So... I finally come to a decision to go with the OM-D... Is there any big hand users out there?

Started Mar 13, 2013 | Questions
Digital Dick Senior Member • Posts: 1,916
Problem is the right edge
1

I have medium size fat hands and have used the E-M5 both with and without the JB grip. The JB grip helps a little but I've had to sand off the edge at the front top of the JB grip to to keep it from digging into the bottom of my index finger. That helps a bit.

To me the basic problem with the camera is not the front grip. What is really needed is to make the right side of the camera 1/4 to 1/2 inch wider to fill the gap between the right edge of the camera and my hand at the inside base of my fingers. Filling that gap would reduce a lot of the fatigue when holding the camera for a long time.

Dick

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Trevor Carpenter
Trevor Carpenter Forum Pro • Posts: 15,600
You have to try it!

I have small hands yet didn’t like the EM-5 handling at all and I kept going back for another try but just couldn’t get on with it. Lots of people love it.  I ended up with a G5 which feels like it was made for me. I don’t think there is a wrong or right but I think you would be silly to buy it without trying it first

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Randell Tober
OP Randell Tober Regular Member • Posts: 248
Re: So... I finally come to a decision to go with the OM-D... Is there any big hand users out there?

Thanks... Unfortinately, I can't go to a shop...I live on an island. The closest to one would be Costco- and that is only a 3 time a year visit and of course they won't carry it. B&H will be my store. I'm sure thye'd take it back, but I don't want to go down that road if I don't have to

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idiotekniQues
idiotekniQues Senior Member • Posts: 1,255
Re: So... I finally come to a decision to go with the OM-D... Is there any big hand users out there?
1

well first off, all MFT glass is not inherently cheaper than dslr glass. for example to get the equivalent of a 24-70 f2.8 sharp lens on ff or 17-55f2.8 on APS-C - i'm talking high IQ not a standard kit zoom stuff, you are going to spend the same and/or more on a panasonic 12-35 for mft. there are some lenses that no you will not save money.

but yes, mft we have some great cheap lenses as well. no matter what they cost, you will be saving immensely on size and weight.

i am 5'10 but have bigger hands than average for my size. i got used to the OM-D without a grip and can handle it well but i prefer having the option of the JB Designs grip mentioned earlier. it's a great price and it does what i need it to do. and it is lighter than the official grip.

and, you can take it off. if i want to go light and nimble, i'll throw on the 14mm pancake, no grip and it really is no issue to use. if i'm going out to dinner and want to bring a camera, i'm not interested in bringing a camera bag. nor am i interested in having a camera with a regular sized mft lens even. but a pancake? goes in my jacket pocket, i put it on the table it just looks like a high end P&S. it just works from every angle.

ergonomically with a light lens like a pancake, the OM-D is fine for me. i like the grip even better, but the fact i don't need it makes it a great option to have to take off. it did take me some adjustment coming from a spacious dslr, but a main reason we go to MFT is because all that roomy comfort just made for a too obtrusive device, both in looks and weight and size.

while i would love a GH3 as a second body for some cases, it would not suit me for these casual outings either. it looks like a dslr. the OM-D with its size and styling is simply discreet and suitable for many more scenarios as an un-obtrusive piece of kit.

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John.Laninga
John.Laninga Senior Member • Posts: 2,370
My decision, after owning both....

I've been a life long (well, 30 years anyway) Olympus fan.  I was so glad when the OM-D came out, kinda reminded me of my OM-4T, my all time favorite camera.  But when I held the GH3 it was no contest for me; I sold the OM-D.

The GH3 is so much more comfortable in my hands, and my keeper rate is much higher.  It just suits me better.  The biggest + for the OM-D is IBIS, for the GH3 is hand comfort and all those lovely, easy to use buttons.  But as others have stated, you are the final judge.

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RealPancho
RealPancho Senior Member • Posts: 1,313
Caveat: I haven't read the other posts
1

My hands are not really big, but they are long. I'm 6'4" (193cm) tall.

