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E-P2 vs 5D vs MP-9 and Leica 25mm versus Nokton.

ThePhoBlographer (Click here) posted a high ISO noise test comparison between the Olympus E-P2, Canon 5D MkII and Leica M9-P. The 5D is the best camera but according to the reviewer “the EP2 and M9-P are almost neck in neck. “. But what is a bit surprising me is the following statement: “Both cameras use CCD sensors from Kodak, so this is a very interesting test to see.“???

A forum user at Mobile01 (Click here) posted some image comparison between the Leica and Nokton 25mm lenses. Gogole translation doesn’t work so I will tell you what to do. Click on the green links of the first post to open the images!


  • Bob B.

    When I click on the Mobile)! link it appears that I get a Japanese forum about the post of the comparison between the Nokton and the Panasonic lens…but there are no pictures of comparison.
    I don’t read or speak Japanese (although I have turned Japanese on occasion (-:)…so I am not sure what is going on with the page?

    • Leave a reply

      Green links in the first POST

      • Bob B.

        Thanks for the help…but I do not have any green links anywhere on the post.

        • Bob B.

          OK….thanks I got it…but it is just a comparison to the lenses side by side…I was hoping for photos shot with each lens so that I could see the difference in sharpness vs bokeh….
          someone will do that soon enough….I am sure!
          Thanks again for the help.

          • Robbie

            I think you didn’t finish the post. There ARE photo shots with each lenses

    • elflord

      This is hardly news. The larger the sensor, the better the performance on high ISO tests. Full frame sensor has 2.5x the area of an APS-C sensor which has 1.5x the area of a 4/3 sensor.

      The author is correct that if you make your choice on the basis of high ISO performance alone, you should pick the 5D (or the camera with the largest sensor).

      But in “real life”, you don’t shoot at ISO 2500 all the time, and there are other considerations besides high ISO performance.

      • Michael Meissner

        It really depends on what pictures you take. Some people do shoot 90% of their shots at ISO 3200 and some never get past base ISO (100 or more recently 200). Some only use manual focus primes, and some use consumer zoom kit lenses. Different strokes for different folks.

        Personally for most cameras, I only venture at ISO 1600 or higher 2-3% of my shots. However, for the E-P2, it is 24%. In part that is due to the fact that I use available lighting more often with the E-P2, rather than using flash, since using flash can destroy the mood (or is banned in some cases). Of course part of this primarily using using slower, zoom lenses like the 14-150mm or 14-42mm, instead of my faster HG lenses, and also in part that I feel the E-P2 gives acceptable ISO up to 3200 for me, and that’s where I set the auto ISO limit. On the E-3, I set the auto ISO to 1250, and so I don’t go into ISO 1600 except by choice.

        • Jim

          Be intrested to know how your fast glass focuses ? personaly i only take the ep1 to 1600 tops… i feel 3200 is a bit ruff… are you thinking of getting an ep3…. i would love to know if that focuses your fast glass quickly (ish)…

  • Anonymous

    Humm not sure this test is to be taken seriously : “Interestingly, the EP2 and M9-P are almost neck in neck … Both cameras use CCD sensors from Kodak, so this is a very interesting test to see.”


    • jrk

      Well I never liked his blog too much anyway :p

  • would be nice to see a comparison for usability and ability of cameras to realise the photographer’s intentions

  • “The sensor itself is made by Kodak, the design is by Panasonic. Two different things. Same with Nikon and Sony with certain cameras. The point of a LiveMOS sensor was to use CMOS sensor levels of energy consumption while maintaining CCD levels of image quality. CCDs can still do a very good job, just look at the medium format cameras of today.”

    That is a pretty weird statement. I thought the sensor is designed by Olympus and produced by Panasonic? And now that sensor is made (what does made mean? produced? Planned?based on?) by Kodak? Kodak, which is apparently dead?

    can someone please explain what the LiveMos is about? Because, maybe thats the point we lack behind Sonys CMOS… its simply a old fashioned CCD…

    • Inge-M.

