EM1.3 - is it worth the upgrade cost from the EM1.2 ?

pdk42

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Not. Used either camera, coming from a slightly different angle currently use G80 and thinking about getting an Em1 just trying to decide between mk2 and 3. I was leaning towards the mk2 mainly due to cost. Most of my lens are Lumix. If I did body only and not double up on glass 12-60 lumix and 12-40 Pro I might go for the Mk 3 Or mk2 and get the 12-40 or maybe 12-100 (scratch head)
IMHO, the EM1.3 is only worth it over the EM1.2 if at least one of the following are important to you:

  1. Hand held hi-res. This is a big deal if you shoot scenes where its limitations are not exceeded (i.e. relatively static scenes, no stacking or bracketing, long wait between shots (2-3 frames per MINUTE, f8 limit (no sunstars!)). The big deal is not just higher res (which personally is not a motivator), but MUCH reduced shadow noise = MUCH better DR.

  2. Improved face/eye AF. This is also a big deal. If you shoot people it'll improve your keeper rate a lot.

  3. AF joystick. This is a fairly big deal if you've previously struggled with the touchpad AF.

  4. AF target area control. Might be a big deal for wildlife/sport shooters.

  5. Improved IBIS. Adds about a stop. I can get at least an 80% hit rate on perfectly sharp hand-hold shots at 12mm with the 12-100 at 15s. Amazing. The E-M1.2 maxed out at 8s. That's still pretty good, so probably not a big deal for most users.

  6. Live ND. Might help out to smooth water when you haven't got an ND filter and a tripod/stable surface to stand the camera on.

  7. Slightly improved usability. Extra C position on dial and "My Menu". Minor really.

  8. Stary Sky AF. MIght be useful for astro shooters. I'm not an expert so can't comment.

  9. USB charging/operation. Again, probably very useful for astro shooters.
I'm personally happy with the move, but as I've said above, I still think it a disappointing evolution overall.
 
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doady

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I bought E-M1 II + 12-100mm F4 on Boxing Day because I was planning to go to Vietnam this spring and my C-7070WZ didn't have enough storage for a 2 months trip. Now that COVID-19 has cancelled my trip, I can't help but wonder if I should have been patient. 7.5 stops of image stabilization with 12-100mm F4? Wow. It would have been nice to try the handheld high-res mode as well.
 

pdk42

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I bought E-M1 II + 12-100mm F4 on Boxing Day because I was planning to go to Vietnam this spring and my C-7070WZ didn't have enough storage for a 2 months trip. Now that COVID-19 has cancelled my trip, I can't help but wonder if I should have been patient. 7.5 stops of image stabilization with 12-100mm F4? Wow. It would have been nice to try the handheld high-res mode as well.
I wouldn't feel too bad - the EM1.2 + 12-100 is still fantastic with its stabilisation. And you can always do your own HHHR by shooting a burst of 8 images and stacking later in Photoshop or similar.
 

RAH

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I wouldn't feel too bad - the EM1.2 + 12-100 is still fantastic with its stabilisation. And you can always do your own HHHR by shooting a burst of 8 images and stacking later in Photoshop or similar.
How exactly can you stack images and get hi-res? I am familiar with HDR, but that gets you one image (with regular resolution but better shadows and highlights), but can you explain how you get more resolution? Do you mean by doing a panorama and stitching on the edges (vertically and horizontally)? Or do you mean that Photoshop has some technique similar to the one the E-M1III uses to produce a 50MP image from the multiple images it takes?
 

Alan_N

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Thanks for your input pdk42. I don't currently do to much people photography but I am wanting to do more, the AFjoystick was one of the things that I did think would be useful. I keep switching between the two but think the Mk3 might win inthe end. I Hand held high res might be intresting.
 

Phocal

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I always use the exposure blinkies and spin the dial I've assigned to exp comp until the highlights are just showing.
Haven't finished the entire thread yet but you do that you can adjust at what level those blinkies show up (well you can on the EM1), I have mine setup for how I like my images. Hearing this worse highlight recovery and better shadow recovery is disappointing to me. I hate blow highlights but have zero problem crushing the shadows. I come from a slide film background and use to working within a restricted DR range and crushing the shadows doesn't bother me.

I was asked once about my preference for highlights over shadows and since I am also a writer and overall creative person I look at the shadows as being mysterious and you are not suppose to know what hides in the dark. Where the light represents seeing and knowing and you should see what it in the light. So I carry that over to my photography and will completely crush the shadows to ensure you can see what is in the light.