I did feel a little cramped for the first week or so, but I got things worked out. Of course, my first SLR back in 1976 was an OM-1, so maybe I was predisposed to small cameras.

In any case, I don't think its size should stop you. You'll probably ultimately find it a tremendous benefit.

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Frank

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(unknown member) Senior Member • Posts: 1,178
I can palm a basketball
1

And don't like to use the EM-5 without at least half of the HLD-6 (I prefer the entire HLD-6). Too cramped for me otherwise and feels unnaturally small when I hold it up to my eye.

Randell Tober
OP Randell Tober Regular Member • Posts: 248
Re: My decision, after owning both....

Thank you for your post. Just curious, how do you feel they compare in Hi-Iso/Low Light situations? I'm guessing if you choose GH3 that must be the answer- but if one goes by DPR's latest test, OM-D is a no contest winner... 

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Randell Tober
OP Randell Tober Regular Member • Posts: 248
Re: Caveat: I haven't read the other posts

Thanks! Just about the same size as mine...

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Randell Tober
OP Randell Tober Regular Member • Posts: 248
Re: So... I finally come to a decision to go with the OM-D... Is there any big hand users out there?

Thanks for the great info

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ptox Regular Member • Posts: 224
Wait, wait, wait...
1

Did you submit your work to tedolf first? He approves all OM-D purchases around here. In particular, strict conformance to rule of thirds and a well-balanced histogram are musts. You should also have extensive experience with adapted lenses on at least one first-generation MFT camera. Good luck.

scott_mcleod Senior Member • Posts: 1,033
Re: What's weak about the GH3?

Randell Tober wrote:

Hi,

I know this is an initial test/ preview- but if you look at the Hi-Iso test just completed by DPR, almost anything you put up against the OM-D looks second rate- within reason(IMO). It takes jumping into some of the high dollar dslr's to find comparables so it seems. GH3 isn't totally out of the question- I'll be looking for more examples/info/reviews. As I mentioned, Olympus really has a winner in the OM-D. Hopefully they have a newer release for the future that gives us a bigger option

Some of what you are seeing in the superiority of the Oly is an artifact of the E-M5 under-rating its ISO by about a full stop across the range (i.e. ISO 1600 on the camera is actually only 782)

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cameras/Compare-Camera-Sensors/Compare-cameras-side-by-side/(appareil1)/842%7C0/(brand)/Panasonic/(appareil2)/816%7C0/(brand2)/Panasonic/(appareil3)/793%7C0/(brand3)/Olympus

It gets worse as you go higher. This is why it looks so clean compared to the competition at any "equivalent" ISO. The GH2 also under-rates but not nearly as much. The lowly G5 is very close to spec.

HTH,
Scott

Henry Richardson Forum Pro • Posts: 16,018
E-M5 ergonomics are not great
5

IMO, it isn't the small size that is so much a problem, but the design.  The NEX 7, for example, is as small or smaller yet its control size and placement, location of EVF, etc. is much better.  Here are some details about the E-M5 design and what would be nice to see improved in a later version:

http://bakubo.blogspot.com/2012/06/olympus-om-d-e-m5-poor-ergonomics.html

You can probably get accustomed to the very cramped design and tiny buttons.  The E-M5 has lots of other good points and that makes it a bit easier to accept the poor design.  If possible you really should hold one and play with it for awhile to see if you can get on with it.  Good luck with your decision!

I have had mine now about 10 months.  Do I still wish it had a better design?  Yes!  Have I got sort of accustomed to it and can use it?  Yes.  I spent lots of time holding one and playing with it before buying so I made the determination that I could get along with it in order to get the other good qualities (mostly smaller size and lower weight).

