Olympus E-P1 - Review / Test Report - Sensor Noise
DSLR Reviews - DSLRs

ISO noise

The Panasonic/Olympus LiveMOS sensor has a rather mediocre reputation with respect to sensor noise. However, this isn't really a valid statement so let's have a look at the impact of the small, 17.3 x 13.0mm sensor on the ISO performance now. Here're the results for RAW converted images:

The Olympus E-P1 is a good performer throughout the ISO range. There are no problems at ISO 100, 200, 400 as well as ISO 800 and 1600 is also perfectly fine for most scenes. However, at ISO 3200 the noise level is starting to spoil the game, but it's still usable in some situations, while ISO 6400 is definitely out of the race.

The next chart shows the results based on a JPEG-file analysis with and without noise reduction:

If you move your mouse cursor over the image you can switch to the corresponding JPEG results


Comparing to the RAW output, the JPEG analysis shows slightly different results. The JPEG output with and without noise reduction shows comparatively more noise than the converted RAW files. However, these are the lab results and I guess you're also interested in some samples taken in the real world. The first image series should give you an idea of the colour noise at the specific settings.

If you move your mouse cursor over the image you can switch to the corresponding JPEG results

... and another series with a more detailed subject.

If you move your mouse cursor over the image you can switch to the corresponding JPEG results

low ISO noise (ISO 100-200):
mid ISO noise (ISO 400-800):
high ISO noise (ISO 1600-3200):




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