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Thread: E-5 compared to E-3 and E-PL1

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    E-5 compared to E-3 and E-PL1

    Here is a, I expect the first of several, high ISO comparisons of the new Olympus E-5, the old E-3, and an E-PL1 Pen. All three were taken using a Zuiko Digital 50mm f/2 Macro lens, @f/6.3, 1/8th second, ISO 2000, tripod mounted with IS switched off. These are from camera JPEGs, Large Fine setting, with noise filter set to low.



    E-5 complete frame.



    E-5 100% crop.



    E-3 complete frame.



    E-3 100% crop.



    E-PL1 complete frame.



    E-PL1 100% crop.

    Perhaps the most obvious thing I noticed was how desaturated the E-3 sample looks compared to the others. Reducing saturation is one trick for dealing with chroma (colour) noise.

    Comments?

    Ian
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    Re: E-5 compared to E-3 and E-PL1

    Thanks Ian,

    To my eyes the E-5 crop looks sharper, better contrastand less noisey than the E-3, a significant improvement in every area. The E-PL1 looks almost as sharp as the E-5 and also has good contrast but is more noisey than the E-5 and only a little better than the E-3 in this respect.

    Have to say, though, that if I was viewing the E-3 picture in isolation and not next to the other two I'd be perfectly happy. Nothing there that a little Dfine 2.0 noise reduction and a slight contrast boost wouldn't put right. Think how good the E-5 will be with a little pp. In the context of this particular test it's a very worthwhile improvement.
    View my ebook, The Light Fantastic, at: http://store.blurb.co.uk/ebooks/3026...ight-fantastic

    John

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    Re: E-5 compared to E-3 and E-PL1

    It strikes me just how good the E-PL1 is.
    Stephen - www.flickr.com/photos/argyllphotos
    Olympus OM-D E-M1, E-M5, Zenza Bronica, and an ever-changing nest of lenses

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    Re: E-5 compared to E-3 and E-PL1

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    Here is a, I expect the first of several, high ISO comparisons of the new Olympus E-5, the old E-3, and an E-PL1 Pen. All three were taken using a Zuiko Digital 50mm f/2 Macro lens, @f/6.3, 1/8th second, ISO 2000, tripod mounted with IS switched off. These are from camera JPEGs, Large Fine setting, with noise filter set to low.
    Comments?
    Ian
    Sure, downloaded the crops. To my surprise the noise in the dark areas doesn't differ that much among the 3 pictures. The crop of the E-5 does have the better colors. The E-PL1 is more red. The E-3 is more blue and therefore the scale color is more white. The E-5 has less noise in the more lighted areas due to the pixel treatment in the E-5, but is also a little softer then the E-PL1. The E-PL1 is more set to vivid which gives the illusion of being sharper, see the zero on the scale. After a period of time I think the E-5 is more green. In the areas direct under the outer rim of the housing of the scale the differences are not big, there is more noise in the picture of the E-3. If you look close the noise doesn't differ too much between the E-5 and the E-PL1. But for some reason the noise in the E-5 is somewhere in the background and in the E-PL1 more in the foreground and therefore more noticeable.

    On the 3 pictures with that nice instrument the wood on the right side is dark brown on the E-3, The E-PL1 has more noise, more noticeable.
    Oh, this one is difficult..., now I have only the instruments next to each other. The E-PL1 is more red and therefore the scale does have a pleasing character. The scale on the E-3 is more gray, probably due to that it is more blue. The effect is for my mind not correct. Old instruments do have scales with a certain color and this is not the one.
    The E-5 is again more green, but not in a nasty way. I think the E-PL1 is best. But the E-5 does have less noise, not much, but its noticeable.
    Overall the E-PL1 is more warm, the E-3 more cold and the E-5 somewhere in between. The E-5 and the E-3 next to each other, E-5 less noise noticeable. Attached two screen shots with E5 next E-3 and E-5 next E-PL1. If you have an E-3, the E-5 is better. If you have an E-PL1, the lenses for the E-5 are better. Anyway, difficult decision.

    Almost forgot, Ian, thank you for these examples. Its most helpful for the decision to buy or not. Its up to now still buy, but I don't know when. Its very silent in Holland, only a page on the Olympus site. I don't know why they are so silent about it, why not just say on date such and so we can deliver and this is the advice price. For a short time photo shops are just sliding boxes over the counter, no more. That's fine with me, but not for the maximum price. Sliding a box over the counter, bottom price, 2 or 3 hour explanation with all kinds of models, advice price is fine. There is still a lot wrong in shops.

