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View Full Version : Sorting out the 620 on a rainy day


snaarman
21st November 2009, 04:18 PM
So: I have had a week or more to get to grips with this E620 and I thought I would report on progress, and compare it with the E510 that I still use.

Look and Feel. Its better made and more satisfying to use than the E510, and having the information display below the image in the viewfinder is a big improvement. If the actual viewfinder image is larger, then it is not obvious really. While 12Mp may be better than 10Mp, once again the improvement is marginal. The swinging screen is a great idea and full of creative possibilites, and looks sharper to me. However the anti reflection coating shows finger marks a whole lot more than the E510 screen. In general the camera feels faster in use.

However I did trip over a couple of oddities when I compared image quality. I use raw files exclusively, so the next bit may not interest you.

I import from both cameras via Adobe DNG (its the only way to get E620 raw files into CS3) and then read the DNG files into Adobe Camera Raw. Its fiddly but it works OK. I generally set the Colour Balance to the preset ACR "Daylight" setting with the E510 and it seems fairly close most of the time. However using Daylight for the E620 produces a very different result, I get a mild pink cast to every image. This has proved so annoying that I was forced to learn about Settings in ACR this morning :-) So, courtesy of this very flat grey weather and a white card I made myself a set of custom "Daylight" settings for both 510 and 620. Yes, it turns out the 510 and 620 do need quite different temperature and tint settings to make the white target white again. Interesting eh? Hopefully this will help get my colours accurate.

I also had a nasty moment when it seemed the E620 images had more noise than the E510. I did some very careful menu checking and discovered the 510 was set to -2 sharpening - so I replicated that on the E620* Further I found that ACR applies different preset adjustments (including sharpening) for different ISO settings ... but more than that, ACR applies different settings for each ISO for each camera it encounters! There I discovered that ACR was sharpening the E620 ISO200 files but not the E510 ISO200 files. So - once I had got myself a very level playing field I believe I can get similar results out of the two cameras. However I still feel the 620 may have slightly more noise in the image than the 510 below ISO800, but it is probably slightly cleaner at 800 and 1600.

The Headroom on the E620 may well be better than the E510, and if you habitually "expose to the right"** and then use ACR to recover the highlights, then the results with the E620 are less prone to colour shift than those from the E510.


OK, there you go. If I have any further observations I will add them as they occur to me. Hope this helps...

Pete

*I am assuming that sharpening actually affects raw files. Maybe it doesn't.

**no rude jokes.

StephenL
21st November 2009, 04:26 PM
It would only affect Raw images processed using the defaults of Olypus Master or Studio, as these products "take" the camera setting and apply it. Raw images processed in Photoshop/Lightroom are naturally unsharpened.
Unless I'm talking rubbish, which is not unheard of!



I am assuming that sharpening actually affects raw files. Maybe it doesn't.

snaarman
21st November 2009, 04:29 PM
It would only affect Raw images processed using the defaults of Olypus Master or Studio, as these products "take" the camera setting and apply it. Raw images processed in Photoshop/Lightroom are naturally unsharpened.
Unless I'm talking rubbish, which is not unheard of!


OK, I suspected as much - I guess I could do a test and confirm it :-)

Pete

EH1
21st November 2009, 05:00 PM
I`m sure Stephen has got this correct! *yes

oly_om
21st November 2009, 05:10 PM
Check you have gradation set to normal, not auto, or your exposures will be off, even shooting RAW.

Andy

snaarman
21st November 2009, 05:53 PM
Check you have gradation set to normal, not auto, or your exposures will be off, even shooting RAW.

Andy

Oh yes. I sorted that one out immediately :)

In fact, as an experiment I have dialled in +0.5 EV exposure shift on CW metering applied globally (its somewhere down near the end of the big menu structure)

This is because, in identical circumstances, the E620 seems to underexpose a scene compared to the E510. There is some evidence at DXOmark that the ISO sensitivity is not quite correct. The end result is you end up applying more gain in your raw converter which can raise the noise levels. So I figure its better to up the exposure and reduce the gain later if you have to... Time will tell.

Pete