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The litte OM-D E-M5 that could


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#1 Airee

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 14:52

A non-scientific, but realistic comparison : three shots from the same place, but at different times and different lighting, with different gear. PP in Lightroom 4.2.
In the case of OM-D, I took the ORF file as it came from the camera (I do not know if it underwent any treatment such as denoising or sharpening). In the case of D800, I took the RAW files. All files were processed to look pleasant, but (given the different outside conditions) the color balance is different.

All were then converted to jpeg. The D800 jpegs had to be downsampled to the OM-D pixel size, in order not to exceed the 10MB per file forum limit. This yields 4608*3456. I had to compress the 45mm file even further, however not changing the resolution (11MB instead of 9.5 with the 55mm). Note: upon upload the resolution gets down to 1200*1600. Duh.

The D800 was mounted with
  • a 55/2.8 micro Nikkor @ f/5.6 and 1/80s, 3200 ISO
  • a PCE-45 @ f/4.5 and 1/50s, 1600 ISO
All shots were handheld. As usual, I would take a series and keep the best ones (easily 50%). I did not say "perfect".

The OM-D came with the kit lens (14-42/3.5-5.6 MkII) set at 18mm (36mm equivalent), @ f/3.9, 1/30s and ISO 1600, with in-camera stabilizer. Here it is:

OM-D, 18mm-9290091.jpg

Now the 55mm file:

D800, 55mm, 4-3 resized-8005.jpg

And finally the 45mm file:

D800, 45mm, 4-3 resized-8249.jpg

No doubt D800 is better, with lesser noise, and a somewhat cleaner image, especially around high-contrast zones. I could have tweaked even better performance from the Oly by putting the stabilizer at use and shooting at 1/6 or 1/10s, at lower ISO though, something the D800 has not in reserve. As far as the lens flare and sharpness is concerned, please remember there is a Panasonic/Leica 25mm available, which I think is much better...

So, for my (travel and organ documenting) purposes, the Oly is definitely an option. Tell me what you notice.

Edited by Airy, 08 October 2012 - 18:09 .


#2 Airee

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 14:58

A few 100% crops for convenience :

First, OM-D

OM-D, detail-9290091.jpg

Then, D800 with 55mm

D800, detail-8005.jpg

Finally, D800 with 45mm

D800, detail-8249.jpg

#3 Andrea B.

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 15:12

Noise, I notice the noise in the 1st shot of the 100% crops.
There's also noise in the 3rd shot, but finer grained and confined to the shadows.
D800 seems to show more detail.

There is a colour difference thing going on here. Not white balanced ?

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#4 Airee

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 15:21

No, auto WB in combination with very different light outside (sun with the 55mm, different times of the day, doors open or not) and inside. This is certainly not a color test.

Indeed, and not surprizingly, the D800 has more detail. It also seems that the 45mm outperforms the 55mm in terms of contrast and resolution.

#5 Andrea B.

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 18:49

Understood - on the colour thing.

I think the Oly is quite interesting. But if working indoors in dim churches is called for, it might not be the best choice?? Outdoors, however, it seems very good. (I saw some of Dallas' shots with this cam.) I'd like at some point to replace my current Lumix m4/3 with this one.

Of course, looking at 100% crops can almost be misleading!! We probably should make judgements based on the final output. For example, if you needed online, downsized images then differences might not matter as much, yes?

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#6 Airee

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 20:25

This is why I provided both outputs. The crops are there to show that the Olympus does not deliver junk at pixel level, even at 1600 ISO (which by the way is closer to 800, according to some tests).

What is the (nearly) pocket solution you would recommend in dim churches ? maybe sth APS-C based ? as far as shooting against the light is concerned, I think there are better lenses for the Oly, and by far. Grain ? I could have done these shots at 400-800 ISO, the stabilizer helping...

#7 Dallas

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 09:22

The OM-D certainly is the little camera that can. I haven't had enough time to look at all the stuff I shot with it on safari just yet, but coupled with some good glass, this little thing can hold its head up high with the best that any DSLR can offer.

