Olympus Master 2.0 - simple image transfer, browsing, basic editing, simple RAW
conversion, printing and sharing.
Olympus Studio 2.0 Trial - a 30 day trial copy of Olympus's more advanced image
editing and RAW conversion application.
As is normal in our digital SLR reviews we like to compare the supplied RAW conversion software and some third party RAW converter. Previous versions of Olympus Studio have offered two different RAW development engines; High Speed or High Function. The High Speed engine was the same as used in Olympus Master, however the High Function engine took longer but generally produced better results. With the advent of version 2.0 of both Master and Studio it appears as though they now both use the same development engine (results are pixel identical), there is no option in Studio to select a different engine. Hence here we have only used Olympus Studio along with Adobe Camera RAW 4.3.
JPEG - Large/Fine, Default settings
Studio - Olympus Studio 2.0
ACR - Adobe Camera RAW 4.3 (default)
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.
Sharpness and Detail
The output from Olympus Studio is quite similar to camera JPEG except for slightly stronger noise reduction which appears to have lead to the softening of some of the texture detail on the watch surface. Adobe Camera RAW delivers the sharpest image with the most natural looking surface texture and no artifacts.
As you can see Olympus Studio's RAW conversion engine is clearly designed to completely emulate JPEG from the camera, this means that while you'll get some of the adjustment advantages (adjusting white balance, digital exposure compensation etc.) don't expect significantly 'better' images. Adobe Camera RAW 4.3 delivered cleaner images with no moire although no more resolution.