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Specific E-PM1 image quality questions

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by tempoct, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. tempoct

    tempoct New to Mu-43

    9
    Feb 23, 2012
    Hi,
    I have an E-PL1 and thinking about 'upgrade' it to the PM1. AFAIK, they both have same sensor but processing engine are different.
    1. How is the dark area noise (at low ISO)? Same? or just different default value?
    2. WB/color performance? I expected some improvement. I like that Oly offer an option to turn that "keep warm" off and I heard that they improve AWB a bit.
    3. Gradation? PL1 just offer "auto" for pulling dark area but I think the effect is a bit too much. How's the PM1?

    I was looking into the GX1 but the X lens issue and lacks of IBIS keep me away from it. I also like GX1 color and noise performance. Other than that PM1 should keep me happy. An improved kit lens, AF performance and a dial on PM1 should make it easier to handle than the PL1.

    Please share your thoughts :)
     
  2. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    Overall, I hear the EPL1 is still the sharpest out there, but a tiny little bit. I never had the EPL1, so I can't verify for certain (I do have the EPM1, and also had an EP1 and EP3).

    1. I think the noise in the dark areas will be the same. It's only the new OMD that is addressing this.
    2. WB is likely better. The mid-2011 pens showed much better WB than previous generations.
    3. Sorry I can't help here. I'm a RAW shooter, so I don't use camera gradation settings.

    I like the EPM1 a lot, but would very much like the OMD sensor in the EPM1 body. If you can get it cheap enough, you won't risk losing much value. It's a nicely priced camera.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    The IQ of the E-PL1 and E-PM1 is astonishingly similar. I've had both and shoot in JPEG quite a lot and the main differences IMHO are better AWB, metering, kAF speed and shot to shot speed (all in favor of the E-PM1). FWIW I wouldn't let the lack of IBIS dissuade me from a camera. Panasonic makes some terrific cameras. The G3, GH1, GH2 and GX1 all sport better sensors than the Olympus cameras (OMD excepted) and are certainly worth a look. That said, the E-PM1 is a terrific little camera and can be had quite inexpensively.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Same, or at least no noticeable difference.
    Yes, third generation (E-PM1, E-PL3, and E-P3) AWB is vastly improved. This is where you'll notice an immediately visible difference. Of course you won't see it in bright outdoor photos where the old AWB got it spot on anyways, but you'll notice it indoors in incandescent or mixed lighting, where all the other cameras (of any brand) would normally give a yellow or similar color cast to the image. The new-generation PENs are the first I've seen which doesn't do this, and you can see the camera adjust before your eyes (because it works kinda slow, lol).
    Auto Graduation, aka "Shadow Adjustment Technology" has been detrimental and harmful in any Olympus camera since the inception of this feature. Just leave it off (aka, on Normal Graduation).
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. tempoct

    tempoct New to Mu-43

    9
    Feb 23, 2012
    Thanks everyone! Look like it doesn't worth paying full price for PM1 upgrade. I guess I'll wait and see used PM1 set or else I'll hold off a little longer for the reincarnation of the OM-D in the next PM/PL body :)
    I agree that Pany bodies are great but I like evening walk with my 20/1.7 where IBIS really helps. IMHO, some Oly bodies (e.g. E-P3) are quite over-priced when compared to something like G3 or GX1.
     
  6. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I would still consider the E-PM1 as an upgrade. Image quality isn't the only factor of the body. For one thing, the E-PM1 is way smaller than the E-PL1, giving you a much more compact package with your 20mm pancake. It is also faster in operation, both in response time and Autofocus. The LCD is also significantly improved with twice the screen resolution, and you will have a real rotary dial back for changing values. No more rapid button pressing. Then there's the AWB as mentioned...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    I love my EPM1, and I have an OM-D on pre-order, but I keep thinking about canceling it, because I just love the EPM1 size and form factor.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    Same here. I think I'd prefer an E-PM2 with the new sensor, but keeping with the small form factor!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. tempoct

    tempoct New to Mu-43

    9
    Feb 23, 2012
    My thought exactly. I'd like to keep my package as small as possible.
     
  10. SZRimaging

    SZRimaging Mu-43 Regular

    124
    Nov 16, 2011
    My thought also. I decided to not trade my Nikon gear towards moving to OM-D, but am awaiting the next set of PENs to see if they have the same sensor as the E-M5. If they do, the E-PM1 will be replaced by it's successor, or I'll grab the E-P3 successor (bigger, but still pretty compact compared to a DSLR).
     
  11. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    Depends if you shoot JPEGs or RAW. In RAW, things are about the same, though the white balance is better. The E-PL1 JPEGs have more noise, but also more detail. The E-PM1 uses stronger noise reduction. E-PM1 has the better AWB. I haven't noticed any meaningful difference with auto gradation - I generally avoid it because it makes the shadows even worse.

    DH
     
  12. tempoct

    tempoct New to Mu-43

    9
    Feb 23, 2012
    Yes, I refer to JPG shootings :) Too lazy for RAW.
    AFAIK, E-PM1 can adjust shadow +7/-7. Is it in the JPEG edit mode or shooting mode? How's everyone experience on this?