Support me by shopping at Amazon!
Fujifilm XM1 Ken McMahon, July 2013
 
 

Fujifilm XM1 vs Olympus EP5 vs Panasonic Lumix GF6 Noise RAW

Support me by
shopping below



 
  Fujifilm X-M1 results
1 Fujifilm XM1 Quality JPEG
2 Fujifilm XM1 Quality RAW
3 Fujifilm XM1 Noise JPEG
4 Fujifilm XM1 Noise RAW
5 Fujifilm XM1 Sample images

To compare RAW noise levels under real life conditions, I shot this scene with the Fujifilm X-M1, the Olympus PEN E-P5, and the Panasonic Lumix GF6 within a few moments of each other using their RAW settings at each of their ISO sensitivity settings.

The X-M1 was fitted with the new Fujinon 16-50mm f3.5-5.6 OIS kit lens. To eliminate quality differences due to lens factors I used the Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 II on both the PEN E-P5 and the Lumix GF6.

For the PEN E-P5 and Lumix GF6 the lens was set to its 14mm (28mm equivalent) wide angle setting. At its wide angle setting, the 16-50mm Fujinon lens has an equivalent focal length of 24mm and the X-M1 sensor has a 3:2 aspect ratio compared with 4:3 on the Micro four thirds models. I zoomed in marginally with the X-M1 to produce an equivalent vertical field of view.

The cameras were set to Aperture Priority exposure mode with the ISO senstivity set manually.



The above shot was taken with the Fujifilm X-M1in Aperture priority mode. The X-M1 RAW file measured 26Mb and, as usual, the crops are taken from the areas marked by the red rectangle. At its 200 ISO base sensitivity the PEN E-P5 metered an exposure of 1/6 at f5.6. At 160 ISO Panasonic Lumix GF6 selected 1/5 at f5.6 and the I applied -.67EV to the Fujifilm X-M1 to produce an equivalent exposure of 1/6 at f5.6 at 200 ISO. Note the Sun begain to creep into the frame when I was shooting my final shots with the X-M1, hence the illuminated portion to the left side, but it's still possible to look beyond that to other areas of the frame for a fair comparison with the other models. If I get the chance to try all three models at the same time again in the future, I'll reshoot this test.

I processed the files from the PEN E-P5 and Lumix GF6 in Adobe Camera RAW using identical settings: Sharpening at 70 / 0.5 / 36 / 10, Luminance and Colour Noise Reduction both set to zero, and the Process to 2012 with the Adobe Standard profile. To further reduce any distracting visual differences between the crops I also set custom white balance to 4300K. These settings were chosen to reveal the differences in sensor quality and isolate them from in-camera processing. The high degree of sharpening with a small radius enhances the finest details without causing undesirable artefacts, while the zero noise reduction unveils what's really going on behind the scenes - as such the visible noise levels at higher ISOs will be much greater than you're used to seeing in many of my comparisons, but again it's an approach that's designed to show the actual detail that's being recorded before you start work on processing and cleaning it up if desired.

At the time of testing the Fujifilm X-M1 RAW format wasn't supported by Adobe Photoshop Camera RAW 8.1.0.43, so I processed the M-M1's RAF RAW file in the supplied Raw File Converter application. I tried as far as possible to produce similar results to the Camera RAW processed files, setting sharpness to exagerrated, turning off all noise reduction, setting the white balance to 4300K and developing the results to a .tif file. While the resulting crops provide a useful idea of what the X-M1 RAW file can produce, it's not intended for comparison with the Camera RAW processed files, so I'll confine my comments to the differences between these X-M1 RAW crops and the JPEG's. I'll update the X-M1 crops when Camera RAW support becomes available in Adobe Photoshop Camera RAW.

The first thing to note about the crops is that there's no 100, 6400 and 25600 ISO crops as the extended ISO range is only available in JPEG modes, suggesting the extended settings are pulled from RAW data at the closest ISO settings within the standard range - 200 ISO for the 100 ISO setting and 6400 for 12800 and 25600 ISO. Two things strike me about the X-M1 RAW crops. The first is the absence of colour noise, though it's difficult to be sure the RAW converter isn't responsible despite the zero noise reduction settings. The second is the irregular pattern of the noise, presumably due to the less regular structure of the X-M1's X-trans sensor. Then of course there's the fact that, as we saw with the JPEGs, the increase in noise is very small at each step up the ISO range (ok, three things). It's clear that it's the sensor, rather than extraordinarily efficient noise processing that's at the heart of the X-M1's superior high ISO noise performance.

Now head over to my Fujifilm XM1 sample images to see some more real-life shots in a variety of conditions.


Fujifilm X-M1
 
Olympus PEN E-P5
 
Panasonic Lumix GF6

100 ISO Not available in RAW

160 ISO
100 ISO
200 ISO
200 ISO
200 ISO
400 ISO
400 ISO
400 ISO
800 ISO
800 ISO
800 ISO
1600 ISO
1600 ISO
1600 ISO
3200 ISO
3200 ISO
3200 ISO
6400 ISO
6400 ISO
6400 ISO
12800 ISO Not available in RAW
12800 ISO
12800 ISO
25600 ISO Not available in RAW
25600 ISO
25600 ISO


Fujifilm X-M1
results : Quality / RAW quality / Noise / RAW Noise


If you found this review useful, please support me by shopping below!
 
 
Living Landscapes eBook
By Todd and Sarah Sisson
Price: $29.99 USD (PDF download)
More details!

Todd and Sarah Sisson are two of my favourite landscape photographers and in this superb ebook, they'll reveal the secrets behind their wonderful photos. Over 130 pages, it combines tutorials, field guides and technical advice, using the beautiful scenery of New Zealand as a backdrop. An informative and attractive ebook that's highly recommended for anyone wanting to improve their landscape photography! Well worth the price.
     
All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2014 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

/ How we test / Best Cameras / Advertising / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs