Image quality - EM1 MK II / EM1X vs Nikon D500

whumber

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I'm not, but it's fine if you don't follow my train of thought.
I understand where you're trying to go, but it's completely missing the point of the previous conversation. I don't disagree with your point btw, the D500 is a better overall camera than pretty much any m43 body; especially for the price you can get them on the used market.
 

gryphon1911

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I understand where you're trying to go, but it's completely missing the point of the previous conversation. I don't disagree with your point btw, the D500 is a better overall camera than pretty much any m43 body; especially for the price you can get them on the used market.
We'll just have to agree to disagree about missing the point.
 

whumber

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We'll just have to agree to disagree about missing the point.
Image if we were having a conversation over whether a Porsche 911 or a Corvette had a faster 0-60 time. Then someone else comes in a says the Porsche is better because the seats have nicer leather. Would you say that person completely missed the point of the original conversation?
 

gryphon1911

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Image if we were having a conversation over whether a Porsche 911 or a Corvette had a faster 0-60 time. Then someone else comes in a says the Porsche is better because the seats have nicer leather. Would you say that person completely missed the point of the original conversation?
Goodness... You are like a dog with a bone.
And to answer your question,and for the last time, there is more to a car than the 0-60 time and going from a logical progression of discussions outside one specific factor... Yes, I would be inclined to look at the car as a whole and progress the conversation to other factors.

Can we be done with this now? Lol
 
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Hi guys. Thanks all for the discussion. The reason for asking is that I’m doing a bit more birding, and here in the UK in the autumn and winter it gets very dark and gloomy (even at midday). Quite often with my Olympus cameras I find myself at ISO 3200-6400 just to get a shutter speed of 1/100 at times.

It just got me wondering if under the same circumstances the D500 would serve better, and it seems from the discussion above, it would but not by a significant amount. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always thought the OMD cameras punched above their weight in the high ISO stakes, but as usual we always want more.

I also have a Nikon Z6, but my longest glass is the kit 24-70 :biggrin:, so if I was going to use that for birding I guess I would have to stump up for the 200-500 to get me anywhere near long enough or the Tamron 150-600 II (but I’m not sure if the Tamron plays nicely with the FTZ adapter ?

Hmm...things to ponder.
Here in the US you can get a Nikon 200-500/5.6 for USD 999 (eBay) and the Tamron for 935, so I'd go for the former. I've handled the 200-500 on my friend's D850 and it's a PIG! But that's what you get with full frame...
 

whumber

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Goodness... You are like a dog with a bone.
And to answer your question,and for the last time, there is more to a car than the 0-60 time and going from a logical progression of discussions outside one specific factor... Yes, I would be inclined to look at the car as a whole and progress the conversation to other factors.

Can we be done with this now? Lol
Your responses are just kind of odd. You seem to think that because the image quality difference was all that was being discussed in that particular conversation, then that's all that matters to those discussing it. We can have a conversation strictly about the 0-60s speed but still care about the quality of the leather even if it doesn't come up in that conversation.
 

Replytoken

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While I own some of the equipment being discussed, I am going to reserve any opinion as I generally try not to push my ISO out to the limits, and noise reduction techniques and software also play a big role in final output. But, I did come across this thread at DPR while looking for some other information and the images are quite amazing. I am not sure if this guy is a walking ad for Noiseware software, but the images shown are beyond what I would ever expect from a D500: A few high ISO D500 shots - one at ISO45,600: Nikon Pro DX SLR (D500, D300, D200, D100) Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review .

--Ken
 

Richard_M

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We all know the Nikon D500 is a bit of a beast when it comes to AF and buffer, but I was wondering on a purely image quality perspective, how much better if at all is the IQ at higher ISO's (so from ISO1600-6400 say) from a D500 to the Olympus EM1 MK II / EM1-X ?

~SNIP~
I own and use both a D500 and EM1 MKII.
In my non technical opinion, the larger sensor is better with micro detail. For birding, although I've used the Olympus and had acceptable results, the D500 appears to have more definition in the feathers. This would also improve, albeit slightly, if I were to use a FF sensor and cropped the images to mimic a similar focal length. While I own several Nikon, Fuji, and Olympus bodies, I use each for different genres.
With regards high ISO's that is an area I very rarely go, I generally opt for larger dynamic range, than higher ISO.
 
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I have two E-M1 Mk II, an E-M1X, and a D500. Ever since I got the E-M1X the D500 has been deligated to those events where I can use my Sigma 18-35/1.8 and 50-100/1.8, and any outdoor daylight flash work. I'm a volunteer photographer for six charities and a Christian grammar school. The files from my Olympus cameras are more than adequate enough to be used nationally for MS, Autism Speaks, and the American Cancer Society (ACS). The remaining charities use the pictures in the Philadelphia area for their promotional purposes.

