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Thread: need help OM-D v Pentax K5 noise comparison

  1. #1
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    need help OM-D v Pentax K5 noise comparison

    From samples I've looked at over on dpreview in comparison The Olympus OMD seems significantly worse (Noise reduction turned off) at iso 800. I know there are a couple of guys around here that shoot on both so I'd appreciate a realistic view/comparison of your experience. Although retired I'm still doing some work for a local group which requires such iso's
    This is because I'm thinking of moving to Olympus and ditching my K5 and 15, 40 and 70 Limited's.
    Thanks in advance
    David

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    Super Duper
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    Re: need help OM-D v Pentax K5 noise comparison

    I found the IQ of the K5 even better than the OMD, if-the camera focused correct, and the lens was ok.
    Is there anything you dislike in the K5?
    My take was:
    K5: ovf, user interface, very nice lenses but then quality control issues for the zooms, great IQ
    OMD:evf (matter of taste), very good selection of lenses, still less DOF control due to smaller sensor, maybe somewhat more noise. I would rate IQ of OMD very good and K5 IQ excellent

    Personally I didnt like the inconsistent AF of the K5 and therefore now use the OMD
    If your K5 focuses accurate with your lenses and you dont miss any lenses I would keep the K5 if I were you.

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    Senior Member Peter Klein's Avatar
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    Re: need help OM-D v Pentax K5 noise comparison

    Dpreview's review of the OM-D said that while the OM-D had a measurably higher noise level at higher ISOs, the difference between it and the better APS-C cameras was so minor at to be unimportant for normal-sized viewing and prints. To get a truly significant difference, you really needed to move up to full-frame, with attendent size and weight gain.

    It really depends on what your priorities are. If you print really big (bigger than 11x14), the K5 will probably be a little better. If you want real portability, a camera you will be more likely to take everywhere, the OM-D wins. Both are excellent cameras with excellent lenses. If you really are concerned about the least noise at the pixel-peeping level at very high ISO (6400 and up), the K5 wins, but the D700 or D800 are even better, and by a much larger margin.

    Both systems (K and OM-D) have excellent lenses, so the question there is which one has the specific focal lengths and speeds you want. Be aware that the K5 has a stronger anti-aliasing filter, I think that OM-D pictures are a little sharper.

    Another question is whether you shoot JPG or RAW. If JPG, then the question is how good each camera's internal NR is. Does it reduce the noise to a tolerable level without sacrificing important detail? If you use a RAW converter, then the question is whether that converter handles one system's noise pattern better than the other.

    These cameras are systems, along with the RAW converter (if any) that you use. It's less useful to consider one parameter (noise) in a vacuum, more useful to view them as a whole.

    Full disclosure: I considered and tried the K5 (and the D7000), but just bought an OM-D, so I'm in the "honeymoon" period with it. I also own a Leica M8.

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    Re: need help OM-D v Pentax K5 noise comparison

    I have the OM-D and a K-01 (shot it with the DA 15, 40 and 70).

    I think you will see an ISO 800 noise difference at the pixel level, but I am not sure I can see the difference in a 13x19 print after some light NR.

    I would agree with Peter that I need to apply significantly more sharpening to the K-01 images, which may narrow the noise gap?

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    Senior Member Ario Arioldi's Avatar
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    Re: need help OM-D v Pentax K5 noise comparison

    I have both the OMD and the K5 and even though I globally prefer shooting with the OMD (size, AF, lens choice), at high IS0 (1600 and above) i feel the k5 to be substantially better.
    I have not done any specific comparison shooting the same subject in the same situation but this is what I clearly perceive based on a cumulative shooting experience.
    The performances of the K5 sensor are among the best I have seen.

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    Re: need help OM-D v Pentax K5 noise comparison

    Hi David
    I'm with Ario - the K5 has it - but not by a mile.

    Just this guy you know

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    Member Elliot's Avatar
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    Re: need help OM-D v Pentax K5 noise comparison

    I have the OM-D, so this is not a rag on it, but the DxO measurements show the measured ISO values for Olympus as much different than the Olympus shows, whereas the Pentax numbers shown on the K-5 (and K-5II/s and K-30) are pretty close to the measured numbers.

    Olympus OM-D (shown on camera ---> measured by DxO)
    400 ---> 214
    800 ---> 394
    1600 ---> 782

    Pentax K-5
    400 ---> 363
    800 ---> 717
    1600 ---> 1417

    Therefore, would a fairer comparison of actual 800 ISO be the Pentax at 800 and the Olympus at 1600? I would assume that would heighten the differences in noise between the two, if that is more accurate in some sense.

    Having said that, I find the Olympus to be quite tolerable, especially in good to fair light, at least up to 13x19" prints, which are the largest I can make at home. Of course, one has to consider the lenses as well, and the expanding line of m4/3 lenses is allowing for many interesting (and lightweight) options.
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    Re: need help OM-D v Pentax K5 noise comparison

    Thanks guys. So will keep the Pentax for now as I do have an E -PL3 for walk around agency work. Will probably need to spend some money in the next TAX year so will probably wait until then
    David in flooded Devon

  9. #9
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    Re: need help OM-D v Pentax K5 noise comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by Elliot View Post
    I have the OM-D, so this is not a rag on it, but the DxO measurements show the measured ISO values for Olympus as much different than the Olympus shows, whereas the Pentax numbers shown on the K-5 (and K-5II/s and K-30) are pretty close to the measured numbers.

    Olympus OM-D (shown on camera ---> measured by DxO)
    400 ---> 214
    800 ---> 394
    1600 ---> 782

    Pentax K-5
    400 ---> 363
    800 ---> 717
    1600 ---> 1417

    Therefore, would a fairer comparison of actual 800 ISO be the Pentax at 800 and the Olympus at 1600? I would assume that would heighten the differences in noise between the two, if that is more accurate in some sense.

    Having said that, I find the Olympus to be quite tolerable, especially in good to fair light, at least up to 13x19" prints, which are the largest I can make at home. Of course, one has to consider the lenses as well, and the expanding line of m4/3 lenses is allowing for many interesting (and lightweight) options.
    This is true but DxoMark accounts for that difference in ISO labeling in their comparison curves, and those curves show the difference between E-M5 and K-5 as around half a stop after accounting for this difference.

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    Re: need help OM-D v Pentax K5 noise comparison

    David,

    There is an excellent discussion in the following thread OM-D v Pentax K5:

    OMD-EM-5 vs Pentax K-5, I'm at the crossroads...: Micro Four Thirds Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

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