Hi Res question

ArizonaMike

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I own an Oly M1.2 and have been seeking help in deciding on a second camera to go along with this one. The responses I got about the M5.2 and the PEN-F were extraordinarily helpful and, as part of that, I decided to download some of the sample photos for both cameras from dpreview.com just to compare them.

When I downloaded the photos I noticed that I could also download the High Res photos from both cameras in raw format so I did that, not just to compare the image quality but to make sure my software could handle both images. It was the high res images that surprised me, so let me explain before I ask my question.

My M1.2 does 80MP high res shots but I have never been impressed with the results. They were always a little blurry and I don't mean "just a little". They were blurry enough that I got better images blowing up the regular 20MP raw image to 80MP using my photo software than what I got using the high res functionality. I was very careful taking them, using a tripod and going to the extra trouble of both using an external shutter release and making sure that the camera was set for an image delay before starting the HR sequence to allow any camera shake to dampen out. Still, the photos were never good enough to actually try to use, so I gave up on it.

When I downloaded the high res images from dpreview both (from the M5.2 and the PEN-F) were almost tack sharp which made me wonder if the issue with my photos was something I was doing or something I was using. Are there any special settings to use when taking high res photos? Or things I should unset? I use the stabilization functionality when taking these photos. Should that be turned off? Also how important is the lens? I had used the Olympus 300mm which I assumed was good enough, but I noticed that dpreview used a Leica lens for these photos. Perhaps my lens was not up to the quality needed?

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

Machi

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I meant hi-res file but hi-res and normal photo of the same scene would be even better.
 
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The stabilisation function is disabled in hi-res mode because the sensor needs to be shifted as part of the process.
You need good glass to take full advantage of hi-res mode.
Your 600mm equiv lens will have to be nailed down - the tiniest movement will ruin your hi-res photo.
 

ArizonaMike

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Here are 2 photos. One is a 1:1 crop of the high res raw photo and the other is a 1:1 crop of a resized image from the original sized raw photo.

The high res photo was just cropped and output by Dxo's PhotoLab3 with only the standard processing. That is, I added nothing myself. Any changes came from the standard preset used by PL3.

The resized photo came from the standard raw image which was resized by Topaz software and then output using the same standard processing of PL3. I tried to create crops that were the same so they could be compared.

1) High Res Photo

OLY00003.jpg
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2) Resized photo

OLY00003_resized.jpg
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The shot was taken on a good solid tripod with a rock bag used to help keep it stable. As I recall I used a remote to take the photo and it was set up to allow for several seconds before it started taking the image. Of course the focus point was set on the sign. This is typical of the shots that I get from the high res functionality on my M1.2.

This particular shot was taken with my 12-50 which is one of my favorite lenses, given its light weight and small size, but I have had the same issue with the 300mm and the 40-150 F2.8, both of which are PRO lenses.

I do wonder if the 300mm lens is too long for high res photos considering how much larger the image is compared to what I would get from the 12-40 or one of my primes. I will redo this test tomorrow in my backyard using a prime to see if it makes any difference. Any suggestions as to the cause of this would be appreciated. I was thrilled to be able to take high res photos when I first bought the M1.2 and very disappointed when I saw the end results. Of course it could all be me and my lenses or setup.
 

3dpan

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Hendrik

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Were they shot from the same vantage point? I recently did an experiment involving Pen-F Hi-Res which may be found here. Note that the image made with the O30 Macro is a crop from the Hi-Res image and is at least as sharp as the standard-res image made with the O60.

On another occasion I used the Pen-F Hi-Res to image some ceilings in Spain. You may find this here. The post directly following, Shooting the Nasrid Ceilings, describes the process I used to get the images.

I have used Hi-Res on the E-M5 II, as well. I can't see what other settings might interfere with proper operation of the Hi-Res function. I have to admit that the result you are getting from your E-M1 II, if the process used is reasonable (including the tripod), makes me wonder if there isn't something awry with the individual body.

The tripod does make a difference. I normally use a tank of a thing, an old Leitz Tiltall. On one occasion I was traveling with a light Sirui fiberglass pod and got slightly softer results from the Pen-F than I cared for. The combination of a stiff wind, even though I was only shooting at half-extension, and the O17 1.8 probably made pixel peeping at 100% less satisfying than I might have wished, but it will still make a fine, large print. Next time I'll use the 12-40 or 12-100. Live & learn.
 
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IMHO, you must make sure the camera/lens is rock steady at 300mm in order to get optimum results. I believe this is the #1 criteria to achieve the best results with hi res shot
A 300 mm lens has a large cantelever which, if it vibrates, will ruin a hi res shot.
 

Tywais

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The pixel pitch of the E-M1 II is 3.36 microns. Pixel shifting moves it half that so 1.68 microns movement. With a long zoom nearly any movement will exaggerate the image position on the sensor. Just a car driving by or slight wind could move the image off pixel. Since image stabilization is off it can't correct for the small vibrations. Perhaps try some lenses with short focal length like the 12-40mm pro if you have it.

