Compared to...

Studio scene comparison (RAW)

For a (more) level playing field for comparison we also shot our studio scene in RAW mode with each camera and converted it using Adobe Camera RAW. Because Adobe Camera RAW applies different levels of sharpening to different cameras (this confirmed) we had to use the following workflow for these conversions:

  • Load RAW file into Adobe Camera RAW (Auto mode disabled)
  • Set Sharpness to 0 (all other settings default)
  • Open file to Photoshop
  • Apply a Unsharp mask: 80%, Radius 1.0, Threshold 0
  • Save as a TIFF (for cropping) and as a JPEG quality 11 for download

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). Camera settings as per previous pages.

Olympus E-3 vs. Canon EOS 40D (RAW)

Olympus E-3 (RAW)
Canon EOS 40D (RAW)
2.8 MB JPEG (3648 x 2736)
3.1 MB JPEG (3888 x 2592)

This is an interesting comparison mainly because where the 40D's RAW output looks a lot crisper than its JPEG output, running the E-3's RAW files through ACR brings little, if any advantage in terms of detail or sharpness. Having spent quite some time with the E-3's raw files (using both Olympus Studio 2.0 and ACR) it's become obvious that this isn't a case of 'not enough sharpening', but appears to be a slightly stronger than average anti-alias filter on the E-3' sensor, which limits the potential to capture sharp detail to what you see here. Probably not an issue for most users, but something pixel-peepers might find hard to swallow.