G3 sensor really worse than GH2?

Started Feb 4, 2012 | Discussions thread
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W A Stewart Senior Member • Posts: 1,025
G3 sensor really worse than GH2?

I don't see it. Louis Dobson has in several threads indicated that the GH2 has a pretty good sensor whereas the G3 does not, at least at low ISOs, shooting raw and doing considerable PP. The point of this is that the new EM5 (or whatever it's called) will share the same cruddy sensor.

As I have both the G3 and the GH2 I was a bit surprised, not having seen any notable differences. Therefore I did an admittedly quick test (actual work deadlines being imminent). I took the two to my back yard with a tripod. I didn't bother changing lenses as this should not affect the asserted sensor differences. I used the Oly 45mm on one and close to 45mm with the 14-54mm II Oly on the other. Both shooting raw (which I always use anyway), aperture priority at f/5.6, ISO 160 (the base ISO). Light was fading and the second shot was slightly longer (1/6 rather than 1/8 I believe).

I processed to TIFs with the default in Silkypix and then used Photoshop. Because the idea is that the G3 image can't handle postprocessing as well I processed more extremely than normal. I switched to the LAB color mode (actually I tend to do that as I am very familiar with it) and made somewhat extreme color tweaks (much more than I would normally do). I recorded the coordinates and repeated for the other image. I also used more saturation than normal (up 5), used smart sharpen and then converted to RBG. The exposures were good and no more color correction in R, B or G was needed, but I pulled up the shadows a lot more than normal (up 10 in shadows). I then cropped to the same size image.

I can't see any difference. The images have small differences - the focus point is a bit closer in one image than another and the view isn't really identical. (The date is wrong in the G3 by the way; I need to correct it.) But the main thing is that for my purposes the sensor did the same thing.

At higher ISOs I had not noticed anything, though I certainly hadn't done controlled comparisons. But I like to use the GH2 with the 20mm and the G3 with the 45mm, both hanging at different lengths around my neck. They do really well in lower light, indoors, including with children.

Now I am going to have to see if I can get the images here - it's been a long time since I've done this. I may just paste the flickr links:

I might add that I also like to use them for landscapes, even though I see mFT as mainly a PJ, documentary oriented format. Here are a few from the same shoot (GH2 I believe).

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W Alex Stewart

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