Olympus E-300 EVOLT Review
The E-300 has a fairly comprehensive range of image parameter adjustment, five levels for each of contrast, saturation and sharpness. These in combination with selectable color space and the new 'gradation' option which adjusts overall image brightness.
Image parameter adjustments
- Gradation: Low Key, Normal, High Key
- Contrast: -2, -1, 0, +1, +2
- Saturation: -2, -1, 0, +1, +2
- Sharpness: -2, -1, 0, +1, +2
The E-300 features a new image parameter called 'Gradation', it provides the ability to change the brightness of the image to either low key, normal and high key. The E-300 manual describes this setting as "Lets you select the brightness of the entire image. Suitable when you want to produce a brighter image for a bright object and a darker image for a dark object."
Adjusting the tone alters the shape of the 'S curve' used to map the linear image data captured by the sensor into the correct gamma. 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.
Color saturation adjustment
Saturation adjustment allows you to control the strength of color in the final image. As you can see from the crops below the latitude of adjustment is quite strong. If you prefer your color a little stronger out of the camera the +1 setting works well without over-saturating.
The E-300's default sharpening is a fairly good balance between sharp detail and pushing noise too high. One thing we did note were some 45 degree artifacts from the camera's demosaic algorithm, the visibility of which is obviously higher as sharpness increases.
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