(UPDATED)E-M5 studio test samples. What do you think?

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It’s time to make a real JPEG and RAW comparison! Dpreview (Click here) just posted the E-M5 studio test. Take time to compare all ISO settings with other cameras. I leave the judgments to you :)

UPDATE: And here is a full review from the polish website Fotopolis (Click here for the translation).

How much do you like the image quality?

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E-M5 preorders (Click on the names of the stores to see the product page):
Black E-M5 body at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto, J&R, Warehouse UK, Digitalrev and Amazon Japan.
Silver E-M5 body at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto, J&R, Warehouse UK, and Amazon Japan.
Black E-M5 body with 14-42mm lens at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto , Digitalrev and J&R.
Black E-M5 body with 12-50mm lens at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto, J&R, Jessops, Amazon UK, Amazon Deutschland , Digitalrev and Amazon Japan.
Silver E-M5 body with 12-50mm lens at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto, J&R, Jessops, Amazon UK, Amazon Deutschland and Amazon Japan.

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  • I think dpreview is little curious on E-M5. ;-)

    • Jock

      Hmmmm,

      simply cannot understand this hype about image quality. Do you really think that any of the cameras delivers BAD quality? What does a studio setting have to do with real life photography? How does a do its job kit lens in “everyday shooting”? IMHO image quality is a feature which is important for discussions only…

      For me the ergonomics of a camera is much, much more important. Example: From the “paper results” the Sony NEX7 seemed to be my dream camera – until I went to my local photo dealer. When I grabbed the camera, my first thought was: UNCOMFORTABLE TO HOLD! The space between the lens and the housing-“grip” is just too small for my fingers (and I have normal sized hands, not one of the sizes to dig a grave with…).

      Things like how to reach and operate the function buttons, menu structure etc.pp. are more important than image quality, which is “good enough” in any of the up-to-date mirrorless cameras – at least for me!

      Jock

      • +1 valid statements!

      • Even if you’re only saying m43 caught up, you can now get Nex quality in a smaller, better handling package, with far better lens choice.

        But having said that, over 2000 people have looked at the samples and only one is saying the Nex “blows everything else away” and that’s you. Go figure.

    • mpgxsvcd

      The E-M5 looked better than the G3, GH-2, and dare I say NEX-5 @ ISO 3200 RAW. This camera is for real and I don’t normally like Olympus cameras.

  • Zend

    The interesting thing is that E-M5 shows less noise at RAW than GX1 :)

    • Bob B.

      OK…it is hands-down better than the G3/GX1. No discussion. So what sensor is this??????????

      • greyhat

        Guys, remember DIWA tests: E-M5 has less 2/3 stops of announced ISO
        This means that you should compare to GX1 at one stop lower ISO (at least is more fair and comparable)

        Still you see on very dark/black areas that Olympus at comparable ISO (1600 on GX1 and 3200 on E-M5) it is better. This can be due to better processing the data that comes from sensor: retain detail, clean noise.

        But quality is really good, and “enough” for common photography. On high DR scenes Sony sensors have the advantage
        (and on normal scenes allow us to expose not so much to the right to be able to apply a shoulder on the last stops to mimic film and please the eye giving better highlights – the achiles heel of digital sensors)

        BR, greyhat

        • Fan

          See further below: the EXIF data shows the same exposure data for GX1 and E-M5. So ISO values do match.

          • Insanity! The samples look better than the NEX-5N up to around ISO3200, and even up to ISO12600 is pretty darn close. What magic is this??

            • Charlie

              There’s something wonky about that. Put up the D4 & EM5 looks better??? C’mon. :|

        • HB

          I still like the camera but “E-M5 has less 2/3 stops of announced ISO” feels to me like Olympus is trying to cheat :( …
          I do not know for sure if the lightning is controlled but looking on the exif:

          ISO 1600:
          E-M5: 1/400 F6.3
          G3: 1/640 F6.3

          ISO 6400:
          E-M5: 1/1600 F6.3
          G3: 1/2500 F6.3

          it looks like… and that E-M5 needs more than 50% longer exposure time than the G3 at same ISO and aperture… this indeed must be considered when comparing…

        • Gianluca

          DPreview says 1/3 stop and this means GX1 iso1600 = OM D iso2100

          • It will actually be the other way around, w/ the E-M5 having the lesser sensitivity.

      • Bob B.

        hmmm…..taking this ISO trickery into account…um…I smell a rat, maybe???
        If one compares the images with the G3 and GX1 at 800 to the OM at 1600…they are almost identical. (I can only look at the gold coin/label insert, as I cannot open the full-size OM image in Lightroom3 or Adobe Camera Raw).
        I also think that the GX1 and G3 images at ISO 800 are slightly lighter (over exposed) compared to the ISO 1600 of the OM which makes comparison a little bit difficult, also.
        I just do not know what to think.
        I think that the OM is a fantastic camera. I just do not want to go out and sell my G3 or GX1 and buy an OM if there is the same sensor in both cameras and this is just some dishonest technical game being played here to make the Olympus “appear” to be performing better. I just don’t know what to think?????
        I think I am going to do nothing right now and go out and shoot with my Canon FF this weekend and just step away from this debate for a while. LOL!

        • david

          The dpreview people have stated that the lighting setup is not constant over time (and in fact has changed recently). So you can conclude nothing from EXIF info. They’ve also stated that in their first look, the E-M5 metering may be off by 1/3 of a stop. Hardly enough to make up for the (IMO) fairly big difference between E-M5 and G3 or GX1 or GH2.

        • Agrees with Bob that EM5 is slightly darker.

          • Bob B.

            Well…I just wonder about us all being duped.
            Also…Why the BIG secret about the sensor manufacturer. Right there is lack of transparency and possible deception….
            This is important to me. I do a lot of fine arts photography and one stop of image quality and increased dynamic range would have an impact on the quality of my files and therefore my prints. Of course, if I am being deceived by Olympus and the sensor in my current 2 MFT cameras is just the same or has a miniscule difference with the OM..than I am going to keep my current cameras and wait a year or so to upgrade.
            It is a big hassel to sell equipment, upgrade, relearn another menu system, etc…only to find out the image quality may be relatively…the same. (“maybe” not).
            I guess my only option is just to set back and let this play out. I just don’t know what to believe.

            • David

              your eyes

              • +1 so many people waiting to be told what is good and what is not. How can you be duped? The images get published and analysed half to death. Nobody can force you to buy the thing!

            • Steve

              Bob, we’ve all said it many times. Olympus is not trying to make you feel bad by not telling you who made the sensor. They’re under an NDA not to reveal the information.

              If you have a camera you are happy with now in the GX1, why are you even considering an upgrade? Just shoot some pictures.

              • Bob B.

                I NEVER said Olympus made me feel bad? (Childish). I said that they are not being transparent. Fact. ie…not honorable.
                Personally, I think Olympus is full of S**T! I think the G3 sensor is in the new OM and they are just playing tech games to make it seem like more than it is.
                Kindof pathetic.

                • bitmatt

                  I don’t understand the need of some people to know who manufactures a specific part in an electronic device. If a part (in this case a sensor), subcontracted to company X, fulfills the needs of the user- why is the name of company X so important? Why can’t this camera be evaluated on its own merit without some subcontractor’s reputation coloring one’s judgement?

                  I suppose some people have a difficult time trusting their own eyes and need to base their evaluations on other factors. Which of course makes me wonder how they got into photography in the first place.

                  If it is just curiosity that is driving this meme, I suppose I understand. I am a bit curious myself. But to get so worked up about it baffles me.

