E-M5 extended ISO

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by burdickjp, Jan 16, 2014.

  1. burdickjp

    burdickjp Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 25, 2013
    When going through the ISO menu on the E-M5 everything above 5000 says 'extended'. I would assume this means 5000 is the physical limit of the sensor and the higher numbers are some kind of software implementation.
    Any comments on camera behavior above 5000?
    This thread: https://www.mu-43.com/showthread.php?t=58510 shows some hope for ISO 6400.
  2. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Use as required. Whether you push in post or let the camera push won't make a huge amount of difference. I think the upper 'native' resolution is 5000, and everything else is 'pushed' from there. It's the same for pretty much all modern cameras - Canon, Nikon, Sony, etc.

    Other thing that should be noted is that pictures at high ISO in good light (lots of highlight and midtone information) will always look much more impressive than actual low light pictures at higher ISO. I'm more liberal with shooting higher ISO to get good shutter speeds (wildlife, long glass, etc.) in daylight, and prefer to rely on IBIS and wider aperture in poor light, to reduce the amount of grain/noise. Fortunately, I also tend to be shooting more static subjects at wider angles of view when the light's really poor, so it all works out.
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  3. carpandean

    carpandean Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 29, 2010
    Western NY
    I prefer to stay at or below 3200 even in low light, but sometimes you need that extra stop to keep from getting motion blur. 6400 is usable, as long as you don't print too large, but it drops off very quickly. It becomes a question of which is the lesser of two evils: motion blur or noise.

    As a side note: one of the reasons that I didn't stick with the D600 is that the advantage over the E-M5 narrowed in the extended range. I saw this empirically, but the curves on DxOMark actually confirm this, too. The two lines run parallel, two stops apart, until the extended range, where the D600 kinks downward. Oddly, the D610 actually maintains its two-stop advantage into the extended range (i.e., there's no kink.)