OMD EM1 or Fuji XT1.. getting around noise issue on m 4/3 ?

Started Mar 26, 2014 | Discussions
Daniel Lauring
Daniel Lauring Veteran Member • Posts: 9,342
Re: OMD EM1 or Fuji XT1.. getting around noise issue on m 4/3 ?

Here's another thing to consider when comparing these cameras:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3646841

The issue was alluded to in several earlier posts.

Note, in the thread, Oly is also an ISO "cheater."

GBC Senior Member • Posts: 1,354
Re: Thanks for the real-world tests!

1 second at 50 mm equivalent is certainly possible, but it takes good technique and practice.

taz98spin Contributing Member • Posts: 533
Re: Thanks for the real-world tests!

GBC wrote:

1 second at 50 mm equivalent is certainly possible, but it takes good technique and practice.

Is there a quick guide or link you can post?

I have the E-P5 and I am trying to get the 1 second thing down too!

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Landscapephoto99 Senior Member • Posts: 2,869
Re: Noise issue on m 4/3 ?
1

Is there a noise issue on m4/3?  Why are people still beating this dead horse?

Almost all tests show that m43 sensors are as good in terms of noise as APS-C sensors up to the very highest ISOs and in some cases better.   Sure some can argue that the Fuji might have a half stop advantage at the highest ISOs, but this is incredibly minor advantage, nothing to wet the bed about.  And of course those whining about this forget the incredibly rich DR of the E-M1 and E-M5.  And with great IBIS using f1.4 primes, m43 has the advantage.

So yes if you really have made not made up your mind, you will be more than happy whether you choose either Fuji or the OMD, both of which are far more camera than either you or I will likely need for some time to come.

cosmonaut
cosmonaut Senior Member • Posts: 2,223
Re: OMD EM1 or Fuji XT1.. getting around noise issue on m 4/3 ?

The E-M1 will out perform the Fuji but I also think the lens quality is better on the Fuji and the color rendering is different. I would compare images at Flickr and see which is more appealing to you. The Fuji cameras have a nice following believing the colors are simply better on the Fuji. Good luck.

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Landscapephoto99 Senior Member • Posts: 2,869
Re: OMD EM1 or Fuji XT1.. getting around noise issue on m 4/3 ?
1

cosmonaut wrote:

The E-M1 will out perform the Fuji but I also think the lens quality is better on the Fuji and the color rendering is different. I would compare images at Flickr and see which is more appealing to you. The Fuji cameras have a nice following believing the colors are simply better on the Fuji. Good luck.

Yes, the Fuji looks like a lot of fun to use.  In an ideal world, I'd love to get one with a 35mm and wide angle lens to play around with for portraits and landscapes.  But I know that my trusty E-M5 serves my needs just fine.  From what I can see, it does everything I need as well or better than the Fuji.  After 2 years and >25,000 shots I'm still improving my technique and learning new things.

Now if that Panaleica 42.5mm lens came down to ~$999 I would certainly consider, but I'm not holding my breath.

Daniel Lauring
Daniel Lauring Veteran Member • Posts: 9,342
Re: OMD EM1 or Fuji XT1.. getting around noise issue on m 4/3 ?

cosmonaut wrote:

The E-M1 will out perform the Fuji but I also think the lens quality is better on the Fuji and the color rendering is different. I would compare images at Flickr and see which is more appealing to you. The Fuji cameras have a nice following believing the colors are simply better on the Fuji. Good luck.

Two more things to add to that, lenses and format.

Lens have a greater impact on image quality than the difference between the sensors.  Prioritize toward the platform that has the best lenses for your favorite photography.

Second, consider how important the aspect ratio is to you.  Some photographers are married to the classic 2:3 aspect ratio...especially if they print.  Olympus uses a 4:3 aspect ratio which will yield a lower resolution when cropping to 4:3.

Mark B UK Senior Member • Posts: 1,511
Re: OMD EM1 or Fuji XT1.. getting around noise issue on m 4/3 ?
1

drj3 wrote:

drj3 wrote:

It is easy to have lower noise levels at ISO 3200 than other cameras, just call your ISO1600 - 3200.

