High ISO Test: Canon G1X Mk II Vs Olympus OMD EM5

Chris Gampat The Phoblogapher Canon vs Olympus

Canon at one point in the last 10 years absolutely dominated the point and shoot camera industry. But as time and technology progressed, they started to lose grip to the folks at Sony, Fujifilm and others. So to respond to the changing market, they released the Canon G1 X. The camera was capable of taking amazing photos, but it wasn’t until the G1X Mk II had arrived that it had really matured. In fact, the camera, has a slightly larger sensor than Four Thirds.

This history and fact is the basis on which our informal high ISO test was done between the G1X Mk II and the Olympus OMD EM5. The latter has a very standard Micro Four Thirds sensor that is also quite capable.

But how far has Canon’s technology come?

Gear Used

For this review we tested the Canon G1x Mk II against the Olympus OMD EM5 with a Sigma 19mm f2.8 version 1 lens attached.

Tech Specs

Olympus OMD EM5 specs taken from B&H Photo

  • 16.1MP Live MOS Sensor
  • TruePic VI Image Processor
  • Micro Four Thirds System
  • 3.0″ 610k-Dot Tilting OLED Monitor
  • 1440k-Dot Electronic Viewfinder
  • Full HD 1080i Video at 60 fps
  • 5-Axis Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization
  • ISO 200-25,600
  • Dustproof and Splash-Proof Construction
  • FAST Auto Focus System

Canon G1X Mk II specs taken from B&H Photo

  • 12.8MP High-Sensitivity 1.5″ CMOS Sensor
  • DIGIC 6 Image Processor
  • Canon 5x Optical Zoom Lens
  • 24-120mm f/2-3.9 (35mm Equivalent)
  • 3.0″ 1,040k-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD
  • Full HD 1080p Video Recording at 30 fps
  • Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity with NFC
  • High Speed AF and 5.2 fps Shooting
  • HS SYSTEM and Optical Image Stabilizer
  • Dual Control Rings and 14-Bit RAW

Testing

To conduct this test, we shot similar scenes with the Canon G1X Mk II and the Olympus OMD EM5 at the same exposures. We then brought the images into Adobe Lightroom 5 and immediately converted them to JPEGs.

No other post-production was done. Here is what we came back with.

Canon G1X Mk II

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon vs Olympus Canon G1x Mk II images (4 of 4)ISO 64001-30 sec at f - 4.0

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon vs Olympus Canon G1x Mk II images (3 of 4)ISO 64001-25 sec at f - 2.8

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon vs Olympus Canon G1x Mk II images (2 of 4)ISO 64001-25 sec at f - 2.8

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon vs Olympus Canon G1x Mk II images (1 of 4)ISO 64001-25 sec at f - 2.8

Olympus OMD EM5

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Conclusions

So what were we able to draw from this test?

– The Sony sensor in the Olympus OMD EM5 has better noise control despite being a smaller sensor. Granted, Canon’s is only slightly larger

– We tended to gravitate more towards Canon’s colors. In fact, the sensor’s color blows Olympus’s out of the water.

– Canon’s G1x Mk II retained better details at the high ISOs of 6400.

So what does this mean in real life? Honestly, nothing if you consider just how good modern image editing software like Adobe Lightroom 5 is. But instead, it is a measure of how far the technology has come–Canon’s sensor is new while Olympus’s is around two years old now.

For more, you can check out our G1X Mk II review.