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Randell Tober
OP Randell Tober Regular Member • Posts: 248
Re: E-M5 ergonomics are not great
1

Thanks... Probably won't get to touch one b4 purchasing it due to my rural locale. I still haven't ruled the GH3 out either- although I feel I'm still 80% in favor of just going with the OM-D. I have a hard time going with anything else after looking at all of the data- feedback etc... I've received some feedback claiming that the OM-D is a full stop off from other cameras in the ISO tests- that's why it looks so much better in comparison... I'm thus far not too sure what to think about that. I'm hoping the full test on the GH3 comes out fairly soon. I'm thinking about buying glass first and then the camera... Hoping to get a little more info- news and maybe run into a price point as well Enjoying all of the feedback and reading. Thanks to all!! :?)

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Randell Tober
OP Randell Tober Regular Member • Posts: 248
Re: I have big hands and the OM-D

Great examples. Thanks. I'm going to take my time. I hope to see dpr's full review soon.

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texinwien Veteran Member • Posts: 3,326
Re: What's weak about the GH3?
2

scott_mcleod wrote:

Some of what you are seeing in the superiority of the Oly is an artifact of the E-M5 under-rating its ISO by about a full stop across the range (i.e. ISO 1600 on the camera is actually only 782)

Hi Scott, that's an oft-repeated mantra, but it is a misconception - one that DPReview have been very specific in countering - I will include some links to official DPReview statements at the end of this post.

The ISO 12232:2006 standard (Exposure Index Standard) only applies to the sRGB output of a camera (practically, the out of camera JPEGs). It says nothing about the RAW files, and the 'under-rating' you mention here is only seen in the RAW files. As such, that 'under-rating' is allowed by the ISO standard. Meaning, in effect, that it's not an under-rating at all.

The E-M5 is standards-compliant in regards to ISO 12232:2006.

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cameras/Compare-Camera-Sensors/Compare-cameras-side-by-side/(appareil1)/842%7C0/(brand)/Panasonic/(appareil2)/816%7C0/(brand2)/Panasonic/(appareil3)/793%7C0/(brand3)/Olympus

While the DxO 'Measured ISO' numbers are very helpful for photographers and consumers who take the time to understand what they mean, they have nothing to do with actual ISO, as defined by the one and only standard that counts. DPReview has also been specific in stating that it's improper to mix the DxO numbers up with actual ISO numbers.

It gets worse as you go higher. This is why it looks so clean compared to the competition at any "equivalent" ISO. The GH2 also under-rates but not nearly as much. The lowly G5 is very close to spec.

This is also a commonly-held misconception, but it is also incorrect (and has also been directly addressed and contradicted by DPReview employees).

I suggest that you read the following statements from Andy Westlake (Technical Writer at DPReview), who took the time to explain some details about DPReview's testing regime and ISO, with the E-M5 tests and measurements as the original grounds for the discussions that were started.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/40933688

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/40944061

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/40947308

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/40947640

This DPReview article on ISO may also help to clear up any lingering misconceptions you might still have.

///

To the OP: Scott's explanation for the E-M5's apparent superiority is technically incorrect, which fact is backed up by official statements from DPReview employees. The superiority you are seeing is actual, and cannot be explained away by any supposed 'tricks' performed by Olympus (Olympus has performed no tricks w/r/t ISO, as a matter of fact, according to the ISO standard), although many try to do exactly that, anyway.

Regarding the feel of the E-M5: My hands are average size. I use the camera without a grip and am very comfortable with it. I also like the fact that there are multiple grips from different makers available, and that, even if I decide to buy a grip at some time, I can always remove it if I want to go back to a very small camera that, with a pancake affixed, will easily fit in a jacket pocket.

Good luck finding a camera that works for you - the E-M5 and GH3 are both excellent choices, IMO!

tex

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texinwien Veteran Member • Posts: 3,326
Further Reading on ISO for Those So Inclined
2

Not only has DPReview contradicted the misconception that the E-M5 received a 'performance bonus' in its high ISO tests due to ISO 'tricks' or 'cheating', DxOMark and others have addressed the question of cheating and tricks as it relates to differences between manufacturers' published Exposure Indices (EIs aka 'ISO Settings') and ISO Sensitivity measures (of which DxoMark's 'measured ISO' is one).

