I had a RAW processing epiphany tonight -- OV2

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by twalker294, May 22, 2013.

  1. twalker294

    twalker294 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 18, 2010
    OK I'm sure plenty of you are aware of this and already use OV2 but just bear with me. Since buying my EM5, I've been struggling with RAW. I've always used RAW on my Canon DSLRs and I have tried time and time again to make friends with the RAW files from the EM5 but to no avail. I just couldn't seem to get Lightroom 3 to make them look just like I wanted it to. As a result I've gone back and forth between RAW and JPG, switching to JPG when RAW gets frustrating enough then back to RAW when I get tired of not having the level of control that I am used to, and round and round we go.

    So tonight I sit down to process some photos that I took a couple of days ago at my son's awards day at school. Now the venue for this event is the school cafeteria, which isn't the best light to start with. To make things worse, the stage is even darker, there is a black curtain behind the people on stage so you have to use negative EV, etc. -- it's just a nightmare and I've never gotten decent pics. But this is the first time I've been able to shoot it with my EM5.

    So rather than using LR3, I decide to open OV2 and just see what it will do. After a bit of fiddling with sliders, picture mode settings, etc, I am presented with beautiful, perfectly exposed and white balanced photos. These photos are far and away better than anything I've ever been able to capture with either my Canon 10D or 40D, as well as better than anything I've been able to produce from the OMD using Lightroom. Using software that actually "understands" the structure of the RAW files makes all the difference. And I don't have to mess with profiles or any of that other stuff that I've been struggling with in LR3.

    Now if Olympus would just work on the user interface a bit I would be a happy camper. It produces fantastic results but man is it a pain in the behind to use. I'm used to the way LR does things and the speed with which it does them so OV2 is quite a change, but it's worth it for the final product.

    So if you are struggling with RAW output and you haven't given it a fair shake, fire up OV2 -- you might just find your silver bullet like I did.
  2. pcake

    pcake Mu-43 Regular

    May 3, 2010
    i haven't installed OV2 yet, but thanks to your post, i will be trying it.
  3. Iansky

    Iansky Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    The Cotswolds, UK
    You might want to download OV3, I have been using that for about 3 weeks and I batch process the Raw files and export them as 16bit Tiffs.

    The results are amazing but the files are large (around 96mb) each but I then use PS to add a border double check colours and convert to 8bit Tiff and also save a JPEG version.

    The only downside is the time it takes to batch process & export.

    There is a good article by a working photo who batch processes and it explains how to set it all up -

    Olympus Viewer 2 Batch Processing Workflow | Rob Knight Photography
  4. Henk

    Henk Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 18, 2010
    the Netherlands
    Olympus software has always been a PITA to work with.
    Have you tried viewer 3?
  5. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    I'm not terrible enamoured of LR's default processing - takes more work and a better understanding of what you're doing to go from the very, very 'neutral' starting point to a pleasing photograph. This isn't a bad thing, it's just the approach LR has. I prefer DxO's output - in part because its distortion and lens corrections are simply a cut above anything Adobe's done, certainly for MFT, but also for my Canon setup, and in part because I like the default colour processing, etc. Tempted to try PhotoNinja as well, which looks like an interesting alternative to me and has gotten some great reviews from landscape shooters (my particular interest).
  6. PaulGiz

    PaulGiz Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 3, 2013
    Rhode Island, USA
    RAW processing from OV3 yields great results. Straight defaults are pretty usable 90% of the time. Minor tweaking is all it takes for spectacular results. I use it at home.

    I have CS6 at work, and occasionally develop a RAW file or two through Adobe RAW. It is not as easy to get great results.

    Unfortunately using OlympusViewer 3 is still excruciatingly slow and tedious.

  7. luguidomanski

    luguidomanski Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 11, 2010
    Curitiba, Brazil
    Real Name:
    I use OV2 since I bought my E-PL1. I am using OV3 now. It is slow as hell to process a batch of images, but I love the results. Never felt like buying LR.

    I am no pro at all, and most times I only adjust exposure or wb. I think that the om-d default output is great for my pictures.

    Sent from my XT890 using Mu-43 mobile app
  8. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Real Name:
    Mike Aubrey
    How were you using LR3 at all? It doesn't even have support for the E-M5.
  9. twalker294

    twalker294 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 18, 2010
    It will read the Olympus RAW files but beyond that you're right -- none of the in camera shooting styles, slider adjustments for contrast, saturation, etc are available.
  10. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    I guess that you were using dng files with LR3. LR4 is the version that natively supports the E-M5, although whether that will produce a look that you like with creating your own presets is I can't say.
  11. twalker294

    twalker294 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 18, 2010
    I'm so glad I posted this -- I didn't even know that OV3 was available. It is a definite improvement from OV2. Still cumbersome but better and a bit faster as well. Thanks!
  12. Iansky

    Iansky Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    The Cotswolds, UK

    Viewer3 is my primary software editor for all my OMD images as I stated in my post.

    It may be slower than some others but it is definately worth the wait..........and it is free!
  13. tweggs

    tweggs Mu-43 Rookie

    Oct 18, 2012
    Seattle, WA. USA
    Just a quick 2cents from me. I've found DXO to output great files. I would say DXO and OV2 both produce super results. These outputs are much better than the ACR files.
  14. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I can't open E-M5 raw files with LR3 ....
  15. IDLookout

    IDLookout Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 26, 2012
    Northern Idaho
    I use Adobe's free DNG Converter on my ORF's, then import the DGN into my LR3.

  16. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Yeah, that's how I do it when I do that. That is not quite the same things as opening raw files directly into LR.
  17. IDLookout

    IDLookout Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 26, 2012
    Northern Idaho
    Nope. Need LR4.

  18. twalker294

    twalker294 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 18, 2010
    My bad -- I'm using LR4. Sorry for any confusion I've caused! :confused:
  19. ralfmouth

    ralfmouth Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 16, 2012
    Could some one explain the advantage. I'm not too familiar with raw.
  20. IDLookout

    IDLookout Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 26, 2012
    Northern Idaho
    Basically, it's the most basic file you can get from a camera, with no sharpening, editing, etc..., preserving all of the original data.

    Here's a few links:

    Understanding RAW Files Explained
    Should you be shooting RAW?