The proof is in the printing ...

Started May 30, 2013 | Discussions
veroman
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The proof is in the printing ...
May 30, 2013

This should come as no surprise to dedicated Olympus photographers, but I think it's worth posting anyway ... particularly in light of what's happened to 4:3 and the speculations about both its demise and its resurrection.

A few days ago I printed 25 images from a range of cameras, including the E-510, a Canon 450D/xsi, Canon 40D, Canon t3i, Nikon D2x, Panasonic DMC LC-1 and Fuji X10.  The images from each camera were all shot raw and processed to the very best of my ability using both LR and Capture One. They were printed on my superb Epson 3880 all to the same size: 11" X 14" and on the same paper, Epson Premium Luster.

I then asked my wife and several friends to simply sift through the stack of images and make two, separate piles: one pile for the images that had the most "pop," overall clarity, color richness, naturalness, etc., the other pile with images that simply lacked "something" or were decidedly less appealing, technically, than the other pile.

With one exception, the images in the "pop and clarity" pile were from the E-510. The exception was an image shot with my wonderful little Fuji X10, which was included in the "pop and clarity" pile.

The proof is ALWAYS in the printing. No dxomark tests or other "data" can convey with any degree of accuracy just how well a camera takes pictures in real-world applications. Even in high contrast scenes, when properly set for exposure, the E-510 performs admirably and responds exceptionally well to heavy pushing in post-process ... although the dxomark scores would lead you to think it can't compete at all with other cameras in this regard.

End of story ....

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19andrew47
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Re: The proof is in the printing ...
In reply to veroman, May 30, 2013

I had the 510 but traded it in on an E-3 after I had severe focus problems with it using the 50 - 200 mk I in low contrast conditions in Alaska's Misty Fjords.  The combo did not work well together in those conditions often failing to focus and requiring a restart to continue.  I blamed the camera and sent it for repair.  Came back, no change so I traded it.  Still have problems occassionally with the E-3 and that lens in low light, but not frequently.  I really liked the feel of the 510 better than the E-3 size and weight wise.  Am really hoping that if a new E-x series comes out it is little smaller and lighter than the E-3/5 models.  I have never been disappointed in the results I have gotten from any Olympus camera I have owned going all the way back to the SP rangefinder which I wish I had not traded in towards my OM-1.  Olympus glass is first class now and was then.

Now a question about your experience with your new printer.  Any ideas at this point in time about the cost to print an 11 x 14?  If you don't use it regularly (likely not a problem for you at this point) will the inks dry up?  I bought a Canon Pro9000 Mark II quite some time ago and really haven't used it enough to justify its purchase.  I still use the 6600D for the majority of my prints.  I am glad to hear about your experineces with your new Epson.

Andrew

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Fox328
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Interesting, but.....
In reply to veroman, May 30, 2013

it's been several years ago since i printed pictures. As most people i watch pictures on a screen (laptop or tablet). But even on a screen you can see the Olympus colors  !

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Sergey_Green
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No, not really ..
In reply to veroman, May 30, 2013

veroman wrote:

..

The proof is ALWAYS in the printing.

The quality of prints depends on the quality of your printer + paper, not the camera. In fact it is irrelevant how the image was captured, since the data gets mapped and compressed to what your printer can reproduce anyway. If the highlights are blown and the detail is missing the printer will not create it for you.

No dxomark tests or other "data" can convey with any degree of accuracy just how well a camera takes pictures in real-world applications. Even in high contrast scenes, when properly set for exposure, the E-510 performs admirably and responds exceptionally well to heavy pushing in post-process ... although the dxomark scores would lead you to think it can't compete at all with other cameras in this regard.

The quality of your camera (on the other hand) allows you to capture what you intent to print. Some cameras will do great job at it, and almost regardless of the condition, while the others will give you technically lesser quality captures once outside their range of limits. And that is when the tests and comparisons become handy, for if you want to know where the differences are.

