead like a good image straight from the camera in JPEG. This isn't a challenge by the way, I am just curious as to your thoughts.

4 upvotes
rocklobster
By rocklobster (Mar 17, 2012)

I don't like to shoot RAW unless I know I can get a better result. With the Oly cameras the JPEGs are usually that good you don't hav eto worry about RAW. I only mentioned RAW because the sensor response is linear so ISO accuracy can be measured (and compared) more easily - the JPEG output tone curve is a non-linear response so its more complex to analyse.

3 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (Mar 17, 2012)

You're not wrong. I think the importance of that issue has been over-exaggerated.

0 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (Mar 17, 2012)

@Pete_Murrell

People who don't care for process RAWs can just use Olympus's JPEGs in SHQ (very low compression, I think it's like something about 1:1.6 compression ratio) and turn the NR to the lowest setting that particular model allows (some model is low, some is none).

Another route is just batch process all the RAW files into Olympus Viewer (or Olympus Master or Olympus Studio). That is, just automatically save all RAWs into JPEGs but zero post-processing (I personally program my batch process so it auto corrects geometric distortion, turns NR to none, but nothing else. Yes, Olympus Viewer can do automated batch process). That way you preserve the beautiful Oly color and IQ of RAWs with just a few clicks. If you prefer less sharpness, you can program that too.

0 upvotes
SunLyte
By SunLyte (Mar 18, 2012)

Let's see, if you shoot RAW @ 12-bit you get 4,096 possible levels of brightness for each pixel. At 14-bit you get 16,000+ levels, but if you decide to stick with JPEG because you are lazy or dumb, you are limited to 8-bit which is 256 levels.

Not only do you capture more data with each raw image, you gain the ability to make adjustments to WB with ACR or whatever raw editor you use. That in itself is quite nice, but the ability to export the raw image to photoshop with 16-bits / channel for editing is even better.

Bottom line - if you care about your images you're shooting raw. If you just want JPEGs you should stick to point-n-shoots.

1 upvote
Spunjji
By Spunjji (Mar 19, 2012)

Ok SunLyte, I am now relegating you to troll territory, because that is all you have been doing here. However, if you are serious and you cannot accept that some people do not want to be messing around in RAW for *every single image they shoot*, then you genuinely are very small minded.

@rocklobster: I too am interested in seeing how that bears out. I shoot JPEG and RAW, so I am equally interested in image quality for both formats.

1 upvote
SunLyte
By SunLyte (Mar 19, 2012)

No spunjji, disagreeing with me doesn't make me a troll...but it does put you in a precarious position.

I never said you can't shoot JPEG, what I did say is that the people coming here trying to downplay the benefits of RAW over JPEG need to stop talking.

If you know how to compose images and read the scene you will not have a lot of photos to process anyway...but that's the difference between a P&S poser who is content with snapshots and a photographer. You are content with good enough - great, but don't make sh1t up about RAW to justify or validate your choice to shoot in the suboptimal format.

1 upvote
nomiss777
By nomiss777 (Mar 25, 2012)

@SunLyte It's funny because he didn't make sh1t about RAW. As DPREVIEW once stated, you do not need to shoot in RAW with Olympus's JPEG. Just because someone shoots in JPEG, it doesn't make him or her a P&S poser. I am sure that even a lot of people from Canon, Nikon, etc. shoots in JPEG too.

0 upvotes
razorfish
By razorfish (Mar 17, 2012)

How sad to see all these fanboys of other brands badmouthing Olympus products. I never see this happening when Canon/Nikon/Sony products are tested. Clearly a four thirds sensor performing well brings out some kind of inferiority complex in these people.

21 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Mar 17, 2012)

I doubt Canon/Nikon and Sony have anything to worry about with this release. While m43 continues to improve, APS-C is still superior, and perhaps what you consider "bashing" are people simply pointing out this fact. The amount of people "bashing" the OM-D is nowhere near the huge amount of m43's fans who seem to be overrating the OM-D based on high ISO JPEGs.

When all is said and done, the OM-D still falls between the Nikon 1 and the NEX-7, X-Pro1, and K-5 in IQ. I say this as a m43 and FF shooter.

4 upvotes
QuarterToDoom
By QuarterToDoom (Mar 17, 2012)

For marike6

You do realise that the biggest difference is the person behind the camera, right?

If you suck at photography you'll suck at it while holding the best gear. If you have no imagination no amount of high iso performance is going that change that. Measuring a cameras overall performance based on high iso is just insane.

Comment edited 55 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Nikkorforever
By Nikkorforever (Mar 17, 2012)

What is the relevance of your reply? Zero!!

3 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (Mar 17, 2012)

Democracy works best when there is no partisanship (i.e., people don't take side "merely because" of their pre-existing ideology or affiliations). This applies to civil discussion in general. Something to think about. Ad hominem (i.e., personal attack, including downplay other people's viewpoint) is an irrational behavior and has no place in constructive debate either. Of course, this reply has no relevance.... What I said is well-known and established for centuries and partisanship and ad hominem won't go extinct in any time soon....

4 upvotes
SunLyte
By SunLyte (Mar 19, 2012)

I don't think anyone is saying that the the OM-D hasn't improved upon the MFT sensor; what I see happening is that a lot of MFT fanboys are over-hyping the capabilities of the camera based on very subjective criteria. The TECHNICAL reality is that the OM-D is an incremental improvement over the GH2 in terms of image quality - don't know about video. I will get more excited about MFT when Panasonic debuts the GH3. The way I see it, the Lumix GHx series are the cameras that truly give APS-C a run for the money.

2 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (Mar 19, 2012)

@SunLyte

You're not wrong about your analysis, but it's the same argument why Olympus says 12-bit is enough. The reason is (*drum rolls please*) a typical LCD monitor people use are 8-bit only. Most people, won't notice any IQ difference between RAW and JPEGs (with very low compression) unless they use a professional monitor, which specifically states it has 10-bit process engine and wide-gamut (97% sRGB and up..., yes, even pro models may not have 100% sRGB gamut, let alone AdobeRGB gamut). I rarely see any monitor that has 12-bit process nor 14-bit ones (those can cost $1,000+).

Most people usually capture their photos in 72dpi, which is fine enough for LCD monitor, but not print quality 300dpi. I really think this subject is really moot point for most casual photographers.

0 upvotes
SunLyte
By SunLyte (Mar 19, 2012)

@citizenlouie
What you said is half true. You are correct that most monitors cannot display all colors simultaneously, but that benefit that you gain by having 12-bits to 14-bits of information per pixel available is a wider dynamic range during editing.

In other words, your monitor may only be able to display 8-bits per channel worth of info which is roughly 16M colors...but when you are post processing, being limited to 8-bits / channel prevents you from making any changes that could improve the image such as bringing out more detail from darker or lighter regions. The difference in the detail you can extract from a RAW file vs a JPEG is huge.

If you care enough about image quality to spend $1000 plus on a camera, you are doing yourself a disservice by shooting in JPEG only...but there are a lot of people who buy expensive equipment without ever shedding their P&S habits.

1 upvote
Spunjji
By Spunjji (Mar 19, 2012)

SunLyte is actually entirely correct here. Nice! :D

1 upvote
acahaya
By acahaya (Mar 17, 2012)

Since all tested cameras are set to use multi segment metering, you cannot really compare them because all differences could be explained by different multi segment exposure algorithms.
To judge and compare ISO, the closest amateur test method is to use a grey scale image (128, 128, 128), manual wb for neutral greys and use spot metering under identical lighting conditions, because the metering algorithms for spot metering should have the least difference between camera makers and models.
And even then you only see a tendency to over-/underexpose.

ISO is nothing but an interpretation, handled differently by each instance that interprets metering and each instance that interprets raw data (i.e. JPG engine or RAW converter).

0 upvotes
Louis_Dobson
By Louis_Dobson (Mar 17, 2012)

Comedy day from all the people who don't understand ISO! You'd expect that of course because the whole pursuit of high ISO thing is a ludicrous marketing scam, and as soon as people think rationally it all falls apart.

Now, when do we get the base ISO RAW pulls, which are what actually matter?

I'm pretty confident. You can't get high ISO results like this, irrelevant though they are to real life shooting, unless you have the read noise under control, and if you have read noise under control then you will you have good low ISO DR, and if you have good low ISO DR then this is a tool with which talented photographers can take good pictures (while talentless ones argue about high ISO).

9 upvotes
Blind Hawg
By Blind Hawg (Mar 17, 2012)

What arrogance!!

3 upvotes
NZ Scott
By NZ Scott (Mar 17, 2012)

Louis, I thought of you when I read on another site that the M5's base ISO of 200 is in reality 120. I recall that you take issue with the upward-creeping ISO situation, given that you value low ISO pic quality for landscapes (as do I).

0 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (Mar 17, 2012)

While deliverance is quite arrogant, but the argument is valid.

The real problem is photographers are a big group of people of different foci lump together. High ISO is relevant to some groups of photogs while not so much for others. For landscapers who shot on tripods, base ISO (and dynamic range in base ISO for that matter) is far more important than high ISO noise performance. In fact, even people who call them landscapers are not all the same. Some shoot nature with available light only, some shoot urban landscape, some shoot architecture..., all of them have different requirements.

The problem is camera companies are trying to design a few cameras to fulfill as many needs as possible. How are you going to do that with limited amount of investment unless marketing tell people there is one definite way to nirvana, whether that be high ISO, bigger sensor, more pixels, better sharpness, or whatever is the next big thing?

Everything is a compromise.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
Louis_Dobson
By Louis_Dobson (Mar 18, 2012)

Hi Scott!

