We shoot a specially designed chart in carefully controlled conditions and the resulting images are analysed using DXO Analyzer software to generate the data to produce the graphs below.

A high signal to noise ratio (SNR) indicates a cleaner and better quality image.

For more more details on how to interpret our test data, check out our full explanation of our noise and dynamic range tests.

Here we compare the Olympus PEN E-P5 with the Sony NEX-7, Olympus PEN E-P3, Olympus OM-D and Panasonic GH3.

JPEG signal to noise ratio

Olympus PEN E-P5 review

These results show that the Olympus PEN E-P5's JPEG files have stronger signal to noise ratios than those from the Sony NEX-7 and Olympus PEN E-P3 at every sensitivity except ISO 200. The PEN E-P5's JPEGs also show stronger signal to noise ratios than JPEGs from the Olympus OM-D at every sensitivity except ISO 12800 (though at ISO 6400 and 25600 the two cameras' JPEGs are very similar in their results). The PEN E-P5's JPEGs have a stronger signal to noise ratio than the Panasonic GH3's JPEGs at every sensitivity except ISO 200 and 12800.

Raw signal to noise ratio

Olympus PEN E-P5 review

The Olympus PEN E-P5's TIFF images (after conversion from raw) also show some strong signal to noise ratios, beating TIFFs from the Olympus PEN E-P5 with the Sony NEX-7, Olympus PEN E-P3 and Panasonic GH3 at every sensitivity setting. The PEN E-P5's TIFFs have stronger signal to noise ratios than the Olympus OM-D 's TIFFs at ISO 1600-6400, but the OMD's TIFFs are better at ISO 200-800 and ISO 12800 and 25600.

JPEG dynamic range

Olympus PEN E-P5 review

The Olympus PEN E-P5's JPEG images are still reasonably strong in terms of dynamic range, having significantly greater dynamic range than JPEGs from the Olympus PEN E-P3 at every sensitivity setting. The PEN E-P5's JPEGs also have stronger dynamic range than the Sony NEX-7's JPEGs at every sensitivity setting except ISO 100 and 1600. Similarly, the PEN E-P5's JPEGs have a stronger dynamic range than the Panasonic GH3's JPEGs at every sensitivity except ISO 3200 and 6400. The PEN E-P5's JPEGs are fairly similar to the Olympus OM-D's in terms of dynamic range, producing slightly stronger results at ISO 800, 1600, 6400 and 25600, slightly weaker ones at ISO 200, 3200 and 12800, and pretty much identical results at ISO 400.

Raw dynamic range

Olympus PEN E-P5 review

This chart shows that TIFF images (after conversion from raw) from the Olympus PEN E-P5 have greater dynamic range than TIFFs from the Olympus PEN E-P3 and Panasonic GH3 at every sensitivity setting, and greater dynamic range than those from the Sony NEX-7 at every sensitivity setting except ISO 200. The PEN E-P5's TIFFs are weaker than the Olympus OM-D's for dynamic range though, at every sensitivity except ISO 6400.