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View Full Version : E-5 and E-30 direct comparison @ ISO 3200


Ian
16th December 2010, 05:51 PM
(First posted on the Four Thirds User forum (http://www.fourthirds-user.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8581))

In the light of observations by Paul (Woofmix) concerning comparisons with his old E-3 and his new E-5, I thought I'd do a comparison with an E-30 (my E-5 is on loan at the moment) and my E-5.

The test shots were taken at when I went home for lunch. I should have brought a colour match test card with me - sorry! I forgot. Anyway, I used a view of a book case, with the cameras on a tripod, using a 12-60 SWD lens, with IS off, and anti-shock on to minimise camera movememt during the test exposures.

I left white balance and exposure on Auto. I recorded RAW and Large Superfine JPEGs simultaneously. For RAW, I set the noise filter to low.

Below are 100% crops and re-sized views of the complete frames from the RAW and camera JPEG files. You can also download the test images your self (links at the bottom of this post).

I do urge you to view these images using a browser that has colour management switched on, like FireFox or Safari, and you should have a calibrated monitor as well.

The lighting was deliberately tricky, with a mixture of cloudy daylight from patio doors about 22 feet to the left, and a single globe fluorescent lamp about 5 feet to the left. The walls of the room are also yellow, so this explains the dominance of yellow in some of these sample images due to reflected ambient light.

First the complete frames:

http://fourthirds-user.com/galleries/data/562/E-5_nocrop_camera-JPEG.jpg (http://fourthirds-user.com/galleries/showphoto.php/photo/19420)
Olympus E-5 camera JPEG

http://fourthirds-user.com/galleries/data/562/E-30_nocrop_camera-JPEG.jpg (http://fourthirds-user.com/galleries/showphoto.php/photo/19418)
Olympus E-30 camera JPEG

http://fourthirds-user.com/galleries/data/562/RAW-E-5_nocrop.jpg (http://fourthirds-user.com/galleries/showphoto.php/photo/19424)
Olympus E-5 processed from RAW in Lightroom 3.3

http://fourthirds-user.com/galleries/data/562/RAW-E-30_nocrop.jpg (http://fourthirds-user.com/galleries/showphoto.php/photo/19422)
Olympus E-30 processed from RAW in Lightroom 3.3

Now the 100% crops (1 image pixel to 1 display pixel):

http://fourthirds-user.com/galleries/data/562/E-5_100pc_camera-JPEG.jpg (http://fourthirds-user.com/galleries/showphoto.php/photo/19419)
Olympus E-5 camera JPEG

http://fourthirds-user.com/galleries/data/562/E-30_100pc_camera-JPEG.jpg (http://fourthirds-user.com/galleries/showphoto.php/photo/19417)
Olympus E-30 camera JPEG

http://fourthirds-user.com/galleries/data/562/RAW-E-5_100pc.jpg (http://fourthirds-user.com/galleries/showphoto.php/photo/19423)
Olympus E-5 processed from RAW in Lightroom 3.3

http://fourthirds-user.com/galleries/data/562/RAW-E-30_100pc.jpg (http://fourthirds-user.com/galleries/showphoto.php/photo/19421)
Olympus E-30 processed from RAW in Lightroom 3.3

With the RAW processing I used the dropper tool to normalise white balance (using the same spot on the space bar of the old typewriter to the right of the frame), and the same sharpening and luminance noise reduction values 40 and 50, respectively. The E-5 shot was slightly darker than the E-30's and I raised overall luminance in Lightroom for the E-5 shot by 0.32. No other adjustments were made from the defaults.