ISO in JPG is supposed to conform to a standard, which Oly are missing by a third of a stop (normal variation). To meet that standard they can record the data in RAW any way they like. Oly are protecting the highlights and then pushing the shadows in the J{G engine, which should make for worse noise but better DR. Fine by me, but whatever, I don't use the JPG engine.

In RAW the "ISO" is fairly meaningless (you make your own processing choices), but I'm glad they are not amplifying the light unduly!

1 upvote
Gandalf_nouvelordi
By Gandalf_nouvelordi (Mar 17, 2012)

using the standalone comparison tool. and comparing: Oly EM-5, Pana GX1 and Canon G1X, this is my opinion:
at all ISO (200-6400)
- at center: G1X is slightly better than EM-5 and EM-5 is significantly better than GX1
- at corner: EM-5 is significantly better than GX1, and GX1 is slightly better G1X

EM-5 and GX1 were tested with the same 50mm lense. I would like to see the same test with the panasonic 14-42 lumix X pancake zoom, to get something that is more equivalent in price and compactness with the G1X lense! This is some work for DPreview :)
Compare big 50mm prime lense with pancake zoom is not play!

Concerning the false "ISO" from Oly, if you set the sample for EM-5 to 3200 ISO and both G1X and GX1 to 1600, you don't get significant difference, EM-5 remain far better than GX1 (both at corner and at center), the GX1 remain the best at center, and the worse at corner.

1 upvote
Antony John
By Antony John (Mar 17, 2012)

Eventually got the standalone tool to work but no E-M5, just E-5.
Houston, DPReview have a problem.

0 upvotes
Mal_In_Oz
By Mal_In_Oz (Mar 17, 2012)

I would like to see all three tested taking photos of my daughter in a dance concert. Low light, fast action. Something like ISO 3200/6400 at f2 and 45mm would be ideal and give about 1/250th to 1/500th.

0 upvotes
ogo
By ogo (Mar 17, 2012)

Why can't people just admit that a 4/3 sensor can be good at high ISO, and instead of that just say that Olympus cheated on high iso ?

Now think about this :
- R. Butler clearly stated that you can't use those studio samples to judge ISO scale
- for those shots E-M5 exposure times are the same that Panasonic GX1. Did anyone accuse Panasonic to cheat here ? Just look at DXOMark of GX1 (DXOmark being the "reference" for those accusing Oly to cheat). GX1 is right on scale
- you can't compare exposure for 4/3 and other sensors because the aspect ratio is not the same (3:2 vs 4:3). 3:2 sensors have more white on the sides to expose, thus making the comparison impossible
- you ignore light transmission differences between lenses (T-stops) which can have a big impact
- studio samples on another site (focus-numerique.com) show same exposure times for NEX-5N and E-M5, and still the noise results are very comparable with what is shown here.

14 upvotes
manmachine242
By manmachine242 (Mar 17, 2012)

"3:2 sensors have more white on the sides to expose, thus making the comparison impossible"

I hope you have heard about method of measure the incoming light. It is only 50 years old at least.

" light transmission differences between lenses (T-stops) which can have a big impact"

It is a misbelief. The difference between transmissions is only a few percent, especially in these lenses which do not contain 15..20 elements. Light loss at surfaces with modern multi coating is 0.2 - 0.3%. We are in year 2012, not in 1930.

Twenty surfaces can produce 5-6% loss, the difference between transmissions of two prime lenses is only 2-3%.

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

@ manamachine,
Please check DXO mark for lens TStops - there is a large variation from one lens make/type to another.

3 upvotes
coroander
By coroander (Mar 17, 2012)

It is reasonable to expect technological advances to appear in m43rds sensors before they appear in FF sensors. The smaller size (alone) lends itself to achieving the necessary yields with new technologies before they can be effectively applied to FF chips which are 4 times larger. It's entirely reasonable to expect m43rds sensors to punch above their weight for the foreseeable future.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
ogo
By ogo (Mar 17, 2012)

manmachine242,

"I hope you have heard about method of measure the incoming light. It is only 50 years old at least."
Just look at the histograms ... They don't lie

3 upvotes
manmachine242
By manmachine242 (Mar 17, 2012)

@ Antony John:

DXO Mark results:

Canon 50mm 1.4 : 1.6TStops
Nikon 50mm 1.4: 1.6TStops
Zeiss 50mm 1.4: 1.6TStops
Sigma 50mm 1.4: 1.7 TStops
Sony 85mm 1.4: 1.6 TStops
Sigma 85mm 1.4: 1.6 TStops
Nikon 35mm 1.4: 1.7TStops

So where is that huge difference?

The difference between real and nominal aperture is much significant, that difference is transmission. Look at the lens patents. The real aperture of an 1.4 lens is about 1.35 to 1.45.

Comment edited 12 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
manmachine242
By manmachine242 (Mar 17, 2012)

@ ogo:

There is no connection between histogram and a cropped image where we try to find details and define the noise.

Download two images, load them into an image editor software, and measure the pixels at the same area. They are very similar, but exposure values show 2/3 EV difference.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Antony John
By Antony John (Mar 17, 2012)

@ Manmachine, quick look, Panny 45-175 5.2 TStop.
And it doesn't have "15 to 20 elements"

0 upvotes
ogo
By ogo (Mar 17, 2012)

manmachine242,

More white on image means more incoming light and thus less exposure time, this is what I say. You can't say ISO is cheated if you don't expose the same quantity of light.

Also look at the G1X (Canon) samples which is 4:3 ratio. They have the same exposure value than the E-M5 at 6400 ISO. Did Canon also cheat ?

0 upvotes
manmachine242
By manmachine242 (Mar 17, 2012)

"More white on image means more incoming light"

:D

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_meter

0 upvotes
manmachine242
By manmachine242 (Mar 17, 2012)

@ Antony John:

Do you really know what that word "aperture" means?

Panasonic 45-175 is an 1:4.0 - 5.6 lens
The TStops: 4.3 - 5.7, the 5.2 is an average value.

Click on "measurements" and click "transmission" after.
Look at the bottom diagram called "T-Stop difference to manufacturer"
All that you see is the effect of entrance pupil/focal length ratio, not the effect of reflection on surfaces.

And now, do the same thing with a prime lens.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 9 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Antony John
By Antony John (Mar 17, 2012)

Yes, actually id do.
Your original comment was totally wrong:
"It is a misbelief. The difference between transmissions is only a few percent, especially in these lenses which do not contain 15..20 elements. Light loss at surfaces with modern multi coating is 0.2 - 0.3%. We are in year 2012, not in 1930."
Do you klnow the difference between a 50% change in '%' and a 3X change in TStop?
To continue, there's no data on DXO on the 50 mm F2 Zuiko. So a quick look reveals that the Nikon 50 mm F1.8 has a TStop of 1.9. Now consider this is a FF lens and F1.8 not F2. thus the TStop of the Oly 50 mm F2 will be even higher.
Compare this to the TStop of the F1.4 lenses quoted and yes, a 2/3 Stop extra falloff can well be anticipated with the Oly.
Your initial statement was erroneous to say the least.
Please also look furtehr down where DPReview state that their measured difference is around 1/3 stop and have also meantioned the accuracy of their lighting system.
QED

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
manmachine242
By manmachine242 (Mar 17, 2012)

The only thing I can do is repeat myself: Your examples show that you simply do not understand the simplest basics of optics, like aperture etc.

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

@manmachine,
The only thing I can say is that your original statement was wrong as I think has been adequately proved.
I have no Oly equipment (lots of Nikon though) and don't have a point to prove and have no reason to discredit their products.

1 upvote
ogo
By ogo (Mar 17, 2012)

manmachine242, I give up with you if this can help your ego. Have better things to do :)

PS: I know what is aperture, light, light meter because I use them to make photos :) I also know that if I shoot a white panel, the exposure time will be less that if I shoot a grey one (perhaps even more with a black one LOL). You do not seem to agree, you must be right :)

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
manmachine242
By manmachine242 (Mar 17, 2012)

@ Antony John

You could not show any example from DXO where difference in transmission more than 0.1 EV with similar lenses, but you talk about 0.7EV effect.

So which statement was wrong?

0 upvotes
manmachine242
By manmachine242 (Mar 17, 2012)

@ ogo

"I give up with you"

It is a best thing from anybody who continously mix up the ttl and the external metering.

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

@manmachine,

Lets see if you can undesrtand the following:
The same lens was not used with each camera tested.
The lenses were different
There are differences more than '0.1 EV' between lenses used for testing different cameras - as you have been shown.
You start talking about transmission then end up saying I don't understand aperture?
Please Google the difference.
I also give up with you.

1 upvote
manmachine242
By manmachine242 (Mar 17, 2012)

@ Antony John:

Quote:
"@ Manmachine, quick look, Panny 45-175 5.2 TStop.
And it doesn't have "15 to 20 elements""

So what we are talking about?

This sentence shows that you simply do not know what stops and aperture means.

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

@Manmachine,
SIgh, please tell me which of those lenses you listed were used for the Oly E-M5 tests please.
And
if neither
Then what the TStop (or EV) difference was there with the lens used to test the E-M5 and those you listed.
Finally, the John Cleese "Hungarian/English phrase book" and accompanying "Optics as I see it" should not be used as reference material. ;-)

0 upvotes
manmachine242
By manmachine242 (Mar 17, 2012)

After you wrote technical supidities and you could not demostrate any of them the only weapon that resmains for you is scoffing and indulging in personalities.

0 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (Mar 17, 2012)

"Why can't people just admit that a 4/3 sensor can be good at high ISO, and instead of that just say that Olympus cheated on high iso ?

