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OM-D and Nex-6 Do I have a bad camera?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by calieng, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. calieng

    calieng Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 20, 2011

    I have really enjoyed reading this forum. So much so that even though I have mainly NEX gear I thought I would give the OM-D a try.

    I am really baffled. I have heard all this talk about how APS-C sensors are better than 4/3 but the OM-D has so far taken better shots than all my other cameras....

    These include the NEX-6, Pentax K-5 II, and DMC-G5 (recently sold NEX-7 so I could not test that one).

    I was sure the Nex-6 would take better photos because of the sensor but they are less sharp and more noise than the OM-D or the G5 all using the 30mm Sigma F2.8 to test (only lens I had in common to both systems). The Pentax was pretty close to the OM-D IQ but I liked the Olympus colors a little better.

    I have spent the last few days wondering if my NEX-6 is a bad copy or if this larger sensor size IQ is just overhyped. Based on online reviews like CNET and others I would have thought the NEX should edge out the OM-D???

    My rankings so far on IQ are (Jpegs only!):

    1. OM-D (sharpest and best color)
    2. K-5 II (sharp and good color) - used 50mm F1.4 Pentax lens.
    3. DMC-G5 (not as sharp as OM-D but good color - much better than the G3 I had before)
    4. NEX-6 (least sharp and overly saturated color)

    I also recently had the Fuji XE-1 but returned it due to bad focusing. Colors were in line with the OM-D when using the kit lens but it was not resolving as much detail when you pixel peep - possibly due to the focusing issues.

    In short I am really amazed at the quality of the OM-D jpegs and the amount of detail the sensor is resolving. The OM-D just gives me a smile when I use it. I love the retro look and build quality.

    P.S. The DMC-G5 kit lens is complete junk. I tried it as well and it seriously degraded that cameras image quality. If you own one do yourself a favor and buy a Sigma or better Panny or Olympus lens....the difference is amazing.
  2. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    Well, that's really positive feedback for us OM-D owners! Thanks.
  3. napilopez

    napilopez Contributing Editor

    Feb 21, 2012
    NYC Area
    Napier Lopez
    Well, this is simple! You are shooting jpegs. Simply put, Olympus jpegs are some of the best out there, second maybe only to Fuji. For my preferences, Olympus, Fuji, and Canon have the best jpegs out there. I prefer olympus colors to all, but fuji handles detail better.

    Sony JPEGs are just "okay". Nothing really special. If you were shooting raw, you'd probably see the IQ difference, but even then it's just not that substantial. With the Sony you'll get a bit more dynamic range at their respective base ISOs, and like half a stop more of high ISO performance. Use dpreview's comparison tool, for example. The Oly jpegs will show more detail and less noise at the same ISOs, but the converse is true in RAW.

    The other thing to consider is that for low light, the Olympus has the excellent 5-axis IBIS, which is far better than sony's OIS in my experience, and obviously much better than shooting with no stabilization. Chances are you are using lower isos at night with your OM-D than you are with the Sony.

    Besides, the difference of performance between the sensors is small. If you're going by DXO, the NEX-6 is only 6 points ahead(assuming equal performance to the 5N). In fact, the OM-D sensor outscores every Canon camera smaller than full frame. Coupled with the superior jpegs, significantly lower isos provided by IBIS with static or static-ish subjects, and slight underexposure relative to the NEX's, it's no wonder the OM-D images look better to you.

    Heck, according to DxO, the OM-D has better dynamic range than even canon's top performing full frame sensors, the 1DX and 6D.

    The only area I imagine the NEX-6 might significantly outperform the OM-D is at freezing motion of moving subjects due to slightly better iso performance.

    I considered the NEX-6 for a while, but lenses aside, the OM-D is so much more of a joy to use, besides being beautiful.

