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First RAW Olympus E-M5 files for download! (UPDATE: manual for download)

UPDATE: You can download the E-M5 manual (Click here for the english manual pdf).

Merci Beaucoup Focus Numerique! Finally we can download the original RAW files form the new Olympus E-M5 (Click here to visit the site). To download the file click on “Télécharger le fichier raw“.

So there is nor excuse now! This is the very first time we can judge the image quality without having to worry if the JPEG settings were correct or not. Focus Numerique reviewers are quite satisfied with the results: “At 1250 ISO, the image retains a lot of details and the color rendering of Olympus is always pleasant“.

So take your time guys, analyze the files and give us some feedback. Click that link to see the ISO test with the GX1. It will be easier for you to compare the Olympus E-M5 RAW quality. A couple of days ago I asked you if you were happy with the JPEG quality of the E-M5 but many of you answered that you have to see more full size and RAW pics before to give a final voting.

I am going to start a new Poll. As usual take time before to vote:

You have seen the RAW image quality of the E-M5: What do you think?

View Results

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Full Updated Preorder list:
1) Black E-M5 body at
Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), BHphoto (Click here), Warehouse UK (Click here), Redcoon Germany (Click here) and Amazon Japan (Click here).
2) Silver E-M5 body at
Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), BHphoto (Click here), Warehouse UK (Click here), Redcoon Germany (Click here), and Amazon Japan (Click here).
3) Black E-M5 body with 14-42mm lens at
Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), BHphoto (Click here) and Amazon Japan (Click here).
4) Black E-M5 body with 12-50mm lens at
Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), BHphoto (Click here), Jessops (Click here), Redcoon Deutschland (Click here), Amazon Deutschland (Click here) and Amazon Japan (Click here).
5) Silver E-M5 body with 12-50mm lens at
Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), BHphoto (Click here), Jessops (Click here), Amazon Deutschland (Click here) and Amazon Japan (Click here).
6) FL-600R wireless flash at
Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here) and BHphoto (Click here).
7) MMF-3 Four Thirds adapter at
Amazon (Click here) and Adorama (Click here).
8.) HLD-6 power battery holder at
Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here) and Amazon Japan (Click here).


  • Definitely too much smoothing in these JPEG for my taste.

    BTW, does a software that can read these RAW files exist already?

    • OK finally managed to open RAWs using Raw Photo Processor (thanks WT21!), and results are great, 3200 ISO is impressive and 6400 looks to be useable for small prints. Only colors get a bit off when sensibility increase, quite normal and recoverable. Quite impressive. I just hope they’ll improve the JPEG rendering with final release, but I’m quite confident with Olympus :)

      As a side note, is there a way to change my vote? :x

      • admin

        Yep! I can change it. Let me know how you wnat it now :)

        • Amazing, of course! :)

          • admin

            I changed the vote …but you will still see in bold your first vote (don’t know how to change this).

    • holzstock

      RawTherapee 4.0.x can open these files without problems.

      • For the records, xnConvert Mac (which is free and available in the App Store), can also open and convert these raws to PNG. I confirm the excellent results so far.

      • MJr

        Looking great in general, tho still noisy shadows as always with m43.

        • at low isos is see minor amount of shadow noise only (in comparison with my E-P2 or GXR)

    • Jekins

      Olympus Viewer 2.0
      For fast see:
      Fast Picture Viewer

      • GreyOwl

        + Picassa

    • One word: wow! I’ve just developped the files with Olympus Viewer (NR set to minímum) – plenty of detail upto ISO 6400 and hardly any noise.

    • bilgy_no1

      My judgement after a quick look at jpeg results is ‘Promising’. There seems to be some strong processing going on, but you have to enlarge a lot to see it. And we have more pixels with this camera, so there’s a downsizing advantage too.

      Me Like It so far!

    • Gabriel

      You can open the file with RawTherapee 4 or FastStone 4.6
      There is noise in shadow at 400 iso and 100% view, but on more reasonable size, it’s almost invisible. 6400 looks good too.

  • Frederic Hew

    How do you open those RAW files? Lightroom 3.6 does not support them.

    • Duarte Bruno

      Fast Stone viewer loads them without breaking any sweat. Don’t forget in it’s settings to set RAW to be fully loaded (instead of the embedded JPEG preview).

      • MJr

        Or don’t, and press ‘A’ to load fully only when necessary.

  • Leu

    It would be great if I could open these with PS5, Preview, or camera raw but alas, nada. Doesn’t look as phenomenal as oly tried to make it sound.

  • WT21

    Neither LR3 or 4 opens them. I hear RAW Therapee does usually.

  • WT21

    Raw Photo Processor will open them.

    • Thanks!

    • Thanks as well.
      Was also looking for a OS X Raw ‘Opener’ when Preview, Photoshop and everything else failed.

  • That 12-50mm, albeit slow, has a nice smooth bokeh.

  • WT21

    I think they are much better at higher ISO in terms of noise. Looking at sample #15, ,at ISO 6400 (this looks like a hotel lobby with a lot of black), it looks useable in smaller sizes. The noise looks controllable. A lot more than i can say about current Oly high ISO. (I don’t have a Panny to compare, so I am only comparing to my experience with Oly)

  • kokotis

    fantastic performance! iso6400 and 12800 are both usable. I think that this is not the G3/GX1 sensor…

    • Vdaffyduck

      I also think it’s incredible! OK, it IS smoothed, but nearly no colour noise up to 3200 and also 6400 looks ok. My pen E-P2 was much worse at 1600!!!! But: 25600 is only a marketing gag.