Now think about this :
- R. Butler clearly stated that you can't use those studio samples to judge ISO scale"

The first point you pointed out, is enough to question the performance shown. I think that's sort of the point.

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

@Manmachine,

Your responses have been nothing short of evasive, obtuse and down-right wrong. I was being kind to you and offering your lack of understanding of the English language as an excuse for your not understanding the debate.
As I suggested, go and look up the difference between transmission and aperture, this is obviously an area where you have little understanding.
When you have digested and can comprehend the difference then I'm open to debate again. If not then I shall just ignore your rants.

1 upvote
Mtsuoka
By Mtsuoka (Mar 17, 2012)

too much hype around Olympus..
the 3D rendering, the Oly color, and now this..

1 upvote
T3
By T3 (Mar 17, 2012)

It's funny how enthusiasm for any good product is dismissed as "hype" by those that don't like it.

2 upvotes
Zerg2905
By Zerg2905 (Mar 18, 2012)

@T3: Look at the 5D Mk III thread - you are perfectly right. Now, on the other hand, owning an AE-1, I will buy the Oly only for the "look". I miss such design "adventures" - these do not appear in the Canon world, unfortunately. Great camera - bravo Olympus!

0 upvotes
NZ Scott
By NZ Scott (Mar 17, 2012)

Oly is overstating ISO - that's one reason why the results look so impressive.

The German website digitalkamera (dot) de tested the M5's ISO capabilities and concluded that it does not shoot at ISO 200-25,600, but actually at ISO 120-14,200. In other words, Oly is exaggerating by 2/3 of a stop.

What that means is that if you want to compare an M5 image shot at 3200 with an image from another camera, it is fairer to compare it with a 1600 image, assuming that the manufacturer of the other camera hasn't also told a big fib.

The Germans did find that the M5 has very good dynamic range - around 11 stops at ISO 1600, dropping to 8 stops at 25,600. Presumably the dynamic range is even better at lower ISOs.

10 upvotes
Aleo Veuliah
By Aleo Veuliah (Mar 17, 2012)

Yes it appears that is true, I read it also

0 upvotes
coroander
By coroander (Mar 17, 2012)

Still this camera has few peers for low light work. The availability of very fast f0.95 primes and IS which works with these primes gives a 3 to 5 stop advantage over high-end FF cameras when the subject isn't moving.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
NZ Scott
By NZ Scott (Mar 17, 2012)

@coroander

I'm not so sure about that. The 0.95 primes are soft wide-open, which means you have to stop down to f1.4-.2.0 to get decent results. This somewhat negates the brightness advantage. Oly's in-body image stabilisation is controversial. A lot of people, myself included, think it is practically useless. Some early testers of the M5 reckon its IBIS is worth about two stops, but this is yet to be confirmed.

1 upvote
pomoville
By pomoville (Mar 17, 2012)

Where'd you hear that? Everything I've seen indicates that the camera has the most advanced IS system out there.

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

Robin Wong was extremely impressed with IBIS

3 upvotes
deep7
By deep7 (Mar 17, 2012)

The IBIS in the E-P1 works very well indeed and the E-M5 is supposed to be even better. People who have actually used the camera confirm this.

As for the slight variation in "ISO" ratings from manufacturer to manufacturer, so what? The E-M5 is clearly doing very well regardless - add a stop and it's still good, way better than Olympus have done in the past and better than any would expect from that sized sensor in 2012.

0 upvotes
Jorginho
By Jorginho (Mar 17, 2012)

That would be true if others would not do the same. However, if we look at DxO and compare the NEX5N with the EPL3 we see exactly the same behaviour. ISO 200 on the Sony is 127 according to DxO and 125 for the EPL3.
ISO 1600 is ISO 1101 on the Sony and 947 on the Oly EPL3.
And ISO 12800 is 8847 on the NEX5n and 7684 on the EPL3.
The only company that comes close or even reverses this at times (measured ISO in fact higher than manufacturers' ISO) is Panasonic. The GX1 is close to the measured ISO till ISO 3200 or so and ISO 800 is in fact 868.
Now, on this site you can see that there is not one ISO standard, but about five. You can approach this in several ways and they have concluded time and time again that manufacturers are not cheating and that their ISO is rated according to this ISO standard.
So: if you do not believe dpreview, than still other manufacturers do the same and score about the same measured ISO. You can still compare them.

4 upvotes
ZAnton
By ZAnton (Mar 17, 2012)

@coroander
But the price and size/weight of such 0.95 lenses kill all advantages of the m4/3 system. And do not forget about AF ;).

@ pomovile
I have E-PEN1. And I state (with the hand on the Bible), that its in-body stabilization is practically useless. It barely gives 1 Stop advantage, most probably 0.5 Stop if any.
Even if they say that EM-5 has brand new IS, I really, really doubt that it would give more than 1.5 Stops advantage.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
JesperMP
By JesperMP (Mar 17, 2012)

I aggree about the skewed ISO rating of the Oly E-M5 camera.
For example, when checking DPRs test pictures at ISO1600.
Sony NEX5N shoots at f8 and 1/400.
Oly E-M5 shoots at f6.3 and 1/400.

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

"Useless" in-body stabiization? One can bicker the issue in the case of still photos, but hand-held video without stabilization is useless, period. The OM-D's 5-axis IBS may be over-taughted, but let's see some tests. It might be quite nice.

0 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Mar 17, 2012)

I have to jump in here about the IBIS. I'll admit I don't know much about the finer points of measuring ISO, but if Olympus has exagerrated, my attitude is "So what?" Just choose the appropriate ISOs in the studio comparison tool. This camera still looks good to me.

As far as IBIS, I currently shoot a Panasonic G2 and an Olympus E-510. I love the G2, it has better dynamic range than the E-510 and is better for manual focus, but I REALLY miss the IBIS of the E-510. It makes a huge, noticeable difference in any kind of handheld shot in minimal light. So I don't know where this post is coming from. Everything suggests that this camera has better IBIS than ever before, and it is a big part of my decision to make what for me will be a major investment.

Read the reviews of the Panasonic 25mm 1.4. Tack sharp wide open. It may be as sharp wide open (or nearly so) as at any other aperture. That lens + this camera gives you as much capability in low light as anything else out there.

0 upvotes
NZ Scott
By NZ Scott (Mar 17, 2012)

@bobbarber

The IBIS might give you a "huge" advantage on your E-510, but it is practically useless on my E-P3. Different models, I guess. I leave it off all the time, as it adds blur to high-speed shots.

@John Koch

IBIS does not work when shooting video on PEN cameras. The PEN cameras automatically turn off IBIS and use digital IS for video.

The two-stop IBIS result was in a test of the M5 which I accessed from the m43 rumours website.

@jorginho

That's interesting. Thanks for making a constructive comment.

0 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Mar 17, 2012)

@ NZ Scott

You may be right about camera models. I have read complaints on these forums about IBIS on the E-620, which was worthless in some people's estimation. It sounds like you don't like it on the E-P3 either. I guess we'll have to wait for the verdict on this system. I'll repeat though, IBIS is excellent on the E-510, which I have shot with since 2006. So my opinion is not based on 100 shots or anything like that. If this system gives me what the E-510 does, even if all the hype about 5-axis is a lot of hooey and it doesn't do /more/ than what the E-510 does, it is still a feature worth having.

0 upvotes
coroander
By coroander (Mar 17, 2012)

bobbarber is correct; the Panasonic Leica Summilux f1.4 is very sharp wide open. Also m43rds offers larger DOF with large apertures, and for most low-light work this is likely to be advantageous -- certainly more will be in focus. There's a potential 2 stop advantage to m43rds in low light work, plus another potential 2 or 3 or more stop advantage with IS. This camera still promises to be outstanding (if not the best solution) for a lot of low-light work.

Comment edited 24 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Hubertus Bigend
By Hubertus Bigend (Mar 17, 2012)

digitalkamera.de, as far as I can tell, seem to only judge by out-of-cam JPEG, which clearly has a very steep tone curve applied, rendering shadows even darker, which may account for them to assume a 2/3 EV ISO difference.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Mar 17, 2012)

ISO is defined by out-of-cam JPEG, so they're right to do so.

0 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (Mar 17, 2012)

About IBIS

I can't shoot handheld without IS around 1/60", but totally fine with IBIS turned on on my E-620. It's not useless.

If you use a telephoto lens, please make sure to turn the focal length section at the bottom of the screen to correspond to the focal length you're using. That is, if you used 200mm lens, change IBIS to optimize for 200mm.

There are three modes of IS with E-620 (there are more with the E-M5). IS.1 is for both horizontal and vertical shakes, which is most useful to me, as my hands shake a lot. IS.2 and IS.3 are designed for minimize noise caused by IS, so they only reduce vertical shake only (IS.2) or horizontal shake only (IS.3). To me those two modes are useless.

In high speed shots, IS does very little. IS is most useful around borderline shutter speed, that is 1/30" to 1/250". 1/250" is usually considered safe handheld shutter speed for anything under 100mm focal length.

And please don't call E-M5 "M5." That name usually refers to Leica M5.

0 upvotes
ntsan
By ntsan (Mar 19, 2012)

So as 5N

0 upvotes
Spunjji
By Spunjji (Mar 19, 2012)

To everybody arguing that the IBIS will be useless, the tests are out there showing otherwise. Quickest one I could find:
http://www.pekkapotka.com/journal/2012/2/24/olympus-e-m5-5-axis-image-stabilization.html
There's another with a graph hanging around, but I couldn't locate it.

Your conjecture is unsupported, so your confidence in your assertions is unjustified.

