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Thread: E-M5, E-P3, GH2, GX1 image quality comparisons

  1. #1
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    E-M5, E-P3, GH2, GX1 image quality comparisons

    This is a new thread that is a consequence of the humongous thread here:

    http://fourthirds-user.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10757

    That thread has really become too big, hence this new one.

    As promised I have shot some comparisons at home - in the kitchen as it happens - to satisfy interest here

    I now have an OM-D E-M5, a Lumix GX1, a Lumix GH2 and a Pen E-P3 and I have shot an ISO noise sequence from base ISO to maximum ISO for each camera. I'm reproducing the ISO 200 and ISO 6400 camera JPEG and RAW files only here tonight as I simply don't have time to do more. I need some sleep tonight as I have some important meetings tomorrow. Analysis of the rest of the files will follow.

    So - these are all shot with the same Zuiko Digital 50mm f/2.0 Macro lens, a super sharp lens, manually focused, under halogen lighting, and each camera has been custom white balanced using a white card. For the unadjusted camera JPEGs, noise filtering/reduction has been set to the minimum possible in each camera.

    Here are links to the JPEGs:




    And the RAWs:



    Sorry I can't post the whole lot tonight - but please enjoy the above and let me know your feedback of course!

    Ian
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    Re: E-M5, E-P3, GH2, GX1 image quality comparisons

    I am almost willing to start shooting only JPG on the E-M5!

    Lori

  3. #3
    Happy Birder Guest

    Re: E-M5, E-P3, GH2, GX1 image quality comparisons

    Ian,

    I was going to compare some samples of these series, but then I realized that there were no real base ISO 160 samples for GH2 and GX1, unless they were wrongly tagged as ISO 200.

    And that the pictures were focused manually.

    So, and since I belong to the normal users real world, I'll pass this time and I would let this kind of comparisons to our friends from Sheldon's "ceteris-paribus" photography world.

    I'll would be looking forward for your real life handheld long lens shots of really distant subjects with the same lens samples. But that would be on Thursday I suppose.

    Meanwhile, I’ll see if I find some normal real life samples surfing the web.

    Thanks anyway,

    Ed
    Last edited by Happy Birder; 4th April 2012 at 02:19 AM.

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    Re: E-M5, E-P3, GH2, GX1 image quality comparisons

    Quote Originally Posted by Happy Birder View Post
    Ian,

    I was going to compare some samples of these series, but then I realized that there were no real base ISO 160 samples for GH2 and GX1, unless they were wrongly tagged as ISO 200.

    And that the pictures were focused manually.

    So, and since I belong to the normal users real world, I'll pass this time and I would let this kind of comparisons to our friends from Sheldon's "ceteris-paribus" photography world.

    I'll would be looking forward for your real life handheld long lens shots of really distant subjects with the same lens samples. But that would be on Thursday I suppose.

    Meanwhile, Iíll see if I find some normal real life samples surfing the web.

    Thanks anyway,

    Ed
    Ed,

    I am not someone who uses manual focus much, but I just assumed Ian used manual focus in order to ensure the same focal point for all the pictures, in order to avoid questions about sharpness or missed focus.

    Lori

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    Re: E-M5, E-P3, GH2, GX1 image quality comparisons

    I only looked at the ISO 200 shots (because that's what I'm interested in) and I think the E-M5 resolves the most detail of the four cameras.

    The other three look about the same, although I personally prefer the more vivid colors and contrast of the E-P3.

    Overall it's looking to me like the E-M5 offers an incremental, though worthwhile improvement in still and video image quality at base ISO over the E-P3 and a substantial improvement at higher ISO's.

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    Re: E-M5, E-P3, GH2, GX1 image quality comparisons

    Strange - the GH2 has yellow blotches in the shadow areas even at 200 iso! Overall, the GH2 looks really disappointing. Could your test unit be faulty in some way?

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    Re: E-M5, E-P3, GH2, GX1 image quality comparisons

    Quote Originally Posted by Happy Birder View Post
    Ian,

    [COLOR=black][FONT=Verdana]I was going to compare some samples of these series, but then I realized that there were no real base ISO 160 samples for GH2 and GX1
    Come on, how much difference do you expect between 160 and 200 iso? It's just a third of a stop, for chrissakes!
    Last edited by Stuttaton; 4th April 2012 at 06:08 AM. Reason: grammar

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    Re: E-M5, E-P3, GH2, GX1 image quality comparisons

    Morning all, I did record 160 ISO on the Panasonics and will provide this and the rest of the files in due course. Because of lack of time last night I had to offer just two ISOs and went for matching values. You can't 100% depend on AF with the Four Thirds ZD 50mm macro for such a critical job as this, which is why I chose manual focus. The GH2 colour goes horrible at high ISO so maybe it is a faulty sample.

    I'm out of the office for most of the working day today, but I will hoepfully have some time tonight to work on the rest of the files.

    Ian
    Founder/editor
    Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
    Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
    Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
    Olympus camera, lens, and accessory hire (http://e-group.uk.net/hire)
    Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
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    Re: E-M5, E-P3, GH2, GX1 image quality comparisons

    At ISO 200 they look pretty evenly matched, at 6400, the E-M5 is slightly better, but not by much, and the E-P3 being the worst at 6400.

    The E-P3 exhibits nicer colours and has just as good definition at low ISO.

    The E-P3 would be my choice for landscapes, I rarely shoot above ISO 800, and if very high ISO performance is an important part of your photography, buy a Nikon.

    They all show exceptionally nice Jpegs which Olympus have earnt a reputation for, so nothing has changed there. Its splitting hairs but the E-M5 Jpeg colours don't seem as nice as the older E-P3 or E5, A tad colder perhaps. In some shots the newer GX-1 seems better than the older GH2, so Panasonic may have done a few tweaks since the GH2.
    I hope this has been of some help.
    Pete

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    Re: E-M5, E-P3, GH2, GX1 image quality comparisons

    Looking at the GX-1 samples, I see that it too has yellow blotches in the shadows already at 200 iso. In all samples, the E-M5 has much less chroma noise than the Panasonic cameras.

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