      • Me

        > But: 25600 is only a marketing gag.

        No, it isn’t. Look at the last picture, which is ISO 25600. Even that is perfectly usable for small prints (with some PP, of course). I’m very impressed by the performance.

        • Yea, 25,600 is good enough for images on the internet :D

          • MJr

            Or nighttime video :D

  • Interesting, but unfortunately still not the final firmware…

    • Ross

      You’re not suggesting the final firmware wouldn’t be as good, are you?

      • No, no, no, I expect that the pics will be better with the final firmware :-) And I think I can preorder my E-M5 now :-)

        • Ross

          I would like to pre-order, but it will have to wait & maybe another model will come out before I can buy again.

  • Better than I hoped. In noise terms it seems D700 territory. I’d be happy to use ISO5000, which is way beyond my needs.

  • The Olympus Viewer seems to work. That said – remember, it’s still prerelease firmware, so I’ll wait with making up my mind :)

    • WT21

      Does Oly Master open the RAW or the embedded jpg? Because when I view the file 1:1 in Oly Master, it’s got jaggies like it’s low res, blown up too much.

  • Duarte Bruno

    ISO 1600 looks promising…

    • Duarte Bruno

      There is something very unusual going on.
      There is a massive amount of noise when you go from ISO3200 to ISO6400. I’d almost swear that there is NR going on ON RAW at ISO1600 & ISO3200.

      Having said that ISO3200 is AMAZING. This looks like the IQ is way above G3/X1 or even GH2.

      On another note: RIP anti-alias filter.

  • WT21

    Many of these pics are good tests for the blacks, something, IMO, Oly has struggled with. The noise is very uniform, and is more grain like in High ISO with less Chroma noise. But none of these pictures unfortunately really stress DR. Still, if the new camera gives us blacker blacks, that’s a big step in the right direction for Oly.

    • Agent00soul

      If you get blacker blacks, it means that the DR is LOWER.

      • WT21

        I guess I mean less noise in the shadows. Purer blacks. Any rate, would love to hear other’s input on the same. I’m not the best judge of DR

  • Sweet! Now to find software to open the images…

    • Not sure if what I am viewing is the raw or embedded Jpg, but managed to open them in the Olympus Viewer. Even if they are Jpegs, the noise control looks pretty good to me, even at ISO5000. The portrait shot of the guy in the rain is ISO2500, and looks reasonable, but somewhat muddy/smoothed when viewed at 100%. I wonder if that’s the result of Jpg compression?

      • Wait, I’ve found it now! Olympus Viewer > Filter > Raw Development > Noise Filter > Off.

        • Well, it’s tricky to judge the images as there are no consistent shots of the same image showing the drop in quality. The shots in the hotel seem to be slightly out of focus or something, because even when turning off noise reduction, the flowers seem smudged. Overall though, I’m pleased with the performance into the 3200-6400 range, especially in the better lit photos like the guy in the suit and the macrons. No good high ISO photos sharp across the range to judge shadow noise though.

          • WT21

            View 1:1 in Oly Master. If you see jaggies, then you are looking at the embedded jpg.

            • In Olympus Viewer, I zoom in to each image full size. Some of the higher ISO images look a little smushed, but turning off the noise filter shows fine grain, so I’m assuming this is the Raw file. No jaggies I can see.

              • Okay, apparently even with the noise filter off I’m still looking at the Jpg. Am downloading Raw Therapee to try.

                • There’s definitely a much finer grain and more detail in the raws. Having downloaded Raw Photo Processor and checked, it seems the Olympus Viewer software is showing the Jpegs, even with the noise filter off. I’m very impressed with these pictures and the room for exposure compensation. I just wish I could change my vote above from ‘slight improvement’ to ‘amazing’ :D.

                  • That makes sense about Viewer. They usually have to release a new update before a new camera is supported.

  • DR

    Ok, so there are already 60 votes, 30 of which claim ‘Amazing’, and about 75% claim better than G3/GX1 or ‘Amazing’ yet any popular Raw software cannot 0pen the files?

    Something is Amazing, but it might not be the contents of the files just yet…

    Someone post some actual processed files without messing the NR…

    • nobody

      “Someone post some actual processed files without messing the NR…”

      Yes, please! Pretty, pretty please!

    • Rchard

      You can use the latest version of Olympus viewer 2 to open them.

      • WT21

        I believe you only see the embedded jpg. Go to 1:1, and you’ll see the pic resolution is really low, meaning you are viewing the jpg, not the RAW data, unless someone can correct me on that.

        • Rchard

          Yes, you are right, sorry.

          • No, Oly Viewer processes these allright. It’s just slow to zoom to 1:1 ;-)

        • Tried clicking that, but I didn’t see a change in image quality.

    • Duarte Bruno

      Faststone viewer.

  • kokotis

    raw therapee opens those raw files, very interesting results…

    • WT21

      RPP, too.

  • gzo

    Well, not bad at all!

  • compositor20

    they are amazing they stress black… with lightroom 4 they would get rid of colour noise (only at 25600 there is no color saturation and that means iso 6400 would be really like today iso 6400 in e-p3)but with better DR… look how grey tones have small grain and not coarse big grain which is an indication of less than 8 stops of DR usually… This must be Toshiba (FUJI) sensor of x10 because that sensor if scaled would have 9 stops at iso 3200 (good for pro-like results ) and 8 stops at 6400, 7 stops at 12800 and 6 stops at 25600… In an emerggency even 12800 could be used

    • WT21

      Sorry, not following. Could you re-state? Your conclusion sounds informative, but my little brain needs a bit more explanation :)

  • rds

    How can you say these are better than G3/GX1 based on smooth/oily JPEGs? You can’t.

