DxOMark Olympus OM-D E-M5 test results are out – the best MFT camera so far

DxOMark published their test results for the Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera. With an overall score of  71, the E-M5 takes the top rank for all Micro Four Thirds cameras. At Photokina Olympus announced the E-PL5 and E-PM2 which use the same sensor as the E-M5. The Panasonic GH3 is not tested yet.

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  • Sky

    The Best m4/3 – still beaten in all categories by compact and a NEX that most of people criticise for High ISOs.

    That’s why I think this system doesn’t have a very positive future – if not the wide choice of lenses there wouldn’t be any point in buying it what so ever.

    • mooboy

      Er, who says NEX’s are no good for high ISO?

      The fact m43 is getting so damn close to aps-c, it’s aps-c I think should be the one people worry about. I don’t think either is going anywhere fast, but a sensor this size offers much more size weight benefits compared to ff than aps-c.

      • in one year we all will be laughing at those buying anything less then fullframe compacts. When compact then it should be worth the pictures it can take. Not just one compromise after another.
        Mirrorless cameras are now exactly as that nikon dealer said:

        it is slower focusing, less features, more expensive, awkward to use, but the photos are worse!

        • Vincent

          Maybe true..if and only if the development of APS-C sensor stops. However, from what I’ve seen, APS-C sensors are getting upgraded every year. Thus, the best chance for M4/3 is that it may be close to APS-C but it just cannot be better.

          And don’t forget the fact that Olympus now uses Sony’s sensor. Sony therefore will not commit suicide for their NEX by releasing better sensors to m4/3.

        • F200

          In 5 years time, we would be shooting digital Large Format (200MP) from a tablet like camera and using a digital medium format compact as a second camera.

          • Alfons

            Yes! Small sensors and their noise have made the photographic community lack creativity. I’m personally expecting the next iPhone to have FF. There’s no need for small format like m4/3. I wan’t to shoot my landscapes handheld at 6400 ISO, so I should be able to do it! Even better if it’s 40+ MP so I can crop it later. Composing is so like 1930’s.

          • Sky

            “Yes! Small sensors and their noise have made the photographic community lack creativity”
            – ROTFL. Let me guess? Nikon user.
            How it’s possible that most creative photographers made their best works in the age where ISO1600 was one of least used sensitivity and horribly noisy? Current age digital compacts make less noisy photographs then what Masters of Photography got available.
            Magic? Or you try to suggest that random people of current age make better shots?

          • Zaph

            Pretty sure he was joking Sky. 🙂

        • Michael

          Currently, the full frame setup has the best performance:price ratio, but it sadly doesn’t have much cheap offering, which is deterring it from amateurs. If Canon/Nikon decides to bring inferior full frame lenses and camera to full frame and bring down the price to DX level, then it would be best to the consumers.

      • jake

        in real life low light perfomance , the EM5 beats the NEX7 any day because its naturally deepr DOF at any give f number allows us to use lower ISO number to get the same shutter speed(for exaple if NEX7 needs f4 ,ISO1600 to get shutter speed 1/100th , EM5 would need ISO800, f2.8 to get the same 1/100th ) , plus the EM5 is stablized.

        I have both NEX7 and EM5 , and to be honest the Sony is an ok-ish camera but its real life AF perfomance , lowlight IQ and shadow quality at lower ISO are not as good as the NEX5n and I am sure the NEX7 is not full one stop better than the EM5 , the NEX7 might be better but at best it is just 1/3 stop better than the EM5 , this means dof for dof , the EM5 has better low light perfomance.

        to be honest, I am not very happy with either EM5 or NEX7.

        I think I will sell all of these for the Fuji XE1 as soon as it’s out in Oct 24th.
        by the way, DXO is now doomed , at least I never trust the junk sensor bench mark ever again and suggest you guys stop worshipping for the crap.

        I think all you guys should do your own sensor test instead of waiting for DXO crap to produce extremely Sony/Nikon biased you know? whatever they call it BS measurement ranking.

        I hope Adobe does something better than this, I really do not believe DXO is honest.

        • jake

          one more thing , do you really believe Nikon D800e is better than Phase IQ 180?

          this is getting really ridiculous.

          • Kyle

            Why not?

            I have friends doing photography business with medium format cameras. They just changed to D800e and I heard a lot of positive comments. DXOMARK is already proved in this case.

          • SCIENCE!

            I bet you shoot Canon.

