Saturday, February 08, 2014

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Review Part 2: High ISO Shooting

Important Note:
1) I am an Olympus Malaysia employee. 
2) This review is a user-experience based review, from a photography enthusiast's point of view. 
3) All images were shot in RAW and converted to JPEG via Olympus Viewer 3. Noise Filter = OFF, Gradation Normal, Saturation, Contrast and Sharpness set to default "0". Image Setting Natural, Auto White Balance with Warm Color OFF. 
4) The images were almost straight out of camera, with slight exposure (brightness/contrast balance) tuning and white balance tweak. 

This is a continuation of my review series for Olympus OM-D E-M10. If you have not read Part 1, kindly do so here (click) before jumping into this Part 2 entry. 

One of the must-tackle question for any digital camera reviews these days would be about the low light shooting capability of the camera, more specifically, how is the high ISO shooting performance of the camera? 

Olympus OM-D E-M10 uses the exact same sensor as OM-D E-M5, which is not necessarily a bad thing, considering that the OM-D E-M5 was the first camera to truly raise the bar of image quality of Micro Four Thirds system to be on par with competing DSLR cameras, surpassing even quite a handful of them. Further to that, the E-M10 actually utilizes the latest image processing engine from Olympus, Truepic 7 which is also used by the flagship model OM-D E-M1. Therefore the E-M10 does benefits from better high ISO noise control theoretically, considering the Truepic 7 does have advantages especially for images taken at upper ISO settings of 6400 and above. 

In this particular blog review Part 2, I have dedicated the whole entry in testing the low light shooting performance of the Olympus OM-D E-M10. I have gone to a live performance of a famous local band Seven Collar T-Shirt, performing at No Black Tie, Bukit Bintang last night. It was the perfect location to torture the camera since the venue was extremely dark with the need to push up the ISO becoming a necessity. There is no point of turning up the ISO setting unnecessarily just to test the ISO numbers, and my logic of testing high ISO has always been finding the shooting condition that truly requires the need to bump the ISO up. 

Bear in mind for all images in this entry I have turned the Noise Filter to "OFF". 

MZD 75mm F1.8 lens, 1/80sec, F1.8, ISO6,400


100% Crop from previous image ISO6,400

MZD 25mm F1.8 lens, 1/200sec, F1.8, ISO6,400

MZD 75mm F1.8 lens, 1/320sec, F1.8, ISO12,800

MZD 75mm F1.8 lens, 1/250sec, F1.8, ISO12,800

100% crop from previous image - ISO12,800

MZD 25mm F1.8 lens, 1/160sec, F1.8, ISO6,400

100% crop from previous image - ISO6,400

It is difficult for me to recommend what is the "usable" ISO setting for this camera, or any other camera in this regard, mainly because everyone has very different tolerance to noise. Some people see that tiny bit of noise in ISO400 and would scream like the world is coming to an end. For myself, I will be honest here, I rarely do complain about high ISO noise, and I am rather forgiving, even for the images most people would reject in their high ISO noise QC. 

Based on my "very subjective" observations (I do have to be very careful with my words, people are scrutinizing at every single word I type here. Hello DPReview forum members), the ISO performance of OM-D E-M10 is noticeably better than the E-M5, and this happens at ISO6400 or higher. The color (chromatic) noise in the E-M10 images are well suppressed, with left only traces of mostly luminance noise. The luminance noise was present even at ISO1,600, but this should not be a problem to clean up with any noise reduction software. I would recommend turning the Noise Filter to "Low" if you are shooting JPEG and intend to use the images straight out of the camera. 

There was no cases of noise banding (ugly color lines) that I have encountered with my limited shooting experience so far. I am generally very pleased at the noise control, while maintaining considerably good amount of detail, as shown in many 100% crops in this entry. It is one thing to just remove or reduce the noise in the image, but it is also extremely important to retain sufficient useful detail, for example, the words Bass, Mid, Treble and Gain can still be clearly read from the 100% crop from the last image above. 

I find the files at ISO3,200 from E-M10 to be perfectly usable (my own opinion only of course, you may choose to differ) and I will not hesitate to use ISO6,400 when necessary. I will however avoid ISO12,800 and ISO25,600, and only engage these settings if there was absolutely no other choice. While the color shifting and color noise were not the main issue in these super high ISO images, I was not particularly pleased at the smearing and loss of detail, resulting in rather soft and flat images. 