From DPR review of E-X2

However, a significant part of this advantage stems from the camera's need for longer exposures to achieve the same JPEG brightness level as its rivals. This is the way the ISO standard is measured, and the basis on which we conduct this test. However the X-E2's need for unusually long exposures explains much of the difference we see between it and the Sony NEX-6; in fact it's probably better compared to the performance of its peers set 1EV lower (i.e. ISO 400 on the Fujifilm compared to ISO 200 on its rivals).

DPR comparisons for Fuji and three others at ISO 3200 and ISO 3200 for Fuji and 1600 for the other three. Draw your own conclusions about noise and detail for each

I have a lot of time or people who resolve impassioned debate with empirical evidence. If there were such a thing as a 'reverse-ignore' button on DPR for people whose opinions we admire, you'd get my vote. Until I saw your post I was unsure whether to believe the idea that Fuji files are heavily noise-reduced, and was thinking of getting one, rather than an E-M1. You've pretty much decided me in favour of sticking with Olympus.

 Mark B UK's gear list:Mark B UK's gear list
Panasonic LX100 II Olympus E-M1 II Olympus 12-100mm F4.0 Olympus 25mm F1.2 Samsung Galaxy S9+
Daniel Lauring
Daniel Lauring Veteran Member • Posts: 9,342
Re: OMD EM1 or Fuji XT1.. getting around noise issue on m 4/3 ?
1

Mark B UK wrote:

drj3 wrote:

drj3 wrote:

It is easy to have lower noise levels at ISO 3200 than other cameras, just call your ISO1600 - 3200.

From DPR review of E-X2

However, a significant part of this advantage stems from the camera's need for longer exposures to achieve the same JPEG brightness level as its rivals. This is the way the ISO standard is measured, and the basis on which we conduct this test. However the X-E2's need for unusually long exposures explains much of the difference we see between it and the Sony NEX-6; in fact it's probably better compared to the performance of its peers set 1EV lower (i.e. ISO 400 on the Fujifilm compared to ISO 200 on its rivals).

DPR comparisons for Fuji and three others at ISO 3200 and ISO 3200 for Fuji and 1600 for the other three. Draw your own conclusions about noise and detail for each

I have a lot of time or people who resolve impassioned debate with empirical evidence. If there were such a thing as a 'reverse-ignore' button on DPR for people whose opinions we admire, you'd get my vote. Until I saw your post I was unsure whether to believe the idea that Fuji files are heavily noise-reduced, and was thinking of getting one, rather than an E-M1. You've pretty much decided me in favour of sticking with Olympus.

Bad evidence.  Never base your decisions on review photo sample comparisons...especially not jpeg samples.  The reviewers are rarely familiar enough with tbe cameras to set them up properly.  I have both the Fuji and the Olympus.  Fuji's default jpegs have too much noise reduction.  I always turn it down.  Likewise, Olympus uses way too much sharpening.  I turn tbat down to the lowest setting too.  I wish both had even lower settings.  In my experience the Fuji resolves just a bit more detail than the Oly, especially at higher ISO's as you'd expect because of its larger sensor.  Having said that, the difference is small and way less important than the lenses you marry them to.

Mark B UK Senior Member • Posts: 1,511
Re: OMD EM1 or Fuji XT1.. getting around noise issue on m 4/3 ?
1

Daniel Lauring wrote:

Mark B UK wrote:

drj3 wrote:

drj3 wrote:

It is easy to have lower noise levels at ISO 3200 than other cameras, just call your ISO1600 - 3200.

From DPR review of E-X2

However, a significant part of this advantage stems from the camera's need for longer exposures to achieve the same JPEG brightness level as its rivals. This is the way the ISO standard is measured, and the basis on which we conduct this test. However the X-E2's need for unusually long exposures explains much of the difference we see between it and the Sony NEX-6; in fact it's probably better compared to the performance of its peers set 1EV lower (i.e. ISO 400 on the Fujifilm compared to ISO 200 on its rivals).

DPR comparisons for Fuji and three others at ISO 3200 and ISO 3200 for Fuji and 1600 for the other three. Draw your own conclusions about noise and detail for each

I have a lot of time or people who resolve impassioned debate with empirical evidence. If there were such a thing as a 'reverse-ignore' button on DPR for people whose opinions we admire, you'd get my vote. Until I saw your post I was unsure whether to believe the idea that Fuji files are heavily noise-reduced, and was thinking of getting one, rather than an E-M1. You've pretty much decided me in favour of sticking with Olympus.

