EM-1 Mk III Hi Res: a test shot.

peterwgallagher

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I picked up an EM-1 Mk III, to my surprise, from a photo retailer (Ted's) in a local Mall. They were surprised they had one in stock: so was I, but they matched the best price in AU so I bought it. Of course the first thing I did was try the new hand-held hi-res.

It's neat! The new I.S. system seems to be wonderful. The shots were sharp and, although taken inside on a gloomy afternoon at ISO-6400 (on 'auto') were surprisingly free of luma noise.

But the point of my post is to let you look for yourself. I imported the shot into LR and lightly processed the RAW (.ori .orf) but left the JPEG alone. I was really surprised how good the JPEG is. But sort of disappointed in the RAW file. Although modestly sharpened and with a bit of 'clarity' and 'contrast' the RAW looks fuzzier, to me, than the JPEG. Look, specifically, at the background patterns in the banknote.

Maybe this is because LR does not yet have a camera-specific demosaic routine for the Mk III. Maybe it is using the M1X camera profile.

I attach a couple of 100% crops (screen-shots from LightRoom).
 

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Growltiger

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You say you processed the ORI file. You do realise that the ORI file is NOT hires. The ORF file is the hires one.
 

peterwgallagher

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You say you processed the ORI file. You do realise that the ORI file is NOT hires. The ORF file is the hires one.
Oops... Sorry. My mistake. As the title of the screenshot sugggests, it was in fact the .ORF that I processed in LR (including sharpening, but not much. No noise reduction). Thanks for picking this up.
 

Growltiger

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I think you probably just need to try a bit more sharpening in Lightroom. See what you need to do to make it match the JPG from the camera.
Olympus do such a good job with the hires JPGs there may not be much point in using the ORF.
(I'm not sure you can trust screenshots from Lightroom or PS, only some zoom ratios render exactly on the screen.)
 
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peterwgallagher

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I tried additional sharpening, of course, Not a big help. Clarity, local contrast and HSL twiddling does a better job. But there are offsetting consequences. The OOC JPEG is very good, as you point out. But, of course, it lacks the detail of the RAW (especially in the shadows, e.g. in the note transparency windows). I’m wondering if a better de-mosaic might have produced a better raw result. But I haven‘t had an opportunity to test other de-mosaicing software except Olympus Workspace and there I haven’t figured out how to access the .orf file (it seems to show only a JPEG and an .ori). More work to do.
 

Growltiger

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Are you using the latest version of Workspace?
Try making a folder with just the hires ORF file in it.
 

Mack

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I was playing with a ORF file and found that the SOOC JPEG seemed to be the best route.

The image made off the ORF as made with RawDigger showed it to be low contrast, distorted, and not sharp, much like RAW (i.e. Log) unprocessed video files.

I then put the RAW ORF through DxO Photolab 3 and that took care of the pincushion distortion of the 12-100mm f/4 Pro lens, but still lagged a bit in sharpness so I ran it through Topaz DeNoise AI as well as Sharpen AI. That sharpened the image further and smoothed out the noise, but color and contrast seemed less than from DxO Pholab 3 by doing so.

The SOOC JPEG seemed best overall with color as well as correcting the pincushion distortion of the lens. Might be too contrasty for me with the shadows getting crushed (Seems normal for Olympus, imho.). The camera's internal JPEG engine does a good job and anything we do to the RAW file with other editors and how they process the ORF file can be pot luck - i.e. perhaps Olympus knows best.


Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 

peterwgallagher

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I've done a bit more testing of HHHR shots in LR and am more and more inclined to think that the softness of the OMD ORF files compared to the JPEGs has to do with the current LR demosaicing of ORFs.

I won't fill this thread with test images but here's the summary of what I've found so far:

1. "Standard" sharpening for me of ORFs is a typical low-radius-high-amount 'unsharp' using a radius of 1.1 and an amount of about 70 with 25 detail (default) with no masking. I sometimes use, instead, an approach that involves a stronger 'de-convolution' sharpening by selecting a high-radius-low-amount setting. I set the amount to 30 or so and the radius to 2.6. I also increase the detail setting quite a lot to 50 (or more) and add masking at about the same amount.

