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Not satisfied with m43

Discussion in 'Back Room' started by toyanucci, Sep 19, 2014.

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  1. toyanucci

    toyanucci Mu-43 Regular

    115
    Aug 8, 2014
    I sold all my Canon gear (T5i,18-135 stm,Sigma 30mm 1.4 art & Canon 50mm 1.4) and went with a em1 with olympus 25mm 1.8, 45mm 1.8 and Panasonic 14 2.5. I really was excited about the huge size difference between the setups and especially pleased with the weight difference but after the very first time I used my em1 I was puzzled by the performance. The dof issues I had read about, and while I was becoming a bokeh whore, I could live with the trade offs there. However, the image quality differences caught me by surprise.

    I Shoot RAW, and I found to get a satisfactory image from the em1 I had to do quite a bit of post processing, outside of that, the noise level was way more than I expected. With the T5i I routinely shot at up to ISO 3200 when needed and while there was noise, it wasn't terrible, but with the em1,even at ISO 1250 there was so much noise it wasn't funny. Even at ISO 200 grains were apparent in certain shot, which with the T5i were non existent even at ISO 800. The ability to get details from light and dark areas in lightroom was also way worse than with the T5i. The inability to manipulate the RAW file was just not what I had gotten used to.

    I've decided to go back to a larger sensor. I was considering the fuji xt1 but I'd rather not invest into it only to turn around and be disappointed again and also, their selection of lenses is limited and expensive and they are just as large as dslr lenses so what's the point. I'm in Europe for a month so I guess I will soldier on with the em1 until I return home (doubt selling it here will be easy since I'm pretty much in a different city each day). I'll probably get a 70D and get the (massive) Sigma 18-35mm 1.8 and get back a 50mm 1.4 or check out the 85mm 1.8.

    I wrote this post for those out there considering m43. Do your homework first and make sure it suits your needs before going all in! I will miss the size of the em1 it's really the perfect size but would benefit immensely if it had a apsc sensor. I will miss the focus accuracy and speed as it was unparalleled! I never missed focus, not even one time.
     
  2. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    662
    Jul 1, 2013
    Can you post up some shots for comparison at similar ISOs? I thought there was a profound difference, then I got in an spirited discussion here and went back and looked at my photos, there is maybe 1/2 a stop difference to me between my 16mp Nikon sensor and my EM5, and I believe the Nikons are slightly better performers than Canon.
     
  3. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    Before selling up you should just try two things ;
    E-M10 and M.Zuiko75mm
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. jo45800

    jo45800 Mu-43 Veteran

    265
    Aug 23, 2013
    Montreal
    I think the noise you are talking about is a question of post processing, lightroom does not take car of it as good as olympus viewer, you should try to convert your raw with olympus viewer and you will see a huge improvment. (to have the same amount of noise reduction on lightroom, you have to do it manually)

     
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  5. Dramaturg

    Dramaturg Mu-43 Top Veteran

    614
    Jun 7, 2013
    Ukraine
    Yevgen
    I also see noise even at ISO200 with E-M5. There is a noticable amount of noise at ISO800 and above. However, the noise doesn't ruin the picture! Actually I like the noise that E-M5 produces. I often even increase the sharpening radius in order for the noise to pop more! The noise is getting not so good after ISO3200, but I rarely shoot there. For example, this one is ISO3200 with some heavy sharpening and large radius for the noise to pop. Does it ruin the picture?

    14943780781_e074bbd377_c. Happiness by Yevgen Shatalov, on Flickr

    To my aesthetic tastes it is fine. Many of my pro photographers who shoot full frame add grain on purpose in order to achieve the similar results. But it is a pitty that Shutterstock won't accept most of my base ISO shots since they are not clean enough. I think the only thing that might make me go Full frame is actually the DOF issue and affordable glass, definetely not the noise. However it depends what you are shooting for. If you want to sell your shots to Shutterstock - then going a larger sensor is a must.
     
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  6. kwalsh

    kwalsh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    775
    Mar 3, 2012
    Baltimore, MD
    That's odd, the T5i sensor is nothing to write home about and in fact the E-M1 sensor has better high ISO performance and dynamic range as far as RAW performance goes. Dpreview scene comparison also shows the E-M5 (nearly identical sensor to E-M1, though E-M1 is actually slightly better) doing actually a bit better in high ISO, both shadows and mid-tones than the T5i. Imaging resource tests show exactly the same thing. DxO sensor measurements as well.

    Hope you find something that works for you, but it sure sounds like something was either defective with your E-M1 or you managed to set it to significantly under expose. All the test sites clearly show its noise performance and RAW processing is the same as or slightly superior to the T5i. Unfortunately Canon's sensor development has been dead in the water for some time and their APS-C sensors now even lag m43 sensors. If you are going to try something APS-C because you are concerned with high ISO noise I'd skip Canon this time around and go with something based on a Sony sensor (Fuji, Sony or Nikon). Those will have a bit of an advantage on the E-M1. But everything Canon will be no better and actually slightly worse.
     
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  7. toyanucci

    toyanucci Mu-43 Regular

    115
    Aug 8, 2014
    I'm about to go on stage so I'll reply properly later. But you prove my point. That image is HEAVILY post processed. I find the need to do that to almost every shot I take with the em1. It's not that the em1 is incapable of good shots, that's not what I'm saying at all, but it causes you to have to take photographs in a particular way or post process heavily to get shots which otherwise I wouldn't have to do those things as much if at all to achieve.
     
  8. toyanucci

    toyanucci Mu-43 Regular

    115
    Aug 8, 2014
    I read those reviews and comparisons as well and was thus surprised by the results I got. I will post a couple 1:1 examples of the graininess I am referring to at ISO 200. as I said though, I've seen images from the em1 that are awesome, but they all look to be heavily post processed. I will research before I make my next move though re nikon etc, can't afford to waste any (more) money.
     
