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Image Quality E-PM1 vs E-PL5

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by TonyG, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. TonyG

    TonyG Mu-43 Top Veteran

    584
    Oct 15, 2012
    Ontario Canada
    I would like to improve the image quality of my photos. I presently have a E-PM1, how much difference in image quality is there between the E-PM1 and the 16 megapixel sensor of the E-PL5. I've also debated getting a new lens but I suspect that it's better to buy a refurbished E-PL5 and sell my Pen Mini. The problem I have is no one sells these cameras here so I can't try them out. I have three native lenses the 45mm, the kit zoom and the 40-150mm telephoto zoom. I also have a 50mm Minolta f3.5 MD Macro and a Vivitar 75-205mm zoom. Any advice out there.
     
  2. LovinTheEP2

    LovinTheEP2 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    619
    Feb 15, 2011
    Toronto
    You will see a difference but it will probably much less then you think...

    What issues are you having IQ wise with the E-PM1.. maybe post a couple of ones you feel should have been better as a result of the E-PM1 sensor holding back IQ.

    Softness, lack of contrast, noise, etc.. Strong light or in poor light

    I do not believe the EPM1 had too strong a AA filter but maybe it does like the EP2.

    Maybe a post-processing issue or setting.. have you tried upping some settings in the menu to see if you recover some pop in jpgs.
     
  3. aidanw

    aidanw Mu-43 Regular

    116
    Nov 19, 2012
    Wellington, NZ
    I upgraded from E-PM1 to E-PL5. The difference in image quality was:

    - Low-light: Hugely improved. I changed the Auto-ISO limit from 1600 on E-PM1 to 6400 on E-PL5 as that seemed to correspond with the level of noise I found acceptable.
    - Daylight: Resolution improvement, but slightly more base noise
    - Dynamic range: Better ability to pull down the highlights. Shadows were about the same.
    - Resolution: 16mp allows more liberal cropping. Shows up flaws in some lens more.
    - Aberrations: Much worse on E-PL5. The higher res sensor shows up purple fringing much worse than the E-PM1, particularly on the Panny 20mm.

    I'm now using an OM-D, which I know people disagree with me on, but I think is slightly noisier than the E-PL5, particularly in luminance noise. My suspicion is that Olympus had more time to tweak the engine on the E-PL5 and the output is slightly cleaner on it.

    Edit: I should say the E-PL5 was overall a huge step up and it was what convinced me I could get rid of my 18mp Canon gear.
    I would rate my experience from a pure image quality perspective as:
    E-PM1 < Canon 7D < OM-D < E-PL5
     
  4. TonyG

    TonyG Mu-43 Top Veteran

    584
    Oct 15, 2012
    Ontario Canada
    Thanks but my upgrade is on hold. I'm Canadian and the refurbished Olympus I was looking at is only available to US citizens. I am looking to get better low light performance and definitely more manual controls. I'm going to have to look for a sale in Canada or buy used. We get screwed by Olympus in Canada as far as sales and special offers go.
     
  5. TonyG

    TonyG Mu-43 Top Veteran

    584
    Oct 15, 2012
    Ontario Canada
    I might start shooting in raw more and actually read my manual..LOL I'd like to get more dynamic range in landscapes. I'd like the camera to look into the shaded areas a bit deeper.
     
  6. aidanw

    aidanw Mu-43 Regular

    116
    Nov 19, 2012
    Wellington, NZ
    If you are happy with the controls on your EPM1 and your primary reason for upgrading is image quality, then consider an EPM2. It has the same sensor as OM-D, EPL5, EP5, just obviously the body is much simpler. Also much cheaper.
     
  7. TonyG

    TonyG Mu-43 Top Veteran

    584
    Oct 15, 2012
    Ontario Canada
    I wouldn't mind having a bit more control but I may look into that..
     
  8. audiodrive

    audiodrive Mu-43 Veteran

    455
    Apr 9, 2013
    Prairies
    jef
    The last time I checked Futureshop, they have it discounted to $499 and a coupon (ohSNAP2013)for additional $25 discount.
    It would be nice if Oly Canada have the same Refurbished units for sale...
     
  9. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    What software are you using for post-processing your images?

    --Ken
     
  10. TonyG

    TonyG Mu-43 Top Veteran

    584
    Oct 15, 2012
    Ontario Canada
    I checked it ended yesterday. darn...
     
  11. TonyG

    TonyG Mu-43 Top Veteran

    584
    Oct 15, 2012
    Ontario Canada
    I went up to Futureshop today because the E-PL5 sale is back on. They had an E-PM2 open box for $299 and I bought it. Saved $200 over the sale price of the E-PL5 which I am going to put toward a good wide angled prime. I was surprised at the amount of changes they made from the E-PM1. They added an extra programmable button which is very handy. I set it to active HDR shooting mode. It's easier to get to the functions thanks to the touch screen. Tomorrow I am going to take both cameras out and compare the photos.
     
  12. TonyG

    TonyG Mu-43 Top Veteran

    584
    Oct 15, 2012
    Ontario Canada
    I did just that today..
     
  13. audiodrive

    audiodrive Mu-43 Veteran

    455
    Apr 9, 2013
    Prairies
    jef
    Congrats on your purchase. I also saw a E-PM2 on clearance in a local FS a couple of weeks ago with the same price, almost bought it also :D
    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Mu-43 mobile app
     
  14. TonyG

    TonyG Mu-43 Top Veteran

    584
    Oct 15, 2012
    Ontario Canada
    I purchased the E-PM2 and I agree with pretty much all your observations. There is a noticeable jump in picture quality especially in low light. i think its a better investment than buying a new lens because it improves all your lenses.
     
  15. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    Wait, then buy an e-P5
     
  16. e_kjellgren

    e_kjellgren Mu-43 Regular

    173
    Oct 17, 2011
    Sweden
    Would you recommend the EP5 over the EM5? It's almost twice the prize (17mm and VF4 inc)
     
  17. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    It primarily depends on what you are looking for in a body. The difference in IQ between the two bodies is not that substantial.

    --Ken
     
  18. TonyG

    TonyG Mu-43 Top Veteran

    584
    Oct 15, 2012
    Ontario Canada
    olympus viewer version 3 and Photoshop