Dpreview posts ISO comparison charts for the OM-D EM1 II

Olympus OM-D EM1 II ISO / Image Performance

In the last few hours Dpreview has posted studio testing of both RAW / JPEG’s for the new Olympus OM-D EM1 II pitting it against the orginal EM1 as well as the Fuji X-T2 and Niko D500.

Mmmm.

I’ve looked and looked again and I have to be frank I don’t see a 1/4 stop improved in ISO performance for the new model, nor a particularily noticable improvement in resolution over the EM1 and certainly not the X-T2 and D500.

In fact over the entire ISO range in both JPEG and RAW the X-T2 in particular to my eyes definately has the legs over the EM1 II.

This is not what I expected and looking at the results they appear to run counter to what Techradar concluded.

Explanation?

Sorry I have none.

From Dpreviews studio testing the EM1 II seems to accept a bit more grainular appearance in high ISO RAW images in order to give the visual impression of definition. I suppose careful noise reduction in RAW images from the EM1 II may result in ever so slightly sharper, crisper looking images at high ISO over say the EM1 but not the X-T2 that’s for sure.

As for JPEG images, again it may be a personal preference but I see little if any clear advantages of the EM1 II over its older brother the EM1 and in-camera JPEG processing looks a bit over-cooked to me?

In fact I’d be as bold to say in most respects the images from the EM1 II pretty much mirror those from both the Panasonic GX8 (also a 20mp M43 sensor) and those from the PEN -F which isn’t surprising as in essence they share the smae sensor?

I’d be lying if I said I am not disappointed bearing in mind Olympus’s bold claims for the EM1 IIĀ  when it comes to image quality.

I suppose its possible that a future firmware tweak may squeeze a bit more quality from the EM1 II ( both JPEG & RAW) but I reckon we’ll have to wait for the long promised and much rumoured organic sensor from Olympus before we see a truly significant jump or improvement in imnage quality from a four third sensor?

To emphasis the images from the EM1 II are far from bad they are at least as good as other those from other M43 cameras, they simply don’t seem ( to my eyes) to live up to the pre launch hype?

Olympus may well have their work cut out if they try to justify the EM1 II’s high retatil cost on alleged image quality improvement alone.

It will be a good camera though, that’s for sure.

Mark Baynham ( November 2016)

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