                  • +1

                  • JimD

                    Same as cans of produce same product different labels for different reseller for many items on the store shelf. Some times there is a variation like less sugar, more of some additive, less of another additive. No body asks who made them. Same with electronics, many of the big brand names are made by other very big companies, many are the same product in a different case. Some may specify different quality components or additions, but not much is made by the name on the case any more.

                  • dan

                    are u stupid or what? cos some of us allready has kinda g3 camera and we don’t want to spend some more money for some marketing bullshit. but u are stupid and cannot understand the sense of this meaning :))

                    • bitmatt

                      If the pictures the camera takes, according to what your eyes are telling you, are about equal to the camera you have now (which you seem to like), then again- why does it matter what sensor drives it? The E-M5, picture quality being similar, should then be judged on other features. You guys just seem stuck on this one thing.

                      Nobody is telling you to go spend money on the E-M5. If you like your current camera, go shoot some pictures. Your hang-ups on brand names are ridiculous.

              • TheEye

                “Olympus is not trying to make you feel bad by not telling you who made the sensor. They’re under an NDA not to reveal the information.”

                What’s your source? Terada never said there was an NDA.

        • Duarte Bruno

          Wait for DxOMark results. If the sensor is indeed the same, it will show on their measures.

          • JimD

            Who the hell cares about DoX. Use your eyes.

            • JF

              I care, it is difficult to judge the performances with only the eyes. Even the dpreview tests are difficult to judge because you don’t know the true iso of cameras which is important to compare two images, whereas dxo measures true iso…

              • JimD

                So you need an analysis of what you see to make sure you see what you see.
                That is totally nuts. So you would get an analysis of an ‘old master” (not for fraud purposes) to establish if it is indeed a painting and fit to be looked at. Then who analyses the analyser to make sure the analysis is correct.
                The object of a camera is to take a photograph. A photograph is to be looked at. Eyes look at things. Use them.

          • JimD

            The only thing about DoX, is one is able to explain to a blind man, a result that means nothing to a sighted man (read man/woman interchangeable)

        • “Bob B:
          (I can only look at the gold coin/label insert, as I cannot open the full-size OM image in Lightroom3 or Adobe Camera Raw).”

          No, you can look at any part you like.
          Just click into the overview picture, then drag and drop the small magnification frame within the test scene where ever you like, and the content in the comparison crops will show up accordingly (movement can take a couple of sec to update at times).

  • anonymous

    dpreview test is very convincing – it beats G3 and NX200 hands down – and is arguably better than Nex5N too.

    after all the arguments about how m4/3 can never beat same generation aps-c, this really is up there with the top of the class.
    A huge jump for Oly: a very pleasing image as always, but now its also up with the rest for pixel peeping
    Its final – I’m buying this and not waiting for the prices to come down. I was already sold on the important features, price is a bit too steep – but I was waiting for official tests to show if this is a huge step forward. It clearly is.

    • urintheindustry

      I bet it’s the next gen Panasonic.
      GH3 sensor. Panny prob. won’t let Oly hype it until after GH3 is out, then the silence will be broken.

      • MP

        I dont think it is. The GH3 will continue to have a multi aspect ratio sensor like GH2.

      • Brod1er

        I agree it probably is the next gen Panny sensor. Panny has always made them in regular and multi aspect forms. The GH3 may also have electronic shutter too.

        • Narretz

          No, they didn’t. That is the whole point.

          • Brod1er

            Wrong. G3 sensor is clearly derived from GH2. The former is 4/3, the latter multi aspect. There was more of a difference between GH1 and G1 sensor, but even they were related.

      • Esa Tuunanen

        If it’s based to GH3’s sensor design it should have good capabilities for improved video modes in high end models.
        DR is definitely more in the line with GH-sensors than overhyped G3/GX1 but I remember Panasonic having stated few times in interviews how GH-series sensor is exclusive for their cameras.
        So if it’s someone else’s that’s also good. Panasonic deserves kick to balls to get them show some respect. Without Olympus helping to give name for m4/3 Panasonic would surely have had lot harder time.

  • bilgy_no1

    looks nice!

  • Casper

    Look at the watch at 12800. You can actually see the number 15 on the E-M5 sample, while it is completely gone on the 5N sample!!

  • Rinaldo

    Absolutely on pair with 5N. Very close to 5Dmk2 (even better in some areas). Much better than G3… IMO.

    • JimD

      Yes, I chose 5Dmk2 for comparison as well and think the same, especially the better in places.

  • Atle

    I am not sure if I am imagining things, but to me it actually looks slightly better than the NEX 5N

    • Jason

      To me it looks was better than the 5N

      • mjp

        the 5N has a better JPEG Engine – but not by much. The improvement over the e-p3 generation is amazing. This could still be a panny sensor – just a newer one.

        One interesting thing is the rue hue – for example look at the top gradient bar – even older oly cameras show it gray but with the new om it has a reddish hue – which extends to the entire image. So while the resolution, detail, DR, noise is amazing what’s up with the RED HUE in jpeg and raw??

        • Digifan

          even in RAW the lines in the “coin” of the bottle sticker are visible at ISO12800 in the E-M5 file while the are not discernable in the Nex5N.
          To me E-M5 is better than NEX 5N even in RAW

          • +1. I think the E-M5 looks better than the 5N up to around ISO3200, both Jpeg and Raw. Above that, it’s very hard to call.

            • mjp

              yes, just the fact we are debating it, to me, is amazing for a smaller sensor…esp oly m4/3 which has lagged for so long – finally catches up!

              @3200 I prefer the 5N rendering of the hair in cup, the coins on the bottle and the overall rendering is just a tad better – but not enough to make it a factor. The IQ debate surrounding m4/3 should be finished with this sensor.

        • d3xmeister

          The Nikon D4 samples also have a red hue, maybe they changed the light

        • Maybe the sensor has expired already? ;)

          They might just have the white balance wrong or have it set to a default K value then changed a studio light that was a slightly different colour.

          • mjp

            I checked the D4 but, at least on my screen, it is normal. There’s def a RED TINT coming off the OM sensor and JPEGS of the Oly OM. If the metering is off, this could be a simple firmware fix, however, if not and this isn’t a studio issue, then the red tint will create a color shift in PP.

            Panny has a known green bias is oly going in the opposite direction, towards a red bias? I assume there’s a mistake somewhere here, either from dpreview or oly…any ideas?

  • MikeH

    Looks nice, but is it because the ISO rating is not the true ISO or because the sensor is really able to read that much more cleanly? If I dial the G-3 or GX-1 down one ISO notch the raw looks nearly identical. Either way, Olympus fans should be happy to pick this camera up.

    • Anonymous

      The previous article on here says that ISO 200 is actually ISO 120 so the numbers are distorted. That would explain why the GX1 raw samples look just less than a stop worse than the olympus despite probably using the same sensor. I don’t think this camera will be better in low light than a 5d mk2 or the sony nex-5n because the sensor is smaller. It looks to me like the Olympus marketing team have playing with the numbers to make it come out better in reviews. It is late here so if I have misunderstood something, please tell me.

      • Esa Tuunanen

        If sensor is run at lower than nominal sensitivity and then recorded brightness values are amplified to correspond exposure at higher sensitivity that doesn’t give some free advantage but increases noise just like running sensor’s circuitry directly at higher ISO. (photosite always gives lower signal)

    • Pixnat

      Nope. Look at the ISO 3200 EXIF :

      E-M5, ISO 3200, f/6.3, 1/800
      GX1, ISO 3200, f/6.3, 1/800

      Same ISO, same aperture, same shutter speed. It means that the GX1 and the E-M5 have the same ISO ratings, but clearly not the same sensor :-)

  • Holy moly! I ran the ISO test against GH2, NEX 5N, NEX 7, and then Pentax K5. It beats the first three in high iso and fares well with the K5, but with better resolution than the K5!!