So - I hope this will be food for some thought and discussion! :)

The big files - you can download them if you wish (bear in mind some are 15MB each):


E-5 in camera JPEG (http://fourthirds-user.com/files/forum/E-5_E-30_comparison/PC164764.JPG)
E-5 RAW file (http://fourthirds-user.com/files/forum/E-5_E-30_comparison/PC164764.ORF)
E-5 Lightroom-adjusted JPEG from RAW file (http://fourthirds-user.com/files/forum/E-5_E-30_comparison/RAW-E-5.jpg)
E-30 in camera JPEG (http://fourthirds-user.com/files/forum/E-5_E-30_comparison/PC164765.JPG)
E-30 RAW file (http://fourthirds-user.com/files/forum/E-5_E-30_comparison/PC164765.ORF)
E-30 Lightroom-adjusted JPEG from RAW file (http://fourthirds-user.com/files/forum/E-5_E-30_comparison/RAW-E-30.jpg)


Ian

shenstone
16th December 2010, 06:02 PM
[quote=Ian;95329
I hope this will be food for some thought and discussion! :)

Ian[/quote]

You know what Ian ... it does help I prefer the IMO slightly sharper E-30 images I can deal with the noise myself later

was there anything that you know that would have accounted for that apparent extra sharpness

Regards
Andy

Ian
16th December 2010, 06:13 PM
When viewing the E-30 and E-5 RAW files in LR 3.3 there is a big difference in the reds on my monitor; the E-5 red is cooler, while the E-30 red is tending towards orange.

But in Viewer 2 there is much much less difference; in fact they are almost the same.

Lightroom works in the very wide ProPhoto RGB space so that could be an explanation. The JPEGs produced by Lightroom from both cameras are much closer, probably because they are sRGB, which is much narrower than ProPhoto RGB. This could suggest that the E-5 has a marked difference in its colour response, especially in the red space.

Ian

Ian
16th December 2010, 06:16 PM
You know what Ian ... it does help I prefer the IMO slightly sharper E-30 images I can deal with the noise myself later

was there anything that you know that would have accounted for that apparent extra sharpness

Regards
Andy

Are we talking RAW or camera JPEGs here?

Ian

photo_owl
16th December 2010, 06:26 PM
When viewing the E-30 and E-5 RAW files in LR 3.3 there is a big difference in the reds on my monitor; the E-5 red is cooler, while the E-5 red is tending towards orange.

.....

Ian

I think you mean E-30 is cooler and E5 tends towards orange - but would you confirm?

The LR files you have produced both illustrate the same overall difference that Paul's do, once adjusted for exposure - but you have both used the camera's WB as a starting point (correcting with the dropper isn't going to account fully for that) and I am unsure about what's creating what - and that's before you bring into play what they are being viewed on (I have used 3 browsers on 2 screens and they all exhibit the same), or the colour space factors when viewed in other applications.

Are you suggesting that the cameras will produce different colours using the same lens settings and white balance under normal lighting conditions?

Ian
16th December 2010, 06:34 PM
I think you mean E-30 is cooler and E5 tends towards orange - but would you confirm?

The LR files you have produced both illustrate the same overall difference that Paul's do, once adjusted for exposure - but you have both used the camera's WB as a starting point (correcting with the dropper isn't going to account fully for that) and I am unsure about what's creating what - and that's before you bring into play what they are being viewed on (I have used 3 browsers on 2 screens and they all exhibit the same), or the colour space factors when viewed in other applications.

Are you suggesting that the cameras will produce different colours using the same lens settings and white balance under normal lighting conditions?

Oh bother! :) I have corrected the original post - I mean that the E-30 result reds are tending towards orange in LR while the E-5 red is more blue in LR.

Ian

Ian
16th December 2010, 06:43 PM
The E-5 shooting info records a shutter speed of 1/10th second, while the E-30 was 1/6th second. The E-5 shot is definitely a bit too dark, so it looks to me like the meter is under-reading, but if you correct that the sensitivities of the E-30 and E-5 are about the same, contrary to the DxOMark data.

Ian

Daveart
16th December 2010, 10:10 PM
Hi all,I have had aplay with the raw of both in ps cs5 and applying the same adjustments to both, I think the E30 is slightly better in colour, detail they are about the same and e30 slightly better in over all sharpness and the noise appears slightly better on the E30 less distracting I would say but the same level of noise both had 58 noise luminance and colour noise to 100 at 16x12 300dpi I know you are going to say that is an increase in pixel count, the reason is that is what I would push an image to to get a print done at a printers. but both would print better than my old e510 at iso 400 at this size.