Bad evidence. Never base your decisions on review photo sample comparisons...especially not jpeg samples. The reviewers are rarely familiar enough with tbe cameras to set them up properly. I have both the Fuji and the Olympus. Fuji's default jpegs have too much noise reduction. I always turn it down. Likewise, Olympus uses way too much sharpening. I turn tbat down to the lowest setting too. I wish both had even lower settings. In my experience the Fuji resolves just a bit more detail than the Oly, especially at higher ISO's as you'd expect because of its larger sensor. Having said that, the difference is small and way less important than the lenses you marry them to.

This comparison is based on RAW files and was done by DPReview. I think it's valid.

 Mark B UK's gear list:Mark B UK's gear list
Panasonic LX100 II Olympus E-M1 II Olympus 12-100mm F4.0 Olympus 25mm F1.2 Samsung Galaxy S9+
ThePhilips Contributing Member • Posts: 749
Center or not doesn't matter.
1

jim stirling wrote:

I specifically chose a centre crop as even the 12-50 does pretty well here. Though it would be better if the lenses where more compatible.

Center or not doesn't matter.

TL;DR lens quality affects high ISO performance. Better lens takes better pictures.

I have had enough experience with this: at high ISOs, images made with zooms would show more noise than images with primes.

At lower ISOs one still can clean up some of the imperfections of the kit lenses. Sharpening alone often is enough.

But at the higher ISOs, noise and lens imperfections are irreversibly mixed up. No amount RAW magic would ever help you to clean it up.

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Ulric Veteran Member • Posts: 4,534
Re: OMD EM1 or Fuji XT1.. getting around noise issue on m 4/3 ?
2

Daniel Lauring wrote:

Here's another thing to consider when comparing these cameras:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3646841

The issue was alluded to in several earlier posts.

Note, in the thread, Oly is also an ISO "cheater."

Anyone who tells you so should also be able to provide evidence to that effect. So far nobody has.

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Steve
OP Steve Senior Member • Posts: 2,427
Re: OMD EM1 or Fuji XT1.. getting around noise issue on m 4/3 ?

jim stirling wrote:

pede59 wrote:

It was mentioned there that Fuji adds some noise reduction before they write their raw file. If you actually take a EM1 raw file and apply a small amount of noise reduction the image quality was very comparable.

While you are right that people claim this and it may even be correct .There is no way to match the noise and detail level of the X-T1 using the E-M1 .This is a 100% crop sample of both cameras at 3200ISO , NR turned off in ACR { ACR is far from optimum for Fuji RAW files}, no processing other than cropping to size. Sample area taken from the centre of the image wh ere the respective lenses do best. Sure you can add NR to the E-M1 { at the cost of detail where it is already lagging } , sharpen the detail and the noise becomes intolerable .So no you cannot match the image quality.

I think the best you can claim is that the obvious gap in image quality may be a bit narrower than some conclude but the gap is very real

Link to RAW files

E-M1

http://www.focus-numerique.com/test-1766/compact-a-objectifs-interchangeables-olympus-e-m1-bruit-electronique-12.html

X-T1

http://www.focus-numerique.com/test-1833/compact-a-objectifs-interchangeables-fujifilm-x-t1-bruit-electronique-12.html

Here are the E-M1 vs the X-T1 at 3200ISO , both shots taken with the same lighting, same aperture and shutter speed

Straight raw ACR nr off zero processing

NR added to E-M1 { it now has even less detail while still lagging behind noise wise}

NR added to E-M1

"There is no way to match the noise and detail level of the X-T1 using the E-M1"

Umm, this is more than slightly wrong. You just need to shoot at lower ISO and slower shutter speeds to match the X-T1. Which is exactly what the OP was asking. Comparing two cameras at ISO3200 is not comparing their capabilities in every situation, it's comparing their performance at ISO3200.

That's what I'm wondering about. Maybe with the olympus stabilization ,one can use a lower shutter speed and with it a lower ISO. And come out with less noise.

