Olympus EPL2 noise superior to EP3 and OM-D?

Started Dec 8, 2012 | Discussions thread
Anders W Forum Pro • Posts: 21,466
Re: Olympus EPL2 noise superior to EP3 and OM-D?

fdi_bcn wrote:

Anders W wrote:

AngelicBeaver wrote:

The High ISO performance of the OMD is better than the EPL2. It's the way they handle the noise present that I like better (from what I saw) on the EPL2. I was looking at the Noise and Noise reduction feature on the review page, where you can compare different cameras with different noise reduction settings. At noise reduction set to off, the EPL2 is incredibly grainy at ISO6400, but it shows zero smearing. At ISO6400, with NR set to off on the OMD, there is considerably less grain, but there is evidence of smearing. The EP3 looks about the same as the EPL2, but with some smearing.

I like no smearing. And again, I didn't really see evidence of chroma noise either. Ultimately, if they were the same price, I'd go for the OMD, or EM5, or whatever it's called. The noise reminds me of my Canon, which isn't too bad. I just really like that the EPL2 really does seem to turn off the noise reduction completely, where most cameras never really turn it off and try to smooth it out just a little bit (or a lotta bit, in Panasonic's case).

I understand what you mean when talking about the E-M5 (haven't looked much at the PENs). Regrettably, there is no way to really turn NR down on the E-M5. Even if you set the "noise filter" to its minimum, there will be quite a bit of NR at higher ISOs in the out-of-camera jpegs. No solution to this at present except shooting RAW (which I do) or choosing another camera that gives you more control over the amount of NR used for the jpegs. Possibly, Panys with a better sensor than your GF3 (GX1, G3, G5, GH2, GH3) would be an alternative, but since I am generally uninterested in out-of-camera jpegs, I haven't tried to check.

It is for sure that the smearing is happening within the JPG engine?

Yes.

Or it is happening after the sensor, before writing the RAW file?

No. Fortunately the E-M5 doesn't do any NR in RAW. Nor does any other Oly body as far as I am aware.

In case it is only fault of the JPG engine, did someone tried with older (pre E-M5) versions of the Olympus software ("Olympus Viewer 2" for instance) to see how E-M5 files look when developed as E-P3 files for instance?

I haven't even installed the Oly Viewer. But reportedly, it emulates the jpeg engine of each specific body very closely. So if you process an E-M5 in the Viewer, it is likely to come out pretty much the same way as the OOC jpeg.

 Anders W's gear list:Anders W's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH +28 more
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