Dave

Ross the fiddler
16th December 2010, 10:53 PM
Thanks for doing that Ian,
I am feeling better about my E30 & less like I have to rush out & get the E5 for an upgrade, but it would still be nice to have with the E30. It's interesting seeing these differences appear, but I would assume it will become less of an issue as each user gets to know the capabilties of their E5.

Ian
16th December 2010, 11:05 PM
Hi all,I have had aplay with the raw of both in ps cs5 and applying the same adjustments to both, I think the E30 is slightly better in colour, detail they are about the same and e30 slightly better in over all sharpness and the noise appears slightly better on the E30 less distracting I would say but the same level of noise both had 58 noise luminance and colour noise to 100 at 16x12 300dpi I know you are going to say that is an increase in pixel count, the reason is that is what I would push an image to to get a print done at a printers. but both would print better than my old e510 at iso 400 at this size.

Dave

Interesting :)

Actually I feel the E-5 noise grain is more refined and regular.

Of course this only looks at ISO 3200. I'll do a similar exercise with other ISO settings in due course.

Ian

stevednp3
17th December 2010, 12:29 AM
To me the e30 is definitely sharper than the e5, the e5 has handled the noise better, but as a result lost the sharpness. It seams then if you have a e30 there is no justification to upgrade to the e5, which is some what disappointing :(

Greytop
17th December 2010, 01:35 AM
To me the e30 is definitely sharper than the e5, the e5 has handled the noise better, but as a result lost the sharpness. It seams then if you have a e30 there is no justification to upgrade to the e5, which is some what disappointing :(

Strange I noticed that too but the opposite has been my experience, actually to the extent that the difference is quite stark, the E-30 being noticeably softer at 100%.
In addition because the E-5 does need as much help sharpening an image the noise is not as accentuated as it is with the E-30. The other thing the constantly impresses is the noise control from the Jpegs of the E-5.

I wonder if Ian could comment on the apparent lack of sharpness in the E-5 shot?

David M
17th December 2010, 01:43 AM
To me the e30 is definitely sharper than the e5, the e5 has handled the noise better, but as a result lost the sharpness. It seams then if you have a e30 there is no justification to upgrade to the e5, which is some what disappointing :(

Well, other than the viewfinder, metal chassis and weather sealing.

OlyPaul
17th December 2010, 09:15 AM
I'm not going to get into which is best as in my opinion its very slight and the E-30 exposure being brighter makes it difficult to compare.

But I will say thank you to Ian for supplying the E-5 ORF file and can tell you from testing that LR3 makes by far the better job of converting it compared to Silkypix Pro (which has never been good at High ISO) and Capture ONE 6.



Off course this is High ISO, now I just need the opportunity to try some others.:)

stevednp3
17th December 2010, 09:32 AM
Yes it is strange, because all other samples of the e5 I have seen upto now have been stunning, but this is the first time I've seen a direct comparison to the e30 with 100% crop, apart from the weather sealing etc (which doesn't appeal to me) I don't think its worth 1500 to upgrade.

Ian thanks very much for taking the time to post these.

Ulfric M Douglas
17th December 2010, 09:36 AM
To my eye (looking at Jpegs only and the 100% crops, at the moment not looking at RAWs) the E-5 is reducing chroma noise substantially more than the E-30 while retaining similar detail, although detail winners can be different for different parts of the image ;
E-5 wins on top left "Book",
and E-30 wins on far right "the weather".
Can we assume the E-5 is simply applying more chroma noise-reduction or is it something else?
I'd like to see the same test but the 'noise filter' bumped up in the E-30, or down in the E-5.

I left white balance and exposure on Auto. ... The E-5 shooting info records a shutter speed of 1/10th second, while the E-30 was 1/6th second.
I'd prefer tests to be matched by fixing WB and fixing aperture and shutterspeed ... just me.

Edit:If you fix the settings so all values are the same then you are comparing the differences between them in a controlled manner which is fine for comparing sensitivities, colour differences etc.
Indeed.

