Olympus E-20 Review
Camedia Master 2.5
The E-20 is provided with Olympus's latest incarnation of Camedia Master, version 2.5. Camedia Master is essentially an image browsing / basic image manipulation application. Importantly it can also be used to browse, view and save Olympus RAW (.ORF) files.
One major limitation with Camedia Master and Olympus RAW files is that there is no way to manipulate the image as a RAW file (as you can with other manufacturers RAW formats). For example you can not adjust white balance, tone, exposure compensation, colour saturation etc. These things are the very essence of having a RAW ('digital negative') image. Thankfully the third party application QImage Pro will allow you to do at least some of these things.
The main Camedia Master window provides a 'tree folder view' on the left above a camera browser (which would show the contents of the CF card in the camera when connected). To the right of this is the main thumbnail index / image list. You can choose from two sizes of thumbnail or simply a list of images (along with exposure details if you wish). Actions which can be carried out in thumbnail index mode:
- Rotation (Warning: this is NOT lossless, image quality will be compromised)
- Properties (see below) - Single image only
- Print - Single image only
- Convert Format (to JPEG, TIFF, BMP)
- Rename (can use EXIF date to rename files)
- Stitch (2D Panorama)
- Upload images to camera
Double-click on an image to view it (including ORF files). Once in view mode you can perform further image editting functions (some of these functions can be isolated to particular image areas using different selection methods):
- Save As (JPEG, TIFF, BMP)
- Properties (see below)
- Record Sound
- Rotate / Flip (NOT lossless)
- Insert Text
- Change Colour Depth
- Filter: Brightness, Contrast, Color Balance, Gamma, Blur, Sharpen, Edge, Distortion, Emboss, Sepia
- Instant Fix
- Template Superimpose
- Remove Redeye
As you can see the properties window provides you with a basic range of information about the image file including the flash mode, focus mode, exposure details (shutter speed, aperture, ISO) and focal length. I'm still disappointed that it's not possible to get more information using Olympus's supplied software.
Olympus ORF Photoshop Plugin
Olympus also provides (although with no automated setup) a plugin which enables Photoshop (or other Photoshop plugin compatible software) to import Olympus RAW files. Here at least you can do 'spot white balance' but it's very basic and of limited use. The other problem is that the plugin has no option to import as 8-bit, this means that you're working with very large files and it takes Photoshop far longer to perform the import process.
There are three import options:
- RGB Conversion (imports as an uncorrected, linear, 16-bit image)
- RGB, WB and Color Adjustment (imports as a white balance corrected, linear, 16-bit image)
- RGB, Auto Image Process (imports as a white balance corrected, gamma correct, 16-bit image)
With one of the last two options selected you can then click on an area of the preview thumbnail to choose a manual 'spot white balance' area. Examples of the results of each of these import modes can be seen below:
|RGB Conversion||RGB, WB and Color Adjustment|
|RGB, Auto Image Process||After curve
applied to second image (above)
Photoshop curve can be downloaded here
The last image in the sequence above was created starting with the 'RGB, WB and Color Adjustment' image and then applying a gamma correction curve, the results are fairly good.
|Something Blue by Gerard Beullac|
from Your City - One Way Only
|Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River by wam7|
|Volvo by Jill Hancock|
from V is for...
One of the weirdest copyright cases in the history of photography is finally over. The courts have sided with photographer David Slater and rejected PETA's claim that the monkey who took the infamous selfie has any claim over the photograph's copyright.
In his latest video, Ted Forbes of The Art of Photography shares his thoughts on how equipment nowadays is seen less as a means to an end, and more as the end in and of itself.
The latest update to Lightroom Classic CC brought with it a slew of major bugs, including some that would cause the program to crash. Adobe has now released an update to address these bugs, along with an apology.
The new drives come in the M.2 form factor and with the latest PCIe Gen 3×4 lane interface, offering NVM Express (NVMe) bandwidth. In other words: they're an interesting option for anyone editing large batches of photos or 4K/8K video.
Photographer Alexander Gee has created something pretty cool: the first (to our knowledge) E-Mount film camera. It's called LEX, and when it's finished, Gee intends to make the camera's design files open source so that anybody can built their own from scratch.
Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a low-power HD video streaming method that could eventually allow tiny, maybe even battery-free wearable cameras to stream high definition video.