    Seeing as Olympus have historically had a better JPEG engine with better resolution, colour, etc, you would expect to notice a difference but these images have excessive noise reduction – look at the flowers in the high ISO shots…

    • Agent00soul

      If it’s a raw file, you should be able to set the amount of noise reduction in the raw developer program.

  • Olympast

    Looks like Pany G3 images.

    • narutogrey

      I have a G3 and the raw files look different…especially the blacks. At the.very least, the chip processing to output the raw file is different even if the sensor might be the same as the g3.

  • Boooo!

    If a software can open raw files, that means they’re from an existing sensor.

    • Atle

      Does it? Wouldn’t it just mean the raw-file follows the same standard as before for storing information?

    • Duarte Bruno

      Not even close. All it means is that the files are using a known format/compression schema.

    • CRB

      I´ve opened them easily on raw therapee, with no color problem at all…

  • WT21

    Files sizes are pretty small — 14MB for low ISO shots (up to 18-19MB for the high ISO, noisy shots). I believe that means it’s still got pretty standard/low bit rate color, correct?

    • Agent00soul

      It’s lossless compression of the raw files. Bitrate does not apply.

  • CRB

    Maybe its the new lens, but the files are not sharp…noise seems well controled (not amazing), but the G1x images i downloaded from photographyblog are much sharper than this 12-50mm lens….

  • MP

    Olympus Viewer can open the files. Just remember to press the yellow triangle below the image to view the files in full resolution when you are viewing them at 100%.

    • Clicked that – no change at all.

  • Robert from OZ

    I know you guys are dissecting the ins and outs of the sensor, iso noise and depth of colour etc but your not discussing the really important issue of the Focus Numerique article.

    I mean seriously Admin!! where is the voting for how SMOKING HOT the model is in the RAW pics ;) :D

    • napalm


      • Robert from OZ

        I am sure she still look as hot with smooth edges at iso 10000 napalm ;)

        • napalm

          She’s fine in any ISO, imo :D

    • Hey Robert. You REALLY like the guy in the bow tie THAT much? ;)

      • Rob of OZ

        Bow ties are cool, so says Dr Who :P

    • Brad H.

      Goddamn randy Australian!

      Disclosure: I am one too.

      Looking really good. Haven’t compared side-to-side but 3200 would probably best anything at 1600 shot from my GXR A12. Jeez, I wonder what an Olympus Pro m4/3 holds for us?

      As an aside, could anybody compare output/noise ratio to something favourable in the Canon/Nikon arsenal they know best? I don’t deal with digital unless it’s mirrorless slash rangefinder.

  • napalm

    ISO12800 seems usable. noise is acceptable, color mostly retained. A bit mushy, but should still produce decent prints.

    It ISO12800 looks like ISO800 of my Ixus 300HS, maybe even better

  • For me, the RAWs look like they have been de-noised by the camera. The look very smooth, with a lack of details.

    • You can turn off the noise filter when in the develop raw mode of olympus viewer

      • gzo

        Nope, in Olympus Viewer you can’t turn off NR completely. Even if you set it to “OFF”, a weak NR will be applied (it is the same for e.g. E-P3.) Use Raw Therapee or something similar to see the original images.

        • Righty. Downloading RT now then.

    • OK, opened it with Raw Therapee and now have seen the real RAWs: not to bad, not to good, but for 16MP OK.

  • Bragi

    Right, I’m getting pretty good results from Raw Photo Processor 64. Looking at the 3200ISO and 6400ISO samples from the hotel lobby, I’m pretty impressed – even 12800ISO is usable, but I would’ve left it there. 25600ISO is an absolute emergency setting in my opinion. Anyways, I’ve been doing fine with a max setting of 3200ISO on my 5D mkI, so I think I can get over not shooting at 320000ISO yet. :-)

  • There is a typo on the vote question ahve instead of have.

    • admin


  • Abacus

    Comparing the RAWs to a GX1 it seems that the EM-5 at 1600 is as good as the GX1 at 800. But the EM-5 has no ISO 100. Maybe Olympus simply added 1 stop to the ISO numbers for marketing reasons?

  • I know this discussion is all about high ISO noise, but since it’s clearly not an issue with the E-M5 I would like to discuss another observation: colour signature.
    The colours in the samples that begin to emerge are different from the ones I’m used to see from the PENs. They seem more subtle, “mature” if you like, with Kodachrome-like characteristics. Greens and blues are especially deep and well contained. Of all Olympus cameras I had the pleasure to own, the colour signature resembles that of the E-3.

    I promised myself “no new camera in 2012”, but I’m not sure I will be able to resist this rich, dark goodness for long.

    • Robert from Oz

      Well they say dark chocolate is good for you, why dark cameras ;)

  • david

    From looking at the RAW histogram, it appears that ISO3200 is a real ISO, and 6400 is a digital scaling.

    I don’t know about the GX1 et al., but that definitely makes it different from the GH2.

    • david

      Guesstimating from the histogram, the read noise at ISO 3200 is about 9.x ADU, and the available signal range is about (4096-270 (offset)), so a dynamic range (DxO-style) of around 8-8.5 EV at that ISO. That would be about the same or slightly better than the GX1/G3, and much better than the older sensor.

