OMD vs XE-1 Dynamic range

Discussion in 'This or That?' started by Chronos, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. Chronos

    Chronos Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 18, 2012
    Real Name:
    Hey Folks.

    I am looking at the XE-1 very closely right now and really want to pick one up. But I have been unable to find much about the Dynamic Range other than it is the "good".

    Does anybody own both of these cameras? and if so, can you comment on the dynamic range of the XE1 compared to the OMD?

    I already have an OMD, i am not selling it, I would likely own both, but doing timelapse has turned me into a dynamic range junkie and the decision to sell my Nikon D7000 in lieu of a XE-1 really rides on the dynamic range. (the D7000 has gobs of DR)

    Thank you!
  2. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Real Name:
    I don't have an OM-D EM-5 to compare to but I do have the X-E1 and a GH3. Haven't had enough time shooting with them both to offer real-world feedback yet since both camera pre-orders only just arrived last Friday. However, looking at test results I expect them both to be just about the same. For example, Imaging Resource tested the X-Pro1 at 11.5 stops and the OM-D at 11.4 stops:

    Fujifilm X-Pro1 Compact System Camera Exposure - Review
    Olympus OM-D E-M5 Camera Exposure - Review

    With the X-E1 being the same sensor as the X-Pro1 I would be very surprised if there was a noticeable dynamic range differential between the two cameras. The D7000 numbers on I.R. are 10 stops, so I'm not sure how much you would be missing going from the D7000 to the X-E1 in terms of D.R. - do you feel the D7000 has more D.R. than your OM-D?

    I know you didn't ask about this but having shot with the X-E1 a couple times so far I can already tell you I probably wouldn't want to trade another system for it. I love the output of the Fuji (much like I did the X100 so no surprise there), the manual control dials are comfortable and the aesthetics of the camera are great. I also really appreciate the fact that Fuji actually listens to their customers and updates firmware based on real-world feedback - for example changing the RAW button to be programmable on the X100. BUT... the EVF had some lag issues, which has never been an issue for me with m4/3 gear. AF speed is ok but definitely not in the league of my Panasonic gear, and I've also noticed a few missed focus instances even when it says it's locked on. I'm not at all saying I wouldn't recommend one, in fact I'm really enjoying it a lot. I just wanted to give you a little feedback & food for thought if you're planning to ditch an SLR system you're still using in order to get the X-E1.

    EDIT: Forgot to add, forum member TDP has both cameras, hopefully he'll weigh in here but if not you could PM him and ask his thoughts as he's had the X-E1 a bit longer.
  3. Chronos

    Chronos Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 18, 2012
    Real Name:

    That is interesting...

    DXOmark puts the D7k at 13.9 evs and the OMD at 12.3.

    DXo seems to be closer to what I see with the cameras. The D7000 does provide a wider range of capture and allows me to pull more detail than the OMD does.

    The OMD is very close to the performance of my Canon 60D.

    I do a lot of time lapse, so basically rapid fire landscape photography, i often shoot with the sun in frame behind the subject and the D7k really does give me more wiggle room to pull out the detail than the OMD does, but the OMD does do pretty darn good.

    And you are right, I did not ask, but thank you for adding that anyway i do appreciate the input.

    About trading for the Fuji, i sit back and forth on the fence about this. I have been shooting about 5 years now... basically long enough to have learned what aspects of photography do and do not interest me. On my nikon kit I had the D7000 along with the Nikon 24-70 and Nikon 70-200 both f/2.8 (plus others), fantastic lenses and I got real spoiled by them.

    I understand the focus on the XE-1 is not nearly as good as the Cam4800 in the D7k, or even as good as the OMD. The viewfinder as well, i have heard lags a little bit.

    In the end I learned I dont like event photography, nor do i ever shoot sports. I think the limitations on the XE-1 will be very minor, about 99% of my shooting involves careful setup. So super fast and snappy focus is not a critical priority.

    Last summer i did a lot of hiking with my timelapse rail which tipped the scales at 13lbs, add in a Canon 60D + Tokina 12-24 for timelapse, a Nikon D7000 + 24-70 and 1-2 extra lenses that bulked up to about 30lbs.

    The new timelapse rail i am developing weighs 4.5 lbs, The OMD will be my main timelapse camera with the panasonic 12-35. I am hoping to shave 20lbs off my timelapse kit, and eliminating the D7000 is part of that process.

    So the XE-1 will really just be a fun lightweight photography camera to take pictures of pretty things and entertain myself while I am waiting on the time lapse routines to run. Fast AF and viewfinder are not overly important. The look/style/control of the XE-1 really speak to me ,and the optics look to be stellar.

    In the end, i want a high performance camera with focus on the imaging aspect with excellent glass, Sacrificing AF performance for weight reduction is a no brainer for my purposes. I want at least a crop sensor in size because i do notice and miss the limiting of bokeh with the m43'rd sensor.

