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Night (long exposure) photography

The E-10 puts in an impressive performance, the two shots below are both 8 second exposures (the maximum in Manual Exposure mode) at ISO 80 and ISO 160, neither image shows very much visible noise (Olympus are obviously using some noise reduction algorithm). This all adds up to very nice clean night photography, I'm not sure why they limited exposures to 8 seconds the E-10 looks like it could go a lot longer. Note: you could take exposures up to 30 seconds using an optional wired remote and Bulb mode.

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ISO 80, 8 sec, F3.2
ISO 160, 8 secs, F3.2


White Balance

The E-10 did well with Auto White Balance in daylight, however under incandescent or fluorescent light it's important to either select the correct preset white balance or (better still) manually preset the white balance from a white card by simply aiming the camera and pressing the one-touch white balance button on the front of the camera (this produces the best results by far). Samples below shot at 1280 x 960.

 
Daylight: Auto WB Daylight: 5500K WB  
Incandescent: Auto WB Incandescent: 3000K WB Incandescent: Manual WB
Fluorescent: Auto WB Fluorescent: 4000K WB Fluorescent: Manual WB


Dynamic Range

Dynamic range simply defines the range of light the camera is able to capture before it either loses detail in darkness (shadows for example) or blows out a highlight (edges of chromed metals are good examples of this). Most consumer digital cameras only have a 8-bit analog to digital converters, plus their CCD's are not built to have a particularly large dynamic range.

Using our new dynamic range measurement method we measured the E-10's dynamic range as (higher numbers are better except for noise):

Camera ISO Noise Range Bits Density dB
Olympus E-10
JPEG
80* 0.11 614:1 9.3 2.8D 56
80 0.13 545:1 9.1 2.7D 55
160 0.21 324:1 8.3 2.5D 50
320 0.28 282:1 8.1 2.5D 49

Compared to other digital SLR's:

Camera ISO Noise Range Bits Density dB
Canon EOS-D30
JPEG
100* 0.08 488:1 8.9 2.7D 54
100 0.08 468:1 8.9 2.7D 53
200 0.14 289:1 8.2 2.5D 49
400 0.20 177:1 7.5 2.2D 45
800 0.38 94:1 6.6 2.0D 39
1600 0.70 56:1 5.8 1.7D 35
Nikon D1
JPEG
200* 0.09 470:1 8.9 2.7D 53
200 0.11 380:1 8.6 2.6D 52
400 0.18 269:1 8.1 2.4D 49
800 0.40 152:1 7.2 2.2D 44
1600 0.82 97:1 6.6 2.0D 40
3200 1.04 92:1 6.5 2.0D 39
6400 2.55 59:1 5.9 1.8D 35
Fuji S1 Pro
JPEG
320* 0.10 663:1 9.4 2.8D 56
320 0.18 352:1 8.5 2.5D 51
400 0.21 335:1 8.4 2.5D 50
800 0.28 294:1 8.2 2.5D 49
1600 0.41 150:1 7.2 2.2D 44

* In-camera sharpening set to lowest setting

An excellent performance by the E-10, putting in better figures than almost everything but the unbelievably good S1 Pro. Note that it's a little difficult to directly compare the E-10 because of it's 'non standard" ISO speeds however it's clear from our results that there's plenty of Pro engineering inside the E-10.

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