E-M5 photo gets viral via CNN. DxO leaves us in the dark about the E-M5 sensor test :(


Time for a new short E-m5 news roundup:

The video on top is a report from CNN. It shows an E-M5 photographer that took a photo that had the famous “viral effect”. A nice free advertising for Olympus :)
P.S.: The Photographer contacted me to say he is actually a regular 43rumors reader. His website is http://patlu.com.

You may remember the dpreview forum post where Axel from DxOmark said that: “the lab is working on it but noticed some surprising measures and is analyzing the root cause.” One month passed and we still have no news. And we porobably have to wait a long time more because the DxOmark team just leaved for a (well deserved) vacation.

Meantime Echenique (Click here) posted a full E-m5 review: “All it really needs is focus peaking and better continuous AF performance and they will have a real winner on their hands.

Fuji Xpro vs Ricoh GXR M vs Sony NEX7 vs Epson RD1 vs Olympus OM-D M mount lens comparison at thef8blog (Click here).

In Stock status….easy…almost all kits are now in Stock. Click these search links to check for yourself: Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Olympus US store, FocusCamera, eBay.

For US readers: Todays Amazon Gold Box deals offers a Panasonic waterproof camera for $99 only.

  • MP

    hahaha, Infact I think this was sponsored by Oly!!

    • Anonymous

      But the lens was a Panasonic 20mm… :p

    • bilgy_no1

      Olympus marketing people will be pulling out their hairs… When the camera shows, the strap is in front of the OLYMPUS logo. AAMOF the logo never shows at all!

      But the photo is very clean, even the crop is virtually noiseless (but a bit unsharp)

      • I actually have the front of the camera gaffer taped up, heheh.

  • jevfp

    Forget about DXO mark result test,.I already know what The OM-D can do,.and what ever they would say,.i really amaze,.by this camera,.

  • DxO is ridiculous. First of all, have they every ‘reinvestigated’ findings when a Canon or Nikon turned out really good? Well, then why would you change your methodology here? Run the tests, publish the results, it’s not that hard. Stick to the same methodology for every camera and let the chips fall where they may.

    • Andrew

      You are being way to cynical here. If a score is far out of line with what you’d expect, it should cause you to question and test the methodology to make sure it is providing accurate scores.

      I think what is going on here is that the E-M5 can match top APS-C sensors at ase ISO in color depth and DR, and is only worse by one stop or less at high ISO. So the score they initially got is probably 78-80 which just blows away previous m4/3 sensors. If they post a score like that then they owe an explanation as to how they got their findings or else people will be deservedly skeptical.

      • We’re talking about 4 months, though. Olympus is handling the RAW data a little differently than normal with the E-M5, allowing for more highlight capture. Some are saying this means it’s actually not exposing as the rated ISO, even though when you process the RAWs or take a JPEG, the tonalities are right where they should be for the rated ISO. There are some people on DPReview that have made a big stink over it, which baffles me. To me: take picture, get image, look at output.

        I’ve done comparisons on my site between the E-M5 and GH2, and I’ve now taken thousands of images with my E-M5. I KNOW it has significantly higher dynamic range in real world use. Thing is, there are a ton of people who put major stock in DxO (DxO is a good starting point for a comparison, but the end all-be all it isn’t)…and if they start monkeying around with the data to ‘revisit’ the better performance, it’s odd…they didn’t dig deeper when the very high pixel count D800 topped their test, even beating many medium format digital cameras. Why do it here?

        Plus, it’s been four months since the camera has been released…it doesn’t take THAT long to go double check your figures to make sure you didn’t botch anything.

        • Andrew

          Well I definitely agree it has taken too long, but it’s not just the E-M5, they are behind on many other cameras like the GF5 and K-30 off the top of my head

          • The Real Stig

            Yea, but the other cameras don’t matter as they are insignificant.

        • Nawaf

          Exactly, the D800 turned out better than the D4 in ISO performance.. Just take a look at the pictures for yourself and tell me what you see. Downsize all you want.