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veroman
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Re: The proof is in the printing ...
In reply to 19andrew47, May 30, 2013

19andrew47 wrote:

I had the 510 but traded it in on an E-3 after I had severe focus problems with it using the 50 - 200 mk I in low contrast conditions in Alaska's Misty Fjords.  The combo did not work well together in those conditions often failing to focus and requiring a restart to continue.  I blamed the camera and sent it for repair.  Came back, no change so I traded it.  Still have problems occassionally with the E-3 and that lens in low light, but not frequently.  I really liked the feel of the 510 better than the E-3 size and weight wise.  Am really hoping that if a new E-x series comes out it is little smaller and lighter than the E-3/5 models.  I have never been disappointed in the results I have gotten from any Olympus camera I have owned going all the way back to the SP rangefinder which I wish I had not traded in towards my OM-1.  Olympus glass is first class now and was then.

Now a question about your experience with your new printer.  Any ideas at this point in time about the cost to print an 11 x 14?  If you don't use it regularly (likely not a problem for you at this point) will the inks dry up?  I bought a Canon Pro9000 Mark II quite some time ago and really haven't used it enough to justify its purchase.  I still use the 6600D for the majority of my prints.  I am glad to hear about your experineces with your new Epson.

Andrew

I have had the Epson 3880 for quite some time. I'm not sure why you think it's new. And I do use it regularly, meaning every day at least once. I really don't know the cost of each print, but I DO know that the 3880 is a very efficient user of ink. And I have clogging problems whatsoever. The prints it delivers are simply excellent.

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veroman
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Re: No, not really ..
In reply to Sergey_Green, May 30, 2013

Sergey_Green wrote:

The quality of prints depends on the quality of your printer + paper, not the camera. In fact it is irrelevant how the image was captured, since the data gets mapped and compressed to what your printer can reproduce anyway. If the highlights are blown and the detail is missing the printer will not create it for you.

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- sergey

I'm afraid this makes no sense and is contradictory, ie your first sentence above and your last. No printer can print what isn't there, and no printer can improve the output of a poor camera. So ... garbage in, garbage out. On the other hand, a great photo will print great on a great printer. So I don't know what you're talking about.

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19andrew47
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Re: The proof is in the printing ...
In reply to veroman, May 30, 2013

Sorry about the new, since it wasn't you.  I remembered a post about that printer being on sale recently and someone bought it.  I thought it was you but I was mistaken.

Andrew

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faith_ps
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Good to hear printing....
In reply to veroman, May 30, 2013

Hi Steve (Veroman),

Interesting that you print your photos regular basis. I have lots of photos sitting there in my hard disks (90% made by Olympus Systems). These days I'm considering buying either the Canon Pixma Pro1 or Epson Stylus pro 3885 (asian series of 3880 I think). Lend me your thought on the Epson's. Anything to fear? I heard lots of series 4900 problems of clogings and lots of complaints.

These days I'm printing on a cheap 4 colour refillable Epson L series. Though 4 colours, the result is fantastic on a good paper. Imagine what they'll be like printed on a 9 or 12 inks.

So pls any advice on Epson?

Thxs,

Jakop

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mariomirabile
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In reply to veroman, May 30, 2013

What comes between what you're shooting and the camera. Oly makes some superb lenses which really work well with the cameras.

Mario

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Great Bustard
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Interesting. I have a request.
In reply to veroman, May 30, 2013

veroman wrote:

This should come as no surprise to dedicated Olympus photographers, but I think it's worth posting anyway ... particularly in light of what's happened to 4:3 and the speculations about both its demise and its resurrection.

A few days ago I printed 25 images from a range of cameras, including the E-510, a Canon 450D/xsi, Canon 40D, Canon t3i, Nikon D2x, Panasonic DMC LC-1 and Fuji X10.  The images from each camera were all shot raw and processed to the very best of my ability using both LR and Capture One. They were printed on my superb Epson 3880 all to the same size: 11" X 14" and on the same paper, Epson Premium Luster.

I then asked my wife and several friends to simply sift through the stack of images and make two, separate piles: one pile for the images that had the most "pop," overall clarity, color richness, naturalness, etc., the other pile with images that simply lacked "something" or were decidedly less appealing, technically, than the other pile.

With one exception, the images in the "pop and clarity" pile were from the E-510. The exception was an image shot with my wonderful little Fuji X10, which was included in the "pop and clarity" pile.