    One question though, how do you find AF tracking on the NEX-6?
  4. calieng

    calieng Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 20, 2011
    Here's some samples....not sure if you can tell the difference at this scale but all are ISO 800 and Panny 14 F25 on the m4/3 and Sigma 19F28 on the NEX for equivalent crop....real world shot by a non pro in jpeg....what a lot of us noobies would do.

    I forgot to mention the Sony always comes out darker with the same settings and the Pannys are tweaked +2 sharpness and +2 saturation.








  5. kahren

    kahren Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    Mar 21, 2010
    omd jpg are sharper and more contrasty in default then the nex
    if you dial nex jpg sharpness to +2 or +3, contrast to +2 or +3 and saturation to -2 or -3
    you will closer math the omd, i also like to use portrait picture style vs standard as i think that gives more pleasing color curve.
  6. calieng

    calieng Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 20, 2011
    Did not play around with the AF tracking much for sports or other action photos so I can't comment. Just sold the NEX-6 so I can't do more testing.

    I can say the NEX-6 did do an excellent job with video over the holidays. I did not have the OM-D during the holidays to directly compare videos taken but I do not think it is as good for video. When trying it recently I saw that it does hunt a little for focus where the NEX-6 was very smooth in transitions from different focal lengths. Perhaps just the lens I am using. I was trying the OM-d with the 12-50mm for video. On the NEX-6 the 16-50mm worked real nice.

  7. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Mike Aubrey
    As to sensor size, the NEX and Pentax isn't really that much larger--just 33%. It's a big jump from μ43 to FF and from APS-C to FF, but μ43 to APS-C isn't really that massive.
  8. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    What were the shutter speeds?
    All the non OM-D images look like the have handshake blur.

    (+1 to OM-D 5 axis IBIS if shutter speeds are low)
  9. Halaking

    Halaking Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 17, 2012
    Los Angeles
    I was thinking nex-6 before I got the omd, I decided get the omd becuase the lens selection, looks like I got the right choice, omd seems much sharper jpeg than nex-6.
  10. calieng

    calieng Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 20, 2011

    1/20 for the m4/3 and 1/40 for the NEX.

    I was holding the cameras fairly steady but at the same time the tests were just to see how the pictures look in jpeg if the average Joe like me took them.
  11. KVG

    KVG Banned User

    May 10, 2011
    yyc(Calgary, AB)
    Kelly Gibbons
    The 2 that you call the sharpest both have ibs.
  12. hanzo

    hanzo Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 22, 2010
    Sorry for OT but I just read a post in a watch forum from someone with the same username :biggrin:
  13. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
  14. gotak

    gotak Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 28, 2012

    IBS is a rather annoying stomach issue...
    • Like Like x 1
  15. calieng

    calieng Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 20, 2011
    You like Alpina watches?
    • Like Like x 1
  16. calieng

    calieng Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 20, 2011
    The coffee cup photos are crops which are less than 1/10th the area of the original photo. So there is a little zoom in / pixel peep happening which may look like shaky hands if it was a 100% crop but they are not. I think much of the lack of sharpness in the crops speak to the quality of the focus system and jpeg processing.
  17. sge998

    sge998 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 14, 2013
    San Francisco, CA
    Well I suppose we also have to account for the lenses used to take the photos. Lens quality does play a big part in image quality, but the best way to compare is to use RAW images.
  18. uci2ci

    uci2ci Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 22, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'm pretty sure you focused on the desk with the NEX rather than the cup. Not trying to take anything away from you conclusion that the OMD is sharper, it could very well be sharper, but this isn't a fare comparison based on what I see from this set of images
  19. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    The OM-D is a little jewel.
  20. calieng

    calieng Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 20, 2011
    Maybe so but I was only interested in how the cameras perform for jpeg. I do not shoot RAW. I suppose for a pro the RAW from the Sony might be better than the others.

    I did test them with a series of shoots all with the Sigma 30 and then another set of shots with the Panny 14 on the m4/3 and with the Sigma 19 on the Nex to give similar equivalent focal lengths in 35mm terms.
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