DXO Mark Rates the Pen-F Sensor

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by SpecFoto, Sep 30, 2016.

  1. SpecFoto

    SpecFoto Mu-43 Veteran

    315
    Aug 28, 2012
    So Cal
    Jim
    DXO published the Pen-F sensor tests yesterday, giving it a rating of 74, the highest yet for an Olympus body. The OMD EM5 MKII and EM1 were rated at 73, so not a big difference. Link here:

    Olympus PEN-F Sensor Review: Style and substance | DxOMark

    However what I found most interesting is that the EM1 still has the best Dynamic Range of any Olympus M4/3 camera, 12.7 stops vs 12.4 for the EM5 MKII and 12.35 for the Pen-F at the base ISO (Which they measure lower than 200 for all 3 bodies). And Olympus stated in one of the Photokina interviews that the DR has been improved in the new EM1 MKII by a stop. So it seems we may see the new sensor have over 13 stops of DR!

    Dynamic Range Comparison.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2016
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  2. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    So the E-M1 is the best for DR :)
     
  3. ahinesdesign

    ahinesdesign Mu-43 Veteran

    434
    Dec 6, 2011
    NC, USA
    Aaron
    What I find even more interesting is that the GX8 is one point ahead of the Pen-F, using the same 20mp sensor. The Pen-F scores higher in low light, the GX8 in color depth and dynamic range. Plenty has been written about the usefulness of DXO scores on actual photography, so its probably best not to place too much weight on the numbers alone...

    I have a hard time seeing much - if any - difference in GX8 images from past or current 16mp m4/3 images (from Panasonic or Olympus).
     
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  4. astrostl

    astrostl Mu-43 Veteran

    361
    Oct 4, 2014
    St. Louis, MO
    Justin Honold
    PRO: sensor improvements were flat at 0% prior to release, so 1.037% is a mathematically infinite improvement across that timeline. BUY!!
    CON: it still doesn't shoot noise-free at ISO 25600, which is an outrage. DO NOT BUY!!

    Man, I'm torn...
     
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  5. SpecFoto

    SpecFoto Mu-43 Veteran

    315
    Aug 28, 2012
    So Cal
    Jim
    Oh I agree with you Aaron, the overall numbers at DXO are sometimes flaky. Heck, my 4 year old D800 is still tied for 4th best overall score with the Sony A7R at 95. However what I can see in my prints is that the dynamic range of my D800, at 14.33 stops, is better than my EM1 or EM5 MKII. So the prospect of having a updated EM1 with over 13 stops of DR is exciting, at least to me.
     
  6. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    While the difference between ISO 703 or 757 and 896 may sound like a reasonable improvement, even if you trust those absolute numbers completely, that is the difference of 1/3 of a stop. In reality, the difference is much smaller, and I suspect it highly unlikely that the vast, vast majority of photographers could pick between the two ISO values with better than 50/50 accuracy in a double-blind test.

    Obviously there are other tip-offs (resolution, chroma and long-exposure noise characteristics) that could tip people off, but in an ordinary photo processed ordinarily, the difference in low-light performance since the very first 16MP M4/3 sensor was released is trivially small...
     
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  7. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Very true. I hope we're not saying the same thing when the E-M1ii is here.
     
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  8. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    As an aside - how long has the Pen F been out and why has it taken DxO so long to measure it? Given that they tested the 5D mk IV almost on release date, I guess it tells us all we need to know about their priorities!
     
  9. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    I bet the EM1 ii will get tested quicker. Performance was not really a big issue for the Pen F. In addition, the EMI ii is a far more important camera for Olympus and mu43 in general. I have a pen F and I really like it but aside from the 20 mp sensor it wasn't pushing mu43's boundaries in any way.
     
