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Thread: Who compared GH2 to OMD with good glass?

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    Contributing Editor ustein's Avatar
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    Who compared GH2 to OMD with good glass?

    Who compared GH2 to OMD with good glass? Your take?
    Uwe Steinmueller
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    Editor&Owner of Digital Outback Photo
    http://www.outbackphoto.com

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    Senior Member Annna T's Avatar
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    Re: Who compared GH2 to OMD with good glass?

    I don't own the GH2 and I'm still waiting for the E-M5 to be delivered, but someone posted an interesting comparison concerning dynamical range here :

    Olympus E-M5 vs Panasonic GH2: Dynamic Range Battle @ Admiring Light

    and if you feel like it, you can also read the DPreview discussion (although you won't probably draw much of it) here :

    OM-D vs GH2 Dynamic Range Test: Micro Four Thirds Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

    However this mail in the former thread gives more explanations concerning the test conditions :
    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=41463253
    Last edited by Annna T; 9th May 2012 at 07:40. Reason: Added a link describing the test conditions

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    Re: Who compared GH2 to OMD with good glass?

    I could, I have PL 45mm 2.8 and 25mm 1.4 with my GH2,
    but OMD have to go (my wife dont like it) and
    I am selling the camera without use, so I have the box closed in other room

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    Re: Who compared GH2 to OMD with good glass?

    Quote Originally Posted by ustein View Post
    Who compared GH2 to OMD with good glass? Your take?
    Hi Uwe, I have both cameras and some variety of glass. Can you be more specific about what you characterize as "good" glass? For example,

    Autofocus or third-party manual focus (e.g. Leica)?
    Focal lengths?
    Hand held or on tripod?
    ISO?
    Flash? Daylight? Moonlight?

    And, is your interest in comparing noise, color, detail rendering or something else?

    If you can narrow down your criteria to something that would only require some short tests, I would be happy to compare for you.

    David

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    Contributing Editor ustein's Avatar
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    Re: Who compared GH2 to OMD with good glass?

    >If you can narrow down your criteria to something that would only require some short tests

    Daylight with harsh contrast at lowest ISO. Then use the best glass you have (Leica is welcome :-). Would be nice to see the raw files.

    Thanks.
    Uwe Steinmueller
    -------------------

    Editor&Owner of Digital Outback Photo
    http://www.outbackphoto.com

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    Re: Who compared GH2 to OMD with good glass?

    Well, NY has not been as fortunate as CA in terms of sunshine lately. Supposedly we will get to see it on Saturday. So, I should something for you later this weekend.

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    Re: Who compared GH2 to OMD with good glass?

    I'll be looking forward to your input as well, David !
    May NY have sunny and bright weather all weekend long

    C U,
    Rafael
    E-M1/GH2/G1 Full Spectrum & lots of lenses
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/f6cvalk...th/9226689839/

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    Re: Who compared GH2 to OMD with good glass?

    OK Uwe, it was definitely sunny this weekend in NY. However, your criteria for shooting in open sunlight at harsh contrast results in such poor photos that I refuse to post any here, except in B+W. There are no aberration issues, but such harsh sun just destroys any notion of color "quality". The colors just get washed out in such bright sun. Of course, I knew this was going to happen, but I did not realize how much I would hate the results. In these shooting conditions, one does not really want high contrast lenses, which just crushes the shadow detail due to the high contrast of the light. You will actually get much better images with lower contrast lenses (assuming you want to retain as much dynamic range as possible).

    I shot the EM5 and the GH2 side by side. Here are my conclusions:

    1. Both cameras deliver the same image quality for photos at lower iso. If you are looking for improvements in dynamic range or noise or detail rendering, I was unable to see any difference between images at low iso from either camera. At high iso, there is some minor improvement with the EM5, but not enough to make a difference, at least for me. If you are really pushing large print sizes at high iso, then maybe you would be able to squeeze an extra inch or so in print size, but frankly I do not see a major difference, and after applying noise reduction correction in software, the results will be the same.

    2. The GH2 does have a disturbingly longer lag time between shots compared to the EM5. This was using a Panasonic X 45-175 zoom with Power O.I.S. I think the delay had to do with the lens-camera interaction for the P.O.I.S. on the GH2, whereas the IBIS on the EM5 handles things differently and the response time was faster.

    3. Originally, I bought the EM5 in hopes that its IBIS would make my non-stabilized lenses (including some of my favorite Leica lenses) work at slower shutter speeds. I was surprised at how little difference it made for still photos. For example, I am able to hand hold a Leica 90mm lens at 1/15 on the GH2 with sharp results, since the vibration on the GH2 is incredibly low. On the EM5 with IBIS, I was able to shoot 1/13 with admittedly more detail capture, but it is not that big a difference and you would have to pixel peep to see it.

    4. So, at the end of the day, for still photos, I see no reason to "upgrade" a GH2 for the EM5. IMO, the big advantage of the EM5 is its IBIS system when shooting video. You can shoot hand held video with the EM5 with nice smooth motion using non-stabilized lenses (even Leica R and M glass). To me, this is the one feature that really separates the EM5 from the GH2. Of course, for absolute highest video quality, the GH2 is still better when used on a tripod (or slider) due to its much higher bitrate capability. The GH2 is capable of bitrates as high as 175Mbps, whereas the EM5 tops out at only 20Mbps. Admittedly, not everything requires such high bitrates, but when it comes to fine detail, bitrate always wins.

