E-3 vs EPL2 vs E-M5 and a puzzle with colour

Started May 17, 2013 | Discussions thread
ROC124
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Re: E-3 vs EPL2 et.al.
In reply to alatchin, May 23, 2013

I have the E-3 and EPL-2 and generally prefer the E-3 color rendition. However, one can calibrate the camera's color response any way you like, so the default color response shouldn't be a reason to select one camera over another. One of these days I will re-calibrate the EPL-2 to match.

The EPL-2 is the camera I usually use when wanting a final image with maximum detail. I have recently found, though, that I can match its apparent detail with the E-3  in prints with
Topaz Detail using only the Fine Detail slider at +3 to +10 and a 0.25 to 0.5 radius on the DeBlur tool. Fine Detail increases micro contrast which the EPL-2 already has in abundance. The DeBlur tool seems to counteract some of the softness of the E-3s heavier AA filter. I have NOT found the Topaz Detail software to produce much change that I like in the EPL-2 files. Sometimes I use it to soften the micro contrast slightly, as the EPL-2 can be a bit excessive. The EPL-2 still can show slightly more real detail, but the differences aren't obvious in print for a typical viewer.

I had a recent (very successful!) gallery show of prints up to 20"x30" from the E-3. Got many comments about how "natural" the prints looked. Several people said they didn't realize at first they were photographs. They used terms such as "relaxed, smooth and inviting" to describe them. Several, including other photographers, thought they were from film, though the photographers said they were puzzled by the lack of film grain. They were surprised to hear they were digital. Several, including buyers, said they generally don't like prints from digital cameras because they are too "self-conscious" in that they have too much unnecessary detail, too obviously photographic, and too unpleasant to live with on the wall, even if initially striking.

Apparently the E-3 files out of the box have some inviting qualities in color and smoothness, even if they can be matched through calibration by any other camera.

And isn't that the real lesson about digital cameras? They are all massively adjustable and tweakable to get just about anything you want, as long as you first know what you want.

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