Do not take my word for it. See the images, inspect the 100% crops. Download my full size image samples, which I do provide the download link at the end of this blog entry. 

MZD 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ Pancake, 1/160sec, F3.5, ISO12,800

MZD 75mm F1.8 lens, 1/200sec, F1.8, ISO4,000

MZD 75mm F1.8 lens, 1/200sec, F1.8, ISO4,000

100% crop from previous image - ISO4,000

MZD 75mm F1.8 lens, 1/200sec, F1.8, ISO4,000

MZD 45mm F1.8 lens, 1/125sec, F1.8, ISO3,200

MZD 25mm F1.8 lens, 1/100sec, F1.8, ISO3,200

MZD 45mm F1.8, 1/100sec, F1.8, ISO3,200

100% crop from previous image - ISO3,200

MZD 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ Pancake, 1/250sec, F3.5, ISO12,800

Autofocus performance was extremely good even in such poor lighting condition, inside a bar-like ambience. I have tested numerous lenses on the OM-D E-M10 t0 gauge the performance of the camera with multiple Olympus Micro Four Thirds lenses. The lenses I had tried were 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ Pancake Zoom lens, 25mm F1.8, 45mm F1.8, 75mm F1.8 and the Fisheye Body Cap Lens, 9mm F8 (obviously this body cap lens has no AF). For all the M.Zuiko Micro Four Thirds lenses (excluding the body cap lens), the autofocus still remains blazingly fast. 

Do bear in mind that locking on focus is also an important skill to master. You do not just let the camera decide where to focus, you have to decide your focusing point in advance, ahead of your framing composition, and set the focusing box/area to the exact location you want the image to be in focus. Then that exact point must have defining features to allow the autofocus system to work optimally, either contrast, lines, texture or patterns. Some people just fixed the focusing point at one area without paying attention where that was, focused the camera on a subject against a dark background with the focusing area targeting the black background with no differentiating features or contrast to lock focus. As long as you know the right focusing method, this camera, along with any OM-D or newer PEN Olympus cameras will NOT fail you in autofocus. Olympus is still claiming the world's fastest AF. 

Among all the lenses I have tested, the speed appeared to be the same. The thing I did not expect was the M.Zuiko 45mm F1.8 appeared to be slightly slower. It was not a significant thing, I would not have noticed that if I was not comparing or switching lenses back and forth. The autofocus was still super fast, but not as fast as newer lenses such as the M.Zuiko 25mm F1.8 or even the M.Zuiko 14-42mm EZ Pancake Zoom kit lens. I still managed to get my shots, and not missed anything crucial throughout my shoot. 

Bear in mind I have disabled the AF Assist light. 

9mm F8 Fisheye Body Cap Lens, 1/40sec, ISO25,600

9mm F8 Body Cap Lens, 1/60sec, ISO25,600

MZD 45mm F1.8 lens, 1/50sec, F1.8, ISO3,200

MZD 45mm F1.8 lens, 1/80sec, F1.8, ISO6,400

MZD 45mm F1.8 lens, 1/200sec, F1.8, ISO6,400

MZD 25mm F1.8 lens, 1/80sec, F1.8, ISO6,400

100% Crop from previous image - ISO6,400

MZD 25mm F1.8 lens, 1/200sec, F1.8, ISO6,400

9mm F8 Fisheye Body Cap Lens, 1/60sec, ISO25,600

I have included 10 full resolution images, RAW converted to JPEG directly from Olympus Viewer 3, with Noise Filter OFF, Custom White Balance (adjusted manually) with no other further adjustments. I did not even tweak the contrast and exposure for this particular High ISO set. If I did modify the exposure/contrast, the images will surely suffer some loss of quality. 


I am sure some of you may ask how is the high ISO shooting with OM-D E-M10 in comparison to the flagship OM-D E-M1? The OM-D E-M1 does have slight advantage and is still offering the best image quality for any Olympus Micro Four Thirds system (I want to say ALL Micro Four Thirds system but I can sense someone saying something about me later in some public discussion places somewhere over the internet). This is true for images taken at ISO12,800, I find the noise control in E-M1 evidently better. 

