The power of new RAW software: E400 at 12800 iso

Started Jan 20, 2013 | Discussions thread
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The power of new RAW software: E400 at 12800 iso
Jan 20, 2013

Without a doubt, chips are better today than in 2007. So is RAW processing software. The is a demonstration of how much that new software can improve files from old sensors.

Way back in the day, when the E400 first came out, I did some high ISO tests to compare it with the then king of Oly, the E1. As an extreme stress test, I took a shot at 1600 ISO (the highest the E400 goes) and underexposed by 3 stops. This is the original RAW file process as is.

At the time, I processed that RAW as a 16 bit tiff. I bumped up the exposure and used either Noise Ninja or Neat Image (can't remember which) to get the best file I could get and made a 16 bit tiff. I just found that file today. I converted that TIFF straight to a jpg in order to post it. It is approximately 12,800 ISO, though I can't be sure because Oly RAW processing strips 16 bit tiffs of all exif (why?!?)

Then I took that original RAW file and reprocessed it in Lightroom 4 to see if it was any better. This is the original 1600 raw file bumped up 3 stops making it 12,800 ISO and applying liberal doses of noise reduction. More noise reduction could have been used, but I prefer noise and detail over cleaner and softer. I spent perhaps two minutes adjusting before I processed.

I thought that was a considerable improvement. There is noise in this file, but remember: this is a CCD Kodak sensor at 12,800 ISO. For all you Olympus DSLR CMOS (or NMOS) users out there, note the lack of banding. I do, however, prefer Oly colours over Lightroom colours.

It would be nice to see an E5 shot processed in a similar way just to compare, if anyone is willing ... ?

Thoughts anyone?

Olympus E-400 Olympus E-5
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