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Olympus OM-D E-M5 - Sample Images: ISO Peformance

Audley Jarvis

By Audley Jarvis


  • Recommended by TR
Olympus OM-D E-M5


Our Score


User Score

Review Price £1,150.00

ISO 200 is sharp, detailed and noise-free.

ISO 400 shows very little difference from ISO 200.

At ISO 800 the E-M5 is still producing high quality images, with only the merest hint of noise.

At ISO 1600 noise has begun to creep in with a softening of detail, but it's not a great problem.

ISO 3200 shows a more marked increase in noise, with a more noticeable softening of detail.

ISO 6400 is where image quality begins to break down, especially when viewing images at 100% or more.

At ISO 12,800 and image quality is starting to get a bit ropey.

The top setting of ISO 25,600 might help you out in an emergency but is otherwise best avoided.

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Mike B

May 15, 2012, 7:22 pm

Nice camera but needs to be £250 cheaper given you can get a Panasonic GH2 with 14-42mm lens for £570 (or £900 with 14-140mm zoom). Still I am sure it will drop over time to a more reasonable level and should spur Panasonic on to release a GH3!

Jerome Nolas

May 15, 2012, 9:27 pm

Right on! I wrote basically the same on the other web site and they almost stoned me to death...I am sure people will be happy with the camera but the price is ridiculous, that's all....have a nice day "Olympusians" and enjoy jour camera.

Martin Daler

May 16, 2012, 3:22 am

I'm sure it's a great tool. What I don't get is, when the camera has neither a pentaprism nor a spooled film canister, why is the designed hobbled by those anachronistic design constraints?

I would have thought that, freed from the need to house those fixed elements, camera designers would exploit the new-found freedom to accommodate other more pressing needs - more pressing, that is, than simply harking back to old times. It seems such a shame to squander their design freedoms in this way.

I understand that retro sells, but even cameras with a more modern cut to their cloth still seem to cleave to these old designs. Like the funky Pentax yellow job, all in-your-face modernity - it still is basically just a pastiche on the old pentaprism/mirrorbox/film canister and take-up spool paradigm. Yet that camera has none of those elements within, so why does it pretend from the outside that it has?



May 16, 2012, 7:57 pm

Martin - part of the reason for the particular design of this camera (specifically the lump on top) is necessitated by internal components, namely the IS system, which is actually rather large.

Beyond that, I think there's a lot of stock held in the shape a camera "ought" to be. To be fair, the current form factors are remarkably practical. I'd be interested to know what sort of shape you'd make a camera, though! :)

Martin Daler

May 16, 2012, 10:30 pm

I'd look at how best to hold and use a camera and design a shape that fits well in the hand - I'd prioritise that over accommodating phantom internals.

So even if the traditional slab 'n cylinder model has its advantages, they could still do something about the corners, especially the one that cups in the left hand. They could come up with a shape which makes it just as easy and natural to shoot portrait as landscape - maybe even look beyond the shape and consider a swivelling sensor or other solution to switch easily - who knows.

It just seems madness to cripple their room for maneouvre by saddling themselves with empty constraints.

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