Here a few links with excerpts from those links - direct quotes are shown in italics, my comments are included in square brackets and any emphasis added is mine:

DxOMark - Measurements - ISO Sensitivity

As tests show, the ISO settings [aka Exposure Indices or EIs] reported by camera manufacturers can differ significantly from measured ISO [a type of Saturation-based Sensitivity measure] in RAW. This difference stems from design choices, in particular the choice to keep some “headroom” to avoid saturation in the higher exposures to make it possible to recover from blown highlights.

DxOMark: RAW ISO measures are inferior to manufacturer ISOs: is this a problem?

The RAW ISO measured value [a type of Saturation-based Sensitivity measure] is almost always inferior to [lower than]* the ISO [aka Exposure Index or EI] that you decided to use with your camera. Take a Canon EOS 60D, for instance. When you select ISO 200, the measured RAW ISO sensitivity is 160. At ISO 800, the measured value is 632.

* Regarding DxOMark's use of the phrase 'inferior to' here - DxOMark is a French company, and I believe the use of 'inferior to' in this sentence is due to a false translation - what some translators call a 'false friend'. 'Inferior to' implies a value judgement, but I believe the actual English phrase the DxOMark writers were looking for was the value-neutral 'lower than'. In other words, they were simply trying to say that the Saturation-based Sensitivity is almost always lower than whatever ISO Setting one might choose. Note also that this passage is not specific to the E-M5 or to Olympus cameras. It is a generalized statement applying to the world of digital cameras with no brand or model specificity implied.

...

In fact, it is precisely the JPEG ISO value [aka Exposure Index or EI] that all the manufacturers publish. They do so because JPEG (or any RGB) output is the visible output that photographers use. So when you select ISO 800 on your camera, you’ll have a JPEG ISO at 800, but the RAW ISO will be at (for instance) 550. The JPEG results are achieved by playing with the tone curve shape. This is absolutely legitimate: the ISO standard allows manufacturers to use this JPEG value. They are not cheating.

Not cheating—okay. A trick? Maybe. The RAW-to-JPEG conversion allows cameras to achieve improved speeds, and to boost ISO values. And this is nothing new. What happens today with digital cameras also happened in the past with film cameras. When manufacturers produced an 800 ISO film, for example, they often used revamped 400 ISO film, and simply “asked” that it be processed differently. So when lab operators received a film labelled 800 ISO, they treated it differently (keeping it twice as long in the chemicals, for instance) in order to produce a stronger signal on the film. Digital camera manufacturers have simply implemented this same strategy in the camera body, and so could be seen as a “good old tradition.”

Moreover, underexposing the RAW file allows manufacturers to use their own complex algorithms to obtain a better output for the highlights while retaining good medium tones.

Note: I take issue with DxOMark's characterization of this practice as 'maybe' being a trick, since 'trick' implies something dishonest or deceptive. What manufacturers are doing here is accepted practice, and it is practiced by multiple manufacturers. It comes from a long and well-known tradition stretching back to the days of film. If it's a trick, it's one that everyone knows is being played - some trick, huh?

Imatest: ISO Sensitivity and Exposure Index

Exposure Index [aka EI or ISO Setting] and [ISO] Sensitivity are closely related and sometimes used interchangeably, but should be kept distinct. For example, one might say, “The camera’s Saturation-based ISO sensitivity is 80 when the Exposure Index [aka EI or ISO Setting] is set to 100.


One thing I have to point out here - the ISO standard was pieced together over several years based on proposals and papers written by digital imaging experts. One thing I often see when I point out the specifics of the standard is people taking issue with how the standard is written. When they recognize that the standard doesn't say what they thought it did, they complain that the standard is 'wrong' or 'too permissive', but I'd argue that this is a facile way of looking at things. The experts who wrote the standard knew full well exactly what they were writing - better, almost certainly, than you or I or random Internet forum poster 'Mr. X'.

