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View Full Version : GH2 v E-M5 highlight recovery


dko22
2nd June 2012, 08:34 AM
Yesterday evening some sun put in a brief appearance so I could finally get round to testing the dynamic range and highlight recovery of my new camera compared to the GH2. Always a masochist, I decided to put a comparison on DPreview to start a new round of quarrels but in fact the responses have been mostly constructive. In short, the tone curve and DR of the Oly is really much better for landscapes than the Lumix -- I was astonished by just how much difference there really is. Rather than repeat things here, anyone who is curious can follow this link:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1041&thread=41671665&page=1

I'll do a wee post here giving further thoughts on the camera later in the weekend

David

dko22
4th June 2012, 08:49 PM
Just a few thoughts about how I'm finding the E-M5 so far. As a word of introduction, when this camera was first introduced my immediate reaction was "why should I be interested in a camera which won't be any better than my GH2, has no foldback LCD, not many hardwired buttons switches and no real aspect ratio changes". I started to get more interested when I saw some initial images and heard reports that the IBIS might actually be really useful. Then, thanks to StephenL, I had a chance to see one and finally became hooked. So why?

Well, the camera has the looks (though curiously I think in pure cuteness it's beaten by the Pen mini) and it has the image quality. Not having had an Olympus since the E-500 -- my first serious digital camera -- I hadn't realised just how good the colours have become. Not OOC jpegs but RAW conversions seem to have a naturalness I haven't often seen without the Panny tendency to magenta. Of course all this can be corrected in RAW so it's not completely a deal breaker.

Dynamic range. A lot have commented on this. It seems clear that for landscapes at any rate, the E-M5 can hold cloud details much more readily than the GH-2 (or earlier sensors) . With the GH2 you can get the shot thanks to fairly clean shadow pulling but exposure requires a little care whereas my first impression with the Olympus are that it's actually quite hard to overexpose so you can concentrate purely on the composition. I should make it clear that in IQ discussion, I'm referring to RAW --- JPEGs have their uses but not if you're looking for the greatest post-processing flexibility.

Low light. To me it seems nearly a stop better than the current Panasonics and probably two over the 12 mp sensor.

As for the features. Well IBIS is looking distinctly useful. Not every shot has been 100% sharp but the system seems more reliable and powerful than any lens based offering from Nikon or Panasonic that I've seen, never mind the Pens where it's best to leave it off when not needed.

Video --too ignorant to tell the difference I'm afraid as I seldom use it.

Haptics. Well the GH2 is not a particularly beautiful camera but the design is pretty good. Nowhere else have I seen anything as elegant as the drive mode switch which instantly does burst, bracketing and self-timer. And the grip is practical and you can squeeze that extra mm out of a wideangle when set to 16x9 on the oversized sensor. The E-M5 dual wheel is easier to deal with than the rather stiff push-in and click on the Panny and in fact the Super Control Panel makes almost everything really quick to access. I'm finding overall that it's pretty well a wash. The EVF is smaller but more accurate in colour and exposure so overall a plus. And burst mode is really super fast.

In short, I can see myself still having this camera in three years time. OK, my OM-10 I used off and on for 21 years but things were a bit different in those days.

My immediate problem now is paying for the camera so some of the Panasonic stuff will have to go. It's great having two players in the system --Oly has nothing to match for instance the 7-14 or 25mm 1.4 but with the OM-D, Oly have finally produced pretty well what I was looking for in a system camera

StephenL
5th June 2012, 07:46 AM
I think you've said it all, Dave!

Footloose1949
5th June 2012, 09:45 AM
Maybe I'm just muddle-headed, but what does IBIS stand for, and what function/s on the E-M5 is it associated with?

StephenL
5th June 2012, 09:51 AM
Maybe I'm just muddle-headed, but what does IBIS stand for, and what function/s on the E-M5 is it associated with?

In Body Image Stabilisation - the feature that Olympus have to minimise the effects of camera shake. Called In-Body because some manufacturers, such as Canon, Nikon and Panasonic, incorporate Image Stabilisation into some of their lenses instead. The advantage of having it in-body is that it applies to any lens you fit.

michaelavis
5th June 2012, 04:07 PM
Hi Dave, you mentioned burst mode, but I'm curious to know if you've used it in combination with C-AF and shot moving subjects, especially with your long lens?

dko22
5th June 2012, 05:43 PM
Hi Dave, you mentioned burst mode, but I'm curious to know if you've used it in combination with C-AF and shot moving subjects, especially with your long lens?

So far I haven't tried C-AF. I'm not really an action shooter by nature -- mirrorless isn't yet really the ideal platform for it -- and there are others more competent to judge this area though it seems that if you're coming from a DSLR world, you need to learn new habits. I will try and do something before long though as there are suggestions from some posters that the E-M5 is now fast enough for an effective C-AF mode.

michaelavis
5th June 2012, 11:08 PM
Sorry Dave, just realised you had already made that point in answer to my post about moving subjects, but thanks for answering again :-)

Ian
6th June 2012, 09:59 AM
Hi Dave, you mentioned burst mode, but I'm curious to know if you've used it in combination with C-AF and shot moving subjects, especially with your long lens?

C-AF only works with the slower continuous shooting mode (a bit faster than 4 frames per second). It works OK - I have shot sequences with cars driving towards me at around 30 miles per hour near my office using the 75-300 at about 200mm and a good number of the shots are in focus. I need to do more evaluation and to compare with an E-5 before giving a definitive verdict though.

Ian

dko22
8th June 2012, 04:36 PM
was brave enough to test out video now. I must say, it's not bad. Although it doesn't have the hackability of the GH2, the E-M5 has one or two tricks up its sleeve. First of course is IBIS with all native m43 lenses which helps to give smooth panning. Also, don't overlook a couple of key advantages with the 12-50 as this really comes into its own as a video lens:
1. power zoom
2. that mysterious L-Fn button which in fact when pressed in suspends attempts to C-AF and then when you release it, slowly focuses in a quite professional manner.

Curious how others find video or are all the videographers shooting GH2's?

David

StephenL
8th June 2012, 04:53 PM
Curious how others find video or are all the videographers shooting GH2's?

David

What's video? *sarc

DekHog
8th June 2012, 06:00 PM
What's video? *sarc

I'm sure it's one of those things you put VHS tapes in mate..... and here was me went and bought all Betamax as well..... :rolleyes:

dko22
8th June 2012, 08:46 PM
and when I recently had to buy a replacement video recorder, it wouldn't play my US VHS format videos I didn't even realise I had so back to the charity shop to swap it for one that would. Technology...... I mean what's wrong with film? At least you didn't have to change cameras every year then. ;)

DekHog
9th June 2012, 05:30 AM
...... I mean what's wrong with film? At least you didn't have to change cameras every year then. ;)

So true! - nor was there a lens 'roadmap' to keep you working overtime and pacing the floor waiting on 'that' lens.' (every 3-6 months).

Steve huff posted a couple of great examples of highlight/shadow recovery with the OM-D.....

Shadow Recovery (http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2012/05/21/the-olympus-om-d-e-m5-sensor-can-you-save-an-under-exposed-shot-yes/)

Highlight Recovery (http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2012/05/31/saving-an-olympus-om-d-e-m5-file-part-2-blown-highlight-recovery/)