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Does any m4/3 camera have true base 100 ISO?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by agentlossing, Sep 1, 2014.

  1. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    I'm playing around with the EP-1, which has an ISO 100 option, which looks very low-noise, but I suspect has decreased dynamic range, and, according to some reviewers, probably does that fake ISO that is called "LOW" in more modern cameras. Anyone know for sure, and whether ISO 100 is ever worth using for image quality in m4/3 cameras?
  2. plaatje

    plaatje Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 15, 2012
    I like to use it on sunny days with my E-p2. Not for the quality but to use great apertures with my Leica Summilux 1.4 25mm and Olympus 1.8 45mm. I really like these lenses in combination with the E-p2 . . .
  3. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    ISO 100 is worth using if there is no other way to get the shoot. Yes, you might lose some DR, but at least you'll have gotten the shot.
  4. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    I'm referring to DR mainly. To restate, does ISO 100 ever make a better image file in any m4/3 camera, assuming I don't need the lowered sensitivity for exposure's sake, but am aiming for minimal noise and maximal DR?
  5. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    The Bassman
    Not AFAIK
  6. biomed

    biomed Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 22, 2013
    Seattle area
    The older model Panasonics such as the G1 and GF1 had a base ISO of 100. AFAIK there is no loss of DR using ISO 100 on these cameras. I don't see the point of using the "low" ISO on newer cameras. With my GH3 and GX7 I never go below the base ISO of 200. As I understand it, the base ISO uses minimum gain. This could be a misunderstanding on my part. Anyone else?

  7. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    The GX7 has a true 125
  8. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 1, 2013
    I'd shoot my em5 on a fake 100 all day long before I shot one of the older sensors at native 100. Even with the loss of a stop of DR at 100, you still have more DR than the old sensor.

    That said, IQ isn't an issue at 100, it is all about slowing down the shutter with fast primes.
  9. LovinTheEP2

    LovinTheEP2 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    The EP1 and EP2 do, not sure if the epl1 and epl2 did. Either way, none of the current gen models do. That said, iso low is a pull from iso200 maintains the same Dynamic Range (not better, same) so go ahead and use it as there is no apparent added noise or loss of dynamic range that might make you not want to use it. Its just a technicality on why they don't call it iso100..

    As for your ep1, iso100 is better then 200 for noise in my experience. I try and keep to iso 100 as much as I can. The sensors and thick aa filter glass imo really benefit from as much light as possible and not upping the gain.
  10. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    Thanks! That was my impression too; the EP1's ISO 100 looks much less noisy to my eye than the GX1 at 200.
  11. tetakpatak

    tetakpatak Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 12, 2012
    Panasonic GH1 has native 100 ISO sensor.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. biomed

    biomed Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 22, 2013
    Seattle area
    Point taken. I usually have to resort to an ND filter since using ISO 100 usually won't accomplish much (one stop) to slow the shutter or allow a wider aperture to be used with a fast lens. I absolutely agree with you that at ISO 100 the newer generation sensors have better DR than the first generation sensors.

  13. EA4BL

    EA4BL Mu-43 Regular

    I just discovered this fact only a couple days ago.
    I performed a few tests and yes! Images got less noisy. Much better IMHO.
    I was a little annoyed for noisy skies at ISO 200.
    They look much cleaner at ISO 100, so from now on, I´m gonna stick to 100 whenever possible!
    Shooting with an E-P1, by the way.
    Best wishes.
  14. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    Cool, thanks for validating my theory, that my EP1 images look a lot better at ISO 100! I had thought all of the m4/3 sensors started at 160 or 200, but it does indeed seem like these first-generation cameras have a true 100 base ISO.

    Makes you wonder whether the better ISO performance of more recent sensors is really only due to having a higher base ISO. I personally prefer having a noise-free base to having less noise (but visible noise) throughout the 200-to-HI range.
  15. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    The ISO by the manufacturers are all fudged a bit to best suit what they think we should get out of them or for marketing purposes. Any difference in dynamic range between Olympus's 100 and 200 ISO is pretty hard to tell IMO.

    I'm prone to use what the manufacture defines as the base ISO most of the time but don't hesitate to change to something else when needed. I only do this because the designers determined that the base ISO is where the gear performs its best, and I just don't have the time or expertise to test to the levels they do. Yet once I know my gear in different situations is when I'll change to what I think works best for the situation.
  16. beanedsprout

    beanedsprout Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 13, 2013
    north central Ohio
    No thanks. I'll take a GF1 over a GH3, EM1 or EM5 any day at base ISO. But that's also because of the rendering of the GF1. Which is why I have the GF1 and sold the GH3 and EM1 (still keep the EM5 for work though).
  17. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    There seem to be some wrong conclusions popping up in this thread.
    Early model Olympus bodies have base ISO around 200, with identical RAWs (with different EV data for the converters to use) for stated ISO 100 & 200 but their Jpeg engine produces "nicer" ISO 100 Jpegs ... usually, especially in skies, with of course the slightly reduced highlight dynamic range.
    It is very easy to test with the right RAW converter.

    G1 & GF1 use the same sensor but their stated ISO values are fudged another way (everyone fudges those) and their stated base ISO uses the sensor's real base ISO.
  18. Dramaturg

    Dramaturg Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 7, 2013
    Recently, when I was looking through my images shot with auto ISO during the bright day I noted that some files have ISO125 and others ISO100. When you shoot with manual ISO set to low you always get ISO100 in exif. But when you let camera choose appropriate ISO you will see that there are several options within the LOW setting. Anyway, at least my E-M5 does it. Just a side note.
  19. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter Subscribing Member

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Good info folks. I'll try the ol' EP1 on iso 100.
  20. Wisertime

    Wisertime Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2013
    I use ISO 100 on my EM5 for night shots and noise reduction. I don't think the DR range loss is that great....depends on the subject anyway IMO.

    The EP1 always did have nice color rendering, but gets noisy over ISO 1000 for sure.
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