'Bending' the E-M5 RAW in LR

Started Aug 22, 2012 | Discussions
dcassat
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'Bending' the E-M5 RAW in LR
Aug 22, 2012

I've noted that RAW files from my E-M5 'feel' quite different when working with them in Lightroom. It seems (to coin a user in another thread), the files are not as malleable as those from my E-PL2.

The OMD files are obviously and substantially higher DR with more detail. But 'bending' them seems more difficult. I can push and pull sliders a long way with relatively little change. The "as is" output is outstanding but if I want to 'create' something from them, I find it more difficult.

Now, that I've seen another user mention this, I wonder, is it me or are they really more difficult to customize? Perhaps it can be attributed to the LR profile information for the E-M5?

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Chris R-UK
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Re: 'Bending' the E-M5 RAW in LR
In reply to dcassat, Aug 22, 2012

Have you recently switched from LR3 to LR4?

There have been major changes in the way that the exposure sliders work in LR4.
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dcassat
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Yes, but...
In reply to Chris R-UK, Aug 22, 2012

I used LR 4 with my E-PL2 also. Duly noted is the radical difference in the slider feel from 3.6 to 4.1. But this is something else. If other's aren't experiencing this then I need to 'get over it.' It's definitely a subjective 'feel' and observation thing.
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Shawn67
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Re: 'Bending' the E-M5 RAW in LR
In reply to dcassat, Aug 22, 2012

" Perhaps it can be attributed to the LR profile information for the E-M5?"

On a possibly related note I think the "Auto Tone" in LR4 doesn't handle the OMD RAW files terribly well. At least not compared to the same function on D700 files.

Shawn

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rrr_hhh
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Re: 'Bending' the E-M5 RAW in LR
In reply to Shawn67, Aug 22, 2012

Shawn67 wrote:

" Perhaps it can be attributed to the LR profile information for the E-M5?"

I don't think that thevalue-M5 files have less headroom. May be this is due to extreme ETTR coming from the use of UniWB ?

On a possibly related note I think the "Auto Tone" in LR4 doesn't handle the OMD RAW files terribly well. At least not compared to the same function on D700 files.

I have remarked that too. With other cameras the Auto Tone option works better. To the point that very often, I don't even try it.

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dcassat
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Re: 'Bending' the E-M5 RAW in LR
In reply to rrr_hhh, Aug 22, 2012

rrr_hhh wrote:

Shawn67 wrote:

" Perhaps it can be attributed to the LR profile information for the E-M5?"

I don't think that thevalue-M5 files have less headroom. May be this is due to extreme ETTR coming from the use of UniWB ?

Nicely played. Touche'!

But in case you're serious, I have noted this behavior in all of my shooting exercises with the OMD, including the UniWB!

I feel as though I'm missing latitude ... but it wouldn't be the first time I was wrong.... but close!

On a possibly related note I think the "Auto Tone" in LR4 doesn't handle the OMD RAW files terribly well. At least not compared to the same function on D700 files.

Yes, not terribly happy with Auto Tone either. I have a preset that I'm actively honing but still have not nailed it down.

I have remarked that too. With other cameras the Auto Tone option works better. To the point that very often, I don't even try it.

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chris98250
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Re: 'Bending' the E-M5 RAW in LR
In reply to dcassat, Aug 23, 2012

I have a (possibly) related experience: In LR my RAWS seem to have a dullness to them, compared with the OOC jpegs, almost as though the colors have a light gray filter over them. Others have remarked on this, and as someone not very skilled in processing, I find it difficult, in LR, to achieve a result as nice as the jpeg from working with the RAW. In comparison, looking at the same photos in Viewer, the RAWS and jpegs appear to have the same brightness in the colors.

Chris

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CharlesTokyo
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Re: 'Bending' the E-M5 RAW in LR
In reply to chris98250, Aug 23, 2012

Apparently Adobe changed the RAW handling and the defaults look much more dull than previous versions. The result is that you can push files more. I would suggest creating a preset that brings files closer to what you'd like and apply it on import. I've got a couple presets for color and B&W and I'm much happier browsing through my photos.

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Dixa
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Re: 'Bending' the E-M5 RAW in LR
In reply to chris98250, Aug 23, 2012

this is why i prefer to use capture one pro for anything really critical. lightroom is ok for simple snaps or travel, but for the serious stuff i plan to spend time on i take it elsewhere.

chris98250 wrote:

I have a (possibly) related experience: In LR my RAWS seem to have a dullness to them, compared with the OOC jpegs, almost as though the colors have a light gray filter over them. Others have remarked on this, and as someone not very skilled in processing, I find it difficult, in LR, to achieve a result as nice as the jpeg from working with the RAW. In comparison, looking at the same photos in Viewer, the RAWS and jpegs appear to have the same brightness in the colors.

