Can someone help me decide if I should be using Olympus Viewer 3 with Lightroom? (PICS)

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by cyrax83, Jun 27, 2015.

  1. cyrax83

    cyrax83 Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 8, 2014
    Hi, so I've got an E-M1 kit. I've been using Lightroom 5 (recently 6) import into RAW and I've been generally happy with it. I noticed the noise was a bit high but I put that down to my default import profile being at 25 sharpness.

    Anyway I've read all about Olympus Viewer 3 being excellent (including Robin Wong and forums here) so I thought I'd give it a go - these are pics taken on 75mm 1.8 at 1/50sec shutter and ISO 3200 focused on nearest eye.

    My default lightroom profile:
    - Everything 0 except:
    - Sharpness 25 / Radius 1.0 / Detail 25 / Masking 0
    - Camera Calibration Process 2012 (Current) Profile Camera Vivid

    Note: The in-camera picture mode is also Vivid on the camera if that makes a different to Olympus settings. I may switch to Natural with a slight boost in saturation in the future though

    What I've done:
    1. Imported RAW into Lightroom (I use "copy" rather than "Copy as DNG" - unsure what the difference is)
    2. Imported same RAW into Olympus Viewer 3, exported as 16Bit TIFF, then imported into Lightroom
    3. Export both at JPG for Resize to fit 1024 pixels with Sharpen for Screen Amount Standard with JPG quality at 100%
    4. Export both at 100% crop

    1. Lightroom export

    2. OV3 16Bit Tiff in Lightroom export

    3. Lightroom export with Natural camera profile

    4. Lightroom export with Adobe standard camera profile (note the shirt)

    3. 100% Crop Lightroom
    4. 100% Crop OV3 16 Bit Tiff in Lightroom
    5. 100% Crop Lightroom with sharpness at 0

    My conclusion:
    1. The colours are very slightly increased in saturation in the lightroom pic on Vivid. compared to OV3 16Bit Tiff but could easily be dialed back a notch.
    2. Natural profile doesn't seem able to replicate OV3 16Bit Tiff exactly and Adobe Standard is way off.
    3. OV3 seems to go bonkers with the noise reduction and turns fine detail into mush. I've noticed this at 100% in other images also. Even with lightroom sharpness at 0, it still maintains more detail than OV3 (look under the eyelids). T

    Based on this - I can't really see much benefit in using OV3 16Bit Tiff export into lightroom.
    1. The noise reduction on OV3 is very high, turning fine detail smooth. I could always set the default profile in lightroom to have increased noise reduction in lightroom if I wanted as that is currently on 0. I'd prefer to have control over noise reduction rather than OV3 doing it automatically and reducing detail.
    2. Whilst I'll agree that perhaps the colours look the best on OV3 16Bit Tiff, it's so marginal. I could probably set the default profile on Vivid with a -5 increase in saturation/vibrance or on Natural with a +5 increase on saturation/vibrance and get similar result.

    Does anyone have much thoughts or have I missed something?

    Side note: I'd love to know what the general consensus is for Lightroom 6 default profiles
    Side note 2: Does the 75mm 1.8 look sharp? It's a second hand copy I bought so interested to know if it looks as tack sharp as the 75mm is meant to be.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2015
  2. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    First, you do know that the default settings of any RAW conversion program are not the actual RAW conversion, don't you? The actual conversion takes place when you export an image in an image format like JPEG or TIFF and all of the edits you make in the application prior to that are applied in the actual RAW conversion. The default settings are only intended to give you a starting point for adjusting the parameters to those you want applied in the actual RAW conversion.

    Second, the camera profiles are Olympus' idea of some ways to do a RAW conversion that will appeal to a lot of people. The Adobe camera based profiles are someone in Adobe's idea of what the Olympus profiles look like. The Olympus profiles aren't accurate renditions of the scene. If they were, all of the profiles would deliver exactly the same result and you wouldn't need profiles, just the accurate version as the default and only option. After all, something is either accurate or not and if there are differences between different profiles, then they can't all be accurate. One has to be more accurate than the others, at least in one way. Likewise the Adobe camera based profiles aren't identical to the Olympus camera profiles so don't expect them to duplicate the Olympus profiles exactly. They both tend to play games with colour rendition and contrast but they play slightly different games.

    I use LR and over the 3 years that I've been using it I've found myself trying other profiles and always returning to Adobe Standard which I've come to think of as actually pretty neutral and probably the most accurate of the lot, but the initial look of an image with the Adobe Standard profile and default settings tends to look flat. You have to work on the image a bit before it will start to show its best if you use the Adobe Standard profile. I know some people swear by OV3 and the Olympus profiles and others by LR and the Huelight profiles, and others by something else. It's a personal choice. Adobe Standard is the profile I keep coming back to every time I try something else.

    Third, when you export an image from one application to another you end the RAW conversion process by "fixing" the image in TIFF or JPEG or some other format. You can still edit it in the new application but there are some things you can no longer edit like white balance, for example. You also end up applying a certain amount of sharpening and noise reduction which gets "baked in" in the TIFF/JPEG and you can't change that subsequently. Yes, the sharpening and noise reduction controls in the new application will still work but not as effectively as if they were working with the RAW data rather than an image file. The same goes for a lot of other things. There are times when exporting an image to another application is necessary but you should do as much as possible with the RAW data in the first application before you export, and you should export at the highest resolution and bit depth that you can so that you give the second application as much data as possible to work with. If you have a choice between doing everything in one RAW conversion application and getting a result you like or doing some of it in one RAW conversion application and then exporting a TIFF or JPEG to another application to do the rest of your processing in order to get a result you like as well, then my preference will always be for doing everything in the single application. If you're going to export to another application for some processing, the only reason for doing so that really makes sense is because the application you're exporting to can do something the other one can't, and if the application you're exporting to can do everything the application you're exporting from can do, then you're better off just doing everything in the application you're exporting to and skipping the application you're starting with in my view.

