Resolution Wars, part II: Comparing RAW files - Micro Four Thirds vs Medium Format, Really?


posted Thursday, February 26, 2015 at 1:05 PM EDT


The Olympus E-M5 II really stunned us with its new High Res Shot mode that offers a whopping 40-megapixel JPEG file through some unique sensor-shifting multi-shot processing. The resulting image competes handily against high-resolution full-frame cameras, such as the Nikon D810 and Sony A7R.

However, for many advanced photographers, a JPEG is nice and all, but where's the RAW? Thankfully, the E-M5 II offers this too, but there's a catch: you need a special Olympus-created Photoshop plug-in in order to view and edit them.

While it wasn't available right at announcement time, we've now gotten our hands on a copy of this new Photoshop plug-in, and we just had to dive in to see what the RAWs looked like. Unlike other cameras' RAW+JPEG modes that offer pairs of image files with the same megapixel resolutions, the High Res Shot mode on the E-M5 II produces a 40MP JPEG and a massive 64-megapixel RAW file (63.7MP, 9216 x 6912 resolution). They're so massive that comparing them to the 36MP D810 just didn't work, so we've paired them up against the medium-format Pentax 645Z!

But, are the results just as spectacular as they were with JPEG images? Head over to our updated, in-depth exploration into the Olympus E-M5 II's exciting High Res Shot mode to see the image crops and comparisons against the Nikon D810 and the Pentax 645Z. And for even more on the new E-M5 II, we've got our in-depth technical discussion on all the new features and technology as well as Mike Tomkin's first installment of his hands-on Shooter's Report!

More: High Resolution JPEG comparisonsHigh Resolution RAW comparisons