@Zanton: I actually mostly agree with you about EP-1 IS (disappointing, though not entirely useless as you claim) but you're entirely wrong about the E-M5.

0 upvotes
nomiss777
By nomiss777 (Mar 25, 2012)

@NZ Scott
http://www.pekkapotka.com/journal/2012/2/24/olympus-e-m5-5-axis-image-stabilization.html

Very impressive. From every single articles I read about the OM-D, they are agree that the OM-D IBIS is the best out there and much better than the EP-3

0 upvotes
pppp
By pppp (Mar 17, 2012)

R Johns,

You are right !

0 upvotes
wkay
By wkay (Mar 17, 2012)

miss my OM-1 from 1976..

2 upvotes
jrg
By jrg (Mar 17, 2012)

For some reason there seems to be an overload when these samples are first posted. As i mentioned below, I can't load them, they won't come out on my screen. refreshing the browser is futile. And as someone else pointed out, this has happened before. It takes a good two days before everyone can gain access to the samples.

1 upvote
Antony John
By Antony John (Mar 17, 2012)

I might also add that opening say the NX5 review and navigating to samples the OM-D set is not available for selection so that route is blocked too.
Using 'compatability mode' on IE 9 is also 'no go'.
The top, right side and bottom frames open but the middle frame (image frame) is blank.

0 upvotes
joes49
By joes49 (Mar 17, 2012)

I'd like to know who will replace their E-3 with the new OM-D, and why...thanks!

0 upvotes
deep7
By deep7 (Mar 17, 2012)

I might - but I'd have to replace my 50-200 with something long and sharp that would focus well on the new body. I'd be happy using my 12-60 though, as it worked well enough on my EP1. But I love the idea of shedding some weight and improving image quality! Could I give up on my super-reliable old friend though?

0 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (Mar 17, 2012)

@joes49

Most likely those who don't want to carry big cameras and don't have SHG lenses. Basically, to those E-3/5 are overkill to begin with.

Comment edited 46 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (Mar 17, 2012)

@deep7

Zuiko 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 SWD is the $1,000 challenge (US dollar). Can any camera maker make a better lens for that offering price? Unthinkable to part with it.... It's the reason I joined Olympus camp and the reason I didn't jump ship to Sony when A900 was on sale. Who can make a lens, with the same IQ, 9-blade circular aperture design, THREE ED glasses, weather proof all metal barrel, and still include lens hood, tripod collar and a very nice lens carrying case for just a little over $1,000? Crazy man!

0 upvotes
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (Mar 17, 2012)

Impressive JPEG quality but is that JPEG artifacts I see from ISO 3200 and up? Black blots from too much sharpening? Overall, a close or distance 2nd to 5N depending on ISO and if the artifacts are just something on DP's side or really something wrong with the JPEG engine.

4 upvotes
ZecaMuzzio
By ZecaMuzzio (Mar 17, 2012)

Amazing images! useful 6400 ISO! good 12800 and the 25600 not bad at all! Congratulations Olympus! I'm on the line to get one OM-D to join my 4/3 system! this camera is going to rule! and this is just the beginning ;-)

5 upvotes
R Johns
By R Johns (Mar 17, 2012)

I wish it weren't true, but the EM-5 sample confirms what I read elsewhere, and that is the camera is misrepresenting the ISO. The ISO 3200 image is roughly 2/3 EV slower than the other cameras. This means you would have to set the EM-5 to ISO 5000 to get the same exposure as the other cameras set to ISO 3200. So, there shouldn't be much to impress, when using the camera in real-world scenarios.

Hate to be the one to rain on the parade. Like I said, I wish it wasn't true... :0(

Canon does the same thing with their DSLRs, when compared to Nikon...

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
SteB
By SteB (Mar 17, 2012)

And it has already been pointed out by numerous people including Dpreview staff why this claim is misleading. It comes about because the DXO testing used to establish the ISO in these tests uses a different standard than the camera manufacturers.
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1041&message=40929304

4 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Mar 17, 2012)

Our testing suggests it's around 1/3EV.

7 upvotes
R Johns
By R Johns (Mar 17, 2012)

Thanks for sharing...

This isn't the first time we've been around this block. I expect the final results to bear out the same concerns we are addressing today. G3 ISO 3200 image 1/1250sec/ E-M5 image 1/800. Roughly 2/3 EV difference for the same exposure. I still expect real world usuage will prove out this camera has no advantage over the G3. However, I have never been critical of the G3's high ISO performance. I think it is great, and I expect the E-M5 will perform at least as good in real-world scenarios.

I am still very much impressed with this offering from Olympus, but a high ISO king it will not be. Perhaps on paper, but not in reality...

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Aleo Veuliah
By Aleo Veuliah (Mar 17, 2012)

Yes it is true, really don't know why Olympus did this, and why they need to cheat a bit, on the past they had always the correct ISO

0 upvotes
Jorginho
By Jorginho (Mar 17, 2012)

What people seem to miss is that according to DxO, its main competitors bar Panny till ISO 3200, do exactly the same by virtually the same amount.
Some people here make it sound like it is ISO 1600 vs Oly's ISO 1600. Not true. Sony NEX 5N scores ISO 1100 and Oly 947 (EPL3) when it "is" ISO 1600. FUji with its 100X is betwen Oly and Sony.
So these images are comparable. Only Panasonic at lower ISO, if you take DXO word for it (and I wouldn't) is quite different. ISO 800 is ISO 868. Coming very close to ISO 1600 on the Oly EPL3 and close evrstill to the NEX5N.

Last point to make it all the more confusing: when I did tests with my GH2 compared to my G1, in a room at night with everything constant i DID note that I could use a lower ISO value with the G1 and get the same exposure. I think it is about 1/3 of a stop or so.

3 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Mar 17, 2012)

There are 2 separate pieces of information people are using to suggest Olympus is 'cheating' with ISO. Neither of which tell you much about ISO accuracy:

1) Different exposures in this scene. This scene is not intended as a test of ISO and isn't controlled as precisely as an ISO test would require. As such, you should not try to draw conclusions about ISO accuracy from this scene.

2) DxO sensitivity measurements don't match stated ISO What DxO measures is not connected to ISO as camera makers specify it. There's no reason why these numbers should match up. It tells you NOTHING about ISO accuracy.

Our preliminary testing suggests the E-M5 is 1/3EV less sensitive than it should be at any given ISO. This is the only piece of information I have access to that tells me anything about ISO accuracy.

3 upvotes
fotojoh
By fotojoh (Mar 17, 2012)

Very nice images. Wonderfully executed body - a thing of beauty. I am smitten.

5 upvotes
RadPhoto
By RadPhoto (Mar 17, 2012)

I must say, I am very impressed. And I am a NEX user. Great job Olympus.

Comment edited 25 seconds after posting
8 upvotes
jrg
By jrg (Mar 17, 2012)

My PC won't bring up the samples, won't load them. Anybody else having this problem?

1 upvote
SteB
By SteB (Mar 17, 2012)

Yes

0 upvotes
Alberto6674
By Alberto6674 (Mar 17, 2012)

Refresh the page in the browser. If still nothing, try to clear the cache and load the page again (or try a different browser).

0 upvotes
daleeight
By daleeight (Mar 17, 2012)

Doesn't work in FireFox, does in IE8 tho.

Comment edited 36 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
SteB
By SteB (Mar 17, 2012)

I got it to work on Firefox after pressing refresh a couple of times and it is working okay now.

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

Not working on IE 9 either. Had the same problem when the studio sample were originally published too which only worked ±48 Hrs after original posting.
Maybe server overload?
Clearing the cache has no effect.

0 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (Mar 17, 2012)

I couldn't help noticing that some people seem to imply this test is biased. Let me see if I got it right: when they like a camera and its good performance is confirmed by the test samples, it's all OK and testing procedures are accurate and beyond any doubt; if, however, a camera those people don't happen to like gets good results... DPR are cheating!
That's pretty much like those who say the referee was bribed when their soccer team loses.
Sorry, I can't understand this mentality. And I think it's out of place here.

23 upvotes
anthony mazzeri
By anthony mazzeri (Mar 17, 2012)

Football team.

The sport is football. The competition is soccer. Football team plays soccer. What were you saying about camera tests? ;)

1 upvote
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (Mar 17, 2012)

OK, you win, Anthony. «Football» it is :)

1 upvote
stimmer
By stimmer (Mar 17, 2012)

That's exactly right. These camera companies are the football/soccer teams.

0 upvotes
backayonder
By backayonder (Mar 17, 2012)

I come from the country that gave football to the world. The sport is Football played by Football teams. The fact that we are now crap is another matter entirely.

2 upvotes
radix1
By radix1 (Mar 17, 2012)

LOL @backayonder, i guess you're not the one that believe the three lions going to win euro 2012 or every euro & WC for that matter :D

0 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (Mar 17, 2012)

For God's sake, I never meant my comment to become a football discussion! I don't even like football very much... This is about a mentality that's bringing some sort of fanaticism to what is essentially an art - photography. I could have compared it to religious fanaticism, too - but I didn't want to get too controversial...
I suspect the implications I referred to come from two sides: APS-C users who can't stand the idea of a smaller sensor having good image quality (which destroys all their preconceptions) and Panasonic users, who don't accept the fact that Olympus has a much greater experience in photo equipment, so it makes better cameras. As for me, I do have an Olympus camera - an E-P1 -, plus some lenses, but I'm the first to accept micro 4/3 limitations in terms of noise. That the E-M5 fared so well in these tests was nothing short of a great surprise.

