My first post

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Jit Lye, Jun 11, 2015.

  1. Jit Lye

    Jit Lye New to Mu-43

    Jun 4, 2015
    The Little Red Dot
    Hi all,

    My first post here, and a question for the experts. I've been a casual photographer for a while and recently my interest in improving my skills has picked up. I've been taking pictures in JPEG only but I'm now trying to move to Raw images. I've set up my OMD EM5 to take Raw+JPG. When I uploaded the images, it turns out that the Jpegs are a crop of the raw images. Around 20% cropped. Is this normal?

    Also, I'm learning what it takes to process a Raw image, reading as much as possible. So far, I've not managed to convert a raw image to a Jpeg image that is superior to the Jpeg image that came straight out the camera. Does that mean the camera software still converts to Jpeg better than my processing skills, or is there some other possible reason.

    Thanks in advance!
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  2. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 2, 2012
    Your jpegs may be set on a lower size. try setting superfine,giving you the biggest image but also there are also numerous selectable aspect ratios, as well as innumerable options some of which are incredibly abstruse,but which real experts in the camera may be able to explain. You get raw ,which is free of much in camera processing. There are numerous in-camera adjustments which will happen ,such as vivid,etc and can be preset by you ,in JPEG.
    It is hard to beat these for some pictures. If you have big differences in contrast,low light of really want to crop radically, raw give you more control. Sometimes they are about the same.
  3. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Hi, and welcome to the forum.

    For the cropped jpeg: are you using an aspect ratio different from 4:3, like 3:2 for example? If so then is correct to have a cropped jpeg and the full sensor data in the raw file.

    The biggest difference you are going to see with RAW files, in my experience, are:
    - strong correction of over/under exposed pictures
    - white balance correction
    - shadows and highlights recovery, dodge/burn, tone curves
    - more control on noise reduction and this can give you a little more details and better sharpening
    - no data loss (even minimal) due to jpeg compression/decompression/re-compression
    - significant noise reduction with ETTR (when possible)

    Olympus jpeg are good, so unless you do some kind of exposure correction, partial or global, you won't see much difference, especially at low ISO.

    Which program are you using to process the RAW files?
  4. Jit Lye

    Jit Lye New to Mu-43

    Jun 4, 2015
    The Little Red Dot
    I'm using freeware called Raw Therapee. Difficult enough for me to figure out and navigate as I'm quite new at this.

    BTW, when I save it, it creates a Tiff file, and it turns out the Tiff file size balloons to something like 90MB. Is that normal?

  5. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Real Name:
    I tried using Raw Therapee and did not like it at all. Not a fan of the interface, really.

    What does work well, is Olympus Viewer 3, commonly referred to as OV3. It pulls better detail from the RAW files than Lightroom does. It is free and can be downloaded from the Olympus site. I would recommend using that first on the RAW, get it to a reasonable place - save as a TIFF or JPG and then use another editor to finish it.

    My workflow with Oly RAW files has been to use OV3 and then finish the editing in Lightroom CC.
  6. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    I've used RawTherapee for a while and I like it, but IMO the default values for the tools are confusing. For example Noise reduction, by default, removes chroma noise but no luminance noise at all. If you do not enable Vibrance pictures looks washed out, etc. There are a few tutorials on youtube.

    Consider that each RAW processor (Lightroom, RawTherapee, OV3, Darktable, etc.) with default settings will give you slightly different results, especially with colors. Olympus gives you nice strong, natural colors that are hard to beat.

    OV3, with default settings, will give you the exact jpeg that you get from the camera. As a program I find it quite slow and clumsy, but for small fixes is fine.
    Whatever program you choose can be quite daunting at first :)

    About tiff: yes, tiff 16-bit are huge. You should get the same results with tiff 8-bit, unless you are processing the picture of your life, for a very big print, working with a good calibrated monitor, etc.
  7. Jfrader

    Jfrader Guest

    Yes, the camera's on-board Jpeg processor is better than your current skill level. That is pretty normal. It takes practice to get good at post-processing.

    Yes, Tiff files are huge. They are saved in an uncompressed format that gets pretty big. Unless you have plenty of storage, the trick is to convert the Tiff to a high-quality Jpeg and then delete the Tiff. Better yet, use a program that stores native files in a smaller format. Example are Lightroom or Photoshop (or Elements) that save in smaller files. PS(E) uses the .psd format for uncompressed finished files which are then converted to Jpeg as needed.

    I agree with others that you might do better using the Olympus software to learn on, or perhaps get the demo version of Lightroom to try. A good book on Lightroom, such as that by Scott Kelby, will have you making good photos pretty quickly.
  8. CWRailman

    CWRailman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 2, 2015
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Real Name:
    I will second that recommendation. Scott Kelby's presentation and explanations are comprehensive without being overly intimidating for those of us just learning the software and the material is organized in a logical manner. I also appreciate his subtle sense of humor. You can find discounted copies on Ebay.

    Another good book is Photoshop Lightroom 5 by Rob Sylvan and Nat Coalson and published by Wiley and these are also available on Ebay.

    However do not be surprised if at first you devote a lot of time to working on a RAW image only to find that the JPG looks better. Development of RAW is itself a talent. May I suggest that if using Lightroom you first try and make adjustments that suit your liking to a JPG image. Since the engine in the camera has done most of the work, there are a few less decisions to make and most changes are subtle but they will get you used to working with the program.
  9. flamingfish

    flamingfish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 16, 2012
    Real Name:
    I second the recommendation of trying the demo version of Lightroom to see if you think you'll like it. It's useful both for storing and organizing your images, as well as developing them from RAW or even JPEG. I also second the recommendation of the Scott Kelby book, but I recommend buying it in hard copy. I had it in electronic form first, and discovered that for reference while I was working on an image, I really wanted the hard copy available.