      Real dark frames are of course needed to tell anything for sure.

      • david

        Same sort of guesstimation from an ISO 200 file gives about 11.something-12 bits of DR. That would be a huge improvement over the old sensor and probably better than any other current 4/3 sensor. I don’t really trust my calculations, but I will be very interested to see what DxO says in controlled tests.

  • So sounds like high ISO is good. What about 200 ISO? How’s the DR and shadow noise?

  • Stimmer

    These look great. Only a real fussy pants could complain about a four thirds sized sensor producing results like this. Amazing is the word I would use, especially living through all iterations of the four thirds sensor.

  • andy

    put that sensor on an EP3 body and im sold

  • Agent00soul

    Too bad you still can’t use the live histogram and level gauge simultaneously. Reading through the manual, I find this very disappointing. Also, the AF points still look too large for thin DOF work.

  • using Raw Therapee with everything set at neutral:
    I checked the 200,400 and 640 iso shots first as thats where i mostly am.
    As I pushed the exposure to +2, its amazing to see how clean the shadow areas stay, almost as good as i pushed the iso 80 files from my kodak dcs 760. Even the raw headroom has become better now (almost being able to recover data at +/-2 stops it seems)
    The high iso samples are impressive.
    one word: amazing!

    • WT21

      I just did some experiments pushing up the EV too. Much better than my current EPM1 in these limited tests. Definitely interesting now.

    • aaa

      Thanks. It sounds really good. Maybe it’s time for me to change a camera at last. :)

  • John

    Seems to me one of the best, if not the best, MicroFourThirds RAW out there. The noise is really fine grain. And lots of detail. A think this camera will be a huge hit.

  • Andy Elliott

    Amazing quality – bring on an E-7 with this sensor and processing engine!

  • Melvin

    IQ looks very good. The sensor is much better than E-5.
    One dissapointment: no way to plug in a rode mic. Okee, you can do this with the sema-1, but this uses the flash shoe so no possibility to set the mic on the camera.

    Question: did you read the manual?
    I could not find the framerates in movie mode with the exception of 30fps and 60i. No 25, 50, 60 fps available?

  • Drazick

    Went over the manual, Couldn’t see any mention of Intervalometer / Time Lapse mode.

    I guess DPReview was wrong, Too Bad!

    Moreover, the bracketing mode is wrong again (I want option to initiate the whole process by one press).

    • WT21

      You can trick Olys into time lapse by using the anti-shock + timer combo.

    • Hendrik

      When bracketing, set the camera to continues shooting and you will get all bracketed frames with one shutter button press! What bugs me is that the AE bracketing range is again so small.

      Too bad they time lapse function seems to be wrong info.

      Therefore it seems you can do 3D images with any lens now (see manual page 61).

      Does anybody know if it will have an orientation sensor? I would guess so, but couldn’t find this info anywhere.

    • When bracketing, set the camera to continues shooting and you will get all bracketed frames with one press of the shutter button! What bugs me is that the AE bracketing range is again so small.

      Too bad the info about a time lapse function seems to be wrong :-(.

      Therefore it seems you can do 3D images with any lens now (see manual page 61).

      Does anybody know if it will have an orientation sensor? I would guess so, but couldn’t find this info anywhere.

    • The interesting feature wasn’t time-lapse, its the ability to see a bulb exposures in real time.

      • Mr. Reeee

        That’s the feature that jumps out for me. It’s a pain to shoot really long exposures and have no idea what it will look like, even with Constant Preview, etc.. It would be great to be able to hit STOP, when it looks right! Just like baking cookies! ;-)

      • @Archer Sully
        agreed :D and anyway no timelapse and 2 custom white balances was a typo/error by dpreview

      • Drazick

        It’s not what I meant.
        Because I’d like to initiate the bracketing by using 2Sec delay.
        It has to be one press (and release) to get them all as fast as the camera can.

        I wish it had an intervalometer.

        Those 2 features are so easy to implement.

  • Miroslav

    Don’t have time for RAW, but having compared high ISO samples of the restaurant entrance, I’m more than satisfied. I’d safely use ISO 1600, ISO 3200 in low light situations with moving subjects, even ISO 6400 as an emergency. Bravo Olympus, the image quality is amazing! Don’t need anything more from a digital camera sensor. Now, put that sensor in a more conventional and more affordable body that looks like G3 or NEX-7.

    my two dinars :)

  • Melvin

    First price drop E-M5 body.
    EU price is set at 999,99 euro’s. First announced price was a bit higher approx 1100 euro’s. So this is good news.

  • 4B12BRO

    AE Bracketing is only accessible via menu… no shortcut buttons like on the E-30 and E-5 and it can’t be assigned to the Fn or REC buttons. Im in no rush to buy a new camera, I’ll wait for the pro OM-D

  • hannes

    noise performance looks good, judging from the jpegs

    but the skin texture at low iso is quite smeared and also the skin tones don’t look like olympus at its best. let’s see.

    • Me

      They probably used the portrait scene mode, which shall smear skin tones..?

    • Then we do not get the grip included like UK.

  • Charlie

    Ha ….. PS & LR rendered useless here. :D

  • I may be imagining it… but to me… the way the noise is spread it looks like a Fuji sensor.
    But then again… I am no expert.

  • Slight O/T.

    Number of comments on is above 1000 for the DPR’s preview of the E-M5.

