Micro 4/3 DPRs preview of the E-M1

stratokaster

Top Veteran
Dec 27, 2010
103
Kiev, Ukraine
Pavel
JPGs are defined in-camera via a myriad of settings. Would not trust a camera's JPG as an example of what it can do since there's no real way to know how it was configured. In my experience the only way to know what a camera is capable of is to use it and use it for what one shoots in real life. I take any new camera of my forest photo walks and shoot RAW. JPG is a convenience, but even for "soccer dad" shots I still prefer RAW. I have yet to find an in-camera JPG that pleases me. I must be a tough crowd.
Well, I'm a RAW shooter myself but I know lots of people who shoot mostly JPEG, so JPEG quality IS important.

Anyway, the same comparison page shows that the E-M1 is noticeably WORSE than the E-M5 in RAW, especially at ISO 3200 and up; judging by the low frequency and obnoxious nature of the noise I'd say Olympus decided to follow in the steps of Pentax and employ RAW noise reduction, which is a very bad thing in my book.

 

Yeats

All-Pro
Jul 31, 2012
123
New Jersey, USA
Chris
JPGs are defined in-camera via a myriad of settings. Would not trust a camera's JPG as an example of what it can do since there's no real way to know how it was configured. In my experience the only way to know what a camera is capable of is to use it and use it for what one shoots in real life. I take any new camera of my forest photo walks and shoot RAW. JPG is a convenience, but even for "soccer dad" shots I still prefer RAW. I have yet to find an in-camera JPG that pleases me. I must be a tough crowd.
I don't think anyone (here) is using the jpg settings to determine what the camera can do... however, I think some folks might be concerned that a regression in jpeg rendering might be a reflection on a company's overall philosophy... and that could be disconcerting.

* IIRC, Olympus m43 cameras deliberately underexpose the image and then pull the up during jpg processing, in order to save highlights and provide closer to what some people feel is a "filmic" look.

Well, I'm a RAW shooter myself but I know lots of people who shoot mostly JPEG, so JPEG quality IS important.

Anyway, the same comparison page shows that the E-M1 is noticeably WORSE than the E-M5 in RAW, especially at ISO 3200 and up; judging by the low frequency and obnoxious nature of the noise I'd say Olympus decided to follow in the steps of Pentax and employ RAW noise reduction, which is a very bad thing in my book.
I remember there was a bit of a stink about this when the K5 was released. However, DXO testing demonstrated that the high-ISO RAW NR seems to have not adversely affected the output, as the K-5 measured out every bit as good as the Nikon D7000, which uses the same sensor.

The graphic you've posted comparing the M1 vs M5 sensor is disturbing, at first blush there appears to be serious regression in high-ISO IQ. But perhaps it is the EM5's RAW files which have sharpening applied?

* I'd postulate that all RAW files are cooked to some degree, anyway, wrt NR and tonal curve. The nanosecond after light hits the sensor the image data is being interpreted by human decisions. RAW viewing/editing software is interpreting RAW data also, and ACR's interpretation is different than, say, Silkypix's. Basically, as long as the camera behaves as I expect it to, I'm OK with it.
 

stratokaster

Top Veteran
Dec 27, 2010
103
Kiev, Ukraine
Pavel
The graphic you've posted comparing the M1 vs M5 sensor is disturbing, at first blush there appears to be serious regression in high-ISO IQ. But perhaps it is the EM5's RAW files which have sharpening applied?
I'd say it's unlikely because at low ISOs the E-M1 shows slightly more detail than the E-M5.
 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Jul 13, 2011
124
Lexington, Virginia
Steve
It's especially funny that the RAW images are softer than those of the EM5, especially since they made a point of not having the AA filter on the EM1. You'd expect, at worst, a noisier sharper image.
 

Armanius

Bring Jack back!
Jan 11, 2011
123
Houston, Texas
Jack
I'm guessing that there might be something wrong with DPR's EM1 RAW at 6400. The 6400 RAW shot was missing from the database for the first few days after DPR first put up the EM1's preview. EM1's RAW at 6400 does look softer than the EM5 at 6400. But their RAW files look equally sharp in all other ISO's.
 

stratokaster

Top Veteran
Dec 27, 2010
103
Kiev, Ukraine
Pavel
I'm guessing that there might be something wrong with DPR's EM1 RAW at 6400. The 6400 RAW shot was missing from the database for the first few days after DPR first put up the EM1's preview. EM1's RAW at 6400 does look softer than the EM5 at 6400. But their RAW files look equally sharp in all other ISO's.
Nope. I'd say ISO 1600 is already slightly worse than the E-M5 and ISO 3200 more so. ISO 6400 is disastrous.

Edit: it seems DPReview's ISO 6400 shot is misfocused. Still, the E-M1 shows more noise than both the E-M5 and GX7.
 

Armanius

Bring Jack back!
Jan 11, 2011
123
Houston, Texas
Jack
Nope. I'd say ISO 1600 is already slightly worse than the E-M5 and ISO 3200 more so. ISO 6400 is disastrous.

