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Olympus Viewer 2 vs Lightroom 4

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by robknight, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. robknight

    robknight Mu-43 Regular

    97
    Oct 15, 2011
    Atlanta, GA
    I am an Adobe Certified Expert in LR4 and I regularly teach LR4 classes, so I figured LR4 would be AT LEAST as good as Olympus Viewer2 when processing raw files from the OM-D E-M5... the results of my comparisons have really surprised me.
    I did a couple of videos recently to show the difference between the two conversions and then to demonstrate how to set up batch processing in Olympus Viewer 2. The Oly software is too painfully slow to use for any serious editing,but it does a great job with raw processing.
    Comparison video...
    Olympus Viewer 2 vs Adobe Lightroom 4 | Rob Knight Photography
    And the batch processing tutorial...
    Olympus Viewer 2 Batch Processing Workflow | Rob Knight Photography

    Cheers!
     
    • Like Like x 10
  2. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Bob
    Interesting, I need to play with this a bit. :cool:
     
  3. macalterego

    macalterego Mu-43 Veteran

    228
    Jul 10, 2012
    Lawrence, KS
    Jeffrey McPheeters
    I wonder if you would give us your opinion of the Photo Ninja raw processor for OM-D raw files. I've just started using it, having tested it last fall. In re-processing several images compared with Lightroom 4 and Aperture 3, I find the Photo Ninja processor is preferable, particularly with very difficult images that had a wide dynamic range. In particular, reprocessing bracketed sets for later HDR work has yielded very visible improvements in my testing thus far. But I'd value and expert's opinion.
     
  4. robknight

    robknight Mu-43 Regular

    97
    Oct 15, 2011
    Atlanta, GA
    I haven't tried that, but I will download it and check it out.

    I've had a similar experience to what you describe with Olympus Viewer 2 compared to LR4
     
  5. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I've been playing with Rawtherapee which seems to handle EPL5 files ok, but the results are a bit patchy in terms of colour-casts, noise reduction and contrast. I'm planning to take a look at DxOmark and LR to see what they do. As you say though, Viewer 2 is painfully slow and lacking features, but the results are excellent.

    Could you maybe post a sample or 2 of LR in comparison to Viewer2?
     
  6. robknight

    robknight Mu-43 Regular

    97
    Oct 15, 2011
    Atlanta, GA
    The video shows a fairly typical comparison between OV2 and LR4. If you batch prices the raw files to 16bit tiffs in OV2 you don't have to deal much with the slow interface.
     
  7. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    Videos don't work here, but I assume you weren't using the Adobe default settings for raw conversion?
     
  8. robknight

    robknight Mu-43 Regular

    97
    Oct 15, 2011
    Atlanta, GA
    I didn't know if I should embed the videos, so I just posted links to them...
    The comparison is adobe default settings vs the OV2 default, which is basically the in-camera settings.
     
  9. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Vids work fine for me on firefox and chrome - didn't try IE.
     
  10. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    Australia
    interesting read... is it possible to get similar results to OV2 by adjusting the settings in LR4? I now have gotten used to LR4 for cataloging, and I like how it's nondestructive. Using OV2 will just add another step to workflow.
     
  11. robknight

    robknight Mu-43 Regular

    97
    Oct 15, 2011
    Atlanta, GA
    I still do all of my cataloging and editing in LR. The batch processing in OV2 is sort of like a filtering step after import, and doesn't add much time to my workflow.
    The detail that OV2 pulls out of the raw files is more than I can get with the sharpening tools in LR. It's not just sharper, it actually seems to have more detail. The dynamic range also seems slightly expanded in OV2. LR just doesn't pull detail out of the shadows like the Olympus software.
     
  12. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    Australia
    How does a 16bit tiff file handle things like white balance, push and pull highlights and shadows. Is it better to have done this all in the RAW file, before conversion to tiff?
     