    • Pixnat

      Yes, that’s amazing :-)

    • MP

      +1

      In terms of noise performance the Pentax K5 is still the best but in all other cases the E-M5 just triumphs! Well done Oly!

      • But don’t forget that K5 does noise reduction in raw from ISO 3200 (otherwise it has the same sensor as NEX-5n, D5100, D7000,…)

    • molikmolik

      +1
      more detail than the k5 at 3200 !!!

  • JF

    After first look, I would say:
    – not G3/GX1 sensor
    – Better noise than GH2 at all iso (but maybe real iso are different from camera iso…)
    – Dynamic range on par with GH2 at base iso

  • todd

    Cancelled my long-standing NEX-7 order, am putting my NEX-5n, viewfinder and lenses up on eBay. Back to Oly for me – this is just confirmation.

    • Rutrem

      dont rush, wait a little longer for GH3, maybe the new Pana will have the similar sensor, plus much better video… i like Oly build quality, but the fine video that GH cameras can deliver is just to tempting…

      • zf

        If pana still having their bullshit LCD then no! Never! IBIS is still a dream too.

      • Anonymous

        Let he man buy what he wants. Why should he wait for vapor ware cam that may or may not be better?

  • That was…there is just no way to really say it politely….** ***** CANON AND NIKON, This…is what the people want…

  • Keith

    Wow. E-m5, nex7, x-pro1, 5d3, d800e, d4, 1dx, g1x what a good 6 months ahead.

  • BLI
  • I tried comparing the JPEG and RAW images of the E-M5 to the E-5, the Nikon D4, and Canon 1D MkIV; the Olympus shots look better on the lowest ISO settings (in terms of details and sharpness). On ISO 25600, the images also looked similar in RAW format with only a few more noise on the EM-5.

    Not bad for a FourThirds sized sensor.

    • On JPEG the Olympus is sharper and has better color then the canon 1D mark IV at ISO 3200!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • MP

        +1 Also in case of 5d mark ii. Strangely, if you look at the Canon’s APSC cameras like 60d or 7d the image is sharper. This is strange to me as Canon’s most lenses are designed for full frame and adapted to APSC.

  • Rutrem

    better than GH2 but what is really great is that GH2 and E-M5 sensor is better than APSc sensor in Nikon D7000 up to 3200 ISO, the images have more details, and the details are clearer. Nothing special for a newer camera – E-M5 but also for GH2 Panasonic have done a great sensor and jpg procesing, Nikon procesing can not match Panasonic and Oly… not from i can see from dpreview comparisons.
    Would be great to test E-M5 and Pana GH2(firmware upgrade 1.1),in the last update Pana seid that the upgrade inproves also the high iso performance.

    • Tom

      I went with Oly… just over a decade ago (?) due to their colour rendition and OOC JPGs – I shoot a lot of motorsport and waiting on RAW files to write isn’t gonna happen – never really liked Nikon’s rendering (albeit the new 1 series’ files are special) and dislike Canon’s and Sony’s immensely!
      Not sure if it’s pure laziness on behalf of the other manufactures not to offer great OOC JPGs – “hey we’ve given them RAW” – but it’s to Olympus’ credit that they do. As far as colour rendition is concerned I’d score it 1. Leica 2. Olympus 3. Fuji 4. No one’s earned 4th spot as of yet…

      • Rutrem

        I like Oly for the same reason, and because the build quality is one class better than Nikon,Canon stuff.
        Pentax has lately proved that can build great cameras, K-5 especially, but the lenses are not good as those they was manufacturing 30 years ago.

  • What I see is that the image quality of different cams is different in different areas of the test images ;-) There are areas in the pics where one cam is better, in other areas there is another cam better, and so on…

    And I see that you can make good pics with many different cams ;-)

    But IQ of the E-M5 looks very good (base iso and higher iso), it’s almost equal, equal or better even compared to big and expensive DLSRs (also funny compared to the Leicas). Looks like Olympus made a great job.

    Now I wait for better mFT performance with 4/3 lenses or high quality zooms for mFT.

    • Rutrem

      great times for 4/3… and just a few mounths ago everyone was singing the requiem for this format ;) … maybe is time to start nailing the coffin for the standard dSLRs :)

      • Oliver

        “Fullframe Disadvantage”

        • Tom

          Big announcement coming from Leica though! Full-frame mirrorless “range” mooted, will they stick with Kodak CCDs? Will it be priced competitively (it’s not an M model after all)? I for one can’t wait to see what they bring BUT… it’s heart warming to see the E-M5’s performance here after the 2x crop format had been dissed so badly – for me it really is THE best all-round digital format.

          • Neonart

            Nothing with a red dot will be affordable. Especially if its Full Frame.

  • “I like it a lot.” and “It’s average.” Those are not mutually exclusive options. It IS average, because the average is so effing amazing this days.

    BTW, as few others, I think the E-M5 RAWs at many ISOs bear some striking resemblance to the NEX-5N.

    • JimD

      When everything is urgent. Urgent becomes normal. Same rule applies to everything. So when ‘above average’ is met by most it becomes the new average.
      This of course means there is no such thing as average. It is always moving towards the above average, only to be found to be average after all.
      What was called average yesterday, may be and usually is, below average today, and will be further below tomorrow.
      The only way out is startling change, not incremental improvement. However there is far far less risk in the latter.

    • Luke

      +1

  • Brian

    Considering only the RAW images, I’d say the sensor looks slightly better than the G3 images which makes me wonder if it is in fact the same sensor, though they are close. I also note that the noise performance seems to be right up there, a clear step forward from the 12 MP sensor of the G1/G2/Pens.

    With a full small lens line up and macro on the way it looks like the m43 system is quite complete and capable.

    • Indeed. Now all we need is an all-purpose weather sealed 12-60 bright zoom, and the system will be fine for most people. Heck, what am I saying – it’s already surpassed my expectations!

  • Too late to edit my post above, but I guess this test is made with the 12-50, is that right? Can I see somewhere with wich lenses the diffente cams are tested? I really want to see such a thest with the E-M5 and the 12-60… ;-)

    • Jorginho

      No, normally they use the 50mm f2 maco Oly lens.

    • Andrew Howes

      What I got from the comment section on dpreview was that they shot it with the Pany 45mm macro. Generally they shoot these things with 50mm’s, apparently, but there isn’t one native to m/43.

    • No, they use the 50mm f/2 macro lens from 4/3 via adapter (at the bottom right of the crops there is an icon where you can mouse-over to see the lens used and other info).

    • Neonart

      It was done with the 50mm f2 Macro. All 4/3 and m4/3 are done with it.

      • Thank you :-)

      • Jason

        50 is best lenses ever

  • Andy Taylor

    I’m absolutely stunned by that. I will be buying one as soon as my finances allow it…

  • achiinto

    I am impressed. I have been waiting for a digital camera that I can really used up to all it intended shutter actuation. Maybe this will be the one that will do that and last for many years.

  • Rob

    I had high expectations for the E-M5, but not that high!

    I think I’ll happily part with my cash for it new after release and keep it a good few years. It’s going to take quite a lot to beat that now and tempt me away. Hello photography in 2012.