 Steve's gear list:Steve's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Olympus PEN-F Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Panasonic Lumix G X Vario PZ 45-175mm F4.0-5.6 ASPH OIS Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm 1:1.8
halievski Contributing Member • Posts: 600
Daniel..
1

You've mentioned in your post the very fundamental info especially for Oly people: turn default sharpness to minimum, and I have to add - contrast and saturation as well...and turn noise reduction "off", if you don't work strictly with jpegs. Do everything with your RAW converter/ software - you will get much better results to compare to OOC output. Having said that I concluded after my close examination that Oly's / Panasonic sensors are extremely close in terms of quality to those APS-C and differences are negligible. I can even tell you guys that my D300 older APS-c sensor is visibly behind starting at ISO400 and thats the fact..

Steve
OP Steve Senior Member • Posts: 2,427
Re: My ISO thoughts

I haven't read all the replies, because I found a lot of them less than courteous. Dpreview is like a minefield sometimes

Here's what I think: the lowlight race is over-rated. I started shooting in the days of film. Even at the end of that era, when the technology had been pushed to its limits - shooting anything over 400 asa (iso) was out of the question if you wanted clean images. This was also in the time before stabilization existed. You can take 90% of your shots - except for low-light miracles, or freezing action - at 400 iso and lower. Add to that today's stabilization and you can probably get 99% of your shots under 400.

When we shot sport in those days, we used faster film and the grain was ok because the idea was to capture a action moment, not create art.

You'll have to figure out what your priorities are. Personally, I like the added dof of m43 since I like to shoot macro and landscapes. If I ever do a portrait and want extremely shallow dof, I photoshop it.

Weight is important to me, and since 400 iso is about equal between any system today, m43 gets my vote because size/weight of a multi-lens system is still in m43 favor.

There is one issue though: m43 requires wider lenses for comparable mm. Supposing you often shoot at what would be normal 50mm on fullframe, the XTI requires a 35mm and a m43 needs a 25mm.

A 25mm is a 25mm no mater what system it is attached to, And... a 25mm is a wide-angle and comes with all the optical complications that all wideangles due to curved glass and the required compensations to offer up a decent image (more glass + software). So there are + and -

m43 still gets my vote (until the day Fuji starts releasing small f2 primes)

That's the boat I'm in. I sol my d7000 and do travel and street photography. I sold it to go smaller and lighter. M4/3 lenses are smaller than the x-t1 apc lenses so that's a plus. And for quick street shots the omd I read is faster than the x-t1. Except for fuji's viewfinder, I think the em-1 will give me everything I need EXCEPT for the lower noise and better DR and maybe general IQ.
That's what's driving me crazy.
Most of my stuff is printed no more than 8x12 or 9x16.
Do maybe at that size , the m4/3 would be fine. (Except my stock photography which would be impacted by the noisy m4/3 sensor issue. Thankfully I'm almost retired from stock

 Steve's gear list:Steve's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Olympus PEN-F Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Panasonic Lumix G X Vario PZ 45-175mm F4.0-5.6 ASPH OIS Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm 1:1.8
Steve
OP Steve Senior Member • Posts: 2,427
Re: REALITY CHECK
1

Steve wrote:

i'm trolling around trying to decide between the 2 subject cameras. i want smaller and lighter (no tri-poding than my ex d7000.. (although xt1 takes APC sized lenses, so i'm not sure the xt1 will give me much of a size advance with an APC lens)..

The EM-1 is noisier than the Fuji.. but i'm wondering if the EM1 with its great stabilization would allow me to shoot at lower ISOs than the Fuji.. and therefore help to minimize noise..

i guess this is a tough question as probably very few if any people have tested this out.

Both are amazingly good cameras which will produce stunning images.  Go with which one you feel better with when holding and shooting.  This is no dilemma, it's an exercise in photographic bliss.

Lol. Maybe that's all I have to do. Thanx

 Steve's gear list:Steve's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Olympus PEN-F Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Panasonic Lumix G X Vario PZ 45-175mm F4.0-5.6 ASPH OIS Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm 1:1.8
Steve
OP Steve Senior Member • Posts: 2,427
Re: I own both and will keep both, but...

For your question, if you really like the E-M1 and the noise levels at higher ISO is your only meaningful concern, I'd say buy the E-M1.   I love the image quality of the X-T1, but there are things about the E-M1 I like better.   For example, the general handling, speed and feel of the body.

If you want some real world samples, I have some E-M1 photos HERE

and I have a new gallery (growing) of X-T1 photos HERE

Don't let the noise issue scare you.  It's certainly better with the X-T1, but viewing the photos normally, it's unlikely that anyone would ever know the difference.   And yes, of course depth of field is different.  Whatever your preference is.