Edit: it seems DPReview's ISO 6400 shot is misfocused. Still, the E-M1 shows more noise than both the E-M5 and GX7.
I agree that the EM1's high ISO RAW files look worse than the EM5 in the studio sample. Been saying that since day 1 of DPR's preview. On the other hand, I'm assuming that Adobe RAW hasn't been optimized to run the EM1's files yet. So I'm not sure what RAW editor was used to process the EM1's RAW files in the studio samples.

To me, as an EM5 user, the allure of the EM1 is the ability to auto focus the excellent 4/3 lenses that I still have, and the 1/8000 max shutter speed. Style-wise, I'm leaning towards the GX7.
 

Yeats

All-Pro
Jul 31, 2012
123
New Jersey, USA
Chris
Yeah, I did that about 15 seconds after posting and got in.

It looks to be a wonderful camera. I am alternately amused and appalled by the comments... it kind of shocks me (and it shouldn't, I know!) that there are so many people engaged in photography - which gives us all the opportunity to reflect and express the beauty in the world - who are mean and petty and insecure. :mad:
 

Andrewteee

All-Pro
Jul 8, 2010
123
It looks to be a wonderful camera.
It is... bought it on my 45th birthday just because. But in fact it was a great decision because after so-so AF performance on many higher-end serious compacts the AF on the E-M1 is simply speedy and now I can keep up with my kids! I'm still working on getting the know the RAW files per my usual processing recipes, but so far I'm very happy with the performance of the camera. Mostly, I've been using the Panasonic 25/1.4. I plan to add the 12-40mm zoom when it is available and then the complementary tele zoom next year. That should meet all of my family camera needs.

I am alternately amused and appalled by the comments... it kind of shocks me (and it shouldn't, I know!) that there are so many people engaged in photography - which gives us all the opportunity to reflect and express the beauty in the world - who are mean and petty and insecure. :mad:
There aren't that many, they just tend to be vocal and obnoxious (and in most cases not really photographers). But I hear you! It seems to me that lately it's gotten worse. I now tend to back away now from most gear forums and instead focus on discovering real photographic and artistic talent on Flickr and through key photography blogs. But DPR specifically has gone downhill in the usefulness and interestingness of discussions. Several recent posts there have asked why photography has been taken over by the gadget-heads and the OPs subsequently tarred and feathered by many responders.
 

Yeats

All-Pro
Jul 31, 2012
123
New Jersey, USA
Chris
It is... bought it on my 45th birthday just because. But in fact it was a great decision because after so-so AF performance on many higher-end serious compacts the AF on the E-M1 is simply speedy and now I can keep up with my kids! I'm still working on getting the know the RAW files per my usual processing recipes, but so far I'm very happy with the performance of the camera. Mostly, I've been using the Panasonic 25/1.4. I plan to add the 12-40mm zoom when it is available and then the complementary tele zoom next year. That should meet all of my family camera needs.
It took me a while to get the hang of RAW processing with my E-PM2. I came to the realization that I didn't mind if similar images from the Oly and my Pentax K-01 had different looks on similar subject matter; in fact, now I enjoy the differences. :)



There aren't that many, they just tend to be vocal and obnoxious (and in most cases not really photographers). But I hear you! It seems to me that lately it's gotten worse. I now tend to back away now from most gear forums and instead focus on discovering real photographic and artistic talent on Flickr and through key photography blogs. But DPR specifically has gone downhill in the usefulness and interestingness of discussions. Several recent posts there have asked why photography has been taken over by the gadget-heads and the OPs subsequently tarred and feathered by many responders.
You're right, of course. I've noticed that all of the forums that I've frequented for years have gone downhill in terms of dispensing useful information and courtesy. 'Tis the way of the world, I guess.

Anyway, I'm glad that Oly & Panasonic continue to advance the m43 format.
 

Lawrence A.

Hall of Famer
Nov 8, 2012
124
New Mexico
Larry
Well, I'm a RAW shooter myself but I know lots of people who shoot mostly JPEG, so JPEG quality IS important.

Anyway, the same comparison page shows that the E-M1 is noticeably WORSE than the E-M5 in RAW, especially at ISO 3200 and up; judging by the low frequency and obnoxious nature of the noise I'd say Olympus decided to follow in the steps of Pentax and employ RAW noise reduction, which is a very bad thing in my book.

View attachment 7738
I agree. I don't want my raw files with NR applied. Raw should mean raw. Typically in a high iso shot I'll use chroma noise reduction but not usually luminance, which to me at least becomes an acceptable "grain" after the ugly color noise is removed. I prefer grittier 16 bit tiffs from my raw files and I'd be pretty upset if preprocessing of the raw file did not allow that. More resolved detail with more grit is just fine by me.
 

Stan

Regular
Apr 19, 2013
43
California
Stan
Finally CA Correction!

CA correction is about time! This should have been available sooner.

The EM1 looks to be a winner. The jpeg engine, IBIS, weather sealing, speed, customizability, good lens selection, and okay (but not great) video, means it's a well-rounded camera useful for a wide range of needs. It sort of reminds me of the Canon 5D3. It's a great all-around camera that will get the job done for those who shoot a variety of styles. It's not the best at any one thing, but it does all the main things well enough. It's a real workhorse type camera.
 

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