Olympus OM-D E-M10 review – Dynamic range
Traditionally, four thirds cameras struggled to offer notably good dynamic range performance compared to APS-C-format models such as the Pentax K-5, which has a dynamic range of 14.1EV. Cameras with smaller sensors typically aren’t able to retain highlights and shadow detail as well, especially as ISO sensitivity increases. This results in blown-out highlights in high-contrast scenes – and I definitely experienced this while using the E-M10.
But that said, in tests the E-M10 showed a dynamic range of 11.82EV at ISO 100 – a fraction smaller than that of the Canon EOS 5D Mark II and more than the 20.2-million-pixel EOS 70D, so smaller sensors are definitely improving.
Looking at images from the E-M10 at 100%, I could still see some detail captured in shadow areas, although it did seem to have a tougher time with highlights in high-contrast scenes. However, enough image data remained in the raw files to restore detail to some blown-out areas. For a small-sensor camera, the E-M10 performed as well as I’d expect in this area.
Image: A shaft of strong sunlight required underexposure, but fortunately the shadow areas retain some detail