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We've just received an Olympus OM-D E-M5 that we can use to publish sample images and have shot an ISO sequence. We aim to bring you a real-world samples gallery in a few days time, but to whet your appetite we've prepared a quick series of studio-based shots showing how the camera behaves under the challenge of low-level tungsten lighting at all ISOs. Olympus describes our sample as 'initial production' and it's running firmware version 1.0, so these should give a pretty good idea of what you'll be able to expect from the camera when it hits the shops. Note that these samples are not intended to replace, or even be comparable to our standard studio tests, which we'll publish as usual when we get our hands on a production camera.
In this series we're showing out-of-camera JPEGs both at default settings, and with the noise filter turned off and sharpening set to -2 (this tends to be our preferred setup for Olympus cameras, to give the most-natural detail retention at high ISOs). As yet we have no third-party RAW support. Note also that the conditions used - low intensity, low color-temperature halogen lighting - are designed to simulate indoor artificial lighting. This should be considered close to the worst-case scenario in normal use as the image's blue channel has to be heavily amplified to achieve neutral white balance, accentuating noise. Under many conditions you'll see better results at high ISOs - for example when shooting indoors using window light.
|The test scene used for these samples; focus is on the figurine lower left. Olympus OM-D E-M5 with Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8.|