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Software

The E-30 is supplied with a CD-ROM containing:

  • Olympus Master 2.1 - simple image transfer, browsing, basic editing, simple RAW
    conversion, printing and sharing.
     
  • Olympus Studio 2.X Trial - a 30 day trial copy of Olympus's more advanced image
    editing and RAW conversion application.

RAW conversion

Olympus provides the well-featured Master 2.11 with the camera. It's pretty capable, compared to the standard of software many manufacturers supply, with the option to apply any of the camera presets, including the shadow-adjusting auto gradation mode. It also allows exposure correction and white balance to be adjusted.

  • JPEG - Large/Super Fine, Default settings
  • Master - Olympus Master 2.11
  • ACR - Adobe Camera RAW 5.3
  • Cap One - Phase One Capture One Pro v4.6

Color reproduction

Place your mouse over the label below the image to see the color from a GretagMacbeth ColorChecker chart produced using each RAW converter. There is almost no difference between a RAW converted using Olympus Studio (or Master) and a JPEG straight from the camera, obviously both the RAW conversion engine and camera using the same tone and color mapping.

Olympus E-30 Compare to:  
      
      
      
      
NaturalvividMutedPortrait
MonoAdobeRGB

Sharpness and Detail

Master produces output (using the default settings) that is virtually identical to the JPEG result. As such there's no additional detail revealed by using it to convert RAW files. The software only offers exposure and white balance corrections - everything else is a question of selecting from the options that would be available when shooting or reprocessing in-camera though using Master does mean you can see a preview of what effect each change will have (which the in-camera reprocessing doesn't).

ACR and Capture One take very different approaches to sharpening, with ACR applying very little and Capture One heading in the opposite direction. As mentioned elsewhere the current version of ACR cannot get all the resolution out of E-30 files, but looking at the Studio and Capture One versions would seem to indicate that the camera JPEGs are doing a good job of getting the most out of the sensor's output (resolution-wise).

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Resolution

Again the crops below show that Master is emulating the camera's JPEG output and the resolution it pulls from chart is identical. ACR's less sharpened output is no better - it shows a little less moiré but also appears to have less resolution. It's unusual for us to see a resolution result from ACR that is lower than the camera's JPEG output, which was enough to question how optimized the version of ACR we were using might actually be (more on this elsewhere).

Meanwhile, Capture One does a good job of showing that there is a touch more detail in the files than the camera's JPEG engine (or Master, which mimics it), can render.

Olympus E-30
JPEG from camera
Olympus E-30
Olympus Studio 2.0
(RAW)
Olympus E-30
Adobe Camera RAW 5.3
(RAW)
Olympus E-30
Capture One Pro v4.6
(RAW)
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