    There does seem to be a little mucking around with dpreview setup (exposure is different to ISO ratings in comparisons across cameras) But none the less, I’m mightily impressed. A lot more than I ever expected it to be.

    • Apparently they changed the lighting setup recently and they use a dimmer one now. That explains the difference in exposure.

      However, if you compare to a recently tested camera (for example, the Panasonic GX1), you will see that exposure matches exactly.

  • spanky

    Compared it to the GH2, NEX 7 and Nikon D4. Level of detail and color is on par with the D4, better than the other two. I’m glad I pre-ordered one. Can’t wait to see what it can do with quality lenses on it.

    • Ross

      I would like it with the grip & MF3 to use the ZD14-54 II lens on it. That should be a nice combination (even if it will seem a little front heavy).

      • Gabi

        Agree! Therefore, I just ordered the 14-54 II (and have, of course, the E-M5 on preorder).

    • Brod1er

      The Oly 50mm f2 macro is the best quality lens DPreview tested. Read the review. Just don’t expect good bokeh.

      • bokeh is good enough for me

  • rUY

    I need to get this one. It is small, good performance, great iso, great dr, great feature and good looking. That is all I need.

  • Robin A

    Yes compared it with Nikon full frame its almost the same cant imagine it… Can’t wait till the camera.

  • N!co

    I ran a Topaz DeNoise 5 “RAW moderate” preset on the Oly 12 800 iso picture and the output is amazingly sharp and not noise free but pleaseant to look at at full size on my 30′ screen.

    I checked the f/stop, iso and exposure time at 3200 iso and 12800 and the OM-D is exactly on par with the GX1 which is “perfect” at Dxo iso scale. But the Nex 7 at iso 3200 is like the GF1 whose “real” iso is almost twice the GX1 (I use the formula (70 x f2)/(texp x ISO)=lum and the lum is twice the previous one). So maybe we have to compare OM-D 3200 with GX1 3200 and Nex 7 6400 iso ?! EDIT : I’ve just seen that they may have change the light for their test recently, this might explain my findings (was the Nex 7 tested before ?)

    Anyway, it does a great job, better than GX1/G3 but a little noisier than the Canon G1X.

    I’m looking forward to the DxoMark test. I hope it will finally have as good iso rating as the “old” Nikon D90 (more than 1000 iso at the “sports low light” score)

    Like most people here, I thing I’ll spend 1200€ in a few months. Is it worth waiting the GH3 ? If it’s like Sony Nex7 which is worse than 5n but with more pixels, I’m not so sure. But the global shutter keep me intrigued.

    • Why do you need to see a DxoMark test to validate it? I don’t care what point score they give the camera – we can see the results right in front of us!

    • Williams

      Sorry, but I never believe in DxoMark scores. It’s very confusing and always conflicts with my own experiences.

      • JF

        But why do you read scores !! look the MEASUREMENT CURVES !!! I think dxo tests are very usefull but not the scores, THE CURVES !!

  • SteveO

    To see how long a way Olympus has come in a single generation of cameras, compare it to E-3 JPEG’s and RAW samples at ISO 3200, 6400 12,800. Simply astonishing. Finally, David’s slingshot to level the playing field with DSLR Goliaths. Lives up to its heritage, a proper standard bearer, the OM-5.

    • Esa Tuunanen

      E-3 has about stone age tech sensor.
      If you meant E-P3 its sensor has same design as in E-30 from 2008 and it was completely mediocre sensor already when new.

      • you make it really sound bad, the e-3 had about the same IQ as the first Canon 1ds imo…

      • Steve

        E-3 is not bad at all. I still use mine and am happy with the results. I’m sure the E-M5 will completely beat it in IQ, though!

  • SteB

    I didn’t bother too much with the JPEG files and compared the RAW files against most of the better APS-C cameras as well as the Panasonic GH2, G3 and G1X. I only bothered going up to to ISO 3200 for a more in depth comparison.

    The first thing that stood out was that the E-M5 appears to be as good or not better than most of the best APS-C cameras. It appeared to have lower chroma noise, and to preserve greater detail, but this is only minimal and varies in different parts of the image. The Pentax K-5 looks slightly smoother, but some sort of noise reduction appears to be happening in RAW, because the detail looks noticeably softer than the E-M5.

    The Panasonic cameras look far more similar to each other than to the E-M5, even the GH2. The E-M5 clearly has less chroma noise and it seems to render detail in the cotton reels and other shadow regions better at high ISOs. At base ISO (200 for Olympus and 160 for Panasonic) the E-M5 also looks smoother, but with at least or possibly more detail.

    I even thought the E-M5 had the edge on the Sony NEX 5N. I had a quick glance at higher ISOs and it looks like that at ISO 6400 the E-M5 pulled right away from the Panasonic’s, but still seemed to keep up with the best APS-C cameras.

    This is only a quick look and there are so many permutations about parts of the image you can compare and different cameras that it is impossible to be sure. Whilst I have no real interest in who makes the sensor etc, it is clear that the Olympus performs more similarly to the best APS-C sensors than it does to the Panasonic sensors. What stood out for me was not just the noise control, but the detail rendition, especially in higher ISO samples.

    • Charlie

      ^What he said. ;)

    • tmrgrs

      There has been some discussion recently at DPR that this is starting to look like it’s a Sony sensor. They already sell their sensors to Nikon and Pentax, why not to Olympus as well?

      • Ross

        You can read Ian’s blog on Four Thirds User about the sensor manufacturer. http://fourthirds-user.com/forum/blog.php?b=532

      • Tigera

        If this is indeed a Sony sensor, then there is no reason to wait for the GH3. There is no way the next Pana sensor will be on par with this Sony sensor. So why wait For GH3?

        • And unlikely that Panasonic will squeeze more out of it than Olympus can, unless they’ve invested some serious R&D in that department.

      • If Olympus use Sony sensor(cmos) will the maybe be over heating on sensor by long video use, and also more power use, so this need a great battery.
        No i think this sensor is a new nmos sensor from Panasonic.

        • The Real Stig

          Did you read Robin Wong’s blog? He said he was getting over 400 shots with some battery capacity still remaining in ‘normal’ shooting and that he got over 300 shots using the flash all the time before the battery ran flat.

          “IMPROVED BATTERY LIFE

          The new battery is a lot better than the BLS-1 (as used in all previous Olympus PEN cameras). In most of my shooting session (except the butterfly park), I did not kill the battery, and the capacity was sufficient to last me until I reach home, with more than 400 shots each session. I cannot tell you how many total shots a single charge can last, because I immediately charge up the battery once I got home, before I head out again. I only killed the battery in butterfly park after over 300 shots, mainly because I used the add-on flash to fire and trigger the extermal flash FL-36R wirelessly in ALL my shots. Considering the heavy use of the add-on flash and incredible amount of chimping in butterfly park (yes I do chimp a lot, when I needed to ensure my focus accuracy when I manual focus), that was a respectable performance”

          • bli

            A German tester (? Chip???) saud they got more than 500 pictures. We’ll see…

    • James70094

      Yes, it looks like Olympus has caught up. Hopefully, they can keep up.

  • SWWT

    Wow, I really wanted to wait until official reviews came out to buy this camera but…

  • Chris K

    Wow. Excellent. Absolutely excellent. Much better than the G3 or EP3, and it draws VERY nearly even with the 5D2 all the way up to ISO1600. It’s only at ISO6400 that the 5D2 starts to show its massive advantage.

    As a 5D2 owner who got into M43 in the first place because it was much smaller but still had decent image quality, the EM5 is the first M43 camera that could conceivably replace my 5D2. Now I just need a 14-35/2 to replace my 24-70/2.8 and I can get on with selling the remainder of my full frame kit.

