OM-D E-M10 Mk 4 vs Nikon D7100

Discussion in 'Olympus' started by john_o'donnell|1, Sep 26, 2021.

  1. This is not a troll question.

    I just bought the Olympus OM-D to replace my Nikon D7100, mainly to save on weight and bulk for taking travel photos. I just got back from a trip to Hawaii and was very surprised when processing the photos in Lightroom.

    I had expected that the low light performance would be better and the images might be a little better. Apparently, I’m not dead still when I click the shutter and I anticipated that the 5 point IS would help. What I didn’t expect was white balance and exposure accuracy. Just about every RAW image coming out of my Nikon needs adjustment in LR, especially the WB. I’m telling you, the images out of the OM-D were great straight off the card. And yes, the low light performance was amazing and every photo is tack sharp. The WB is just right on.

    My question - why? On paper the Nikon should be hands down superior. I’ve been taking photos since 1977 and have owned a mix of Canons and Nikons. I’ve been using Photoshop since 1993. I’m not so much interested in what’s better about the Olympus, I’m more interested in what I was doing wrong with the Nikon. If I can discover why I’m hoping I can be a better photographer.
  2. Nikon D7100 was introduced in 2013.
    Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV was introduced in 2020.

    You don't want to know why the Olympus is better. You want to know why the Nikon is not as good.
  3. That’s correct. On paper, the Nikon should produce much better images. I just processed about 600 photos in LR and the time involved was minimal compared to a similar set of images from the D7100. Not all images were perfect, but those that weren’t were clearly operator error, either just a poor shot or unfamiliarity with the Olympus.
    My only conclusion is that I was doing a poor job with the Nikon. My hope was that somebody might identify potential issues I could work on to be a better photographer.
  4. Must be the Olympus image stabilization.
  5. The Olympus technology is 7 years more advanced and you are 7 years more experienced.

    Are you shooting on paper or are you creating images?
  6. I’ve been shooting since 1976 - 1st camera Canon FTb. Shooting 99% images/1% paper.

    Agree that IS makes a big difference in the sharpness of the image. The WB and exposure accuracy I can’t figure out.
  7. The difference between formats is often exaggerated. If you believe all the BS about how only FF is capable of good results, then this kind of thing may come as a surprise. In my experience my Olympus files are considerably superior to my Canon APS-C files. I think the reason is IBIS, no anti-aliasing filter and better optics. APS-C virtually never is significantly better than m43 in my experience. My FF Canon (5dIV) files have better color balance, at least to me, but perceived sharpness is often not as good, mainly because the m43 has greater depth of field for a given angle of view. Most if the time this is a benefit. FF pulls away at ISO 1600 and above in terms of noise, but again I find the sharpness often as good if not better (for sports shooting this is probably due to the increased depth of field). Also if one belongs to the "less depth of field is better" mantra, which people seem to take on board without wondering whether it really is better, then APS-C and FF will be able to isolate subjects from backgrounds more than m43 for a given field of view. So, no I am not surprised you found your Nikon inferior. The trouble is you embraced the idea that a larger format is always better, which is the relentless message of FF (or larger formats) marketing and many photographers too. It is a not dissimilar issue when it comes to resolution, more is always better-right?
    Ken Katz and Sanford like this.
  8. Since you have shot since '77, you also know that technique is important, especially as you get older.

    Expanding on what @Robin Smith said, you have to make the comparison as similar as possible, or it becomes an apple vs. orange comparison.
    • The deeper DoF with m4/3 compensates for minor focusing error over the DX camera with it's shallower DoF. And with greater DoF on m4/3, things just look more in focus.
    • Is your shutter speed similar? Example if you shoot a scene at 1/1000 sec with m4/3, you will get a sharper image than if you shot it at 1/60 sec on the D7100. You have less camera movement distortion.
    • You don't mention the lenses you used on both camera. The lens can make a BIG difference for IQ comparison.
      Even with the Nikon, there is a difference. When I put a 70-200 on my D7200, it was clear that I did not have to upgrade to FX for better IQ, I just needed better glass on the camera to get the most out of the camera. Put an optically GOOD lens on your D7100, and the IQ will improve.
    • Are you using a VR lens on the D7100? If not you are comparing a stabilized to a non-stabilized platform. This becomes more important as we get older.
    Not to be insulting, but is your filter/front element CLEAN?
    I've seen way too many cameras with dirty and/or fingerprinted front element/filter.
    As a person who wears glasses, I can tell you that while you can see, the image is NOT as clear as when the glasses lens is clean. Same with a camera lens.

    As for WB, it depends on the specific conditions.
    In my school gym, the auto WB on my Nikon is good, but I have to use custom WB on my Olympus. The Olympus auto WB just cannot correct for the gym lighting at my school.
    Outside both give good auto WB.

    As was said, the D7100 is pretty old technology, compared to the EM10-mk4.
    And I doubt Nikon has been updating the FW on the D7100, to enhance the functions. So anything firmware related is old vs. new.

    Exposure accuracy is a matter of the algorithm that Nikon used for the D7100 matrix meter vs what Olympus used for it's matrix meter, and the scenes that you shoot.
    I've shot scenes where both Nikon and Olympus meters could not handle the lighting.
    The advantage for the Olympus is that you can see the exposure in real time in the EVF and adjusted it. vs. "shoot, view, adjust, repeat" on a dSLR. This is a BIG advantage for the EVF, and one that I use all the time.

    As for focus accuracy.
    Nikon D7100 uses Phase Detect AF (PDAF), I think the Olympus EM10-mk4 uses Contrast Detect AF (CDAF).
    PDAF is faster, but CDAF is more accurate.
    With PDAF, if the camera/lens AF are not matched, the lens may not be in true focus. That is why some cameras have the function to adjust the AF for specific lenses, and why some lenses have a similar adjustment facility (with the appropriate interface). There is a small industry around fine tuning the autofocus.
  9. Are you creating pictures or creating numbers and graphs?
  10. "[...] I’m more interested in what I was doing wrong with the Nikon. If I can discover why I’m hoping I can be a better photographer.", Mark.

Share This Page