I shall leave you beautiful people for now with this short video recording of the live performance, Seven Collar T-Shirt playing at No Black Tie. This video also further demonstrates the capabilities of 3-Axis Image Stabilization, and the good video output even recording in horrendous lighting situation. See how steady and smooth the video was, even when I moved the frame up and down a few times. 



I currently working for my Part 2 of the Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm F1.8 lens review. I will be geting the Panasonic 25mm F1.4 lens soon for comparison purposes. Stay tuned!


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67 comments :

  1. Robin,

    Thanks for the examples and write up. The photos look good to me.

    I read in another preview of this camera that native ISO is only 200-5000 and anything above or below is just ISO expansion. That seemed odd to me seeing as so many mirrorless cameras these days have native ISOs ranging from 200-6400 with 12,500 and up being the ISO expansion. Do you have any insight as to whether that review was simply misinformed or if that is actually the case with the E-M10?

    Also, you mentioned in a comment to your part 1 review of the E-M10 that the BLS-1 batteries from older Olympus cameras would work in the E-M10. Have you actually tried this or is this just what you assume based on the fact that other BLS-5 using cameras can also use the BLS-1? The reason I ask is that this table from the Olympus website shows them to be incompatible:

    http://www.olympus.co.jp/en/support/imsg/digicamera/compati/pen_power.cfm

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. This was my exact same reply I have posted for you. "I have just slotted the BLS-1 battery (black) in an E-M10 and it works just fine. I honestly do not know why the table shows otherwise. Perhaps for safety reasons it is not recommended to be used."

      I am not sure how I can make myself clearer.

      As for the ISO numbers, I have no answer for you. I am a photographer, what matters to me in the end is what I see in the images. To me, even at very high ISO settings, the images look good enough for me.

      Delete
    3. Thanks for the clarification Robin - I hadn't seen the other reply! that's good news. I agree that what matters in the end are indeed the images and these look good - I was just curious.

      Delete
    4. Thanks for covering the camera output. I am impressed with these images. Couldn't agree more with you about what does the image look like to me, the photographer.

      Delete
    5. No worries Eric, I tested as soon as I saw the comment from you.

      Delete
    6. Mike, it was my pleasure! Indeed, we be our own judge on how the images look.

      Delete
    7. I'd be interested in your opinion, or a link to others, comparing the E-M1 to the E-M10. Reason being, I have the E-M1, absolutely love it, but the main purpose of my M43 kit is travel and street photos (usually in your part of the world), so I tend to miss the smaller size of my first M43 camera, the E-PL5. So the E-M10 seems like an ideal balance of size, functionality, and price, without giving up *too much* of the features that make the E-M1 so good. Also, the built in flash can act as a command, which is awesome. But - what else would I be giving up other than 'fits better in hand' (doesn't matter; i use a thin neck strap to protect it from falling as I drop it), 'weather sealing' (I wouldn't shoot in the rain anyhow) and '5 axis stab' (umm, my E-Pl5 didn't have that and I've always been happy with the stabilization it gets.

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    8. hi everyone. the BLS-1 works perfectly. I have two of them plus the original BLS-5 and no problem at all. In the ISO settings of the camera, when you select low ISO or 6400 and further, the "extension" word appears in the screen. But I read in one very cientific review that low ISO was real ISO indeed, but unusable if you shot RAW due to other things. greetings
      this is the article: http://www.guillermoluijk.com/article/lowiso/index.htm

      Delete
  2. Wow, this is stunning high ISO image quality, Olympus really as come a long way in this department. Mind you, I'm still using an e-620, going beyond ISO 800 is stretching it, but I wouldn't think twice about going up to 6,400 with the E-M10 if needed, the grain isn't even intrusive. Everytime I visit your blog I make up my mind a bit more, I'm gonna jump into m4/3 soon, and the E-M10 is outweighting the E-M5 now since the 3 axis IBIS seems to be enough for what I do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Filipe,
      Indeed Olympus has made huge leaps and bounds over the past few years. Huge improvements indeed.
      Either E-M1 or E-M5, you won't regret either. If you do not need weather sealing and 5-Axis then E-M10 is a good option!

      Delete
  3. I've already ordered an E-M10, so I'm glad to see it can handle a challenging venue like a dark nightclub. Thanks for your efforts!

