Image parameters (contd.)
We will be examining the effect of the Noise Filter at higher sensitivities later in this review, but like the E-410, the E-510's Noise Filter is actually applied surprisingly heavily even at ISO 100, which 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
Unsurprisingly testing the various Noise Filter and Sharpness combinations produces the same conclusion we came to when testing the E-410; at ISO 100 turn the Noise Filter off and use a Sharpness setting of either -1 or -2 (we preferred -2 as it looks a little 'cleaner'). 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-510 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: 1/60 sec (High Key), 1/100 sec (Normal), 1/125 sec (Low Key). (Picture mode Natural used for these samples).