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The High ISO Battle: Fuji X100s vs Olympus Pen E-P5 Gallery!

  • The High ISO Battle: Fuji X100s vs Olympus Pen E-P5 Gallery!
  • The High ISO Battle: Fuji X100s vs Olympus Pen E-P5 Gallery!
  • The High ISO Battle: Fuji X100s vs Olympus Pen E-P5 Gallery!
  • The High ISO Battle: Fuji X100s vs Olympus Pen E-P5 Gallery!
  • The High ISO Battle: Fuji X100s vs Olympus Pen E-P5 Gallery!

Late last night, on the streets of Turin, a battle of epic proportions took place. Not of the likes of Batman versus Bane, or Spiderman versus the Goblin – no, this battle was far more dark, more sinister, the result of a lifelong rivalry between two adversaries, bedeviled by a deep desire to come out on top, and to be recognized as the best of the best…

Okay, okay – now that I’ve got your attention, we can ditch the dramatic introduction. The truth is – a great battle did happen last night, between two cameras which have succeeded in impressing photographers even on a professional level despite their small size: the Fujifilm X100s and the Olympus Pen E-P5.

, , f/ , ISO

E-P5 vs X100s

Both are very new releases. The X100s was released in March 2013, while the Pen E-P5 arrived in stores just a few days ago. They both deliver excellent image quality, and as two of the flagships from Fujifilm and Olympus, they can also be considered direct competitors within the mirrorless sector.

Since ISO is such a hot topic, Mathieu and I decided to focus on comparing the high ISO performance of these two cameras by creating the image gallery you see below. The images between 1600 and 6400 ISO are JPGs converted from RAW files, whereas 12800 and 25600 ISO are on-camera JPGs. We chose to divide them as such because the X100s will only shoot up to 6400 in RAW, and it would be unfair to compare RAW files from the Pen with JPGs from the Fuji.

With the E-P5, I used the M.Zuiko 12mm. Mathieu, of course, was limited to the 23mm lens (35mm equivalent on 35mm format) of the X100s.

Keep in mind that this is not a scientific test but a ‘world’ test. Nope, you won’t see any magnifying glasses or measuring sticks here.

What are your thoughts? Do you feel that one camera outperforms the other from the examples you see here?

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About the Author Mathieu

Mathieu Gasquet is a professional photographer with French and Italian origins. Besides running his own video and photography studio 3Dit Lab, he is also the official photographer for the National Cinema Museum in Turin. You can follow him on Google+, Twitter or Facebook!


  • To my untrained eye the fuji looks much better. Hard to describe. I guess the only term i can come up with is less digital.

    • Hi Tom, the fuji is indeed less digital. This not only applies to high ISO but colour as well.

  • Fuji over rate their ISO settings by a good half stop in order to fool people into thinking their cameras are better than they really are. In reality, their aps-c sensors are no better than any other current sensor. They also apply noise reduction to their RAW files, again to fool people who compare images from dpreview’s comparison tool which uses adobe camera raw converter with zero additional noise reduction applied.

    • I like fuji’s sensors more for their colour reproduction (especially JPG on camera). ISO is great as well but as we see here, there are others sensor capable of matching the same high ISO quality, even though they are smaller ;)

  • I appreciate that you tried to provide some images from each camera at different ISO levels. I cannot understand how anyone could make any useful direct comparisons between the two cameras based on the images provided. The subject content is too different. The white balance even when the scenes look like they might be related to each other is not set well enough to evaluate tone reproduction. I’m not sure what you are actually asking people who look at this to do with this hodge-podge of images. Do you want viewers to look for graininess? I read your earlier request asking readers to make a comparison, but frankly with what little commonality there is between images, I don’t know where you would expect a person to begin with this?

    • Hi Delphititan, thanks for your comment. What we tried to do here is show that each cameras performs very well in terms of high ISO and that there isn’t any noticeable difference. Yes, we could have taken the same shots, with the same exact settings, but we choose instead to perform an unconventional comparison where each photographer had the freedom to shoot what he or she wished. The only requirement was to increase the ISO value after a certain amount of time.

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