Above is a comparison image taken on an Olympus E-P2 fitted with the 14-42 KIt Zoom. Its a combination I like using, and while as far as kit zooms go its a decent one, I wanted to see whether I could get a little more "bite" out of it.
In terms of the overall look, as you can see the camera jpg and the Photoshop version are similar in terms of tone and contrast, colour is slightly different, but not by much. The Rawker version has much more shadow detail, and has a flatter look with less contrast. Both Photoshop ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) and Rawker were used at their default settings.
When examined close up, the camera jpg has a very processed look. Not very sharp but with little noise. The Photoshop version is much smoother and again has little noise. The Rawker version is sharper but with a fair amount of colour noise. I've included a version where I've used the Rawker version and done some selective noise reduction on the lighter shadow area. For this combination I much prefer the Rawker version. Colour noise is relatively easy to clean up. I'm impressed with the shadow detail and the sharpness. I'm actually quite surprised at how well this lens performs when the files converted from raw in Rawker.
Whether you regard sharpness or lack of noise as the most important is a personal preference. I'm prepared to accept a few moire artefacts to get the wonderful crispness of the Leica M9 for landscape and travel shots but like the smoothness and lack of noise from my Canons for portraits, weddings and indoor pictures. Certainly I like the results that I get from this Olympus combination using Rawker and I've done a couple of days shooting with this. As discussed in yesterdays post I won't be upsizing these files anymore and at their original sizes they look very good indeed. Using Rawker means a bit of post-processing is necessary here and there, but I'm happy to do that, particularly as the raw processing itself in Rawker is actually very quick. Not for everyone obviously, but another alternative for me to consider.
The following are all with the above lens/camera/software combination.
There is some burn out in the clouds in the above shot.
Photoshop would handle this much better.
Words - D
Images - D & A