    Sold GH2s and canceled NEX-7 preorders, free hugs and fluffy bunnies, it is all there.

    • Duarte Bruno

      Yes, I’ve noticed that too. This camera ticks a lot of boxes.
      Yet I won’t sell my GH2, it’s still too much of a Frankenstein for video.

    • narutogrey

      I agree, the noise characteristic is similar to the x100, although is defibately isn’t the x100 sensor.

  • Arny

    Bah…high ISO performance is the cancer of the modern Photography…Why people need clean images at 32006400 iso?!? We have a lot of fixed lens at 1.4 1.8 etc…etc…and the SUN…imho Photography is light and in abscence of a “good” light images are horrible.

    • hlbt

      Just spend an hour in a park and take pictures of a pet dog or a casual jogger. You’ll most likely end up retracting the “cancer” statement.

  • MacroFan

    This is perfect to go along along with my D800 :)

  • ljmac

    This still isn’t the final firmware, so we can expect the production cameras to be even better.

    Anybody else find these files painfully slow to render in Oly Viewer? I hope this is fixed in the Viewer version that supports the E-M5, and isn’t just because of the higher resolution.

    • Me too. Thought it was my computer, but perhaps not. Try looking at the images in a proper raw program. The Oly software only sees the Jpegs, and although they look good, I’m pleased to say the pictures have even more detail when viewed in a raw converter :).

  • Bob B.

    zzzzzz…..let me know when the Lightroom update is announced.

  • marilyn

    OMG… ISO 6400 is very usable…. the only problem i see is the picture is a little soft… to my opinion its the same with Xz-1 camera… my guess is the one who manufacture the sensor of XZ-1… is also the one who made the OMD sensor… for sure

    • Anonymous

      Well, the hotel lobby pictures are made with the 12-50 wide open @ 12 mm; and I do not believe that it is a “reference” lens under these circumstances. It is also possible that the raws are somehow “cooked”.

  • Jason

    Images look good, I cannot wait to see the results with a real lens attached. The 12-50mm is not very good.

  • Be careful: RawTheraPee is good, but I have always gotten better results from Olympus Viewer when I do shoot RAW.

  • Stefan


    I´m starting to wonder if this hype is made by Olympus themselves? And how relevant can imagefiles be when the camera operates on Beta-level? Why not relax a bit and wait for the releaseversion of the cameras firmware. There is a reason why sites like and sometimes write their reviews a bit late in the consumers opinion. They simply want to review the finished product.
    Look at their panasonic GX1-review. In a preview the high-ISO noise looked exactly like that from the G3, in the review however there is an improvement in GX1s favour after the camera got it´s final firmware. Patience fellows…

    • If the images are looking this good now, I have little doubt they will look slightly better when the firmware is officially finished :D.

  • tiktok

    Panasonic and Olympus sit down for a meeting:

    Look, its in both our interests to expand the user base of M43. Competition is starting to hot up in the mirrorless arena. What shall we do ? We should go upmarket and weatherseal etc.

    Olympus: Then Give us your latest sensor for our new OM-D ?

    Panasonic: OK. We will give it to you. You get a 6 month head start, BUT we cripple the video and multi aspect. Then we release the GH3 uncrippled after 6 months ?

    Olympus: OK deal.

  • I did some comparison with my G3 files and the EM5 files: Difficult to compare, but in similar lighting condidions the resolution/sharpness/detail is NOT better than G3. That may be because the 12-50 lens is average. I used 12mm, 25mm, 45mm all significantly better than the kit zoom. So I would estimate the EM5 quality is the same as G3/GX1.
    Also viewing Fuji x-pro files(jpg) in the same viewer, these come out on top.
    Did not check high ISO – not that interesting for me

  • vromopodarix

    Hmmm ISO 6400 looks like 12800 on the 7D which for me is very usable :)

    That is too bad because I had just decided that I cannot afford it, now I must start saving.

  • George

    to all idiots who voted for “image quality is amazing”
    are you guys retards??

    I guess seeing m4/3 images everyday you really forgot what is amazing image quality

    Look at the bathroom photos @ISO3200
    It is like waterbrushed photo, how could someone can not see this ?

    keep getting milked cash cows.

    • Steve

      People are really going to listen to what you have to say when you call them “retards”.

      Try being civil for a change.

    • napalm

      when they voted for Amazing, i believe they are referencing m4/3 quality. of course compared to FF they dont come close. but these look pretty ‘amazing’ compared to previous m4/3 samples

    • AG

      You forgot about the m4/3 advantages in size and weight. Many people on this forum have Canon and Nikon systems, so I don’t think their excitement over the E-M5 is “retarded”.

      Perhaps we should talk about why the Eos 60D has better high ISO images than the 7D when it is lower grade camera.

    • Stu5

      That is because you have just described what the JPEG file looks like which has loads of noise reduction. Try downloading the Raw file and opening it up with Raw Photo Processor (free program)

    • Vivek

      I am glad you did not call them Pentax Q users! LOL!

  • pdc

    I’m impressed. Using Cyberlink PhotoDirector to view the ORFs at full resolution. For stills, this camera should satisfy most requirements.

  • Low Budget Dave

    Whenever I see a camera company showing off their new sensor by presenting B&W photos, I always wonder how much chroma noise they are covering up.

  • Fotografico

    To me image quality at high iso is almost identically to the GX1/G3…:(
    To my mind 1K is way to much.