    OK, when push comes to shove and I could only choose one of these cameras ….. I would choose the GH2, simply because of its outstanding video quality. If I did not care about video, then I would of course take the EM5 because it allows me to capture the highest amount of detail with third-party and non-stabilized lenses at lower shutter speeds with its IBIS.

    Here are a couple of sample shots taken hand-held in ridiculously harsh sunlight from each camera. The same lens was used, the Panasonic X 45-175 Power O.I.S. zoom extended all the way at 175mm.
    Last edited by David Klepacki; 30th June 2013 at 21:30.

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    Re: Who compared GH2 to OMD with good glass?

    Oh, I forgot one more important feature of the EM5 that I felt separates it from the GH2, and that is its live view clipping indication. The EM5 is a bit aggressive in its exposure estimate, attempting to "expose to the right". However, it easily clips highlights in bright situations, if you rely on its estimate.

    The EM5 has a very nice clipping indicator that shows highlight clipping as red and shadow clipping as blue. And, the exposure compensation dial is at an excellent location near the shutter button, so you can adjust exposure without taking your eye away from the EVF. This way, I was much more easily able to control proper exposure. Having said this though, the GH2 exposure estimates do not seem to be as aggressive, and so it rarely overexposed highlights to where you could not bring back the detail anyway.

    And one more thing about the IBIS that I found to be nice on the EM5, and that was an image-stabilized live view with 10x magnification for accurate focusing. You can activate live-view IBIS by half-pressing the shutter button, and while holding it down proceed to manual focus at 10x magnification through the EVF with much better accuracy. The GH2 cannot do this, and so the image "bounces around" (in and out of focus) in its EVF while you are focusing with its 10x magnification.

    So, these two things might be worth considering as well between the GH2 and the EM5.

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    Re: Who compared GH2 to OMD with good glass?

    Is it fair to say, then, that with either a G3 or GH2 (knowing the distinctions in body, etc.), if you use m4/3 lenses and still photography most of time, that the qualitative differences are not great at all?

    The most significant point in that scenario would be the lag time between shots in the GH2 and G3, compared to what is reported for the OM-D, as well as some nice tools on the OM-D such as the IBIS focusing and clipping indicator.

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    Re: Who compared GH2 to OMD with good glass?

    This is what I've been thinking but without being able to actually compare, I'm not sure. It does seem to me to not be sufficiently different to push me to buy the OMD in this generation. I'm keeping an open mind however but I do think I would be better waiting for the next generation of any of these cameras.

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    Re: Who compared GH2 to OMD with good glass?

    David, Thanks
    Uwe Steinmueller
    -------------------

    Editor&Owner of Digital Outback Photo
    http://www.outbackphoto.com

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    Re: Who compared GH2 to OMD with good glass?

    Hi Elliot,

    For still photography using image stabilized lenses, there is no discernible difference in image quality between the GH2 and the EM5, in my opinion. At high iso, there appears to be less noise coming straight out of the EM5, but with good noise reduction software and the GH2, the resulting image quality still winds up to be the same (again, in my opinion).

    The advantage of the EM5 is that it will image stabilize lenses like the F0.95 Voigtlander lenses or even the fast prime lenses from Panasonic (e.g., 20mm/1.7 pancake) and Olympus (e.g., 45mm/1.8). If you like to shoot at night time or in very dark environments with such lenses, this means you can sometimes get a sharper image and perhaps use a lower iso than with the GH2. Having said that, I can get very good results at 1/15 hand held on the GH2 if my technique is perfect. With less than perfect technique, this becomes 1/30.

    My recommendation: if you find yourself wanting to shoot hand held at shutter speeds slower than 1/30 with non-stabilized lenses, then you should definitely go for the EM5. Otherwise, either camera should meet your needs, and it comes down to those extra features (such as live view clipping indication) and/or video considerations.

    David

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    Senior Member f6cvalkyrie's Avatar
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    Re: Who compared GH2 to OMD with good glass?

    Thank you, David, for this detailed description.
    I'll be receiving my EM5 in the next days, and will test it in combination with my MF long lenses.

    I'll let you all know !

    C U
    Rafael
    E-M1/GH2/G1 Full Spectrum & lots of lenses
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/f6cvalk...th/9226689839/

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    Re: Who compared GH2 to OMD with good glass?

    Quote Originally Posted by David Klepacki View Post
    OK Uwe, it was definitely sunny this weekend in NY. However, your criteria for shooting in open sunlight at harsh contrast results in such poor photos that I refuse to post any here, except in B+W. There are no aberration issues, but such harsh sun just destroys any notion of color "quality". The colors just get washed out in such bright sun. Of course, I knew this was going to happen, but I did not realize how much I would hate the results. In these shooting conditions, one does not really want high contrast lenses, which just crushes the shadow detail due to the high contrast of the light. You will actually get much better images with lower contrast lenses (assuming you want to retain as much dynamic range as possible).

