Arguments on noise, DPreview studio scene and sensor size

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Architeuthis Regular Member • Posts: 188
Arguments on noise, DPreview studio scene and sensor size

I was interested to compare the effect of brightening up underexposed regions on noise. Specifically between Nikon D500 and Oly EM1II (that I have).

I was using the DPreview studio scene (dynamic range) for this purpose (

I selected as cameras OMD-10III, D500 and D850 (for FF reference) and compared it to Em1II (the top MFT sensor). I selected ISO100 and pushed up exposure +6EV with the Nikons, and ISO200 (=base ISO with olys) and +5EV with olys, so, more or less same sensitivity according to factory settings. In the screenshot one can see excess noise with the Olys and that the D500 performs much better as expected by the small difference in physical sensor size (384% for FX, 165% for DX and 100% for MFT):

Manufactureres ISO settings can, however, not always directly be compared: DxO measures the actual ISO sensitivity by themselves to make the ISO information provided by the different manufacturers comparable. DxO measurements reveal that, at comparable ISO sensitivity, the SNR of D500 is almost identical to EM1II. According to DxO an ISO200 at the EM1II is in fact ISO83 (="DxO ISO ?"), ISO100 in D500 and D850 correspond to ISO70:

For the DPreview studio scene, however, the deviation of "real world" sensitivity from manufacturer ISO (if it is real) will mean that settings of ISO100 at Nikon and ISO200 at Olys are pretty comparable. Then, in the DPreview image comparison, one should boost the ISO200 of Olys also by +6EV (instead of +5EV) and then the noise in the EM1II image would be even worse and make me doubtful whether MFT is the right format for me...

How is now the noise in D500 vs. Em1II in comparison? Is it the same (as DxO implies) or much worse in EM1II (as DPreview test images suggest)?

I am grateful for input and clarification...


 Architeuthis's gear list:Architeuthis's gear list
Olympus E-M1 II Olympus E-M5 II Canon EF 100mm F2.8L Macro IS USM Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH +6 more
Nikon D500 Nikon D850 Olympus E-M1 II Olympus OM-D E-M10 III
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