Olympus E-300 EVOLT Review
The E-300 is provided with two software CD-ROMs containing (Windows & Mac versions):
- CD 1: Olympus Master 1.1
- CD 2: Advanced Camera Manual (PDF)
Olympus Studio (1.2) - Optional
Olympus Studio is the optional $150 'professional' image workflow application. We gave it an in-depth look in our E-1 review (albeit an earlier version, but not much has changed). Olympus Studio extends RAW conversion functionality with the addition of the more advanced 'High Function' engine (in 'High Speed' mode the results are virtually identical to Olympus Master) as well as other features such as Noise Cancellation and False Color Suppression.
Revisions for Studio 1.2 (over earlier versions)
- Support for E-300
- RAW development now features Noise Cancellation and False Color Suppression
- New Auto Tone Correction feature
- There is now a single RAW development screen for all camera models, improving ease of use
- The new built-in RAW development engine improves the speed of RAW development
Olympus Master (1.11) Windows
Gone is the Camedia Master of old now replaced with new Olympus Master (although much of the functionality is the same). The version supplied on the CD-ROM is 1.1, selecting the Internet update function updated to 1.11 which includes a few minor bug fixes.
- Transfer Images (From Camera, From Media)
- Browse Images (Calendar, Folder, Find)
- Print Images (Photo, Index, Calendar, Postcard, Album)
- Backup Images (To HDD, To CD/DVD)
- Create and Share (E-mail, Auto Panorama, Slide Show, Wallpaper, Camera Album)
Olympus Master Plus
The 'Upgrade' option available from the main menu allows you to upgrade Master to 'Master Plus' which extends the application to support movie editing, album printing, contact sheet printing, HTML album, CD/DVD writing and more. The cost for the upgrade in Europe is €20.
When starting Olympus Master you are presented with this simple menu (which can be disabled if you prefer). It allows you to access the main functions of Master without having to use the drop-down menu system (all the features below and more are also accessible from the drop-down menus).
Obviously one of the first things any supplied software should be able to do is transfer images from the camera or a card reader. Olympus Master does this from the 'Transfer Images' option, it can transfer directly from the camera via USB or from an existing folder or card reader. If the images already reside on the computer's hard disk they can simply be 'linked' in Master's database otherwise images are copied to a preset destination folder and separated by dated folders. Upon transferring you can also automatically assign Keywords to the images.
Olympus Master's main Browse screen can display images in a variety of modes, firstly you can browse the computer's hard disk as you would with any other image organization tool. Secondly you can view your database of images, these must be 'registered' into Olympus Master, this occurs automatically if you use Master to transfer images. The Master database can be shown by Day, Month, Year or All in a Calendar view or a Thumbnail view.
|Browse: Calendar (a month in this case)|
|Browse: Thumbnail (a month but now tabbed by day)|
Select an image and click on 'View' (or double-click on an image) and it will be displayed to fit the window, the left side pane of the window switches to a thumbnail list of images from the last browse mode (day in the example below). You can also enable the properties display pane which contains a histogram, general shooting and detailed EXIF shooting information. It's worth noting that some of the 'Shooting Information' available here is from custom metadata which won't be visible in other applications. In this mode you can change the view zoom and pan around the image (as shown below). The input box below the image is for comments.
In Edit mode you can apply a fairly wide range of adjustments including rotation, cropping, area selection and movement, instant fix (automatic levels / brightness), red-eye removal, color balance, hue & saturation, tone, gamma, sharpness and distortion correction. The edited image can then be written back over the original or saved as a copy.