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-510 (RAW) vs. Sony Alpha 100 (RAW)

Olympus E-510 (RAW)
Sony Alpha 100 (RAW)
2,837 (3648 x 2736)
2,552 KB JPEG (3504 x 2336)

Removing any differences in image processing (by using the same RAW processing engine) we get a better view of the actual image captured by the sensor. Both camera's images look better with clearer detail and edge definition - and none of the sharpening halos we see in JPEG. There is still noticeable clipping of the highlights, but this is something you can control a lot more easily in RAW mode. Using these settings we didn't see a huge difference between the E-510's RAW and JPEG output, though the results are undoubtedly cleaner, have better demosaicing and show a little more noise (and visibly more texture).