Kiwi Paul
17th December 2010, 10:24 AM
I'd prefer tests to be matched by fixing WB and fixing aperture and shutterspeed ... just me.

It depends what you are trying to compare. If you are comparing how each camera performs in a given situation then letting the camera select it's own values is a valid test as these are the values the camera will select in the real world.
If you fix the settings so all values are the same then you are comparing the differences between them in a controlled manner which is fine for comparing sensitivities, colour differences etc.

Paul

Greytop
17th December 2010, 02:54 PM
Here are some I had a quick go with earlier, they were all PP'd at default settings in Capture One 6.0.1 Pro (save a very slight exposure adjustment which was roughly the same for all the shots).
Shots were taken with with a two second delay & mirror lockup using the RM-1 remote. IS was set to off.

The first batch were taken with the 12-60 at f/5.6 ISO100 and 3200, full frame and 100% crops.

E-5 ISO100

http://i870.photobucket.com/albums/ab269/Greytop_photos/E-5%20and%20E-30%20comparison/12-60_ISO100_E-5.jpg

100%

http://i870.photobucket.com/albums/ab269/Greytop_photos/E-5%20and%20E-30%20comparison/12-60_ISO100_E-5_1.jpg

E-30 ISO100

http://i870.photobucket.com/albums/ab269/Greytop_photos/E-5%20and%20E-30%20comparison/12-60_ISO100_E-30.jpg

100%

http://i870.photobucket.com/albums/ab269/Greytop_photos/E-5%20and%20E-30%20comparison/12-60_ISO100_E-30_1.jpg

E-5 ISO3200

http://i870.photobucket.com/albums/ab269/Greytop_photos/E-5%20and%20E-30%20comparison/12-60_ISO3200_E-5.jpg

100%

http://i870.photobucket.com/albums/ab269/Greytop_photos/E-5%20and%20E-30%20comparison/12-60_ISO3200_E-5_1.jpg

E-30 ISO3200

http://i870.photobucket.com/albums/ab269/Greytop_photos/E-5%20and%20E-30%20comparison/12-60_ISO3200_E-30.jpg

100%

http://i870.photobucket.com/albums/ab269/Greytop_photos/E-5%20and%20E-30%20comparison/12-60_ISO3200_E-30_1.jpg


The second batch were taken with the 50mm macro at f/4.5 ISO100 and 3200, full frame and 100% crops. This time closer on the clock face.

E-5 ISO100

http://i870.photobucket.com/albums/ab269/Greytop_photos/E-5%20and%20E-30%20comparison/50f2_close_ISO100_E-5.jpg

100%

http://i870.photobucket.com/albums/ab269/Greytop_photos/E-5%20and%20E-30%20comparison/50f2_close_ISO100_E-5_1.jpg

E-30 ISO100

http://i870.photobucket.com/albums/ab269/Greytop_photos/E-5%20and%20E-30%20comparison/50f2_close_ISO100_E-30.jpg

100%

http://i870.photobucket.com/albums/ab269/Greytop_photos/E-5%20and%20E-30%20comparison/50f2_close_ISO100_E-30_1.jpg

E-5 ISO3200

http://i870.photobucket.com/albums/ab269/Greytop_photos/E-5%20and%20E-30%20comparison/50f2_close_ISO3200_E-5.jpg

100%

http://i870.photobucket.com/albums/ab269/Greytop_photos/E-5%20and%20E-30%20comparison/50f2_close_ISO3200_E-5_1.jpg

E-30 ISO3200

http://i870.photobucket.com/albums/ab269/Greytop_photos/E-5%20and%20E-30%20comparison/50f2_close_ISO3200_E-30.jpg

100%

http://i870.photobucket.com/albums/ab269/Greytop_photos/E-5%20and%20E-30%20comparison/50f2_close_ISO3200_E-30_1.jpg