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

@radix1,

No those you mention are the ones who spend big bucks on their cameras, lenses and tickets hoping to photoraph the winning goal. When it doesn't come they then berate their equipment :-)

0 upvotes
Hen3ry
By Hen3ry (Mar 17, 2012)

You’re all mad. there is only one kind of football where you must kick the ball to score a goal or maximum points and therefore merits the name of "football". That's Australian football. How can you call soccer "football" when you can score a goal by hitting the ball with (of all things) your head? :D

Cheers, geoff

0 upvotes
Zafar Kazmi
By Zafar Kazmi (Mar 17, 2012)

I support team m4/3. I say Go Oly Go and go Pana Go.

APS-C is just not for true compacts.

10 upvotes
manmachine242
By manmachine242 (Mar 16, 2012)

There is a problem with all dpreview test samples if the compared cameras have different aspect ratios.

The constant height of object plane is invented to measure a special resolution parameter, the linepair / picture height.

But now, we try to judge the noise and noise filtering performance by means of details. In these samples the optical, lateral magnification is different with 3:2 APS-C and 4:3 mFT sensors. The same object shows different amount of pixels on different sample photos even if the cameras have same number of pixels.

It makes the whole comparing a bit meaningless. The 3:2 and 4:3 crops of object plane should have same diagonal size, not same height. I would not like to link that french site which uses the correct technique (only from this point of view), but dpreview should have rethink this.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
derfla1949
By derfla1949 (Mar 17, 2012)

Couldn't agree more.
For comparisons' sake, the objects in the studio setup should all appear in exactly the same size. This, of course, is only feasible if some other compromise is made, e.g. when the same ratio (say 3:2) is used all of the time, or when different image sizes are used. This may require some calculöation, but it will be worth it.
The dime MUST always be the same size.

0 upvotes
Pixnat2
By Pixnat2 (Mar 16, 2012)

It seems evident that it's not the G3 or GH2 sensor.
Looks more similar to the 5n. Sony sensor?

Comment edited 20 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
stimmer
By stimmer (Mar 16, 2012)

I don't think it's that sensor, but it certainly looks like it's performing like it. The blacks and shadow areas are what looks very similar. If the DR is similar we will know for sure.

Really nice performance here. Olympus has a winner.

2 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Mar 17, 2012)

Do you really think that Olympus would change to an APCs sized sensor?

0 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (Mar 17, 2012)

Not actually the same - micro 4/3 sensors are smaller in area than the APS-C in the Sony NEX5N -, but some suspect the E-M5's sensor has been made by a manufacturer other than Panasonic. If that's right (Olympus play their cards close to the chest), Sony is a possibility. (But so are Fujifilm and Samsung...)

0 upvotes
stimmer
By stimmer (Mar 17, 2012)

No, just a variation or design similar to that, but with a different size.

0 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (Mar 17, 2012)

On Amazon's page it clearly says it's LiveMOS censor. I highly doubt it's Sony who makes the sensor (unless they have the plant to make it..., and given they have trouble pushing the NEX-7 out, I doubt they have the capacity). If Panny is not making it, I guess it may be a third-party outsourcer who Panny has given the permission (and given the technology to) to make it.

0 upvotes
gustabod
By gustabod (Mar 17, 2012)

yes got the same impression, particularly in the RAW samples that the output looks closer to what the Sony sensors do (yes I realise one is APS-C and the other M 4/3)

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

All depends on what's done with the analogue signal from the sensor. It's been said that Nikon can get better low light performance from the Sony cameras than Sony can. The only difference being the 'pipeline' after the sensor - The ADC and any other 'manipulations' to the signal that might occur.

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

Sony Camera = Sony Sensor.
Whoops.

0 upvotes
oldfogey
By oldfogey (Mar 16, 2012)

Now that some here are starting to make comparisons of the OM-D with ff cameras costing 3-7x more for the bodies - (and equivalent lenses too!) - it would be well to note that when Raw's are compared among Pany G3, Sony NX5 and D3s the s/n differences seem to scale remarkably well with sensor area - i.e. approx 1 stop improvement in s/n /doubling of sensor area.

At some point in sensor development, shot noise must become truly limiting. What is astonishing here is that the OM-D (appears!?) to beat the present s/n scaling curve by about a stop. When will we reach the true theoretical limitation or is there something else at work?

Do I really need the extra sensitivity? - I have been very pleased with my E-PL1 and some fast primes. Perhaps I'll wait until Olympus put the same sensor and electronics in a less expensive package - or perhaps I won't!

3 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (Mar 17, 2012)

You do have a point. If you are pleased with your camera - and why shouldn't you? -, why rush and buy a new one just because it has some over the top ISO performance? I feel the same about my E-P1: the fact that it lags behind the E-M5 in high ISO doesn't mean it isn't a very capable camera.

1 upvote
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (Mar 17, 2012)

I've seen quite a few people using Olympus E-PL1 lately on the street. Interesting phenomenon, really. That camera has been out for a long time, but only recently it's getting popular. Incidentally I also found out in Flickr, E-PL1 is the most used Olympus camera on Flickr (in term of numbers of photos posted per day).

Here is my theory, general public isn't your typical DPReview users, who always buy the latest gears the moment it comes out. :-) As we know, money is still a concern in RL.

And back to your question about if one needs extra sensitivity. You know, low ISO is very important to some of us, so the dynamic range of low ISO is just as important as high ISO's noise performance. What I am afraid of the most is if they upped the ISO by one stop..., so the new ISO 200 is actually the old ISO 100, and the native ISO of the new sensor is actually ISO 400. I would be VERY angry if they sacrifice low ISO performance for the sake of an ISO I don't use.

1 upvote
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (Mar 16, 2012)

For those who think the perimeter is important and ISO is not the same..., well, it's impossible to measure under that sort of circumstance. I think it's more meaningful to compare two images that have the same perceived level of exposure rather than what says on EXIF. Reasons? 1) ISO not the same across the brand (even though ISO is supposed to be a standard..., if you think Fuji Pro 160S and Kodak Portra 160 will give you same meter measure in film, well, good luck), 2) meter between cameras aren't the same (even within the same brand, and same model, that's why some pros go by camera's serial number), 3) different lenses used will give different light character, 4) Nikon cameras tend to give +1 more exposure and Olympus tends to give -1/3 exposure than most people prefer (though -1/3 is more accurate for pro prints). I think "normalizing" the exposure will give better result, because "over" exposure will be "perceived" as sharper. (people use this against Nikon cameras a lot).

0 upvotes
Just Having Fun
By Just Having Fun (Mar 16, 2012)

Andy from DPR explained, "we've recently swapped the original lighting out for a different softbox with a dimmer switch".
There is no way to tell if ISOs are different between cameras from these samples.

1 upvote
bencr
By bencr (Mar 16, 2012)

I was particularly interested in a comparison with the G3 but as others have said, it is impossible with the differences in exposure. For a useful real-world comparison of noise at high ISO you would have to set the shutter speed & aperture and adjust the ISO until the exposures were equal and then look at the noise.

I think the only conclusion that I can draw from this is that the OM-D doesn't blow the G3 out of the water. Given that, I would say the G3 is a real bargain.

1 upvote
Oxherder Arts
By Oxherder Arts (Mar 16, 2012)

Sold! My order just went in via one of your links. Thank you DPR.

4 upvotes
Iso1975
By Iso1975 (Mar 16, 2012)

This one goes toe to toe against the likes of Pentax K5, Canon 7D or Nikon D7000!!!

4 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (Mar 16, 2012)

The more I pixel peep, the more useless it feels. I notice all kinds of differences in focus, light balance, exposure and contrast. Not to mention different scaling due to megapixels and sensor size. I think it would be more usefull to configure a truly difficult scene, with more real life potential.

OT: to me the oly clearly oversharpens. Especially visible with the yarn spindles.

5 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (Mar 16, 2012)

If DPR uses the same perimeter, as you propose, I bet some people will complain why some photos look brighter than others. And perceived sharpness will favor "over-exposed" photos. Just something to think about. I would rather judge a photo's IQ based on the exposure I normally would consider as "proper exposure" for my own photos. This is a very subjective measure. Even when I was measuring the sharpness of an OM mount lens when I mount it on an Olympus E-620 and Olympus OM 4T, even the same lens will give different level of brightness in the output when I set both camera in M mode and use same F-number, same shutter speed and same ISO. That's just the way it is.

Yes, I agree Olympus's digital photos tend to over sharpen (than my liking), but even then, it retains details. Try that on other brand's final photo. When you sharpen (in software), detail will suffer because noise usually will be introduced. Keep in mind Oly 50mm f/2 is the sharpest 50mm on the market.

0 upvotes
Goreyo
By Goreyo (Mar 17, 2012)

"The more I pixel peep, the more useless it feels."

Spot on.

3 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (Mar 16, 2012)

Somehow this camera manages to beat the Panasonic at high ISO, which may confirm the insistent rumours about its sensor being from other source than Panasonic. A surprising result, even at its higher price. And it does at least as well as the Sony, which shows, as someone else stated below, that there's more to a camera's performance than the sensor.
Unnecessary high ISO sensitivities aside, the performance of this camera at low ISO settings is typical Olympus: Vivid, saturated (yet accurate) colours. To which it adds a sharpness that is only comparable to the higher grade Olympus' DSLRs. It also shows the highest levels of contrast, giving its images a DSLR-like feeling that its competitors lack.
The impression I get is that this is a camera (or rather THE camera) for photographers who expect very high quality from out-of-camera JPEGs and can't be too bothered with post-production - with high ISO performance as a welcome bonus.
Time to break the piggybank...

