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


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.


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


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


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.