E-M1 II vs E-M5 II & RX100 IV

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by ijm5012, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    Updated the second post with some really beautiful shots of a lovely brick wall.

    Ever since purchasing my E-M1 II, I've been curious to see how the Hi-Res mode compared to that in the E-M5 II, which I've been thoroughly impressed with. I also have been impressed with my RX100M4 and its 20MP sensor, so I decided to see how it compared to the 20MP sensor in the E-M1 II as well as the 16MP sensor in the E-M5 II.

    All images were shot at their lowest possible ISO (64 for the M1 II, 100 for the M5 II, and 80 for RX100), on a tripod with remote shutter release cables, at f/5.6. The Olympus cameras used an 12mm f/2 prime, while the RX100 used it's lens set at 12mm. All images are JPEG OOC, except for matching the WB in LR (no sharpening or anything like that). The Olympus images were cropped to 3:2 aspect ratio. For the "standard" images, all were resized to 5478x3652 (20 MP) while the Hi-Res images were resized to 7500x5000 (37.5 MP) upon export from LR.

    This scene is nothing special. In fact, the overcast skies made it downright crappy. There is no artistic merit in this at all, it's just simply a scene to see how the cameras handled something with detail in the foreground (grass), with the subject at a distance. I will try to get back to the same spot to repeat the testing when there isn't as much haze in the air, and the skies aren't overcast.

    Anyways, on to the images. Note, there's a link to a dropbox folder that contains these images if anybody is interested in downloading them.

    Hi-Res Comparison (E-M1 II on top, E-M5 II on bottom)

    EM1_II_HiRes_zps6c8c3nlp.

    EM5_II_HiRes_zpsby28nhy0.


    Standard Comparison (E-M1 II on top, RX100 IV in middle, E-M5 II on bottom)

    EM1_II_20MP_zpsqjzfqioc.

    RX100_IV_20MP_zpsammdk2yu.

    EM5_II_16MP_zpsxwn3o0d1.


    Results/Conclusions

    So, what are my thoughts? Well, the RX100M4 is a damn impressive camera. When comparing the files from the E-M1 II to the RX100M4, I'd say that the RX100M4 images were actually sharper on the edges than the E-M1 II with 12/2 (both lenses were at f/5.6). I do feel that the 12/2 is slightly sharper in the center when looking at the leaf-less trees, as the branches are more well defined.

    Turning my attention to the hi-res shots, I don't feel that the E-M1 II is any sharper than the E-M5 II (and I don't know why it would be). What it does do is give me more resolution (80MP vs 64MP), a cleaner image (ISO 64 vs 100), and the ability to use a shutter speed longer than 8s (useful for simulating long-exposure effects in clouds or water).

    Overall, I'm happy with the E-M1 II. It's a fantastic, all-around camera for me (I like doing landscapes, long exposures, and action shooting). But Sony has managed to make a killer little camera with the RX100M4. Anyways, I plan to repeat this testing, hopefully next weekend when the weather is forecasted to be a bit better.

    Link to Dropbox

     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
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  2. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    OK, so I went out and shot some more images today, this time of a lovely brick wall (one of my favorite subjects to shoot. Just like snowflakes, every one is unique...).

    All images were shot in M, ISO 200, f/5.6, with a shutter speed of 1/10s (E-M1 II images were taken at 1/13 due to a slight difference in lighting) with the Olympus 12mm f/2 (or built-in lens in the case of the RX100 IV). RAW images were brought in to LR where they were matched for WB (6500/+10), and the Olympus images were cropped to 3:2 to match that of the RX100 IV.

    Looking at the Hi-Res images, yes the E-M1 II does yield a slightly sharper image thanks in part to the newer sensor. The difference is pretty subtle though, and you really need to look at fine details @ 100% to see the difference on screen. The larger resolution (80MP vs 64MP) is nice to have though when making 60" wide prints.

    Looking at the standard files, both Olympus images are slightly (very slightly) sharper than the Sony image, but it's pretty negligible. This yet again shows at just how good the little Sony is. I plan on shooting some images at 50mm eqv. just to see if it's any different (does the Sony lens get worse as we zoom in?). I think this is a pretty good demonstration of just how good that "old" 16MP sensor is in the E-M5 II that people are clamoring to have replaced with an E-M5 III. As is the case 99% of the time, the gear is far more competent than the photographer.

    My main reason for getting the E-M1 II was the improved C-AF performance. I'm going to try to go shoot a local college track meet this weekend, comparing the E-M1 II to the E-M1 with some 4/3 lenses (50-200 SWD) as well as native m43 lenses (75/1.8 & 42.5/1.7). I also plan on going to the local auto-x in the next few weekends to shoot some cars as well, before making it to the proper race track later this summer. I'm really hoping that the E-M1 II performs there, otherwise I'm not certain I can justify keeping the E-M1 II.

    Time will tell, but in the mean time, feel free to have a look at the images below and draw your own conclusions.


    Hi-Res Images (E-M1 II on top, E-M5 II on bottom)

    E-M1 II - HiRes.

    E-M5 II - HiRes.


    Standard Shots (E-M1 II on top, RX100 IV in middle, E-M5 II on bottom)

    E-M1 II - Standard. RX100 IV - Standard. E-M5 II - Standard.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  3. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    Reserved for future testing
     
  4. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    Sorry Ian.. but who actually cares?

