Olympus E-M5: Post #9: Dynamic Range Part 4

If there is a dynamic range difference between the two year old Panasonic GH2 and the new Olympus E-M5, I can't see it in the shadows.  Since tests by dpreview show that there actually is a difference, with the Olympus seeming to have 2/3 of a stop more dynamic range in the shadows, I am wondering if testing devices are so good these days that they can see nuances that escape the human eye!  Or, maybe I need to do some testing at higher ISOs.

Below are two images taken with the same lens, switching between cameras on a bright sunlit day with deep shadows in the parking area under this office building.

Both images were developed from RAW with default settings in Lightroom 4, except white balance.  I equalized the white balance settings at the daylight setting of 5500 degrees Kelvin.  Interestingly, the Panasonic metered at 4950 degrees and the Olympus at 5250 degrees. This was in spite of the fact that I have made no white balance adjustments in the cameras

If you see a difference with respect to dynamic range, between the Oly and the Pany, your eyes are better than mine.  Perhaps I see slightly more detail in the Oly in the 100% crops, but is that just because I know there is "supposed" to be?

In each of the following pairs of images, Olympus is first, Panasonic is second.  Larger images are on my Web site, here:

Olympus 1/250th F8 iso200 14mm (14-54II)

Panasonic 1/250th F9 iso160 14mm (14-54II)
100% crop of Olympus image, of parking area entrance under the building
100% crop of Panasonic image, of parking area entrance under the building

Olympus at 100% crop. Shadow slider at 100% to open the dark area under the garage.

Panasonic at 100% crop.  Shadow slider at 100% to open the dark area under the garage.


[Edited July 25, 2012]

As I mentioned in the opening paragraphs, based Based on these images I can't see (any practical) tell the difference in dynamic range (or image quality for  that matter) between the two year old GH2 and the new E-M5.  And that is after looking at 100% crops and trashing the image by running the shadow slider to 100%.  As far as I am concerned both cameras have fantastic image quality.

But, on the other hand I haven't checked out the highlights.  I intend to take a couple of comparative images with blown highlights at various overexposures to see which camera is able to recover details better in blown exposures.  This will be a topic for another day and for another post.

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