Sam Dorado is a hobbyist photographer with a knack for tinkering and solving problems. He uses the OMD EM5 and also recently acquired the Body Cap Lens; then he discovered a couple of problems with the lens and modified it to make it better. With that said though, we need to warn you that this isn’t something that everyone should do. But if you’re brave, don’t hold us or Sam responsible.
As such, this is a guest blog post by Sam. And we recommend that you check it out on the blog where it was originally published, as well as follow him on Google +.
When we first heard about Olympus’s 12-40mm f2.8, we had some high hopes as the reps told us that the lens is really made of metal and has a very solid build quality. Then we saw it, and were quite impressed. We expressed a lot of interest in the lens and so we asked Olympus for an evaluation copy.
As a Micro Four Thirds user for years, I’ve always been very privy to the standard’s small primes. These lenses truly embrace the smaller form factor that mirrorless cameras were supposed to establish to begin with. But this is the first zoom lens that I ended up really, really liking. The Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 has lived up to and in some ways exceeded my expectations. And if you can justify the price tag to yourself, we recommend that you spring for it immediately.
At the moment of publishing this article, Adobe Lightroom doesn’t support the OMD EM1′s raw files. So when we decided to do a high ISO comparison, we made sure that the noise reduction settings for the OMD EM1 and its little brother the EM5 were on the exact same playing field. So we attached Sigma’s 30mm f2.8 lens to the cameras, shot them at the same exposure after using a handheld light meter, and then imported them into Adobe Lightroom for a quick view.
The images shot are JPEGs and resized for the web. They were shot at ISO 5,000 because both the OMD EM5 and EM1 both say that 6400 is an extension despite marketing that it is their native high ISO output.
Take a look at the images below and make judgements for yourself in our very informal comparison.
Three of the best Micro Four Thirds cameras currently out on the market all have been noted to exhibit exceptional high ISO image quality. Those three cameras are the Panasonic GH3, Olympus OMD EM5, and the Olympus EP5. Statements around the web have claimed that the cameras have the same sensor, but the firmware inside of these cameras is really what helps to determine the final image quality as well.
And in a very quick and super informal test, we decided to put the three up against one another.
You may not want to spring for that awesome Olympus EP5 premium deal yet, or at least that’s what the rumors are saying. Apparently, a high end OMD camera may be coming. When Olympus first announced the Olympus OMD EM5, they stated that they’re at work on both a higher end model and a lower end model, and that the EM5 would be placed right in the middle. And said camera will be the one that is above the OMD EM5.
For what it’s worth, many a photographer have also stated that it was the camera that they got right. Indeed, the camera incorporates weather sealing, some blazing fast AF performance, a small body that reminds someone of an older SLR, and an excellent sensor.
Even though I personally use larger sensor cameras, every time I go back to my OMD EM5 I can’t find a single fault with it. But we’re really hoping that Olympus doesn’t do what they did for years with using the same sensor over and over again.
When we were in our briefing with Olympus on the EP5, they said that it was the same sensor as the OMD, and they didn’t state that there were ISO performance changes.
We’ve got the camera in for review right now, and we’re really liking it. Though in the end, we should really state and reiterate that it’s all still about what you can do with the camera–no lab test in the world simulates the real life experience of trying to shoot in a dark bar with a camera.
More of the findings and comparisons are after the jump.