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Noise, low-ISO-sensitivity JPEGs

Noise, high-ISO-sensitivity JPEGs

ISO 100 JPEG

ISO 400 JPEG

Bokeh, 17mm lens

Sharpness, 17mm lens

Sharpness, 45mm lens

ISO 800 JPEG

ISO 1600, raw vs. JPEG

Color

Color presets

Red

The Olympus PEN E-P5's JPEGs look good up through ISO 400, and OK through ISO 800; by ISO 1600 the noise suppression gets too aggressive.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
I really wouldn't shoot with the E-P5 at ISO 3200 or higher. As it is, at ISO 1600, only the precisely sharp areas look good viewed at 100 percent, though 13x19 prints look OK.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
The E-P5's JPEGs come out just a tad crunchy at best, but the image quality has improved since the E-P3.

(1/320 sec, f3.2, ESP metering, AWB, ISO 100, 45mm f1.8 lens)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
ISO 400 JPEGs look very good, without any of the processed-looking smeariness of the E-P3.

(1/100 sec, f2.2, spot metering, AWB, ISO 400, 17mm f1.8 lens)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
The 17mm lens that comes as part of the kit is the better, more expensive f1.8 model, not the cheap f2.8 one. It renders nice out-of-focus highlights; the grainy look in the out-of-focus areas is due to the sensor.

(1/2,500 sec, f1.8, ESP metering, AWB, ISO 200, 17mm f1.8 lens)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
The lens is reasonably sharp.

(1/100 sec, f5, ESP metering, AWB, ISO 200, 17mm f1.8 lens)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
In contrast to the 17mm kit lens, the 45mm f1.8 lens is a little sharper, better showing what the camera is capable of. Note that this is not a direct comparison shot from the previous slide, as the aperture settings are different, but offered for illustration purposes.

(1/125 sec, f4.5, ESP metering, AWB, ISO 100, 45mm f1.8 lens)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
The harder-to-process areas of JPEGs get pretty mushy by ISO 800 (the out-of-focus and darker areas), but sharp areas are handled pretty well. There's a lot of aberration reduction going on here as well.

(1/30 sec, f1.8, spot metering, AWB, ISO 800, 17mm f1.8 lens)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
By ISO 1600, shooting raw gives you a sharpness advantage over shooting JPEG.

(1/60 sec, f2, spot metering, AWB, ISO 1600, 17mm f1.8 lens)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
Even the E-P5's default Natural color setting pushes the saturation a bit, and the white balance is a little cool for my taste. It's definitely within the bounds of acceptability, though.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
The differences between the camera's most neutral -- and default -- color setting and its automatic setting are relatively subtle, though it boosts reds a little too much.

(1/190 sec, f4, ESP metering, AWB, ISO 200, 17mm f1.8 lens)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
Though the camera tends to clip bright, saturated reds, the detail is still usually recoverable in raw files.

(1/320 sec, f5.6, ESP metering, AWB, ISO 100, 17mm f1.8 lens)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
Updated:
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