The proof is ALWAYS in the printing. No dxomark tests or other "data" can convey with any degree of accuracy just how well a camera takes pictures in real-world applications. Even in high contrast scenes, when properly set for exposure, the E-510 performs admirably and responds exceptionally well to heavy pushing in post-process ... although the dxomark scores would lead you to think it can't compete at all with other cameras in this regard.

End of story ....

Any chance you could post a full size photo from each of the systems?  I'd appreciate that!

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Brad Ross
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it was me who bought the 3880 printer recently
In reply to 19andrew47, May 30, 2013

.. and I like it,, the 3880,  there is no way, that I am going to recap the expense of the printer and buying paper, compared to sending to MPIX, or another site, but I wanted experiment with having the print the way I like it, and once I printed a large 17 X 22 print, love to look at the print,  I even bought daylight bulbs for the room where the printer is, so as to examine them correctly, (goodbye tungsten, though the yellowish light is what I grew up with and still seems comforting in other parts of the house),,

of course the problem is, how many of these large prints can you hang around your house?,, I also bought a Logan mat cutter, and then went to IKEA to buy some relatively cheap frames, so now I have a new hobby, learning how to cut mats, and frame,, but I agree with some of the other remarks from this thread, if the image isn't good to begin with,, no printer is going to fix that,, quite frankly, almost any camera can take good pics, and with Lightroom or similar, you can adjust, of course how large, one does enlarge, may affect quality, but I have a Bill Turner, print of the Discovery space shuttle taking off, a 20 X 20 print at 5 mg with the E-1 that looks quite good,  so many people here, can make big prints, as long as the image was taken well in the first place.

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veroman
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Re: Good to hear printing....
In reply to faith_ps, May 31, 2013

faith_ps wrote:

Hi Steve (Veroman),

Interesting that you print your photos regular basis. I have lots of photos sitting there in my hard disks (90% made by Olympus Systems). These days I'm considering buying either the Canon Pixma Pro1 or Epson Stylus pro 3885 (asian series of 3880 I think). Lend me your thought on the Epson's. Anything to fear? I heard lots of series 4900 problems of clogings and lots of complaints.

These days I'm printing on a cheap 4 colour refillable Epson L series. Though 4 colours, the result is fantastic on a good paper. Imagine what they'll be like printed on a 9 or 12 inks.

So pls any advice on Epson?

Thxs,

I've been printing with Epson's for many, many years. I have no experience with printers of other makes except for a big Tektronix that I used when i worked at AOL. It used wax instead of ink!

I've owned an Epson 1200, Epson 1280, R800, R1800, two 4000s and my current printers ... Epson 3800, 3880 and general purpose all-in-one (printer, scanner, copier) the Epson 725 Artisan.

The 4000s clogged all the time, so I sold them. The R1800 was an excellent printer, but I always had to compensate for that printer's tendency to print dark ... so I sold that one, too. I have no problems whatsoever with either my 3800 or 3880. Superb, reliable machines. I highly recommend them. Not sure if they're being made anymore.

Steve

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SteveG
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Franka T.L.
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I've have different result with similar experiment
In reply to veroman, May 31, 2013

What I did is printing out ( at 13X19 / A3+ size, but the photo is used with entire frame and printed with a slight margin so it can be used to holding the print , usually around 1 inch on the side ) a bunch of captures. with many different camera. All of them are shoot RAW and processed through my own using proper ICC profile from their native capture lens/camera profile, with minimal PP, but those corrected for the print size ( 2 tier of sharpening , some color correction where I miss it at the capture, and some tonal expansion for really low contrast scene ).

I then hand it to the viewer and simply ask them which of them are good for keep / display and which is not ( the original of all this was a friend's wedding and I shoot this session as second to the PRO there ).

The result simply reflect that no one particular format nor camera actually are better always. There were good for display prints that I get from using an old Ricoh GR-D ( 1st generation ) to one that I shoot on a Pentax 645D.

