DPReview wrote in their test about the Olympus E-PL1 that it would have a bigger dynamic range at ISO 200, compared to its lowest setting of ISO 100. Consequently, in their later models Olympus even left away that ISO 100 setting. I always thought tho – like David Taylor-Hughes and a few others – that I’m getting cleaner images at ISO 100. And because today I took a photo with very low light – in fact with no artificial light at all except my monitor at work – I wanted to know, and also checked the measurements of DxOMark, whom I normally trust concerning numbers.
You can see it blurry in the background, on my monitor: at ISO 100, it’s a tad higher than at ISO 200, and just kisses their green line for a “good enough” image quality:
So I took this at ISO 100 and with an aperture of f=3,2 (hence the blur, because I focused on the keyboard). In post I cropped this to a 16:10 format because there isn’t much more information at the very top and/or bottom of the image. And tho the camera showed me some highlight warnings, and I slightly underexposed it about 0,3 stops, the image doesn’t really have a very high dynamic range.
Oh, and what DxOMark also confirmed was my guess that the E-520 has a slightly higher dynamic range, compared with the “Pen”. And I also think that its curves are slightly flatter (read: not as contrasty), compared to the 12MP sensor of the “Pen”. So together with the excellent 50mm macro lens, the DSLR with its also faster phase autofocus is still my go-to portrait camera.
My standard settings are “muted” on the E-520, and “normal”, but with contrast and saturation both set to “-1″ on the Pen. It’s always easier to increase contrast during post-processing than having too much of it from the start.
The photo in this post was converted using RawTherapee only.
Thanks for reading.