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DxO says about the E-M5: “There are surprising measures!” (and Silver kit in Stock at Amazon)


As you can see from the screenshot on top the Silver kit will finally ship on July 15th at Amazon US (Click here to read the note and preorder). That’s after tomorrow!

And now to an even more important news. I was really wondering why DxOmark still didn’t had post the full E-M5 sensor review. Via dpreview forum post (found via Lepidi) we got an intriguing answer. Axel from DxOmark said that: “the lab is working on it but noticed some surprising measures and is analyzing the root cause.

Either the results are terrible good or either they are terribly bad! Can’t wait to see the review of the first Sony m43 sensor!


E-M5 preorder links:
Amazon, Adorama, B&H, Jessops, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Amazon France, Amazon Japan and Digitalrev.

E-M5 Case:
There is the official CS-36FBC Olympus case. A leather half case from Hong Kong. A full leather case with strap from Cina. Than we have half cases from two well known producers, Zelenpol, Kaza and Gariz.

E-M5 Batteries, and other things:
The Olympus GS-4 strap and the DSTE E-M5 batteries you have to use with an extra charger. There is an E-M5 car charger a new E-M5 LCD screen and a Front Cover+ Top Panel.


  • Something would be wrong with DXO if they reported bad results.

    • Go DXO to the think box. :-D

      • spam

        I use an E-M5 and look forward to see the DxO results. DxO test senors in a very thorough way and are likely to spot problmes that other testers who test the whole system may not see.

        Of course, all tests needs to be interpreted and a problem DXO find may or may not be of importance to me. If it is then I’d much rather know about it than not. Many problems can be fixed or avoided as long as I know it’s there.

        I just hope it’s nothing to do with the stabilisation mechanism.

  • jake

    why do people trust DXO and talk about it as though it is the only one sensor authority we know of today?

    I think I dont like DXO marks and I personally trust my own test done by myself.

    But anyway, I think the DR landscape score of the Oly is surprisingly or even unbelievably good and that just stop them posting it, or maybe DXO guys thought its high ISO sports score might be too good to be taken seriously if they published it soon.

    I hope Adobe also provides us something similar to compare to this over hyped DXO mark thing.

    • GET

      The rational is pretty simple; those who own cameras which get a good review love DXO those whose camera does not do so well hate DXO. As there is typically an obvious { to anyone other than Olympus fanboys} correlation between the size of sensor and sensor performance the low scores achieved by previous Olympus cameras have upset the delicate souls LOL .

      I predict sadness for a bunch of the crazy rabid Olympus users as the real differences in RAW files looks to be zero for low ISO { unless you feel the need top push shadows and compare 200% crops along with less than a stop for high ISO . Some of the 40-watt club members on DPreview { yes there are a lot} claim 2 or even 3 stops better so expect some cage rattling

      • What you dont realize as you sit there calling others names, aside from NOISE and the DoF differences you are left with DR, Colour depth, etc. These are not affected by sensor size. And Noise patterns can be either very pleasing or downright ugly.

        So why dont you stop offending people you have never met. While they may be enthusiatic about their brand of choice, you are just being rude.

      • Chris K

        Why would people who already own the camera and are happy with its image quality suddenly become unhappy when a synthetic benchmark tells them their camera is awful?

        That sounds like behavior that should be diagnosed by a psychologist, to me.

        • reyb

          The answer is simple, so many have made such wild claims ( 2-3 stops better than the GH2 :-) ) that there is no way the DXO results will posibly confirm their nonsense claims. It is going to be a bloodbath with the maniacs on the forums, esp the dpreview crowd where some truly crazy fanboys live

          Watch this space :-)

  • st3v4nt

    Since I’m not taking photo using the result from DxO, it will be entertaining to see the result.

  • This is Olympus yet again bucking the expectations of many, Olympus is clearly using the same tactics Sony, Nikon and Pentax have for a long time regarding DR, IQ and noise. But until Oympus did it, the differences were acceptable.

    Now they are, and we must “get tot he root cause” instead of just congratulating them on a job well done.

    Olympus always gets special treatment :) :D

  • sneye

    I don’t care about the sensor scores just like I didn’t care who manufactured it. All this tech talk has nothing to do with photography. I’m sick with the idea that the technical attributes of cameras equal “image quality”. It’s sheer nonsense. Digital cameras were already good enough for any application five or six years ago. Since then the technological development has been about satisfying lazy reviewers and the non-creative masses. The only important achievement in recent years has been the advent of smaller cameras that support interchangeable lenses. Other than that, give me a Canon 20D, a Nikon D200 or an Olympus E-1 and I can do almost anything with decent glass.