I found that on several HHHR files the 'de-convolution' sharpening improved the apparent definition of detail.

2. I sent an unsharpened LR file to PS and used the FocusMagic plugin. Typically, FM suggests a setting of '2' for out-of-focus sharpening of ORFs. In these cases it suggested '4'. There was a marked improvement in perceived sharpness of small details in the ORFs processed this way. I note that FM uses a de-convolution sharpen.

3. I processed the ORF raw in Iridient's O-Transformer with a setting that defeated LR sharpening but applied the standard ("default") Iridient sharpening in it's place that apparently includes both edge-sharpening and de-convolution methods. Without any additional LR sharpening, the Iridient DNG was noticeably sharper than the LR ORF.

My tentative conclusion is that something about the LR de-convolution routines at the time of de-mosaicing are not (yet?) well adapted to the HHHR ORF files.
 

pdk42

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I've done a bit more testing of HHHR shots in LR and am more and more inclined to think that the softness of the OMD ORF files compared to the JPEGs has to do with the current LR demosaicing of ORFs.

I won't fill this thread with test images but here's the summary of what I've found so far:

1. "Standard" sharpening for me of ORFs is a typical low-radius-high-amount 'unsharp' using a radius of 1.1 and an amount of about 70 with 25 detail (default) with no masking. I sometimes use, instead, an approach that involves a stronger 'de-convolution' sharpening by selecting a high-radius-low-amount setting. I set the amount to 30 or so and the radius to 2.6. I also increase the detail setting quite a lot to 50 (or more) and add masking at about the same amount.

I found that on several HHHR files the 'de-convolution' sharpening improved the apparent definition of detail.

2. I sent an unsharpened LR file to PS and used the FocusMagic plugin. Typically, FM suggests a setting of '2' for out-of-focus sharpening of ORFs. In these cases it suggested '4'. There was a marked improvement in perceived sharpness of small details in the ORFs processed this way. I note that FM uses a de-convolution sharpen.

3. I processed the ORF raw in Iridient's O-Transformer with a setting that defeated LR sharpening but applied the standard ("default") Iridient sharpening in it's place that apparently includes both edge-sharpening and de-convolution methods. Without any additional LR sharpening, the Iridient DNG was noticeably sharper than the LR ORF.

My tentative conclusion is that something about the LR de-convolution routines at the time of de-mosaicing are not (yet?) well adapted to the HHHR ORF files.
Thanks so much for this post. I've similarly been very unhappy with Hires raw files in LR in the past. It's one of the reasons why I hardly use hires (that and the need for a tripod - HHHR on the mkiii would fix that of course). I found by trial and error that increasing sharpening radius was more effective than just cranking up the amount - which you've confirmed.

Maybe I'll try the FM plug in.

Super post - thanks again!
 

peterwgallagher

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... Maybe I will offer some comparisons, after all. These are screen-shots of a 100% crop from a lightly processed HHHR I took this afternoon in gloomy light of the UK Coat of Arms on an old Court House in Brighton (Victoria, AU). The only difference in first four the examples is the sharpening. No Luminence noise reduction has been used. The last example is an ORF file de-mosaic'ed by Iridient O-Transformer with no added sharpening or noise reduction.
 

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CyVan

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I've done a bit more testing of HHHR shots in LR and am more and more inclined to think that the softness of the OMD ORF files compared to the JPEGs has to do with the current LR demosaicing of ORFs.

I won't fill this thread with test images but here's the summary of what I've found so far:

1. "Standard" sharpening for me of ORFs is a typical low-radius-high-amount 'unsharp' using a radius of 1.1 and an amount of about 70 with 25 detail (default) with no masking. I sometimes use, instead, an approach that involves a stronger 'de-convolution' sharpening by selecting a high-radius-low-amount setting. I set the amount to 30 or so and the radius to 2.6. I also increase the detail setting quite a lot to 50 (or more) and add masking at about the same amount.

