View Full Version : Recommendations for E3 Raw Development?

Jim Ford
20th December 2007, 10:22 PM
I was quite satisfied with Photoshop CS2 and Adobe Camera Raw when using my E500 - I even bought Bruce Fraser's book to mug-up on it.

Now I've got an E3 I've got to start again! I don't think I can justify the cost of CS3 in order to use the version of ACR that supports the E3.

I understand that the pro version of Bibble has a plugin for the E3 with CS2. Is this a economical alternative?

I've tried Master 2, and whilst it's miles better than Master, it's still pretty basic compared to ACR.

Has anyone any other suggestions, please?

Jim Ford

20th December 2007, 11:21 PM

I've tried a few, and the one thing I can guarantee, is that there isn't "one" developer that is the best.

Currently my "turn to" software is Studio 2, but I also make use of Silkypix. Just today I upgraded my LE version of Capture One to version 4, which has E-3 capability as well.

Studio2 seems to capture more detail in the mid-tones, has the Oly colours, good noise reduction, and a neat shadow corrections tool. But every now and then I lose some highlights. Silkypix is nearly as good with the colours and detail, but slightly better with highlights. I didn't like the colours with ACR I'm afraid. and its too early to tell how good the new version of Capture one is.

I would try the trial versions of Studio and Silkypix - might take a bit of effort comparing them, and its not scientific.

I think it comes down to personal preference. I tend to go for results, but some people put things like batch facilities/speed of use higher in their priorities.


21st December 2007, 09:24 AM
One option is to use the free Adobe DNG convertor http://www.adobe.com/products/dng/ to turn E-3 raw files into DNG which can then be read by Adobe Camera Raw (even older versions such as CS2).

I saw some info recently, can't remember where, which suggested that tests done on this approach showed it didn't cause any reduction in final output quality.

Jim Ford
21st December 2007, 10:06 AM
One option is to use the free Adobe DNG convertor http://www.adobe.com/products/dng/ to turn E-3 raw files into DNG which can then be read by Adobe Camera Raw (even older versions such as CS2).

I saw some info recently, can't remember where, which suggested that tests done on this approach showed it didn't cause any reduction in final output quality.

Thanks, this looks like the way I should go - I'll give it a try.


21st December 2007, 10:17 AM

As I have posted before I am a big fan of Silkypix.I realy like the colors it gives especially now they have release a full version that supports the E3.I also like the speed of it when you change a parameter not like master when you seem to wait an age for it to change anything.
Also very good batch processing on it you can do your changes and mark them for developing push the button and go and make coffee etc.

All the best


art frames
21st December 2007, 10:24 AM

Please would you post on your experience at trying this as I am in the same position. I have tried Silkypix and Lightzone and at the moment (posted in Foto Fair on the results) I and am thinking I will upgrade to CS3.

I really miss the facilities and integration of ACR with other programmes on the MAC. If the DNG conversion is possible and easy then it sounds a part solution. I am sure Adobe will have made it less attractive than the upgrade.


Jim Ford
21st December 2007, 05:16 PM
I've tried Adobe DNG Converter and it works fine. DNG images seem to me to be the way to go anyway - it's an open standard and camera manufacturer independent. So I shall first convert my Olympus RAW files to DNG and use the CS2 version of Adobe Camera Raw to crop, adjust exposure, brightness etc. then finally sharpen and print in PS CS2.

Jim Ford

22nd December 2007, 07:45 AM
Hi Jim,

LightZone supports DNG, and also has a fine E-3 native RAW converter - I will keep my RAW files as .ORF (I read that DNG is potentially another sneaky Adobe trick, and not necessarily an open standard at all) - but sometimes convert a batch of .ORF's to DNG via PhotoAcute for its' superresolution, noise free output.

If I need speed with quality, I go with Bibble Pro, but I'm not so keen on the Bibble blues - much prefer Studio or LightZone.

I'm afraid you have to find your own path with RAW conversion... if I'd spent more time learning Silkypix, that would be well worth adding to the mix, but as it is, LightZone, Bibble Pro and Studio 2 all get used depending on the job.

p.s. the learning curve is considerable, whichever converter you choose... but LightZone has been the best investment of time for me, it's a fantastic PP tool.

Kind Regards


22nd December 2007, 07:56 AM
I must admit that I am very happy with my current version of Lightroom1.3 - the only problem of course is that Adobe RAW now needs CS3 which I don't have and feel it is unjustifiable to upgrade to at the moment for me from CS2.

So the only limitation is that I cannot open RAW files in CS2, but so far my (not too complex) workflow hasn't been affected by this so I am presently going to stick with what I have.

22nd December 2007, 08:11 AM
Hi John,

I'm just looking through your photo blog... great work, it was interesting to see the shot on the tube, those are the kind of looks which make people very reluctant to get their camera out in public... but I'm inspired to push a little beyond my comfort zone if it means getting anything approaching the quality you're achieving.

My favourite so far is your high key portrait 'Look into my eyes' - beautiful PP work also, you're obviously not too limited in your setup!

Kind Regards


22nd December 2007, 08:21 AM
Many thanks Brian for your kind words, much appreciated.

The shot of the people on the Milan tube I found interesting because even though I was using Live View on the E-3 with the reticulated screen, one can see the chap on the left looking at me still, and the chap on the right looking slightly down at the camera - that's what drew my eye to that particular shot.

I did take some more when walking through the tube, not sure they had the same impact, but have some keepers if you want to take a look at 'em!

Thanks again for the comments... seasons greets to you.

22nd December 2007, 08:24 AM
Yes please! let me know if you get them up online to view :)

I mean it, I'm inspired to take my camera for my last minute dot come shopping trip soon! at least that way I can combine pleasure with torture, lol

Kind Regards


22nd December 2007, 08:49 AM
OK then... here goes - not nearly anywhere near the same impact as the one I already posted, but shows 'some' of the mood I made an attempt to capture.

1 - Wished for a slower shutter speed here which would have made for a much better impact with the moving train. Managed to get the RoT right though :)


2 - Quite quiet at another location... trains were quite full, but the stations were sort of empty!


3 - Even the walkways were empty too!


4 - Captured this on the way into one station - what caught my eye was an attempt to get the RoT correct with the pillars. Sort of pleased with the unusual cluttered effect I ended up with. Nothing too good, but OK'ish!! I find the car (bottom left) a little distracting though and may remove it.


I have more but they are 'players' really and I've only been messing with them. That's what I find with urban/street/candid stuff - I am really very very new to this subject, and don't have a high % of keepers - it's more experimental. Whereas with portraits, especially with sittings, I have a much higher keeper % rate.

I am finding that this type of photography does interest me, and again perfectly illustrates the beauty of our joint hobby - the huge and diverse range of subject matter there is to freely experiment with... I love it, still learning, but very much loving it.

22nd December 2007, 09:40 AM
Thanks for that John, I really like the first shot... yes it could have been a slower shutter speed, but the composition is the kind of thing that really appeals to me, very good timing!

Thanks for sharing, the E-3 is a great cam for shooting waist level... either with or without using the viewfinder ;)

Here's one from my recent scouting trip to York :

Kind Regards