    • I already sold my 5dmkii for this..,.

      Good luck!

  • caver3d

    Although the camera has not hit the market yet, it is already beginning to attain legendary status. Crazy as it seems, look at the many reviews and the daily comments on this forum. Overwhelmingly positive, over and over again. This camera is no fluke. Glad I put in my pre order on Feb. 8.

    • tmrgrs

      HAHA – Mine went in on Feb. 7th. :)

      • bitmatt

        I ordered mine from my local dealer, and they had their orders in on Feb. 6th. I’m first on their list, but I fear they won’t get theirs until after Amazon, B&H and Adorama. We’ll see- it is sort of a big guy vs. little guy race.

      • Panda9

        HAHAHA – I pre-ordered 30 minutes after the announcement. What do I win? :)

        • Haha. I’m in Japan and have a pre-order ;).

          • Steve

            Me too! Had it for a month at Map Camera :)

            • Map Camera eh? Any reason why you didn’t order at Amazon? I guess I’m just lazy to go out to a real store :p.

              • Steve

                I happened to be at Map Camera at the time. I think I might cancel that one and order from Amazon, though – turns out I won’t be home on the 31st to go pick it up!

    • It is a milestone in Olympus history, not only because of the image quality, there are also things we never had in a Oly cam like the new stabilizer, live bulb, it’s the first weather sealed mFT from Olympus, the first with integrated EVF. Have I forgotten something? And it looks very sexy :-) For the next few years I will only buy lenses, no more need for another cam :-)

      But I have to say that I still like my E-PL2 and my E-620 very much :-)

      • TomR

        +1 I don’t like my E-PL2 any less now that I have seen this. It’s the same great camera.

      • Rob

        That was my thought too, I don’t see me chasing other cameras for a few years now, which is nice as I can concentrate on lenses with my budget. The way Olympus was with the PEN, I doubt they’ll be using a new sensor for a while yet now anyway

        I’ll wait until Panasonic can come up with some killer features all in (4k video, global shutter, etc) before I consider moving, I don’t think Panasonic will get both of those in the next GH cam.

        • Agree, this will be a kills. ;-)

  • swested

    Ugh – I’ve seen next to NOTHING about video testing on the E-M5. What’s the deal? I know there are a lot of people clamoring for a decent m4/3’s camera that is weatherproof, and this might be the ticket.

  • jim

    I was brave enough to say it once befor, but I’ll say it again – its bloody near 5DII right on it! Amazing – well done oly – this camera will be the buisness… I think it has actualy nicely suppased anyhting anyone could realisticly hope for!

    • bitmatt

      The RAW results in most cases are even sharper than the 5DmkII. And the JPG results don’t even compare – the fabled Oly JPG processor shines. As it has been my intention all along to replace my mkII with the E-M5, this sort of result is very exciting. I was hoping for it to just be close; I had no reason to expect it to be THIS close. After switching there will be practically no image quality trade-off. And I can carry all the gear I need for a whole day of on-site shooting in my cargo pants. This is incredible! It seems I’ve picked the right time to jump back on with Olympus after wandering the Canon and Nikon desert for a while.

      • caver3d

        So, bitmatt, the Prodigal Son returns to Father Olympus. Glad you have seen the light. Welcome back.

  • C.d.embrey

    I own a Sony NEX 5n, and I’m impressed with the E-M5. I also shoot with a Canon 1DsII, and I’m impressed with the E-M5.

    I’d like to see some credible video tests, not real world videos of someones dog :)

    If the 75mm f/1.8 is as good as the 45mm f/1.8, I may buy a couple of E-M5s. I can’t wait forever for Sony to make pro level primes.

  • pelex

    Maitani smiling from above…

  • napalm

    “Don’t stop believing… hold on to that feeling…”

  • Looks fantastic!
    Just a bit better then GX1 in RAW
    In JPG a lot better!

    Until 3200 I like it more then the 5N.

    It’s nice to see how the Oly holds it sharpness :)

    • E-1

      Comparing 1600 it’s about 1 stop in RAW to the GX1

  • Droboe

    Seriously, you have to wonder about the people who voted “I don’t like it”. The must be CaniKon fanboys. The results are a revelation. I now have to sell my GH2 and K5!

    • TheEye

      “I now have to sell my GH2 and K5!”

      Terada-san, with a knife in the kitchen?

    • Nawaf

      I’m a Canon fan boy as you call us but I was impressed by this when it was launched and preordered it. Hated the m4/3 before this because of the ISO performance. 6400 was more than enough to make me buy it :P. This though is just madness, it just kicks some royal ass :D excuse my French.

      • OlyFan

        Glad to see your opinion.
        I have always wondered – do Canikon “fanboys” ever shoot when there is light? Almost always I see the high ISO arguments being thrown around by them.

        • Nawaf

          Ofcourse we shoot when there’s daylight :P
          Thing is I’ve been to a drag strip at night and the high ISO performance really helped. Helps a bunch with fast shutter speed timelapse indoors where I need the high ISO.

          It depends on what you shoot and your style. You might not want a shallow DOF and it assists you in those situations. Small or big camera, I can never have enough ISO.

          I use it while others might not and just want it for the bragging rights. I bought the 7D instead of the 5D because of the high fps and AI Servo (tracking), which suited my shooting needs. A better sensor doesn’t necessarily mean a better camera for you.

          • JimD

            Your last paragraph sounds like a great reason for you to buy that particular camera. Some others here would be wise to follow your methodology.

  • Yun

    Kudos to Olympus !
    Perhaps this is the sign of further sensor breakthrough technologies is on it’s way .
    Cheers !

  • mahler

    I am not so impressed. RAW image quality is not much improved over the GH2 (the differences won’t be noticeable in real world images), so that even though there is 1.5 years between the cameras, the GH2 owners can be very relaxed. No reason to switch to EM-5 just because of IQ. If a camera upgrade is justified at all, it is better to wait and see what the GH3 will be.

    For PEN and Olympus owners the EM-5 may represent a new landmark, for the rest it is not, just an incremental improvement, which can be expected after 1.5 years.

    • Fan

      Yes the GH2 Raws are pretty good. But if you want to shoot JPEGs due to time constraints, the new Oly cam is much better than GH2.

    • Especially at the higher ISOs, the E-M5 walks all over the GH-2, but I agree at lower ISOs there won’t be too much difference in real-world images. But then, that’s always been the case. You can shoot a compact camera at its lowest ISO and match DSLR quality pictures.

    • david

      High ISO shows a big difference IMO, and I own (and love) a GH2). Even at base ISO, I suspect the E-M5 has a bit more dynamic range. Where the GH2 still likely dominates the E-M5 (and pretty much every other DSLR-like video cam until now) is in video of course, which is why I have a GH2 in the first place.

    • The Real Stig

      Fan boys are so funny and easy to spot. You seem to think and imply the only improvement is in the sensor. Have you actually looked at the youtube videos demonstrating the effect of the IBIS on stills and video? The IBIS means for most shots you can shoot at a several stops lower ISO hand held, than you could otherwise. Then there is live bulb, OLED screen – weather sealing, magnesium frame, focus speed and accuracy, etc etc. And you talk about incremental improvements. !!!!!

      Delusional.

      • mahler

        This rumor was about IQ, wasn’t it? I was referring to that.

        Speaking of the other EM-5 attributes:

        I will gain IBIS (though I have OIS), weather sealing, performance.