//edit - for reference the average human hair width is 100 microns. :)
 

Growltiger

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Take out some of the variables.

1. Start by using the 12-40. A pro quality lens with good resolving power. And it isn't an extreme telephoto subject to tiny movements.

2. Find a rock or concrete slab or a granite kitchen work surface. Stand the camera directly on it. That eliminates the vibrating tripod.

3. Use a 2 second delay.

Now repeat the tests. I bet you will see the hires shots have much more detail and all that blurriness is gone.
 
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The only way to get blurred Hi-Res images is handheld or when there are movement in the scene.
I tried the EM5 II, the Pen F and the EM1 II and never had strange images I thought was not usable because the camera failed me.... Me making mistakes...yes that happens often.... :)
Try again, read the great advice you will receive on this forum, your experience should change 100%
 

pdk42

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A few comments:

- If you use raw files, the hi-res output needs a lot of sharpening in post-processing. Default sharpening in LR etc will make the images look quite soft.

- Hi-res needs a very stable platform. Using it with long lenses like the 300mm is never going to be reliable IMHO.

- As well as the problems with stability using long lenses, atmospheric shimmering will likely mean that any advantages of hi-res will be lost if you're shooting things at a distance.

I find that hi-res works very well with wide-normal lenses, but TBH I don't use it much. Normal res is plenty good enough.
 

RAH

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I recently got an E-M5III. I did some test shots with hi-res and got excellent results. Here are 2 100% crops of the jpg results from standard and hi-res shots (using Oly 45mm 1.8 lens). (This is an inkjet print I made of the DPreview test shot from a very hires Sony camera; any noise you may think you see in the E-M5III shot is more likely the grains of the print itself, NOT digital noise).

I agree with people who say you are probably having trouble because you were outside and there is minute camera vibration. I am a little unhappy to see your results because I was thinking that hi-res mode might be useable for landscapes. Probably not, I guess, although perhaps with a lower-focal length lens, taking a picture of say a mountain instead of the detailed view you did?
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Machi

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I think that your blurry results match one thing which was already mentioned by @pdk42 .
It looks like the shimmering of the atmosphere.
This normally affects mainly long focal lenses but hi-res mode works practically as long exposure and then it can also affects wide angle lenses, especially when one is shooting scene immediately above ground at hot sunny day.
It's easy to test this.
Try to use hi-res mode inside house ideally at very short distance (and not close to the heat sources).
If hi-res mode works correctly then you should obtain good results.
 
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ArizonaMike

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Were they shot from the same vantage point?
When you take a high res shot with the M1.2 you get multiple images from the single shot - high res and normal jpgs and high res and normal ORF files. These are all from the same single shutter press so the images I posted were all from that same shot.

The resized image was made from the normal ORF file, resized to 80MP and the high res was made from the high res ORF file, also 80MP. So the answer to your question is Yes, both images were taken at the exact same time and so are from the same vantage point.

The tripod does make a difference.
I used a full size tripod with a reasonably heavy rock bag attached to stabilize it. I have a remote shutter release which I use to make sure that manually pressing the shutter release does not move the camera and I also made sure that I had a several second delay built into the sequence. It does not seem to matter as I have never gotten a good shot from the high res functionality on the camera.

You can see how much better the resized image is compared to the high res image, based just on the text on the sign. I have wondered ever since I got the camera if there was something wrong with how the high res functionality was working but I had no way to get it fixed except to send it back to Olympus and that would leave me without a camera. I just operated on the assumption that the high res functionality was a "gimmick" and not to be taken seriously until I looked at the quality of the high res image in the dpreview review of the PEN-F and the M5.2. Those were tack sharp and that is the reason I opened this thread.

There is also the question concerning how good a lens has to be to make the most of the high res functionality. The posted images came from a 12-50, which is a low cost lens, but one that I really like, and the high res images from both my 40-150 PRO and 300 PRO show the exact same softness. All of this has become important to me since I am thinking about buying a second Olympus camera so that I am not constantly switching lenses between birding and walk-around.
 

ArizonaMike

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you must make sure the camera/lens is rock steady at 300mm
The posted images were taken with the Olympus 12-50mm lens, not the 300mm lens. I tried to make sure the camera was as steady as possible by using a stable tripod, a rock bag and a remote shutter release, but I still ended up with a poor image.
 

ArizonaMike

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Try to use hi-res mode inside house ideally at very short distance (and not close to the heat sources).
I am going to try this now. The problem inside the house is that there is little light but I can use a prime and see how the results compare.
 

Growltiger

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The 12-50 is not a good lens for this (I have one which I no longer use). Hi-res can't improve an image that does.t have a higher resolution from the lens in the first place.
 
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