    • Digifan

      Well then, buy the plasic camera and be done with it.
      I said it before the E-M5 is much different from G3/GX1 even if the sensor would be the same, its better then the Pana’s. Build, features and IQ together justify the €999,99 price of the body!

  • bai

    Can someone tell me if the EM5 IQ is better or worse than fuji x100 at high iso 3200 and 6400 (what I currently own). I dont have a trained eye like you guys but still like to get the info as a relative comparison

    • Ru Elpser

      Nope, fuji is another league

  • Claudio

    To each its own, but IMO, IQ is not there. The camera is beautiful from a design POV, no doubt, unfortunately, the IQ is not what I would expect at that price point. When you think rationally about it, a full OM-D system, with say 3 prime lenses (m.zuiko 12 & 45mm + PanLeica 25mm and a kit lens) is about $3K. A comparable Fuji X-Pro 1 system with three prime lenses (18, 35 & 60mm) is about $3.5K and the Fuji can produce substantially better IQ than this OM-D.

    IMO, MFTs still need some more R&D and maturing time to even come close to DSLR IQ. For now I will stick with my great D5000 (albeit big and at times heavy). Entry level Nikon and Canon DSLRs offer substantially better IQ at reasonable prices and a fraction of the cost of this Oly, specially now with new models coming out, D3100, D5100 and even D7000 (if you can find one) prices should drop further. Heck, a new D3100 with a kit lens sells for about $500 and has far superior IQ than this beautiful looking OM-D! And also, consider that Nikkor prime DX lenses go for about $200. I would even favor the new ugly Pentax K-01 or the new Canon G1X over this OM-D. To me it’s all about IQ, the rest is all fluff. Just my 2¢.

    • Catalin

      I see a great IQ in those pictures. I am sure the sensor is made by Sony and then tweaked by Olympus. There is also great dynamic range not found in the GX1 samples. This immediately screams “Sony”. Those images rival the NEX 5n at high ISO, which is saying a lot !

      Imagine what this sensor is capable of with fast prime lenses…

      • david

        The low part of the RAW histogram in one of the ISO 200 pictures seems visually pretty tight (maybe only ~1 ADU read noise). That would give a DxO-style DR pushing 12 bits at base ISO, which would be pretty impressive.

    • Jason

      With MFT you are paying a premium not to lug a massive Nikon or Canon DSLR. And if you are going to carry a gargantuan DSLR, you might as well step up to a full frame.

      • Claudio

        Agree, but really, how much smaller and lighter is an OM-D with a kit lens compared to say a D3100 with a kit lens? Check this out:,289

        • As someone who ditched his APS-C kit for MFT, the difference in bulk and weight is huge. I can fit my entire MFT kit (4 lenses) in a bag that’s smaller than 550D + L zoom. There’s no turning back for someone who travels a lot, or rides a motorcycle.

          • Claudio

            Yep, exactly the reasons why I am looking at alternatives from a size/weight perspective without sacrificing IQ. For now though, given prices and IQ samples I have seen thus far, I am disappointed at the OM-D and favor the Fuji X-Pro 1. I am willing to pay a prime for smaller and lighter gear but with IQ at least comparable to APS-C.

            • BLI

              But then you have already decided against the m43 at the outset! Due to the larger sensor and physics, m43 sensor can only approach that of APS-C asymptotically. But why are you then even interested in 43rumors???

              • Claudio

                I have not ruled out MFTS yet. As I said, I am looking at alternatives and was hopeful that this beautiful OM-D would somehow match APS-C IQ. Unfortunately, so far it hasn’t happened but I’ll keep waiting for serious and complete reviews to emerge before I make my final decision.

                • MFTs will never reach APS-C IQ. But a more valid question is whether the small difference in IQ matters, and whether it’s worth the (rather significant) compromises one has to take with other systems on size, bulk, lens selection and overall flexibility. For pixel peepers MFT<APS-C<FF<MFDB, but for those who take pictures it gets more complicated.

            • krugorg

              The E-M5 is larger than I would like, but the X-Pro 1 is a monster. It really isn’t all that much different than a K5 in size. What’s the point, other than having a Leica-look-alike?

          • disco

            this -> Nikon D3100 is 79% (33.1 mm) thicker than Olympus OM-D E-M5.

            • Claudio

              The D3100 is bigger, no doubt and when said in % sounds like a lot, i.e. huge 79%… but alternatively I could say:

              Nikon D3100 is 2% (3 mm) wider and 7% (6.4 mm) taller than Olympus OM-D E-M5, or Nikon D3100 [505 g] weighs 105 grams more than Olympus OM-D E-M5 [400 g].

              • Jason

                Having used both DSLR and rangefinder digital cameras, I can honestly say the MFT system is far, far smaller than any DLSR including the Oly FT DSLRS. The lightness makes a world of difference for me.

                I use only primes, so the kit lens does not even matter, but even then, the kit lenses are very small.

                I was carrying around the FL-36R for a while and even being a small flash, relative to the ones that take 4 AA batteries – FL-50, it is way too big for the MFT cameras and lenses, which are just so much smaller. On a DSLR the flash was ok, but I’m just tired of it now. This is why I ordered the FL-300R the other day, it bounces and is a fraction of the size of the FL-36R -very comparable to the difference of the typical DSLR to MFT. Except, while the flash is probably slower, the MFT cameras are actually quite fast.