        I will loose a fully tiltable screen, have a smaller view finder, much less direct controls, no build-in flash, no good build-in grip, no positions for custom configurations on the mode dial

        Thus functionally, the EM-5 is clearly a win and loss over the GH2. Pair that with only minor IQ improvements, and you have to include that an EM-5 is not a compelling reason to upgrade for a GH2 user. It is a side-grade, nothing more.

        Regarding the magnesium body: the GH2 is a very robust build. I don’t see the metal body as a big advantage. It is more important how strong the external parts (I.e the LCD and the tilting) is build.

        • Quang Pham

          Oh come on man. Every post I see so far from you bashing the E-M5. Why so insecure?

          Btw, yous speak of IQ as if it is only about the sensor and that’s clearly not the case and even if it is the case, see the length of the like bar.

          And you speak of Pen and Oly users as if they are from another crowd :)). Smell fan boy right there. Mind you, I use pana M43 lens all the time, after all we got same mount right?

          P/s: Very robust is different from mnagnesium, which I suspect is to help survive dropping.

          • mahler

            I never bashed the EM-5. I just don’t share the uncritical total enthusiasm on it. Coming from a GH2, the benefits aren’t that straight forward and the IQ of the EM-5 alone does not justify to give up body concepts like the GH2.

            There is a difference between bashing and a realistic view on a product, which only a few appear to have. So hard to get?

            I dropped my GH2 several times on asphalt and except some scratches nothing happens. To me it isn’t shown that camera bodies made of magnesium are more robust. It depends more, if the items and controls you operate are solid enough and enough protected from scratches.

            The EM-5 certainly is one possible candidate for me to buy, but it isn’t really compelling if you are already a GH2 owner.

            • caver3d

              Mahler – I own a GH2 and like it alot, but there are still compelling reasons to get the E-M5, already discussed at length on this forum. That is why I preordered the E-M5.

              • mahler

                So you want to give up a fully tiltable screen, probably a significant loss of EVF real estate, and a lot of usefull external controls, which the EM-5 does not have?

                The only reason for this side-grade I can imagine is the IBIS and the better performance. However, for the majority of images these do not count.

                Thus, I don’t think the side-grade isn’t as compelling, as the crowd thinks.

    • avds

      +1

      • That surely depends on the user. Not all features will be valued in the same way. For example, custom configurations on the mode dial is, for me, in no way equal value to the new Olympus IBIS. Lack of a built-in flash is more of an issue than lack of a fully articulating screen (etc). So all ‘conclusions’ about upgrades, sidegrades and downgrades are nothing more than personal opinion.

  • I think the conclusion of all of this is that these tests are designed in a way that everyone can see what they want to see in it :(

    Harold

  • gzo

    Remember: this is not “the pro MFT camera”! That will be even better :)

    • I wonder what there is in store, but I think that Olympus’s claim that the E-M5 is not a pro camera comes down to tolerances more than anything. No assurance that the camera will fire for x-amount of shots before the shutter button packs in and whatnot. Otherwise this is as close to pro as it needs to be, in my opinion. Of course, I’m not suggesting they stop developing! :D

      • TheVoiceoverman

        It also comes down to the fact that they will sell 100 times more of these than they did the E5. There’s no way they could afford to introduce them all into their Pro scheme. People here talk about the 100K shutter as if the thing will expire at 100,001. I’m willing to bet that they go WAY beyond that in practice. I’d be curious to know what the record is for actuations on an E5. I bet it’s much more than 150K.

        • JimD

          They said they a pro camera would have a shutter with 150.000 activations guaranteed. They said they could not make the same guarantee for the EM5. A guarantee usually suggests the minimum after a 10-15% reduction from actual. In other words to guarantee 150,000 cycles the manufacturer would be reasonably confident the shutter would do 165,000 + cycles. They don’t want expensive claims coming to bite their bums when the product is out of production or modifications have been made.

  • George

    I still compare it against cameras within the same price range. So it is still way way behind nex 5n

    • Fan

      5n has only half the hardware features. You can’t compare that.

      • Digifan

        5N has been in the shops for a fair amount of time. The E-M5 hasn’t even shipped to the stores yet. Allthough when I see the demand, maybe the price won’t drop soon.

  • Nick Clark

    In terms of detail at 3200iso, I’m seeing buggerall difference between the E-M5 and the 5N, and notably more than the G3 and GH2 – pretty impressive I reckon :)

  • fan_guo_lai_xiang_xiang

    Not looking at the noise right now, the G3 sample appears to be softer over the whole frame, both in RAW and JPEG… does that mean the G3 sensor produces softer images in general, or is it due to internal sharpening settings that differ between Oly and Panasonic cameras?

    That crispy sharpness of the OM-D is very tempting.

  • The difference is clearly visible but not crucial. So there are absolutely no reasons to sell my G3 less than 1 year after purchasing. :D

  • Miroslav

    On par with 5N up to and on ISO 3200, I’m not interested in higher ISOs. A bit more than 1 stop above the PENs, but not two. I’m impressed. Definitely not a G3/GX1 sensor, or they’re cooking the RAWs.

    Now I want that sensor in a new PEN :) …

    • DC

      Yes, wondering when the E-P5 will come out…

  • To me (only judging RAW)the three m43 cameras are in reality on the same level at low ISO. At high ISO, EM5 chroma noice is less disturbing than the m43 competition. Also at high ISO Nex5n does a little better than m43.
    BUT – take a normal photo session with 100 shots at ISO 200-1600 with each of the four cameras:In how many of the 100 photos will you notice a difference between them? On screen, A3+ prints. Very few I would say. At pixel peeping level it would be possible to spot differences.
    Conclusion: All the m43 16 mpix cameras have very good/excellent IQ and are so close to nex 5n, the difference is very minor. You could say the newest iteration (EM5) is a nudge better.

    • Compared also with Nex-7: At lower ISO similar but 50% more pixels = better resolution. At 1600 and above the Nex-7 shows more noice. In a print, noice from Nex-7 will be relatively less noticable.

    • Digifan

      I’m sorry but at ISO12800 in RAW the E-M5 kills the Nex 5N!!!
      There’ s absolutely no detail visible in the coin on the bottle sticker with the 5N file. The Olmpus’ file shows the horizontal lines. So maybe the M-E5 might be a bit noisier but is HAS detail unlike the 5N.
      To me that means the E-M5 is much better even in RAW than the 5N.

  • AJ

    What are those people that voted ‘it’s average’ thinking??

    • spam

      They’ve looked at the samples and seen that they are average. I can’t understand how anyone can say the OM-D samples is better than average unless they consider the old 12MP sensor as average.

      • TomR

        Exactly. I voted average but I love this camera (and will probably buy one). What I mean is that finally there is a 4/3 sensor that is average. That’s great! It is on par with other sensors.

        If we take Olympus at their word when they say that a smaller sensor should not have a disadvantage, then we shouldn’t cut this sensor in a brand new camera any slack for its size.

        I say well done Olympus – you have a beautiful and competitive (average) sensor inside and excellent small camera packed with amazing features (we just need a weather sealed 17mm to go with it, or 25mm).

      • Digifan

        Before, the 5N files where called great.
        If the 5N is now average, then the E-M5 is now way above average.

    • avds

      I thought that the raw image quality was not much different compared to existing Panasonic cameras, so it’s just average among all 4 of them.

      • hlbt

        If you remove the Panasonic filter from your eyes, they would look very different.

  • nicwalmsley

    Dear Olympus, please hurry and put that sensor in your Pens.

  • Pete

    take 1600 ISO and compare it with Nikon D700 and D7000 – and try to close your mouth!
    This tiny pretty camera seems to be a great step!