    I noticed that the files at home are much better then the ones I uploaded. It seems that the uploaded files are automatically reduced in size and quality. Therefore I removed the attachments. Too bad, but understandable. If you want them, please drop a private message with your mail address.
    Last edited by Joop; 5th October 2010 at 10:47 PM. Reason: Forgot to thanks Ian for the images

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    Re: E-5 compared to E-3 and E-PL1

    Interesting comparison, E-5 doesn't seem to be that much better here .. only noticable thing is more detail here and there, but in terms of noise, there is almost no difference.
    I would like to know how it can perform at ISO 1600 compared to E-1...
    I know, it is comparing of uncomparable, 5MPix against 12 MPix, CCD and NMOS .. but still, seeing if there is noticeable progress after seven years would be interesting.
    Regards, Pavel.

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    Re: E-5 compared to E-3 and E-PL1

    Quote Originally Posted by T-Lama View Post
    Interesting comparison, E-5 doesn't seem to be that much better here .. only noticable thing is more detail here and there, but in terms of noise, there is almost no difference.
    I would like to know how it can perform at ISO 1600 compared to E-1...
    I know, it is comparing of uncomparable, 5MPix against 12 MPix, CCD and NMOS .. but still, seeing if there is noticeable progress after seven years would be interesting.
    Really? I see a large difference. I would love to see a comparison with the D700. Again, I think there is a rather large difference between the E-3 and the E-5. There isn't a large difference between the E-PL1 and E-5, but that is to be expected, same sensor. With the E-3, look particularly at the clock hand in the 100% crops. There is noticably more noise in the E-3's shot.
    ~Reggie

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    Re: E-5 compared to E-3 and E-PL1

    Yep - if you downsample the 12MP image into 5.5MP (E-5 -> E-1), although given the harsher AA filter on the E-1, maybe 12MP downsampled to 4MP is more realistic, you will see virtually no noise by the fact you are averaging three pixels to get one of the E-1's pixels.

    What I find most encouraging about the E-5 is the markedly improved low-light AF (Who wants noise-free if it's out of focus or you missed the shot coz it took ages to focus?) and the much better dynamic range (at least 1 stop, maybe nearer 2) over the E-3.

    Assuming my finances are as expected next week, I'm pre-ordering one... W00t!

    Andy
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    Re: E-5 compared to E-3 and E-PL1

    Now that I look at these on my calibrated monitor (in a dark room), I see some significant differences. What is difficult to know is what parts of the differences are due to the sensors, and what parts are due to the JPEG processing. We're seeing both at work here, as far as I can tell.

    The E-5 clearly has less noise than the E-3, and maintains more detail. My guess is that it does not have to apply as much noise reduction as the E-3. The E-PL1 appears to have more sharpening applied than the E-5. This makes the noise a touch harsher, and gives the appearance of more detail, but it also sharpens the noise, making it more noticeable than the E-5. It would be interesting to compare RAW files with identical (as if there is such a thing ) noise reduction and sharpening applied in post-processing. Better yet, apply none of these in PP, and see how they compare "uncooked" . . .

    - Hal -
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    Re: E-5 compared to E-3 and E-PL1

    In general, professional cameras apply less sharpening than consumer cameras, so the observation that the E-PL1 has more sharpening applied than the E-5 seems logical. The E-3 result is less saturated, which I feel is part of the Olympus strategy three years ago to control chroma noise. If you turn up the saturation to return the image to the levels of the E-5 and E-PL1, I'm sure you will see more chroma noise. Olympus has improved its edge-sharpening algorithms since the E-3, and even over the E-PL1.

    As requested, I will add the venerable E-1 to the mix in some tests later today

    Ian
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    Re: E-5 compared to E-3 and E-PL1

    Ian, do you have a PanaLeica 25mm? I am only wondering because I have found that the low light auto focus with that lens is not great with the E-3, which is too bad, since it is the brightest for the system. It just hunts all day, which is very strange when you consider that I find its auto focus very snappy in low light with the DMC-L1. I really hope that it works better on the E-5, I will be switching my low light photography to D700, most likely, but I would still love for this lens to focus more quickly in low light. I don't care about a full on test, just any impressions that you might have.
    ~Reggie

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