Let that sink in. Those who wrote the papers at the foundation of this ISO standard,a nd those who went on to compile them into the current standard did so with the express intention that the standard do exactly what it does today. They specifically DID NOT write it to do what you think it should do. They also specifically DID NOTwrite any other standard that does what you think should be done, and I'm quite certain they did that consciously and with good reasons that you may simply not yet have grasped

I have to admit, it's a bit of a complex subject to digest, but I think it's worth it if you're interested, and mandatory if you want to argue or discuss with others aboutit.

I will also be the first to admit that I'm still learning about it. I've come a long way in the past 10 months or so, but I still have a long way to go. Fascinating stuff!

tex

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scott_mcleod Senior Member • Posts: 1,033
Re: What's weak about the GH3?

texinwien wrote:

scott_mcleod wrote:

Some of what you are seeing in the superiority of the Oly is an artifact of the E-M5 under-rating its ISO by about a full stop across the range (i.e. ISO 1600 on the camera is actually only 782)

Hi Scott, that's an oft-repeated mantra, but it is a misconception - one that DPReview have been very specific in countering - I will include some links to official DPReview statements at the end of this post.

The ISO 12232:2006 standard (Exposure Index Standard) only applies to the sRGB output of a camera (practically, the out of camera JPEGs). It says nothing about the RAW files, and the 'under-rating' you mention here is only seen in the RAW files. As such, that 'under-rating' is allowed by the ISO standard. Meaning, in effect, that it's not an under-rating at all.

The E-M5 is standards-compliant in regards to ISO 12232:2006.

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cameras/Compare-Camera-Sensors/Compare-cameras-side-by-side/(appareil1)/842%7C0/(brand)/Panasonic/(appareil2)/816%7C0/(brand2)/Panasonic/(appareil3)/793%7C0/(brand3)/Olympus

While the DxO 'Measured ISO' numbers are very helpful for photographers and consumers who take the time to understand what they mean, they have nothing to do with actual ISO, as defined by the one and only standard that counts. DPReview has also been specific in stating that it's improper to mix the DxO numbers up with actual ISO numbers.

It gets worse as you go higher. This is why it looks so clean compared to the competition at any "equivalent" ISO. The GH2 also under-rates but not nearly as much. The lowly G5 is very close to spec.

This is also a commonly-held misconception, but it is also incorrect (and has also been directly addressed and contradicted by DPReview employees).

I suggest that you read the following statements from Andy Westlake (Technical Writer at DPReview), who took the time to explain some details about DPReview's testing regime and ISO, with the E-M5 tests and measurements as the original grounds for the discussions that were started.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/40933688

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/40944061

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/40947308

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/40947640

This DPReview article on ISO may also help to clear up any lingering misconceptions you might still have.

///

To the OP: Scott's explanation for the E-M5's apparent superiority is technically incorrect, which fact is backed up by official statements from DPReview employees. The superiority you are seeing is actual, and cannot be explained away by any supposed 'tricks' performed by Olympus (Olympus has performed no tricks w/r/t ISO, as a matter of fact, according to the ISO standard), although many try to do exactly that, anyway.

Regarding the feel of the E-M5: My hands are average size. I use the camera without a grip and am very comfortable with it. I also like the fact that there are multiple grips from different makers available, and that, even if I decide to buy a grip at some time, I can always remove it if I want to go back to a very small camera that, with a pancake affixed, will easily fit in a jacket pocket.

Good luck finding a camera that works for you - the E-M5 and GH3 are both excellent choices, IMO!

tex

My only "lingering misconception" is that if you need to set ISO 200 on an E-M5 to get the same exposure as you would from (say) a D800 at ISO 100 with aperture and shutter speed held constant (I am using for this example the RAW files from IR, who used f/8 and 1/20s on these respective cameras), isn't "ISO performance" a rather worthless metric if taken at face value?