      Thomas Schindler

      “Eamonkickey” and “Corwin Black” have good declaration on comments on the blogg.

    • cL

      CCD has better IQ, period, though CMOS based sensors are catching up. Just google on the CCD vs CMOS and you’ll get plenty of articles that talks about each format’s strength and how their strength sort of crossover over time.

      CMOS are currently more widely used for the following reason: 1) lower energy consumption, 2) because of that, lower heat generated (heat is a by-product of energy inefficiency), 3) lower production cost. Pros need to shoot all day long so CMOS makes sense when it comes to energy efficiency issue. DSLR size sensors are also bigger, so heat generation would be too large to use CCD sensors (older DSLRs that used CCD sensor can only shoot like 100 photos with one battery, though back then LCD monitors were all like 1.5″ big, and no LiveView). With higher and higher pixel density we have now, heat generated by CCD sensor would be not acceptable and probably would deteriorate the IQ lower than that of CMOS sensors. So yeah, that’s why CMOS was used. CCD sensor would give better color and IQ overall for non-DSLR size sensor, so all P&S uses them.

      LiveMOS, like the article said, was aimed to be the between of the two sensor technology. Though I have to admit, LiveMOS sensor’s color is still CMOS-like, and not very vibrant like CCD.

      • Sorry, but we need to correct the misinformation:

        > CMOS cost lower.

        Sources in the sensor industry tell me this isn’t true. Some of that has to do with the complexity we’re now laying down on sensors, as we’re doing more than just putting photo diodes with frame readouts.

        > CCD heat generation would be fatal.

        You might want to tell that to Leica, or Phase One, or any of the other large sensor users that run CCD. While heat is related to power consumption, sensors in m4/3 cameras are always on, which generates heat in and of itself.

        > CCD is used for P&S because of heat

        See above: P&S runs the sensor all the time. There are other reasons to run CCD in small sizes, but frankly, most of the use is just historical momentum. Most everything will be some non-CCD technology at some point. There are too many advantages to on-sensor electronics.

        • Daemonius

          That heat generation isnt that terrible cause Phase One has backs with sort of LiveView (though it does heat up). Btw. CMOS isnt that much better, cause try half hour video with Sony A55 in regular temperature. :D

          Everything is chip, pretty much similar to those inside computers, so they heat up (cause they consume electricity). Some manufacturers are better at creating less heat emmiting chips, some not (plus they can be even passively or actively cooled).

          Kodak made chips for Olympus E-1 and E-300/E-500. Those were CCD (pretty good ones, except kinda low-ish pixel count and poor high ISO). Since time of Panasonic L1, its Panasonic who makes sensors for Olympus (L1 sensor was in Olympus E-330 for example).

          Olympus even stated quite recently that they will desing sensor and let Panasonic do it for them. Up today they used Panasonic designed and produced sensors (except those Kodaks at start ofc).

          Corwin Black

  • Nelson

    The picture is in the thread, basically m43 have no flares compare to other two, but colour gradient detail is not as smooth as the 43 version

  • It is hard to tell the character of each from those samples. Moreover, the scenes shot are not typical of what a fast normal prime is most useful for. Strangely, the colour response seems different between the lenses.

  • Ardi GF2

    “PhoBlog” rhymes well with Goblok, which in Malay/Indonesian languange means stupid.

    Thephoblographer in more than one occasion posted articles with factual errors. CCD is not CMOS, and the E-P2 uses CMOS not CCD. That my friend, is a fact.

    • Goblok, lol!
      I don’t seem to like that blog a lot either…

  • Nick Clark

    ThePhoblographer articles are all over the show – constant errors that they seem to have no interest in fixing… Up there with Rice High and Mr Rockwell on the Avoid At All Costs list…

    As for the lenses, interesting, but would probably be more relevant if they got the exposures the same for each lens (I don’t know if this is explained in the text…)

    • Duarte Bruno

      Isn’t this the same blog that said that the eP3 had massive loads of DR when compared to other m43 sensors?
      Come on, these guys probably don’t even know the camera can shoot RAW. :P

      • He does this weird thing where he resizes the pictures down and then compared it.