My thoughts on these and other examples I have is that the E-5's output is generally sharper and more detailed than the E-30, noise control is also better, particularly with OOC Jpegs.
Of course that doesn't make the E-30 a bad or lacking camera by any stretch. I will still use mine as a backup and in some ways it's lightness and slightly smaller size will be a benefit to me in certain circumstances.
I'll just add that the OOC Jpegs that were taken with these RAWs exhibit more of a contrast between the two cameras (sharper more detailed output from the E-5).

emirpprime
17th December 2010, 03:17 PM
From the looks of it the weaker AA filter and stronger (chroma)/better NR gives the E-5 the edge most of the time, but occasionally the E-30 looks sharper due to less NR (even though the image is less pleasing). Overall the E-5 looks like a nice improvement.

Back to the "evolutionary" not "revolutionary" comments I think ;)

stevednp3
17th December 2010, 03:40 PM
Cheers for this Huw, I still think the e30 is sharper in the higher ISO, the e5 has handled the noise slighty better, but this can be handled in post processing.

I have no doubt the e5 is a wonderful camera and if your upgrading from a smaller body like the 4xx or 5xx this will blow you away, if I spend 1500 on this camera I think im going to be very disappointed from what my e30 can already do.

Anyway I will be quiet now, but thanks for taking the time to upload these *chr

Ian
17th December 2010, 07:39 PM
It's possible that the E-5 can accept more sharpening. In my RAW processed samples I applied the same level of sharpening and noise reduction.

I must admit that I did worry after the feedback that I'd messed up the focusing, but on reflection I don't think I did.

Toshi Terada concedes that the basic 12MP sensor in the E-5 is the same as the one in the E-30, apart from the less strong low pass (anti-aliasing) filter. However, Olympus has been steadily improving the circuitry that accommodates the analogue to digital conversion. This part of the imaging pipeline is very vulnerable to external noise-generating influences as it has to work with tiny voltages from the sensor. So TruePic V+ on the E-5 does not contribute to improved RAW file data, only for JPEG image quality, but the RAW files have improved through improved A/D conversion over the years.

Ian

jonsey
18th December 2010, 09:06 AM
I have no doubt the e5 is a wonderful camera and if your upgrading from a smaller body like the 4xx or 5xx this will blow you away, if I spend 1500 on this camera I think im going to be very disappointed from what my e30 can already do.


i have to agree, if i was to `upgrade` to the e5 from my already good e30, then the difference in the images should be night and day.. especially for 1500.

jeff

Greytop
18th December 2010, 10:53 AM
i have to agree, if i was to `upgrade` to the e5 from my already good e30, then the difference in the images should be night and day.. especially for 1500.

jeff

When you start to analyse more it is clear that the E-30 is quite close to the E-5 but there is tangible difference in sharpness and detail at 100% as well as a very real benefit in noise performance.
OK it's not a night and day difference and as I said the E-30 is a great camera, I'm definitely keeping mine :)

The E-5 does offer important benefits to me though in terms of build and weather and dust resistance (I do like to shoot in all weathers) on walks and treks etc.

Your comment about night and day difference is interesting though given that in my experience all my camera body upgrades I consider to have been incremental rather than night and day.
E-510, K20D, K-7, E-30 (in reality the E-30 was a slightly retrograde step from the K-7) and finally the E-5 ;)

Ross the fiddler
18th December 2010, 11:45 AM
If money wasn't an issue (ha ha, everybody's wish) I wouldn't hesitate to buy the E5 (& get the better lenses too). It certainly has features that are somewhat an improvement on the E30 & I would want to keep both. Ah well, I can wish, can't I?

jonsey
19th December 2010, 10:29 AM
Huw,
i think that if your camera has come to the end of its life then the e5 is a `no brainer` purchase, but for those of us that have a camera that comes close in terms of performance, minus a few tricks and weather proofing, then i`d find it hard to justify the asking price, i will get an E5 eventually....but only when the price has dropped through demand.

jeff:)

Makonde
19th December 2010, 11:22 AM
For me, however, it has been well worth waiting for the E5 to upgrade from the E520 (which has the same sensor and IIRC jpeg engine as the E-3 even though the stated ISO range was a stop lower). I am glad that I resisted the temptation to go for the E3 or the E30, and stuck to the plan...

