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My crashy crashy experience with Olympus Viewer 3

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by Drdul, Mar 15, 2016.

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  1. Drdul

    Drdul Mu-43 Regular

    104
    May 16, 2015
    Vancouver, BC
    Richard
    I was recently laid up with something like a flu crossed with a head cold, and with not much else to do but blow my nose I thought I’d check out Olympus Viewer 3 (OV3). I have read a number of posts on mu-43 describing the output from OV3 as better than Lightroom, and seeing as I use Lightroom to process all my images, I was curious to test it for myself.

    I quickly discovered that OV3 is slow. It takes several seconds to apply a change, and because there isn’t a “working” indicator or progress bar, I sometimes couldn’t tell when it was finished working. I learned that the only way I could tell when an adjustment had been applied was by staring at the histogram, and when it changed I knew OV3 was finally done.

    More importantly, though, I discovered that OV3 has a tendency to crash. A lot. Unfortunately, any settings I had changed between crashes were usually lost in the crash. In some cases, the appearance of the image reverted after the crash to a previous intermediate stage not matched by the current settings. For example, I played around with the art filters before setting the image back to “no filter,” and after a crash OV3 showed the image as if the filter was applied even though “no filter” was still selected. When that happened, I basically had to start again from scratch, as I couldn’t be sure if a setting was actually applied.

    The crashing was so bad that I was only able to successfully process one RAW file before I gave up and cleaned every trace of OV3 off my computer. FWIW, I’m using a 2012 retina MacBook Pro with 16GB of RAM (hilariously, Olympus advises that if the highest quality image display setting is enabled I should be using a computer with “1GB or more RAM”) and the images were from an E-PL5.

    I know that others are able to use OV3 on a regular basis without all the crashing that I experienced, but even if it was stable it didn't look like OV3 offered any benefits. The one image I processed was shot at ISO 1600, and when I compared the OV3 version with what I could achieve in Lightroom by applying some sharpening and noise reduction, I preferred the Lightroom version (both versions looked good, and some people might have preferred the OV3 version). My very limited testing demonstrated to me that Lightroom can produce results on par with OV3, and without the slowness, crashes and clunky UI. So I’ll stick with Lightroom.
     
  2. tonyturley

    tonyturley Mu-43 Veteran

    371
    Nov 19, 2014
    Is LR available these days as standalone, or is it all Cloud-based now? I've never used it, as my main PC runs on Linux. I use RawTherapee and GIMP. I just installed Win7 on an older laptop, just to have a platform for some programs that won't run on Linux.

    TT
     
  3. ashburtononline

    ashburtononline Mu-43 Veteran

    389
    Jan 21, 2015
    New Zealand
    Yeah ..... I run a Hexa Core Mac Pro with 32GB Ram and I gave up on OV3 ..... too slow
     
  4. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    I've tried using OV3 a few times on my 2012 Mac Mini but never had a crash with it. Slow, yes, and I also get frustrated with what I can and can't do and a large part of that is simply the fact that I've used nothing other than Lightroom for over 3 years now. I always have problems with software I'm not used to.

    LR gets a lot of criticism and I think much of it is undeserved. Too many people compare the initial rendering different applications provide and think that those renderings are the "RAW conversion". They aren't. The file isn't converted until you export it to a file or print it. All of the edits you make in LR and other RAW conversion applications with a non-destructive work flow simply modify the default settings for the eventual conversion so comparing initial default renderings does not amount to anything other than a comparison of what different applications think is the best way to deliver the file in image form so you can start thinking about how you want to do the RAW conversion. Adobe and Olympus have very different views on what the best starting point is.

    And LR can deliver a much better result than a lot of people think it can, but you sometimes have to work to get it. Getting the best out of a processing program takes experience and you have to put some time and effort into gaining that experience. I think some applications make it easier to do some things than LR does, I suspect LR makes it easier to do some things than other applications do, and different people do like working in different ways so not everyone is going to like the same application. I swapped from Aperture to Lightroom and didn't really seriously consider alternative options. I'm now too used to working in Lightroom to want to put the time and effort into learning a different application unless something happens with Lightroom that would make me want to stop using it. It may not be the best RAW conversion application around but I have no idea of what the best one is, and I get better results working in an application I know and have experience with than I do working in an application I don't have experience with. As far as I'm concerned, better the application you know than the one you don't know.
     
  5. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    You can still buy a standalone version but you will have to look a bit to find it on the Adobe website. They really prefer selling the cloud version.

    I have a standalone version but I just swapped to the cloud version and I would recommend anyone after a copy of LR go for the cloud version rather than the standalone. There are 2 reasons I would make that recommendation. The first is cost. Here in Australia the standalone version costs over $200 and version upgrades are around $99 each. The cloud version is $10 a month ($9.99 actually) and you can sometimes get it for less as a special offer. I got it for $7.99 a month for the first 12 months. Over a long period the cloud version will work out slightly dearer but when you factor in the initial cost of the standalone version it's going to take a couple of years before you've ended up paying more and you also get Photoshop included with the cloud version and there's no other way of getting Photoshop. If all you're interested in is Lightroom, the cloud version will eventually cost you a bit more but not much more. If you want Photoshop as well, it's the only way to get Photoshop and you can think of Lightroom as coming free with Photoshop.

    The big reason for going with the cloud version in my view, however, is simply that the standalone version only gets new camera support and bug fixes between major upgrades. It does not get new features. The cloud version gets new features in its updates and the reason I swapped to the cloud version was to get a couple of new features I wanted that I was not going to be able to get in the standalone version until the next major upgrade which is still probably over a year away given that it seems that upgrades are released every 18-24 months or so. The feature I was particularly chasing, the ability to make black and white clipping point adjustments in local adjustments as well as globally, has proven very useful to me on a number of occasions. I regret spending money upgrading my standalone version to Version 6 last year when it was released but I have no regrets about deciding to subscribe to the cloud version a few months ago. The more frequent feature improvements you get with the cloud based version is a fairly compelling reason to choose the cloud version over the standalone version in my view.
     
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  6. Drdul

    Drdul Mu-43 Regular

    104
    May 16, 2015
    Vancouver, BC
    Richard
    Seriously?! Here in Canada we have to pay in US dollars, and currently USD $10 = CAD $13.50 per month. It definitely takes the shine off the CC subscription model.
     
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  7. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    To the OP Drdul, I guess the moral of your story is 'that's what you get for using a Mac'! :p
    I use OV3 all the time without a problem on my 64bit Win7 laptop with 8GB of memory but if I want the best out of a RAW file (ORF) then I'll use Capture One Pro 9 instead (bought as stand alone & comes licensed for two work stations), although I still then use OV3 for resizing (& sharpening) for web display. BTW, there has recently (11th March) been another software update for OV3 to 2.0.1 for Windows users. I guess they'll get around to doing one for Mac if they need to. :rolleyes:

    I do like to play with the Art Filters etc in OV3 occasionally as well.
     
  8. Drdul

    Drdul Mu-43 Regular

    104
    May 16, 2015
    Vancouver, BC
    Richard
    Ha! Way back in the (dark) days I was a Windows user. I guess that since switching to a Mac I've forgotten what it's like to use slow, crashy software. :laugh1: OV3 was like a blast from the past!