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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 9:53 am 
Thanks, so I guess having an external white balance sensor isnt all that helpful! Thats why we have manual white balance and shoot raw for the most part lol.

I found the high iso images and am trying to compare them-- but would like other peoples' opinions.... what do you think, which looks cleaner, the e620 or the e520? To my eyes, the e520 high iso images look cleaner (especially in the shadow areas where the e620 seems to have more chroma noise and smudging of fine detail)... if I had to guess, I would say the e520 is cleaner by one stop (iso1600 on the e520 is about as clean as iso800 on the e620). Here are the links:

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Olymp ... oise.shtml

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Olymp ... oise.shtml



I still want to get the e620 because of the tiltable lcd, but I dont know if I will be using it in high iso applications-- like, for example, IR photography:


olympus e-520, iso1600, natural mode, manual exposure, all other settings on default-- no tripod (thanks to IS):


http://gi73.photobucket.com/groups/i206 ... 0878ir.jpg


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 10:00 am 
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Hi Alex, I made a note about the different exposures in the high ISO noise page...

"The actual exposures for the 100 ISO samples were four seconds, two seconds and 3.2 seconds for the Canon, Nikon and Olympus respectively. Since all were taken at f8 under the same lighting conditions and the image brightness as measured by Photoshop is roughly similar, this gives an indication of each camera’s relative sensitivity"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 3:08 pm 
A-L-E-X wrote:
if I had to guess, I would say the e520 is cleaner by one stop (iso1600 on the e520 is about as clean as iso800 on the e620). Here are the links:

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Olymp ... oise.shtml

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Olymp ... oise.shtml


You are quite correct, IMHO. We've been doing a lot of analysis of this in the DPR forum, and it appears that Oly have shifted middle grey down by one stop from ISO 200 upwards - sort of like Canon's "highlight tone priority", but you can't switch it off. The upshot of this is that it (and the E-30) have one stop more highlight range from ISO 200 upwards, but the noise floor is also one stop closer to the midtones. Hence your observation that they are about one stop worse in noise performance than Oly's previous generation is very much on the money. A big mistake on Oly's part IMHO - they should at least have made it switchable like Canon does.

Anyway, I wanted to once again thank Gordon for his uncommonly fair review of the 620 (I have posted similar comments in the feedback section). As I said there, I think the conclusion of his review is an object lesson in how to fairly and accurately state the relative pros and cons of each system. Once again, well done Gordon!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 3:44 pm 
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I've long been tempted by the E-620 but noise remain the main issue for me. Retail presence of lenses and XD/Compact Flash support to a lesser degree.

There's also the issue of prime lenses which, I find, there's no good option with Olympus. But that could change in the future:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/genotypewriter/3602286954/

Part of me is also waiting to see how good their upcoming m4/3 DSLR-type camera will ne (not the compact E-P1, though I am curious about that too) and what will happen with the legacy of Zuiko lenses Olympus has built. I don't expect them to dump everything, but will Olympus introduce new lenses like Panasonic did specifically with the G1?

I know there's always something new just around the corner, but with DSLRs, I feel it's important to carefully and patiently shop around since you're buying into a system you're likely going to stick with for years to come. It's almost like choosing between Betamax and VHS in the old days. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 4:01 am 
i haven't had any real issues with the auto white balance on my e3 in natural light. it's mainly flourescent and some tungsten where it has issues. it's good to have something white on hand to do a one touch white balance when necessary.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 4:03 am 
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Thanks ljmac! (and good analysis too on the shift)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 5:24 am 
In regards to the shift, it's been said that one can replicate in the 620 the "look" of the 410/510 for ISO200+ by shooting RAW with EV+1 and then developing the RAW data with EV-1.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 6:24 am 
Thanks everyone-- I must say that this site is chock full of information, and very fair and unbiased as well. From reading the review, I can really tell what the image quality of the camera is in real world situations-- not just some random test chart that has little to do with the kind of photography we all do (although the resolution chart is a useful comparison between cameras, I really like the landscape pictures, which show what that resolution means in the real world.)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 6:30 am 
These gallery images are really interesting also-- I was looking at the iso 1600 image of the church and the crop at the bottom, and the e620 does look more noisy, and underexposed compared to the e520 image. That Raw fix might be just what is needed to bring these images up to par, but I also think Oly would have done well to stick with 10 MP... we all know more megapixels mean more sales, but I like to think that purchasers of Oly are a bit more knowledgable than that.

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Olymp ... ages.shtml

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Olymp ... ages.shtml

BTW, have you guys seen the images of the Oly micro 4/3 cam leaked onto the net? It looks like a P&S lol, personally I would have liked a cam with more options like the way Panny has done with the G1 and GH1 (but a bit smaller in size), hopefully the pics leaked onto the net are just their lowlevel micro 4/3 model, and they have something a bit more advanced in mind for the "midrange."


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:21 pm 
Regarding how to "fix" the E-620 (and E-30) tone curve shift, try this:

1) Shoot with low key gradation. This deepens the shadows, so it sort of does the opposite to auto gradation, making them appear less noisy.

