ISO Variation E-M1 ii: Nighttime


I used to pay so much attention to ISO noise, if I go to any review site I view the image only at 100% like to see every little details. I started viewing images in sites like 500px and Instagram initially little bogged down by the fact that they don’t show full detail. But later started appreciating the art form rather then the technical detail of the sensor. I know lot of us buy sensor based just on ISO capability, which is considered the weakest link in m4/3 format, and is considered at it worst in night time. To my surprise E-M1 ii produced excellent results. I took series of photographs of Chicago skyline at night time and checked at various ISO on different screens.

  1. 100% ViewScreen Shot 2017-04-02 at 9.13.37 PM.png

The results are obvious ISO 64 and 200 are very close, but 200 very slightly preserving highlights. Noise slowly started creeping in at 800 and excellent quality 3200 may be acceptable and forget anything beyond 6400 exits. That’s what the conclusion I would have if I just looked them at 100%. But practically no image is used liked except when an
extreme cropping is needed.

2. 50% view Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 9.21.19 PM.png

At 50% the results are little interesting, nearly indistinguishable still ISO 1600, noise doesn’t seems to appear till ISO 3200 and even ISO 12800, seems fine. 50% crop means I can easily post the image on any site for online viewing and no pixelation even with 4k monitors.  Printing easily an 12″ x 16″




3. Printing to 16″ x 20″IMG_0844.jpg

I took section and printed 4×5″, so that I get the equivalent. I printed from ISO 64 to ISO 25,600. I could see the difference when I put all the photos near my eyes,  just a feet away the differences started disappearing up to ISO 800. And three feet away there is hardly any difference till ISO 6400, and and at normal five feet distance even ISO 25,600 I can see the difference only if the images are next to each other.

4. iPad ViewingIMG_0143.PNG

This is almost equivalent to 5×7 print viewed up close.

There is no difference I could find till ISO 3200.

4.iPhone viewing. IMG_0839.PNG

The screen where I view most of the photographs from others Instagram, blog, 500px there is no difference till ISO 12,800.



Detailed Info.

100% Crop

Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 9.13.37 PM.png


Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 9.15.00 PM.png

50% Crop

Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 9.21.19 PM.png

Normal View


Print View IMG_0844.jpg


iPad Images


iPhone images


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