Andrea, just get it. You will not be disappointed. If you are you can send it over to me. I'll take care of it. ;)

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#8 Airee

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 21:09

BTW I suspect slight misfocus on the 55mm shots, I'll redo these.
Any experience with the OM-D and the 25mm/1.4 from Panasonic / Leica ?

Edited by Airy, 09 October 2012 - 21:09 .


#9 Dallas

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 05:43

Not from me, unfortunately. I only have the 14-45mm, 45mm PL & 45-175 Lumix lenses. Hoping to add the pro lenses next year, because this camera deserves them.

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#10 Akira

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 11:07

Airy, thanks for sharing interesting comparison. I wonder why the 100% crop of D800/45mm@ISO3200 image looks noisier than D800/55mm@ISO1600 image.

If I would be allowed to be a dreamer, the same scene taken with OM-D set at ISO400 and Panny 20/1.7 set at f2.8 would look significantly better. The image quality of smaller format (m4/3 or even 1") have been dramatically improved recently.
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#11 Airee

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 15:04

Well, 3200 ISO is noisier than 1600 ISO for sure... you quoted in reverse, but your observation is correct. I'll check again the LR4 de-noising settings. Maybe I have been inconsistent here.

You are right in stating that my usage of the OM-D was sub-optimal (but the results were so suprizingly good that they were still worth sharing, I guess). Stabilizer means 400 ISO would definitely have been possible, and the kit lens is no stellar performer. I hope to get back with images doing better justice to the inherent quality. I'll just have to ask the dealer for one more test run next Saturday, provided there are no other emergencies. And for sure I will definitely retry the 55mm (remember, it is the one lens where AF focus assist results in backfocussing, for no obvious reason). This time using LV and a loupe.

Edited by Airy, 10 October 2012 - 15:07 .


#12 Akira

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 18:27

Sorry for my mistake. I wanted to say that 100% crop of 45mm/ISO"1600" looks "noisier" than 55mm/ISO"3200" image. That's the reason for my previous post.

Panny 20/1.7 is a "must have" if you have entered into the m4/3 system. I suggested f2.8, but you could get away with f2.0 and then the 1/30 sec. shutter speed in the same situation would be kept.

Also, the mirrorlessness of m4/3 does help the hand-held shot at slower shutter speeds. I re-realized that when I switched back from GH2 to D7000.
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#13 schwett

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 20:05

it seems like m4/3 is finally getting some decent sensor performance! the previous ones i've used (various gh/gf) have been pretty much low iso bright light only cameras.

it would be very interesting to compare comparable focal lengths, f-stops, and stabilization options. e.g. d800 with 24-120 f/4 vr at 28mm, f/4, iso 1600, VR on VS om-d with 14-42 at 14mm, f/4, iso 1600, stabilized in body. i imagine the om-d setup would be about a third the weight and size!
http://photo.sfmthd.org/ [under construction]

#14 Airee

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 21:02

eh eh... now I'll be able to start some interesting comparisons. Got an OM-D, Panasonic 20/1.7 and Olympus 45/1.8

... but comparisons, what for ? after all they are for different purposes. The above ones were to check whether quality was provided. Answer is yes, and better lenses make even better results. So I'll have fun, first of all. OK, you'll definitely get some comparisons, but rather 45/1.8 vs. 85/1.4G, or 20/1.7 straightened in Lightroom vs. PC-E 45 shifted, eh eh

#15 olivier

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 11:40

lucky man... enjoy!
Greetings from France
my blog

#16 episa

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 17:27

It is unfair to compare a M43 sensor with a FF sensor at ISO 1600. The OM-D is a remarkable camera that is today the best technology available in M43 format and it is not meant for high ISO applications. In normal travel, daylight conditions the colors, contrast, resolution you can obtain with this camera and a $350 lens from Olympus (45mm f/1.8) is absolutely mind boggling:

OM-D E-M5 with Olympus 45mm f/1.8, ISO 250, f/8, 1/100s

Attached Images

  • Bird 1MB.jpg

Edited by episa, 17 October 2012 - 17:30 .