I found that on several HHHR files the 'de-convolution' sharpening improved the apparent definition of detail.

2. I sent an unsharpened LR file to PS and used the FocusMagic plugin. Typically, FM suggests a setting of '2' for out-of-focus sharpening of ORFs. In these cases it suggested '4'. There was a marked improvement in perceived sharpness of small details in the ORFs processed this way. I note that FM uses a de-convolution sharpen.

3. I processed the ORF raw in Iridient's O-Transformer with a setting that defeated LR sharpening but applied the standard ("default") Iridient sharpening in it's place that apparently includes both edge-sharpening and de-convolution methods. Without any additional LR sharpening, the Iridient DNG was noticeably sharper than the LR ORF.

My tentative conclusion is that something about the LR de-convolution routines at the time of de-mosaicing are not (yet?) well adapted to the HHHR ORF files.
I have no idea what you said but it sounded suitably impressive and I appreciate your efforts nonetheless :biggrin:
I wonder how Capture One manages them?
 

Ranger Rick

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When first introduced, I remember reading from a reputable source that Olympus was not recommending using LR with files from the new camera. Not sure why that was (perhaps the RAWS were not supported, or the issues discussed above, or...). I only remember it because it surprised me, these not being Fuji X files.
 

peterwgallagher

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Thanks for the information. Any thoughts on the Olympus jpeg version? How does the Oly version compare to your raw efforts.
The OLY JPEG version of the HHHR files is very nice indeed. I'm not a JPEG shooter but I'd be happy to show the JPEG out of the camera: lovely OLY colors and excellent sharpness. However... It's an 8-bit JPEG (as they all are) and compressed. So excellent for the screen in sRGB and fine for most prints given the pixel density but not very editable.

The RAWs have so much more information, especially in the shadows (see my top post). Also, HHHRs will have a problem I'm guessing with blown highlights since they are composite images. I'd prefer to have the option to slightly underexpose and compensate in post.
 

ArizonaMike

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I've done a bit more testing of HHHR shots in LR and am more and more inclined to think that the softness of the OMD ORF files compared to the JPEGs has to do with the current LR demosaicing of ORFs.
I have no reason to think that you are not correct as I have always found that the HR raws were soft compared to either the HR jpg or a resized version of the standard raw, and that kept me from using the HR functionality in my M1.2 for a long time.

However when preparing to buy a second camera I checked the HR raws on the dpreview reviews of the PEN-F and M5.2 and found that they were much sharper than those that I took and, in fact, as sharp as the normal raws (which were also available for download). I have never been able to understand why the HR raws from the dpreview review were so much sharper than those from my M1.2 or the M5.3.

My understanding is that the camera takes several photos, offset from each other, and then combines them into a single HR image so perhaps it has something to do with the quality of the lens used although I would think any good lens was capable of resolving the normal raw images which is what the HR process uses.

Do you have any view on this?
 

hoggdoc

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... Maybe I will offer some comparisons, after all. These are screen-shots of a 100% crop from a lightly processed HHHR I took this afternoon in gloomy light of the UK Coat of Arms on an old Court House in Brighton (Victoria, AU). The only difference in first four the examples is the sharpening. No Luminence noise reduction has been used. The last example is an ORF file de-mosaic'ed by Iridient O-Transformer with no added sharpening or noise reduction.
Sorry but to me none of the images show the Coat of Arms to be really focused sharp, it just seems off a bit to me.
 

peterwgallagher

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Sorry but to me none of the images show the Coat of Arms to be really focused sharp, it just seems off a bit to me.
Fair enough! It was a background element in the shot. The shot is a 16mm wide-angle from about 20m (to the wall). At f7.1 the Zuiko 12-100mm f.4 produces images that are uniformly sharp at that distance when taken as single shots. This one looks softer, I agree: that's my point.

Neither LR nor the Iridient demosaic software I used has been updated for the Mk III. The Iridient (unsharpened here) and the LR with sharpening by Focus Magic in PS are the best of the lot in my view.
 

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