    • reybi

      i would love to see your low light high iso action shots with an e1, crap sensor,crap af for moving subjects,. The real BS claims are by those who say its all about the art lol, there are good reasons why professional photographers in all areas choose the tools they do and 99+% do not chose small sensor mFT cameras. The joke is the mft fanboys who really believe that mft will inherit the earth lol

      • :-D E-1 is soon ten year, i need not say more.

  • WT21


  • twoomy

    Well I finally got my hands on an E-M5 and the results are terribly good to my eyes! So even if DxO doesn’t confirm this, I’ll still be happy. :)

  • Chris K

    I really like my EM5, but DxO can take a flying leap as far as I’m concerned. Their numbers might be an accurate measure of something, but not of image quality. They are the ultimate lab test, and are so far removed from real photographs that their numbers don’t tell me anything about what my photos will look like.

    It’ll be amusing to listen to the stat junkie camera collectors gnash their teeth over the DxO results, however.

    • Bob B.

      ++++1000 !!!!

  • DxO should only serve as a frame of reference—not the final word.

    A good DxO rating would go a long way for Olympus. The m4/3 camp has not done well with DxO scores. A good rating would break the string of poor performance that began with the 4/3 roots.

  • Joe


    “The E-M5 sets a new benchmark for Micro Four Thirds images, thanks to a modern sensor and Olympus’ excellent JPEG engine. It continues to produce good results in lower light than was previously practical and produces attractive output in all but the most challenging of situations… The E-M5 can’t completely overcome the light capture disadvantage brought by its smaller sensor, compared to APS-C, but it reduces it to the point that it’s irrelevant for almost all practical purposes.”

    imaging resource

    “Excellent overall image quality
    Very good high ISO performance, rivals APS-C models
    Very good dynamic range, the best Micro Four Thirds model we’ve tested”

    Luminous Landscape

    “Resolution appears to be very high, with the main limitation being the quality of the lenses used… Dynamic range looks to be quite close to any other mirrorless system and in terms of colour accuracy the O-MD may be among the best current cameras. Skin tones are particularly pleasing right out of the camera, with JPGs as well as raws in Lightroom 4.1… My subjective impression is that noise is very well controlled up to and including ISO 3200. At 1600 and 3200 only a small amount of post NR is needed.”

    Steve Huff

    “If you want something easy to shoot that can grow with you over time, the E-M5 is a great choice. It is amazingly versatile as well and it no longer has limitations of the 1st gen Micro 4/3 cameras as the sensor is now capable of great low light shots using higher ISO.”

    The Online Photographer

    “The image quality of this thing rocks. It ranges from good to fantastic, depending on which properties you’re looking at… In fact, I might go so far as to say that the OM-D is the very first digital camera I’ve ever used that has truly natural highlights—as good as that of some films.”


    “…I’ll be taking a 1-2 day diversion to write up the OM-D E-M5. Simply because it’s timely (new), and it represents what I think is an exceptionally well done camera of its type, perhaps the best of breed so far.”

    Pretty sure Thom Hogan is using the E-M5 as his back-country camera. Michael Reichmann of Luminous Landscape is using the E-M5 as his travel and urban walk-around shooter. Two guys with somewhere in the neighborhood of 80 years experience behind a camera. Many other talented photographers are using the E-M5 as well.

    So… does anyone really care what DxO has to say, beyond the curiosity factor? DxO numbers can be interesting, but I put my trust in my eyes, and the opinions of experienced photographers.

  • It could be that the numerical results are surprisingly bad, and they don’t want to lose credibility considering the real world good results people are getting from the OMD.

    • rrr_hhh

      Plus one !
      When you get good results and most reviewers are raving over the IQ, you feel confident about your results and don’t hesitate to publish them. You get worried when your results are going in the other direction and you fear the good reviews may be right, but your data could be wrong. So if you are going counter current, you better check your data, measurements and methods twice !

      • MichaelKJ

        I agree. Most likely explanation is worse than expected results. A less likely explanation is that it outperformed some Sony APS-C sensors.

  • IHUR

    I bet the score is sub 70s, and DxO realized that they will get lots of negative responses from that camera’s fboys.