      • Ahem

        Yes. He’s a self-declared Oly fanboi, and it shows in his uncritical posts full of factual errors and leaps of reason.

    • Ahem

      I also don’t understand why admin insists on sending google-fu to that site which sub-par to say the least.

  • jasonk

    The Phoblographer works for B&H. When did Oly and B&H become BFF?

  • Joe

    Judging from the PhoBlographer photos I think the Canon 5D looks best, then the Leica M9 and the E-P2 a distant third.

  • Joey

    Like others have stated i would be weary of using the PhoBloggers website, too many obvious errors, i.e in a previous article mistaking exposure comp for the diopter adjustment on the VF3

  • Scott

    The M9 looks the worse to me. It doesnt have the contrast nor the detail

  • Neonart

    Cameras and lenses tested:

    5D & 35 1.4L $3700

    M9P & 35 2.5 $9600

    EP2 & 17 2.8 $529

    The fact they’re even being compared is insane, and quite flattering for Olympus.

    • Exactly, stop the nonsense comparisons…

  • spam

    Canon use Canon CMOS sensors, Olympus use Pansonic LiveMos sensors (a CMOS variant) and Leica use Kodak CCD.

    • At present the large sensor lineup goes like this:

      Canon (all): Canon
      Fujfilm (X100): Sony
      Leica (X1): Sony
      Leica (M9): Kodak
      Nikon (D5100, D7000, D300s, D3x): Sony
      Nikon (D3100, D3s, D700): Nikon (various fabs)
      Olympus (4/3, m4/3): Panasonic (new sensor has Oly changes)
      Panasonic (m4/3): Panasonic
      Pentax (APS): Sony
      Pentax (MF): Kodak
      Ricoh (GXR): Sony
      Samsung (NX): Samsung
      Sigma: Foveon (Sigma)
      Sony (NEX, DX, FX): Sony

      Thus, if you look at it, there are only seven base technologies floating around in current products: Canon (CMOS), Kodak (CCD), Nikon (CMOS), Panasonic (NMOS), Samsung (CMOS), and Sony (now all CMOS). Add in the Dalsa CCDs used in many of the other large MF cameras and you’ve got the seven bases.

      • spam

        My comment was about the three cameras mentioned on the blog, and E-P2 use the old 12MP Pana sensor, not the new Oly modified one.

        Thanks for the list, interesting reading. Do you know what the Leica S use btw?

        I’m also interested in the D3100. I thought it had a Sony sensor, but you list it as Nikon (also read your D3100 review). I’m aware that Nikon claim to have made certain sensors which I assume mean designed and outsourced production.

        But do you know how much “freedom” Nikon has when designing or modifying sensors for their cameras. I’d expect a lot of basic properties are determined by the technology of the production company.

        I’d also assume that the manufacturers know a lot about their own process/technology so it would be difficult for another company like Nikon (and now Olympus) to get better sensors than the manufacturer can (and probably already have) design themselves.

        Nikon and Olympus might of course emphasize other properties of the sensor, but so far they seem to go with very similar designs (e.g. same pixel count) as existing sensors. Any comment?

        • Somewhere in my notes I have the Leica S2 sensor info, but it’s not handy at the moment (other computer).

