E-3 vs EPL2 vs E-M5 and a puzzle with colour

Started May 17, 2013 | Discussions thread
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alatchin Senior Member • Posts: 1,055
E-3 vs EPL2 vs E-M5 and a puzzle with colour

I had a bit of spare time here to muck around with 3 different sensors, the 10mp Panasonic in the E-3, the 12mp Panasonic in the EPL2 and the 16mp sensor in the OMD (sony?)

I grabbed a couple of flowers from my wife's mothers day bouquet and arranged a little test setup. These were lit with an FL50R, and all Cameras were using the 50mm f2 manually focused on the red flower in the middle.

As I have to shoot ISO 200 on the EM5 and EPL2 I shot 200 on the E-3 (saves me mucking around with image brightness in post). White balance was set to flash, IS off, colour natural.

So at first I saw what many would see, the E-3 blew out the flower on the left:

Notice the blown out flower on the top right.

While the EPL2 fared a little better:

Notice how the flower on the right is less blown out.

The E-M5 has that flatter look hat comes from more DR:

White of the flower looks good.

So I prepped a close up of an area of detail:

Here we can see detail, colour etc. As we would expect the lighter AA filters with more DR mean the EPL2 and E-M5 have more detail than the E-3

Then I noticed the almost "burnt out" look of the red flower in the OMD and EPL2 images:

Both the EPL2 and OMD show the same colour reproduction where they have lost the detail in the red, while the E-3 having blown highlights seems to be able to keep more detail.

So I popped them all in ACR and hit Auto to see what ACR thought:

Here you can see the recovered highlights (thankyou software advances) but also the detail in the red flower.

Then I wanted to see what type of adjustment I could do to the E-M5 file to get the detail back in the flower. I was thinking global adjustments, not local:

Again, somehow here the E-3 looks really very good.

I had to pull saturation from the E-M5 file to minus 20 to get the detail back in the flower. However out leaves have suffered

So, interesting puzzle. DxO has the OMD ahead in every measure, yet here I find myself preferring the output from the E-3 specifically for the detail in that red flower. And now the challenge if you choose to accept it, can you pocess the OMD file to match the E-3 file without using Local adjustments.

We want to keep the saturation and contrast in line, the colour in line, but we want to save the highlights in the white flower, while retaining detail in the red one... What am I doing wrong, or is this just a sensor difference:

Download the RAW files here:


Can you do it, and what settings did you change?

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“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” -Ansel Adams

Olympus E-3 Olympus PEN E-PL2
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