I have been looking at replacing my EM1's because they are getting pretty damn beat up and I just can't see buying any used ones as they are long in the tooth now. At the current prices the EM1x is a no brainer over the EM1mk3 for someone like me who 90% of the time has the grip on. Since I do prefer 2 cameras I would eventually upgrade my other EM1 to the mk3 just so I could have a smaller camera when I needed it. Based on these image changes I would jump on a couple of used mk2's if that camera had the joystick. Coming from Canon the joystick is honestly the one thing I have missed more than anything else switching to Olympus (I am always moving that focus point around). And no, the LCD as the focus point mover just doesn't work for me (would stay with the 4 way arrows that I am using now).
 

pdk42

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Haven't finished the entire thread yet but you do that you can adjust at what level those blinkies show up (well you can on the EM1), I have mine setup for how I like my images. Hearing this worse highlight recovery and better shadow recovery is disappointing to me. I hate blow highlights but have zero problem crushing the shadows. I come from a slide film background and use to working within a restricted DR range and crushing the shadows doesn't bother me.

I was asked once about my preference for highlights over shadows and since I am also a writer and overall creative person I look at the shadows as being mysterious and you are not suppose to know what hides in the dark. Where the light represents seeing and knowing and you should see what it in the light. So I carry that over to my photography and will completely crush the shadows to ensure you can see what is in the light.

I have been looking at replacing my EM1's because they are getting pretty damn beat up and I just can't see buying any used ones as they are long in the tooth now. At the current prices the EM1x is a no brainer over the EM1mk3 for someone like me who 90% of the time has the grip on. Since I do prefer 2 cameras I would eventually upgrade my other EM1 to the mk3 just so I could have a smaller camera when I needed it. Based on these image changes I would jump on a couple of used mk2's if that camera had the joystick. Coming from Canon the joystick is honestly the one thing I have missed more than anything else switching to Olympus (I am always moving that focus point around). And no, the LCD as the focus point mover just doesn't work for me (would stay with the 4 way arrows that I am using now).
Hi Ronnie - when you eventually read the full thread (I bet you can hardly wait!!), you'll see that reducing the level of the blinkies is exactly what I've done. 245 seems to be the level that works best for me.

I agree with you 100% about hating blown highlights, although because I do a lot of landscapes, I like to have the option to push the shadows too. That's why I'm finding HHHR is (when the subject matter allows it), a real win on the mark III. I'm sure given the way you use your cameras (I've seen the shots of the camera in the kayak!), the EM1x and the EM1.3 will be ideal for you. They are now giving them formal IPX ratings, which I think says a lot for their WX sealing.

Hope all's well with you. I just took a look at your Flickr - you're definitely making the most of Alaska - fantastic shots up to your usual standard.

Best wishes!
 

RAH

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How exactly can you stack images and get hi-res? I am familiar with HDR, but that gets you one image (with regular resolution but better shadows and highlights), but can you explain how you get more resolution? Do you mean by doing a panorama and stitching on the edges (vertically and horizontally)? Or do you mean that Photoshop has some technique similar to the one the E-M1III uses to produce a 50MP image from the multiple images it takes?
No reply, @pdk42 Paul? I have a particular reason for asking (I am not trying to do a gotcha!). As I understnad it, HHHR works completely differently than tripod-hires. One of the ways it works differently is that HHHR takes 16 images and records them (tripod-hr uses 8 and I think does not actually record them) and then does some heavy-duty processing and writes a composite, downsized (to 50MP) to the card. So, as far as I can determine, you only get ONE image after this process (in this respect, it is similar to tripod-hr).

Robin Wong has a good video on HHHR here:


I have read that one reason the E-M5III does not do HHHR is because it does not have the processing power to create the final merged image (doing the 16 image merge, etc; again a difference with tripod-hr, which the E-M5III can handle).

But the thing is, if an under-powered camera like the E-M5III did the first part of HHHR (making the 16 images) and left the 16 images ON THE CARD, it seems to me you could then potentially do post-processing (it would be in Olympus Workspace) to do the final processing to composite the image into the final 50MP merged image. So it is something I wish Olympus would do.