    I may end up with a Sony NEX 7, but i already had and sold a Nex C3 and a Nex 5n. I liked both of them but they just felt like point and shoots to me.

    I really want a photographers camera. The Fuji seems like the right combination of optics, "artsy-fartsy"ness and compact size and weight.
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  4. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Real Name:
    I think that about sums up what the X-E1 is for me... if that's the case I think you'll probably really enjoy the Fuji. Just making sure you have the right expectations, which it sounds like you do :thumbup:

    I'll put it this way... my pre-ordered GH3 and X-E1 arrived the same day (much to my bank account's chagrin). Even though the GH3 is also very exciting to me, I've been grabbing the X-E1 when I head out the door with a camera the past few times. To me my m4/3 is my dependable, versatile system with speciality lenses, good AF, etc. The Fuji is just for fun, and so far it looks to be just I was expecting/hoping for. Just for the heck of it, I'll leave you with my favorite X-E1 shot so far - making use of that slightly more shallow DoF :smile:

    <a href="" title="Layna on the Green by jloden, on Flickr"> 8244579207_8a676134f4_c. "534" height="800" alt="Layna on the Green"></a>
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  5. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    For DR, I think you can look at results from any of the current 16mpx Sony sensor-based cameras. Yup, it will be very good.
  6. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Real Name:
    I know this is not the question, but If I had to choose into different system i would like to have a quite different one and not too similar or same ones. If its for DR and landscape shooting, my personal experience is nothing beats a 5DMKII or a D700/800 (unless you go medium format). In my case im staying with m43 for my street/travelling and landscape photos cause i believe it does as well a 7D getting close to a 5D. but definitely not better.

    But lately ive been wondering a nice system for my landscape, and though i dont have the money for a Phase one or a Hasselblad, ill definitely might be getting a Pentax 645D for it. I know its a different story, but if i want to get serious with landscapes i think medium format is the way.

    So i would suggest to stay with m43 or with Fuji's. Both are excellent cameras and systems with both pros and cons. no one is better than the other one. But if you really would like to get seriously into landscapes and such then I think medium format is the way to go.

    that is my honest $0.000000002
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  7. Chronos

    Chronos Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 18, 2012
    Real Name:
    I did not think it was the same sensor. My Nikon D7000 uses the same base sensor. So i assume it should get very similar dynamic range. The more i learn about the XE-1 the more i want one! :biggrin:

    Did you get it with the 18-55 "kit" lens? If so, any comments about it?

    all very good points. If money and weight/size was not an issue i would go with a D800 with the Nikkor 14-24 f/2.8 for sure. I am not so convinced for timelapse that full frame would make much of a difference, all my "prints" are just 1080p. ;)

    There are a LOT of parallels between time lapse and landscape photography, however i think it would be hard to find a memory card that will store 1000 45mp raw files, let alone get the processing power in a PC to do mass edits and assemble them into a video, after all, all my prints are only 1080p resolution.

  8. Jman

    Jman Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 20, 2011
    Columbus, OH
    What lens are you using that's giving you that slightly more shallow DOF? I'm assuming the 35/1.4, since the 60/2.4 has the same DOF/blur as the 45/1.8. For the most part, the lenses for the Fuji give similar DOF to their m4/3 counterparts, save for the 35, which goes a little shallower than the PL 25/1.4 (though not as shallow as the 25/0.95).
  9. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 8, 2012
    Real Name:
    I am thinking the D800
    mainly cause I still shoot weddings and some commercial work where the D800 can be double use personal and business

    and the camera can put out what other earlier back cameras could in some ways better in some ways though different

    but if I was wanting a dedicated landscape agree MF style back cameras have a look and feel about them that you cant put your finger on

    I think that finger on the look is also what the XE-1 brings to the table ! it has a certain look to the files that are not typical DSLR or M4/3

    so I am pretty darn sure the XE-1 will be a camera I will add to the collection for the more controlled stuff or the going camping as another camera

    kinda like light modifiers and lens options you cant have just one ! so why limit the cameras and sensors to one ;)

  10. drewbot

    drewbot Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    Without dipping into the DR modes, the X-E1 has comparable DR to typical Sony APS-C sensor.

    One thing that confuses me with the X-E1 is the ISO. It's hard to make side by side comparisons of DR because the X-E1 overstates its ISO more than the E-M5.
  11. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Real Name:
    Yes, and no :)

    I got the 18-55 with it but haven't use it very much at all. The 35mm f/1.4 has been on the camera almost the entire time, so I haven't formed any opinions about the kit zoom other than it seems to have very nice build quality.

    I was just referring to the 35mm f/1.4 wide open on the Fuji versus the PL 25mm f/1.4 on the Panasonic, for nominally the same equivalent focal length. I do have the CV 25mm f/0.95, but of course that's sort of a different animal given it's a manual-only lens.

