GH2 vs EM5 RAW Base ISO Image Noise Comparison

Started Apr 29, 2012 | Discussions thread
Detail Man
OP Detail Man Forum Pro • Posts: 16,681
Re: GH2 vs EM5 RAW Base ISO Image Noise Comparison

When I look at GH2 and EM5 Samples #1 in the original post, I think that the EM5 shows a definite advantage in (what are, relative to the content of these Samples #1 and Samples #2, anyway) shadow-areas having (relatively) higher light-levels (where Photon Shot Noise likely remains a fairly significant contributing noise-source to the visible image-noise).

However, when I look in the upper-right area of Samples #2 - where the lowest light levels exist (in the areas of the images-frames that appears to be the most removed from reflective illumination from the flourescent lamp light-source located above the desk), it seems that (in my perception) it becomes a less than a "clear picture" as to which camera exhibits less image-noise ...

These (in a relative sense to these image Samples #1 and #2) deepest shadow-areas may reach low light-levels at which the Read/Dark Noise of the GH2 and EM5 is beginning to become more significant (relative to Photon Shot Noise) as a contributing noise-source in the visible image-noise.

Made 236x140 pixel crops of the far upper-right areas of Samples #2, and took a closer look. It (to my own eyes) becomes rather hard to determine which of the cameras has less visible image-noise:

GH2 (700% view, up-sampled using Lanczos-3):


EM5 (700% view, up-sampled using Lanczos-3):


The histogram of the GH2 image-noise 236x140 pixel crops (shown enlarged above):


The histogram of the EM5 image-noise 236x140 pixel crops (shown enlarged above):


The (RGB composite) average luminance of these two 236x140 pixel crops is matched to within 0.11 EV. The standard deviation of the EM5 crop looks (by eye, when inspecting the histograms) like it may be somewhat larger than that of the GH2 (meaning more image-noise). Additionally, some of the EM5's image-noise distribution seems to have found it's way below the Black Point ...

When I made loss-less JPGs of the (7x up-sampled using Lanczos-3) TIF images displayed above, the byte-size of the resulting JPGs is 14% larger in the case of the EM5 (as compared to the GH2).

Which flavor of (pushed, deep-shadow) image-noise do you prefer ? I slightly I prefer the GH2's ...

DM ...

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