    A question: Were you selecting the focus point using the LCD touch, or the old-fashioned way?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Dave,
      For this particular shooting in the bar, I disabled live view and just used the viewfinder. No particular reason, so that I do not have to move my face away from the viewfinder too often. That way, I had to adjust the AF point the traditional way of course.

      Delete
  4. It looks as though the ISO 6400 images are usable and above that, fine for the web or sharing between friends, similar to my use of ISO 3200 images from my Panasonic GH3 during sports.

    I'm impressed that the E-M10 does so well but then, it has a modern combination without being extravagant. I wish it fit my plans.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Sakamoto, how often do we shoot at ISO3200 and 6400? Though usable, I would still opt for other options whenever possible, using tripod or even flash, or bringing the subject to better light, whichever works. But in times when there is absolutely no other solution, I believe even the GH3 can do really well at ISO6400, with a bit of help in post processing of course.

      Delete
    2. Every time I shoot indoor sports, I end up at ISO 1600 with the E-5 and ISO 3200 with the GH3, and mostly they resist letting you use flash. Besides, my FL-50 died last year when my E-5, 35-100mm f/2.0, and FL-50 fell off a plastic seat onto the pool deck.

      Last week, I had over 2200 photos from 3 basketball games, many of which were at those sensitivities. I'm still working on them but they're quite usable.

      Delete
    3. OH my goodness, so sorry to hear that accident.... did the E-5 and 35-100mm survive?

      Delete
    4. Oh, yes, as if nothing happened.

      Delete
    5. Glad to know! Olympus has always been reliable, my E-5 has never failed me!

      Delete
    6. I almost used the E-5 and 50-200mm as a bat during a baseball game I was photographing when a ball was coming my way. I'd never feel that confident in Nikon or Canon equipment being that sturdy.

      Delete
    7. Oh my! That would have been scary. But I do love the 50-200mm lens!

      Delete
  5. Great stuff! Thanks for sharing, keep them coming!

    Can I ask to clarify cause I can't find information on it online.

    1. I'm assuming the touch screen also has the touch-to-shoot feature as standard?

    2. How's CAF? I understand the EM1 uses its phase detection to assist with CAF, but since the EM10 doesn't have it, could you share how it stacks up to the EM5 and even EM1 if possible?

    I have a friend who's tried my EM1 and he is looking to get the EM10 but I'm hoping to see if the features he likes are also incorporated into Olympus's lower end model.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Endruuu,
      Yes the touch screen touch to snap will always be available for all Olympus cameras now, PEN or OM-D.
      I would not think too much about C-AF performance. I do not shoot C-Af so I am not the right person to test this, but it is nowhere as good as E-M1 surely.
      E-M1 being the flagship will always be better. Hence it is also selling with a higher price tag.

      Delete
  6. I am quite astonished by your concert photos. I go to a lot of concerts and I know how difficult it is to take good shoots of artists when you are in a jumping crowd or at night or in a club as this example and having little lights. This looks perfect on the E-M10, and even a E-M5 as I currently own, should produce good photos. Last summer I was at concert with Rolling Stone, and Mick Jagger moves around all the time and he is a difficult object. The OM-D's have some advantages compared to DSRL on a rock concert - weight, stabilization system, easy to bring into the venue, very fast AF, shooting from the touchscreen and very good with high iso. From what distance to the objects did you shoot? I have an Oly 45mm and 17mm 1.8 and I am thinking of getting a 75mm, but it is a bit expensive and I am not sure if I need it. If I am close enough (5-10m away) I would assume the 45mm are enough. Do you agree? The band above is fairly easy as they don't move that much and there isnt much scene effects like lights from any direction, and it makes it much easier to shoot good pics.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Bergannen,
      I was very near the lead singer, and I was at the very front line. You were right, the focusing was superbly fast and was very reliable. Whether 45mm is enough or whether you need 75mm, it all depends on where you stand. If you can't get near enough surely you need the 75mm.

      Delete
  7. I like the quality of the noise pattern better than my EM5. It' more like the quality of the noise pattern from my Fuji XE-1. Any ideas about that? Is the sensor, in this regard, on the EM10 different for the EM5?

    David in Seattle

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    Replies
    1. Hey David,
      I actually thought the noise grain structure of the E-M10 was quite similar to the E-M5, but of course reduced and somehow it appears finer.

