D800 and E-M5, can you tell the difference?

Started Mar 25, 2013 | Discussions thread
OP acahaya Senior Member • Posts: 1,172
Re: Voice of Experience?

Anders W wrote:

EarthQuake wrote:

The most obvious difference to me between the two is the 2nd shot has narrower DOF, and some slight banding in the darks tones of the background, but its hard to draw a conclusion from either of those differences . I would assume the shot with wider DOF would be from the OMD, but without knowing the apertures used for each camera its hard to say. I would also assume the D800 shot would show less banding in the shadows as well, so its really inconclusive to me, which would further support my opinion that its the photographer (lighting, composition, posing, etc) that will make the shot, not the gear.

I agree about the DoF. Can't see any traces of banding in either shot on my monitor (which may be just a matter of monitor characteristics). On top of the DoF difference, I would add that the first shot is a bit sharper in general. All in all, the first image is better technically as well as artistically in my opinion. Slightly sharper (which may be in part a matter of exactly where the focus is placed rather than a matter of lens or sensor), just the right DoF (in the second shot it is slightly too shallow), and a more convincing pose/expression.

But I don't know what to make of that when it comes to deciding which camera-lens combo caught which image, especially since we don't know which f-stops were used. I wouldn't expect much of a resolution difference in spite of the significantly greater pixel count of the D800. And the shooting/PP conditions are not really such as to tax the capacity of either sensor.


as i said in the OP this is not a real comparison because i never planned one. I was shooting on a set where the light (strobe power) was set up for the  D800 and just grabbed the E-M5 and also took some images for me to compare at home. I was actually only interested in the amount of detail i could get out of the dark areas in pp.

Do not try to compare those images scientifically because the difference is clearly visible even though the settings are not really comparable. Do not judge sharpness (default LR setting for import in both cases) but look at the overall impression.

The D800 currently is THE studio cam but studio shots without further pp  do not challenge the sensor or the resolution of the lenses because you are shooting at base ISO and stopped down for a reasonable DOF. As someone said before: In a studio you can use any decent camera with any lens with a good performance when stopped down at F5-F8. The only criteria is how much resolution you need. But when you look at the resulting images you can still see a certain difference. Not regarding image quality but regarding image characteristics, tonality, rendering and a more or less digital flavor. I can very well live with what my E-M5 delivers but have to admit that i like the D800 iq a bit better. What i do not like is the weight and the fact that  cam i used had bad ff with all focus fields except the middle one.


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