          Nikon has had a full sensor design team (actually teams) since 1988. They have produced four completely original sensors that have gone into cameras so far (D2h/D2hs, D3/D700, D3s, and D3100). At the time of the D2h intro, a great deal of information was presented, including their unique LBCAST design (a form of CMOS with a different transistor design). The D3100 sensor is extremely interesting because it’s not exactly DX or APS in size. It has quite a few odd parameters about it, but it performs quite well (except for the rolling shutter on the video side, which is terrible). It seems clear to me that Nikon is clearly rolling their own on these sensors, and that’s been substantiated by the sensor analysis firms that track such things. At the same time, it appears that Nikon has continued to work closely with Sony Semi on Sony’s sensors, too. The D1 family of sensors was all Nikon-directed changes to Sony designs. The 6mp sensors appeared to have a Nikon change, as well. The D2x sensor, which showed up in a different size briefly in one Sony camera, pushed Sony from CCD to CMOS. Things get fuzzier after that. There are rumors that the on-photosite ADC is a collaboration, but I can’t find any confirmation of that. That’s important because the new ADC is one of the things that’s giving the Sony sensors very low read noise.

          You also have to remember that the other third of Nikon’s business is selling semiconductor manufacturing equipment, the stuff that makes sensors in the first place (Canon has this business, too). Thus, they have a pretty good sense of what can be done in the creation of the silicon now and in the foreseeable future.

          • spam

            Thanks for taking the time to answer, I remember the LBCAST design of course, and have seen claims that the D3/D700 sensor was a Nikon design, but thought it was one of the somewhat modified Sony sensors.

            I’m not quite sure what you mean by on photosite ADC. I know Sony introduces on chip 12 bit ADC with the A-700 sensor which i assume i very closely related to the one in D90/D300, except that Nikon also offered a 14 bit mode too.

            Anyway, my question was if you mean that each photsite has it’s own ADC? I thought the ADCs was one the chip with shorter lines from each pixel, but that it was quite few ADCs compared to the number of pixels on the chip.

            I’m also interested in your view on Canon and Panasonic sensors. Sony is into it’s second generation of sensors with integrated ADCs with the D7000/K5 etc 16MP senors. It should have been enough time for the competition to duplicate this technology, but both Canon and Panasonic seem to struggle to get the same low read noise, any idea why?

  • Steve

    This comparison doesnt make sense. Using (m)ft you have a much greater depth of field. So f4 on mft isnt f4 on ff in terms of dof. I am using a e5 and a 14-35mm 2.0 and i am much better off for Weddings: try to capture a Group in two rows using a 5d. You have to stop your aperture down loosing all the iso advantage.

    So comparing f4 and f4 is mindless for you have not the same dof in real Life shots.

    • Mr. Reeee

      It makes perfect sense if you’re trying to generate web site hits. Otherwise, it seems next to useless.

      • Ahem

        It would be funny if it wasn’t true.

    • Scott

      Thats been my point for years

  • kai

    Damn the Nokton got SMOKED! Glad I didn’t purchase it at twice the cost of the panaleica DG.

  • Roughly translation:

    from left to right: Nokton F0.95 25mm,Panasonic Lecia DG F1.4 25mm, Panasonic Leica D F1.4 25mm

    Body: GH2

    GH2 + Nokton F0.95 25mm, high quality feeling
    GH2 + Panasonic Lecia DG F1.4 25mm, small and light
    GH2 + Panasonic Lecia D F1.4 25mm, you can feel its big size

    GH2 use aperture priority, ISO 160, standard film, unadjusted, auto white balance.

    But first, to make Nokton have same exposure time with other two lens, so Nokton use Manual mode (not AV) at aperture F2 and faster. It make overexposure and I feel its safety shutter is very short.

    Find a plate to test its resolution under all aperture.

    I can find something more complex, but it become worse after resized the pictures.

    Use F11 to test contrast. (still, become worse after resized the pictures)

    Test stellate light

    Test flare

    All three lens are good lens. Big and small Leica lens are not very different, except DG lens have Nano coating that good to fight flare. HOWEVER, big Leica is 4/3 lens, Panny L10 and Oly E5 are only places it should belongs.

    tonality of the Nokton is different (from other two lens). For GH2, Nokton may cause error on light metering, and shorter shutter time, but I feel it is very sharper.

    NOTE: photo upload on mobile01 can cause resizing the picture, it can lose the representative of testament.

  • WT21

    mmmmm… brick walls

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