Friday, March 06, 2015

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II vs E-M1 Video Image Quality

A recent OM-D E-M5 Mark II review by Andrew Reid from EOSHD.com (read here) has stated that "Then for a filmmaker it all comes collapsing down like a house of cards. Not only is video quality downright amateurish by 2015 standards, it’s worse than the E-M1. It’s softer and suffers from much more severe moire & aliasing."

I am no video expert, I am merely a photography enthusiast, so I am setting my boundaries here before commenting further in this topic. I will not make any conclusions on whether the E-M5 Mark II is on par with the so-called 2015 standards, that is something I am not qualified to do. However, I was shocked to hear that the video output of the E-M5 Mark II is softer, and suffers more severe moire and aliasing in comparison to the older E-M1.

There is one thing I can do, since I have access to BOTH E-M1 and E-M5 Mark II. I will make my comments on the "softer output". I fitted both cameras with M.Zuiko 25mm F1.8, recorded video at 1080 30p (since E-M1 is fixed to this), exposure was manual and standardized and focusing was painfully ensured to be dead on accurate. Both tests were done hand-held, with 5-Axis Image Stabilization on. I then cropped the video frame images and did side by side comparison. 


Here are my findings:
On the left, E-M5 Mark II, on the right E-M1

1/60sec, F2.8, ISO400. Focus was set on the face. 
 
1/100sec, F2.8, ISO400. Focus was set on the front dial

It does not take a video expert to see that E-M5 Mark II is producing noticeably sharper video output than the E-M1. And, not shockingly, better dynamic range, and highlight retention. 

I am not here to discredit Andrew from EOSHD, he is obviously more knowledgeable and experienced when it comes to video stuff. I am merely just doing my own comparison, out of curiosity after reading the EOSHD review and perhaps some of you may find this quick comparison useful. After all, E-M5 Mark II is already out in the market. For those of you who own both E-M5 Mark II and E-M1, please do your own comparison and we shall see a collective conclusion!


16 comments :

  1. Thank you Robin. Can you tell us which IS mode you used with the E-M5 II? I have seen some reports that the mode that includes digital stabilization softens the image.

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    1. Hi FredT I used Movie + digital IS (mode 1).

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  2. For me both examples look great. The E-M5 II look sharper then the E-M1 but with a slightly amount of noise. So, again, this is a matter of individual taste. In this case I like both cameras (what I really don't like is the price, much too much for my pocket).

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  3. Why do the frames from the EM1 have a shallower dof? Did you use a different f-stop between the 2 camera's?

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  4. For me the EM1 LOOKED BETTER. not obvious one is sharper
    Em1 is a tad brighter though

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  5. I'd say that the plane of focus on the E-M5 II is slightly different, slightly "deeper into the green hat", but we're splitting hairs here. Both are more than sharp enough, neither is "soft". The colours of the E-M1 are brighter and somewhat more pleasant to my eye, but that's off-topic and probably a difference in settings anyway. I would say that both cameras perform admirably and there's no clear "winner".

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  6. I like what you've done here. I have little use for video. So both of these look more than adequate to my unskilled eyes. However, if forced to choose, I'd go with the E-M1. Prefer the colour and slightly cleaner feel of those images.

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  7. Robin,

    I think Andrew is sitting way too high on his overly tall horse. His brand of cynical snark leaves too much to be desired. I can handle constructive criticism, but having to wade through that last article to understand his objections has basically pushed me away form ever reading anything of his again or accepting anything he might write in the future as unquestionably credible. He's destroyed his reputation in my eyes.

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  9. A simple video test review of the Olympus OM-D E-MII5II with the Panasonic 12-35mm F/2.8, 7-14mm F/4.0 and the Olympus 45mm F/1.8 lenses. Edited with FCPX with the TriTone filter.
    https://vimeo.com/122014876
    Enjoy...

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  10. The difference in depth of field must mean that the OM-D EM5ii switches to a higher aperture value in video mode like my Sony A77 does. Could that be the reason?

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  11. Robin, apart from video quality, if you already have an em5 and need a second body, which one will you pick, em1 or em5mk2? And what is you reason? Thanks a lot. Cheers...

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    1. Yes Robin, please answer that question as I am going crazy over which one to buy.

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  12. DOF ist a lot higher on the left images. Look at the backside of the Hat, look at the Labels on the Camera. No way that both images were shot with the same Aperture (The figure with the Hat is a bit darker too which could be an indicator for a smaller Aperture too). If the Display shows the same Aperture, then the Camera may do something internally. Very interesting

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  13. Valuable for information...is there any further reading you recommend on this??

    Alley
    Public Address Systems on Rent

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