In fact I have similar experiments ( not intentional ) dated back to my film years. I recall the time when I sit down with the 2 models and discuss which of the shoot I take on one the session we have was best .. well , lo behold there is some amazingly colorful pop, wow shoot there but the models all choose to have another as being the best. In fact it was one with a low contrast film ( Agfa Portrait 160 ) and shoot on a cloudy outdoor .. The point here is don't just look at the visual quantified. One can have technically perfect but yet totally boring photo. And this is not any form facotr, format, media or brand dependent. Likewise any decent platform can net you a great photo. Especially with todays current technology

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Franka T.L.
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its called the envelope of performance
In reply to Sergey_Green, May 31, 2013

Very well put , I find it perplexing why people would relate the DxO Marks as that of a measure of end result as its obviously not. Its a measure of what the camera can do in those set criteria. In Aviation term its call envelope of performance. Its a measure of capability quantified, yes, but its a measure of the capability of its capture, not that of the end result ( which had to go through loads of other stuff .... )

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Sergey_Green
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In reply to Franka T.L., May 31, 2013

Franka T.L. wrote:

Very well put , I find it perplexing why people would relate the DxO Marks as that of a measure of end result as its obviously not. Its a measure of what the camera can do in those set criteria. In Aviation term its call envelope of performance. Its a measure of capability quantified, yes, but its a measure of the capability of its capture, not that of the end result ( which had to go through loads of other stuff .... )

Most modern printers will show around 6+ stops of DR. Many modern dSLRs capture 14+ stops. When sent to the printer the image is converted according to the printer's specifications, I mean there is no magic in it, and is reproduced accordingly. So what DxO camera tests got to do with printing is truly beyond me. But then again, those who seek the answers do usually find them.

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Craig from Nevada
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The Proof is in the Eye and Mind
In reply to veroman, May 31, 2013

What the photographer and viewer think and feel about photograph matters and the rest in just background noise

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veroman
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Re: Indeed
In reply to Sergey_Green, May 31, 2013

Sergey_Green wrote:

Most modern printers will show around 6+ stops of DR. Many modern dSLRs capture 14+ stops. When sent to the printer the image is converted according to the printer's specifications, I mean there is no magic in it, and is reproduced accordingly. So what DxO camera tests got to do with printing is truly beyond me. But then again, those who seek the answers do usually find them.

I'm afraid you have misunderstood what I wrote. I was discussing technical data, ie dxomark sensor tests, and reliance on them as a way of judging a camera's IQ. I didn't bring up dxomark in the context of print quality.

All I'm saying is that a camera's IQ based on real-world use vs. the technical data associated with that camera usually don't go hand-in-hand. A Canon G7, for example, sits very low on the dxo rankings and would appear from ANY review to be an outdated, useless camera. Not so. It produces excellent images if used correctly and within its limitations.

By the way, new modern cameras have 14 stops of DR (if that) only at base to lower ISOs. The DR falls off pretty rapidly beyond ISO 400. The "old" Fuji S5 Pro, however, retains a full 13 stops of DR up to ISO 800. However, the Fuji S5 Pro's DR is still no match for modern cameras at ISOs higher than ISO 800. Its DR really falls off a cliff as it approaches ISO 1600.

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dab1
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Re: The proof is in the printing ...
In reply to veroman, May 31, 2013

veroman wrote:

This should come as no surprise to dedicated Olympus photographers, but I think it's worth posting anyway ... particularly in light of what's happened to 4:3 and the speculations about both its demise and its resurrection.

A few days ago I printed 25 images from a range of cameras, including the E-510, a Canon 450D/xsi, Canon 40D, Canon t3i, Nikon D2x, Panasonic DMC LC-1 and Fuji X10.  The images from each camera were all shot raw and processed to the very best of my ability using both LR and Capture One. They were printed on my superb Epson 3880 all to the same size: 11" X 14" and on the same paper, Epson Premium Luster.

I then asked my wife and several friends to simply sift through the stack of images and make two, separate piles: one pile for the images that had the most "pop," overall clarity, color richness, naturalness, etc., the other pile with images that simply lacked "something" or were decidedly less appealing, technically, than the other pile.

With one exception, the images in the "pop and clarity" pile were from the E-510. The exception was an image shot with my wonderful little Fuji X10, which was included in the "pop and clarity" pile.