Chris

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ELLIOT P STERN
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Re: 'Bending' the E-M5 RAW in LR
In reply to Dixa, Aug 23, 2012

Now that all of you are mentioning it, I have to agree. The files in raw seem to be missing some life. I was not sure what it is. The jpegs look fine. If anyone has some Black and white and Color presets and want to share it would be great to try them.

Thanks,

p.s. I am not a heavy user of Lightroom 4 but I do know that the Fuji X pro 1 files had the same issue and worse.
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clengman
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Re: 'Bending' the E-M5 RAW in LR
In reply to ELLIOT P STERN, Aug 23, 2012

When you open a raw in lightroom, that's what you're looking at, the raw file with no processing applied (or I guess maybe minimal processing, but I think apart from using the "as shot" color temp, it applies none of the tone, color or detail adjustments that the camera uses to create a jpeg).

You have to adjust levels and fiddle with the detail settings to make it look a good as the ooc jpeg. With some practice you can learn to do better than the in camera software. That's the value of developing from raws.

In olympus viewer 2 on the other hand, the software uses all the jpeg settings you chose in camera as the starting point. So when you open a raw in OV2 it should look just like the ooc jpeg. You can then change any of these settings to try to get the look you want after the fact.

In fact if you're primarily a jpeg shooter who wants to have raw files as a back stop to save yourself from minor mistakes while shooting, OV2 is a really good way to go. You keep the camera stuns the way you generally like them, they get applied automatically when you import your files and you can develop with one click if you want or you can take the opportunity to tweak a little first if you feel like it.

LR4 really is software designed more for someone who wants to go through the whole workflow with each individual photo or with batches of similar photos.

ELLIOT P STERN wrote:

Now that all of you are mentioning it, I have to agree. The files in raw seem to be missing some life. I was not sure what it is. The jpegs look fine. If anyone has some Black and white and Color presets and want to share it would be great to try them.

Thanks,

p.s. I am not a heavy user of Lightroom 4 but I do know that the Fuji X pro 1 files had the same issue and worse.
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papillon_65
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I don't see that...
In reply to dcassat, Aug 23, 2012

at all. LR 4 behaves exactly as I would expect it to, you can push the sliders much more aggressively on the OMD files than you can on the E-P3. There is much more headroom in the OMD raw files which explains why you don't see such dramatic diffferences than you would see on the 12mp Oly sensors. It's just a case of getting used to the difference. You will see the same when processing files from a decent APS-C sensor like the one found in the X100 or NEX 5n.
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ginsbu
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Re: 'Bending' the E-M5 RAW in LR
In reply to CharlesTokyo, Aug 23, 2012

One cause for flatter looking files in LR4 was Adobe's decision to switch the default point curve to linear (from medium contrast in LR3). I think this is sensible from a workflow perspective — the basic adjustments are easier to do with linear — but your files will look flat if you don't adopt an S-shaped contrast curve later.

Overall, I find the E-M5 raw files very maleable.

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Chris R-UK
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Re: 'Bending' the E-M5 RAW in LR
In reply to clengman, Aug 23, 2012

clengman wrote:

When you open a raw in lightroom, that's what you're looking at, the raw file with no processing applied (or I guess maybe minimal processing, but I think apart from using the "as shot" color temp, it applies none of the tone, color or detail adjustments that the camera uses to create a jpeg).

Actually LR4, much more so than earlier versions, applies quite a lot of processing to Raw files when you open them. For example, it sets both the white point and the black point, i.e. it has already recovered as much as it can from blown highlights and blown shadows.

This was not true of earlier versions of LR.
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clengman
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Re: 'Bending' the E-M5 RAW in LR
In reply to Chris R-UK, Aug 23, 2012

I'm not sure I understand. I did not use any previous versions of lightroom so I can't compare the behavior, but the software, if it does set white and black points automatically, doesn't do it optimally.

If you're saying that the initial histogram includes the entire gamut of sensor data, I would call that less processed, not more processed.

Regardless, my point was that lightroom starts off with a more neutral, unaffected image and requires user input to create a nice looking jpeg. OV2 starts with the in camera jpeg settings. If you like the look you got with your in camera settings you can leave it alone. If not you can tweak it some.

