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Fujifilm XM1 Ken McMahon, July 2013
 
 

Fujifilm XM1 vs Olympus EP5 vs Panasonic Lumix GF6 Noise JPEG

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  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 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 best quality JPEG settings at each of their ISO sensitivity settings; RAW results will follow on the next page.

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 camera was mounted on a tripod and tonal enhancement features were left on their default settings; Dynamic Range was set to Auto, Noise reduction, Highlight tone, Shadow tone, Colour, and Sharpness were all set to 0 and Long exposure noise reduction was on. On the PEN E-P5 Gradation and Noise reduction were set to Auto and Noise filter was set to standard. On the GF6, i.Dynamic and i. Resolution were turned off and Long Shutter noise reduction was on. The X-M1 JPEG file measured 4.2Mb 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.

The Fujifilm X-M1's standard ISO range is 200-6400 ISO with 100, 12800 and 25600 available as part of an extended range when recording in JPEG. The base ISO setting is therefore 200 ISO which is the same as the Olympus E-P5. For comparison purposes you should therefore be looking at the 200 ISO crops from the Fujifilm X-M1 and PEN E-P5 alongside the base 160 ISO crop from the Lumix GF6.

As in the outdoor test, the Fujifilm X-M1 crops here look a tiny bit soft by comparison with those from the PEN E-P5 and the Lumix GF6, but in terms of noise at the base 200 ISO sensitivity setting there's not much to set them apart. All three crops show a good level of detail with no visible noise to speak of. Even pixel-peeping the 100 percent crop, it's actually very difficult to see much of a difference between the 200 and 400 ISO crops from the X-M1. The 800 ISO crop is a little noisier again and this time you can spot the difference without looking too hard but the increases at each 1EV step up the ISO range are very, very marginal and the 1600 ISO crop looks very good indeed. Already I'd say there's a stop diffenence between the Fujifilm X-M1 and the PEN E-P5 and Lumix GF6.

Where 1600 ISO might be considered the limit for good quality reproduction at 100 percent viewing size on the two Micro Four Thirds models, 3200 ISO on the X-M1 is still looking relatively clean. And in the upper reaches of the sensitivity range, often considered nothing more than a numbers game for marketing purposes, the X-M1 continues to produce, frankly quite astonishingly low levels of noise. You can even just about still read the text in the Fujifilm X-M1's 25600 crop, which is pretty remarkable.

You can put this down to the larger surface are of the Fujifilm X-M1's sensor, or its novel construction, most likely both are partially responsible. Regardless of the technicalities the X-M1's sensor comes out of this comparison a winner by a clear margin.

To find out how much of a role processing plays in keeping noise at bay in these crops take a look at my Fujifilm XM1 RAW noise results page to see just how much noise is present behind the scenes. Or 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

160 ISO
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200 ISO
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6400 ISO
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12800 ISO
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Fujifilm X-M1
results : Quality / RAW quality / Noise / RAW Noise


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