Friday 25 March 2016

E-M5 Mark II versus DMC GF-1 Shoot off

I thought it might be useful to compare straight pictures taken by my Olympus OMD E-M5 Mark II versus those taken by my old Panasonic Lumix DMC GF-1.  These three shots are full frame JPEGs from TIFF files saved off the original RAW files all saved to be the same file size.  The difference in pixel count being down to the compression algorithm.

First up, my old Panasonic Lumix DMC GF-1 shooting a 4000 x 3000 picture, 12 megapixels.  A 36.2mb RAW file was saved as 1mb JPEG, which produced a 1262 x 946 pixel picture.

Next my new Olympus OMD E-M5 Mark II shooting in the Hi-res mode 9612 x 6912, 40 megapixels.  This results in a 191.2mb RAW file saved as 1mb JPEG, which produced a 1490 x 1117 pixel picture.

You should be able to click on the pictures to see the full size image.

1202 x 903 crop from 12 megapixel original.

All the pictures were taken using my Olympus M. Zuiko F2.8 60mm macro lens, which is the class leader for micro four third cameras.  They were also taken on a tripod using cameras self timer to reduce camera shake.

The three shots were taken one after the other with the lens set at F8 using aperture priority.  Both cameras were manually set to ISO 200, but the E-M5 Mk2 used a shutter speed of 0.4 (2/5ths) of second, while the DMC GF-1 used 0.25 (1/4) of a second.  The difference in the shutter speeds could be down to either the light changing or the way the two cameras metering systems.

I hadn't thought to account for this, which is why I appreciate DP Review and DxOMark for there laboratory shots when they test cameras.  It's harder than it looks to account for all the confounding variables and I certainly don't have the time and resources to match the professionals.

The next three shots below are crops taken from the TIFF files, which is what you get when you save process the RAW files into an image.  The pictures below are as close as I can get to identical pixel size using my cropping tool.

1203 x 904 crop from 16 megapixel original.

1203 x 904 crop from 40 megapixel original.

OK as you can see the crop is rather cruel to the 40 megapixel shot.  But if I crop the 12 megapixel shot to the same area and you click on the pictures you should be able see the real difference.

521 x 397 crop from 12 megapixel original.

And that's it.  Buy a great camera and make you models look like really rough.  I will remind everyone that these miniatures are 28 mm tall.


  1. Wow, really sharp shots you get with your new camera.

  2. Lovely kit. Digital photography can be really unforgiving of our miniature world, it is difficult to get sympathetic shots. Most of my shots that I am initially pleased with, go on to reveal painting errors. I am going to try softer lighting and dropping the sharpness. Love your lens.

    1. The Olympus F2.8 60mm macro is stonkingly good. However, as you say, getting a sympathetic shot that shows the model off to its best is a hard task.