Is this the hill I will die on? - How to get better image quality from your Olympus...

BushmanOrig

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I started working on an article about increasing the image tonal data and showing examples. I then had a quick look at an older article I wrote on this subject and I realized its time for an update... This is not an advanced lesson but it does take a little more effort to study...

One of the key things I discuss is thinking differently about exposure (shutter speed & aperture) and separately ISO. This was a huge stumbling block for some when I posted this article in the past... I have added more detailed info and carefully edited those parts of the article so you can see why I explain it this way...

I had no choice but to reference and discuss popular full-frame theories thrown around on forums. My intention was not to attack the full-frame advocate
but to rather point out selective theories they use to promote full-frame cameras and how that negatively impact our day to day results... The point is... if you
are not offended and you manage to look at the information you will see why I felt it important to talk about some of the crazy full-frame theories used on forums...

The technique I discuss in this article is huge and could change many digital photographers' camera technique radically... Here a few points:-

- It could be Olympus shifted the EM1 MKIII exposure to the sensor full saturation point (I like to get your feedback)
- If the case, the EM1 MKIII photographer will still benefit from this article but could apply a little different exposure/image brightness strategy
- Could this (tonal data) be a reason why some EM1 MKIII owners report the MKIII image quality improved... (How could this "benefit" MKII users?)
- One of my next articles will be to experiment more with banding and other image problems we sometimes see and link to increasing tonal data
- It will be really interesting to experiment more with ISO and to develop "profiles" - for example, many think ISO100 on the EM1 II is useless - is it really?
- And much more...

The link to the article

Best

Siegfried

PS. For an interesting look at the M43 mirrorless camera history, see this article...
 

Robstar1963

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With regard to Full Frame
It stands to reason that it will produce better results than those that we can achieve with M43 - it’s down to the physical properties and capabilities of the equipment / components
I have been considering moving into Full Frame myself (alongside M43) just because to me it’s worth experimenting to see how much better the results would be especially in low light which is the main thing I find limiting on M43 and you cannot get away from that with fast moving subjects which is what I regularly shoot in low light
There is little to nothing you can do to significantly mitigate the deficiency of current M43 equipment for fast moving subjects against the comparative performance from recent or state of the art FF
I am a fan of M43 but still recognise the benefits of Full Frame which are I’m afraid incontrovertible
 
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BushmanOrig

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With regard to Full Frame
It stands to reason that it will produce better results than those that we can achieve with M43 - it’s down to the physical properties and capabilities of the equipment / components
I have been considering moving into Full Frame myself (alongside M43) just because to me it’s worth experimenting to see how much better the results would be especially in low light which is the main thing I find limiting on M43 and you cannot get away from that with fast moving subjects which is what I regularly shoot in low light
There is little to nothing you can do to significantly mitigate the deficiency of current M43 equipment for fast moving subjects against the comparative performance from recent or state of the art FF
I am a fan of M43 but still recognise the benefits of a Full Frame which are I’m afraid incontrovertible
I fully agree with you - the key is selecting the right camera for the job...

The article is about - how do I get the absolute best from the one I buy... :)

PS. Not many realize we in a place where we can really select a camera that will be best for my needs - not because I hope, sensor size will improve my poor results...
 

Robstar1963

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I fully agree with you - the key is selecting the right camera for the job...

The article is about - how do I get the absolute best from the one I buy... :)

PS. Not many realize we in a place where we can really select a camera that will be best for my needs - not because I hope, sensor size will improve my poor results...
So why the need to state:-
“I had no choice but to reference and discuss popular full-frame theories thrown around on forums. My intention was not to attack the full-frame advocate
but to rather point out selective theories they use to promote full-frame cameras and how that negatively impact our day to day results... The point is... if you
are not offended and you manage to look at the information you will see why I felt it important to talk about some of the crazy full -frame theories used on forums...“
 
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BushmanOrig

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So why the need to state:-
“I had no choice but to reference and discuss popular full-frame theories thrown around on forums. My intention was not to attack the full-frame advocate
but to rather point out selective theories they use to promote full-frame cameras and how that negatively impact our day to day results... The point is... if you
are not offended and you manage to look at the information you will see why I felt it important to talk about some of the crazy full -frame theories used on forums...“
Have you seen what I discuss in the article, or did you get stuck at exactly the point I tried to warn you not to get stuck?