2) Boost the exposure by 2/3 or (probably even better) 1 EV. The wonderful new feature on the E-620 (and E-30) that allows you to set a permanent exposure shift across all shooting modes is very helpful for this.

The exposure boost is needed to compensate for the fact that low key underexposes a little and has darker midtones as well. You should end up with similar shadow noise levels to the previous generation Oly DSLRs, while still retaining some of the extended highlight range of the new ones. Try it!

Oh yes - if you shoot with this method, you shouldn't have to do any compensation in RAW processing, and it will work with JPEGs straight out of the camera.

(Note that I don't have an E-620 myself to try this, but I suggested this in the DPR forum and a few people responded that it works very well).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:55 am 
Thanks, and actually I also shoot with low key + 0.7ev with my e520.

Also, I notice that this is what people are trying to do to get the tone curve of the 420/520 back. However, if people who have a 420/520 want the highlights of the 620, is there a way to shift the curve to match the 620 with a 420/520?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 6:16 am 
BTW dpreview just posted their Oly 620 review-- You just have to employ some trickery to find it ;) Hint: its in the Canon 500D review-- I went directly to the noise test and the e-620 results are in there. Its noise seems to be higher than any of the other cameras tested-- blah.

I have a feeling their official review will be up soon, since they wouldnt have posted the test results already in a different review, unless it was almost done, theyre probably just writing it up.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 6:24 am 
The review is sort of mixed. Yes, noise levels are high, but according to these tests, the Oly 620 has even more DR than the e-30 (9.2ev vs 8.9ev)!
Noise (quoted from the Canon 500D review)

From a noise and NR point of view there's very little difference in real terms between any of these cameras up to ISO 400. At ISO800 the first hints of chroma noise start to appear on all cameras apart from the D5000 which, in typical Nikon fashion, is heavy on the chroma noise but allows some luminance grain to creep in.

At higher sensitivities the Nikon produces a cleaner image (notably less chroma noise) than the 500D while in terms of detail retention both cameras are more or less on par (the 500D has more detail to start with, and is visibly better at ISO 1600, after which point it all gets evened out by noise and NR). The Olympus follows at quite a distance behind the leading duo with visibly more noise and detail blurring.
Dynamic Range (quoted from the same review)

Dynamic Range compared

The EOS 500D is slightly lagging behind the competition in terms of highlight range in JPEGs. Both the Nikon and Olympus have almost a 2/3 EV advantage over the Canon. To a large degree this is due to the default tone-curve applied to the JPEG output but nevertheless at standard settings the competitors produce more highlight detail than the 500D. All in all though there is not an awful lot between these cameras with the best performer, the Olympus E-620, producing just 2/3 EV more than the Canon (most of this being at the shadow end). As the graph below clearly shows the EOS 500D is almost identical to its predecessor, with the only significant difference being a touch less highlight range.
Camera (base ISO)
Shadow range

Highlight range

Usable range
Canon EOS 500D -5.1 EV 3.4 EV 8.6 EV
Nikon D5000 -4.8 EV 4.0 EV 8.8 EV
Olympus E-620 -5.3 EV 3.9 EV 9.2 EV
Canon EOS 450D -5.1 EV 3.6 EV 8.7 EV


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 6:54 am 
I love how dpreview underplays the excellent DR performance of the e620... when the e420 and e520 were 2/3 ev behind the Canon they were screaming to high heaven, but when Oly is ahead, this is what theyre saying:

All in all though there is not an awful lot between these cameras with the best performer, the Olympus E-620, producing just 2/3 EV more than the Canon (most of this being at the shadow end). As the graph below clearly shows the EOS 500D is almost identical to its predecessor, with the only significant difference being a touch less highlight range.
--


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 Post subject: They are babbling...
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 8:11 am 
Quoted from the Canon 500D review:

Dynamic Range compared

The EOS 500D is slightly lagging behind the competition in terms of highlight range in JPEGs. Both the Nikon and Olympus have almost a 2/3 EV advantage over the Canon. To a large degree this is due to the default tone-curve applied to the JPEG output but nevertheless at standard settings the competitors produce more highlight detail than the 500D. All in all though there is not an awful lot between these cameras with the best performer, the Olympus E-620, producing just 2/3 EV more than the Canon (most of this being at the shadow end). As the graph below clearly shows the EOS 500D is almost identical to its predecessor, with the only significant difference being a touch less highlight range.
Camera (base ISO)
Shadow range

Highlight range

Usable range
Canon EOS 500D -5.1 EV 3.4 EV 8.6 EV
Nikon D5000 -4.8 EV 4.0 EV 8.8 EV
Olympus E-620 -5.3 EV 3.9 EV 9.2 EV
Canon EOS 450D -5.1 EV 3.6 EV 8.7 EV

I already covered the "just 2/3 ev more" part, but now I have to quibble with their assertion that "most of this is in the shadow range." HELLO-- the e620 beats the DR of the 500D by 0.5ev in the highlight range and 0.2ev in the shadow range. Their own test results contradict their words.


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