With all due respect to everyone involved, I am not trying to bait anyone or start an argument - it just strikes me that the various IQ comparison widgets might be more useful if each crop clearly stated the +ve or -ve EV required at each ISO without having to download the file and look at the EXIF (something that may not occur to everyone as necessary to fully understand what they're looking at)

Scott

texinwien Veteran Member • Posts: 3,326
Re: What's weak about the GH3?
3

scott_mcleod wrote:

texinwien wrote:

scott_mcleod wrote:

Some of what you are seeing in the superiority of the Oly is an artifact of the E-M5 under-rating its ISO by about a full stop across the range (i.e. ISO 1600 on the camera is actually only 782)

Hi Scott, that's an oft-repeated mantra, but it is a misconception - one that DPReview have been very specific in countering - I will include some links to official DPReview statements at the end of this post.

The ISO 12232:2006 standard (Exposure Index Standard) only applies to the sRGB output of a camera (practically, the out of camera JPEGs). It says nothing about the RAW files, and the 'under-rating' you mention here is only seen in the RAW files. As such, that 'under-rating' is allowed by the ISO standard. Meaning, in effect, that it's not an under-rating at all.

The E-M5 is standards-compliant in regards to ISO 12232:2006.

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cameras/Compare-Camera-Sensors/Compare-cameras-side-by-side/(appareil1)/842%7C0/(brand)/Panasonic/(appareil2)/816%7C0/(brand2)/Panasonic/(appareil3)/793%7C0/(brand3)/Olympus

While the DxO 'Measured ISO' numbers are very helpful for photographers and consumers who take the time to understand what they mean, they have nothing to do with actual ISO, as defined by the one and only standard that counts. DPReview has also been specific in stating that it's improper to mix the DxO numbers up with actual ISO numbers.

It gets worse as you go higher. This is why it looks so clean compared to the competition at any "equivalent" ISO. The GH2 also under-rates but not nearly as much. The lowly G5 is very close to spec.

This is also a commonly-held misconception, but it is also incorrect (and has also been directly addressed and contradicted by DPReview employees).

I suggest that you read the following statements from Andy Westlake (Technical Writer at DPReview), who took the time to explain some details about DPReview's testing regime and ISO, with the E-M5 tests and measurements as the original grounds for the discussions that were started.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/40933688

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/40944061

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/40947308

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/40947640

This DPReview article on ISO may also help to clear up any lingering misconceptions you might still have.

///

To the OP: Scott's explanation for the E-M5's apparent superiority is technically incorrect, which fact is backed up by official statements from DPReview employees. The superiority you are seeing is actual, and cannot be explained away by any supposed 'tricks' performed by Olympus (Olympus has performed no tricks w/r/t ISO, as a matter of fact, according to the ISO standard), although many try to do exactly that, anyway.

Regarding the feel of the E-M5: My hands are average size. I use the camera without a grip and am very comfortable with it. I also like the fact that there are multiple grips from different makers available, and that, even if I decide to buy a grip at some time, I can always remove it if I want to go back to a very small camera that, with a pancake affixed, will easily fit in a jacket pocket.

Good luck finding a camera that works for you - the E-M5 and GH3 are both excellent choices, IMO!

tex

My only "lingering misconception" is that if you need to set ISO 200 on an E-M5 to get the same exposure as you would from (say) a D800 at ISO 100 with aperture and shutter speed held constant (I am using for this example the RAW files from IR, who used f/8 and 1/20s on these respective cameras), isn't "ISO performance" a rather worthless metric if taken at face value?

This is covered clearly in the second link I provided above. The relative excerpt (with my emphasis added) is here:

We test ISO, essentially according to the SOS method, and present the results in every review. All of our further tests are implicitly based upon that, because they're exposed so particular reference grey patches are rendered at a standard brightness. You do need to pay attention to those ISO test results when comparing cameras.