          I used to take their scoring system seriously, but I recently changed my view on sensor ratings. Looking at pictures to see the quality is the best way to rate a camera in my opinion.

          In some cases like say DR, I think it is OK to rely on their scores though.

          All this means nothing if you don’t like what’s coming out of the camera.

          BTW, Great site.. Keep it up!

      • “If a score is far out of line with what you’d expect, it should cause you to question and test the methodology to make sure it is providing accurate scores.”

        Ha. The change of scoring or testing methodology would automatically invalidate all previous tests and scores.

        DxO can’t claim that the test broke only for the E-M5 and they have /fixed/ it *only* for the E-M5.

    • Boooo!

      “DxO is ridiculous. First of all, have they every ‘reinvestigated’ findings when a Canon or Nikon turned out really good?”

      What if their findings turned out to be really BAD? Like, a score of 60 or whatever, completely out of line with real-world image quality the E-M5 provides?

  • I really cannot understand why is it so important to know that DXO results. Knowing them will make the OMD a better camera?

    • babbit

      Knowing the scores will help buyers better compare cameras and help them make the correct choice in choosing a camera. Of course if you’ve already bought an E-M5 and are not planning on buying a new camera, the scores won’t mean as much. For some would be buyers, the features of the E-M5 are all that’s needed, so the scores won’t mean much. For other buyers, they may put a bigger emphasis on image quality. How the sensor performs relative to other M43s and larger DSLRs will help them determine whether or not they want to get a bigger camera to potentially get better image quality.

      • Surefoot

        And then why do they insist that you cannot compare two different format cameras ? So what’s the point, we already know what the camera is worth thanks to our own eyes.

      • JimD

        DxO is for those that hang graphs one the wall to replace the photos they would have taken if DxO had said the sensor was rated 110.
        It is not a good starting point. It is for chart merchants. A newbee buying a new digital camera would never have heard of DoX. Those who have heard of DoX will know that the 12″ behind the camera is more important than what’s in it. (assuming its from a reputable supplier at a preferred price point). That puts DoX in a position to record the standards for posterity only.

  • YeahYeah

    Dxo cannot imagine a good Olympus camera. It doesn’t fit their Casonikon idolatry.

    • Sunny

      Exactly. That´s the point. They don´t like an Oly beating their favorite camera makers.

  • Anonymous

    Rather than worry about DXO and marginal differences in resolution and validating his sensor performance this guy was taking an actual photo, one that relied on good skills not worrying about other nonsense. This is the problem with photography today, technology replacing skills and timing. This guy just takes pictures, think of that……

  • The Real Stig

    So without focus peaking and better CAF, the E-M5 wont be a winner then. Have these people noticed how well the E-M5 is selling? It is a winner by any standards anyway. The features they mention would just be icing on an already very tasty cake.

    • Stig,
      did you bother to read the article? Perhaps I slipped into a cliche when I wrote that line. It should have read “All it really needs is focus peaking and better continuous autofocus to be perfect.” but I felt that it would come off as fanboy-ish considering all of the other good stuff I reported in the review.

      • I completely agree with Carlos’ view, it would make using manual focus lenses so much better.

        • ulli

          i still think focus peaking is overrated, i am sure its very handy as a substitute for zone focusing. But for critical focusing, especially when shooting wideopen with fast lenses, results are better if you rely on your own eyes when using magnified mode, instead of focus indicators. At least thats the experience i have with the Ricoh GRX-M

          • Nawaf

            I can’t wait for them to implement focus peaking on the E-M5. Getting a shot in that split second instead of none at all is worth it to me. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

            You always have magnified view if you want it, but for the ones who have used and find use out of peaking, I think it’s a must have.

  • avds

    Wow, such a lucky and perfect shot!

  • Thanks for sharing, I really wish CNN would have at least posted my website or my twitter address. (http://patlu.com, @dgafPat).

