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Sharpening Adjustment

The E-10 offers three sharpening levels selectable through the record mode setup menu, unlike other Olympus digital cameras the E-10 has properly implemented the sharpening algorithm by separating out contrast adjustment. Looking at these samples Soft appears to give the cleanest image with almost no sharpening artifacts but still relatively good sharpness and detail. Normal and Hard both seem to introduce sharpening / CFA artifacts into the final image, which are less than desirable.

Sharpening: Soft
Sharpening: Normal
Sharpening: Hard


Contrast Adjustment

Thank goodness Olympus appear to have seen the light and separated out contrast adjustment from it's traditional partnership with sharpening adjustment. Now you have full, independent control over both of these image processing algorithms. Overall "Normal" gave the most life like image, Low was a little too low and rather dull in appearance. Thus my ideal settings for day to day shooting would be Contrast set to Normal and Sharpening set to Soft.

Contrast: Low
Contrast: Normal
Contrast: High


Macro Focus

The E-10's "Macro" mode would be better described as close-up, it does let you get closer and enables the camera to auto focus at much closer distances but the best macro we managed was about 72 mm (2.83 inches) across the frame width. I'm sure this would be much improved with the optional Macro lens converter.


Aperture Priority

Aperture priority is where you designate the aperture and the camera calculates the best shutter speed, if the exposure is outside of the cameras range (either over or under exposing) the nearest shutter speed will displayed and the aperture will appear in red on the LCD screen. Used properly Aperture Priority can be invaluable as it has a direct effect on depth of field (the distance in front and behind the focal point which will be in focus when taking the shot).

The E-10 offers a fairly wide range of apertures (for a digital camera), but not the same range you'd be able to achieve with a digital SLR based on a 35 mm camera (such as the Fujifilm S1 Pro, Nikon D1 or Canon EOS-D30). It's also worth noting that because of the E-10's sensor size (which is considerably smaller than found on those digital SLR's just mentioned) you don't have the same range of depth of field.

The E-10 has the following range of apertures:

  • Wide: F2.0, F2.2, F2.4, F2.8, F3.2, F3.6, F4.0, F4.8, F5.0, F5.6, F6.3, F7.1, F8.0, F9, F10, F11
  • Tele: F2.4, F2.8, F3.2, F3.6, F4.0, F4.8, F5.0, F5.6, F6.3, F7.1, F8.0, F9, F10, F11
ISO 80, F2.2, 1/20s (narrow DOF) ISO 80, F11, 1 sec (deep DOF)

Other manual exposure modes also available: Shutter Priority and Manual Exposure.


Bracketing

Bracketing is the automatic exposure of an odd number of frames, typically three or five, over and under exposed by equal steps to enable the photographer to select the best exposed frame at a later time. The E-10 supports bracketing of three shots at either +/- 0.3, 0.7 or 1.0 EV from the metered exposure, selecting bracketing puts the camera into continuous drive mode, you must hold down the shutter release until all three shots have been taken. The sample bracketed sequence below was shot with 0.3 EV setting.

1/640s, F5.6
(Normal exposure)
1/640s, F6.3
(-0.3 EV exposure)
1/640s, F5.0
(+0.3 EV exposure)


Pop-up Flash

The E-10 has a pop-up flash with a specified range of (at wide) 0.6cm - 6.3 m and (at tele) 0.5 - 5.2 m which makes it a pretty powerful flash unit by digital camera standards. Other flash features include redeye reduction and the ability to control the flash output by +/-2EV.

Skin tone test, hmmm, all is not well here. Things have a definite cyan cast (white balance was set to Auto) Colour chart (about 5° off axis), good performance this time, no colour cast and very well metered & exposed. Full wide "white wall" test from 2 m away, coverage here is good although I really expected better from a flash with such good specs.
Flash compensation -0.7 Flash normal Flash compensation +0.7
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