Image parameters (contd.)
We will be examining the effect of the Noise Filter at higher sensitivities later in this review however we discovered quite early on that the Noise Filter is actually applied surprisingly heavily even at ISO 100. This obviously also has a significant affect on the sharpness of the image. As you can see from the crops below the default 'Standard' setting already leads to the loss of detail in the image. What is also clear is that Olympus has the default sharpening setting tuned to try and recover some of the sharpness lost due to this noise reduction, hence with the Noise Filter set to 'Off' we see oversharpening and halos (why the baseline sharpening couldn't be adjusted to the Noise Filter setting I'm not quite sure).
|Noise Filter: Off|
|Noise Filter: Low|
|Noise Filter: Standard (default)|
|Noise Filter: High|
Noise Filter combined with Sharpness
The next natural test is which combination of Noise Filter and Sharpness deliver the most detailed image (at ISO 100) without oversharpening. We settled on either Noise Filter: Low with a Sharpness of -1 or Noise Filter: Off with a Sharpness of -2 (the most detail but sometimes visible noise, even at ISO 100). Obviously at higher sensitivities you may wish to use the default Noise Filter setting.
|Noise Filter: Off, Sharpness: -2|
|Noise Filter: Off, Sharpness -1|
|Noise Filter: Low, Sharpness: -2|
|Noise Filter: Low, Sharpness: -1|
The E-410 features a the same 'gradation' setting seen on previous E series cameras. It provides the ability to change the brightness of the image to either low key, normal and high key. In reality all this appears to do is apply +0.3 EV or -0.3 EV adjustment to the metered exposure and subtly adjust the tone curve applied. The three shots below: 1/80 sec (High Key), 1/100 sec (Normal), 1/125 sec (Low Key). (Picture mode Natural used for these samples).