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Olympus OMD E-M5 Mark II: Hi-Res Sensor Shift Mode vs Standard-res, NOISE Compared

Get the Olympus OMD E-M5 Mark II digital camera at B&H Photo.

The Olympus OMD E-M5 Mark II produces 9216 X 6912 images (64MP) from 105MB raw files when shot in its sensor shift mode (those dimensions are 2X linear multiples of its 4608 X 3456 native resolution). This delivers higher resolution, but also raises the question of lower noise.

This scene makes a superb example of how hi-res mode can improve the noise behavior, even using an ideal ETTR (expose to the right) exposure (see also the ETTR area in DAP). The standard-res image is compared to the high-res image at standard resolution; the results are remarkable. In Guide to Mirrorless:

Hi-Res Sensor Shift Mode vs Standard Resolution, NOISE (Mining Artifacts)

Presented with HD and UltraHD images, along with many pairs of large crops.

Here’s a small crop comparing the two modes. The article shows several very large crops including blurred and sharp areas, high key and low key areas, as well as the entire frame images.

Noise — Hi-Res vs Standard-Res

Digital cameras have suffered from a lack of imagination in their approach to features for some years now; this example shows how a smart company can add significant value right in the camera simply by asking “what if”—and then acting. Kudos to Olympus for extending the shooting envelope.

What if this technology (which requires sensor stabilization) were put to use in 50 megapixel full-frame cameras? Canon and Nikon seem asleep on the job, but perhaps Sony will up the ante with a 50-megapixel stabilized A9 or whatever.

Mining Artifacts
f4 @ 0.6 sec, ISO 200; 2015-03-12 18:05:12
E-M5MarkII + LEICA DG SUMMILUX 25/F1.4 @ 52mm equiv (25mm)

[low-res image for bot]
Durable and fast, up to 1800MB/s

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