EP-5 is WAY better at night than EM-1

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by utahlasvegas, Aug 24, 2014.

  1. utahlasvegas

    utahlasvegas Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 19, 2013
    I bought an EP-5 last summer and fell in love with it so much that I sold all my full frame Canon gear and got some great lenses and an EM-1. I'd been using the EM-1 as my primary camera ever since, but during the past few weeks I've been trying to shoot milky way photos and couldn't get over how bad the noise was on the EM-1. While reading about it online, I saw that the EM-1 has problems with noise during long exposures, so during the past few nights I decided to try the EP-5 instead. Honestly, there is no comparison at all. I'm using the 12mm f2 at 1000 ISO, f2, for 25 seconds, and Penny Lane (my EP-5) is freakin' killing it.

    I wonder why Olympus's flagship M43 camera just can't hang at night.
    • Like Like x 3
  2. CiaranCReilly

    CiaranCReilly Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 18, 2012
    Real Name:
    Ciaran Reilly
    Just a suggestion which I'm sure you have figured, but have you got "long exposure noise reduction" enabled in both? This takes a dark frame of the same exposure time as the image and subtracts sensor noise.

    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43
  3. Dayam

    Dayam Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 15, 2014
    Real Name:
    Do you know if the E-PL5/6 has this?

  4. blindinglight

    blindinglight Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 24, 2014
    Real Name:
    This simply confirms DxO's testing. The E-P5 is the second best Micro Four Thirds camera for low-light ISO (slightly behind the E-PM2). The E-M1 is all the way in ninth place behind the other O-MD bodies and the GH1/3/4. Even DPReview stated in the Conclusion of the E-M1 review that low-light performance is one of the E-M1's shortcomings. In my experience, it's not bad especially with the Pro lens. But it's not stellar either.
  5. Ramsey

    Ramsey Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 9, 2013
    Zagreb, Croatia
    It does, buried in the menus.
  6. lightmonkey

    lightmonkey Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 22, 2013
    Cmon how are you going to post this and not provide samples ! :)
    • Like Like x 3
  7. LovinTheEP2

    LovinTheEP2 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    It's well known the em1 sensor suffers long exposure noise issues. The suggestion of dark frame subtraction is a work around but only for static objects and it decreases iq a bit from all examples I've seen as the noise is so severe it takes a lot of averaging etc to correct it. Shot long exposures with the ep5 or em10 or em5. All those phase detect and focus pixels etc. really pop in long exposures in the em1.

  8. LovinTheEP2

    LovinTheEP2 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    Dark frame subtraction I'm pretty sure is in all pens I believe.
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  9. fortwodriver

    fortwodriver Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 15, 2013
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Real Name:
    Yeah, but I've heard a lot of guys who do long-nighttime exposures don't use DFS because they have to wait the equivalent of a second exposure to take the next one. A couple of the books I've thumbed through about night-exposures also seem to recommend turning off dark-frame subtraction. If your exposure is really long, your exposure will be doubly long as DFS does its thing.

    At dusk, light changes so fast that waiting for DFS to complete can actually cause you to miss a shot. At night, when your exposures are in the minutes-range, DFS can take a long time to run.

    I don't find the E-M1 THAT bad, but I can certainly see where it might be impaired by the PDAF sensors on the chip that take away from image-making pixels.
  10. LovinTheEP2

    LovinTheEP2 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    Yup. That's the issue with it but only way to deal with em1 long exposure noise factor. It's take an equivalent exposure but dark then averages out the noisy pixels but in doing so average some clean details out as well and smears fine detail. Also, the impressions I have had the dark frame doesn't work well for all colours of noise... Works well for white stuck pixels and red but not as well for blue, yellow, green chroma noise.

    For those who don't know, olympus calls it noise reduction in the menus.
  11. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Yeah, OP is right, there's a huge thread about it.
    They have different sensors, each seems better at different things.
  12. LovinTheEP2

    LovinTheEP2 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    Not that bad.. I'd consider this serious if I shot long exposure night photography and didn't know the em1 was handicapped that way. Taken from above referenced thread.

  13. silver92b

    silver92b Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 7, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    Oh boy, I just pulled the trigger on a E-M1. While long exposure shots are not what I do a lot of, it's a bummer to find out that the E-M1 is so much worse than the E-M5. I also have the E-P5. Now I wonder if I should just keep one of those two bodies for the occasional long exposure shot...
  14. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Real Name:
    It's a good idea - and an inexpensive one since you already own the E-M5. You probably won't get all that much money for your E-M5 if you try to sell it since Oly is now beginning to close it out.
  15. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
  16. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    Real Name:
    call me Arg
    Posts in this thread are very much confusing 'long exposure' with 'high ISO'. Say what you mean fellas.

    'Long exposure' normally means low ISO. That's why the exposure is long. :tongue:
    • Like Like x 1
  17. LovinTheEP2

    LovinTheEP2 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    Do you need or use 4/3 lenses? If so, no other option. For long exposure, yes you should use an ep5 em5 or em10.
  18. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 20, 2012
    Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
    Real Name:
    For those taking night shots of city lights & stars etc., if you have an E-M1 I'm going to suggest you have a play with one of the Scene Modes.

    "Gasp!! But that's for begginners!"

    Get over it & just try Hand-Held Starlight in Scene Mode selection. It takes eight frames (hand held, in case you didn't get that) with fixed parameters (like ISO12800, -0.3 exp comp, Vivid, -1 Sharpness, -2 Contrast etc) & combines them in a nice noise free image. Go on, try it! But save JPEG & RAW because the RAW file can still be adjusted afterwards.
    • Like Like x 4
  19. shepx13

    shepx13 Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 7, 2012
    Tyler, TX
    Real Name:
    Thanks for the tip. I'll have to check this out.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Tinderbox (UK)

    Tinderbox (UK) Mu-43 Regular

    I was considering buying then EP-5 but i read the lettering comes of and around the buttons is this true or has it been fixed in later versions.