Photography News issue 25

Camera test 38

Photography News Issue 25 absolutephoto.com

ISO performance The smaller Micro Four Thirds sensor, 17x13mm, does mean the format starts at a disadvantage compared with APS-C and full-frame when it comes to noise performance. However, it is also true that the Micro Four Thirds format has made massive strides in this regard and noise levels are constantly being improved. The E-M10 Mark II shows how capable the format currently is and its noise performance is more than a little respectable. The ISO 800 image, for example, is very clean and while you can see noise, it is barely discernible and if it troubles you it is easily removed with a little noise reduction in software. The good thing is also that the noise at this speed is neutral and not coloured which always looks less attractive. Fine detail remains crisply rendered compared with lower ISOs. Detail starts to suffer at ISO 1600 although noise levels remain impressively low although some blotchy colour is visible in the shadows. This is probably the highest ISO speed to shoot at for critical use. From ISO 3200 onwards noise and its impact on fine detail means the higher speeds need using with discretion. The top native ISO of 5000 is still respectable and should the need be great, then it can be used but expect areas of even tone to be noisy. The two top expanded speeds are best avoided unless you are really desperate. The base exposure of the ISO 100 shot was 1.6secs at f/5.6. The Raws were processed using Olympus Viewer 3 with the noise filter turned off.

Original image

ISO 800

ISO 1600

ISO 3200

ISO 6400

ISO 12,800

ISO 25,600

High ISO noise filter If you need to shoot at very high ISO settings the E-M10 Mark II has an in-camera noise filter with three working levels. This works on the JPEGs only. Use it on Raws, and the instruction is transferred to Olympus Viewer 3 so the set level of noise filtration is applied during processing. For this test, I shot at ISO 3200 upwards with the filter off, at low,

Keystone compensation filter Shoot a building and point a lens upwards to include the top and you suffer converging verticals. Editing software is a quick and effective way to solve the problem while the E-M10 Mark II offers an in-camera fix. The Keystone Correction filter is prominently placed in the camera’s menu (in Shooting Menu 2) and not buried deep in the extensive menus so Olympus is clearly keen on the feature. Should you want even quicker access to it, the feature can be assigned to one of the camera’s function buttons. This scene was shot with an Olympus 12mm wide-angle and while a two-storey building is not a severe test of the filter’s skills you can see that it works fine. As with most in-camera filters, the Keystone Correction filter onlyworks with the JPEG file even if you are shooting Raw simultaneously, but the filter is present in the Olympus software so can be applied during processing.

No filter

Full-frame image

standard and high. You can see its effectiveness and it manages to smooth out the high noise levels with minimal detriment to fine detail. The Standard noise filter setting can be left as a default for high ISO shooting.

No NR

LowNR

With filter

Standard NR

High NR

The Keystone Correction filter is prominently placed in the camera’s menu

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