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Software

The E-520 is supplied with a CD-ROM containing:

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

RAW conversion

As is normal in our digital SLR reviews we compare the supplied RAW conversion software and some third party RAW converter. The development engines in Olympus Master and Olympus Studio produce exactly identical results and therefore here we have only used Olympus Studio along with a beta version of Adobe Camera RAW 4.5 which supports the E-520.

  • JPEG - Large/Fine, Default settings
  • Studio - Olympus Studio 2.21
  • ACR - Adobe Camera RAW 4.5 Beta

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-520 Compare to:  
      
      
      
      
NaturalVividMutedPortrait
MonoAdobeRGB

Sharpness and Detail

It's previously been the case that third-party RAW converters render slightly different areas from the raw files, offsetting the image by a couple of pixels. Oddly, we saw the same thing with Olympus Studio, with Olympus's own software rendering a very slightly different crop (offset by around 1 pixel in each dimension) from the one representing in JPEGs. In other respects the results are indistinguishable. By contrast, the default Adobe Camera Raw image is applying slightly less sharpening.

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Resolution

Olympus Studio's RAW conversion engine is clearly designed to emulate JPEG from the camera but there are some almost imperceptible differences. Overall, the Olympus software (Both Studio and Master), provide a more convenient way of altering the developing settings of RAW files than the in-camera RAW develop option (you can at least preview the results), they don't offer any real improvement over the camera's JPEG engine.

Adobe Camera RAW 4.5 Beta delivered the cleanest image without any moire but slightly softer and with less resolution.

JPEG from camera Olympus Studio 2.11 (RAW)
 
Adobe Camera RAW 4.5 Beta (RAW)  
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