      Delete
  8. Hi Robin,

    thanks for your reviews and your afford at all. I have a tough question and maybe you can give me some hints. I have to decide between E-M10 and E-M1. So far the E-M1 seems good enough, but iam not 100% sure. So basically what do I lose with the E-M1 compared to the flagship? The better IBIS, the weathersealed body and something else? Thanks a lot, Stefan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. E-M1's image quality is still better than E-M10. Yes, you already know about the weather-sealing, magnesium alloy body construction and the 5-Axis IS. The E-M1 has phase detect AF built into the image sensor to enable fast focusing with older Four Thirds DSLR lenses (E-M10 will be slower in this regard), as well as much better continuous AF shooting capability. E-M1 also has larger, higher resolution electronic viewfinder that is quite a world of difference if you shoot a lot with viewfinders.

      Delete
  9. When digital pictures are resized to lower resolutions, resolution, noise pixels shrink with it. Thats why pixel peeping a high res sensor pict from say the nikon 800 at 36 mp always look softer compared to 16mp pictures using a lower res monitir like the typical hd 1920p x 1080 px.
    Similarly, to see the true noise performance of the mft srnsor you need to compare apples to apples, either download robins full res picts and compare it eith your 16mp or down res your 16mp to whatever res robin has downresed his to for the blog , then make the comparision.
    You will then see a truer picture of the noise performance between both 16mp downresed pictures.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The exact same reasons why I provide: 100% crops, with no resizing, and 100% resolution files, original, for download.

      Delete
  10. Hi Robin. Great write-up (especially the side comment about the DP Review forum - gave me a chuckle). I got my EM10 two days ago and I could not agree more about being impressed by the higher ISO results.
    My question is about the 14-42 EZ Pancake. How do you feel it compares to the 14-42IIR as far as image quality and AF speed. I am hoping that I like the one I have on pre-order enough to sell the 14-42IIR and my Panasonic 14mm pancake (my current "I want to go small" lens) and get the Olympus 25mm 1.8 as my faster lens.
    Thanks, Steve

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In terms of image quality I think both lenses are about the same. You should definitely get the 25mm F1.8 lens!

      Delete
    2. Not to keep reiterating what Mr. Wong has to say, but the 25mm f1.8 is the lens I find mounted most often. It allows a close enough shot not to zoom with your feet all the time. That said, it also focuses quickly and allows for low light shooting with less bumping of the ISO. I am enjoying shooting my children at tumbling and tae-kwon-do lessons. Price is good, lens is sharp, and and still keeps the camera at a relatively small foot print (mounting to the OM-D EM-10.

      Delete
  11. Your photos look great in high ISO setting (6400). Is it because of shooting in raw since I cannot get such clean photos even at 3200 with EM1? I shoot in Jpeg only because Olympus viewer 3 is too slow to process.

    regards
    John Law

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    Replies
    1. Hey John,
      I find E-M1 to perform slightly better than E-M10. There are numerous factors that can affect your high ISO images. You should be able to achieve similar or better results with JPEG. Perhaps it has something to do with in camera settings.

      Delete
    2. Hi Robin,
      I'm also impressed to see so deep and clean "black" in your 6400 (and even 12800) pictures.
      I have an E-P5 and, like John, cannot get so clean results even in ISO 3200.
      I've been through your article about post-processing but I wonder about the setting you have used for the pictures of this concert.
      Could you do an article showing how to manage high ISO pictures and get such clean pictures?

      Best regards,

      Stéphane

      Delete
    3. Hey Stéphane,
      I think there are many recommendation or guidelines out there and many do have conflicting rules. For myself I always ensure I do not underexpose my images (because if you do and you push up the brightness in post-processing you will not get clean blacks anymore).
      I used "natural" picture mode as I have mentioned, and I find that giving me very balanced output.
      You should be able to achieve similar results with E-P5, Make sure your noise reduction is set to auto and noise filter OFF. Also, gradation set to "Normal" not auto.

      Delete
    4. I also found your results very interesting! I use an E-M 5 and often photograph in very low light and at high ISOs. What bothers me about my results is not so much the E-M 5's noise pattern, but that the dark areas often show artifacts such as bands or clumps. I downloaded your test pictures with the E-M 10, and your results seem better in this regard than mine.