5 upvotes
Rubenski
By Rubenski (Mar 16, 2012)

Compared to the already 'old' 7D this performance is only slightly better sometimes but mostly slightly worse. D3s still looks stunning (greatest low light camera still), wonder how the Mark 5D III is going to perform at ISO 6400.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 54 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Iso1975
By Iso1975 (Mar 16, 2012)

Are you comparing a M4/3 with the D3s and 5D Mark III???

13 upvotes
zigi_S
By zigi_S (Mar 16, 2012)

That's some real flattery there.

11 upvotes
coroander
By coroander (Mar 17, 2012)

It's half the size of the 7D. And as for ISO 6400: i'll be using a 50mm equiv Nokton f0.95 lens on this camera and it will have image stabilisation. That'll give me 5 stops over the equivalent L lens for the 5Dm3. So when i'm shooting at ISO 800, 5Dm3 shooters will be using ISO 25600 because they have no other choice. This is one highly capable camera in low light, unmatched by almost every other camera on the market.

8 upvotes
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (Mar 17, 2012)

@ coroander
Good luck focusing where your eyes cannot see.

0 upvotes
coroander
By coroander (Mar 17, 2012)

@Pelasdf: that exposure is for about EV-2 (ISO 100) or about the same as a full moonlight night with the moon overhead, plenty bright enough to see. One great thing about this camera is the availability of IS with very fast prime lenses.

Comment edited 14 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Zerg2905
By Zerg2905 (Mar 18, 2012)

@coroander: I will be using a 50 mm f/1 L for the 5D Mk III. Don't go in the Nokton direction, please... There is a choice in the Canon world, although a pricey one, believe me. As for 2X crop factor, the 100 mm f/2 will do miracles on the 5D Mk III. Or 7D (...Mk II included).

0 upvotes
Jogger
By Jogger (Mar 16, 2012)

why does DPR insist on using a macro lens for the m43 bodies and non-macros for everything else. the 50/2 isnt even a native m43 lens. total bias if you ask me. there are perfectly good macro options that allow you to shoot 100mm equiv for all formats.

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Mar 16, 2012)

Because there isn't a non-macro 50mm F1.4 (that we use on all other systems), for Micro Four Thirds. We use this lens because, when Micro Four Thirds was launched, the only adapter that existed was from Four Thirds.

We also use a Macro for Pentax K (and Samsung NX), these days. However, in general terms, the lenses we use on all systems tend to be very good, even at these relatively close working distances.

Comment edited 31 seconds after posting
5 upvotes
Prognathous
By Prognathous (Mar 16, 2012)

Oly 45/1.8 is closer to a 50/1.4 than the 50/2.0 Macro.

0 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (Mar 16, 2012)

@Prognathous

Then you have to crop the image to give the same coverage, and 45mm and 50mm give different angles of view.

Though using 50mm f/2 macro for 4/3 on m4/3 camera is a little weird. On one hand, 4/3 lenses tend to be sharper, on the other, when you use a non-native lens with an adapter, IQ will suffer a little because of the light bouncing inside the camera body (refraction noise) because the lens is designed for a different flange distance, therefore, the rear element isn't optimized for m4/3.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
JoeNap2
By JoeNap2 (Mar 17, 2012)

I have both Oly 50mm f2 and Nikon 50mm 1.4. There's no contest. The Oly 50mm does a better job resolving and creating those beautiful Oly straight out of camera jpeg colors. After looking at the raw files at 3200, especially the shadows, I am glad I went with a D7000 instead of going m43rds. This camera is a vast improvement for Oly and that's good for competition. Please keep the tech wars going for when I have to replace both my Oly and Nikon DSLRs!

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Mar 17, 2012)

It would depend on whether the 45mm F1.8 is a lens that includes software correction - if it is, we probably wouldn't use it for this shot (since it adds another variable)

The whole point of this shot is to use a lens good enough that it plays as small a role as possible in the final result. The 50mm F1.4s tend to do that.

6 upvotes
Jogger
By Jogger (Mar 17, 2012)

why on earth would you use a 50/1.4 when you can match the 50/2 with a 105/2.8 (nikon) or the 100/2 (canon).. o2 the CZ100/2.

for APSc bodies, there are tons of 60mm macros that you can use.

and you can always turn off autocorrection.

people are look at these tests and thinking, oooh, this camera preserves detail better, or its sharper.. well no kidding

1 upvote
Just Having Fun
By Just Having Fun (Mar 16, 2012)

Richard said, "I wouldn't try to draw conclusions about ISO accuracy from this scene".

It is very possible the lighting was slightly different. The fact is we are only guessing, and do not have all the facts.

4 upvotes
manmachine242
By manmachine242 (Mar 16, 2012)

I hope you are right.

0 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (Mar 16, 2012)

I think all those itsy bitsy nitpicking technical talks are meaningless. The important part is whether the IQ will satisfy you under the perimeter "you" usually shoot with. DPR's review is here to give you an idea how different cameras hold against each other under similar situation under a fairly equal circumstance, so hopefully it'll help you with your buying decision. The really fine differences can only be judged when you do the test yourselves with your very own perimeter. I pixel-peep my photos, but even I wouldn't be so nitpicking about the metering because that's out of control. I would be more concerned about focus accuracy of the test shots and the lenses used than metering differences.

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

Oh, com'on, this sort of thing happens time and time again with new samples of any sensor be it good or bad. get over it.

0 upvotes
manmachine242
By manmachine242 (Mar 16, 2012)

ISO3200:
NEX5n: 1/800, f8
7D: 1/640, f9
E-M5: 1/800 f6.3

ISO200:
NEX5n: 1/50 f8
7D: 1/40 f9
E-M5: 1/50 f6.3
G3: 1/80 f6.3

The difference is consistently 2/3 EV.

real sensitivity of E-M5 at ISO200 = ISO125 on 7D, NEX5n, G3
real sensitivity of E-M5 at ISO3200 = ISO2000 on 7D, NEX5n

8 upvotes
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Mar 16, 2012)

Although you might be right..

All lens dont have same transsmission of light.
There might be vignetting.
Metering is different for each manufacturer.
Smaller sensor usually captures tiny bit less light, higher pixel density doesnt help either.

I would wait for DxOmark, they are pretty good in this.

0 upvotes
manmachine242
By manmachine242 (Mar 16, 2012)

There is an extremly big problem if the difference between transmissions causes 2/3EV loss...

2 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (Mar 16, 2012)

One is 4/3 sensor one is APS-C sensor. They don't capture the same amount of light in the same amount of time to begin with. That's the reason why smaller sensors have more DoF using same aperture, remember? The other part is focal length. Every time you double the focal length, you half the amount of the light captured in a given time, therefore, 1/2 as much DoF for a given aperture (i.e., 50mm f2 will give the same DoF as a 100mm f/2.8). That said, I don't think it's that important. The fact the difference is a consistent 2/3 EV means meters are accurate. Consistency is more important than deviation, because you as a user can control your own exposure without error.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Mar 17, 2012)

Except, of course, that the ISO definition compensates for sensor size, such that they should all give the same results.

We've just taken a quick look at this and our early tests suggest the E-M5 is around 1/3EV under-sensitive at any given exposure.

Comment edited 36 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
manmachine242
By manmachine242 (Mar 17, 2012)

citizenlouie: You have misinterpreted the meaning of exposure value and ISO.

0 upvotes
Alberto6674
By Alberto6674 (Mar 17, 2012)

Aparently they changed the lighting for a dimmer one recently. But if you compare to the Panasonic GX1 (same sensor as the G3) you will see same exposure (probably GX1 was shot with the new dimmer light).

ISO 3200:
GX1: 1/800s F/6.3
E-M5: 1/800s F/6.3

0 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (Mar 17, 2012)

@ R Butler: Olympus digital cameras underexpose by 1/3 of a stop is a well-known fact, just like Nikon digital camera over expose by 1 stop. I think it's each brand's preference. (not true for those brand's film cameras). That's the reason you'll find on Olympus's fan website that suggests users to do a +1/3 stop when you receive your Olympus camera (it's programmable in menu, so you don't have to do exposure compensation every time). I personally prefer to slightly under expose because digital sensor is more similar to positive films, so under expose actually improves dynamic range by preserving highlight (if applicable). You can always bring the exposure level back up during post-processing. No need to sacrifice dynamic range which is extremely important for smaller sensor like 4/3.

I am not sure if you understand what I meant by my statement about the exposure... and ISO, but anyways.... Final result is more important than numbers. Everything else is just technicality.

0 upvotes
NZ Scott
By NZ Scott (Mar 17, 2012)

@ citizenlouie

You've made a very interesting comment indeed in your assertion that you prefer to under-expose in order to preserve dynamic range. I remember being advised to under-expose for this very reason, when I shot Nikon DSLR.

Nowadays, I do the exact opposite. I do what professional landscape photographers do.

They use a technique called "exposing to the right", which means over-exposing as much as possible without blowing highlights. The reason for this is that it is actually the highlights that preserve the most detail - not shadows. It is a simple matter to lower the exposure level in post-processing.

The difference in detail is massive - one industry magazine stated that it was a factor of 16 times as much details in highlights as there are in shadows.

0 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (Mar 17, 2012)

@NZ Scott.

This is a perfect example why I mentioned in another post that you can't simply copy photography book's technique and apply to every camera you use.

"Exposed to the right" is the correct terminology, but what you described is for negative film photography. Digital sensors is based on positive film (slide film or color reversal film, all means the same), so everything you do have to be in reverse. You want to preserve "highlight" because once it's gone, it's gone forever whenever you shoot with positive film or digital. To preserve highlight, you expose for shadow to preserve highlight. It's very confusing I know. When you shoot with negative film, you expose for highlight to preserve shadow.