    There's been a recent thread here started by someone asking what LR can do that OV3 can't. It can do quite a lot that OV3 can't and you may want to run a search for it in order to read all of the comments. What LR can't do that OV3 can is give you a one click route to getting images that look like the JPEGs that you can get straight out of camera. If you like that look and you don't want to do much else, then OV3 is a reasonable choice. If you aren't interested in duplicating the Olympus JPEG look and/or you want a lot more control and flexibility in your processing, then OV3 isn't the best choice in my view.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Brian Beezley

    Brian Beezley Mu-43 All-Pro

    I resize in the first program so that I can sharpen at final resolution in the second program. In fact, that's the main reason I use two programs.

  4. cyrax83

    cyrax83 Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 8, 2014
    Tanks for the great reply! As I really enjoy using lightroom, I may stick to it as the single program and skip OV3. Perhaps i'll see what people are using as their default profile.
  5. Dave in Wales

    Dave in Wales Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 5, 2011
    West Wales
    Can't really see much benefit in using OV3 16Bit Tiff export into lightroom.

    Like you, can't see much benefit either, at the moment I use LR6 an PSE13, but that's my preference.

    You may find my thread on 'Sharpening for the web' interesting
  6. Why is the masking value in Lightroom set to zero? The purpose of sharpen masking is to prevent sharpening being applied to noise that exists in areas of the image that are otherwise featureless (such as out-of-focus backgrounds).
    • Like Like x 1
  7. cyrax83

    cyrax83 Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 8, 2014
    Good tip - I've done research on masking and it seems very useful. I've updated it to 40 for default profile and will use 'Alt' and adjust it for the photos I individually process further
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2015
  8. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Probably set to zero by default because the correct setting depends on the image and you are likely to need to adjust it each time. If you're going to adjust it each time, does it matter whether the default setting is zero or something else?
  9. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    With m4/3 sensor noise at base ISO you might as well set it to a higher default for a particular body.
  10. GBarrington

    GBarrington Mu-43 Top Veteran

    I personally, am not a fan of OV3. A while back, I encountered a comparison of OV2 and Lr4, and that inspired me to do a comparison between OV3 and my current favorite, ACDSee Ultimate 8. While this comparison probably doesn't have much absolute value for the Lightroom user, I do think it sheds some light on how raw developers approach a raw file for the first time and what sort of things the developers do to the image before we ever see it displayed on screen. You might find it useful for background information. I wrote about it here

    Note that post also links to the original OV2/Lr4 comparison as well.
  11. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    If you want an alternative raw converter to the one in Lr, you can use DxO Optics as an Lr plugin. DxO will return a DNG file to your Lr library.
  12. cyrax83

    cyrax83 Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 8, 2014
    I've done some recent long exposure processing in Lightroom only over the weekend and happy with the results, didn't bother comparing to OV3

    One thing about my suggested original workflow of importing into OV3 --> Tiff --> Lightroom I realised that the Tiff file is around 90-100mb/file compared to 16mb per ORF file which means it would consume huge amounts of disk space also.
  13. Carbonman

    Carbonman Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jul 10, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    Thing is, a lot of printing places recommend TIF for best results on their printers. I'm not familiar enough with the other Adobe file formats to be comfortable with saving them instead. I obviously have a steep learning curve ahead re PP.
  14. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    When you are finished adjust the file in LR, you would export as TIFF (or jpeg). The adjustments you've made in LR are actually 'baked in' until you export it.
  15. SojiOkita

    SojiOkita Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2014
    I have the same problem with OV3 (and Olympus JPEG).
    Even setting noise correction OFF, it seems that all fine details are gone.
    (there is very low noise... but what the point of low noise if there is no detail? )
  16. cyrax83

    cyrax83 Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 8, 2014
    Yes, even noise filter is OFF in OV3 - It still applies noise correction, losing some detail. Not a fan.

    I'm not too concerned about it applying it in JPG's so I leave it on as Standard in the camera. I mainly use JPG's if I'm doing a quick transfer to friends on the mobile so not concerned about noise. RAW's I am though.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2015
  17. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    I can now give an answer to this question. I bought the Luminous Landscape videos for the LR CC/LR6 upgrade and in one of the videos Jeff Schewe remarks that the reason there is no default is that generating the mask is very computationally demanding so apparently the decision not to have a default mask setting is to simplify the computational process for the normal default settings used to generate the starting image.

    You can create a default with some level of sharpening but that may slow down the display of your starting point. Of course once you've processed the image and applied masking, it's going to need to take the time to apply that mask whenever you reopen the image in future but I guess there is an advantage to not applying a mask when displaying the image for the first time after import because you may well want to reject it, or not work on that image and skip to the next one from your last import and come back to some images later.

    Anyway, that's the reason. It's simply to speed up display of images the first time you open them if you're using the standard default settings.
    • Informative Informative x 1