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.
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