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Olympus OM-D E-M1 review: Pro grade body, Pro grade Sensor?

By Kevin Carter - Monday October 28 2013

Sensor Review
Introduction | Olympus OM-D E-M1 sensor performance | Olympus OM-D E-M1 versus competition | Conclusion

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Versus Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 Versus Sony NEX-6: Can the best of MFT match APS-C?

Versus1

Against the flagship Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3, the E-M1 performs almost identically in the lab, and it’s remarkably close to the larger APS-C sensor equipped Sony NEX-6.

The five-point lead of the Sony equates to a 1/3-stop improvement in overall IQ. Breaking each of the metrics down in turn gives a clearer picture. The color depth scores for the two MFT cameras are practically the same, whereas compared to the Sony, the E-M1 loses out by around -2/3 stop.

For high contrast scenes, the E-M1 has around a 1/3-stop advantage in DR over the GH3 but the Sony has the roughly the same advantage over the Olympus.

In low light, it would be very difficult to tell the E-M1 and GH3 apart but the Sony, on the other hand has a +1/2 stop advantage over both.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Versus Olympus PEN E-P5 Versus Olympus OM-D E-M5: IQ Improvement over E-M5?

Compared to recent offerings from the firm, built around what’s thought to be the same 16-Mpix sensor, the scores are very close indeed. This tends to support the idea that they do share the same underlying architecture, even if the sensor in the E-M5 has been modified to include on-chip PD-AF pixels. If that’s correct their addition certainly hasn’t impacted IQ negatively. In fact there’s no discernible difference in real world use, even if some slight variations can be seen in the lab results.

Versus2