    There are also a lot of YouTube videos on image processing. The quality runs the gamut, but Adobe has a series of videos on Lightroom that are very detailed.

    Everyone's learning style is different, of course, but I found that I didn't begin to get comfortable with Lightroom until I took a class. If you're in a metropolitan area, you'll probably find classes if you do some Googling. If you have the patience to work your way through the Adobe Lightroom video series, and practice the techniques on your own, you'll learn as much as you would from a class. I lacked the discipline to do it that way.

    I am not a fan of the Adobe Creative Cloud, probably because I use only Lightroom, not Photoshop. At this point, since Adobe has now gone completely to CC for Lightroom, I would consider buying a copy of Lightroom on disc and living with the fact that I wasn't going to have the updates and the latest and greatest features. I'm still very much a novice, though, and the opinions of people who are more experienced and more skilled may differ from mine.
  10. WasOM3user

    WasOM3user Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 20, 2012
    Lancashire, UK
    Real Name:
    I initially struggled with getting RAW processed to look better than the JPEG out of the camera (EM-5) whilst trying out the trial of Lightroom.

    I think this a reflection of how good the Processing is in the camera rather than limits in Lightroom. Just consider it a good benchmark for your own processing.

    When I played with RAW from my wife's G3 it was easy to improve on OOC Jpeg's. (Note following lot's of playing with the JPEG settings in the G5 we have now improved these too).

    Olympus OV3 uses the same camera settings to process RAW files so this is easier (and free) to get close/better than OOC JPEG but it's a bit slow.

    But following other's recommendations I added Huelight profiles to Lightroom and this made a significant improvement and now I only work with RAW. I have found that the colour accuracy with the Huelight profiles is better particularly with saturated colours e.g. deep reds and violets and I now prefer my own processing.

    I have not gone the subscription route but bought the boxed version of Lightroom and have added a few other add ins e.g. to link to Zenfolio etc.

    There are lots of tutorials available for Lightroom to help you but it will take some time and effort so don't get disheartened and stick with it.
  11. Jit Lye

    Jit Lye New to Mu-43

    Jun 4, 2015
    The Little Red Dot
    Thanks to all for your responses.

    I do have OV3 which I've only used to stitch panaroma, thinking that a 3rd party Raw editor has to be better than it.

    I guess the thing for me to do is to shoot JPG and improve my photography skills, while at the same time, for sub-optimal/difficult shots, switch to JPG+Raw and continue to improve my post-processing skills to a point I feel I've mastered OV3 and I'm ready for Lightroom.

    I feel better now!

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  12. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    I never really go into using OV3. Interface is not particularly fun to use.

    I recommend going straight to lightroom! If books aren't your thing, there are heaps of videos of lightroom tutorials. That's where I've pick up how to use it. Some good lightroom video instructors are julianne kost and tim grey.
    Just start playing around with basic adjustments like moving the various sliders, and you'll get an idea what RAW can do for you. Learning to use the various brushes, gradients, radial filter, would be a good next step.
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  13. alan1972

    alan1972 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 23, 2012
    Malaga, Spain
    Real Name:
    Alan Grant
    The "cropping" you are observing might be due to the way RawTherapee corrects (or doesn't correct) for lens distortion. With Micro Four Thirds cameras used with native lens, out of camera jpgs, OV3, and Lightroom all automatically apply software correction instructions to reduce lens distortion - effectively sacrificing some pixels via cropping in order to produce less distortion. I have never used RawTherapee but I believe it may handle this differently - there is a thread on this topic here:

    (As others have said it might also arise from using an aspect ratio other than 4:3).

    I eventually chose Lightroom over OV3 not because I thought the output was better but for other reasons:
    - as others have mentioned, there is a huge amount of training/education available for Lightroom, versus almost nothing for OV
    - with Lightroom I really only need one program for almost everything I do with my photos (organising, RAW conversion, editing - this has become even more true with the addition of panorama stitching recently)
    - most of what I learn in Lightroom applies to any model of camera I may use now or in the future, including mobile phone jpgs
    - I somehow never got used to the OV3 interface and found it slow to use.

    WasOm3User mentioned an important point about using camera profiles in Lightroom. By default Lightroom will apply the Adobe Standard profile and it is is easy to overlook the possibility of choosing others in the Camera Calibration panel. Like WasOm3User I use the Huelight profiles which are available for a small charge. There are also profiles supplied with Lightroom (Camera Natural, Muted, Portrait and Vivid). I haven't looked closely at these as they were not yet available when I started using Huelight. You may find these profiles give you a starting point that you prefer to Adobe Standard, and somewhat closer to the OOC jpegs (but not identical).

    I suspect the fact that Lightroom includes library management as well as raw conversion makes it look more intimidating to new users - you don't necessarily have to learn both in depth at the same time. Similarly you can ignore modules such as Print, Book, Slideshow until you want to use them.
  14. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    Another benefit I forgot to mention about lightroom, is ur edits are non destructive. U can play around with them as much as u like, until u need to export the pictures
  15. Jit Lye

    Jit Lye New to Mu-43

    Jun 4, 2015
    The Little Red Dot

    Thanks Alan. Your information sounds useful, with respect to the camera profiles and Huelight profiles. I think I'm so far behind the learning curve right now, all I can do is come back to your response another time when I finally catch up on this, which I right now intend to invest the time to figure out and learn. Thanks a lot, Jit.