Test Olympus E-M5 and Panasonic GX1 Sensor Dynamic Range Comparison

dornblaser

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Amin,

Nice comparison! Well done!

I think that my decision is both. I was considering the GX1 (or 2) to replace my PM1 and join my E-M5 .........

- David
 

Amin Sabet

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Particularly impressive from the Olympus but it's worth noting that we won't be able to push the shadows like that at high ISO
Certainly true. However it's also worth noting that the E-M5 is very good at retaining high dynamic range as the ISO increases.
Here's a comparison of both cameras at ISO 3200, 14mm f/5.6 and 1.5s.

4-stop pull:

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2-stop push (both files show a purple blob mess in the shadows if you push 4 stops):

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Whole frame with no pushing/pulling:

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My take on this is that E-M5 maintains a DR advantage at high ISO, but it isn't the kind of disparity that Techradar's results would suggest.


RAW files from this comparison:
 

Amin Sabet

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One last comparison which I found interesting: GX1 ISO 160 and E-M5 ISO 800.

4-stop pull:

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4-stop push:

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Whole frame:

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Summary: E-M5 looks to have a touch more DR at ISO 800 than the GX1 has at ISO 160. However, colors are washed out in ISO 800 E-M5 pushed shadows, whereas by comparison colors remain richer and truer in ISO 160 GX1 pushed shadows.


RAW files:
 

htc

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DR latitude is and will always be the Holy Grail of digital camera design overall. And, if you think about it, it's the single most important feature that expands the artistic vision of the photographer. Specs and tech aside, having a wide DR simply frees you mind and let you concentrate on the important stuff, like making the picture YOU want to make.
My thoughts exactly but the way you expressed it was way too much to write with my english. Thank you :thumbup:
 
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Bingo. We seem to have lost the concept that photography is about light and shadow.
That is true, but it's also always been influenced by the technology that was available at any given time, which has in turn allowed the medium to evolve and expand in different directions.
 

mfj197

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That's really more of an indictment of Techradar's testing methods than it is a testimony to Sony's excellence in sensor design.
And that, Amin, is why we need people like you doing proper real-world tests - many thanks! This is exactly the sort of thing we need; how many stops can you actually lift the shadows. I'm impressed with the latitude you're getting from the GX1 - I've hit the buffers a few times with the G3 and extreme shadow lifts (much less than 4 stops though). I end up with largish purple and blue blotches over areas of the image that are being lifted.

Michael
 

mfj197

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Indeed I am. I don't have many examples to hand I'm afraid as I generally back off on the shadow lifts if / when I see it, and it is only on extreme lifts. Also I'm not going to be able to use the computer with LR on it for a little while as we're off on holiday in a couple of days.
Here's one where it is just visible - the shadow lift was on the fountain in the middle. At small view below you can't see it

http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/5387137182/download/1966817" width="1024" height="768">

but here's a 100% crop of the fountain.

Not the best example as the phenomenon I'm describing is pretty much overshadowed by the noise! This is also an extreme example of a lift with the G3.

Michael
 

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