By the way, as long as you're not shooting fast moving subjects, you can take advantage of the great in-body IS and keep your ISO low on the E-M1 by using a slower shutter speed.   I can shoot very easily at 1/15th sec at any focal length on my 12-40mm and get sharp images all day long.  That's a comfortable shutter speed for me when shooting indoors in a dark museum for example.

Thank you so much. Nice ammunition for my decision.

 Steve's gear list:Steve's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Olympus PEN-F Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Panasonic Lumix G X Vario PZ 45-175mm F4.0-5.6 ASPH OIS Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm 1:1.8
halievski Contributing Member • Posts: 600
valid remark..
1

I havn't experienced any Olys ISO cheating..  I checked it against Pentax, Nikon and Leica and found no evidence, all readings were virtually the same

Steve
OP Steve Senior Member • Posts: 2,427
Re: Noise issue on m 4/3 ?

Is there a noise issue on m4/3?  Why are people still beating this dead horse?

Almost all tests show that m43 sensors are as good in terms of noise as APS-C sensors up to the very highest ISOs and in some cases better.   Sure some can argue that the Fuji might have a half stop advantage at the highest ISOs, but this is incredibly minor advantage, nothing to wet the bed about.  And of course those whining about this forget the incredibly rich DR of the E-M1 and E-M5.  And with great IBIS using f1.4 primes, m43 has the advantage.

So yes if you really have made not made up your mind, you will be more than happy whether you choose either Fuji or the OMD, both of which are far more camera than either you or I will likely need for some time to come.

From looking at ISO comparisons side by side the apc sensor is always less noisy than the m4/3

 Steve's gear list:Steve's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Olympus PEN-F Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Panasonic Lumix G X Vario PZ 45-175mm F4.0-5.6 ASPH OIS Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm 1:1.8
Dave Sanders Senior Member • Posts: 2,543
Re: My ISO thoughts
3

Steve wrote:

I haven't read all the replies, because I found a lot of them less than courteous. Dpreview is like a minefield sometimes

Here's what I think: the lowlight race is over-rated. I started shooting in the days of film. Even at the end of that era, when the technology had been pushed to its limits - shooting anything over 400 asa (iso) was out of the question if you wanted clean images. This was also in the time before stabilization existed. You can take 90% of your shots - except for low-light miracles, or freezing action - at 400 iso and lower. Add to that today's stabilization and you can probably get 99% of your shots under 400.

When we shot sport in those days, we used faster film and the grain was ok because the idea was to capture a action moment, not create art.

You'll have to figure out what your priorities are. Personally, I like the added dof of m43 since I like to shoot macro and landscapes. If I ever do a portrait and want extremely shallow dof, I photoshop it.

Weight is important to me, and since 400 iso is about equal between any system today, m43 gets my vote because size/weight of a multi-lens system is still in m43 favor.

There is one issue though: m43 requires wider lenses for comparable mm. Supposing you often shoot at what would be normal 50mm on fullframe, the XTI requires a 35mm and a m43 needs a 25mm.

A 25mm is a 25mm no mater what system it is attached to, And... a 25mm is a wide-angle and comes with all the optical complications that all wideangles due to curved glass and the required compensations to offer up a decent image (more glass + software). So there are + and -

m43 still gets my vote (until the day Fuji starts releasing small f2 primes)

That's the boat I'm in. I sol my d7000 and do travel and street photography. I sold it to go smaller and lighter. M4/3 lenses are smaller than the x-t1 apc lenses so that's a plus. And for quick street shots the omd I read is faster than the x-t1. Except for fuji's viewfinder, I think the em-1 will give me everything I need EXCEPT for the lower noise and better DR and maybe general IQ.

Up to about 1600, you will not notice a difference. Even above that, your processing skill will be the real determining factor.

Here's an idea of E-M1 sharpness at low ISO...at 100% you'll notice the extreme detail...and the fact that I probably need to exfoliate and moisturize.

And at high ISO, if you frame and process correctly, you can get some pretty impressive results from the ol' m4/3 sensor. Here is 6400 and 12800. Again, excuse the model. I've heard that his regular models have become uncooperative...

In Black & White they look even better, if you ask me. I like a bit of grit in B&W as it reminds me of my two favourite films, Tri-X and Delta 3200.

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Dave Sanders

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