This is a "rewrite" of my previous blog concerning JPEG image quality of these two cameras. It can be found here.
Below I have combined test charts shot with E-M5 and E-P3 at various ISO settings. Settings while shooting:
- Lens Zuiko D. 50mm f/2 Macro @ F4
- Equal aperture and shutter speed settings in both bodies at corresponding ISOs. (These cameras have equal sensitivities)
RAW files were opened in Lightroom 4.1 (Release Candidate 2), normalized and cropped equally. E-M5 crops are 100%. E-P3 crops were enlarged to the same size during Lightroom Export. All images are slightly sharpened and noise reduction applied in Lightroom. I kept the values for these the same for every file.
I chose to enlarge E-P3 files because I am interested in seeing quality in same size prints. This is closest to that situation on screen. Just remember: To see any real difference in sharpness at ISO 200 to 400 you need to print larger than A3.
In JPEG comparison E-M5 was markedly better in every regard. At higher ISOs E-M5 gained about two stop improvement. I wrote then: This result comes from new sensor with more resolution and better pixel per pixel quality and thinner low pass filter. Now I know better, a lot of it comes also from improved JPEG algorithms.
With RAW images differencies are not as big in a test target like this. This test target shows now mostly differencies in resolution and noise. E-M5 has a 14% advantage in linear resolution and thinner low pass filter. This is best shown in rhombus structure. Starting from ISO 800 up, E-M5 shows gradually more and more its better sensor. Further tweaking of the relation between sharpening and noise reduction would have benefitted E-M5 more than E-P3. With more demanding subjects E-M5 gives even more headroom for adjustments. I would say that for me the total gain is almost 2 stops in the way I tweak my images in Lightroom. With E-P3 I never went over ISO 1600. Now the limit will be slightly under ISO 6400.
Image below E-M5, M.Zuiko 12mm f/2 (Same image is shown shot as JPEG in previous blog).
- ISO 200, @F6.3
- Adjusted in Lightroom 4.1 (RC2)
- Crops 100% from brightest and darkest area without any modifications
Image below E-M5, Zuiko D. 12-60mm f/2.8-4
- ISO 200, @F5.6, underexposed on purpose.
- First image: opened into Lightroom 4.1 (RC2) at default settings, no adjustments
- Second image: adjusted by +5 stops in Lightroom, full Highlight correction (-100); two simple adjustments just to show the pushability
- Third image is a 100% crop. This radical opening of shadows brings out luminosity noise, as expected. But that´s all. No smearing to mention (grass is always difficult, stone had this mottled surface), relatively sharp details.