Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Comparing ISO noise between Fuji X100S and Olympus OMD EM10

First off, this is gonna be an apple and oranges comparison.
Some will say these are 2 different cameras but they both take pictures.
Coming from a straight Jpg shooter only, no RAW involve.
I just want to compare how Fuji and Olympus tackle ISO noise.
This is not even a high ISO test.
I always had in mind that Fuji is better than Olympus.
First sign showed me, Yes, its true Fuji is better.
But i always read online that some claimed Olympus is on par with Fuji.
Or at least, its negligible.
That i find it hard to swallow.
Is my OMD settings wrong? someone please shed a light...please.
The noise on my OMD pictures are too obvious to ignore, at least compared to a Fuji.
You see, i owned the Fujis first and then OMD second, so my view is coming from a Fuji ISO perspective. My eyes probably got used to Fuji's quality.
But everywhere i read on the internet claims OMD is on par with Fuji... did i say that already?
You see my disbelief?
It could be the complicated menu of the OMD or wrong settings or thats normal OMD ISO...
Maybe i need to shoot RAW but then i just want to shoot JPGs.
Fuji JPGs is awesome.
Based on my ISO findings of these two camera, it only matter if you print large.
Do you ever print your photos?
Well i do though mainly just normal 3Rs, 4Rs.
It didnt matter. The OMD will do just fine.
But there's always a corner in my mind that knowing the noise on the OMD makes me frustrated.
i just cant brush it off.
Knowing its there, it just unease you.
Its like having a dead pixel on your camera. You cant see it. But you know its there. And over time you'd know the location of the dead pixel everytime you look at your pictures.
I cant keep sliding the luminance noise slider all the time...everytime i import new OMD pictures.
And if you slides too much, you lose details and the skin tones will get smooth and painting like effect.
Some claim Fuji has noise reduction in camera which you cant turn off but hey, the picture is still awesome.
Enough me whining let show you photos already.
Exposure is different but i just wanna show you ISOs

The first photo is from OMD. OOC. Large SuperFine.
Noise reduction AUTO
Noise Filter LOW
Can you see how grainy the skin tones? 
Its not the grain that really bothers me, its that over sharpen kinda effect noise that really really bothers me.

This is Fuji X100S. OOC
There maybe noise reduction in camera here but at ISO500, this is just clean.

Excuse the exposure settings. These are OOC. i could brighten the OMD pic but lets just leave it like that.

So let me ask you Olympus OMD users.... is this noise normal? or i had my settings wrong?
Is there any way to improve my OMD Jpg settings?
I did read Olympus OMD sharpening could exaggerate the noise. i haven't fool around with that kind of settings yet. Mostly default except for the noise settings above.

Note: i also like the fact that i can easily get the look that i wanted with manually setting exposure quickly on my Fuji.(if you get what i meant. i dont know how to explain it). i dont have to adjust the flash brightness. Just play around with the shutter speed and ISO. There! Or maybe i already know my Fuji well. i'm already one with my Fuji, He's the one. Blue pill or Red pill. Down the rabbit hole. Oh sorry my mind wanders to the Matrix.


  1. I'm a little late, but there is an obvious problem : OMD pic is UNDER exposed by a large margin...and so, it is noise fest ;)
    Less signal = more noise. Underexpose your Fuji cam to the same level, you will get less sharpening artifacts, but still noise fest.
    Second point : almost all Olympus cams tend to oversharpen. I use Sharpen -1 on Vivid setting. Sometimes, it can even be -2.

    At under 1600 ISO, you can simply disable Noise Filter (OFF) and use LOW only over 1600 (create a MySet for High ISO and another for Low ISO).
    About dead pixels, there is an auto in-camera "pixel mapping" function.
    PS : on my side, i would like to try Fuji. I'm more an Oly guy for years ;)

    1. thanks for the tip, i love both Fuji and Olympus. Now i cant wait for the rumored Olympus PEN-F!!!