Olympus E-500 EVOLT Review
Olympus Studio 1.3
Olympus Studio is the optional $150 'professional' image workflow application. It provides a fairly wide range of workflow, browsing, organization, conversion and output features including more advanced RAW conversion that you find in Olympus Master. Olympus Studio has four primary modes; Browse, View, Light Box and Edit. In addition there are a range of other features available from toolbar buttons and menu options.
In browse mode a typical thumbnail index is shown in the center of the window, a browsing folder tree on the left and (if enabled) the properties pane on the right which includes a histogram and shooting information for the selected image. Browse mode is the starting point for all other functions within Studio. Note that each thumbnail has a red, yellow and blue tag, these can be selected on the thumbnail to help to group images together for sorting. Additionally you can also place images into 'collections' (either A or B) by selecting one or more image and clicking on the A or B button at the bottom of the window. Images in collections can be manipulated as a group.
Double click on an image or click on the View toolbar icon to enter View mode, by default you get a large size image taking up the majority of the window and a column of thumbnails down the left side which allows you to quickly switch images. You can also enable the properties pane (as shown above). In this mode you can zoom in and out of the image and scroll around it.
Light Box Mode
Light Box allows you to quickly compare two or four images in a split window, the magnification and scrolling of images can be linked together which makes it easy to pick the best out of two identically framed shots.
Transfer Images does exactly what it says on the tin, it allows you to transfer all or some of the images from the connected camera or a card reader. You can configure it to delete as it transfers and also to create folders based on the shooting date.
Studio's Edit mode is the heart of the manipulation and development of the application. Switching to Edit mode displays the selected image in the entire window space, by default two floating windows also appear; Image Processing Bar and the Proprieties window (same as seen above).
Edit Mode Image Processing tools
Studio provides no less than sixteen different image processing tools, each represented by a button on the Image Processing Bar, you can enable or disable each via the tick box on the button, change options for a tool by clicking on it. Note that the 'RAW Development Settings' option is only visible for RAW (.ORF) files and that it provides the same set of features as the alternative 'RAW Development' mode. When working on a RAW file you can think of the other adjustments as being applied after the RAW engine has 'developed' the image. Place your mouse cursor over one of the tool buttons (below) to see its options.
If you want to develop a RAW file into a JPEG or TIFF without using any of the other 'Edit' features you can simply use the 'RAW' option on the toolbar. This launches the 'RAW Development' window which has a simple layout, image on the left, histogram and controls on the right. The main difference between Studio and Master here is the availability of the 'High Function' engine which produces noticeably better results than the 'High Speed' engine, you also get color space selection, noise cancellation and false color suppression (moire removal).
- RAW Development Engine (High Speed, High Function) *
- Digital Exposure Compensation (+/-2.0 EV in 0.1 EV steps)
- White Balance (shooting, Kelvin 2000 - 10000 K, Gray Point and Fine Tune)
- Contrast (-5 to +5)
- Sharpness (-5 to +5)
- Saturation (-5 to +5)
- Color Space (sRGB, Adobe RGB, ProPhoto RGB) *
- Noise Cancellation (0 to 10) *
- False Color Suppression (0 to 10) *
One last feature of Olympus Studio is the ability to remotely control the camera over USB to work in a 'tethered' fashion. In this mode you can control settings and trigger exposures, the images from which are transferred back to the computer. Unfortunately this release of Olympus Studio didn't appear to be compatible with the E-500, you can see how it should have worked in our Olympus E-1 review.