  10. Machi

    Machi Mu-43 Veteran

    208
    May 23, 2015
    There is also some variation between the same cameras.
    Most of 16MPix Olympuses are using the same SONY's sensor and there is some difference in the DXO's results.
    DXO results are generally interesting and valuable but slight difference in results are unimportant
    (and they know this as they pointed out that small differences are "usually not noticeable").
    BTW, optyczne.pl tested PEN-F long time ago and their results are similar to those of GX8.
    I expect that their test of E-M1II will be also available sooner than the DXOMark's one.
     
  11. Hendrik

    Hendrik Mu-43 Regular

    104
    Feb 27, 2015
    Wayland
    Even though I will pass on the Pen-F, I'm delighted by the modest bump in resolution for no net cost in image quality. The numbers DxO publishes simply tell me that these bodies all live in the same neighborhood so that there should be no substantive difference between them out at the edges of performance (with the exception, perhaps, of long-exposure noise - tbd). In other words, I know what to expect. Further, across the board, it should be possible to keep moderate noise in check more easily due to its reduced relative size. This bodes well for the EM1 II, and makes it more appealing to be on that pre-order list.
     
  12. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    And of course maybe trust your eyes instead of a graph. I was quoting DxO yesterday, but Panasonic GH1 to GX8 seems like a much bigger gap than 1/3 a stop to me.

    Here's ISO 3200 on both cameras:

    upload_2016-9-30_12-39-53.
     

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  13. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    That's a much older 12MP sensor, which is outside the scope of my comments. I never used them, but can only comment on the difference between what I've seen with the 16MP GX1, GX7, and E-M1.

    But yeah, that's another inclination that DXO's numbers are at worst arbitrary, and at best non-representative of real life images. They claim that the GH1's 12MP sensor at 772 is 1/5 EV better than the GX80.

    You're right, that's pretty dramatic. Though I attribute a lot of those pictures to improvements in Panasonic's JPEG processing as well. Those aren't RAWs, are they?
     
  14. Brian Beezley

    Brian Beezley Mu-43 All-Pro

    3.
    1.
    2.

    I think part of the problem may be that measured ISO differs from manufacturer (indicated) ISO for both cameras. The last two graphs are in so-called print view where the data has been normalized for the same print size. At indicated ISO 3200, there is a 4.7 dB difference in S/N. Is that what the images show?

    Brian
     
  15. Brian Beezley

    Brian Beezley Mu-43 All-Pro

    5.
    4.

    The sports scores hardly differ. Again it looks like it is just a matter of measured vs indicated ISO. On the previous graphs for S/N vs measured ISO, look where the lines cross 30 dB, the S/N that determines the sports score. You can see that the ISO values are about what DxO reports for the sports scores.

    Maybe those images would look similar if both had been exposed at the same actual ISO. Note that at indicated ISO 3200, GH1 ISO measured 4176 and GX8 ISO measured 1693. That's quite a difference!

    Brian
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2016
  16. robcee

    robcee Mu-43 Veteran

    289
    Jan 10, 2016
    Toronto
    Rob Campbell
    my takeaway from their analysis: Not a lot of difference between the 20MP and 16MP cameras other than the resolution. They are effectively equivalent. The one area where the Pen-F seemed to really do well was on color sensitivity. Tonal and DR were very close to the 16MP counterparts.

    To you fellows comparing the GX8 to the GH1, I would expect a pretty big gap there. The GH1's an "old" camera now (in digital camera years, it's like a 63 year old (apologies to any 63 year olds here. you're not old!)). I'd expect the GH4 to be much closer to the specs and capabilities of the GX8 modulo the extra pixels.

    edit: fixed the suggested ageism a little.
     
  17. WhidbeyLVR

    WhidbeyLVR Mu-43 Top Veteran

    615
    Feb 14, 2014
    Whidbey Island
    Lyle
    Hey! I'm not old -- I'm vintage!
     
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  18. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    I'd be offended if I could find my reading glasses.
     
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  19. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I agree, however DXO scores the gh1 to be close to the gx8 in aspects, which is why I used it.
     
  20. cnyap

    cnyap Mu-43 Regular

    62
    Jan 30, 2015
    Those numbers might be close enough to be w/in the error of measurement and sample variation.