        • Do yourself a favour and learn about equivalence. You must surely know that your knowledge is limited, so why still write these lies?

          • Michael


    • vam

      Those people who actually use the camera to take photos know that marginal differences in image quality doesn’t matter at all but rather the overall usability/versatility of the camera and the lens lineup which make the E-M5 IMHO the best mirrorless camera currently on the market. (And for my needs, it’s the best camera in every categories.)

      • jake

        until the Fuji XE1 gets out or unless you can afford the Leica M.

        • fab

          I am myself thinking of buying a XE-1 (amazing IQ, even at 12800 ISO) but the touchscreen and the (very) fast autofocus are two features that would make me buy the OMD Em-5. Because except if you print in big sizes, you’ll never see the difference, so I’d prefer to get most of my shots right, as fast as I can, and not miss any opportunity.

    • R!

      Sensor is smaller ,so there is no surprise here,wait a full frame lumix that will come out soon then we’ ll talk again!!!!

      • R!

        …Actually If you take in consideration that It’s a X2 24/36 sensor that means you can resolve in the center like 32 mpxls 24/36 sensor for a 4/3 at 16 mpxl ,with good lenses like Leica M or R you get the best definition in the center for lenses and no vigneting or distortion freebonus!!!!
        It can also transform your fast tele in supertele like a 200mm f2 turn into a 400 f2 !!!!
        well I think that’s cool.

        • Clint Dunn

          ….except that the DOF from 200mm full frame is NOT the same as f2 on 4/3 sensor…..

        • tch

          200/2 has an aperture of 100mm. 400/2 has an aperture of 200mm. How does putting a camera on the back of a lens enlarge it’s aperture by 100mm? In fact it becomes “the equivalent” of a 400mm f/4, not f/2.

          • Nick

            Depends on what you’re measuring, DoF equivalence, or shutter speed. Both matter, depends what you’re doing with the camera.

            Simple fact is though that nobody would have argued that a 645 film camera didn’t produce more detail than a 35mm camera, and like wise a 10×8 compared to a 645.

            Same applies to digital sensors. Bigger is better for IQ, but obviously worse for portability (especially when you factor in lens size).

            Horses for courses really – so let’s just all get over ourselves.

          • Michael

            f/2 is a f number, not the aperture. The aperture is focal length/ f number.

      • jake

        in real life , for peopple who really fully utilize their cameras , sometimes smaller sensors are better , the larger , the always better logic is wrong many times.

        for light handheld photgraphy , maybe the MFT with super fast prime + IBIS is the sweet spot because even at f1.8 MFT can give us pretty decent deep enough DOF for street work, thus we dont need to shoot super high ISO all the time with MFT system.

        with FF , you must stop down a couple more stops to get the same dof as with MFT, and so, with FF you always need to use 2 stop higher ISO setting for the same deep dof(and usually the current gen FF is not 2 stop better than the EM5 sensor, so in real life DOF to DOF, there is not difference or a bit better with the EM5).

        • Kyle

          On the other hand, it means if you need the f2.8 FF DOF, you need at least f1.4 on M4/3. Again, f0.95 on M4/3 is practically equivalent to f1.8 on FF.

          Pana 12-35mm/f2.8, for instance, is considered as an overpriced lens by many since its 2.8 is basically equivalent to f4 on FF.

          • Roby

            Cool story bro. It’s an amazing video lens. My Gh2 and 12-35 kills your 5dmk2 or even mk3, name whatever vdslr you want. Also, do the question is do I (I, as me) really care about DOF?

          • Michael

            24-70mm f/5.6*

    • George F

      Sony actually builds sensors for this E-M5.


      Its also rumored that the Panasonic GH3 is using a Sony sensor as well:

  • FMJ

    ISO aside, glad to see their colour+ Dynamic range catching up…..

    that most matter to me instead of just fighting for extreme high ISO performance.

  • Why article shows non-m43 cameras? Is this to signify that m43 Oly can compete in APS-C performance? Why not compare OM-D with D600 while we talk about it over tea and crackers!?

    • Sky

      Cause D600 is DSLR aimed for different market and runs for much higher price, while both X100 and NEX are roughly in similar price and got similar target of customers.
      They are direct competition, hence: customers want to compare then.

      • Red Fez

        General customer are not looking at this site, nor do most look at DxO for information. The only ones who care about such silly things are the pixel peepers. Comparing an APS-C to a micro f/3rds system is about as logical as comparing an X-Pro1 or a NEX-7 to the D600, or the D600 to an H4 Hassy. They are completely different segments

        15 years ago, I said digital photography will turn an entire generation in to computer nerds who spend more time looking at speck sheets instead of shooting, and this proved right.

