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Olympus E-P3 samples gallery updated with revised settings

By dpreview staff on Jul 6, 2011 at 23:51 GMT

We've added three additional images to our samples gallery for the Olympus E-P3 with revised processing. Following concerns expressed about the levels of noise reduction and sharpening being applied by the camera's default settings, we have re-processed the images with the sharpening and noise reduction minimized. Having confirmed that re-processing raw files in-camera gave the same results as shooting natively at these settings, we re-processed three of our gallery images to allow side-by-side comparison with the default settings.

Click here to see the Olympus E-P3 samples gallery, including three re-processed images

Reprocessed images:

Default settings (NF Std, Sharpening 0) Re-processed (NF Off, Sharpening -2)
100% crop 100% crop
145
I own it
23
I want it
58
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 50
allenrob108
By allenrob108 (Aug 2, 2011)

Yes printing is the only way to really judge a camera's ability. Of course most people didn't comprehend what I was saying and came up with ridiculous statements about how no one prints any more. I'm not saying you have to print every photo you take. Also the person who said photo labs are disappearing and that shows no one prints any more. Really? Seems like there a lot of printers in homes these days. Maybe that is why photo labs disappeared. Hmmm? Gee never thought of that.
What I'm saying is that when you print after you've maximized your camera settings and dialed in your post processing, then and only then can you judge a camera's ability. Look at prints sized 8X10 and even larger 11X14. The great majority of people never print larger than that. Also the vast majority of people will think prints coming directly from this camera, with no post processing, will look fabulous at those sizes.
Judging by blowing up crops and looking at them on the internet is just for nerds.

0 upvotes
datiswous
By datiswous (Jul 17, 2011)

I thought setting: low for noise filter is most of the time the best option (with Olympus camera's). On my E-P2 I allways use noise filter low, sharpening 0.

0 upvotes
khamis
By khamis (Jul 9, 2011)

I have an Oly E-500 and I used a lot of the Oly 300mm(600mm) zoom len.
Can this be used with a convertor on the E-P3? if so, how much is the convertor?

1 upvote
StrongArm
By StrongArm (Jul 11, 2011)

Of course you can use Oly 300mm using MMF-1/MMF-2/DMW-MA1E converter on E-P3. You can find the cost by googling.

0 upvotes
BHPhotog
By BHPhotog (Jul 9, 2011)

In response to Ashley Pomeroy's "It seems a complete waste of money to print things out. You're going to throw them away sooner or later"... I'd suggest that photographic printing isn't a racial /national /ethnic process, it's just youth vs. age.

If raised in a digital world, Ms. Pomeroy may think the transient assembly of pixels is the highest photographic reality; raised in a non-digital world, I think the only reality is the print that embodies provenance and posterity.

We are, of course, both correct. The difference is I don't ascribe a higher intrinsic value to either; I'd rather judge individual images (and image makers) within their contextual form.

1 upvote
SLOtographer
By SLOtographer (Jul 8, 2011)

Just want to say thanks for the extra effort! It helps some of us, who have other Oly gear, see how this new body copes with NR and sharpening.

Cheers!

1 upvote
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Jul 8, 2011)

Let's see if I get this straight: the E-P3 default mode yields crummy pictures, but the camera has redeeming qualities if one supresses all default settings. That requirement should tickle "pro photographers" to ecstacy: a camera only they can use right. Let them pray no firmware patch improves the default mode!

I am perplexed that a camera with a superior AF somehow has everything else wrong or deficient. If the sensor is about the same, why should the low light performance (video or still) be any worse than another m4/3 with the same lens?

0 upvotes
DonParrot
By DonParrot (Jul 9, 2011)

Would you please take a look here:
http://fourthirds-user.com/2011/07/micro_four_thirds_high_iso_noise_compared_g1_ep2_ep3.php

0 upvotes
tkpenalty
By tkpenalty (Jul 7, 2011)

so where is the NX100?

1 upvote
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Jul 7, 2011)

NX what? ;P

0 upvotes
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Jul 7, 2011)

It's most obvious in the picture of the guy in the checkered shirt. The sharpening creates halos everywhere, and along with the noise-reduction resulting in very messy texture. Ending up with the famous term 'digital look', because it's just unnatural.

