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E-PL2 not on par with old D40 !?!?!

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by gbouchar, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. gbouchar

    gbouchar New to Mu-43

    Hi.

    I am on my first week of ownership of a brand new E-PL2 with kit lense and up to date firmware. Very nice little camera. Bought it for an up and coming 1 year long bicycle trip in South America. I wanted a small but able camera.

    1- Unless doing snapshot, i can’t shoot very long without a view finder. I would have to buy a VF2 or VF3. I may need a longer reach lense too.

    2- I have not get the hang of overiding AF when using S-AF-M.

    3- I am used to my old D40 colors and find the E-PL2 pretty dull. I have found a working setupfor me in Rawtherapee to get colors i like tought.

    4- The biggest one and i will have to take a closer look to it but yesterday i made side by side landscape picture with the E-PL2 and my old Nikon D40 (APS-C sensor from 2006 and kit lense). In Rawtherapee, the D40 is better. The E-PL2 one seem soft. I was In aperture priority at 1/320s on each camera. F11 for the E-PL2, F13 for the D40, handheld (D40 is steadier against my forehead). Maybe the D40 profile in Rawtherapee sharpen and not the one for the E-PL2? Maybe comparing JPG would be another way of testing? What could i do to test it?

    I was told the E-PL2 would be better than the D40 even if its sensor is smaller (several years younger). Lenses were supposed to be equal. The E-PL2 is an easier camera to travel with for sure but since i do mainly landscape, i’d like to get as nice picture as possible so i could go back to the D40 at worst.

    What do you think?
     
  2. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    The DOF of m43 is more naturally shallow than an APS-C sensor. f/11 on the EPL2 is way beyond the point of diffraction, and is likely the main reason for the softness. Shoot at f/5.6 or f/8 at the most. Which lens were you using? If you are using the kit lens that comes with the EPL2, then that's the mZD 14-42 ii. I couldn't find a resolution chart, but if you use the SLRGear widget http://slrgear.com/reviews/zproducts/olympus14-42f35-56m2/tloader.htm you can see this lens actually peaks at f/5.6 at 14mm wide, and drops after that, becoming much software at f/11.

    Also, with apologies, but the EPL2 is a model that is now I think going on 3 years old itself, and the sensor in that camera is about 6 years old. The EPL2 should outresolve the D40 by virtue of higher mega pixels, but at base ISO, the D40 will have cleaner (though lower resolution) output, and possibly more dynamic range. DXO Mark says the sensors are nearly identical, so perhaps the edge goes to the EPL2 based on the 2X resolution: http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Ca...rand2)/Nikon/(appareil3)/229|0/(brand3)/Nikon

    Any new m43 camera (G5, GX1, EPM2, EPL5 or OMD) will blow away the D40 sensor, but not as much the EPL2.

    At any rate, if you fire the EPL2 at f/5.6 and the D40 at f/8 you will have equivalent DOF on both, and it would be a better comparison (or EPL2 at f/8 and D40 at f/11, but you really shouldn't need to stop down more than that on either camera. They are not full frame, so you don't need f/16 or f/22)

    On color -- earlier Nikon DSLRs had saturated OOC color. It has since been scaled back a bit in the newer DSLRs. I never used a D40, but I understand from reading Nikon posts that the color was pretty saturated, but the EPL2 can be configured for good color with a good lens. Not sure I'd put the kit lens in the category of a good lens, though. It lacks contrast, IMO, and the colors are cooler. But the jpg engine is very configurable.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. metalmania

    metalmania Mu-43 Veteran

    244
    Jul 19, 2012
    NYC
    kit lens, “F11 for the E-PL2". Don't do that. As for color, check out the E-PL2 image thread. The in-camera JPG engine is so good.
     
  4. gbouchar

    gbouchar New to Mu-43

    Forgot to tell i was at ISO 200 on both. I will keep in mind not going over F8. In fact, i forgot it since i read it here. Picture i have seen on the E-PL2 thread are awesome.
     
  5. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    Make sure to turn Gradation to Normal (not Auto). Don't underexpose. Stick to f/8 or f/5.6 as others have suggested to improve sharpness, and turn Noise Filter to off at low ISOs. For colors, Natural or Vivid JPEGs should be pretty good. Also be sure to disable Keep WB Warm in the menus.

    The D40 is a nice camera, but I'd be very surprised if you got nicer JPEG output from it than the E-PL2 when both are configured optimally.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. metalmania

    metalmania Mu-43 Veteran

    244
    Jul 19, 2012
    NYC
    I remember "Keep WB Warm" option is not in E-PL2 menu. E-M5 has this option.
     
  7. gbouchar

    gbouchar New to Mu-43

    Please take a look on my website for pictures i am comparing.

    They are SOOC JPG. Color is very different but i am used to D40 colors. What can i do in camera to get comporable colors? EPL-2 JPG seem as good (sharpness) to me as D40 JPG. Like you said, EPL-2 JPG engine seem very good. I may have to tune my Rawtherapee setup (any .icm profile for EPL-2 somewhere?) to get what i am looking for when using RAW.
     
  8. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    The E-PL2 has a bit of a magenta cast, which is obvious in your pictures. In the Olympus menus, the JPG color settings can be changed to remove some of it. In a RAW converter, the magenta and blue & cyan saturation sliders can be adjusted to get the color balance much closer to the D40.
     
  9. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    White balance is dramatically different. Perhaps experiment with using a custom WB (using one-touch WB) or Sunny/Shady instead of Auto on the E-PL2? You can also use the WB fine tune option to push things to be more blue and less purple.
     
  10. M4/3

    M4/3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    713
    Sep 24, 2011
    Instead of using Auto WB, select Sunny (5300 Kelvin). In the picture mode menu make sure gradation is set to Normal (not Auto) and if you want crisper detail select Sharpness +1. If colors are still too warm as compared to the Nikon adjust the WB to -2 Amber and 0 Green or -1 Amber and +1 Green.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Spuff

    Spuff Mu-43 Top Veteran

    652
    Dec 5, 2010
    Berkshire, UK.
    You can set the chequered button to toggle between AF on and off.
     
  12. gbouchar

    gbouchar New to Mu-43

    Raw now

    I have done some fast tweak into Rawtherappe and get this. Mainly less red and more blue. Pushed black a little bit. A bit of contrast and saturation. No sharpening for the EPL2. May have some into the nkx-d40.icm profile (i don't know if it is possible). I saved the tuning as a starting base. I forgot to tell i had an UV filter onto the D40 but none onto the EPL2. I am pretty happy with the result.

    I will try your suggestions for tuning JPG in camera now.
     
  13. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Texas
    Keep this in mind.
    The D40 has a CCD sensor whereas the E-PL2 has a CMOS sensor.
     
  14. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    I would suggest setting the AWB adjustment to A-1 & G+1.
     
  15. gbouchar

    gbouchar New to Mu-43

    Tried this yesterday and it seem to work for me.

    Thanks!