    • ahendarman

      I did not see banding on the photo :)

    • Four by Six

      Oh my… Oh my… Such beautiful pictures on your website. Such talent. I love the compositions, framing, subjects, etc. I hope the viral photo brings you much deserved attention!

    • mooboy

      Did you get your coffee and cake? :)

    • avds

      Wonderful photos!

  • Jim

    I’m not really sure why DxO gets treated by some people as if it was the word of god handed down from the mountain top. I felt that way even when I was a Nikon owner, and my cameras were constantly at the top of the rankings. The E-M5 has been out for months now. There are dozens of positive reviews, many from well-respected photographers with decades of experience. Beyond that hi res image samples are readily available from many sources, for people who are concerned about image quality. I never owned a m4/3 camera before the E-M5, and was certain I never would, but the E-M5 – image quality and all – won me over. What can DxO tell me now that my eyes can’t?

    • explorer76

      I mostly agree, though I think that DxOMark is still a useful resource. Obviously I can not buy every camera to find out myself how it performs. So its useful to have resources where I can compare cameras and DxoMark is one of the websites that I use for that. Though its by no means the only one. Good thing about dxomark is that it eliminates a lot of the variables which can be there when comparing samples from websites. So DxoMark combined with dpreview and imaging-resource studio samples gives a fairly good way of comparison.

  • theDA

    20mm FTW!!!

  • explorer76

    While I also look at DxoMark scores, I don’t think you need DxoMark to find about E-M5 sensor performance. Its performance has already been well established by many reviewers. And if you really need numerical socres then there are sources other than DxoMark as well. The main improvement in E-M5 over GX1/GH2 sensor is the much better DR. You can look at the Dynamic Range scores at Imaging Resource if you need numerical values for that (Quick summary of imnaging-resource measurements is is that it has around the same DR numebrs as the original NEX-5 and significantly better than GX1/GH2 and better than canon APSC. Basically it matches or exceeds all APS-C sensors except the Sony 16MP and Sony 24MP sensors).

  • Nipponbasse

    Although not nearly as nice or big as this picture that made it to CNN, but actually I had a similar experience some time ago as well.

    I have a Panasonic G2 camera, and during a big thunderstorm in Honolulu, Hawai’i May 2011, I took a picture from my window that also went viral, twice.

    Here’s the pic http://www.flickr.com/photos/nipponbasse/5697355646/ , and it first made it to the front page of Hawai’i’s biggest newspaper The Honolulu Star Advertiser ( both their website as well as the printed edition). And then about one year later, in March 2012, the same picture once again made it to the frontpage of the same newspaper, as someone had “found it” or stolen it from my flickr-account, and thought it was from the current thunderstorm they had then. And even a Hawaiian TV-station got hold of it, and it turned viral all over Facebook as well with 1000’s of shares ( http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150570775311861&set=a.143947866860.124569.61865376860&type=1&ref=nf ). I also had it on print in a Norwegian newspaper as well as it being picked as a winner in a local Norwegian photo contest.

    Of course u can’t really compare it with this CNN-coverage, but nonetheless it’s very nice to get that kind of attention, especially since I’m nothing more than a semi-advanced amateur photographer with a less than average level equipment.

  • Rem Tard

    Disgusting photo.

  • io

    Would be interesting if Oly releases some PEN cameras with the OM..-D sensor. Will DxO hide also their scores? :D

  • iMLovinIt

    A the begining of the video, we see an OMD at 24 sec, and a PANASONIC GH series camera with 20mm lens at 29 sec…
    So, it’s can’t be sponsorised by olympus :)

  • Pei

    I think Patrick should just email them the photo (raw?) and not ask for anything in return. We have to give street photographer a good name.

  • John

    Maybe DXO tried the em5 with Oly 4/3 lenses instead of m4/3 lenses and got the same surprise that I got … soft images … and this why Oly has now admitted that their 4/3 lenses don’t work with the EM5

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