Also note the wood-texture in the background (middle left) is also abused by the noise-reduction. Making it look like a glossy print of wood instead.

http://www.dpreview.com/learn/?/key=sharpening

I'm using FastStone Image Viewer to flick between photos with the mouse-wheel when holding down the left mouse button to display it at 100% (set in options).

0 upvotes
Greg Pavlov
By Greg Pavlov (Jul 7, 2011)

"Is this emphasis on printing everything an American thing?...."

Maybe, but the vast number of photos taken by the "Americans" I know are not printed, and the majority of them don't print any at all.

0 upvotes
pinnacle
By pinnacle (Jul 7, 2011)

I would love to be directed to the statistical data used to support the "Maybe, but the vast number of photos taken by the "Americans" I know are not printed, and the majority of them don't print any at all." statement.

And why are generalizations being made about a particular nationality? How is that content useful to the thread?

1 upvote
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Jul 7, 2011)

I can just imagine mounds of cat pictures everywhere.

0 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Jul 8, 2011)

Maybe "pinnacle" is simply being candid: he knows mainly of "Americans," a colloquialism put in quotation marks so as not to offend native aboriginals, Latin Americans, or neighbors aboot the chilly north. Maybe other occupants of the globe ruminate over mounds of prints of birthdays, parties, flowers, dogs, birds, and CATS. Think of the ink cartridge sales!

0 upvotes
h00ligan
By h00ligan (Jul 8, 2011)

Plenty of other nationalities represented here take lost of images of flowers, bees, birds, and a LOT of child and cat/dog photos. It's about availability not nationality... so I'd guess yes.. a LOT of the world in general ruminates over photos such as those.

Although I do see a trend lately which may be more troublesome. Random backs of strangers is street photography... I see that a lot from non 'american' culture as well as 'american' culture. fwiw, yo no soy de norteamericana.. or whatever.

0 upvotes
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (Jul 9, 2011)

As for data to support the lack of printing....I would call your attention to the near extinction of the local photo lab. I would also note that as the photo paper options and offerings at the local office supply stores has not increased I feel safe in saying that home printing is not occurring in any meaningful way.

2 upvotes
john175bramley
By john175bramley (Jul 7, 2011)

Is this the first time none default settings have been used in a DPR review\preview? Has a precedent now been set?

0 upvotes
Entropius
By Entropius (Jul 7, 2011)

No. They used "NF Off, Sharpness -2" on the E-510.

I have one and can confirm that shooting this camera with NF set to anything other than Off is a mistake. (It's a great camera, btw.)

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Jul 7, 2011)

We've also experimented with alternate settings with a Pentax (possibly the K-r) and a Sony, I think. Though that didn't stop people accusing us of only using the default settings, as I remember.

0 upvotes
rocklobster
By rocklobster (Jul 10, 2011)

I see this as DPreview pandering to the anxieties (obsessions?) of a few pixel-peepers that are looking for something to fault. I would like DPreview to perform a DR test but I think that I am able to wait for a full test before shooting the camera down for a very very minor abberation.

0 upvotes
thubleau3
By thubleau3 (Jul 7, 2011)

So, does that mean the photos were done out of camera using raw file processing on the computer??
i can't see any other way , raw is raw that is my understanding , no processing until you drag it out onto the desktop into raw processing software ?
i dont think this camera shoots a raw image and a jpeg at the same time ?

Wikipedia Translation needs some clarifying:

camera raw image file contains minimally processed data from the image sensor of either a digital camera, image or motion picture film scanner. Raw files are so named because they are not yet processed and therefore are not ready to be printed or edited with a bitmap graphics editor. Normally, the image is processed by a raw converter in a wide-gamut internal colorspace where precise adjustments can be made before conversion to a "positive" file format such as camera raw image file contains minimally processed data from the image sensor of either a digital camera, image or motion picture film scanner.

0 upvotes
Russ Houston
By Russ Houston (Jul 7, 2011)

Yes, it shoot raw+jpeg. The original E-P1 does, as does the E-P2. Not sure about the E-PLx series but I wouldn't be surprised if they did as well.