  • Why we care about the DxO benchmark again?

    DPR image comparator (aka: my own eyes) trumps it any time.

  • confused

    I have a feeling every poster here pooping on DXO will switch their opinions if the result posted are very good and suddenly storms forums bragging about DXO result like they are the ultimate measure of image quality.

    DXO test their stuff very well. Sensor performance is not all that counts when it comes to image quality but it does play a part and I prefer synthetic benchmark to reviewers opinions based on their “impressions”. Excellent lenses, excellent sensors and excellent processors leads to excellent image quality. That doesn’t means it leads to excellent pictures however, far from it, we all know that, a great photographer with a bad camera will still create far more beautiful pictures then a bad photographers with state of the art gear.

    However when one is shopping for gear the last thing you should trust is some paid reviewer opinion on a pubilicity ridden website, I much prefer synthetic benchmark and image comparison (pixel peeping) to reach a conclusion about where I will spend my hard earned cash.

    • avds


      Though I don’t find much fault with reviewers either. Excessive bias or incompetence aren’t hard to detect through comparative study anyway.

  • WT21

    well, to be honest, I’m like others — don’t care about DXO — but we’ll all suddenly REALLY care if the scores are super high, and then it’ll be the NEXtians turn to talk about why it’s irrelevant, lol.

  • James70094

    I suppose I spend too much time actually using my camera instead of looking at DXO scores. The only real measure of quality to me is that 30×20 poster I have on my wall taken with my E-P1. A poster which generated lots of positive comments. As much as I would like an E-M1, I’ll wait for the next Pen offerings. I like the size better.

    • Esa Tuunanen

      > The only real measure of quality to me is that 30×20 poster I have on my wall taken with my E-P1.
      Once made 40x30cm landscape picture out of 8MP picture from 2004’s 2/3″ sensor. (of course behind quality lens)
      Though I can find some CA/softness in corners no one else hasn’t noticed those from normal viewing distance and moderate brightness variance content fitted well into below DSLR dynamic range while good light level allowed use of low noise base ISO.
      Even medium format DSLR wouldn’t have made it really any better.

      • james70094

        Just to clarify, when I say 30×20 poster, that’s 30inches by 20inches.

        • Geoff

          Thanks for clarifying that James, I initialy took it that you meant inches, but the comment from Esa did make me think twice about it. Thinkingto myself that 30×20 cm is somewhat small, I regularly print A3+ from my E-1 and find them wonderful, also from E-620, E-P1 and C5060 but E-1 is my tool of choice from those cameras, would just like to have a of the E-M5 to realy see it’s worth, before splashing the cash about.

          As regards DxO scores, as you say simply numbers on a piece of paper, I suppose we could print them with many overlays and see how many people admire that!!!!!

  • Geoff

    Just goes to show how much we cannot trust what DxO comes out with, I wonder how many other tests have been questionable with them???

  • nicwalmsley

    Come on guys. You telling me you wouldn’t like it if Olympus were using a sensor that got a high 70s?

    Like others have said, the sensor is probably getting a relatively low score, and DXO are concerned this will expose the limitations of their methodology. Maybe it is time they came up with a way to measure optical performance of the camera.

    You can’t judge a racecar only on its engine. Gearbox and tyres count too.

  • I don’t trust too much DXO, sometimes results are a little bit strange, for example if you compare the G3 and the GX1

    G3 :21 for Color Depth / 10,6 for Dynamic Range / 667 for Low-Light ISO

    GX1 : 20,8 for Color Depth (big difference :D) / 10,6 for Dynamic Range / but… 703 for Low-Light ISO !

    With DXO, the G3 is better.

    I was really surprised when I compared for the first time shots from OMD with shots from my Nikon D5100 and my 7D, and for the first time I saw that M43 can now easily compete/beat best APSC cameras… It’s clear now that the OMD have the best M43 sensor ever made, no matter what DXO will say.

    • Color depth is in stops, ISO is not. 21 – 20.8 is 1/5 of a stop, whereas log2(703)-log2(667) is less than 1/10 of a stop. On the raw measurements, the two sensors (g3, gx1) are very close – which you would expect as they are essentially the same sensor.

      • Colour depht is in bit, not in stop.

        • Ok, but the point is that it’s in a log scale, whereas the ISO score isn’t. A difference of “1” in this or the dynamic range score is analogous to a doubling of the ISO score.