      Normally I use Lightroom to manage my raw files, so for a test I went back to some of my original ORF files and processed them using Olympus Viewer 3 and the settings you mention at the start of your column. Even after doing that, I still see more banding in my E-M 5 files than in your sample E-M 10 files.

      Is the E-M 10 really that much better than the E-M 5 at keeping smooth dark areas, or is this more likely just a difference in conditions etc.?

      Thanks again!

      Delete
    5. Hey Ranger 9,
      You were not wrong, the chroma noise was surely much better handled and suppressed in the E-M10 in comparison to the E-M5 and the black looks smoother and cleaner. This is true at ISO6400 and above. The structure of the grain is somehow finer too, with less "blotchiness". This is hugely due to the Truepic 7 processing engine.

      Delete
  12. Hello Robin

    Super Great Review with excellent Pictures and Video.
    We you don´t give away ORF samples?

    BR
    Wolfgang

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because most people will open the RAW files in lightroom or photoshop and the official plug-in for E-M10's RAW file is not released yet. The results may be misleading.

      Delete
  13. One word: impressive. This camera and its lenses perform brilliantly. It shows that Oly has come a long way since the first M4/3 cameras, and it shows two other things: that one *can* indeed get excellent shallow DOF with M4/3 plus excellent ISO performance, and it shows your considerable talent.

    Bravo!

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    Replies
    1. Hey Andre,
      Really the E-M10 is impressive! Indeed we have come a long way. Thanks for the kind words!

      Delete
  14. Excellent review. Does E-M10 sensor has AA filter or not? Different camera review sites say differently. Thanks a lot.

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  15. Hi, thanks for the informative review. I'm torn between the EM-5 and EM-10 currently. The differences that are always highlighted is that the EM-5 is 'higher end' with weather sealed body, 5-axis stabilization and has a port accessory. But the winning point for me is the image quality though. I'm looking to upgrade from my Canon 1000D to something more 'pro' with excellent image quality that is a M4/3 camera. Is the EM-10 producing an exact same image quality as the EM-5? I know it has the same sensor but a better processor, but when it comes down to it, for image quality when it comes to printing, showcasing etc, how does it hold up against the EM-5? :) Would love your advice. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Robin, I just got my E-M10 last week. I noticed that it make some small clicking/vibrating noise, I chalked it up as the Image Stabilization moving the sensor?
    However last weekend, my new E-M10 freeze twice, I was shooting at vertical position and it vibrate & clicking noticably, then it freeze and lcd went dark. When you turn it off and on, the lcd will light up for a bit, you feel small vibration then it turn off again. I thought it was battery went dead, but when i tried again at home, I was able to turn it on again and use it. (Battery show more than half)

    I'm concern if i got a defective camera? Have you experience something similar with E-M10?

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  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  18. Hi Robin,
    Would you pls give me suggestion between pen ep5 + 17mm and em10 + new pencake?
    I am new to M43, prev I only use Canon S100. Most of my photo will goes to my 2 yrs old daughter and edd on Dec '14 baby.
    Personally I prefer Pen ep5. However, when I walk in to camera shop, boss over there intro my this EM10. Would u pls give me some suggestion?
    P.s. camera shop boss also mention with only 17mm, I might have problem when go travel. But with new pancake, it will be no problem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have the PEN EP-5 and the size is also important for me.
      I suggest to buy the EP-5 only (found everywhere) and the lens separately.
      The Panasonic 20mm/1.7 also comes in a pancake format and fits really well with the EP-5.
      I also use the EP-5 for family portraits and I'm sure you will enjoy it.

      Stéphane

      Delete
    2. Hi Stéphane,
      So you suggest me to go with PEN 5 between EP-5 & EM 10?
      Thank you

      Delete
    3. The image quality is relatively the same between the 2 cameras and, according to your message, the size seems to be a criteria of choice (like it is for me). So yes, with a EP-5 + pancake lens, you will be really well equipped to travel + make great pictures.
      The size and shape of the EM-10 makes is a bit more difficult to stick into a pocket but is still small compared to a DSLR.
      The best is to go back in the shop and have both bodies in hands to feel the difference.

      Delete
    4. This link shows the size of the 2 bodies: http://camerasize.com/compare/#459,521
      Use the links on the left to see different angles.

