I've just installed the new Viewer, the interface is very much like Lightroom/Capture One, so clearly Olumpus is taking notice of previous criticism. In use, it's actually not too bad and you get all of the selections that you get in-camera, when playing around with RAW files. If I wasn't committed to Lightroom, I'd probably use this as my RAW converter, based on this short trial anyway. I think it is now quite a useable RAW editor for anyone who hasn't got one of the major ones already. It's not quite as fast as Lightroom, but not too bad for individual shot processing. And I may use this as a post-processor for art effects, if I'm ever that way inclided.
Here's a shot I did a quick conversion on and used the Pin Hole filter for a subtle effect:
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It co-exists with Studio and recognised it and asked to import settings. It still doesn't allow a 'proper' levels adjustment by sliding the black and white point markers on the histogram or by eyedropper. You can adjust contrast in curves but it lacks presets. Seems to do everything that Studio does except camera control and tethered shooting (not available for Pens anyway). Seems a bit snappier but I will stay with ACR.
If you want the Help files you have to set Automatic Updates in Tools>Options and then restart.
I was initially worried about Olympus dropping support for Olympus Studio which I use as the first step in my raw workflow (finishing PP in Lightzone) but everything Looks good, this does everything I need and it's free!
It does have some appealing and useful features - especially for a free program. The nice looking interface.
Allows me to mark my favorite images with a color designation quickly - as I do in Lightroom or Bridge when editing down my weddings or portraits to the final selection. Easy basic editing features - and the Noise Reduction slider is simple. Oh yes - and being able to add the Art Filters is a really nice bonus if those effects are desirable.
I really like that it has Perspective Correction - which is something that I accomplish in Photoshop through the Lens Correction Filter. Very useful for tilted images - - - but also when shooting groups with a wide angle lens in tighter spaces and people standing near the edges are distorted.
Also nice to have a basic Movie function built in - to support all of the new cameras like the Pens that are providing that ability. It was really slow loading a folder of about 8 GB of video into the Lightbox from my external USB drive where I store them - and you can't do anything else until everything is loaded (like if you change your mind and want to go to a different folder). But once loaded, movies could be accessed and played with no problems. Even a few basic editing features like fade in/out, cut and merge frames - plus the ability to grab a single frame from the movie.
I am so entrenched in Lightroom for management and Photoshop for editing, that it may be hard to change workflow just to adapt to this software. But it certainly is a valuable and free application for any who do not need the heavy learning curve of the Adobe products or who have not invested in them. And maybe for someone like me who uses both a PC for my workstation and a Mac for my laptop - where 2 different licences would be required for both Lightroom and Photoshop to have them on both computer systems - - - it will be nice having this software to manage and edit photos on the computer that doesn't have those licensed programs on it. Did I say that right?
It's actually a great (and did I mention free ) start to raw processing... also, you can use it to try out different settings to see which style you prefer for jpeg shooting - i.e. play around with colour modes, contrast, saturation, sharpening, graduation etc.
I shoot raw, and to get the unique Olympus colour signature develop with their software and export to tiff for finishing PP using Lightzone.
Make sure that you have the edit pallet (select View/Edit Pallet) visible on the right of the screen. Select RAW from the tab and three tabs from the bottom is Art Filter. Just pick which one you want.
I have downloaded the viewer..its looks a bit better to me than OLy master 2 - can I ask - does the program run fairly slow?? I am running a macbook with intel core 2 duo & snow leopard mac os 10.6..but the OLy programs seem sluggish..though photoshop elements isn't fast either