That said, what you said is exactly the opposite of one should do for digital format to save dynamic range. Please refer to Wiki entry on "Zone System" for detail. There are some shortcoming for using this method. Short answer, use histogram. :-D

0 upvotes
ciresob
By ciresob (Mar 18, 2012)

That Zone System Wikipedia entry states:

"The Zone System can be used in digital photography just as in film photography; Adams (1981, xiii) himself anticipated the digital image. As with color reversal film, the normal procedure is to expose for the highlights and process for the shadows.

NOT expose for the shadows..

0 upvotes
Entropius
By Entropius (Mar 16, 2012)

Looks good. The weird stuff in Mickey Mouse's shorts doesn't look like RAW NR; it looks like a sort of demosaicing/RAW processing artifact that shows up on noisy very saturated colors. The same artifact is present in the same place on the Canon 7D sample.

Definitely looks like a very nice camera. Now we just need better AF on 4/3 lenses, or a truly comprehensive line of m4/3 glass.

1 upvote
Then4
By Then4 (Mar 16, 2012)

How can Olympus OM-D E-M5 jpeg iso 100 be 9.4mb compare to Nex-5n 5.3 mb. Same sensor size. Feel like a cheat in compression or?

0 upvotes
Entropius
By Entropius (Mar 16, 2012)

Olympus has always offered a very low compression option (called "SHQ"). There is no extra visible detail over the next highest setting unless you do some extreme processing, but if you *do*, you can tell the difference.

4 upvotes
darkref
By darkref (Mar 16, 2012)

5n and em-5 do not have the same sensor size (4/3 vs apsc)

1 upvote
Then4
By Then4 (Mar 16, 2012)

Sorry i meant same resolution...

1 upvote
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Mar 16, 2012)

Less compression, bit more latitude in shadows and highlights. You can take it as very lightweight RAW. During history of digital cameras, there were few that offered either special JPEGs or simply less compressed JPEGs that retained a lot of data and allowed bit more processing than average lvl 8 quality JPEG.

0 upvotes
dj0502
By dj0502 (Mar 16, 2012)

I don't think they have the EM5 has the same sensor size with the 5N. Unless I misunderstood you.

1 upvote
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (Mar 17, 2012)

I thought there is no ISO 100 in E-M5.... In any case, 4/3 LiveMOS sensor's ISO below 200 are pulled-down mode and I wouldn't use them unless the lighting is really evenly lit.

0 upvotes
petrocan
By petrocan (Mar 16, 2012)

Is the setting from the jpg over sharpned or other camera are just soft???

I see line from the scene so clear now, it's like someone highlight it.

0 upvotes
Entropius
By Entropius (Mar 16, 2012)

It's oversharpened. This isn't a new thing for Oly; E-510 and (according to some) E-5 also produce oversharpened jpegs at default. Just turn the sharpening down.

1 upvote
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (Mar 17, 2012)

It's oversharpened, like Entropius said. My E-620 does the same. Most of the time it doesn't cause problem. The better way to naturally sharpen your photo with Olympus cameras however, is to turn the anti-aliasing (NR) filter OFF or at least to low if shot under low light. If you have good lenses, NR actually does more harm than good. Other brand's results are kind of soft and lack of detail is because their default JPEG NR is very strong. RAW result is a better indicator of performance (both sensor and lens as a team).

2 upvotes
Brigcam
By Brigcam (Mar 16, 2012)

How are you supposed to do any meaningful comparison with this tool when the shooting parameters aren't equal?

For example, G3 vs OM-D same lens (OLYMPUS 50mm Lens) at 1600:

OM-D S:1/400 A:6.3
G3: S:1/640 A:6.3

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Mar 16, 2012)

The cameras are middle-grey matched. We think that showing you what the results look like when correctly exposed is far more useful that showing one camera under or over-exposed, since most people try to shoot correctly exposed images, rather than insisting on using a specific shutter speed and aperture.

Any differences should be accounted for when we test ISO within the review.

22 upvotes
Brigcam
By Brigcam (Mar 16, 2012)

Sorry but that's BS and I'm sure you know it.

Shots should be shown between comparable exposures, not stated ISO.

Otherwise you're misleading people, and encouraging companies to inflate their ISOs so that they can get a good compare.

1 upvote
Gianluca101
By Gianluca101 (Mar 16, 2012)

yes but difference it's too much... nex-7 have an entire ev of difference in timing

nex-7: iso 6400 - f8 - 1/2000s
e-m5: iso 6400 - f6,3 - 1/1600s

You have to compare nex-7 at 3200 iso and e-m5 at 6400 iso...

2 upvotes
Bob Meyer
By Bob Meyer (Mar 16, 2012)

This sort of confirms that Olympus, for whatever reasons, is overstating their ISO. ISO 1600 on the Oly is not the same as ISO 1600 on the Panasonic, so any noise and DR comparisons need to be adjusted to reflect actual sensitivity.

2 upvotes
GregGory
By GregGory (Mar 16, 2012)

Understood, but a back-lit Stouffer step wedge is painfully absent in the studio setup in order to check the other side side of the coin..

0 upvotes
Marcello Zini
By Marcello Zini (Mar 16, 2012)

Nevertheless, Brigcam my have a point. Assuming that dpreview tests are all made with the same power of illumination (are they?) some camera manifacturers cheat on the actual iso sensitivity, and the different shutter speed could just be that. Actually, other reviews say that the EM-5 just does that - I hope it's not true

0 upvotes
random78
By random78 (Mar 16, 2012)

To be fair dpreview does report the measured versus stated ISO for each camera in the detailed review. So if this is the case then it should come up there once the whole review is in. But yes it does mean that comparison using the studio comparison tool can be misleading. I think dpreview should consider labeling the measured ISO in the studio test results to make it clear what we are comparing

Comment edited 46 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Entropius
By Entropius (Mar 16, 2012)

The trouble with the ISO settings is that they're subjective, and there are lots of different ways to define "ISO". It depends on the jpeg engine and tone curve, for instance.

The way this test ought to be done is by EV: shoot all cameras at 1/100 f/4 (or whatever), and then pick whatever ISO you need to get a good exposure. Then change to 1/200 f/4 and do it again, etc.

2 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Mar 16, 2012)

Which wouldn't be a bad way of doing things if we were testing ISO here, but we're not. We're showing what you get if you set your camera to a given ISO and expose to give the correct image brightness. It's a demonstration of image quality, not metering.

We also test and report metering/ISO compliance, but not in this scene.

12 upvotes
IcyVeins
By IcyVeins (Mar 16, 2012)

But the practical way that people use these tests is in fact to see the true ISO performance. Sure, it doesn't matter whether you use 1/400 or 1/50 for a stationary scene, but it's of significant important when you have to account for subject motion or camera shake. That's why shutter speed (and aperture) should be constant, rather than ISO.

0 upvotes
stimmer
By stimmer (Mar 17, 2012)

Bob, maybe Panasonic should rethink their philosphy. Richard, exactly right. People aren't understanding that the exposure of the image is what is most important. Not miniscule differences in shutter speed.

Doesn't matter because haters will hate, and they are out in full force today. Olympus is rattling some cages.

0 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (Mar 17, 2012)

Yeah. Exposure is the most important. If EV system is still the most prevalent light measuring system today, and the entire test was done in a clearly stated, let's say ISO 200 @ EV 16, nobody would argue about the difference in shutter speeds as that's just a way to achieve a given EV such as EV 16... (by the way, EV 16 is Sunny 16).

0 upvotes
lester11
By lester11 (Mar 16, 2012)

Sold my Panny GH2 to go to the Pentax K5 (weather-proofing, don't do much video), perfectly happy. Wife has the Panny G3, she's happy. The Oly E-M5 samples at 3200 and 6400 just astonishing in comparison, check out the "Thursday" and "15" date on the watch. Bugger. Two E-M5's now on pre-order...

3 upvotes
Dolan Halbrook
By Dolan Halbrook (Mar 16, 2012)

I think the K-5 will still provide better IQ than the E-M5 all things being equal, but it's a very small gap, and the E-M5 is half the weight and size. As a K-7 owner it's exactly what I'm looking for.

2 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Mar 16, 2012)

Please don't sell the K-5. The EM-5 is a nice little camera. It is no K-5.

1 upvote
zigi_S
By zigi_S (Mar 16, 2012)

It's much better.

2 upvotes
stimmer
By stimmer (Mar 17, 2012)

Why do you care if somebody sells the K5?

2 upvotes
Philip Young
By Philip Young (Mar 17, 2012)

Because he is selling his on eBay too and doesn't want someone else to drive the price down.

4 upvotes
lester11
By lester11 (Mar 17, 2012)

Interesting to see others similarly astonished at the sharpness of the E-M5 samples, and a few wondering aloud if there is not some mistake somewhere... Will be waiting for the full DPR report. While I've found the K5 a better camera than I am a photographer and have nothing but praise for it, I started with G1, GH1, GH2, etc as they first came out and as Dolan says I sure do miss the more modest bulk of the m4/3.

0 upvotes
MikeNeufeld30
By MikeNeufeld30 (Mar 16, 2012)

Oh yeah. This just looks terrific. I am so looking forward to the release of this beautiful camera. Pretty well checks every box that I require in a camera. The noise profile is very well controlled and like one of the other posters said, the blacks are really good and the gradations IMO are a move in the right direction.

1 upvote
ANAYV
By ANAYV (Mar 16, 2012)

New King of m 4/3rd ?

Comparing it to the GH2...seems the OM- D is slightly better.
I see less chroma noise in raw, at higher iso's.
Detail retention seems the same.
That's good news !