                I have the OM-D on pre-order from B&H and will pair it with my 50 mm macro, and will probably keep my EPL-2 with the 20 mm attached. (May also get the new 17.5 mm Cosina as I’ve really become fascinated with manually focusing all of my lenses – the results are much more memorable.)

                The Fuji X-Pro1 may seem like the best camera, but remember it is nearly twice the price (body only) and is quite a bit larger and heavier (which to me is the whole point of these cameras, if not just get a full-frame), and Fuji does not have the lens repertoire that MFT does.

              • Vlad

                This kind of measurements are pointless. Why not look at the volume of the camera, which will show you how much space it actually takes? The D3100 is twice as big as the E5, while having less controls and a fixed screen. Also, 100 grams less just for the body is a big deal.

              • Stu5

                Claudio to really compare the two formats you need to take photos with both systems yourself and not just look at samples on a website. Reality is if you take a photo with say a EPL-1 with a decent lens on it at 200 iso and compare it with a D5000 or a D90 which I have done, the EPL-1 will show more fine detail because of the weaker AA filter.

                You start cropping a photo to say fit onto a 10×8 piece of paper and most of the benefits you think you have with the Nikon sized sensor have just been cropped off. The difference at this point is much smaller and from there it is all down to how good the lens is, how weak the AA filter is and how good the photographer is at making sure the photo is correctly focused, exposed and held still enough to stop visible camera shake in the photo.

                There are quite a few pro photographers out there using 43 and if you were looking a print unless you were told you would not have a clue if the were shot on a 43 camera or a D7000.

                It’s only at high iso where there is a difference and that advantage can go straight out the window if the photographer does not get everything right. How large that difference is now with this new camera is hard to tell until we see more Raw samples but going by these Raw samples when you open them up in Raw Photo Processor Olympus have made quite a jump forward. The Jpeg file sample have a huge amount of noise reduction going on and don’t show what the camera is capable of. Also at the moment these samples are not taken with a top end lens.

                • Claudio

                  Great comments Stu5, you obviously know your stuff! Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience about some aspects that we normally tend to overlook, much appreciated.

                  I agree that we should relax a bit and take the image samples that are surfacing with a grain of salt.


              • So what? It’s the size of the SYSTEM that matters. NEX cameras are smaller, but with EQUIVALENT FOCAL LENGTH lenses they are significantly bigger and heavier than MFT. No pancakes, either. It’s even worse with APS-C and the Fuji.

        • Swejk

          waste of time

          • krugorg

            I would rather not have the pyramid, but I think it makes the height misleading… look at the camera versus the xpro1. It will take up much less room in a bag and same goes with the 3100.

          • Claudio

            Thanks Jason for your kind and detailed reply and sharing your experience.

            Re: Kit lens, I agree with you, not my interest either, however, for those that are thinking about getting the kit lens, I just wanted to point out that, based on what I have seen, it’ s not a “small” lens. An option, the LUMIX G X VARIO PZ 14-42mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH appears to have some serious issues according to dpreview’s on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 (you can read it here

            I agree with your other points and if Oly turns out it can produce “decent” IQ it will be a serious contender. The 50mm combo you mention would be about $1,500 for the Oly vs. $2,300 for the Fuji, a substantial difference if money is an issue. But if you plan on getting all three Fuji primes and similar on the Oly side that difference shrinks to about $500 ($3000 for Oly vs. $3,500 for Fuji).

            Size and weight are, in my books, serious considerations, but within reason, second to IQ ( The weight difference between Fuji X-Pro and OM-D is negligible (only about 50 gms.) and size is so minor that I am not too concerned.

            • Jason

              @Claudio, understandable that you want the Fuji, it is a better looking camera I think and the very professional layout is nice too.

              I will probably always be biased towards Olympus because of the 50 mm macro, the colors, jpegs and built-in IS – all things that really help me produce great close-ups with quick turnaround time. Yes, some of my images are published in magazines, but mostly I post to the web so jpegs and a slightly smaller sensor do not bother me…

              As I said above, I only use primes, and this really makes a big difference and IMHO more than makes up for any weaknesses in the sensor department. I actually like the grain the the EPL-2 produces at ISO 1600 (which is why I’m keeping it). That said, it appears the OM-D has seriously improved its ISO range and I think can produce the same quality as the EPL-2’s ISO 200- 400 at its ISO 800-1600. I could be a little off, but the new ISO range is a big improvement and the 5 axis- stability sounds like it will make my macro shooting even better….

              If I didn’t have to shoot macro, I would strongly consider investing in a D800 or Fuji XPro1.

              • Claudio

                Thanks Jason. Again you bring up some very good points to consider. Dollar for dollar and features I this point, despite the fact that the OM-D is very appealing, I am leaning towards the Fuji, but like I’ve said, I will definitely wait until better and more complete reviews are available as well as trusted opinions from knowledgeable folks like you share once they’ve had a chance to field test the OM-D.


            • Have you compared the size and weight of the lenses? Note that you are also making pretty big assumptions about IQ for an unproven and yet-to-be-released system to one established system with very good lenses which are already available in stores. Who knows how long it will take for Fuji lenses to come in stock.

            • Test

              You have to take the weight of the lenses in consideration too. Mft has really small and light lenses. the bigger sensors calls for bigger lenses.

            • Neonart


              Heres some math: X1Pro with 3 primes is $3550. OMD with the 12, 25, & 45 at current Amazon prices is $2780.

              It’s a $770 price difference. You can get a 45-200, 17, and a flash for that much. Or a 100-300 and a 7.5mm fisheye. Or some photography classes.

