Next E-M5 versus GH3 image quality comparison via ePhotozine (and GF5 superdeal)


Short deal info: Newegg (Click here) has a limited offer where you can save $70 on the GF5 with 14-42mm kit (normal price at Amazon is $519)


It is the day of the comparisons and here is the next one. ePhotozine (Click here) posted the nest E-M5 versus GH3 image comparison. And for them it looks like the E-M5 has the edge when it comes to analyze the JPG (not RAW!) images: “Outdoors in the “Wide” shot, the Olympus shows warmer images, with the GH3 image looking cooler in comparison. In the “Street” image there is stronger colour saturation and contrast in the Olympus OM-D E-M5 image. In the final image of the kiwi fruit, the Olympus provides a sharper final image.

As you know Olympus always had the edge over Panasonic when it comes to JPG quality. But it will be interesting to see a real RAW comparison. I suppose both cameras are suing the same (Sony) sensor and quality will be almost identical. The real difference between the two cameras are the features, not the image quality.

GH3 preorders at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), Bhphoto (Click here)Panasonic US and in Europe at Wexphotographic UK and Technikdirekt. Shipments starts in mid December!

  • Ryan

    I think the GH3 is going to edge out the EM-5 in a couple of areas, in others the em-5 will excel.
    For one the em-5 has IBIS.
    The GH3 is going to win with anything that has to do with video(since that is what its supposed to do)
    The em-5 is smaller.
    the GH3 has a better grip and the buttons arent going to be little tiny things.
    The GH3 has a better swivel screen(imo, but i like screens like the GH3)
    I like the styling of the EM-5 better.
    The GH3 is likely to perform better with the 12-35 and 35-100 lenses.

    • Ryan

      oops i forgot a big one.

      The em-5 has IBIS with manual lenses in video….

      If the em-5 ever gets hacked and given the video stuff’s of the GH3, the i think the em-5 would be the better camera. Strictly due to the IBIS.

      • Wayne Wong

        if both cameras were hacked, GH3 video quality is still better than EM5

        • If both cameras are hacked with the same sensor, then the video quality would surely be the same?

          It depends on what settings the hack adds, but from a control point of view the GH3 should win as it’s geared for multiple modes and uses in video mode where the EM5 is quite basic. If they share the modes then I imagine the EM5 might take the cake because of the superior IBIS which will be good even on old cinema lenses that fetch a small fortune these days.

          • Cellardoor

            If the sensor is the same, if read out speed and quality is the same, and especially if the om-d processor and data management are the same speed as well as heat managment to handle processing the high bitrates then maybe: yes ;-P

      • joe

        i sure only GH2 can beat OM-D all mode in video.
        IBIS can help you footage ,but sensor and image processor for video just make special not still sensor.
        photographer or cinematographer ,please don,t talk in wrong way.

      • joe

        i never see oly in video forum,oly have no fine video sensor and never ever,
        but stupid oly fanboy still barf.

      • Heat Legend

        My GH3 has IBIS.. It’s called a Sachtler tripod….. If you are using IBIS for video (unless it’s home video) then you’re “doing t wrong”.

        • Anonymous

          I always though that the correct spelling of IBIS was G-I-T-Z-O.

  • tete

    I really wish that the sites would wait and post proper RAW files taken in fully controlled circumstances. Jpeg’s tell us very little even worse default Jpeg’s.

    • Well, it does tell us how their JPEG engines compare, but I think it is pretty well known that Olympus has a fairly well regarded JPEG engine and Panasonic’s has long been considered lackluster, at least in terms of color rendition. Olympus tends to be warm and vibrant, while Panasonic’s output tend to be cold and underexposed. I think this comparison just tells as not much has changed in that regard.

  • Andrew

    it is cool that olympus and panasonic have different focuses for m43 instead of directly competing for the same type of users. At least in their flagship models. It makes it very easy to decide based on your needs. The only thing I am super jealous about is that 5 axis IBIS for video, which is really very impressive.

  • Walter Freeman

    The E-M5 results by default seem oversharpened; I found “NF Off, Sharpness -2” to give more natural results.

    You really shouldn’t compare JPEG engines at their default settings. The E-M5 oversharpens by default, the E-510 smeared texture with NR, and so on … if you’re really out to compare JPEG detail, you should tune both JPEG engines to taste.

    • bart


      Your suggestion regarding NF and sharpening seem to apply to all Olympus m4/3 cameras.

      The actual meaning of the sharpening setting is also at least somewhat affected by the picture mode (and the same is true for contrast and saturation), so -2 isn’t always -2 :-)

    • André

      Sorry for this newbie question, but what means NF?

      • Noise Filter : it’s one of the options in the advanced menus.

    • pll

      Funny you should mention that. I was thinking the exact same thing, the mantra dating back to the E-510 days!

      E-520 is a notable exception btw (not E-620).

