The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II refreshes its predecessor with a range of improvements. Matt Golowczynski investigates the difference these make
Olympus OM-D E-M10 II review: Resolution, dynamic range and noise
The sensor may be smaller than APS-C types in rival cameras but it still manages to hold its own in terms of dynamic range, recording an impressive 12.7EV stops at ISO 100 in our Applied Imaging tests. This holds up well until around ISO 400 where it falls to a still respectable 11.8EV stops, after which point it steadily decreases. We see a quite usable 7.9EV dynamic range at ISO 3200, but beyond this the sensor performs more poorly, even dipping to below 6EV at ISO 25,600.
While the camera may lack the 40MP High Res Shot mode found in the E-M5 Mark II – which we found is capable of resolving around 4,000lp/h – the level of detail captured is still impressive. At ISO 100 it manages around 3,000l/ph, a figure which holds up well until ISO 800 at least. ISO 3,200 is where things begin to tail off noticeably, from 2,800l/ph captured at this setting, before more consistent drops in resolution with each subsequent sensitivity setting until the camera’s upper limit of ISO 25,600.
Noise is visible slightly earlier in the camera’s sensitivity range than similar systems toting APS-C sensors, but good results can still be had at the lower end of the sensitivity range. Noise begins to become more visible at around ISO 800, with luminance noise becoming increasingly obvious as you push towards ISO 3,200. Detail is well preserved up to ISO 1,600, beyond which it slowly starts to tail off – something you only really notice when you’re studying images at high magnification. For day-to-day use and in low-light scenes that demand a higher sensitivity I’d be prepared to push the sensitivity up to ISO 3,200 without too much cause for concern. As is often the case, it’s the last sensitivity in the range that appears to show the most significant shift. In an emergency, I’d be prepared to shoot at ISO 6,400 or 12,800, but ISO 25,600 should be avoided at all costs.