OLYMPUS OM-D E-M5 Review - Part 13 - Comparison with E-PL3


I've done a comparison between the new 16MP sensor of the OM-D and the 12MP unit in the E-PL3. It seems to me that the 16MP upgrade has achieved a higher pixel count with an increase in image quality, both in terms of jpg. and my raw conversions in Photoshop. Particularly at high ISO's which is good to see.

I used the 45mm f/1.8 lens for all of these shots. The raw files were processed identically.
The jpgs. are straight out of the camera, both sets at Standard.

Check out the high-res. files for yourself.

click on image > flickr > Actions > View all sizes > Original

Olympus OM-D E-M5 E-PL3 45mm lens - jpg-ISO
Olympus OM-D E-M5 E-PL3 45mm lens - Comparison of ISO's from 200-6400

I didn't include ISO 12800 and 25600 as they are both a step too far for my taste. The ISO 6400 result from the OM-D however shows what can be achieved if under exposure is avoided. This jpg. is certainly the best I've got so far at this setting from this camera. Not the best I've ever seen but none too shoddy either.

The more I use this camera, the more I'm convinced it is currently the best m4/3 has to offer, particularly in terms of IQ. Certainly the Adobe Camera Raw support has helped me to see just what this camera is capable of. 

Much as I admire the results from my Sony NEX cameras, the OM-D is certainly showing that this size sensor is more than a match for its larger APS-C competitors. While I appreciate that the extra pixels (and smaller pixel size) in the NEX-7 sensor make it more prone to noise etc. the OM-D seems to be able to match it for image quality. Below is the ISO 200 raw file from the comparisons below and I've upsized it to NEX-7 size and added a little sharpening. It certainly compares very well with NEX-7 "native" 24MP files. 

Olympus OM-D E-M5 45mm lens - ISO-200 - upsized
Olympus OM-D E-M5 45mm lens - ISO-200 - upsized

Certainly the notion that the OM-D is better at high ISO's than certain APS-C sensors (no matter how many pixels they have) would surprise many, but I think that may well be the case here. Plus the OM-D seems to possess a very good dynamic range. Indeed I haven't so far had the problems that I have encountered with the X-Pro 1 in this regard. 

The real confirmation or otherwise of these observations will come when I get to use the camera for what I intend, i.e. outdoor, landscape and location work. However, I believe already that it is a fine camera, and one that will certainly give a lot of people something to think about.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 E-PL3 45mm lens - ISO-200
Olympus OM-D E-M5 E-PL3 45mm lens - Raw file conversion comparisons at ISO 200

Olympus OM-D E-M5 E-PL3 45mm lens - ISO-800
Olympus OM-D E-M5 E-PL3 45mm lens - Raw file conversion comparisons at ISO 800

Olympus OM-D E-M5 E-PL3 45mm lens - ISO-3200
Olympus OM-D E-M5 E-PL3 45mm lens - Raw file conversion comparisons at ISO 3200

Tomorrow there may be some sunshine, so this endless diet of guitars, cameras and watering cans may be changed for (hopefully) something less domestic.

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