Olympus PEN Lite (E-PL7) sensor review: Solid perfomer

By Kevin Carter - Wednesday February 04 2015

Sensor Review
Olympus PEN E-PL7: Good results for the sensor format | Olympus PEN E-PL7 vs Olympus OM-D E-M10 vs Olympus PEN E-PL5: Related sensors | Olympus PEN E-PL7 vs Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5: vs Sony A5100: Solid performer for a 4:3 sensor | Conclusion | Introduction

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With a DxOMark score of 72 points, the Olympus PEN E-PL7 sits almost half-way between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5, which as the firm’s technical partner shares the same sensor format, and the Sony A5100, which uses a much larger APS-C sensor. Against the GM5, the Olympus has better color discrimination and a wider dynamic range at base ISO, but also throughout the ISO sensitivity range. Both models have similar low-light capabilities. The Sony, on the other hand, has notably higher color sensitivity (measured as color depth), broader dynamic range by 0.3 EV, and around one stop (+1 EV) better low-light performance.

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Noise levels are similar between the Olympus and Panasonic, but the larger Sony has lower noise throughout the range of ISO settings.

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At lower sensitivities the Olympus sensor has better color discrimination than the Panasonic, but the Sony trumps both at every ISO setting.

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The Olympus sensor has excellent DR at base, and even competes with the Sony up to ISO400, though after that it performs similarly to the Panasonic.