If you allow yourself to stand back and consider the damage the "bigger is better" sales line did you will not be so offended...

So I respectfully ask... get over it, do not allow your ego to completely derail a great article with great info because of your sensitivity that someone called out the full-frame nonsense is to big...

If its the full-frame intellectually uninspiring thing you like to discuss, why not start a new discussion on another forum - I am happy to waist time to discuss with you...

In terms of the exciting knowledge I share in the article and the chance to share a great technique with others.... pls let it go...
 
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Equable

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I think everyone on this forum wishes to get the very best from their cameras, and thank you for your endeavors in that direction. However, denigrating someone of @Robstar1963 ’s ability and talent, because he rightly questions the limitations of m43 for his chosen subject, may well indicate the hill of your demise.
I am certain the majority of m43 users made their choice of system fully aware of its compromises and attractions.
If anyone feels they have reached the limits of what m43 can do for them, ( and undeniably those limits are real ) surely it must be recognized, not denied?
 

RS86

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Have you seen what I discuss in the article, or did you get stuck at exactly the point I tried to warn you not to get stuck?

If you allow yourself to stand back and consider the damage the "bigger is better" sales line did you will not be so offended...

So I respectfully ask... get over it, do not allow your ego to completely derail a great article with great info because of your sensitivity that someone called out the full-frame nonsense is to big...

If its the full-frame intellectually uninspiring thing you like to discuss, why not start a new discussion on another forum - I am happy to waist time to discuss with you...

In terms of the exciting knowledge I share in the article and the chance to share a great technique with others.... pls let it go...
Sorry but this sentence made me chuckle. Talking about others' ego being a problem and in the same sentence complimenting own article being great, twice. :biggrin:
 

oldracer

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"better image quality" ... Better for what?

How will this better image quality be evidenced when viewing prints to, say 16x20, where the dynamic range is limited by the printer technology? How will it change the look of an image viewed on a typical monitor? A 200lpi halftone printed on bright coated stock? My general opinion is that this kind of thing may be interesting in physics and pixel-peeping hobbies but that it has little practical impact on images as they are actually viewed. IOW these little cameras are "adequate" for 99+% of photographers' actual uses of them.
 
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"better image quality" ... Better for what?

How will this better image quality be evidenced when viewing prints to, say 16x20, where the dynamic range is limited by the printer technology?
I have recently been finding myself limited more by m43 sensor dynamic range than my printer (canon pro 100) and by that I mean i take a lot of images right at the edge of Sunset. I have to lower highlights and up shadows but with m43 the shadows get crazy noisy really quick (panasonic g9). This is the main reason I consider a ff second camera also for astro. I will gladly take all the extra image quality in those aspects I can get!
 

saladin

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Yes, I've long thought the major advantage of FF was in the dynamic range, not so much outright Iso performance. I'm sorely tempted by the S5 for this reason, and would run it alongside the MFT gear.

Reading bushmans article, (and I have quite a few MFT bodies) , the simple takeaway is to ETTR via aperture and shutter speed, not ISO increases? Seems pretty logical. But I'm not a huge post-processor, so I'll often meter and run an exposure based on the mood I want from the shot, which obviously negates maximum tonal range. I'm probably more along Ansel's theory of doing what you want with the highlights and letting the shadows do what they do.
 

BushmanOrig

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Yes, I've long thought the major advantage of FF was in the dynamic range, not so much outright Iso performance. I'm sorely tempted by the S5 for this reason, and would run it alongside the MFT gear.

Reading bushmans article, (and I have quite a few MFT bodies) , the simple takeaway is to ETTR via aperture and shutter speed, not ISO increases? Seems pretty logical. But I'm not a huge post-processor, so I'll often meter and run an exposure based on the mood I want from the shot, which obviously negates maximum tonal range. I'm probably more along Ansel's theory of doing what you want with the highlights and letting the shadows do what they do.
Its very simple to do it all in the camera, especially with Olympus. Push the sensor to full saturation (raw file) and in real-time edit the jpeg in the camera... :)
 
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BushmanOrig

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I have recently been finding myself limited more by m43 sensor dynamic range than my printer (canon pro 100) and by that I mean i take a lot of images right at the edge of Sunset. I have to lower highlights and up shadows but with m43 the shadows get crazy noisy really quick (panasonic g9). This is the main reason I consider a ff second camera also for astro. I will gladly take all the extra image quality in those aspects I can get!
You right, the better you understand the sensor the more accurately you be able to select the right camera for the job...
Have you tried different techniques for those sunsets...?
 