    • BLI

      The D700 has a considerably cleaner background (white/beige) to the coin in RAW at ISO 1600. I’d say the D700 — in RAW format — at ISO 6400 is similar to the E-M5 at ISO 1600 — when comparing this background. In the coin itself, it is much more difficult to see a difference.

  • Boooo!

    Now put that sensor in the E-7 and everything is going to be just great. Toys are nice to have, but some of us need proper cameras.

    • you need a brainwash :-)

      • Boooo!

        No, I need an upgrade for one of my E-3 cameras.

        • I looked thru my E-1/E-3 files last week for selecting some for 80×60 cm prints….. both fine cameras….still,imho…

    • achiinto

      @Boooo! E-M5 being not E-3 or E-5 does not register it as an improper camera. A camera that can capture good photos is a camera propers enough. What you said is very disrespectful for people who have decided to use E-M5 for serious photography.

      • Boooo!

        I use my E-3 for “serious photography” – and by that, I mean “for things that the E-M5 simply cannot do because it doesn’t have PDAF”.

        I don’t care if the E-M5 comes bundled with a pink unicorn and a brainwave interface; it is physically incapable of performing on the level of my E-3 for my personal purposes. Therefore, I consider it to be a toy, especially since it’s so damn tiny in size.

        I used the E-M5 today. It’s very nice. I just don’t think it’s a good camera, even though it produces excellent photos. The controls are cramped, the shutter button “isn’t where it should be” (don’t know how to explain it), the body is *extremely* hard to hold, and the viewfinder is just plain awful. It does look pretty, however. Guess that’s what matters the most and why people buy Apple products – because they look pretty. I want a camera that *works* pretty, and the E-M5 isn’t it.

        • bitmatt

          Yes- you’re right. Everyone else has it wrong. WHY DID WE NOT SEE THIS SOONER? We’ve been such fools. Wow. I really need to reevaluate things.

          Do you have some sort of newsletter? I’d like to hear more!

          This may not be the boat that floats for you, friend- but it floats for me pretty well.

          • Boooo!

            Well good. This boat is sunk for me – is that so hard to understand? People have different needs, and for many intents and purposes, the E-M5 is vastly inferior to even the E-1, made in 2003.

            I’ll repeat again: I’m not talking out of my ass – I *tried* the E-M5 yesterday. I used it. It can’t track moving subjects worth a damn.

            • I don’t think the tracking of the E-1,3 or 5 are that good either, but its not the mode I use, so i might be wrong. Anyway, its not really convincing to give an opinion about a camera which you only used for a brief moment.

              btw. I am considering a E-5 plus 35-100 combo, as i can get a good deal on a barely used set of these.

  • Elf

    Wouldn’t it just be hilarious….. if in fact this is a new Panny sensor. Why you might ask?

    A:/ To eliminate all the OLY fanboys from claiming the only thing holding OLY back is the crap Panny sensor.

    B:/ eliminate all the OLY fanboy BS that Panny deliberately withholds their better sensors…… To cripple OLY

    C:/ By Panny releaseing a new GH3 with a variant of this new sensor in multi aspect….. the only thing they have steadfastly maintained they will keep for themselves.

    I think such a scenario would go a long way to settling the m4/3 nonsense propogated on this forum and on forums 1041 and 1022 by rabid OLY fanboys……. That’s what I’d like to see. Want controversey on a forum……. invite the OLY fanboys, and the equivilencey crowd……. works everytime.

    • BLI

      Nonsense? Ok — someone has claimed that Olympus had a contractual obligation to use the old Panasonic 12Mpx sensor out 2011. If that is true, then clearly Panasonic has tried to cripple Olympus. Also, if Panasonic has refused to sell their better GH sensor, that is some sort of crippeling — at least with Panasonic as the only provider of m43 sensors.

      BUT — I don’t know if these contracts have existed. It could simply be that the management has not wanted to do several changes simultaneously (e.g not simultaneously upgrade from 12Mpx and upgrade the AF system).

    • Miroslav

      The real question now is whether Olympus will let Panasonic use this sensor in their future cameras ;). I hope they won’t deliberately hold Panasonic back :).

  • Elf

    As you say. ??? what do we know? Two parties sign an agreement. In the real world no one held a gun to OLY’s head. They decided they’re own course.

    Just so you know, I’m an OLY user. 1 e510 2 e620’s, 2 epl-2. I just really dislike Oly fanboys. No forum is safe from them.

    • Quang Pham

      No forum is safe from someone trying to tickle fanboyism either

  • Agent00soul

    One thing that strikes me is how much worse the raw samples are than the corresponding jpeg samples (for all cameras).
    I mean, everybody say raw is so much better, blah blah…

    • only to the untrained eye….(ace ventura quote)

      • fan_guo_lai_xiang_xiang

        that quote fits LIKE A GLOVE

        • allrighty then!

    • RAW better than jpg? (If you don’t like post process work – make jpg)
      – The jpg has been processed in camera according to your setting. It is ready so to speak. It also means that during the process “unnessecary data” is removed. You cannot improve much in post processing.
      The RAW is NOT processed in-camera. It is a “digital negative” that need post processing to utilise its full potential. No data removed, all data can be used. Depending on your qualifacations in post processing the result can be clearly better than jpg.
      For instance Oly and Fuji has excellent jpg engines and the difference between best jpg and best RAW is smaller. I did some comparisons jpg/RAW with my EP1: Post processed RAW is better, but you need to know what you are doing….
      Another thing with RAW is if you want to do creative development of the image. Many use filters in-camera, but with RAW + software you have a lot more to play with.
      Most important with RAW is that you have all the data which means more creative freedom during PP. Make a filter jpg and you are done.
      Personally I think making the exposure is just one step in the image creation process which i like a lot to be in! I like RAW

      • Agent00soul

        Well, the DPR raw samples aren’t really raw, since they can be displayed on a web page. What these samples show is that with raw you have to be quite skilled and use a range of tricks to even match the OOC JPEGs.

        • It’s certainly true that, for Oympus cameras, OOC Jpegs are extremely good and it’s tough to match the Raws. For a long time I only used Oly Jpegs, until one day I tried pulling up the shadows in an Oly Raw file. There was a huge difference in the amount of detail I could get back. Since then, I shoot Jpeg + Raw, using Raw for most purposes and Jpegs for giving to friends and whatnot.

    • Agent00soul@
      (raw, jpeg, and finish raw develop image)
      This is three difference ting; cluster of grapes, glucose and wine. :-P

  • The Real Stig

    It is clear now why Olympus are remaining silent on who made the sensor………………..They don’t want Panasonic to find out! ;)

    • And when Pansonic comes by G5 and same raw quality, can not Panasonic say who made sensor also. :-P

  • Truth

    Our resident bully Raist is currently getting his loon ass kicked by Andy Westlake over at the MFT Dpr forum.
    Hilarious!

    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1041&thread=40933109

    • tmrgrs

      Yeah it was great watching Ricardo get his butt kicked around the block and back again like that. Andy knows his stuff and knows how to cut through the gibberish when dealing with numbskulls.

  • napalm

    now that E-M5 has impressive IQ according to DPReview’s test, their testing methods are in question all of a sudden :D

    • Yea! The official thread was already maxed-out with replies and another thread started to continue the discussion. I feel sorry for the Dpreview team when they are clearly doing such a good job and have to deal with all that shit.