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    5. Oops... I am sorry, I think I have make you confuse. I should stated out the pencake lens attach to EM 10 is actually "Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ".
      Actually what my concern is, if I only own 1 lens. Compare the 17mm f/1.8 on PEN 5 & 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ on EM 10. Which is better for me?
      And also, is it better to own EM 10 than EP 5? Cos the boss told me tht if I buy PEN 5, I might regret in the future. & he actually suggest me to take EM 10 (but personally I like PEN 5, the design)
      In my country, PEN 5 + 17mm is about RM3200++, and EM 10 +14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ is also RM3200++

      I have try to hold both. As you said, the EM 10 is difficult to stick into pocket, but nicer to hold while taking photo compare to PEN 5. But another problem is I also new, the way I hold and use camera now might not be correct >.<"

      Delete
    6. Not easy to direct you. It's more a question of feeling and what you plan to do with the camera ultimately. Both are very good cameras. Regarding the lenses, I was personnaly not so happy with the 14-42. Even if more versatile than prime lenses, these ones can produce amazing quality and easily fit into a bag pocket.

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    7. Noted. Thanks for your opinion. Is helpful for me. I believe it must be some reason that you "not so happy" with the 14-42. I think I will go for the 17mm then.
      Thanks a lot ^_^

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    8. The main reason is because I like the fixed aperture coming with the prime lenses. The sharpness also looks better to my eyes on the primes. Note that I have the old kit lens 14-42 and not the recent pancake version. I think that Robin has tested it and can speak better than me about this specific lens.
      If you can, ask the shop to take a picture with the Olympus 17mm (or Panasonic 20mm) and with the Olympus 14-42mm and compare the results once back home. Only you can tell if the results suit you or not.

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    9. Have a look on the Olympus site. They currently have a refurbished/reconditioned PEN EP-5 body for $640.- (2000RM).
      http://www.getolympus.com/us/en/outlet/reconditioned-cameras.html

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  20. Noise filter only applies to JPEG's above ISO 1600, according to Robert Friedman's book... just FYI

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  21. Bear in mind I have disabled the AF Assist light. 9mm F8 ... ilightbar.blogspot.com

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  22. Robin, looking forward to your EM5II review!

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  23. Hoi Robin,
    Ik geniet van het lezen van je blogs. Nu ga ik een Olympus OMD Em10 kopen wat is handig 2 lenzen met vast brandpunt. 25 mm. F1.8 en de 45 mm F1.8. Of de zoomlens 12-40mm 2.8 en de 45mm F1.8.
    Wat zou jij kopen en wat is handig? Hoor graag van je.

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  24. Hi Robin,
    I've spent dozens of hours researching for the right m43 camera for me to compliment my GH4, something for everyday use and travel. Been deciding between various Panasonic and Olympus bodies. Finally made a decision (a sale price really helped) and bought an E-M10 today. I have to give some credit to your reviews and blog since they are extremely informative and very fun to read. Also a big fan of your photos. Thanks for doing what you do, and keep it up!
    -Chris

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  25. Hey Robin, great review, this helped me in my decision to go with the EM10. Got a question though, does focus peaking come on automatically when you enable MF mode say with a MFT lens like the Oly 17mm f/1.8? It doesn't seem to do so for me, wondering if something is wrong.

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  26. Hi Robin, I like your objective review and your photo's. So i have the 14- 42 mm iiR objective with lens hood lh-40 is it as good as de 14- 42 ez objective with no lens- hood? I like the natural colors from the EM10 is it better than the new EM10? First i used always the Olympus E-450 and E-400. The colors are the same and very good. But the dynamic range is better. I like als that the camera is from metal.

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  27. Hi Robin great photos once again and amazing low light/high iso noise control off the camera! I have the em1 and em5m2 and tried the similar shots but when opened (raw files) in OV3, the noise levels looks horrible (without clicking on the high res raw preview button) - is that normal? I've tried off, low and standard NR in camera settings but still the same, the noise is prevalent. If i use standard, noise control is better but details lost. Is it normal that you have constantly click on high res raw preview mode overtime you make minor colour or exposure adjustments in OV3? I find it very cumbersome and slow to see what you really get. Also i tried your workflow method of processing and posting photos up for blogs but when i do on FB or Flickr, the noise levels are very apparent (compared to when viewed in OV3) - why is that? Hope you can help. FYI, i am using neutral settings on my camera. Thanks.

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