But then I read your blurb about making a Hires image in Photoshop and it is making me wonder what you mean - maybe what I want is already available?
 

pdk42

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No reply, @pdk42 Paul? I have a particular reason for asking (I am not trying to do a gotcha!). As I understnad it, HHHR works completely differently than tripod-hires. One of the ways it works differently is that HHHR takes 16 images and records them (tripod-hr uses 8 and I think does not actually record them) and then does some heavy-duty processing and writes a composite, downsized (to 50MP) to the card. So, as far as I can determine, you only get ONE image after this process (in this respect, it is similar to tripod-hr).

Robin Wong has a good video on HHHR here:


I have read that one reason the E-M5III does not do HHHR is because it does not have the processing power to create the final merged image (doing the 16 image merge, etc; again a difference with tripod-hr, which the E-M5III can handle).

But the thing is, if an under-powered camera like the E-M5III did the first part of HHHR (making the 16 images) and left the 16 images ON THE CARD, it seems to me you could then potentially do post-processing (it would be in Olympus Workspace) to do the final processing to composite the image into the final 50MP merged image. So it is something I wish Olympus would do.

But then I read your blurb about making a Hires image in Photoshop and it is making me wonder what you mean - maybe what I want is already available?
This is the basic approach to doing your own HHHR stacking (using PS - I don't think Olympus Workplace lets you do a stack):
  1. Shoot 'n' images as a burst at the same exposure. Use raw for best results. In H drive mode, you can set a frame limit so this makes it easy. You'll get a noise reduction factor of log2(n) - that is, with 8 shots, 3x; with 16 shots, 4x.
  2. Load the images in PS as layers - File->Scripts->Load files into stack
  3. Select all the layers (shift click top to bottom)
  4. Align them - Edit->Auto-Align Layers (use "Auto" mode in the dialogue that pops up)
  5. Convert them into smart objects - Layer->Smart Object->Convert to Smart Object
  6. Stack images using median mode - Layer->Smart Object->Stack-mode->Median
Done!

If you want to get more resolution, upscale the images between steps 3 and 4.

If you haven't got PS, then try using one of the astro stackers - e.g. DeepSkyStacker.

So far as in-camera hi-res is concerned - yes, you'll get two images:

  1. A .ORF wihch is the hi-res stacked file
  2. a .ORI which is the first shot of the sequence in regular res
The stacking is pretty CPU intensive, so hence why it's only on the higher-end cameras (OTOH, I suspect it would work on the lower spec cameras, but just take longer - probably more a marketing limitation than technical. After all, it can stack the tripod-mode images).

As regards the difference between HHHR and Tripod, you may find the following explanation helpful:

  1. HHHR is essentially an image stacking and upresing exercise. It works by filling in gaps caused by fine detail getting lost across the matrix of RGB pixels that make up the colour filter array (CFA). Our 20Mp sensor is about 5200x3900 pixels, but these pixels are not full-colour pixels - they are arranged as repeating sets of 2x2 groups, each with 2 green pixels, 1 red and 1 blue. When the image is processed, a process called de-mosaicing is applied which converts these repeating groups of four points into an array of single points each with an RGB reading. The algorithms that do this have varying levels of complexity, but the net result is that our 20Mp sensor reduces to something much smaller (probably 5Mp) when we consider it as a full-colour array. Fine details that are smaller than the 2x2 matrix will be lost to some degree.

    If you take multiple shots, natural movement of the camera will cause fine details to shift in their positioning within these 2x2 groups. When demosaicing runs, slightly different outputs will be produced for any particular fine detail. If you upscale these images and then align and average them later in post processing (in camera or otherwise), these details will be revealed and so we can produce an overall
    higher resolution image than a single shot would give. As a bonus, the stacking uses a "median" mode, which also gives a significant improvement in noise.

  2. The tripod HiRes mode does something similar in that it stacks multiple images, but the images are precision-shifted by the IBIS rather than random movements by hand shake. The movement algorithm uses a sort of circular dance that ensures every point in the scene gets exposed through each of the pixels in the 2x2 matrix. So each point is captured as a successive reading of its luminance in each of the R, G, & B channels. This adds an important extra feature - we don't need to de-mosaic. Not only does this increase the resolution, but it delivers much improved colour accuracy and reduces artefacts caused by demosaicing - especially moire. It's better than HHHR, but of course it needs a perfectly static camera since the IBIS can't do the precision sensor shift and the image stabilisation at the same time.
 
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RAH

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Wow, Paul, what a good explanation! Thanks!