There are several reasons why I prefer my Olympus setup. Prior to 2015, I was exclusively Nikon full-frame. As I was approaching my mid 60ies I started looking for something lighter. It became imperative in 2016 when I was diagnosed with Parkinson's that IBIS was imperative for me to continue my hobby. The only reason why I have a D500 was the E-M1 Mk II overheated on me at the 2017 ACS Philly Bike-a-Thon. The E-M1X with the built-in heat sink has resolved my overheating issues with the E-M1 Mk II. I have an extensive collection of M43 lenses, and if it wasn't for my two Sigmas lenses the D500 would have been sold. I prefer mirrorless because of WYSIWYG. I don't do any paid work and I'm quite happy with my M43 setup.

My work can be seen at Brian Richards Photo Shoots
 

Replytoken

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I have two E-M1 Mk II, an E-M1X, and a D500. Ever since I got the E-M1X the D500 has been deligated to those events where I can use my Sigma 18-35/1.8 and 50-100/1.8, and any outdoor daylight flash work. I'm a volunteer photographer for six charities and a Christian grammar school. The files from my Olympus cameras are more than adequate enough to be used nationally for MS, Autism Speaks, and the American Cancer Society (ACS). The remaining charities use the pictures in the Philadelphia area for their promotional purposes.

There are several reasons why I prefer my Olympus setup. Prior to 2015, I was exclusively Nikon full-frame. As I was approaching my mid 60ies I started looking for something lighter. It became imperative in 2016 when I was diagnosed with Parkinson's that IBIS was imperative for me to continue my hobby. The only reason why I have a D500 was the E-M1 Mk II overheated on me at the 2017 ACS Philly Bike-a-Thon. The E-M1X with the built-in heat sink has resolved my overheating issues with the E-M1 Mk II. I have an extensive collection of M43 lenses, and if it wasn't for my two Sigmas lenses the D500 would have been sold. I prefer mirrorless because of WYSIWYG. I don't do any paid work and I'm quite happy with my M43 setup.

My work can be seen at Brian Richards Photo Shoots
I just looked at this gallery and I am sorry to say that most of the images that I clicked on were not at all sharp: 2012 Warbirds Over Delaware - brianric . I am not sure if this is a SmugMug problem, but you may want to have a look.

--Ken
 

Retief

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I have owned and extensively used many Nikon DLSr bodies, or derivatives, starting in 2000 with the Fuji S1 Pro. Dabbled in FF with the D800/D810, D300's and lastly years with the D500's. Waited a LONG time for the upgrade from the D300 to the D500, ISO was a prime reason. Living in the Pacific NW we have plenty of gray days. Fast forward to May/June of this year, I attended a presentation by an Olympus Visionary who migrated to OM systems for birding, he makes his living doing this. The M1X is the first time I have seen AF that is good enough and IQ that is good enough in the same body. Rented the M1X/300f4/1.4TC to test side by side with my D500/600f4/500pf/300pf/200-500, with and without TC's. A large part of my personal testing, completely unscientific, totally objective, no images to share, you can take my word for or it not, yada-yada :whistling: Testing also included my wife using both systems, not to denigrate her at all, after all one of her images was #1 in an international photo competition in 2012, she is not really very gear savvy.

End result, I now have 2 M1X's, 2 40-150's, 1 300 f4, 2 1.4TC's, awaiting 2.0TC, and with the 150-400 was already here.

Personal reasons as follows. The entire set of lenses and bodies is not much different it weight than carting my D500/600f4/accessories around. When my wife would go with me it was even worse, as I carried all her "heavy bits" as well as my own. So if she wasn't happy with handling and quality it all would have been a no go.

Conclusions as follows. Prior to the M1X, my personal opinion was that the EVF quality compared to OVF was, to be kind, "lacking". I would rate this, compared to the D500 OVF, now at 90-95% as good. I still think OVF looks better, then again being able to see exactly what you are getting is a bonus. On the AF end of things, I would rate the M1X as pretty darn close. The D500 is great at quickly moving subjects, both the D500 and the M1X still struggle with subjects, such as a short eared owl, flying close to brush that is roughly the same color. No big surprise there. To be fair to the Olympus I am still trying to figure out all the AF bits, I'll be spending some time with our local Rep this month, hopefully that will help. So on those bits pretty darned close, where the Olympus really shines is physical handling, no surprise there as it is smaller and lighter.