Eric
D800, D800E, Nikkor AF-S 24/1.4G, 50/1.4G, 85/1.4G, 300/2.8G VR, 14-24/2.8G, 24-70/2.8G, 70-200/2.8G VRII
TC-14EII, TC-17EII, TC-20EIII
Nikkor AIS 20/2.8, 24/2.8, 28/2.8, 55/2.8 Micro, 105/2.5, Rokinon MF 35/1.4 AS UMC
Zeiss 21mm/2.8 ZF, Leica 180mm APO f/2.8, Voigtlander SLII 40/2, 58/1.4, 90/3.5, APO 125/2.5 SLI, APO 180/4 SLI

Sony NEX-5N with Sony 18-55/3.5-5.6 OSS
Olympus OMD E-M5 with M.Zuiko Digital ED 12/2, 17/1.8, 45/1.8, 75/1.8. Panasonic Leica 25/1.4 DG

#17 Airee

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 18:41

There is nothing unfair in this comparison, as 800-1600 ISO are often useful in my case. And the results were far from ridiculous.

What was maybe unfair was to compare kit lens against top glass... and having used the 45/1.8 a bit today, I can only confirm your enthusiasm. It is top glass.

Ah and by the way, here's a night shot (using the 20/1.7 made by Panasonic):

Lille 3000.jpg

Ah I forgot to say : brilliant shot ! (yours)

Edited by Airy, 17 October 2012 - 19:46 .

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#18 Airee

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 19:57

and a 100% crop from a similar photo, ISO 800

Lille 3000, detail-160019.jpg

another 100% crop of the first pic this time, showing that the background building is still rendered o, a very distinct way, despite some noise and the focus being set on the lit decorations (f/4.5 helped of course):

Lille 3000, detail 2-160020.jpg

#19 episa

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 18:23

and a 100% crop from a similar photo, ISO 800

Lille 3000, detail-160019.jpg

another 100% crop of the first pic this time, showing that the background building is still rendered o, a very distinct way, despite some noise and the focus being set on the lit decorations (f/4.5 helped of course):

Lille 3000, detail 2-160020.jpg


Very nice capture with this panasonic 20mm f/1.7. I was really tempted to buy it as I needed something between the Olympus 12/2 for landscape and Olympus 45/1.8 for portraits. I hesitated between the Pany 20/1.7 and 25/1.4. I ended up buying the 25/1.4 becasue of the excellent reviews of this Leica ASPH lens. I do not regret it as it is sharp wide open.
I am still attracted by this 20/1.7. It seems that there will be also an Olympus 17/1.8 soon coming. I might wait to see the comparison. I must say that I like what you showed.

Eric
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TC-14EII, TC-17EII, TC-20EIII
Nikkor AIS 20/2.8, 24/2.8, 28/2.8, 55/2.8 Micro, 105/2.5, Rokinon MF 35/1.4 AS UMC
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Sony NEX-5N with Sony 18-55/3.5-5.6 OSS
Olympus OMD E-M5 with M.Zuiko Digital ED 12/2, 17/1.8, 45/1.8, 75/1.8. Panasonic Leica 25/1.4 DG

#20 Airee

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 20:44

I bought the 20/1.7 because
1) reviews were good, despite high price (more than a 50/1.8...)
2) it is flatter than the 25/1.4, and I needed a (near) pancake lens to tuck the whole into a pocket or small bag
3) I had a previous, good experience with a 40 f/2 mm (on a Canon compact camera, IIRC); 35 is often too wide and 50 a tad narrow ; in fact I also like my PCE 45 for that reason
4) so, in conjunction with the 45/1.8, my basic needs are fulfilled. (25+45 would be less OK)

I considered the 25/1.4 mostly for DOF issues (f/2.8 equivalent, not bad really). Difficult choice indeed.

And the 12/2 is tempting. No urgent need though. I also got used to the PC-E 24 and just love tilting and shifting. No TS for m43 so far?




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