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


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.

  • Neonart

    Not sure if it’s been discussed in this long thread, but has anyone compared the RAWs from the EM5 to the Leica M9 and Sony A77! Whoa.

    Not that those are bad cameras by ANY means, they’r great. But the EM5 blows the A77 in noise from ISO400 and up. At 3200 and above the difference is huge.

    On the M9, after 1600 the EM5 pulls ahead. In fact ISO 3200 looks better on the EM5, than ISO 2500 on the M9.

    That’s pretty good folks. This camera looks to be the real deal.

    It’s finally a relatively affordable, well built, full featured SLR replacement that provides comparable image quality to some of the better SLRs on the market.

    • Neonart@ I think you is a Olyfanboy now, and we is over 2000 here also now. :-P

    • mjp

      true but I still haven’t seen anybody discuss the RED TINT on the RAW and JPEGs – any ideas?

  • pdc

    Got around to some pixel peeping, and the EM5 JPEGs do impress, especially in detail resolution.

    Somewhat curious about what Panasonic is doing in their processing, as they have managed to get rid of the dust details – or is because it is an Olympus lens and it does some optimization on the EM5 that can’t be done on the G3?

    Anyone know about that? Would love to get the RAWs for these.

    • @ pdc:
      The DPR test shots are taken w/ the native 4/3 50mm macro, so I believe no sw corrections comes into play at all. AFAIK sw corrections is dependent upon lens communication w/ m43 lenses only, which characteristics is communicated to the camera body over the extended protocols and lens contacts in the m4/3 mount. Thus these pics show what the E-M5 sensor is truly capable of. That said, we all know the IQ yielded from 50mm macro as well!

      • pdc

        Thanks. Would be best if all these camera sensor comparison reviews used the same purely manual lens. All the legacy lenses will fit on these new short flange-back cameras.

  • jim

    What do I think?

    I think Vitaly should hack this OMD to give 1080 60p (or 120p).

    Then I will be able to say we have perfection :)

  • Brand loyalty is OK. It exists in other consumer forms.

  • Jolyon Smith

    I hate to have to be the one to say it, but I suspected the results were not going to be as impressive from the fact that Admin decided to “leave it to us to decide”. An honest appraisal of the results would not have been at all exciting.

    Simply put, there really is nothing in it with the RAWs. Objectively they are all of a comparable quality. Subjectively the Samsung seems to cope better with keeping chroma noise to a minimum but at the expense of sharpness, so if you have a high tolerance for noise and low tolerance for poor contrast then the Samsung might be said to be “worse”, but if your tolerances are inverted then you might easily prefer the Samsung. Across the board it’s a game of swings and roundabouts. The Panny seems less “punchy” in RAW but also less noisy. The E-M5 turns out more punch but also more noise. And the Sony manages somehow to reduce noise overall whilst increasing the punch still further and suffering from some odd noise “spikes” among the overall lower noise.

    In JPEG the Sony NEX blows *everything* out of the water above from ISO 200 up, and the difference is particularly stark from 1600.

    Yes, the E-M5 is light years ahead of anything that 4/3 has delivered so far, but I think expectations that 4/3 would nose ahead were premature I fear.

    With the new sensor 4/3 has caught up. Nothing more.

    (And before anyone accuses me of being a 4/3 hater, I have only ever owned Oly DLSR’s and as much as anyone was hoping that the E-M5 would mark the renaissance of the beleaguered 4/3 format. I’m gutted. I still wish I had that sensor in my E-620 mind you)

    • agent00soul

      Hmm.. Your conclusion is strangely at odds with what most of us see. It seems like the consensus is that the e-m5 is every bit as good as the nex 5n, if not better.

      • Yes, I noticed that what I saw with my own two eyes did not seem to correspond with what other people said they saw. The contrast between what I saw and what others claimed to have seen was far from marginal either. That the Oly performed only in the same general ball park in RAW and that the Sony was markedly superior in JPEG not only suprised me, but defied my attempts to find crops in the test images that established the opposite conclusion.

        In a slightly related observation, I wonder how many monitors in this world are properly calibrated (especially to perhaps compensate for being viewed through rose tinted spectacles) ? ;)

    • BLI

      @Jolyon Smith:
      JPEG on the NEX 5N: slightly better than that of the E-M5 at ISO 6400, and upwards. But the NEX is inferior to the 4 year old D700 up to ISO 12800. In RAW, however, the NEX does not seem to beat the E-M5 much at all — and even breaks down worse at ISO 25 600. And the D700 appears to beat both the NEX and the E-M5. That is: according to my eyes.

      “…blows *everything* out of the water…”? Strong words…

      In the main part of the discussion, you seem to think that the Samsung is better in some areas, the Pannys in other areas, while the E-M5 is better in a third area. Your conclusion that “Yes, the E-M5 is light years ahead of anything the 4/3 has delivered so far” is — kind of at odds with the rest of your assessment — to put it mildly.

