JPEG COMPARISON TEST – X1 – E-P2 – NEX-5, part 3

I had a few more requests for some comparisons with the Sony NEX 5 at low ISO and high ISO. So, since I am against shooting charts and graphs I decided to shoot my favorite macaroni and cheese 🙂 All images are straight out of camera JPEGS, starting with ISO 200 from the NEX-5, then Leica X1 and then the Olympus E-P2. Then after those three it will be going into an SO 3200 image from each. These are all JPEG only.


1st up, ISO 200 from the Sony NEX-5 – Kit Zoom lens at F4.5 – 24mm which is 36mm equivalent

Leica X1 – ISO 200 – F4 – 24mm which is 36mm equivilant

and now the Olympus E-P2 – ISO 200 – f4.3 – 20mm which is 40mm equivalent (14-150 zoom)

Now, ISO 3200 from each…


LEICA X1 – F4 – ISO 3200

Olympus E-P2 – ISO 3200

Ok, now I am hungry so I am off  to go cook this up and have some lunch 🙂


  1. Apparently you have to right click and opne the images in another tab or window to see the full images.

  2. A couple of things are evident to me on close examination of the images side by side. Color saturation settings for JPGs are highest on the EP followed by the X1 and then the NEX. It would have been interesting to see if you adjusted the saturation settings to better match one another, or better yet, what you see with your eyes. Second, the OOC JPGs on the EP are over sharpened by quite a lot, the X1 appears to be only slightly over sharpened and the NEX is slightly under sharpened. Third, considering the generally accepted opinion that the kit lens on the NEX is not very good these images show it holding its own against a considerably more expensive lens, and lastly, the NEX is clearly the high ISO camera to beat. See the side by side 100% images for a comparison. Add the handheld twilight to the mix and it is like jumping to warp speed or as Buzz Light Year would say…”To infinity and beyond!”





  3. Steve, thanx for all those beautiful reviews and I thank you again for these brilliant comparisons. I don’t understand these technical charts, but direct comparison like this is very easy to comprehend.

    X1 is wow but unfortunately very expensive for me /O_O/

  4. The E-P1 picture looks underexposed. This will worsen the noise in the shadows, although I imagine that even at the same exposure, it would lose out to the APS-C cameras.

  5. Hey Steve. Why does it seem like the 3200 E-P2 image had less light? Almost like a cloud rolled through or something… Did the camera just underexpose? Seems to work in it’s favor at 200 where the box seems to jump out more (particularly over the NEX), but not at 3200.

    Love these comparisons. Interesting how the DOF of the APS-C cams is not too different from the m4/3 stuff. Not like the FF to m4/3 difference.

    Thanks again.

  6. Well I like an enjoy using my X1 but the iso200 shot from the E-P2 looks the best to me.

    Steve, I see your using the E-P2 now, do you find it’s image quality on par or worse than the E-PL1, the review over on DPreview reports that the quality is better from the E-PL1, I’ve one myself and I’m using it with the kit lens and the Panny 20 f1.7 although I’m thinking of getting the Panny 14-45mm to replace the Oly 14-42mm, I liek the handling of the E-PL1 but it’s a pain to use the menu to make changes where as the E-P2 has buttons on the camera rather than menu driven

  7. Would like to see DLux 5 images when it gets released and how they compare to this lot… Like the X1 colors better even though i can’t justify the camera and it’s price tag.

    Steve, will you please review the Panasonic LX5 when it begins to ship. BTW, glad to see you back in rare form, good on you mate!

  8. Image quality be damned! With the Nex 5’s tilty screen, you don’t have to lie down on the floor and collect dust (ummm…. not saying your floor’s dusty, Steve).


    Seen quite a few negative reviews of the Sony, but this link shows some great looking shots (the SF Pride Parade pics are wonderful)

    I’m seriously thinking of getting a Sony NEX 5…. as a complete beginner I think it would suit me perfectly.

  9. I have finally decited to order the x1 from my Leica pusher tomorrow 🙂 Im getting excited for my Leica fix.

  10. Not much in it for this shot it seems between the x1 and nex. One strange thing is the colors in this one are better with the leica, but in the hand shot (pt 2) they were better with the nex. Pen obviously suffering at high iso.

  11. humm, the x1 3200 iso image was shot with the nex-5
    sorry if I am being to technical, but this mistake is worth pointing out.

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