        If you think for one minute that those looking at a NEX-7 and an OM-D as the same market, then Sky you are proving the point exactly.

        • lol @ micro43 world

          Since when NEX and m4/3 are completely different segment? Dude, on what world do you live?!

    • jake

      cause not all people want ugly fat Nikon plastic fantasy.
      and ,unless you want to shoot wideopen most of time and love the super shallow dof of FX at f1.4 , there is no better low light performance with FX(because the D600 is not full 2 stops better than the EM5).

      dont forget ,to get the same DOF , you must stop down 2 more stops with the D600 than with the EM5 and one full stop more than the NEX7.


      • Bryan

        I use both E-M5 and D600. I can assure you that E-M5 is a great camera. But if it gets compared with D600, a HUGE gap between these twos still exists. And, the DOF of f2/8 on M4/3 is just about the same as that of f/4 on FF. E-M5 is nice but it cannot compete with bigger sensors. No way.

        • R!

          …for Macro they are better actually!

          • R!

            …I explain:considering that you have a good light( a must in macrophotography) nice sun or good flash ,then you are going to get less difraction because you will get more in focus at f8 than on an APSC or off course full frame,so exept If you want nice Bokeh It is easyer to get a large amount of your frame in focus.
            Off course I like the bokeh of full frame more,but this is not always wanted.

  • DP

    I’d say this is impressive–the E-M5 is only 1/3 EV behind the Sony NEX in ISO, and does well in all categories.

    I wonder what the big “surprise” was from when they first tested it. Or did they get a completely different result?

    • Steve

      Measured ISO was 1 stop less than the in-camera ISO. So base ISO is actually 100, not 200. This is the largest gap I have seem measured on DXOMark and was likely their initial concern. Still no reason to delay the results.

    • Sky

      Well, this “only” 1/3 EV is a reason good enough for many people to completely ignore Sony’s SLT cameras – which also lag “only” 1/3 EV behind competition (end yet A77 with same sensor as NEX7 gets higher score then “only 1/3 EV behind” OM-D).
      It all depends on a point of view, really.

      • jake

        “It all depends on a point of view, really.”

        sky, well said , exactly and what you have said make great sense.

        but I think NEX fanboys never see the light.

        • Rolleiflex

          Yet, your point of view is the only right one since no NEX users has seen the “light” as you have… Seriously, I always feel that most m43 users have Napoleon complex. They know they have the disadvantages, and always justify themselves to others fervently.

  • vV


  • caboe

    Always wondered, how Olympus can get better high ISO results than NEX, both with a Sony sensor. Seems that Oly cheated with the ISO values. And DXO seems to be right, when comparing the Exif-datas in the dpreview test shots.
    Anyway, good results for the OM-D

    • Sky

      Well, obviously – it doesn’t. The best of m4/3 is worse in terms of ISO then worst of NEX in that respect. At least: So does DxO says.

  • Ecri

    You just have to love these Sony-sensors. Canon should be really worried.

    • tch

      They have been since at least 2009, but being worried about it and being able to fix it are two different things.

  • Guru

    So, the em-5 is as good as the D300s, the Fuji X100 and the Pentax K-r. Wow, that’s a great step for m43, and I will get one (to upgrade from my GF1). but frankly, and I looked at many images from the em-5, the apsc sensors look still better for me, not to talk of FF. Wow, a small step for photograph, but a big one for m4/3!

  • Mayabi

    In my view, APS-C sensor is still in a better position. Even though this is the best sensor m4/3 ever made, it still cannot surpass the sensor performancein NEX5n which was released fews years ago.

    Plus, don’t forget Fuji. If Fuji’s AF performance is improved and more lens are available, (and it will be so sooner or later) then X series will be serious competitor for m4/3.

  • Kenny A

    Final-beeping-ly a DXO score for the OM-D sensor.

  • Noname

    The article title is quite misleading when it says “the best MFT camera”. DxOMark has actually tested the camera sensor, not the camera. The camera is much more than just a sensor: it is AF system (how fast, accurate, sensitive for light, intelligent, etc), image processing engine, image stabilization, weather protection, viewfinder, camera controls, flash, and many more features.

    So, the article title must be “the best MFT camera sensor”, not the “the best MFT camera”.

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