When I read the first part, down to "As regards the difference between HHHR and Tripod, you may find the following explanation helpful" I wasn't getting the point. It just seemed like a bunch of stacking and upsizing for no apparent reason (unlike with some astro-photography stacking where it is eliminating noise by looking for changes, thereby distinguishing what's real and what's noise).

HOWEVER, your 2nd section, explaining HHHR vs tripod-hr makes the first part make sense to me. When I listened to Robin Wong's video on HHHR he very quickly spoke about random hand movements, but I didn't know what he was talking about. But from your explanation, it seems that this movement is USED by the stacking as a less-exact version of the sensor shift movement used by the tripod hires.

So that makes the stacking that you could do yourself after taking a burst of shots make sense to me too. Very interesting!! I had assumed that the whole HHHR operation was some special technique used by the high-end Olympus cameras which would then require a bunch of special images to be saved to the card that would then use specialized proprietary Oly software to work. But now I see what's going on and how any stacking software could be used with any burst of images. Amazing!

So, again, thanks for the excellent tutorial! :)
 

Phocal

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Hi Ronnie - when you eventually read the full thread (I bet you can hardly wait!!), you'll see that reducing the level of the blinkies is exactly what I've done. 245 seems to be the level that works best for me.

I agree with you 100% about hating blown highlights, although because I do a lot of landscapes, I like to have the option to push the shadows too. That's why I'm finding HHHR is (when the subject matter allows it), a real win on the mark III. I'm sure given the way you use your cameras (I've seen the shots of the camera in the kayak!), the EM1x and the EM1.3 will be ideal for you. They are now giving them formal IPX ratings, which I think says a lot for their WX sealing.

Hope all's well with you. I just took a look at your Flickr - you're definitely making the most of Alaska - fantastic shots up to your usual standard.

Best wishes!
Thanks.

I keep thinking I could order the mk3 now and get the grip and battery later. But I really want the x, so guess it's just waiting another month before ordering it.
 

spdavies

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This is the basic approach to doing your own HHHR stacking (using PS - I don't think Olympus Workplace lets you do a stack):
  1. Shoot 'n' images as a burst at the same exposure. Use raw for best results. In H drive mode, you can set a frame limit so this makes it easy. You'll get a noise reduction factor of log2(n) - that is, with 8 shots, 3x; with 16 shots, 4x.
  2. Load the images in PS as layers - File->Scripts->Load files into stack
  3. Select all the layers (shift click top to bottom)
  4. Align them - Edit->Auto-Align Layers (use "Auto" mode in the dialogue that pops up)
  5. Convert them into smart objects - Layer->Smart Object->Convert to Smart Object
  6. Stack images using median mode - Layer->Smart Object->Stack-mode->Median
Done!

If you want to get more resolution, upscale the images between steps 3 and 4.

If you haven't got PS, then try using one of the astro stackers - e.g. DeepSkyStacker.

So far as in-camera hi-res is concerned - yes, you'll get two images:

  1. A .ORF wihch is the hi-res stacked file
  2. a .ORI which is the first shot of the sequence in regular res
The stacking is pretty CPU intensive, so hence why it's only on the higher-end cameras (OTOH, I suspect it would work on the lower spec cameras, but just take longer - probably more a marketing limitation than technical. After all, it can stack the tripod-mode images).

As regards the difference between HHHR and Tripod, you may find the following explanation helpful:

  1. HHHR is essentially an image stacking and upresing exercise. It works by filling in gaps caused by fine detail getting lost across the matrix of RGB pixels that make up the colour filter array (CFA). Our 20Mp sensor is about 5200x3900 pixels, but these pixels are not full-colour pixels - they are arranged as repeating sets of 2x2 groups, each with 2 green pixels, 1 red and 1 blue. When the image is processed, a process called de-mosaicing is applied which converts these repeating groups of four points into an array of single points each with an RGB reading. The algorithms that do this have varying levels of complexity, but the net result is that our 20Mp sensor reduces to something much smaller (probably 5Mp) when we consider it as a full-colour array. Fine details that are smaller than the 2x2 matrix will be lost to some degree.

    If you take multiple shots, natural movement of the camera will cause fine details to shift in their positioning within these 2x2 groups. When demosaicing runs, slightly different outputs will be produced for any particular fine detail. If you upscale these images and then align and average them later in post processing (in camera or otherwise), these details will be revealed and so we can produce an overall
    higher resolution image than a single shot would give. As a bonus, the stacking uses a "median" mode, which also gives a significant improvement in noise.

