OLYMPUS OM-D E-M5 Review - Part 12 - Raw files in Photoshop


Still no outdoors shots as yet. At the moment there is torrential rain and a gale force wind outside my window. The stream that flows through my garden has waves you can surf on and if it gets much worse I may start looking for pairs of animals.

In the meantime good news on the OM-D raw front. I downloaded a 30-day trial version of the updated Lightroom, and while I don't find it a useful piece of software for how I process, what it DOES do is let me convert the Olympus .ORF files into .dng which I can then open up in Photoshop CS6. Hooray!

Olympus OM-D E-M5 12mm f/2
Olympus OM-D E-M5 12mm f/2

And what a difference having software I'm comfortable with makes. These are good, in fact these are great. Beautiful rich colours, with a clean noise-free look. Also just look at how the tools in Adobe Camera Raw 7 allow me to control the dynamic range.

Full-size high-res. examples > click on image > flickr > Actions > View all sizes > Original 

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2 Nokton
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2 Nokton

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2 Nokton
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2 Nokton

Olympus OM-D E-M5 12mm f/2
Olympus OM-D E-M5 12mm f/2

Olympus OM-D E-M5 12mm f/2
Olympus OM-D E-M5 12mm f/2

Being able to use the best software, and forget about the jpgs. also lets me get some high ISO results that I like. Despite my best efforts I still can't get anything at ISO 12,800 or 25,600 to look acceptable to me, but at 1600, 3200 and 6400 I now can. Sure I've had to use some noise reduction and reduce the acutance somewhat, but compared to what I consider as the dreadful Olympus jpgs. these are much better for me, and keep a degree of detail. Above all the colours aren't compromised as much.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Panasonic 20mm f/1.7
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 ISO 1600


Olympus OM-D E-M5 Panasonic 20mm f/1.7
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 ISO 3200


Olympus OM-D E-M5 Panasonic 20mm f/1.7
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 ISO 6400


So, I'm very pleased with this. It does of course bring into question yet again as to why companies like Olympus bother with their pretty poor native software. Adobe don't make cameras and lenses so why do Olympus bother coming up with software? Why not let people who are capable of doing it better come up with the means to process the raw files? and exactly is Olympus's (or any other manufacturer for that matter) objection to letting the camera produce .dng files? I've said it before, and I'll say it again, if Leica trust Adobe (and Phase One in the past) to come up  with the best software to do justice to their cameras and lenses, why can't Olympus? The difference in quality I can get processing these files in decent software as compared to Olympus's dismal offering is really significant. It makes no sense to me why they bother.

My next "thing to do because its unspeakable outdoors" is to see what the improvement is between this sensor and the next most recent one I have, the 12MP version in my E-PL3. I'll get on to that this afternoon.

I'm going to decline taking up someones suggestion on google+ that I use whats happening outdoors to test the cameras sealing! It may be weather proofed, I'm not sure I am!!

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