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Barr1e
28th April 2009, 08:41 AM
I know this subject has been raised before but time has passed on and users must be more proficient with its use.

I have only shot RAW once but now feel it is time to use it continually coupled with j.peg.

I use Elements 7 for my processing which I enjoy using, however I have read users of Studio recommend the Olympus program - especially as our Oly cameras use a similar engine to the program.

What do members of the forum a) think b) use themselves and why - and c) if they use Studio what settings are useful please.
I am looking at value for money as I've worn my pockets thin due to the purchase of some fine Olympus equipment for Anne and I.

Regards. Barr1e

knikki
28th April 2009, 11:05 AM
I use Olympus Studio 2. It came with the E3 and I eventually bought it.

Before that I used to import stuff in the PS CS2, but I had to first convert the ORF files to DNG files so CS would open them. All though Adobe ACR was ok, compaired to the Studio I found it a fairly simple tool.

I did try Bibble (little less money than Oly Studio) as a friend raved about it. However I did not like the ergonomics and interface plus it seemed to be doing things to the image, like it had set defaults out of the box.

I eventually bought Studio 2. It is big and you can do lots with it ~note to self go explore more~, it can do batch conversions of images, create albums, print, do contact sheets and loads of other stuff. The thing I like about it is you can open to images see the orginal then as yuo apply changes, to can compare and contrast as the image is processed. Great for things like WB changes, Tone curves, Exposure adjustments etc

I run Studio on a Mac but I find it slow to process images and the Help pages are not well written. It can save images out to a variety of formats, so if saveing as a 16bit TIFF file you will need space. There big.

I can't recommend any settings as I tend to select and fiddle on an individual image, don't use Batch conversion system. Once done I then do any other prossesing in CS2.

I like it but it is slow to use sometimes.

OlyPaul
28th April 2009, 01:25 PM
Barrie I have never been a fan of the Oly software and use Lightroom for all my processing now.:)

Graham_of_Rainham
28th April 2009, 02:18 PM
I know this subject has been raised before but time has passed on and users must be more proficient with its use.

I have only shot RAW once but now feel it is time to use it continually coupled with j.peg.

I use Elements 7 for my processing which I enjoy using, however I have read users of Studio recommend the Olympus program - especially as our Oly cameras use a similar engine to the program.

What do members of the forum a) think b) use themselves and why - and c) if they use Studio what settings are useful please.
I am looking at value for money as I've worn my pockets thin due to the purchase of some fine Olympus equipment for Anne and I.

Regards. Barr1e

Having too much time on my hands, I have done a lot of testing of various software that can display, edit, convert, etc., the ORF files. I have even installed the codex that supports these files and allows Windows Live Photo Gallery to display them.

I use a variety of editors, as each has advantages for doing certian things. For super fast, simple edits (crop, straighten, etc) and resize for web use then FastStone is very good. For realtime B&W filter effects Picassa3 is excellent. For all the serious editing (Layers, cloneing, retouching, etc.) I always use PS Elements.

However having only Elements 4 the ORF files from the E-3 can't be imported so I have had to come up with a workflow that will allow me to first of all view the files and then convert those that I want to edit in PS.

This is where a lot of time was spent testing different options, one of which was the use of Studio 2.22. I put together a series of images that were shot in Raw+Jpeg at various Jpeg settings (Pixel count and Compression) then used these to compare the conversion quality of the various softwares.

Long story Short - The Olympus Studio 2.22 came out top for converting ORF to Jpeg with (as expected from what Ian said) the results looking the same as the jpeg that come out of the camera. It's not quick, but neither am I, so I simply work in a tea break :D

What was the payback for all this effort. I now have a workflow that i'm happy with, the E-3 (and others) are now set up to RAW + Jpeg with the jpegs set to 1024x768 so they can be used on and with anything for previews, selections etc..