I was able to put the weather sealing to good use yesterday in a snowstorm that covered the whole camera with snow, except the lens surface....
The AF is very much better than that of the 520 especially in low light, and from reading others' comments it seems to have been improved over that of the E3. I haven't tested the C-AF much yet - but for smaller and faster-moving subjects it was pretty useless in the 520 while the E5 is said to be improved over the E3 in that regard too. Let's see.

Makonde
19th December 2010, 11:55 AM
On practical use of high ISO, I am finding in the field that I get very high quality images up to 800 and acceptable quality up to 1600. Over that, it depends on the light being sufficient to render detail. At the top end, ISO 6400 is usable where there is sufficient light: what do I mean by that? Well, where the field of view is fairly bright (indoor lighting, for example) and you are using the high ISO to get a faster shutter speed than rock bottom. Where the field of view is fairly dark or mostly black and you are on the high ISO as well as a slow shutter speed the results are often very poor to unusable. My field trials two years ago with the E520 suggested that dialling in exposure comp of +0.3 or 0.7, while negating some of an extra ISO stop, resulted in a more usable image and that seems to be the case here also (i.e. getting histogram over to the right then adjusting in processing to improve the blacks). From the other night I netted some awful and unusable ISO 6400 images from low-lit pub scenes ranging to one quite acceptable one at F4 & 1/40 where lighting was better.

My conclusion is that for practical purposes in the field, to 800 you're fine; to 1600 there's some noise but still OK to 50% crop and over that you have to think about it. Some circumstances will enable you to go as high as the 6400 extension, others will give a significant noise trade-off even at 3200 and require work later. For normal shooting I'm setting my auto ISO limit to 800 so that I have to think about the tradeoffs higher up, rather than letting the camera take me by surprise to 1600 - the recommended auto limit.

How are others finding it in practice (rather than in comfortable test circumstances), with E-5, E-3 and E-30 etc.?

Daveart
19th December 2010, 12:00 PM
I had a play with the raw file and these are the results, as you can see there is not much between them. The colours are a lot closer but not exact, using the same sharpening and noise reduction to both just tweeked the E5 exposure to equalize them and the contrast alittle. What do you guys think.

Dave

Ross the fiddler
19th December 2010, 12:17 PM
For me, however, it has been well worth waiting for the E5 to upgrade from the E520 (which has the same sensor and IIRC jpeg engine as the E-3 even though the stated ISO range was a stop lower). I am glad that I resisted the temptation to go for the E3 or the E30, and stuck to the plan...

I was able to put the weather sealing to good use yesterday in a snowstorm that covered the whole camera with snow, except the lens surface....
The AF is very much better than that of the 520 especially in low light, and from reading others' comments it seems to have been improved over that of the E3. I haven't tested the C-AF much yet - but for smaller and faster-moving subjects it was pretty useless in the 520 while the E5 is said to be improved over the E3 in that regard too. Let's see.

I'm happy for you, but I couldn't wait & my wife relented & let me buy my E30 used for AU$800, which was good early this year (& I've been enjoying it for the past nine months) & considering I've also bought a 2nd FL36R (from the same guy) to use as a twin flash for macro & then a refurbished ZD35 macro lens, another camera bag (3 in fact), & then the Sigma 150 lens (it was fun persuading my wife with that one :)) & then finally the HLD-4, but wait there's more *yes, I also got the single & recently the twin Quick Strap sling straps. Oh, I forgot the FL50R too (it was going at a good price, so I couldn't leave it ;)), so I think I have done pretty good this year & the E5 will just have to wait a long time at this point. I wonder how soon I can get the 50-200 SWD lens & I still would like the EC14 & 20 teleconverters & the 9-18 lens would be nice too. ;) Is there any end to this? :o

Basically, if the finances can allow & especially if you've been waiting for an upgrade, I would think it is a great model to go for & congratulations to all that have (I mean that quite sincerely). *chr