  9. kwalsh

    kwalsh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    775
    Mar 3, 2012
    Baltimore, MD
    @toyanucci - Thanks, and not trying to say your experience is in anyway "wrong" just that it seems odd. If you've got time to post some samples that would certainly be interesting. And sorry I initially missed your comment about ISO200 graininess. That's a different issue and one rarely compared in various reviews and tests. By the numbers the E-M1 should do quite well there compared to the T5i but numbers and images don't always agree!
     
  10. tosvus

    tosvus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    632
    Jan 4, 2014
    Maybe you can provide some 1:1 crops? I don't have the EM-1 or the Canon, but I do own a Nex 5n with a base iso of 100, and the GH3 which has a base 200 (which can be extended to 125 by overexposing but I never do that). When pixel peeping, even the Sony at 100 iso has a tiny bit of faint noise. Pixel peeping the GH3 on iso 200, same thing, perhaps VERY SLIGHTLY less faint, but it is a smaller sensor and a higher iso. I doubt the EM-1 can be much worse. Depending on light, I have no issue taking great pictures on 1600 or 3200 iso for the GH3. Sometimes I just leave the noise in as it tends to look nice, sometimes I just tweak it in Lightroom and you can get rid of most of it.

    I'm pretty sure most software (for raw) or camera (for jpg) will do some level of auto noise reduction. Maybe the canon is more aggressive?
     
  11. kwalsh

    kwalsh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    775
    Mar 3, 2012
    Baltimore, MD
    That's a really good point, out of curiosity were you using the same RAW converter with the different cameras? I know back in my Canon days I used DPP a lot because it was free and compared to the converters of the day pretty darn good. Moving away from Canon I briefly tried SilkyPix (again free and OK) but then pretty quickly moved to Lightroom. The difference in "starting points" as far as defaults go was very different between all these converters. And so a lot of my recollection of Canon was colored by my experience with DPP at the time. Since then I've reprocessed a fair number of Canon shots in Lightroom and I have a better feel for what is camera and what is RAW converter.
     
  12. jo45800

    jo45800 Mu-43 Veteran

    265
    Aug 23, 2013
    Montreal
    this picture is took is 3200 iso:

    P2010257.

    and this one 6400:

    P2010083.
     
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  13. Wisertime

    Wisertime Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 6, 2013
    Philly
    Steve
    I get keepers up to ISO 6400 without significant noise issues. Perhaps you have Auto Gradation on or noise reduction/filter set wrong?. While it may not perfectly match a larger sensor, if your noise is that bad at ISO 200-800 something is definitely amiss. Post some samples.

    These are all EM5 shots processed in LR Raw.

    This is ISO 2000 in low light F4 160 w 75mm
    14543682089_613c393ed9_k_d.

    Here's a "bad" example...ISO 3200...after sunset, so it's dark..handheld.. I did a 16x20 print and you have to put your nose up to it to see if there's any noise. Also w/75mm 1/10 handheld

    14397331723_474530053d_k_d.

    ISO 1250 handheld w./20mm Indoors in a very dark museum. 1/80 sec

    15123365122_e993d5b27d_k_d.

    I'll agree files might need a bit of processing depending on the subject. More than I'm used to with older Olympus cameras...but not terribly bad.
     
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  14. gobeatty

    gobeatty Mu-43 Regular

    82
    Sep 15, 2014
    It might be worth going into one of the menus and Pixel Mapping. I had a hot pixel in my new EM10 and looked this up. One poster reported a significant reduction in noise to the point that he pixel maps before any important lower light shoot (it's quick to do). Pixel mapping covered up my hot pixel and, I believe, gave cleaner files that are just as sharp. Worth a try (it's free :)).
     
  15. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    If you were going to something like a 5D or D810 I could see what the issue is, but I don't see where you'll gain with an APS-C Canon sensor? Unless you're shooting lots of fast action, I'd say utilize your IBIS more to keep your ISO down and take advantage of the extra stops of hand-held shooting.


    I'm a lazy jpeg shooter and I get pretty clean shots at ISO 2500 - E-M10 + 17 1.8:
    street_DLTA.
     
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  16. orfeo

    orfeo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    673
    Sep 27, 2013
    FR
    I think people complaining about todays sensor amazing Quality didn't spent much dough and time processing the first generation of DSLR where 6 megapixel camera were the rage and cost an arm... Going 800 ISO was on the verge of OKness colorwise and you didn"t have today's dynamic range and had to resort to lower the constrats in body and post processed in RAW all the shots...

    I'm not saying you should not complain, but I'm saying you should learn processing digital files with an old lesser sensor tech, it'll only make you appreciate what we've got now more.
     
  17. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    First off, if you've shot with film then you know that, outside of some ISO 50 or similar stuff, you will see more grain than Micro Four Thirds gives you. Personally I find the noise present in this format looks more like film grain than digital noise, and the presence of grain is an aesthetic choice for every photographer.

    There is a largely unrealistic movement in digital photography, in my opinion, which triumphs the ultra-smooth look of a digital SLR at base ISO as something absolutely crucial to every shot, which it's not. I like really smooth shots as much as the next guy, but the idea that the presence of grain in a shot has to be avoided is frankly bunk that's sold to people by camera manufacturers and "reviewers" who make it their mission to get the most clicks on their site.
     
  18. DoofClenas

    DoofClenas Who needs a Mirror!

    937
    Nov 9, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    Clint
    What software are you using to post process?
     
  19. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    .... personally, i think the OP should sell his m43 equipment and go back to his Canon Rebel ......
     
  20. DoofClenas

    DoofClenas Who needs a Mirror!

    937
    Nov 9, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    Clint
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