    It's not a huge difference but it's noticeable in practice, particularly when shooting wide open up close. I accidentally ended up with DoF that was a little narrower than I wanted shooting indoors this weekend. I'm used to shooting the Pl 25 wide open when I'm in similar situations, and that smidge less DoF on the Fuji meant I had part of people's faces out of focus unintentionally. Much like landscapes, less DoF on a 4/3 sensor is actually a plus at times :smile:
  12. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    I had been looking at the X-E1, and I still kind of am to be totally honest, but I have dropped dynamic range off my list of significant pros and cons. Not that I think that the X-E1 doesn't have a measurable advantage over the E-M5, just that I no longer think that the difference that would be particularly beneficial to me except for recovery from the odd disasterous under or over-exposure.

    Given that my favourite camera for IQ scores lower than the E-M5 in every measure of sensor performance, I don't place great value on headline numbers like dynamic range. They're just guidelines, really.
  13. TDP

    TDP Guest

    Not very scientific of a test, but when I take two shots of the same thing with the EM5 and XE1 the XE1 has more details available to pull out of the shadows.
  14. taz98spin

    taz98spin Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 13, 2011
    I don't have to E-M5 nor the X-E1, but I do have the E-PM2 and the X-PRO1.

    I would agree, that the X-PRO1 has more details in the shadows.
  15. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    Looks like you got a good grasp of the trade-offs. I have an X-E1 and love it despite the mediocre AF. I also loved the EP1 and in some ways this camera feels like what I always wanted from Olympus: corner EVF, excellent build quality and design, exceptional IQ and...character. Olympus has taken too long to do it, so I went with the X-E1.

    My G5 is just as dependable as before, but it's not the camera I choose by default when I walk about the door.
  16. macalterego

    macalterego Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 10, 2012
    Lawrence, KS
    Real Name:
    Jeffrey McPheeters
    I do a lot of shooting into the sun/backlit stuff and I wonder how much difference the lens makes in the quality of dynamic range you are getting? I think you are using pretty good lenses on the Nikon, are you not? I think shooting into bright lights or backlights is some of the most challenging photography out there, particularly for digital sensors. I've become interested in time lapse as well, with the OM-D.
  17. LeoS

    LeoS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 6, 2012
    Another interesting thing for the Fuji camp... their 18-55 (f2.8-4.0) has been referred as 'zoomable prime' in reference to its excellent IQ and being relatively fast.

    I've sold off an XPro1, but waiting for a delivery of XE1.
  18. Chronos

    Chronos Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 18, 2012
    Real Name:
    yes, but in the case of the D7000 and OMD when it comes to raw i see a difference. If you are running a timelapse shooting into the sun with foreground content, it is nice being able to pull as much data as possible out of it.

    Example, this is one of the stills from a recent time lapse. With the sun right behind the log the shadows looked nearly black. While i was shooting this i got a shot with my Canon 60D and i could not pull as much shadow detail out as well as I could with the Nikon D7000.


    So my OMD is on par with the Canon 60D as far as how much i could coax out of the raw image. I am Selling my D7000, i can live with the slightly lesser dynamic range of the OMD, but it is nice to know i should be able to swap the XE-1 in place of the OMD for those real high dynamic range scenes.

  19. dnightingale

    dnightingale Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 12, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Real Name:
    I have the OMD & X-Pro1, which should be pretty much indistinguishable to the X-E1 files. I tend to be able to get significantly more range out of poorly exposed files with the X-Pro1 over the OMD. I have used, but don't current have a D7000, and while I can't explicitly say how much better, everything I have read indicates the X-Pro1 does have the edge in dynamic range. And the X-Pro1 chews up, swallows and throws back up my D90 files.

    The X-Pro1 and X-E1 does get great .jpg results from changing the dynamic range optimisation settings!

    While it won't effect everyone, don't forget the X-Pro1 is poorly supported in Lightroom or ACR at the moment due to it's non-bayer sensor pattern.
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  20. Chronos

    Chronos Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 18, 2012
    Real Name:
    The sensor has to be able to record it, but I think the lens makes a pretty big difference. The Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8 in my personal opinion is one of the finest lenses ever made.

    That was one of the reasons i got the Panasonic 12-35, it just looked like a killer lens. 12 is decent, i would not mind a wider lens but so far i dont much like what i see for my options. The 7-14 gets really purpel lens flare, ro the point it looks like somebody scribbled on it with purple. 90% of the time people dont have any issues i hear, but when i am putting 400 shots over the course of an hour while the sun moves i am almost bound to get lens flare.

    honestly i do like some lens flare, i think it looks kinda neat, but not all lens flare is equal.

    The first prime i pick up for the Fuji will probably be the 14mm. I am a wide angle junkie.