  2. The tripod HiRes mode does something similar in that it stacks multiple images, but the images are precision-shifted by the IBIS rather than random movements by hand shake. The movement algorithm uses a sort of circular dance that ensures every point in the scene gets exposed through each of the pixels in the 2x2 matrix. So each point is captured as a successive reading of its luminance in each of the R, G, & B channels. This adds an important extra feature - we don't need to de-mosaic. Not only does this increase the resolution, but it delivers much improved colour accuracy and reduces artefacts caused by demosaicing - especially moire. It's better than HHHR, but of course it needs a perfectly static camera since the IBIS can't do the precision sensor shift and the image stabilisation at the same time.
Wish I could give this two winner's cups!
This post should be pinned somewhere.
This guy ought to write camera manuals.
Thank you for such a clear, succinct guide to a really intriguing
but somewhat technical process.
I know I've been interested / mystified by it.
I really like instruction that tells you how something works,
not just what to do.
Mahalo!! 😎🙏🏽👍🏼💕
 

pdk42

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Wish I could give this two winner's cups!
This post should be pinned somewhere.
This guy ought to write camera manuals.
Thank you for such a clear, succinct guide to a really intriguing
but somewhat technical process.
I know I've been interested / mystified by it.
I really like instruction that tells you how something works,
not just what to do.
Mahalo!! 😎🙏🏽👍🏼💕
Gee, schucks - thank you !:thumbup:
 
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IMHO, the EM1.3 is only worth it over the EM1.2 if at least one of the following are important to you:

  1. Hand held hi-res. This is a big deal if you shoot scenes where its limitations are not exceeded (i.e. relatively static scenes, no stacking or bracketing, long wait between shots (2-3 frames per MINUTE, f8 limit (no sunstars!)). The big deal is not just higher res (which personally is not a motivator), but MUCH reduced shadow noise = MUCH better DR.

  2. Improved face/eye AF. This is also a big deal. If you shoot people it'll improve your keeper rate a lot.

  3. AF joystick. This is a fairly big deal if you've previously struggled with the touchpad AF.

  4. AF target area control. Might be a big deal for wildlife/sport shooters.

  5. Improved IBIS. Adds about a stop. I can get at least an 80% hit rate on perfectly sharp hand-hold shots at 12mm with the 12-100 at 15s. Amazing. The E-M1.2 maxed out at 8s. That's still pretty good, so probably not a big deal for most users.

  6. Live ND. Might help out to smooth water when you haven't got an ND filter and a tripod/stable surface to stand the camera on.

  7. Slightly improved usability. Extra C position on dial and "My Menu". Minor really.

  8. Stary Sky AF. MIght be useful for astro shooters. I'm not an expert so can't comment.

  9. USB charging/operation. Again, probably very useful for astro shooters.
I'm personally happy with the move, but as I've said above, I still think it a disappointing evolution overall.
This is really helpful, thank you. I bought the EM1.2 in January, but it's just gone back for a refund due to so many issues with it. I now have a chance to get either the EM1.2 again or the new 1.3 both at 30% off retail and I can't make up my mind between the two.

I moved from the EM5.2 to the EM1.2 for better AF performance and stabilization/Low-light performance. I shoot wildlife and landscape mostly and which the EM5.2 was perfectly fine for landscape, for wildlife it really struggled.

Your #2 point - has the AF overall improved? or just the face/eye AF?

#8 seems pretty significant also, low light wildlife shooting with a 300mm, that extra stop could really help. Is that an extra stop over the Mark II?
 
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pdk42

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This is really helpful, thank you. I bought the EM1.2 in January, but it's just gone back for a refund due to so many issues with it. I now have a chance to get either the EM1.2 again or the new 1.3 both at 30% off retail and I can't make up my mind between the two.

I moved from the EM5.2 to the EM1.2 for better AF performance and stabilization/Low-light performance. I shoot wildlife and landscape mostly and which the EM5.2 was perfectly fine for landscape, for wildlife it really struggled.

Your #2 point - has the AF overall improved? or just the face/eye AF?

#8 seems pretty significant also, low light wildlife shooting with a 300mm, that extra stop could really help. Is that an extra stop over the Mark II?
I don't think the AF has improved apart from the face detect and starry sky feature. I've not read any reviews that say core AF has improved either.

IBIS extra stop is indeed over the EM1.2 - however, I think the official stats say it's just 0.5 stop for Sync IS lenses (like the 300/4).

Overall, I'd say go with the Mark III. It is a better camera overall.
 
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