ANAYV

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (Mar 16, 2012)

Just as I suspected, virtually identical to the Panasonic GX1 in RAW, but slightly less noisy at and above ISO 1600 as Olympus seems to be using NR in RAW. This is easily spotted at ISO 1600 on Mickey Mouse's red shorts.

2 upvotes
Vlad S
By Vlad S (Mar 16, 2012)

It actually looks identical to N5, rather than GX-1.

4 upvotes
dareka
By dareka (Mar 16, 2012)

N5 doesn't mean anything. NEX5 and NEX5N don't have the same sensor you know, so write the full name or it doesn't make sense.

2 upvotes
zigi_S
By zigi_S (Mar 16, 2012)

Actualy its a lot better than gx1. If you set the samples to iso12800 in raw watch out because the other samples are still at 6400. The E-M5 is at least a stop better than the pana.

4 upvotes
jkrumm
By jkrumm (Mar 16, 2012)

That's about my impression. Slightly less detail than the gx1 (very slight) in raw and some kind of better noise handling, especially color noise. Likely a good trade-off for some. Equal enough so it should not be the deciding factor. I'd get it for the IS and other features.

1 upvote
Bob Meyer
By Bob Meyer (Mar 16, 2012)

If the EM5 is applying NR in raw, and the Panasonic isn't (or the cameras apply differning amounts), the comparison is relatively meaningless. We know you can turn off raw NR in the Panasonic by setting it to -2. That should be done with samples from both cameras to make a true raw comparison meaningful.

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (Mar 16, 2012)

Seeing these images against the GX1, there is no doubt that Olympus is applying NR in RAW. Many camera makers do it. It's not inherently bad, it just can't be judged the same as true RAW file.

Bob is correct, and that was my point. The GX1 and OM-D images in RAW look virtually identical at ISO 100. The difference in high ISO seem to be because of NR. There is smoothing of chroma noise in Mickey Mouse's shorts and other surfaces that have continuous tone.

People buying this camera thinking they are going to get K-5 or NEX-5N quality are a bit optimistic, IMHO. I have a GX1 and I know what it can and can't do. It's capable of very beautiful images, but DR and color depth are still not as good as D7000, K5, NEX-5N. The Olympus is a nicer body that the GX1, but images will be essentially the same.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
nomiss777
By nomiss777 (Mar 25, 2012)

It's funny, how can you just openly say that Olympus use NR in RAW? Got an evidence? And please, don't say its easy to see. Maybe it just mean that the RAW files are good.

0 upvotes
nxp3
By nxp3 (Mar 16, 2012)

Man...I have a feeling dpreview really likes this camera. I'm going to bet a good score for it. They NEVER rush to do anything that quickly before.

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (Mar 16, 2012)

Or they sense that the rest of you really like it.

0 upvotes
QuarterToDoom
By QuarterToDoom (Mar 16, 2012)

They smell $$$ signs I don't think any Oly cameras has gotten so much praise in a looong time with so many comments.

3 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Mar 16, 2012)

Actually we have a policy of posting studio samples from a new camera as soon as we can once we have the camera, and standard raw support.

6 upvotes
stimmer
By stimmer (Mar 17, 2012)

But you still like it, admit it. :)

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Mar 17, 2012)

Barney Britton:

Um, Adobe Camera Raw will open Canon 5D III raw files, so...

Do you mean production camera and raw support?

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Mar 17, 2012)

He does. We do not have a production 5D III.

0 upvotes
Vlad S
By Vlad S (Mar 16, 2012)

Very interesting to compare with G3. At low ISO E-M5 noise profile and detail look great. Overall I think I prefer E-M5 at ISO 200. It ISO 1600 G3 has more chroma noise, but also less smearing. Look at the hair sample - it looks more "alive" on G3. At ISO 3200 the detail is still better on G3, but noise becomes distracting. At ISO 6400 I def. prefer E-M5 look. Can't wait to see the tonal curve and DR comparison.

N5? Wouldn't say there are any qualitative differences.

0 upvotes
Donald B
By Donald B (Mar 16, 2012)

nice, even against k5 even at 12800.

3 upvotes
goshigoo
By goshigoo (Mar 16, 2012)

It is better than G3/GX1, so it is an entirely new sensor?

2 upvotes
Iskender
By Iskender (Mar 16, 2012)

Olympus have done better than Panasonic with Panasonic sensors before. For instance the first generation 12 megapixel M43 sensor generally had some pattern noise on Panasonics but no pattern noise on Olympus. The E-5 probably got the highest ever resolution from that same sensor.

Olympus probably have some excellent electronics just past the sensor. From what I've seen the only sensors Olympus haven't done a better job with are the GH series sensors, and that's simply because Panasonic haven't shared them.

1 upvote
Just Having Fun
By Just Having Fun (Mar 16, 2012)

Blacks look slightly blacker at ISO6400 (RAW) than many other cameras.

2 upvotes
ksang
By ksang (Mar 16, 2012)

nice

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Anfy
By Anfy (Mar 16, 2012)

IMHO it holds remarkably well against the bigger sensor Sony NEX-5n even at 3200 ISO.

Comment edited 22 seconds after posting
6 upvotes
Albino_BlacMan
By Albino_BlacMan (Mar 16, 2012)

And shows enormous improvement at higher ISOs over the older EP3 sensor

1 upvote
Reg Natarajan
By Reg Natarajan (Mar 16, 2012)

Re: "it holds remarkably well against the bigger sensor Sony NEX-5n"

It really should for double the price.

5 upvotes
Anfy
By Anfy (Mar 16, 2012)

Well, it was not meant as an Olympus vs Sony or whatever statement, it is only that Sony NEX-5n is by many considered one of the best mirrorless APS-C cameras as to high-ISO results and is impressive to see a smaller sensor m4/3 that delivers such a good quality.
However, it must be considered, as to the price, that the Olympus has a built-in EVF, a weather-sealed body and IBIS (in-body image stabilization).

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
Gianluca Grossi
By Gianluca Grossi (Mar 16, 2012)

@ Reg Natarajan
nex 5n 699+ 349 for viewfinder= 1048$.
OM d=1099........not double price, but the same.
Omd is dust and water proof, faster autofocus, ibis....and no OVERHEATING problem...
This is a great camera at the right price!

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
10 upvotes
Scott P
By Scott P (Mar 16, 2012)

NEX-5N kit is $700
E-M5 kit is $1100
700*2 = 1400

Regardless, there is more to a camera than the sensor.

0 upvotes
GeraldW
By GeraldW (Mar 16, 2012)

I compared the shots against the NEX5N and Panasonic G3 and my 60D at several ISO settings.

It's pretty clear to me that the default settings for the E-M5 have higher sharpening and contrast. This points up[ one of my long standing gripes about the review sites - everything is tested at the default settings so you really can't see what the camera can do when the sharpening, saturation, and contrast are set to the owner's preferences.

As it is, the E-M5 does pretty well up to ISO 3200. Looks like a strong entry in the mirrorless class of cameras. Now, if Olympus will only furnish a 28- 135 mm equivalent lens with a fast maximum aperture and some outstanding properties I'd be really interested. Maybe even a micro 4/3 version of the 14-54 f/2.8-3.5 lens? This camera needs something better than a 14-42 mm f/3.5-5.6 "kit" lens; but what else is there?

Jerry

0 upvotes
MarcusGR
By MarcusGR (Mar 16, 2012)

Yes, Nex5n and Oly EM5 end up costing the same if you want a viewfinder. But then, for the same price, EM5 offers a 4x zoom lens starting at 24 mm. equivalent: something that the NEX system has always been lacking , struggling as it is to contain lens bulk associated to its larger sensor ...
If APS-C based MILCs loose much of their high-ISO advantage over 4/3 based MILCs, the latter will be the obvious winners. MILCs are not meant to be bulky!

Comment edited 9 minutes after posting
1 upvote
DtEW
By DtEW (Mar 17, 2012)

You mean, "the NEX-5N ends up costing 10% less than the OM-D E-M5 if you want to include a viewfinder with 60% more resolution". In other words, hard to compare.

I will grant you that the 24-100mm-FF-equivalent 4x zoom is a better spec'ed do-all kit-lens than the NEX's 27-83mm-FF-equivalent 3x zoom. But considering that it makes the E-M5 bigger in all dimensions than a NEX-5N/7 w/kit lens... how could you you in the same breath crow on about bulk?

I mean, look at this:

http://j.mp/FQsMoR

Ridiculous.

It's one thing to like a camera, and the OM-D E-M5 has a lot going for it... but it's best to stay within the bounds of reality. People don't go all fanboy-ish and gaga over something and declare their chosen horse the one to make all others obsolete for good reason: reality is complicated and direct comparisons generally don't exist.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Philip Young
By Philip Young (Mar 17, 2012)

I'd say spend that extra $1400 so it doesn't go to estate taxes when you kick the bucket. You only live once, or if you do reincarnate, you probably won't come back enjoying photography in the next life.

0 upvotes
yukonchris
By yukonchris (Mar 17, 2012)

My son purchased the Sony NEX-5 about a year ago. Despite taking good care of it, the contacts inside the battery compartment are showing signs of corrosion and the non-glare coating on the LCD has mostly worn off, leaving quite a mess. Beyond all that, he has experienced consistent problems with dust spots on the sensor despite only owning two lenses. He's now looking at replacing it with the OM-D E-M5.

My experience with Olympus cameras has been nothing short of stellar when it comes to construction quality and longevity. I own a number of lenses and am constantly changing them in the field to suit my needs yet have never had a problem with the sensor accumulating dust. Having a reliable camera the just works is highly underrated. There certainly is more to a camera than the sensor!

2 upvotes
Total comments: 458
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