The proof is ALWAYS in the printing. No dxomark tests or other "data" can convey with any degree of accuracy just how well a camera takes pictures in real-world applications. Even in high contrast scenes, when properly set for exposure, the E-510 performs admirably and responds exceptionally well to heavy pushing in post-process ... although the dxomark scores would lead you to think it can't compete at all with other cameras in this regard.

End of story ....

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SteveG
'When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.'
— Found in a Chinese Fortune Cookie
www.stephenmichaelgarey.com

Very true, a local camera store displays the photos from the staff taken around town with a variety of cameras and in some cases blown up to A0....im pretty fussy, but what i noticed was how all the cameras these days produce stunning images with the right processing & printing. Some of the shots made with just point & shoots are very impressive blown up - i was surprised. We are lucky to have all this superb equipment available these days, too much hair splitting goes on over nothing.

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veroman
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Re: The proof is in the printing ...
In reply to dab1, May 31, 2013

dab1 wrote:

veroman wrote:

This should come as no surprise to dedicated Olympus photographers, but I think it's worth posting anyway ... particularly in light of what's happened to 4:3 and the speculations about both its demise and its resurrection.

A few days ago I printed 25 images from a range of cameras, including the E-510, a Canon 450D/xsi, Canon 40D, Canon t3i, Nikon D2x, Panasonic DMC LC-1 and Fuji X10.  The images from each camera were all shot raw and processed to the very best of my ability using both LR and Capture One. They were printed on my superb Epson 3880 all to the same size: 11" X 14" and on the same paper, Epson Premium Luster.

I then asked my wife and several friends to simply sift through the stack of images and make two, separate piles: one pile for the images that had the most "pop," overall clarity, color richness, naturalness, etc., the other pile with images that simply lacked "something" or were decidedly less appealing, technically, than the other pile.

With one exception, the images in the "pop and clarity" pile were from the E-510. The exception was an image shot with my wonderful little Fuji X10, which was included in the "pop and clarity" pile.

The proof is ALWAYS in the printing. No dxomark tests or other "data" can convey with any degree of accuracy just how well a camera takes pictures in real-world applications. Even in high contrast scenes, when properly set for exposure, the E-510 performs admirably and responds exceptionally well to heavy pushing in post-process ... although the dxomark scores would lead you to think it can't compete at all with other cameras in this regard.

End of story ....

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SteveG
'When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.'
— Found in a Chinese Fortune Cookie
www.stephenmichaelgarey.com

Very true, a local camera store displays the photos from the staff taken around town with a variety of cameras and in some cases blown up to A0....im pretty fussy, but what i noticed was how all the cameras these days produce stunning images with the right processing & printing. Some of the shots made with just point & shoots are very impressive blown up - i was surprised. We are lucky to have all this superb equipment available these days, too much hair splitting goes on over nothing.

Agree 100% and would only add "count your blessings." Digital technology isn't perfect by any stretch, but what a gift from the Gods! I have dozens and dozens (maybe hundreds) of prints, large and small, that would have cost me a small fortune during the film days (if I could have afforded to have them all printed, which I couldn't ... not at those hefty Cibachrome prices!). This is all really amazing stuff. Be wary of those who are overly critical of gear or who trash older cameras just because they're old. Nonsense. The camera makers put a lot of thinking and technology behind some of this old gear, which is where many of them built strong reputations. If you don't have to go larger than 11 X 14, cameras like the E-1, Nikon D1x and Canon 1D still do a great job.

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Pikme
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I'm not surprised for one reason
In reply to veroman, May 31, 2013

I still have my E410 - the sensor is not even in the same ballpark with the EM5 (or even my E30) with respect to high ISO or dynamic range or resolution.  It was pretty much a base ISO camera and even then had lots of faults and frustrations, including a crooked viewfinder.

But, there was a great clarity to the color and contrast with that camera/sensor, including real blacks and real whites and real contrast.  That clarity got lost with the obsession over blown highlights, blocked shadows and high ISO shooting. (Yes, I know you can bring that back with processing and the reverse is not true.)

It never was a camera for pixel peepers but regular folks who just look at an image and react, rather than scrutinize for faults.  Especially for jpg shooters.  It had native 'pop', so to speak.

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