    I shot the EM5 and the GH2 side by side. Here are my conclusions:

    1. Both cameras deliver the same image quality for photos at lower iso. If you are looking for improvements in dynamic range or noise or detail rendering, I was unable to see any difference between images at low iso from either camera. At high iso, there is some minor improvement with the EM5, but not enough to make a difference, at least for me. If you are really pushing large print sizes at high iso, then maybe you would be able to squeeze an extra inch or so in print size, but frankly I do not see a major difference, and after applying noise reduction correction in software, the results will be the same.

    2. The GH2 does have a disturbingly longer lag time between shots compared to the EM5. This was using a Panasonic X 45-175 zoom with Power O.I.S. I think the delay had to do with the lens-camera interaction for the P.O.I.S. on the GH2, whereas the IBIS on the EM5 handles things differently and the response time was faster.

    3. Originally, I bought the EM5 in hopes that its IBIS would make my non-stabilized lenses (including some of my favorite Leica lenses) work at slower shutter speeds. I was surprised at how little difference it made for still photos. For example, I am able to hand hold a Leica 90mm lens at 1/15 on the GH2 with sharp results, since the vibration on the GH2 is incredibly low. On the EM5 with IBIS, I was able to shoot 1/13 with admittedly more detail capture, but it is not that big a difference and you would have to pixel peep to see it.

    4. So, at the end of the day, for still photos, I see no reason to "upgrade" a GH2 for the EM5. IMO, the big advantage of the EM5 is its IBIS system when shooting video. You can shoot hand held video with the EM5 with nice smooth motion using non-stabilized lenses (even Leica R and M glass). To me, this is the one feature that really separates the EM5 from the GH2. Of course, for absolute highest video quality, the GH2 is still better when used on a tripod (or slider) due to its much higher bitrate capability. The GH2 is capable of bitrates as high as 175Mbps, whereas the EM5 tops out at only 20Mbps. Admittedly, not everything requires such high bitrates, but when it comes to fine detail, bitrate always wins.

    OK, when push comes to shove and I could only choose one of these cameras .. I would choose the GH2, simply because of its outstanding video quality. If I did not care about video, then I would of course take the EM5 because it allows me to capture the highest amount of detail with third-party and non-stabilized lenses at lower shutter speeds with its IBIS.

    Here are a couple of sample shots taken hand-held in ridiculously harsh sunlight from each camera. The same lens was used, the Panasonic X 45-175 Power O.I.S. zoom extended all the way at 175mm.
    Well,

    this is the theory ...

    When I compare GH2 and OMD, the main reason for me to switch is hap tics of the OMD and how well it feels for me and how good I can operate it.

    All other stuff is just cut and paste from operations manuals. I just trust in my feelings preferably!

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    Re: Who compared GH2 to OMD with good glass?

    Without having either but finding both interesting cameras and thinking about them I also would to add:
    - The OMD should be weatherproof
    - then there is the out of camera jpg difference
    - I agree with Peter that in general user interface is-IMO-often underrated vs theoretical IQ. I dont know how the OMD handles but the GH1 I found kind of overloaded with funtions and options.

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    Re: Who compared GH2 to OMD with good glass?

    Thank you, David. I use four non-stablized lenses on my G3, including the Panny 20 and 14, and the Oly 45 and 40-150. The 20 and 45 deliver great results in low light, as does the 14 as much as I have used it, and the 40-150 has performed quite well in good light. I'm sure that any increased low-light capabilities would be welcome, but more important to me is my relationship to the camera and how it responds, in terms of feel in the hand, speed of the shutter (and any lag or buffer overload), etc.

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    Re: Who compared GH2 to OMD with good glass?

    As far as user interface goes, I feel that both cameras are somewhat overloaded with functions and options, and so about the same in that respect. I do prefer the simplicity of the Leica M cameras, but the image stabilization and 10x magnification for focusing accuracy of these mirrorless cameras (and live view highlight clipping in the case of the EM5) is what has made a difference in the end result for me.

    Rafael, you got me curious about what was possible with my longer glass and the EM5. So, I mounted my Mamiya APO 200/2.8 lens onto the EM5 to see how slow of a shutter speed I could hand hold it with decent sharpness. I only took one shot, and it is attached below. It was taken hand held at F2.8 and 1/15 with ISO 200. Then I tried with the GH2. The GH2 only produced a blur image at this shutter speed with this lens. So, this is definitely a "happy tic" for the EM5.
    Last edited by David Klepacki; 30th June 2013 at 21:30.

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    Re: Who compared GH2 to OMD with good glass?

    Hi, David,

    that's one super sharp picture for a 200mm lens @ 1/15.
    It makes me hope for the best with my long lenses, ranging from 300mm to 1000mm of focal length ...

    I'm on a trip abroad now, but I'll be back for the long WE on Thursday and the EM5 should have arrived by then, so stay tuned for samples ...

    Good night for now,
    Rafael
    E-M1/GH2/G1 Full Spectrum & lots of lenses
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/f6cvalk...th/9226689839/

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