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

alatchin wrote:

I think Rovingtim was making a similar point about the E-30 vs the E-5 but there is always something not quite right in pushing post sharpening a bit too far, even if you work only on the lightness layer in LAB mode. But for art's sake the differences are marginal.

He was talking about conventional edge sharpening as a way to get higher apparent resolution equivalent to a higher resolution sensor with a light AA filter, if I recall. I'm not. Conventional edge sharpening with USM can produce halos and and over sharpened look if over done, and won't increase resolution. Topaz Detail takes a slightly different approach that isn't confined to edges and doesn't produce halos. Like USM it also can't increase resolution, though both make fine details already there more obvious - that is my workflow objective. The way I use it just makes the E-3 files look like EPL-2 files in micro contrast. No matter what, the EPL-2 will still have slightly more (almost imperceptible) resolution. I use it at the "capture sharpening" stage to make the files from the two bodies more similar in fine detail contrast. I then do conventional USM creative and print sharpening. Not trying to promote the Topaz product, just the micro contrast difference between the two cameras. You can likely get an equivalent result from USM, but with more work.

You can see the same micro contrast effect in different lenses - some produce high edge acutance and micro contrast, while a different optic can produce less edge acutance and micro contrast on the same body, even though the lens provides equal or even higher resolution than the one that seems "sharper." I see this effect from the legacy OM 85 f2 - resolution that seems to equal digital Zuikos, but with low micro contrast and less edge definition. It requires stronger Topaz Detail settings than any of the digital Zuikos. When I put it on the EPL-2, the files look more like the E-3. That lens produces detail softening, but not a resolution reduction, through low micro contrast, much like the strong AA filter on the E-3 Both produce a very smooth look.

Well this was the curiosity, and I may give the EM5 another whack, but working from RAW it seems that is was actually more difficult than one would assume to match the colour, in the final file my browns had suffered slightly as I had tried to get the flower red in line. Whether the slight differences would matter in the final display is up to the individual.

I was working with global adjustments as I could probably do a bit more with local adjustments and get them closer, but that would require more work. Of course, aside from the same settings, I didnt try to adjust the camera settings to get the same final image.

It was an interesting experiment, and the only one I have ever done. A pity I didnt try to do it with the a850 and D90 when I had it (as I had similar FL lenses in all mounts a 100mm macro).

Remember ACR and Lightroom have a utility allowing you to calibrate colors any way you want them. Once done, you don't have to make those color adjustments to individual images. For example, you can use the color calibration utility to produce the famous "Olympus Blue" from any brand camera. Just requires a little tedious work up front.

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