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 4.2 (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.

Panasonic DMC-L10 (RAW) vs. Olympus E-510 (RAW)

Panasonic L10 (RAW)
Olympus E-510 (RAW)
3,035 KB JPEG (3648 x 2736)
2,837 KB JPEG (3648 x 2736)

Removing the camera's JPEG processing reveals a much bigger difference in the underlying quality of the captured image being captured. The L10's sensor is obviously capable of capturing significantly better 'per pixel' detail than the E-510 (which bodes well for the E-3 if, as we suspect, this is the 'improved' sensor we've been told it uses). Whether this is down to a lighter anti-alias filter, better microlenses or a combination of both we can't say, but the result is simply superb.

ACR's default settings still produce slightly cool reds and there's still a slighly harsher than we'd like cut off of highlights, but there's no denying this is a small, but significant step forward for the Four-Thirds sensor.

As mentioned earlier, as the pairs of crops below show the JPEG output is also doing the kit lens no favours; although it's nowhere near as impressive as the result from the 50mm f2.0 Olympus lens, shooting in raw (and developing using the parameters above) reveals a visibly better pixel-level resolution and sharpness. Click here to download the full kit lens / raw studio shot (converted to JPEG)

Kit lens, Camera JPEG Kit lens, ACR Raw.