    Not me for one.. Photography to me is about interesting images not technical perfection.

    Even if you are trying to make a technical point, at least try and present it in a way that others may understand.. all your shots here in this post look the same.. maybe clearly labelled, side by side shots they might make your point better..

    K
     
  5. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    Well, you care enough to take the time to post ;)

    Also, there were other curious people out there like myself to see how the hi-res mode compared between these two cameras. As for the RX100M4 comparison, that was curiosity on my end. I've been pretty astonished by the images that the little Sony can make, so I wanted to see how it compared to a $2000 camera and a $700 prime lens. In short, it compared very, very well.

    I agree that photography is about creating interesting images and capturing/documenting moments in time, but sometimes it's nice to see how your new gear stacks up against the gear you've had.
     
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  6. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    Chicago-area
    David Dornblaser
    Thanks, Ian. :eek-31: Staying pat with my current bodies.
     
  7. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    My issue is that you did not in this post actually demonstrate the differences you see. All I see is a set of dull dark images. Maybe you see differences on your screen, but on the evidence of your posted images and even the dropbox images are to me inconclusive.

    Personally I am way past concerns about fidelity.. I know I have sufficient for anything I would ever shoot... my priority is making better visual images

    K
     
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  8. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    Thanks. I'm glad to know my post did not cause you to question the sufficiency of your gear. Now, back the hole you crawled out of, our resident curmudgeon. :)
     
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  9. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    Agreed. The E-M1 II doesn't offer a whole lot in terms of an upgrade for landscape images (I do like the clean ISO 64, and longer shutter speeds possible in e-shutter as I can shoot time lapses without putting unnecessary wear on the mechanical shutter). The primary reason I got the E-M1 was the improved AF performance over the E-M1 for shooting motorsports. There are some advantages for landscape shots as well, which is more of a "nice to have" than a reason to upgrade IMO.
     
  10. genesimmons

    genesimmons Mu-43 Veteran

    247
    Feb 12, 2017
    as mentioned above i think to clearly show any difference u really need some better images to take high res shots of to compare pixel to pixel, get some close ups of a old brick church or wooden boat or something with some detail, those images unfortunatey dont show any detail and were not good high res candidates. i am always interested in cam vs cam and to throw a point and shoot in the mix was great, i would like to see a much more detailed comparison and again as mentioned above label all your pics in processing not just stating middle pic top pic etc, i like your thread just not how it was carried out
     
  11. Thanks for the test. I agree also that you should try to photograph something different, that would actually show more detail. Get much closer - trees or foliage would be great candidates I think. Btw, if you check out the Comparo between the em5 II and the penF, according to imaging resources, the hi res shots from the penF were more detailed. They did see a difference. But than again a couple of years ago what's his name said, that for at least product photography, the em5 II was the best camera, (hi res) beating out the d810 as the previous champ.
     
  12. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    I'll photograph a different scene sometime here over the coming week (weather and time permitting), and update the thread (that's why I reserved the 2nd & 3rd post).
     
  13. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    Curmudgeon or not, I think Kevin is right: The gear at our disposal today is mostly all "good enough".

    Before I kicked a terrible bout of audiophilia a few years back I'd often find myself listening to music that I did not even like in an attempt to find which speakers or amp was better. Shooting brick walls to compare cameras reminds me of that. Unless you are in to brick wall photography why bother?
    I'd bet that if most any of us was shooting with the little Sony and the other cams compared here on a regular basis we'd know that it could hang.
     
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  14. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    The bit about listening to music you didn't even like made me laugh.

    Also, that's why I didn't go shoot a brick wall or a test chart, because I don't photograph those types of things. I do take landscape shots, which is why I went with the scene in the OP, as it was more realistic than shooting a test chart.

    Having said that, I probably will go shoot a brick wall, just to get an idea of the difference in sharpness and detail the different cameras can muster up (plus, after I'm done shooting I can go bash my head against it). But I also plan on doing another "realistic" test when the weather conditions are a bit more favorable.
     
  15. Growltiger

    Growltiger Mu-43 Top Veteran

    981
    Mar 26, 2014
    UK
    You should be shooting those at base ISO not the lowest ISO. One of the benefits of HiRes with the E-M1 II (and perhaps the others) is that at ISO 200 there is no noise at all.
     
  16. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    Having owned an E-M1 II, and shooting at ISO 64 and ISO 200, I can without a doubt confirm that ISO 64 does yield lower overall noise, especially in the shadows, at the expense of the highlights (easier to clip). ISO 200 yields a noiser image, but retains highlights better.

    In Hi-Res mode, there's no real difference because of the noise averaging that takes place as part of the multi-shot process.
     
  17. Growltiger

    Growltiger Mu-43 Top Veteran

    981
    Mar 26, 2014
    UK
    So why are you shooting hires images at ISO 64 when ISO200 has no noise and has better dynamic range. That was my point.
     
  18. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    Updated the second post with some really beautiful shots of a lovely brick wall.
     
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  19. On my 5k imac, the Oly cameras look more detailed. Easy to see - unless I just want to see something that isn't there.
     
  20. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    Good to know. I've only looked at them on a 15" rMBP and 25" 1440p monitor.