Real-Life Olympus E-M5 Image Samples

Using the MZD 75-300/4.8-6.7 Lens

My other articles related to the Olympus OM-D cameras.

All samples in this page share some of camera's settings or shooting conditions. These are:

  • No tripod, Image Stabilization on;
  • Single AF mode on the E-M5;
  • Natural Picture Mode with sharpness at -2, noise filtering at Low (-1) and saturation at -1
  • Images saved as 1:2.7, native-size JPEGs (LSF);

As always, I'm showing full frame thumbnails at the left and small 1:1, unaltered crops at the right, also providing links to full in-camera JPEGs. These are 16 MP images, therefore remember that a full frame, displayed in the same 1:1 scale, would take 2.4 times the width of an HD (1080p) monitor, so any image flaws are greatly exaggerated compared to normal print or screen viewing.

Maryland Renaissance Festival

This was mid-afternoon on the last day of September. The festival grounds are a shaded area under a canopy of trees; the scene may include isolated patches of bright sunlight and most AE systems will be prone to burned-out highlights in such areas. Still, the conditions and the kind of lens used made me set the ISO to 800 (1600 would be even better, but not with the E-M5).

Exposure compensation was at -.7 EV, just in case; images with no need for it cam be easily stretched up in tonal range (at a small price in terms of noise).

75 mm, AP-.7 EV: 1/500 s at F/5.6, ISO 800 [full frame]
75 mm, AP-.7 EV: 1/320 s at F/5.6, ISO 800 [full frame]
124 mm, AP-.7 EV: 1/640 s at F/5.6, ISO 800 [full frame]
234 mm, AP-.7 EV: 1/800 s at F/6.4, ISO 800 [full frame]
300 mm, AP-.7 EV: 1/800 s at F/6.7, ISO 800 [full frame]
300 mm, AP-.7 EV: 1/400 s at F/6.7, ISO 800 [full frame]

The real-life image samples differ from ones shot in a controlled environment, as they may be affected by a number of additional factors: subject motion, camera shake, AF accuracy and others. All of these become more acute for longer focal lengths, say, 200 mm and beyond (on a μFT camera). Still, the pictures I got from this session confirm my good feelings about this lens, gained, for example, from using it for my E-M1 image samples.

Last but not least, to demonstrate how nicely do my under-sharpened images submit to sharpening in postprocessing, here is another crop from the last image: original and after the high-pass sharpen filter in Paint Shop Pro X9.

The original, unaltered image snippet Same, from an image submitted to high-pass sharpening

Well, the difference is nothing short of dramatic, and for many subjects this degree of sharpening would be, I believe, excessive, but I just wanted to make a point.

Fish and Fowl

A few more images, casual in nature, all shot with the same camera and lens.

All image processing parameters were set like in the previous group, except for the last two images (rabbit and sunset), where sharpening was at N-1 (not N-2).

270 mm, AP-1 EV: 1/500 s at F/6.7, ISO 200 [full frame]
300 mm, AP-.3 EV: 1/4000 s at F/6.7, ISO 800 [full frame]
179 mm, AP-.3 EV: 1/200 s at F/6.3, ISO 1600 [full frame]
75 mm, AP-.7 EV: 1/3200 s at F/5.6, ISO 400 [full frame]
300 mm, AP-1.3 EV: 1/4000 s at F/8, ISO 200 [full frame]

Once again, a respectable performance. Most of the time, when I get a bad picture with this lens, I have myself (or just bad luck) to blame.

In particular, we have to be aware which point does the AF system choose to focus on. The safest way is to use single-point AF and to remember how shallow the depth of field is.

For example, at the focal length of 300 mm and F/8, if the focus is set to 3 meters, the DoF will extend just 1 cm in each direction. A slight move between half-pressing the button and releasing the shutter may ruin your picture. You will find the numbers in my μFT DoF Tables.

My other articles related to the Olympus OM-D cameras.

This page is not sponsored or endorsed by Olympus (or anyone else) and presents solely the views of the author.

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Posted 2017/03/19 Copyright © 2017 by J. Andrzej Wrotniak