  • Hazst Zsluckauf

    Too late just bought a nex 7, Overimpressed to say the least, omd is good news for olympus users, but i decided to jump ship and dont look back

  • Looked at the Fotopolis test: Especially interested to see the section about loss of detail. This occurs from ISO 1600. Compared to my own experience with G3 is loss of detail starts from ISO 800.
    Build on the assumption that the EM5 sensor is the third iteration of the sensor introduced with G3, later with slight improvement in G1X.
    Of course Oly may also have done things in processor and firmware to achieve improvements.

  • Call me crazy, but the ep1 and ep 2 both still hold their own at base iso.

    • Base ISO has always been good :). It’s one of the biggest points for argument against those who constantly talk about high ISO. Make no mistake, even the E-P1 will deliver fantastic files at base ISO, but once you start getting in post-processing work pulling shadows or, like me, spend a lot of time shooting in low light, high ISO becomes much more important. I still shoot ISO 200 on a tripod whenever I can though.

      • MJr

        Uhh, no it has not. You may accept and even like it as is, because it isn’t bad, but then you just haven’t seen how it is really supposed to look. APS-C and even the Nikon 1 have much better performance at ISO100-200. Mainly for clean shadows, and generally better flexibility in RAW. The lacking performance at base iso is the main issue holding me back to invest in MFT completely. Tho i must say the E-M5 has much improved at base over the previous E-P1/2/3.

        • I’m not quite sure where you’re seeing ‘much improved base’. All the samples on the Dpreview look good with fine detail and low shadow noise at base ISO, including the E-P1. Of course, there are slight improvements, but nowhere near the difference between the higher ISOs. Even the Pentax K5 doesn’t look remarkably better than other cameras like the NEX, GH-2 or Nikon at base ISO.

          ‘Performance’ at base ISO I take to mean as rendering pleasing images with low noise comparable with most other large-sensor cameras. If you want to talk about differences in DR and Raw flexibility, that’s cool and I agree that there are many cameras better than m43, but don’t confuse it with the ability to provide pleasing images at base ISO.

        • Dodge

          Uhh, yes it has. That is why all you arm chair photographers keep moving the goal posts. High ISO was the be all and end all, now it’s all about dynamic range. Funny how it’s never about lens quality, corner sharpness or jpeg quality. Where to next Houdini?

          • MJr

            Do you need a hug ?

  • avds

    Very fine quality on par with the three top panasonics, except, of course those morbid GH2 jpeg colors.

    • hlbt

      Huh? “On par”?

  • MP Burke

    Looking at these comparisons, one is reminded that Panasonic are still going their own way with regards to colour in jpegs. The GX1 seems to be their best effort yet, but earlier cameras, such as my G2 are some way off in the jpeg colours.
    My impression of the images is that the EM-5 is good, looking better than the GX1 in jpegs, though there was a much smaller difference in the RAW output. High ISO output looks far better than the earlier sensor in the G2, of course.
    These results make a favourable impression and I will be having a look at the camera again once it is in shops, to see if I can get comfortable with its EVF and handling.

  • Gianluca

    Fotopolis final score:
    OM-D = 77
    NEX 7 = 76
    …impressive!!!

  • BLI

    Robin’s gone bird watching with the 75-300… see http://robinwong.blogspot.com.es/

    • Pedro del Río

      Bird watching? This isn’t bird watching, it is a bird park. Like going to the zoo. In real bird watching, birds do not wait for you, they move all the time and as soon as you have spotted one it hides behind the leaves before you have the time to drop your binoculars and get the camera.
      Good pictures though. I would like to know from which distance they were shot to make some inference to real bird watching.

      • bli

        Not bird watching? Ok — bird peeping then :-)

        • Here you can see really beautiful bird watching pics, but Manifredo has a tent where he can hide for a few hours and waiting for the birds ;-) He used a long time the FT 70-300 and Olympus or Panasonic cams (anyway until last year)

          http://manifredo.de/

  • Gert

    Awesome results ! Oly is back :)
    I’m going to buy this one.

  • pake

    I compared the ISO1600 & ISO3200 RAWs against 5Dmk2 & D7000 and couldn’t believe my eyes. Better sharpness and clearly in the same league as those dinosaurs!

    I’ve been hearing comments like “OMG! Olympus cheats with ISO values” and “you can’t compare these pictures with D7000’s & 5Dmk2’s because E-M5’s ISO values aren’t accurate”. That makes me laugh. Show me a camera that doesn’t “cheat”. Here’s a few interesting links:

    http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cameras/Camera-Sensor-Database/Canon/EOS-5D-Mark-II#tabs-2

    http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cameras/Camera-Sensor-Database/Nikon/D7000#tabs-2

    Shocking isn’t it? Who would have ever guessed that our beloved Canon and Nikon cheats?!! OMG! Hold the press! =P

    So E-M5 is the only camera where ISO values aren’t accurate? Yeah right… =) Why is it so damn hard to accept these results that clearly point to the fact that E-M5 is in the same class as 5Dmk2 & D7000 when shooting with ISO1600-ISO3200? :)

    But in the end, whose cares if CaNikon-purists can’t handle the truth since I’ll be getting my E-M5 when it’s available and I’m sure I will be very happy with it. :)

  • Dan3

    So pathetic how some oly fanboys try and point every single thing about the new camera, i dont care about brands, i like them all. Why should i defend any particular, if the omd5 is good i buy it and use it, i’m not going to evangelize for any brand, those olympus executives must be laughing so much about these “volunteer brigades” promotional work.

    • Dan3isDense

      It sounds like you are sore because you probably bought some garbage Fuji or Sony product and now you look like a moron so you are trying to save face. People like you deserve the worst. Kill. Your. Self.

      • Neonart

        easy there bro. It’s a camera review, not WW3.

    • Neonart

      I agree that going overboard with ones favorite brand is silly. However, Olympus users should certainly be allowed to rejoice in the fact that the EM5 appears to be a great camera.

      What I find even more pathetic is how Fanboys of other brands try so hard to downplay and attack another brand or product. (In this case the EM5)

      If evangelizing for a particular brand is pathetic, evangelizing against it is even more pathetic.

    • The Real Stig

      Which Olympus cameras do you own?

      • Neonart

        Who are you asking Stig?

  • Michael

    I am sure that the next generation of aps-c or full frame sensors will once again open a gap in high-iso performance betwenn mft and so-ca-ni. you just cant beat the laws of physics- a ff sensor is simply a good deal bigger. just wait until the 5d3 samples.

    That said, i dont care much, even if iso 25000 on the 5d3 will be like 6400 on the m5. my oly with a “holy trinity” will be a fraction (!) of the equivalent canon system weight, and that is much more important for me. And the in-body stabilization will allow me to use lower shutter speeds/better iso values (assuming no IS in the canon lenses).

    • JimD

      The bigger sensors will get better and the smaller sensors will catch them, the bigger sensors will get better and the smaller sensors will catch them, the bigger sensors will get better and the smaller sensors will catch them, and so on.
      But there comes a time when the need to make vast improvements diminishes. After all, most want no more than the occasional A3 print and some A4 prints. Other than that, web size is about all. So maybe we are now at that cross roads where sensors just need refinement to give the best results for what the camera will be used for. Do we need more MP? I don’t think so, do we need, more resolution? Probably not, do we need ISO levels that work at night? Mostly not, do we need massive weight round our necks? no. Do we need cameras that show our vast egos and limited knowledge of what we want to photograph? Quite possibly.
      Are there some who do really require many improvements? Undoubtedly! And some of those who post here are among them.
      But do we need any more “new and improved every year” cameras or are we just supporting a business deal for some one at the top of a tree.

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