Olympus E-P1 ISO Performance

Olympus E-P1

The Olympus E-P1 has captured a lot of buzz.  The initial impressions seem to be quite promising for the new Micro Four Thirds camera.

I have been using the Olympus E-P1 for a little while now.  While you can expect a full review of this new camera soon, below you will find my results from a quick ISO test shoot on a tripod in a tungsten lit room, with white balance set to tungsten and exposure set via Program mode.

Olympus E-P1 Reference Shot at ISO 100

Olympus E-P1 Reference Shot at ISO 100

The following 100% crop samples were taken from the center of the image as 100px by 600px crops.

Olympus E-P1 ISO Comparison Chart

Olympus E-P1 ISO Comparison Chart

Use the links below to download a full size image at the various ISO settings.  Just right-click an choose “Save Link As…” or “Save As…” depending on your web browser.

Olympus E-P1 – ISO 100

Olympus E-P1 – ISO 200

Olympus E-P1 – ISO 400

Olympus E-P1 – ISO 800

Olympus E-P1 – ISO 1600

Olympus E-P1 – ISO 3200

Olympus E-P1 – ISO 6400

Olympus E-P1 ISO Conclusions

Olympus E-P1

I’m not ready to call the E-P1 a low light king; however, it performs well when compared against point and shoot cameras and is approaching the noise performance of some entry-level DSLRs.  My initial thoughts are that the camera is still out of the league of the Nikon D5000 and Canon Rebel T1i; however, it has potential.  Expect more coverage in an Olympus E-P1 review soon.

What Do You Think?

So, do you think these images live up to your expectations for the Olympus E-P1?

Have you compared these images to the recent Sony A330, A300 and A700 ISO Review?

Any other thoughts?

Fire away in the comments below.



  1. Eric says

    I’m curious that you say in the league of entry level DSLR’s. Is there really a difference worth mentioning between a Nikon D5000 (entry) and a Nikon D300 (pro-sumer) as far as noise goes? I’ve found that there is now very few IQ advantages between entry level and advanced APS-C cameras. The extra money goes towards better AF, more FPS, better viewfinders, higher build quality, etc. If you want to take a real step up from a D5000 then you have to jump all the way up to $2300+ FF cameras.

  2. alainiala says

    I’m not sure that the ISO200 shot was not properly focused. I can’t discern a difference betwen ISO100 and ISO200 in terms of focus…You’re eyes might be better than mine. Either way, it seems from observing the uncropped pictures, overall IQ is good up to about ISO800. Definite loss of detail past that, but its roughly in line with DSLRs in this price range. Better than just about any P&S, and maybe just slightly better than top of the line ones like the LX3.

  3. says

    If you look at the camera winder bar on the ISO200 shot, you’ll notice that the focus point is there, whereas on the other shots it is on the words in the back.

  4. leo says

    You more ore less have to use 200 iso, the highlights will clip at 100 iso. The dynamic range is much better at 200 iso than at 100 iso, so in normal live I use 200 iso. The quality of the pictures for me are a big disappointment. Lot’s of noise, lot’s of ugly color noise in the darker parts. If you get rit of the noise you lose detail. The Pen do not produce results which I am happy with to view on 100 %. In my opinion the Pen is closer to a (very good) compact then to a Dslr. I have to admit I use the 14-42mm witch is a slow kit lens. If I put such a lens on my canon 40D or 5D the results will also be less then with a good lens. So maybe in the future…No complaints about the auto-focus and the overall speed of the camera, all is enough for me. Should I take it with me on a serious (vacation) trip, no. To a social event then, no. Do I have regrets buying it, yes.