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BushmanOrig

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"better image quality" ... Better for what?

How will this better image quality be evidenced when viewing prints to, say 16x20, where the dynamic range is limited by the printer technology? How will it change the look of an image viewed on a typical monitor? A 200lpi halftone printed on bright coated stock? My general opinion is that this kind of thing may be interesting in physics and pixel-peeping hobbies but that it has little practical impact on images as they are actually viewed. IOW these little cameras are "adequate" for 99+% of photographers' actual uses of them.
Great questions, is this not what we all ask when planning a change...?
 

JanW

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It's a nice theory but quite impractical for 'normal' shooting conditions in lower light. No more handheld shots and no moving objects in the frame.
Of course you're right, capturing more light will improve iq.
But I doubt that this can be a reason for people not to move to ff. Maybe for landscape photographers?
 

BushmanOrig

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This gives a number of concrete examples, from print to video ... Scroll down to table of media values.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_range
Hello John, trust you doing well... :)

Interesting info, thanks. I think we always knew there are differences between the RAW file and the jpeg file... The sensor/raw file has a linear response and the jpeg is profiled to mimic what the human brain sees... My article helps the photographer stack the raw file with better tonal data with all the benefits we would expect from an optimized RAW file... People forget in 80% plus cases we only need 6 - 8 stops dynamic range. One poster says he loves sunsets, does that mean we typically see all the local photographers on the porch at sunrise or sunset...?

Have a good one

Siegfried
 

BushmanOrig

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It's a nice theory but quite impractical for 'normal' shooting conditions in lower light. No more handheld shots and no moving objects in the frame.
Of course you're right, capturing more light will improve iq.
But I doubt that this can be a reason for people not to move to ff. Maybe for landscape photographers?
Hello Jan

I think you close when I study your answer, you obviously see the basics I tried to explain... :)

Think of it this way - what you see in the article is only the first step. As you familiarize yourself with these basic principles you ready to move on to more. More interestingly, this applies to any digital camera. Example:

- Max SNR and full saturation applies at any ISO
- When you think of aperture as gain, the way you plan change
- There is so much more we need to discuss about ISO...
- "Noise is in the shadows" is a function of a lack of know-how

People misunderstand thinking I am fighting formats - what frustrates me is years neglecting to focus on mastering the digital image sensor we use professionally or to capture memories with. This resulted in a large portion of photographers having a poor understanding of the sensor and how to get the most from it... Just think how intellectually insulting it is, when some encourage us to believe size is the main thing...

How many articles do you see over a 1 year period unlocking the sensor and how to optimize this amazing device with so much potential...?

Hope this helps...

Siegfried
 
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@BushmanOrig Thanks, Siegfried. But my back's killing me ATM. Taking 8x Panadeine Forte a day ...

What really interested me was that the DR of monitors was only around 9.5 stops. Even print is about 7-7.5 stops. Of course, it depends which monitor, which printer, which paper, etc.

My E-510 from 2007 could manage around 10+ stops in RAW.
It does tend to indicate that none of the output devices come close to having the DR of even a 13 year old camera!
 

pdk42

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- Max SNR and full saturation applies at any ISO
Full saturation will only happen at base ISO or lower. Max SNR will only happen at base ISO or lower. Increasing ISO increases amplification because the sensor wells are not full (i.e. not full saturation). Amplification increases noise which reduces SNR.


- When you think of aperture as gain, the way you plan change
Aperture isn't gain - it's increasing the light that falls on the sensor.


- There is so much more we need to discuss about ISO...
Like what?


- "Noise is in the shadows" is a function of a lack of know-how
Noise is nearly always a problem in shadows - how is that "lack of know-how"?

... large portion of photographers having a very small understanding of the sensor and how to get the most from it...
I agree with that, but I'll also add that your explanations show that you're no different ;)
 
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