Nikon Corporation has warned investors that an assessment of its Belgium-based metrology business based is worth much less than expected, and that they should brace themselves for an 'extraordinary loss' of 10,343 million yen.
In 2009, photographer Michael Benanav joined a family from the nomadic Van Gujjar tribe on their annual journey from the lowland jungles of the Shivalik Hills to the alpine meadows of the Himalayas. This is the story behind the images he captured.
NVIDIA's Content-Aware Fill competitor is getting better and better. A new demo from shows how the latest version can fill in entire chunks of a person's face, or pieces of an image that are missing, with incredibly realistic results.
This hacked Polaroid Sonar Autofocus 5000 puts a digital spin on instant photography, but not in the way you're used to seeing. It's one of the most ambitious and well-executed DIY camera projects we've seen.
Chinese smartphone manufacturer Meizu has launched a new high-end model, the Meizu 15 Plus. And based on specs alone, the phone is well-worth a closer look for mobile photographers who are open to buying from a less established brand.
Open source photo editor GIMP is a popular (and free) Photoshop alternative, but can it really be used on a professional edit? In this video, photographer Shane Milton shows you that it most certainly can.
Photographer Jolyon Ralph pit the new Huawei P20 Pro against his beloved Canon 5DS R, and was "somewhat stunned" by how well the 40MP smartphone performed against the 50MP DSLR.
Thanks to a low-res proxy version of the Insta360 Pro 8K footage, stitching times and computer processing requirements are reduced significantly when editing 360° footage from the six-lens system.
DxO Labs has filed the initial proceedings to start the bankruptcy process in France. The company is currently under "judicial administration," which allows it some time to restructure and find a buyer before the liquidation process occurs.
SmugMug has acquired struggling photography site Flickr for an undisclosed sum, with CEO Don MacAskill promising to give the neglected photo sharing service "the resources that it deserves."
YouTube channel Filmmaker IQ has put together a very interesting, technically detailed, and scientifically accurate description of exactly how various image sensors (and photographic film) work. One of the best overview videos we've seen.
In Part 1 of his series on photographing Greenland in winter, landscape photographer Erez Marom shares the freezing details of his arrival on the town of Uummannaq where the temperature was -25°C. Still, he went out shooting.
The APO-Makro-Plasmat 105mm F2.7 is Meyer Optik's latest Kickstarter lens revival, and it promises "natural sharpness, unbelievable color reproduction, and a glowing bokeh united at every step of the aperture" ... whatever that means.
The update also comes with "post-scan cloud processing," which allows you to render 3D models with 4K resolution textures for better detail and realism.
Chinese accessories brand Meike has announced it will introduce an 85mm F1.8 lens for Canon and Nikon full frame DSLRs that will feature autofocus. This will be the company’s first AF lens.
The World Photo Organization has finally revealed the overall winners for the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards, including the coveted Photographer of the Year, Open Photographer of the Year, Youth Photographer of the Year, and Student Photographer of the Year winners.
Venus Optics has unveiled four new lenses that will ship later this year: a wide-angle zoom for Sony FE, a circular fisheye for Micro Four Thirds, a wide-angle lens for the medium format Fujifilm GFX, and a 2x Ultra Macro for multiple full-frame mounts.
The One Backpack is a 5-in-1 modular backpack that can be used as a camera bag, work & gym pack, suit carry backpack, travel pack or tech-backpack.
This highly-specialized lens is perfect for sports, action and wildlife photography. Check out these first sample images for a taste of what it's capable of.
For KFC Hong Kong’s latest ad campaign, New York City-based advertising agency Ogilvy and Mather used Photoshop to magically morph pieces of flaky fried chicken into fire and smoke in various scenes.
The Android and iOS app from Surpuba AR lets you place animated 3D models in real-world environment using augmented reality technology. You can alter poses and location, insert lighting equipment, and more... right from your phone or tablet.
Under the agreement, the two companies will work together to develop Oppo's smartphone camera roadmap, covering optical zoom, depth mapping and other innovative imaging features that dual cameras allow.
Canon is jumping into the portable printing game with the new IVY Mini Photo Printer: a rechargeable battery-powered printer for creating 2x3 prints and stickers of your smartphone snaps on-the-go.