Now, on to ISO and IQ. At ISO's 1600 and under I can't see any appreciable difference. My basis for IQ is the ability to print up to 12x18 quickly and easily, as that is the largest size that I generally sell. I am even able to easily go to ISO 3200 with the Olympus, which was a bit of a surprise, with no issues as long as I don't underexpose much. 4000-5000 takes a bit more work, 6400 is touchy, about becomes problematic. One mitigating factor is the ability to now use faster lenses at more reasonable cost.

One thing that I regularly photograph are indoor dog agility meets. Using the 40-150 f2.8 I have been able to maintain better shutter speed at ISO's that are manageable under conditions that, frankly, suck worse for light than the worst days outdoors.

The last thing I did prior to my final decision to switch was to go back and look at the higher ISO shots I have done with my D500's over the past 3 years, mine were in the first batch delivered in Seattle. To be honest, especially flight shots, anything over about ISO 4000 pretty well stunk, not because they were OOF, just because that lack of light was simply, well, pretty darned bland and boring. I was looking specifically at dawn/dusk as well. Interestingly static shots where I could keep SS low things were fine. With the Olympus I can have SS even lower, so ISO lower, making the dawn/dusk images a wash in my opinion.

In conclusion, as some other folks mentioned there is more to IQ than simply the RAW image, including handling, overall cost, etc. All I can tell you is that I factored all of this into my decision, including high ISO, and you see what my decision was. Yes, it is completely subjective, my suggestion to anyone wanting to make these comparisons is to rent/borrow what you want to compare with and try it yourself. Just remember that whatever you rent/borrow you won't be making optimal use of it as you won't know all the nuances. And take everyone else's comments with a grain of salt. As much as well all claim we have "no agenda", we most certainly do have our own points of view.
 

Growltiger

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I have owned and extensively used many Nikon DLSr bodies, or derivatives, starting in 2000 with the Fuji S1 Pro. Dabbled in FF with the D800/D810, D300's and lastly years with the D500's. Waited a LONG time for the upgrade from the D300 to the D500, ISO was a prime reason. Living in the Pacific NW we have plenty of gray days. Fast forward to May/June of this year, I attended a presentation by an Olympus Visionary who migrated to OM systems for birding, he makes his living doing this. The M1X is the first time I have seen AF that is good enough and IQ that is good enough in the same body. Rented the M1X/300f4/1.4TC to test side by side with my D500/600f4/500pf/300pf/200-500, with and without TC's. A large part of my personal testing, completely unscientific, totally objective, no images to share, you can take my word for or it not, yada-yada :whistling: Testing also included my wife using both systems, not to denigrate her at all, after all one of her images was #1 in an international photo competition in 2012, she is not really very gear savvy.

End result, I now have 2 M1X's, 2 40-150's, 1 300 f4, 2 1.4TC's, awaiting 2.0TC, and with the 150-400 was already here.

Personal reasons as follows. The entire set of lenses and bodies is not much different it weight than carting my D500/600f4/accessories around. When my wife would go with me it was even worse, as I carried all her "heavy bits" as well as my own. So if she wasn't happy with handling and quality it all would have been a no go.

Conclusions as follows. Prior to the M1X, my personal opinion was that the EVF quality compared to OVF was, to be kind, "lacking". I would rate this, compared to the D500 OVF, now at 90-95% as good. I still think OVF looks better, then again being able to see exactly what you are getting is a bonus. On the AF end of things, I would rate the M1X as pretty darn close. The D500 is great at quickly moving subjects, both the D500 and the M1X still struggle with subjects, such as a short eared owl, flying close to brush that is roughly the same color. No big surprise there. To be fair to the Olympus I am still trying to figure out all the AF bits, I'll be spending some time with our local Rep this month, hopefully that will help. So on those bits pretty darned close, where the Olympus really shines is physical handling, no surprise there as it is smaller and lighter.

Now, on to ISO and IQ. At ISO's 1600 and under I can't see any appreciable difference. My basis for IQ is the ability to print up to 12x18 quickly and easily, as that is the largest size that I generally sell. I am even able to easily go to ISO 3200 with the Olympus, which was a bit of a surprise, with no issues as long as I don't underexpose much. 4000-5000 takes a bit more work, 6400 is touchy, about becomes problematic. One mitigating factor is the ability to now use faster lenses at more reasonable cost.

One thing that I regularly photograph are indoor dog agility meets. Using the 40-150 f2.8 I have been able to maintain better shutter speed at ISO's that are manageable under conditions that, frankly, suck worse for light than the worst days outdoors.

The last thing I did prior to my final decision to switch was to go back and look at the higher ISO shots I have done with my D500's over the past 3 years, mine were in the first batch delivered in Seattle. To be honest, especially flight shots, anything over about ISO 4000 pretty well stunk, not because they were OOF, just because that lack of light was simply, well, pretty darned bland and boring. I was looking specifically at dawn/dusk as well. Interestingly static shots where I could keep SS low things were fine. With the Olympus I can have SS even lower, so ISO lower, making the dawn/dusk images a wash in my opinion.