0 upvotes
Izu
By Izu (Jul 7, 2011)

Sure it does, and you can convert RAW in camera. Camera will apply the settings you have, so if you change white balance it will convert RAW in Jpeg with the new white balance. You can change NR, sharpening, tone, saturation, contrast... quite useful.

0 upvotes
Entropius
By Entropius (Jul 7, 2011)

Olympus cameras have a built-in raw converter: you can shoot raw+jpeg, change the camera settings, and redevelop the raw with a different batch of settings in-camera to make another jpeg.

0 upvotes
Nuno Souto
By Nuno Souto (Jul 8, 2011)

EPL1 certainly can do this. I use it all the time.

0 upvotes
thubleau3
By thubleau3 (Jul 7, 2011)

I don't get it, .so how do you reprocess something that has already been processed?
Wasn't the processing done by the camera on those setting when the shot was first taken?
How do you undo the processing ?

0 upvotes
Stig Nygaard
By Stig Nygaard (Jul 7, 2011)

You can always reprocess raw files with new settings.

0 upvotes
mark1000
By mark1000 (Jul 7, 2011)

Cant tell any difference in normal viewing size, what a load of hullabaloo over this.

0 upvotes
Marc Rogoff
By Marc Rogoff (Jul 7, 2011)

There is sharpening applied as with every other camera on the market including my Nikon D3x however there seems to be surprisingly little noise reduction applied. Either way its a non issue to a pro as if you process the images in lightroom or any other Raw processing program you can apply as little or as much or either as you require. Not sure who why such a big deal has been made over this?

2 upvotes
Chaitanya S
By Chaitanya S (Jul 7, 2011)

Any high ISO images?

0 upvotes
caissam
By caissam (Jul 7, 2011)

Yes, turning nr off mainly effects higher ISO images. So it makes no sense to test such a parameter using low iso AND in daylight.

NR starts destroying pics starting above ISO400-800, more at >ISO1250. In Available Light or Nightlight!

So I would like to see such a sample, too.

Thanks!

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Jul 7, 2011)

I've added an ISO 1600 and an ISO 3200 sample.

0 upvotes
Tim F 101
By Tim F 101 (Jul 7, 2011)

IMO you're getting so much feedback for two good reasons that have little to do with your own hard work.

1) Like me, so many people want to want this camera enough to pay for an upgrade. The autofocus thing is reason by itself as long as the cost doesn't trouble you. If images come out even marginally prettier (by whatever yardstick), then the rest of us will just have to eat ramen for a while.

2) This is a new sensor that will go into plenty more models before Olympus upgrades again. It would be nice to see at least an evolutionary update in quality, if not a revolutionary leap like the focus thing.

3 upvotes
h00ligan
By h00ligan (Jul 7, 2011)

Allenrob,

That is a very one sided view that could maybe be considered valid for sharpening and probably well meaning but to state any non pro doesn't need or shouldn't want more camera is a myopic view considering other shortcomings of the platform. Wide fast primes would be an example of why your assertion is not accurate, perhaps that is not important to you but for some it may be.

0 upvotes
jj74e
By jj74e (Jul 7, 2011)

i opened them both up in new tabs, and when i was switching back and forth, i saw literally no difference, at least without zooming way in.

2 upvotes
Edge904
By Edge904 (Jul 7, 2011)

Zooming in, you can tell a difference. But this non-pro prefers the original, sharper image (zoomed). Zoomed out, as you said, they look "the same."

0 upvotes
allenrob108
By allenrob108 (Jul 7, 2011)

Ho hum. So? It's still images on a computer screen. The ONLY way to determine the quality of a cameras' imaging ability is to print them with settings that the photography finds appropriate for his or her usage. You really can't tell much of anything about a cameras' imaging ability by looking at jpegs on a computer. As much dpreview wants to show something with these changes it really doesn't mean anything. I'm sure this camera, based on Oly's history, can make images that will suit almost everyone at print sizes large enough to please 99% of the people. I'm sure you'd be able to print images from this camera that you could display in a gallery and no one would know if they came from a 20k medium format or this camera. Maybe up close, at prints larger than the vast majority of people would ever print, you could tell a difference. But for $800 you can make images that would please almost everyone. No need to spend more unless you are a pro and print very large. Are you a pro? Right!