There are a few occasions when I convert to 16bit TIFF or DNG but that is usually only if I'm using a heavy crop and printing to A3

As for settings used, that really will be down to personal choice and I change them a lot depending on the type/style of image I want to produce

Hope this helps

HughofBardfield
28th April 2009, 02:25 PM
Tried Studio/Master. Found them clunky and slow, and didn't like the interface.

I only shoot RAW, and Lightroom is my software of choice, not just for RAW processing, but also for its organisational features. Some people don't like it, however, or the results from the Adobe Camera Raw processing engine.

However, free software that will perform the same tasks just as well is available. You can't get better VFM than that! For eg, I use Raw Therapee from time to time as a Raw processor, as it has highlight recovery options that Lightroom lacks (based on a different engine). I'm not up to speed on UFRAW, but it used to be pretty good, and is also free.

Lightzone is also very good, especially for those who grew up using the "Zone" exposure system - costs money, but free demo. I especially like it for B&W. Don't know how up to date it is with the latest Oly cameras.

A number of people on this group swear by Faststone as an image browser and viewer. I use XnView for quick and dirty file surveys, particularly of images on cards before I assign them permanent library space. Both are free.

Much is made of the "Olympus colours" from Studio/Master (ie the processed files look like Oly JPEGs), but I have seen Lightroom "Develop Presets" that seem to successfully mimic these colours. Personally, I think Oly's software is overpriced, and the only real benefit is tethered shooting if you do a lot of studio work.

250swb
28th April 2009, 03:54 PM
I recommend carrying on with Elements 7 Barr1e. It uses the same ACR 5.3 as Lightroom and CS4, and this is a much more powerful RAW processor than Studio/Master.

Not only is Studio slow but I think it is very crude in what it does, although it makes superficially nice looking images appear from Olympus cameras. The Standard profile in ACR works quite well, but I think you should work towards creating your own Preset which will not only match the typical Olympus image results that Studio can give, but do it faster, with more sophistication, and with more control.

Steve

Barr1e
28th April 2009, 05:43 PM
knikki, Paul, Graham, Hugh and Steve -

Many thanks for your contributions - I'm grateful for the time you have spent putting your thoughts together and down on paper, so as to speak.

There is a lot to think and digest.

I guess I must shoot a few RAW images and use Elements 7 to see if I can get on with RAW. As I mentioned I had only shot in that mode once and used Oly Master to process and didn't like it.

If I succeed in what I'm after it looks like Lightroom or Lightzone.
Unless Olympus have an offer on and then I might like clunky. :)

Again many thanks for your time.

Regards. Barr1e

Barr1e
28th April 2009, 08:06 PM
Hi -

This site looks useful to those using Lightroom.

http://www.lightroomkillertips.com/

Regards. Barr1e

OlyPaul
29th April 2009, 09:08 AM
Barrie, the really big benifit of Lightroom is that you can do so much in it ,and with what is called vitual copies you make many different versions that can be printed or exported for the web with out ever having to make another actual file unless you want to.

For example here you have the original raw file and a edited vitual copy that only takes up a few killobytes extra to the original file but can be printed from or a web image made from with out ever having to make another file.

So instead of a 12mg raw plus a 30mb tiff copy I would normaly need all I need now is the 12mg raw plus 200kb virtual copy which you can stack in lightroom so less storage space and less copies to back up are needed.

And I find unless I need to do major manipulation I can do 95% of my editing in Lightroom without ever having to produce another large file.

All done in lightroom..orig raw and virtual edited copy.

http://www.pbase.com/paulsilkphotography/image/111907957.jpg

stevednp3
29th April 2009, 12:42 PM
In all fairness I like the Studio software, I purchased it a while back for my 410 so that I could control the camera via the pc, which helps a lot for taking product shots.

I recently upgraded to a e-30, the software needed an update, but still works well in my opinion, I do however only use it for the camera control and raw processing, all other work i use photoshop cs4.

Barr1e
29th April 2009, 07:56 PM
Hi Paul -

Thanks for the further explanation - most enlightning.*yes Appreciated.