  • Esa Tuunanen

    Actually their own commercial DxO Analyzer software has already told that E-M5’s sensor has up to date performance:

    And Imaging-Resource’s measurements with competing Imatest software tells similar story of E-M5’s sensor being definitely better than that in older m4/3 cameras and well comparable to APS-C.

    Also Admiring Light’s non benchmark RAW photo experiments in pulling details out from shadows/highlights of purposely under/over exposed shots confirm same improved up to date performance.

    Now of course that kind results just don’t go well with big boys of Canikon and their “bigger” sensor folks who don’t want to admit that quality of outputted signal depends mostly on light gathering area and technology level of individual pixel because whole sensor isn’t some single average light level meter.

  • Scott

    examining a sensor is like wanting to examine a sewing machine when buying a new shirt or suit. The end result is what should be examined not the machine that created it.

    • JimD

      Scott, that is a great comparison. So true.

    • Ross

      Scott, you sound like you come from the ‘rag trade’. :)
      I guess I could apply my background to it too. When I come across a good, well made violin body, it has the potential of being a great instrument & it’s the final setup with sound post, bridge, finishing of the fingerboard etc together with the choice of strings that make it the best it could be. I trust that Olympus have taken the very good Sony sensor & added their usual best to give us a great camera. The DxO Mark score can be interesting, but not something I’m worried about.

  • avds

    I hear Sony use some evil gamma correction scheme in the NEXes (and possibly alphas too) to pack increased dynamic range in a limited data pipeline, so if Olympus sensor does indeed come from Sony I wonder maybe DXO could stumble on some further dynamic range enhancements that can’t be fairly reflected with their existing tests…

    • JimD

      What happens depends on what Olympus get from Sony. Is it a turnkey item to Sony design. Is it a turnkey item built from Olympus specs. Is it a turnkey item with a sony sensor and Olympus spec electronics.
      Is it a supply of a bare sensor and then Olympus finalises the electronics and assembly themselves.
      “It’s a Sony made Sensor” can mean anything, all, or not much.

      • JimD

        Thus the attributes given to a Sony sensor (real or imaginary) may or may not apply, (though the imaginary ones will be the hardest to dispel, such is the nature of blogs)

    • Martin

      Evil gamma correction? Shots from my A77 look superb to any m4/3 camera shots I seen/used in terms of DR. No idea where from did you pulled out the “evil gamma” thing. Accept it: it’s just better.

  • Mal

    DXO are trying to drive more traffic to there site by holding off release of the information while everyone waits and checks regularly for an update.

    And this little bit of trivia is just another bait to get traffic.

    If the tests and results they published were more relevant and meaningful to photographers then I might be more inclined to visit. But with this kind of childish prank they can get stuffed.

  • JimD

    The word ’cause’ bodes badly. Only when something is wrong is the word cause used.
    The question is, is the item that needs a cause to be found, in the camera, or in the testing methodology. If its the methodology will all 4/3 sensors be retested. I doubt its the camera as there are many many many happy users reporting terrific results. Maybe that is the problem.
    Anyway I am not interested in charts on the wall.

    • Agree, but i think “cause” here mean he is for DXO self, not for E-M5 camera. Olympus have “tweakking” E-M5 too, the use not normal RGB Bayer filter but a Red, Green, Green-IR and Red-IR filter, so 50% of pixel is IR sensitive for give fast AF by AF liht use.

      • Esa Tuunanen

        That studying of sensor’s nuts and bolts would be job of Chipworks and not DxO’s, unless they just want to delay their review on purpose.

        And most of work in improving AF speed to competitive level with other CDAF cameras Olympus did already for E-P3 so I doubt there are any AF related tweaks besides usual improvements in read out speed and processing. (as there obviously isn’t any integrated phase detection)

        • Agree, but i think DXO not will do this mess after E-M5 so after E-P3, there we have question mark by rank value to DXO.

    • The Real Stig

      I wouldn’t read too much into a specific word. Many people writing in English are not native speakers so trying to read subtle intent from singular word choice is probably not as valid an approach as it might be for a native speaker.

  • E-1

    I’d guess it is as low as all other m43 scores, which flies in the face of all the excellent reviews. Now they can’t release those numbers as it would discredit their scoring algorithm. Now they wonder what to do.

  • Tim van Vliet

    I have a question! Anybody knows what dxo found out
    Found out about the em-5 ? Regarding this post?

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