1 upvote
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Jul 7, 2011)

I agree, printing is the best way to view a image. I have a U3011, that might be the next best way to look at it ;)

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Jul 7, 2011)

That's exactly why we always make the full-sized samples available: so that you can use them however you feel you would use the camera's output.

6 upvotes
Ashley Pomeroy
By Ashley Pomeroy (Jul 7, 2011)

Is this emphasis on printing everything an American thing? Imaging Resource go on about it as well; it's a kind of minority interest that seems to grip certain photographers. I surmise that the vast majority of pictures taken today either (a) aren't viewed at all, ever or (b) go up on Facebook or (c) viewed on a mobile phone screen. It seems a complete waste of money to print things out. You're going to throw them away sooner or later.

0 upvotes
Tacky
By Tacky (Jul 7, 2011)

and can you explain how posting on Facebook and viewing on mobile screen can help you determining the image quality of a E-P3 from a D3x? or even a D95?

0 upvotes
xMichaelx
By xMichaelx (Jul 7, 2011)

"The ONLY way to determine the quality of a cameras' imaging ability is to print them with settings that the photography finds appropriate for his or her usage."

So print them.

1 upvote
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Jul 7, 2011)

I don't ever shoot jpeg, but looking at all the samples, I would say their is nothing wrong with the default setting. I see both more detail and less noise. Best of both worlds....but again..i always shoot raw.

0 upvotes
Tim Ashton
By Tim Ashton (Jul 7, 2011)

could not agree more
I used to carry an XA2 till some low life stole it.This or the PL3 could well be my digital solution
I dont understand why anyone would even want to be negative until they have tried one and have reason to be

0 upvotes
LTZ470
By LTZ470 (Jul 7, 2011)

What does this mean? From Adorama EP-3 Spec's...does this mean that fast AF "will" only work with certain lens? If so that would be a deal breaker...

Focusing:AF system Imager Contrast Detection AF system When non High-speed imager AF compatible lens is used, it works as AF assist

0 upvotes
Izu
By Izu (Jul 7, 2011)

Works with MSC lenses...

0 upvotes
George E620
By George E620 (Jul 7, 2011)

Part 1: I have an Olympus E-620 that acts the same way as generally described here. If you shoot raw with default settings of Sharpness = 0 and then display in Viewer2 (supplied by Olympus) it will apply that sharpness level to the displayed raw image. If you change to Sharpness -2 and then display in Viewer2 it is noticeably less sharp than the 0 setting image iin almost all cases. It appears that the labeling of sharpness might be more appropriately shown as 0 (none/little), 1(small), 2(default), 3(medium), and 4(high) [rather than -2,-1,0,1,2]. There is no documenation that I could find how the camera settings are applied to a raw image and none about what they mean. I get the sharpest results with processing as follows: 1) set sharpness to -2 in camera (can also be done in post processing if shot in raw), and 2) use USM (unsharp mask) to sharpen to largest display size.

0 upvotes
George E620
By George E620 (Jul 7, 2011)

Part 2 ( of I have an Oly...)
In my case my largest image I allow to display is 1008 by 756 of the original image size of 4032 by 3024; the USM would then be 300 percent, 1.8 pixels and 0 levels. If I crop (which is most of the time) this has to be cut back; for example a 1/2 size crop of 3024 by 2268 an appropriate USM might be 250/1.5/0 and if the crop is to 1:1 (1008by756) then 200/1.3/3 or even less might be needed [ this is very similar sharpening to what I would use for a 8" by 10" print].

0 upvotes
Camp Freddy
By Camp Freddy (Jul 13, 2011)

An informative post about the auto sharpening in Viewer for default "0" which I suspected was being sharpened.

Two points on all this though, and the "prints" hijack: Oly seem to have a very good Jpeg engine in camera: why not spend time on settings and bracketing shots out on 'shoots' than on the new slider-world of PS?

Also there was a really nice E420 exhibition where some well known pros were given the 420 to go do their thang. All the prints were over 1m and at 72dpi. The human eye cannot resolve more than this, or even 60dpi at 1.6m viewing distance!

0 upvotes
Total comments: 50