Chris R-UK wrote:

clengman wrote:

When you open a raw in lightroom, that's what you're looking at, the raw file with no processing applied (or I guess maybe minimal processing, but I think apart from using the "as shot" color temp, it applies none of the tone, color or detail adjustments that the camera uses to create a jpeg).

Actually LR4, much more so than earlier versions, applies quite a lot of processing to Raw files when you open them. For example, it sets both the white point and the black point, i.e. it has already recovered as much as it can from blown highlights and blown shadows.

This was not true of earlier versions of LR.
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Shawn67
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Re: 'Bending' the E-M5 RAW in LR
In reply to chris98250, Aug 23, 2012

That is likely just because be default it is using linear tone curve. Set that to at least Medium and it will help clear that up. Save that as the default if you want it to always apply that tone curve.

Shawn

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knickerhawk
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The implications of a wider DR
In reply to dcassat, Aug 23, 2012

dcassat wrote:

I've noted that RAW files from my E-M5 'feel' quite different when working with them in Lightroom. It seems (to coin a user in another thread), the files are not as malleable as those from my E-PL2.

The OMD files are obviously and substantially higher DR with more detail. But 'bending' them seems more difficult. I can push and pull sliders a long way with relatively little change. The "as is" output is outstanding but if I want to 'create' something from them, I find it more difficult.

Now, that I've seen another user mention this, I wonder, is it me or are they really more difficult to customize? Perhaps it can be attributed to the LR profile information for the E-M5?

Comments?

Hard to say given the subjective aspects of what you're experiencing. However, one likely contributor is the wider DR of the EM5 compared to the EPL2. The wider your DR, the shallower the initial tone curve. (Go to the DR page of the EM5 review here on DPReview and compare the DR curve of the EM5 to the earlier Pens to see this illustrated graphically.) That means tonal related adjustments made to the EPL2 relative to the EM5 will appear to be more dramatic because the starting point is already more extreme.

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Chris R-UK
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Re: 'Bending' the E-M5 RAW in LR
In reply to clengman, Aug 23, 2012

clengman wrote:

I'm not sure I understand. I did not use any previous versions of lightroom so I can't compare the behavior, but the software, if it does set white and black points automatically, doesn't do it optimally.

If you're saying that the initial histogram includes the entire gamut of sensor data, I would call that less processed, not more processed.

I just made the comment because there is at least one video on the web that tells you how to get back to the LR3 "unprocessed" starting point: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ze4LEO3P3oA
(I hope that that is the right one)
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Gregm61
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Re: 'Bending' the E-M5 RAW in LR
In reply to dcassat, Aug 23, 2012

dcassat wrote:

I've noted that RAW files from my E-M5 'feel' quite different when working with them in Lightroom. It seems (to coin a user in another thread), the files are not as malleable as those from my E-PL2.

The OMD files are obviously and substantially higher DR with more detail. But 'bending' them seems more difficult. I can push and pull sliders a long way with relatively little change. The "as is" output is outstanding but if I want to 'create' something from them, I find it more difficult.

Now, that I've seen another user mention this, I wonder, is it me or are they really more difficult to customize? Perhaps it can be attributed to the LR profile information for the E-M5?

The OMD files seem way more flexible to me than any file from an E-PL1, E-PL2 or E-P3, or Olympus DSLR for that matter, I have used in the past.

Shadows can be raised, substantially, without introducing the nasty noise you see in any Pen file, and I'm seeing more highlight headroom than I ever had with a file from a Pen.

The combination of new Adobe programming in ACR and files from the E-M5 mean we Olympus users have never had it better.

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ginsbu
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Re: 'Bending' the E-M5 RAW in LR
In reply to Chris R-UK, Aug 23, 2012

Chris R-UK wrote:

I just made the comment because there is at least one video on the web that tells you how to get back to the LR3 "unprocessed" starting point: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ze4LEO3P3oA
(I hope that that is the right one)

Neither version gives an "unprocessed" starting point. From the description of the video you linked to:

"The new tools: some of the names are familiar, but they all behave differently (7:30)"

"Starting points: the numbers are different, but the defaults are really the same (8:53)"

LR/ACR does a lot behind the scenes through its included camera profiles. It may be that case that Adobe's E-M5 profile results in a different "feel" from previous Pens. To eliminate differences in Adobe's profiles, you'd have to create custom profiles using a colorchecker (or similar) and compare cameras using them.

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