      Finally, you postulate that there has been expectations that the E-M5 should surpass everything in the market. I have never observed this expectation. Instead, the hope has rather been that the E-M5 should be better than the Pannys (reasonable hope, being a newer camera), and closing in on the best of the APS-C cameras. Pictures so far indicate that this has been achieved. What makes the E-M5 interesting is the combination/compromise of good enough image quality, good and small lenses, a small camera, etc — in other words: a camera that it is a joy to carry around and use, instead of a big monster of a system which gives slightly better images the few times you truck it around from the gear closet.

    • Don Pope

      “In JPEG the Sony NEX blows *everything* out of the water above from ISO 200 up …”

      Perhaps you mean “from ISO 3200”? From what I can see, that’s the point where the NEX actually jumps ahead. Below that, they seem evenly matched.

      And, BTW, my expectations for the E-M5 are that it can at least match my 3 year old Nikon D90, and it seems to be able to do that and more. The D90 is a great camera and I have zero complaints about its image quality. If I can get the same in a smaller, lighter package, I will be happy.


    Far as I can see the E-M5 results are easily matched by adjusting a couple of parameters of a GX1 file , the default E-M5 JPEG has extra contrast ,sharpening and NR when done to the GX1 file you end up with identical results. And even in RAW the E-M5 has very obvious NR even when it is supposed to be set to off.
    None of this makes it any less of an awesome camera and my order is in, but the sensor is no miracle.

    • So let me guess: you”ve just bought a GX1 right? And trying to convince yourself of what exactly? ;)

      • BIGPETE

        No I am just not a blind fanboys, my gear is the EP3 and GH2.Some Olympus fans have a bit of a history of believing all sorts of guff. Claims made by Olympus, including new sensor, new sensor again , new sensor yet again all with the exact same 12mp RAW performance, fastest ever AF used a few times and so on. Get the picture download the RAW files turn of the NR as much as you can as it is a new feature of the E-M5 RAW files and after you adjust the contrast , sharpening you end up with identical looking results.
        Who knows maybe Olympus went to the trouble and expense of designing and building a new sensor which just coincidentally had the exact same results as the GX1.

        • I’m not a fanboy either. For the record, I bought a GF1 nearly 2 years ago. Was quite happy about it but definitely need improved DR, high ISO and some way to shoot from the waist (street photography). I passed on the G3 because of the fiddly build (I actually went into the shop with the intention of buying one, but then renounced). This is the upgrade I need. What I notice is that people always find justifications not to renounce to what they already have – especially if they’ve invested a lot – by talking bad about what is new and good. It’s human but it’s kind of biased isn’t it?

  • Ulli

    The “fine detail” processing of Olympus shows again its performance in certain texture situations like the feathers in DP’s setup, especially at the lower iso settings.


      Not if you compare RAW files with matched sharpening

      • The “fine detail” processing is part of the JPG engine, RAW is basicly less processed,but i prefer RAW comparison without any user-based sharpening, as that is a wide variable.


      I don’t give a hoot about who made the sensor. I am getting an E-M5 because of its great feature set especially the very good build quality, the new IS system, built in EVF, AF,style{ I can be shallow lol} and so on. I will use it exclusively for stills and wait and see what the GH3 brings for video. I do not mean to be on a downer about the camera my problem is with the wildly over the top claims that some folk are making about the image quality.

      If you think I am talking nonsense { it happens } just download some of the many RAW files available and tweaking the output will give you very closely matched images.

  • JimD

    Just read this lot posted here. If you can’t see what is best and every one thinks something else is best then why are you all complaining. Just buy the one that has the shape you want or style you want or finish colour you want or is most expensive.
    The trouble is it is becoming more difficult to hang a trophy round ones neck as no one seems to know what the trophy should be. (seems all the grass on the other side is the same green)
    That’s good. Lets all go out and take some pictures, I hope its not raining for some.

  • ag

    The OM-D will be an excellent camera that may force me to rethink the need for my Canon and now Sony APS-C systems. I’ve always enjoyed the E-PL2 and G3 and now the performance matches APS-C. Plus they have some sweet primes. Still I would miss the EF 24-105 f/4, but that’s why God created the 5DMk3 :-)

  • Berbu

    Way better than expected. How it can be better than NEX?

    Nikon and Olympus are the winners! I mean Sony sensor.. Panasonic and Canon are pathetic.

  • pn

    I wonder when we will see any meaningful video samples. Were the ones doing “previews” based on pre production hardware urged to not publish such?

    The specs on video do not look good, and the only sample video I’ve seen so far didn’t look good, either, even though it didn’t include any usually problematic material (which could expose aliasing, jello, focus hunting or alike).

    As good as the E-M5 may be for still images, I would never consider paying significant amounts of money for a camera that cannot deliver video at least at the quality of a modern smart phone…

  • soap nut

    I found some great information in your site and bookmarked to visit again . Thanks.

  • Wow cuanto comentario por la camara, yo nose mucho al respecto pero parece ser buena, intentare buscarme una asi

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