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Studio scene comparison (Noise filter off)

Previous generation of Olympus DSLRs were capable of producing sharper images by moving away from the default settings. Turning the 'noise filter' option off and reducing the sharpening produced visibly sharper, more detailed results. So here we compare the E520 to its predecessor, both with Noise Filter set to off. On the E510, sharpening has been reduced to avoid the artefacts caused by over-sharpening.

This is our standard studio scene comparison shot taken from exactly the same tripod position. Lighting: daylight simulation, >98% CRI. Crops are 100%. Ambient temperature was approximately 22°C (~72°F).

Olympus E-520 (NF Off) vs. Olympus E-510 (NF Off)

Camera settings:

  • Olympus E-520: Olympus 50 mm F2.0 lens, Aperture Priority, ISO 100
    JPEG Large/SHQ, Manual WB, Default Parameters (NF OFF), 2 sec self-timer

  • Olympus E-510: Olympus 50 mm F2.0 lens, Aperture Priority, ISO 100
    JPEG Large/SHQ, Manual WB, Default Parameters (NF OFF, sharpening -2), 2 sec self-timer
Olympus E-520 (NF Off)
Olympus E-510 (NF Off)

6.2 MB (3648 x 2736)
6.5 MB JPEG (3648 x 2736)

The E520's results are clearly less sharp and detailed than the E510, even though the digital sharpening effects have been turned down on the older camera. As with the E420 and E3, we have to conclude that this is due to a stronger low-pass/anti-aliasing filter (used to slightly blur the image to reduce the appearance of jagged edges and interference patterns).

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