Debating Olympus bodies' video quality

Started Jan 12, 2016 | Discussions thread
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kaktusss Regular Member • Posts: 417
Debating Olympus bodies' video quality

Dear m4/3 users,

I'd like to start a discussion about the video quality on Olympus bodies.

Before you read further, this is not a thread about bashing Olympus, I love my 3 years old E-PL5 for stills and should soon buy a new Oly body, so please let's avoid the usual Oly vs Pany battle.

The OM-D E-M5/10 MKII have brought extended bitrates and fps as well as an enhanced stabilization. It really seems to help remove compression artifacts on busy scenes with even smoother movement, which is more than welcome.

Unfortunately, the sharpness, detail and color rendition doesn't look at all like what we can see on still pictures. I've watched carefully every single video sample I could find on YT, Vimeo reviews and even official Olympus videos, the 1080P result looks like a 720P video upscaled to 1080P. It is most visible on hard lit scenes, every edge looks soft with an oversharpened effect. On darker scenes, it looks rather soft even if there's plenty of DOF.

I mean, most of the time we could describe the video quality as more than decent, as the awesome stabilization makes that WOW effet. But I actually saw a lot of cheaper, smaller sensor cameras (and even mobile phones) retaining a lot more detail.

When I look at Panasonic GH4 and GX8 video footage, it just looks like the only information lost between a still image and the video is a bit of compression and motion blur.

As 1080p is 2mp and 4k is 8mp, can somebody explain why it seems so hard for Olympus to provide top notch video quality to do justice to the wonderful 5-axis ibis ?

I've always been disappointed with the video quality of the e-pl5, it has even more that upscaled+oversharpened look that I didn't have with my Sony NEX-5. I'm wondering why Olympus hasn't put all efforts to somehow get close to what Panasonic is able to deliver : Semi-pro 4K video result in a 1000$ body.

The other complain I would have is the C-AF behavior in video mode. I believe it's still barely usable today, I've seen so many hunting/pumping/failing AF in video mode that any manual focus method couldn't be worse. Compared to the super fast and precise AF I've experienced with all the Olympus bodies I've tried, it's nearly nonsense.

I really hope Olympus will take the PEN-F to the next step. The OM-D's are already super versatile but for me it's the weakest point of the current system.

P.S.: I've already looked at alternatives : the GX8 dual ibis needs specific lenses (either zooms or over-expensive primes) and there's no visible IBIS on videos with other lenses. I'd like to shoot with my m4/3 lenses and old adapted lenses with the best possible IBIS. I've also seen a lot of Sony A7(x) II footage: the IBIS is not as smooth as Oly IBIS and sharpness is so-so, which is crazy for cameras this expensive.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus PEN E-PL5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8
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