  • Jørgen

    JPEGs zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

  • Dave

    Admin, I really surely doubt that these cameras share the same sensor as you stated. Panasonic using a Sony sensor and not a Panasonic sensor, is illogical at best and will kill their sensor business at worst.

    • Jørgen

      No…not having an up to date sensor kills your sales. And it depends what the costs were. Fabricating an designing your own sensors is costly. If you have a finished very usable product from another brand, this could be much more cost effective.

    • realist

      panasonic wants to be king of m4/3. if that means using a sony sensor, then thats the price to pay. imagine if they used their own sensor, and everyone starts buying olympus. main reason why they haven’t come clean on who makes gh3 sensor. they will never admit its a sony, so they win anyway. its lesser of two evils.

  • Anonymous

    What is with all the deception about sensors? More importantly though, why would anyone want to give their money to a company that is trying to deceive them? Have we all lost our morals? Has it suddenly become OK to be dishonest about anything and everything? If you go to buy a computer and ask the seller what processors it has in it and he refuses to tell you, are you going to buy it?

    • Worthy Cause

      With computers it’s very easy to find out what the components are. Device manager or system properties screen in any OS can tell what the CPU is very easily. And there are many hardware analysing programs available that tell you a lot more who made the other internal components.

      With cameras, it is not possible for an ordinary consumer to know who the sensor maker is if it hasn’t already been confirmed. Only after professional testers find out do we know whose sensor it is.

      I think knowing who made the sensor is important. Like a computer, the CPU is the most important component: everything else depends on it. If you have a high quality and good benchmarked CPU, you can have confidence in it to perform the tasks you need it to; whether it’s simpler tasks or more demanding work. Same with digital camera sensors.

      I just don’t understand the angst in the digital camera world against knowing who the sensor maker is or the vitriol against benchmarks like DxO. It is the same concept as benchmarking CPUs and graphic cards in computing. It gives you an idea how a component you are considering or already own compares to current and previous tech. You can use the ranking tables and performance data to find the product that best suits your needs. Too much inferiority/superiority complex and fanboyism regarding sensor performance.

      With computers, it’s relatively easy to overclock CPUs and graphic cards to get better performance out of even budget lowly components. So inferiority complex can be “cancelled out”. If only that could be down with camera sensors. :)

      • Worthy Cause

        Correction last p., “If only that could be done with camera sensors.”

    • Anonymous

      Very few makers use own sensors and in general deceptions are common.

      Even Canon has used plenty of Sony sensors in their compacts so why don’t you attack them?
      And with their own sensors in DSLRs 650D has basically same noise performance as old 550D thanks to no advance. JPEGs are just more strongly NR’ed but Dpreview’s RAW comparison shows same performance.

      Or Nikon’s “sensor is our own” sensors… made by Sony.

    • RetiredDP

      Who cares who makes the sensor. Who cares if they tell us the sensor MFG or not. All that matters is…is the image better?

  • napalm

    There was an older comparison that showed E-M5 doing better from ISO3200 and higher. Too bad this only tested from 1600. I think nowadays, most sensors will produce similar IQ up to ISO1600, it will be more interesting to see the high ISO samples

    • Anonymous

      Not really, the gh3 jpg was very blotchy due to overly strong and bad noise reduction. You can compare the raws with raw therapee.

  • Paul Alexander

    I much Preferred the OMD images, they seemed crisper/sharper and the GH3 crushed some tones that the OMD separated out well. I HATE the GH3’s bias towards warm tones. I’ve seen that in almost every test published, Video & Still. I sure hope Panasonic cleans up this warm bias in the finished release.

    • joe

      don,t worry ,where is real GH3 ? hop it complete on December.

  • oluv

    what’s wrong with the street-picture on the E-M5? does the E-M5 have the same IBIS problems like E-PL-series? the image was taken with 1/125 which is exactly the shutter speed that caused IBIS blur on my E-PL3. i got much sharper images when i turned IBIS off.
    now the E-M5 seems to show the same problem again :(
    aren’t they able to finally handle this?

  • KI

    Sounds like my choice of E-M5 was safe then. Just waiting for firmware with focus peaking and 1080/24p.

    ….. and I must say; The IBIS is AMAZING!!! like … WOW!! tried with shaky hands and 135mm/2.8 …. no shake at all! You got to try it out!

  • Anonymous

    gh3 is so suck,so sad :)

  • QBNY

    Jpg comparisons make no sense, other than who’s built in software produces the better jpg. -I mean, really?? It so foolish to judge a camera by its Jpg output, UNLESS that’s all you shoot.

    I shoot RAW, where is the RAW comparison? Y’know, the stuff that really counts. I like to edit my own photos. I don’t need a camera to “judge” the color of a shot for me, just take the shot.

    These “So-called” pros that review cameras by shooting jpgs. Lazy journalism.

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