With all due respect to everyone involved, I am not trying to bait anyone or start an argument - it just strikes me that the various IQ comparison widgets might be more useful if each crop clearly stated the +ve or -ve EV required at each ISO without having to download the file and look at the EXIF (something that may not occur to everyone as necessary to fully understand what they're looking at)

My interpretation of the above-linked statement by Andy Westlake is that the information you are seeking is contained in the results of DPReview's own ISO test results, which they do publish for each camera.

I'm also not trying to bait anyone (to be clear). It's a somewhat complex subject. I'm trying to discuss it in a respectful way, and I will also admit that I thoroughly misunderstood it several months ago (and probably still do misunderstand it on several levels today). But (I hope that) I'm getting better.

tex

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texinwien Veteran Member • Posts: 3,326
Some Clarifications
1

It's a bit of a complex topic, and I made some injudicious statements and/or outright misstatements (but never out of malice). Corrections below, inline:

texinwien wrote:

scott_mcleod wrote:

Some of what you are seeing in the superiority of the Oly is an artifact of the E-M5 under-rating its ISO by about a full stop across the range (i.e. ISO 1600 on the camera is actually only 782)

Hi Scott, that's an oft-repeated mantra, but it is a misconception - one that DPReview have been very specific in countering - I will include some links to official DPReview statements at the end of this post.

The ISO 12232:2006 standard (Exposure Index Standard) only applies specifies two new methods (SOS and REI) that camera manufacturers may use to determine EI to the three that were already contained in the original version of the standard. These two standards are the ones most often used by camera manufacturers today (and the appropriate one of these two must be mentioned in a RAW file's EXIF). These two methods apply only to the sRGB output of a camera (practically, the out of camera JPEGs). It says They (the two new methods) say nothing about the RAW files, and the 'under-rating' you mention here is only seen in the RAW files. As such, that 'under-rating' is allowed by the ISO standard. Meaning, in effect, that it's not an under-rating at all.

The E-M5 is standards-compliant in regards to ISO 12232:2006.

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cameras/Compare-Camera-Sensors/Compare-cameras-side-by-side/(appareil1)/842%7C0/(brand)/Panasonic/(appareil2)/816%7C0/(brand2)/Panasonic/(appareil3)/793%7C0/(brand3)/Olympus

While the DxO 'Measured ISO' numbers are very helpful for photographers and consumers who take the time to understand what they mean, they have nothing to do with actual ISO Exposure Indices / EIs / ISO Settings, as defined by the one and only standard that counts. DPReview has also been specific in stating that it's improper to mix the DxO numbers up with  actual ISO Exposure Indices / EIs / ISO Settings.

It gets worse as you go higher. This is why it looks so clean compared to the competition at any "equivalent" ISO. The GH2 also under-rates but not nearly as much. The lowly G5 is very close to spec.

This is also a commonly-held misconception, but it is also incorrect (and has also been directly addressed and contradicted by DPReview employees).

I suggest that you read the following statements from Andy Westlake (Technical Writer at DPReview), who took the time to explain some details about DPReview's testing regime and ISO, with the E-M5 tests and measurements as the original grounds for the discussions that were started.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/40933688

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/40944061

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/40947308

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/40947640

This DPReview article on ISO may also help to clear up any lingering misconceptions you might still have.

///

To the OP: Scott's explanation for the E-M5's apparent superiority is technically incorrect, which fact is backed up by official statements from DPReview employees. The superiority you are seeing is actual*, and cannot be explained away by any supposed 'tricks' performed by Olympus (Olympus has performed no tricks w/r/t ISO, as a matter of fact, according to the ISO standard), although many try to do exactly that, anyway.

* Actual except for any differences that would be suggested by differences between DPReview tested ISO Sensitivity for the compared cameras (which differences are MUCH LESS than those reported by DxOMarks tests, to the point of being, most likely, undetectable by the human eye)

tex

 texinwien's gear list:texinwien's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 Olympus E-M5 II Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 OnePlus One Canon EOS 300D +20 more
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