              Now consider this. The wides are 2.0, the normals are 1.4, but on the 90s, the Fuji is f2.4 and the Oly is 1.8, and you get IS.

              Also consider you can get a “budget” kit with the OM-D with a Pany 14, 20, and the Oly 45 for $2040. Thats $260 LESS that an X1Pro and one lens! $1510 less than a X1Pro kit.

              So, it’s cool if you like the X1Pro. It’s great camera, but the price difference is not “only about $500”. It’s $770. And you have much more affordable options with the OM-D that make the difference “only about $1500”.

              • Claudio

                Thanks for the math recap. I had already done it and stand by my numbers as of today based on mail order listed prices. But to clarify…

                If you get the OM-D body only and the m.zuiko 12mm and 45mm along with Pana/Leica 25mm primes, yes, the difference is about $700, but if you get the OM-D with the kit lens option the difference is about $500 (some folks might want the kit lens for what it is and/or to match the cams weather sealed feature; I personally think I would pass on the kit lens.)

    • The Real Stig

      You really don’t get it, do you?

    • nobody

      “IMO, MFTs still need some more R&D and maturing time to even come close to DSLR IQ.”

      Try to use dpreviews image quality comparison tool, and you’ll see that this claim is just nonsense. Up to ISO 800 at least you will see hardly any difference, if you compare e.g. the GH2 to the D7000. At the highest ISO values it’s a difference of 1 stop at most, and that’s it. Nothing earth-shattering!

      BTW, I use Nikon FX, DX, and m43, so I know what I’m talking about.

      • Claudio

        I have and also looked at DxO’s reviews. The APS-C IQ is far superior to any existing MFTs today. That is a fact.

        • nobody


          • Claudio

            I understand, it can be very frustrating and those DxO guys are so mean sometimes … ;)

            • krugorg

              Now that I go back and read all of your recent E-M5-related posts, it is clear that you are just bitter that the Oly has been so well received.

              • Claudio


            • nobody

              I think we’ll talk again once you have actually used the cameras you’re dreaming of :)

              • Claudio

                Hopefully a nice OM-D, perhaps this model or maybe a second or third generation.

                It is a beautiful camera though, no question about that and has many appealing features. But for now I hold my final decision on this OM-D as the jury is still out and I will wait for the serious reviews.


        • MFTs are comparable to APS-C cameras from a few years back. I and millions of others used APS-C cameras back then and had no problems creating beatiful images. Just because. Upgrade-itis is fun and all, but one has to prioritize – is that 1% more IQ worth missed images due to a bulky system left in the car?

          Also, DxO measures only some aspects of IQ. Sharpness is an important one they don’t. My E-PL1 with its weak AA filter produces better sharpness than 550D.

    • Vlad

      To each their own, for sure, but then why are you surprised about the price when you don’t take into account the features of each camera? They maybe fluff for you but they are there – dials, weather proofing, size, etc.
      If you just care about the sensor, buy a NEX5n.

      • Claudio

        Good point. In my case weather sealed is a big plus… but whether I like them or not, the other features are part of the offer and Oly needs to get paid… I still think the camera is overpriced though.

        It’s not only the sensor, I just use APS-C as a benchmark, although, undoubtedly a good sensor correlates very high to good IQ.

        NEX 5n? hmmm… somehow, the Sony’s just don’t appeal to me at all, despite all the technical hoopla. In that case I much rather go for a Leica X1 for instance.


  • MGuarini

    Dear friends, I’m on summer vacations (southern hemisphere) in a remote location in the Chilean Andes. My phone Internet bandwidth is close to 1 bit per second, when I get connection. I voted amazing based on the opinion of all the pessimist within you. I can’t believe what I’m hearing. Thanks for the discussion, text is the only thing I can see here.

    • Claudio

      Hola MGuarini. En que parte de la cordillera estas? Cualquier cosa en que te pueda ayudar no dudes en contactarme. Un abrazo por Chile. Chau!

  • > Merci Beaucoup Focus Numerique! Finally we can download the original RAW files form the new Olympus E-M5 (Click here to visit the site).

    Uhm… Hard to compare. The high ISO test images were made only in the high ISOs. Without the ISO 200 reference, there is nothing to compare them to.

    @Focus Numerique: very, very nice portraits!

    • david

      Looking at a couple of the ISO 200 images, the RAW histograms at around zero exposure have very tight histograms (maybe only around 1 ADU standard deviation). That would imply that Olympus really got their act together in the A/D conversion stage and that the DxO-style DR could be pushing 12 bits. That would be a huge improvement over the old sensor.

  • MGuarini

    A question, how looks the resolution at ISO 200? Is the AA filter weak?

  • The Real Stig

    Am I right in thinking these are 16 bit?

    • Jason


    • 16 bit is marketing – there’s no photographic portable camera outside of military (if even there) in existence which has 16 bits of valid data. This includes MFDBs worth as much as a BMW.

  • 43shot

    Not one comment on the manual? What is the difference between the two top HD modes?

    Full HD Fine
    59.94i *2

    Full HD Normal
    59.94i *2

    • Probably the bit rate. IIRC Fine would be 20Mbps, and Normal would be about 17 Mbps.

      For filming buffs (I’m not one), a High 30Mbps option would be very desirable (i.e., lots more detail in any moving picture).

      • I wonder if the hacking community will take any interest in the OM-D and expand video features, ie Panny GH2….

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