Many thanks for your input too Steve.

Regards. Barr1e

DavidJ1609
1st May 2009, 09:06 AM
I searched before posting and found this topic.

From Adobe Camera Raw 5.3 with e-400 profile apparently included:

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/755/P4270094.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/14721)

and Olympus Master:

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/755/P4270094_Oly.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/14722)

The Olympus master is much more accurate and for converting RAW files will now be my choice. The colours are exactly what I recall, and on the camera display.

1) Is there a lightroom preset that will match the Olympus Master output or, for my current workflow, a preset for Adobe Photoshop CS4?
2) I only take 2 or three shots of any subject generally, and lightroom seems to be for professionals who shoot hundreds and batch-process them because they are all pretty much similar. Am I wrong?

DavidJ.

250swb
1st May 2009, 09:02 PM
Am I wrong?

Yes, pretty much. ACR works for individual images as well as batch processing. You don't need to ask for a Lightroom Preset, just create your own. Looking at your two pictures I agree the 'Master' version looks a tad better in the reds, but the ACR version wins in every other area of the photo (look at the subtly in the shadow areas). So instead of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, try to bring the reds down a touch (perhaps half a stop less exposure, or a little less saturation etc), and when you have it, save it.

Steve

DavidJ1609
2nd May 2009, 03:54 AM
Yes, pretty much. ACR works for individual images as well as batch processing. You don't need to ask for a Lightroom Preset, just create your own. Looking at your two pictures I agree the 'Master' version looks a tad better in the reds, but the ACR version wins in every other area of the photo (look at the subtly in the shadow areas). So instead of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, try to bring the reds down a touch (perhaps half a stop less exposure, or a little less saturation etc), and when you have it, save it.

Steve

I don't think I'm throwing the baby out with the bathwater. That's why I am asking for advice here. *chr

I only just started using Olympus studio after using ACR for a long time. I saw instant results that looked better. I'm no expert, and need guidance.

Looking at the tree in the r/h/s top of the picture, the ACR has different detail on the tree. (I can't recall the real colour) I'm not sure about the shadows. The Olympus seems to have captured good detail. What am I missing? Where/how should I judge? I know this is important, as people often can see post-processing/colour casts just by looking at a picture.

My thinking, as an amateur, is that if Adobe get the colours so wrong with a built-in profile, how can I trust the rest? I *d0* use Adobe photoshop for all other work.

I am *always* open to suggestion and ways to improve my understanding of photography. It's easy with feature-rich subjects to get a good (Not brilliant) shot:

http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/lh/photo/_PCQe7cWhcaPocDyfnzRyQ?feat=directlink

http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/lh/photo/-vEFPGM-lf68nB_7YZyx3w?feat=directlink

http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/lh/photo/JCp0r8hYmcA1OjMtET6nhQ?feat=directlink


And not so easy with a simple subject like these flowers, from which I never got a satisfactory picture. Others can take a picture of a flower and make it look so amazing and detailed.

Thanks for the response, though. I will try and find a book that covers Lightroom from a beginners perspective.

DavidJ.

250swb
2nd May 2009, 07:45 AM
My thinking, as an amateur, is that if Adobe get the colours so wrong with a built-in profile, how can I trust the rest?

It depends what you mean by "so wrong". There is a lot of subjectivity in this aspect of image making. Many people describe the wonderful 'Olympus colours' that you get by using Master or Studio. But in never using the words 'natural colours' it sort of implies a step sideways from reality that is found acceptable by using the Oly software. And you will find similar differences in interpretation with all RAW converters. If anything I think ACR gives more natural colours, but if your eye gets used to more saturation and contrast like Master produces, then it takes a while for your eye and brain to get back to reality.

So all I meant by saying "don't throw the baby out with the bathwater" is not to assume it is ACR that is wrong, Master and Studio can be just as far off. As you can see Master is removing some shadow detail. But with ACR you have many more controls to get the image how you want it, if you need them. As I said, its likely to need a little less saturation, or a selective reducing of the reds and it won't be far away from the Master version.