In conclusion, as some other folks mentioned there is more to IQ than simply the RAW image, including handling, overall cost, etc. All I can tell you is that I factored all of this into my decision, including high ISO, and you see what my decision was. Yes, it is completely subjective, my suggestion to anyone wanting to make these comparisons is to rent/borrow what you want to compare with and try it yourself. Just remember that whatever you rent/borrow you won't be making optimal use of it as you won't know all the nuances. And take everyone else's comments with a grain of salt. As much as well all claim we have "no agenda", we most certainly do have our own points of view.
That's an interesting comparison, thank you.
If you find at some point you want an even smaller and lighter camera then you would find the E-M1 II is almost equal to the E-M1X now that it has the new V3.1 firmware.
 

Mikehit

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One thing I am not sure about in these discussions is whether your are using lenses/positioning to fill the frame or if you are cropping to the same FOV. With wildlife I think most people will be in the latter camp.

I have never used the D500 but do have 7D2 with 400DO MKii and 100-400LIS MKii. I am comparing to the E-M1X and 300F4 with and without the 1.4 tc.
I would not say the 7D2 trounces the E-M1X (that all depends on definition of 'trounces'....see above :biggrin: ) but the results are somewhat variable to the extent I am not 100% convinced either way. If I put 2 photos side by side I could not tell which camera took the image.
However, for things like BIF in late afternoon at ISO 3200 and needing to be cropped and maybe shadow recovery I would rather work with the 7D2 images.
I would not imagine that if I had the D500, I would have a significantly different experience.

As for the other key item, AF....if you have good panning skills and can keep the focus point on the subject it is pretty even between them. If you tend to wander off an lurch back onto target, then I find the 7D2 more friendly.
The other thing is ergonomics - if I am panning and lose the subject, I need to find an OOF subject in the viewfinder. I find this easy with the OVF of the 7d2 but not so easy with the EVF of the E-M1X. To be fair, I spent a full day at Bempton cliffs shooting gannets and BIF all day for 6 hours and I found that over awhile using the E-M1X I learned to recognise the visual signals of what an OOF subject looks like and focus again. So real concerted experience helps a lot when transitioning between not only systems but technologies.
 

Retief

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One thing I am not sure about in these discussions is whether your are using lenses/positioning to fill the frame or if you are cropping to the same FOV. With wildlife I think most people will be in the latter camp.
....
So real concerted experience helps a lot when transitioning between not only systems but technologies.
Excellent response, we are very much in agreement. As to shadow recovery, this is for me another learning experience. How I need to expose, what I can and cannot do in post processing. So far I am doing really well at ISO 3200, and it looks like I can push a bit more. Not as well as the D500 or FF, but when I look back at my wildlife shots at those really higher ISO's the lack of light makes the image rather bland anyway.

You comment on following moving objects, the ergonomics of hand holding 5lbs when it used to be 15, D500/600 vs M1X/300, makes some difference as well. I agree on the OVF, on the other hand seeing the exposure in the EVF is quite nice. I can't remember which setting I have for the EVF, it is the highest refresh rate and the one that "simulates" an OVF, that helped a lot.

I would not at all be uncomfortable with shooting wildlife/birds with either of these 3 combinations. You are sure spot on when you talk about the "end result" of images side by side. The most important thing you note is your very last sentence:
"So real concerted experience helps a lot when transitioning between not only systems but technologies. "

Last comment, the reason I made a complete switch was so that I would not start second guessing myself. As well, my CFO, of 48 years, told me I could not "buy" until I had "sold" enough to pay for the new stuff :roflmao:

Thanks for your comments, very well said.
 

Retief

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That's an interesting comparison, thank you.
If you find at some point you want an even smaller and lighter camera then you would find the E-M1 II is almost equal to the E-M1X now that it has the new V3.1 firmware.
Funny you mention that, our local store is one that has gotten the go ahead from Olympus to do 4 day "test drives". One kit is a Mk II with a 12-40 Pro, both of which I am very much thinking about. I do need a 3rd body, so I still have 2 for me when my wife goes out with me :thumbsup:
 

Replytoken

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Funny you mention that, our local store is one that has gotten the go ahead from Olympus to do 4 day "test drives". One kit is a Mk II with a 12-40 Pro, both of which I am very much thinking about. I do need a 3rd body, so I still have 2 for me when my wife goes out with me :thumbsup:
Glazers or Kenmore?

--Ken
 
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