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Panasonic Lumix GF6 Ken McMahon, August 2013
 
 

Panasonic Lumix GF6 vs Olympus EP5 vs Fujifilm XM1 Noise JPEG

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  Panasonic Lumix GF6 results
1 Panasonic Lumix GF6 Quality JPEG
2 Panasonic Lumix GF6 Quality RAW
3 Panasonic Lumix GF6 Noise JPEG
4 Panasonic Lumix GF6 Noise RAW
5 Panasonic Lumix GF6 Sample images

To compare noise levels under real-life conditions, I shot this scene with the Panasonic Lumix GF6, the Olympus PEN E-P5, and the Fujifilm X-M1 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 Lumix GF6 and the PEN E-P5 were fitted with their respective kit lenses and the Fujifilm X-M1 was fitted with the new Fujinon 16-50mm f3.5-5.6 OIS kit lens

For the Lumix GF6 and the PEN E-P5 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 Panasonic Lumix GF6 in Aperture priority mode. The camera was mounted on a tripod and tonal enhancement features were left on their default settings, i.Dynamic and i. Resolution were turned off and Long Shutter 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 Fujifilm X-M1, 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. The Lumix GF6 JPEG file measured 7.57Mb and, as usual, the crops are taken from the areas marked by the red rectangle.

At 160 ISO the Panasonic Lumix GF6 selected 1/5 at f5.6. At its 200 ISO base sensitivity the PEN E-P5 metered an exposure of 1/6 at f5.6. 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.

Though both the Olympus PEN E-P5 and Fujifilm X-M1 have 100 ISO settings, these are part of their extended ISO sensitivity ranges, their base sensitivity setting is 200 ISO. So when looking at the table below you should compare the 160 ISO crop from the Lumix GF6 with the 200 ISO crops from the PEN E-P5 and the Fujifilm X-M1. When you do that, you'll see that there's very little difference between them in terms of noise, all three produce a clean image with plenty of fine detail and no discernible noise at their base ISO sensitivities.

As you go up the sensitivity scale to 1600 ISO on the Lumix GF6 crops the increase in noise is fairly marginal. As with the outdoor test, the GF6 crops look a tiny bit softer, most probably as a result of processing differences as much as anything else. The 1600 ISO crop does look a little bittier than the PEN E-P5 though, the bottom edge of the memorial panel is patchier and the difference is a little more exagerrated at 3200 ISO. I'd say from 1600 ISO to 6400 ISO the PEN E-P5 has an edge in terms of the way it handles noise and the results, but it's a slight advantage and not one that's going to make much of a practical difference. At the high end of the range - 12800 and 25600 neither looks great, but the PEN E-P5 crops are visibly 'less bad'.

But it's the Fujifilm X-M1 that's the clear winner in here. Up to 400 ISO it matches both the Lumix GF6 and PEN E-P5 crop for crop, but from there on up the incremental increases in noise are far less intrusive and the X-M1 sensor retains a lot more detail as a result. By 3200 ISO there's a least a 1EV difference in noise levels, probably more. You can even just about still read the text in the Fujifilm X-M1's 25600 crop, which is pretty remarkable.

To find out how much of a role processing plays in keeping noise at bay in these crops take a look at my Panasonic Lumix GF6 RAW noise results page to see just how much noise is present behind the scenes. Or head over to my Panasonic Lumix GF6 sample images to see some more real-life shots in a variety of conditions.


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

160 ISO

100 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
12800 ISO
12800 ISO
25600 ISO
25600 ISO
25600 ISO

Panasonic Lumix GF6 results : Quality / RAW quality / Noise / RAW Noise


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