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My first few shots with the E-M1 coming from FF. Everything is so brown and ugly here right now that it is hard to find anything worth shooting. So please excuse my subject matter, as I am just trying to learn the camera and see what the files look like when I make them. There are many of you here that can make these OLY's sing for sure. I am not very impressed with my first few tries and I don't know if it is for lack of something interesting to shoot, or because I don't know what I am...Show more →
Hi greg, hope you end up enjoying the EM1 as much as I.
Looking at your profile, you've got two things against you - You've comparing IQ to a FF, and you're comparing it to a D800 with twice the MP (meaning it also has a downsampling advantage).
Let me say it bluntly - the EM1 has noise, even at base ISO. It'll be more visible in certain situations than others, but it'll be there. I've learned to live with it, and frankly it now doesn't bother me as much as I thought it would.
I've owned an extensive array of cameras over the last 6 years or so, and settled on the EM1. Here are some of my hints, maybe they'll help you out (or maybe not)
1) Cameras require different post processing procedures. I'm not sure if you're shooting JPEG or RAW, but if you're shooting raw then you're going to have to learn to process somewhat differently - for instance, start adding a 20 luminance NR to shots showing lots of solid blocks of color - it works fairly nicely in getting rid of the noise (I use LR5, btw).
2) Look for the strengths, don't focus on the weaknesses. This was a huge problem of mine for quite a while (which is probably why I swapped systems so many damn times). Instead of saying "oh wow, this camera can do this and this and this", I would say "bummer, this camera can't do X like my D700 or Y like my Fuji XE1 or ...." You'll drive yourself crazy like that.
In the EM1's case in particular, I say -
- It's great to have weather sealing
- This package is so much smaller than my former FF setup.
- I love touch screen focus point changing
- IBIS rocks!
- LiveBulb rocks!
- White balance works excellently
- Gotta love having deeper DOF for certain shots!
Sure, I could focus on the fact it's got CDAF (not the best for tracking), it's only a single card slot, or that it won't match up with noise characteristics of a FF camera, but I'd just drive myself crazy and force a system swap I've almost even put the DOF issue mostly to bed - I was using shallow DOF as a crutch, and not to good effect very well.
Also, be aware certain settings on the camera are likely to result in different performance and exposure - for instance if you shoot Jpeg (or even RAW), your Gradation setting is going to alter your shot parameters for both, and potentially cause more noise in JPEG due to the camera raising shadows.
Also, if you can afford the DR hit in the highlights, ISO 100 *does* give cleaner output than ISO 200.
One from the EM5 archive
Sunset on the Gulf Coast
E-M5 OLYMPUS M.12-50mm F3.5-6.3 lens 19mm f/5.6 1/15s 200 ISO 0.0 EV