Steve

DavidJ1609
2nd May 2009, 10:41 AM
As you can see Master is removing some shadow detail.
Steve

Yes, it is unfortunately subjective. I have looked at the pictures, and cannot see where the detail is lost. This is not to say it's not, but I'd like to understand what you mean.

When processing, I am always trying to notice the shadow detail, as it can often just turn "black" and look blotchy/pixelated.

Could you crop/highlight (even by extra processing to demonstrate) to show me what you are seeing? It's like any craft, the eyes of the teacher train the eyes of the student.

Thanks in advance.

DavidJ.

250swb
2nd May 2009, 01:41 PM
Well if you look at the two photo's at the bottom left corner the ACR version clearly retains more detail than the filled dark tones in the Master/Studio version, supposing these photo's are both out of the box and I'm seeing what you are seeing on a calibrated monitor.

If there is detail (a collection of pixels that have a different tone to black), then if one RAW processor retains that information and one doesn't it is because they work in different ways. Typically an Olympus processed image loses some of the available detail in shadows and darker mid tones in order to create greater punch, vibrancy, and contrast in the images. It is an interpretation of what Olympus think most people like, and they are not far off. On the other hand ACR does look more towards the advanced photographer and assumes the opposite, that the photographer wants to be presented with the most information the photo can offer, and it is then up to the photographer to decide which he can do without, or accentuate, or alter. I am talking about the straight processed image, because obviously both sets of software allow changes by the photographer before the RAW image is processed.

Steve

DavidJ1609
2nd May 2009, 03:43 PM
Well if you look at the two photo's at the bottom left corner the ACR version clearly retains more detail than the filled dark tones in the Master/Studio version, <snip>
Steve

Well, your eyes are more tuned than mine. So, I did some tests, and I think I see what you mean.

From ACR - No adjustments at all. (All pictures resized the same.)

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/755/ACR_NoAdjust_AdobeStandard_4WebVH.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/14763)

From Olympus Master 2.11 - No adjustments at all.

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/755/OlyMaster_NoAdjust_4WebVH.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/14765)

Close up/crop 1 of ACR, then Master: (Crops of full Jpegs - not above images.)

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/755/ACRFullCrop.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/14761)

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/755/OlyFullCrop.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/14766)

Close up/crop 2 of ACR, then Master: (Crops of full Jpegs - not above images.)

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/755/ACRFullCrop2.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/14762)

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/755/OlyFullCrop2.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/14764)

It's more noticeable with the pictures matched in zoom and location side by side. Olympus Master looks "cleaner" and easier on the eye, but in fact it seems to be "smoothing" across shadow detail. When zooming around the pictures, I could see that ACR had kept more detail.

I was only noticing the "black areas" on the pictures, and thought it looked ugly. On closer inspection, it's more honest! Oh well, we live and learn!

Thanks for the feedback, and I hope this is useful for others. I would recommend using your own pictures, it doesn't take long, and of course you don't have to crop/save files - just see for yourselves.

The baby is back in the bath! ;)

DavidJ.

Zuiko
2nd May 2009, 07:47 PM
Well, from the two pictures that David has shown I prefer the Master version in both cases! Mind you, in the case of the two men playing a game I would say the results are close enough that you wouldn't notice a difference if not comparing them side by side.

As for the crops of this picture, I cannot see the loss of detail that is supposed to affect the Master version, in fact I would say quite the reverse - although this could be due to higher contrast in the Master image. One thing I did notice, there appears to be a little chroma noise creeping into the Master crops that I cannot see in the ACR versions.

Having said this, I freely admit to being somewhat out of my depth with processing. Ideally I would prefer just to take the pictures and have a computer wizz kid assistant whom I could tell want I want and leave him to get on with it, back ups and all!

One thing I do miss about ACR when using Master is highlight recovery, does Studio have this facility? If it does I might give it a go!