The E-1 provides a wide range of adjustment for Color, Contrast and Sharpness image parameters.
Color Saturation adjustment
The E-1 provides a range of five color saturation adjustments, these are labeled from CS0 (less saturated) to CS4 (most saturated). The default setting (considered 'zero') is labeled CS2. Why Olympus couldn't simply label these -2 to +2 as they have for Contrast and Sharpness I'm not sure. In addition to this adjustment the E-1 also has four special saturation presets labeled CM1 to CM4. Each of CM1, CM2 and CM3 emphasize a particular primary color (Red, Green or Blue) respectively. CM4 is configured to reproduce natural skin tones for portraits.
Color Saturation Settings CS2 (default), CM1 - CM4
Place your mouse cursor over the labels shown below the color chart to see the effect of each of the CM modes. CS2 is provided for reference as the 'default' color saturation setting.
Settings: ISO 100, ED 50 mm F2.0 Macro, 1/50 sec, F5
Color Saturation Settings CS0 - CS4
Remember CS0 can be considered -2, CS2 as 0 and CS4 as +2.
Settings: ISO 100, E 14-54 mm F2.8-F3.5 @ F5, Sharpness 0, HQ JPEG
|Color Saturation||100% crop|
Adjusting the contrast setting alters the shape of the 'S curve' used to map the linear image data captured by the sensor into the selected gamma (sRGB / Adobe RGB). A lower contrast setting maintains more of the original data's dynamic range but leads to a flatter looking image. A higher contrast setting stretches the grayscale (dark to light) of the image and could lead to clipping of both shadow detail and highlights. The E-1 provides contrast adjustment from -2 to +2.
Settings: ISO 100, E 14-54 mm F2.8-F3.5 @ F5, Sharpness 0, SQ JPEG (1280 x 960)
One of the first reactions we saw to E-1 images was that they appeared soft. And to be fair to those initial observations the E-1's default sharpening does seem to be a little stronger than we saw from our first pre-production unit. That said it is clear that Olympus has chosen a 'hands off' approach to sharpening, that the default sharpening is quite mild in an attempt to avoid unnecessary sharpening artifacts and to keep visible noise to a minimum. The E-1 provides sharpness adjustment from -3 to +3. Most of the time I chose to shoot with a sharpness of +2.
Settings: ISO 100, ED 50 mm F2.0 Macro, 1/40 sec, F6.3, SHQ JPEG
|Sharpness (100% crop)|
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