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OM-D "rendering images like film"?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by With_Eyes_Unclouded, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
    I've seen this statement on the Phoblographer review of the EM5 and it had me thinking.

    Here is the link:

    Review: Olympus OMD EM5

    First of all, design wise, the extra latitude in the highlights (some people say they cannot even blow the highlights, even if they try), supports such a claim.

    Then, there is this "crazy comparison" on Steve Huff's page:

    Crazy Comparison! The Olympus OM-D E-M5 vs Nikon D800 vs Leica X2 for High ISO | STEVE HUFF PHOTOS

    From what I can see on 100% crops there, the EM5 seems to even have a noise signature similar to film grain characteristics.

    What do you owners of the EM5 think? For me at least, such "image character" is very desirable.
  2. photoSmart42

    photoSmart42 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 12, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    The images, even at ISO 200, have a fine grain look to them. As a film shooter (still), I like it.
  3. I think that saying that it is impossible to blow the highlights on the E-M5 may be a little excessive, but I definitely feel that it is better to overexpose rather than underexpose and the sensor lets you do just that. The E-M5 does indeed have a reasonably fine grain profile but it can start to get a bit chunky in darker shadows when you push them (hence my choice to overexpose rather than underexpose). If we're talking purely about the quality of grain/noise I think I'd have to give a slight nod to the Canon G1X over the E-M5, but taking other aspects of sensor performance into account the E-M5 would come out in front.
  4. Agent00soul

    Agent00soul Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 22, 2010
    Yeah, it looks remarkably good. When there is noise, there is rarely any chroma noise. This makes the noise less objectionable.
  5. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
    Thanks for the answers!

    What intrigued me (along with seeing several samples) is that the way they designed sensor performance is quite the opposite of several other cases in DSLR cameras (and not only). Where there is more dynamic range in the shadow areas. Since ANY sensor will have highlight priority in capturing detail (this is how Bayer sensors work), perhaps this is a safeguard measure of sorts. Olympus' approach thus goes against the maxim "don't blow the highlights". I don't say it's impossible to blow them, but don't having to worry to much about them is precious. And, photoSmart42, I shoot film too. With an Olympus OM. :wink:

    This is another nice characteristic. Chroma (as well as "long shutter") noise is the most bitching thing to clear in PP. There's always a tradeoff.

    I wouldn't imagine this level of IQ would come to small (-er) sensors. To put things in perspective, if the EM5 sensor was FF, it would be 64MP, almost large format territory. Just to be clear, by "sensor" I mean the whole imaging circuit, along with correction devices, filters, amplifiers, etc.
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