  13. robknight

    robknight Mu-43 Regular

    97
    Oct 15, 2011
    Atlanta, GA
    Most of the time the 16bit tiffs have plenty of headroom for editing. White balance is no problem for sure. The OV2 tiffs tend to display highlight and shadow detail much better than LR, even with raw files in LR.
    The OV2 software is SO slow that I can't imaging actually doing any regular editing in there :)
     
  14. fdifulco

    fdifulco Mu-43 Veteran

    251
    Nov 28, 2011
    New Orleans, Louisiana
    Frank
    but the 16bit Tiff loses the extif data. would the Exit-tiff work as well?
     
  15. robknight

    robknight Mu-43 Regular

    97
    Oct 15, 2011
    Atlanta, GA
    That IS a bummer. A friend of mine uses EXIFtool to get the info into LR, but I haven't tried it yet
     
  16. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    No, probably something wrong on my end. I got it to work in another browser.

    Right. But as you say in the video, Adobe's defaults aren't designed to give you a contrasty, punchy image, they're designed as a starting point. It doesn't take much effort to build a preset that will mimic the Olympus results reasonably well. Granted, it would be nice if Adobe included a built-in option to mimic the OOC settings as well, but for the smaller manufacturers, they don't.

    I object slightly to the comment that OV does better than LR, for the simply fact that if one is willing to change the defaults, I find LR produces distinctly better output, particularly when it comes to sharpening and noise reduction.
     
  17. robknight

    robknight Mu-43 Regular

    97
    Oct 15, 2011
    Atlanta, GA
    I thought exactly the same thing until a couple of weeks ago... In the course of my usual workflow I have default settings for .orf files in Lightroom 4 that produce better results than the default Adobe settings. The sharpening and noise reduction tools in LR4 are great, and definitely work better than the same tools in Olympus Viewer 2.

    However... OV2 pulls more detail out of the .orf files than LR. Not sharpness, but detail. Especially in the shadow areas, but across the tonal range. This is with all settings in OV2 at 0. No sharpening, no contrast, no nothing. You can add sharpening in LR4, but even with careful adjustment of the radius, detail and masking the detail is not the same. You can make the files look really good, but if you start with the OV2 conversion they look better.
    In the example in the video the shadow areas of the rocks are mush in LR4. Bringing up the shadows slider only brightens the mush. Sharpening doesn't help because there is no detail to sharpen. The OV2 tiff (imported into LR4) has detail in the shadows that responds well to an increase in the Shadows slider.

    The ONLY thing I do in OV2 is convert the raw files to tiffs. Any sharpening, noise reduction, etc, etc is done in LR4. The editing tools in Lightroom are unquestionably better than the tools in Olympus Viwewer 2.

    At this point I am importing both the original .orf files and the converted tiffs into LR4. When I am editing my picks I have been editing both versions because I'm not 100% convinced to convert EVERY image in the Olympus software. I haven't come across a pair of images yet that shows the Adobe conversion to be a better finished image.
     
  18. fdifulco

    fdifulco Mu-43 Veteran

    251
    Nov 28, 2011
    New Orleans, Louisiana
    Frank
    worked with a few images from EM5 and Oly 12mm, for those i noticed a difference when i selected distortion correction in viewer, export to tiff and then edited in LR. there is a difference in the two saved jpgs on the 12mm, it appears LR is not making lens corrections. going to try some with the 45mm to see if there is a difference. interesting experiment.
    frank
     
  19. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    dont have LR to see how big this issue is. But I have done some tests with OV and Aperture, and the default settings in Aperture produce an image that, to my eyes at least, is identical to that produced by OV.

    K
     
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  20. macalterego

    macalterego Mu-43 Veteran

    228
    Jul 10, 2012
    Lawrence, KS
    Jeffrey McPheeters
    I'm preferring Photo Ninja more and more as the RAW converter for any photos that are of critical quality and printability. It preserves the exif data and even edits it if needed, for example, when I shoot with adapted lenses on the OM-D, and I add that info, it shows up in Aperture in the 16bit tif that's created. I don't dislike Aperture's RAW conversion for the OM-D, but in many photos with a lot of shadow and/or bright areas, Photo Ninja's conversion brings back much more detail and does a good job with normal amounts of noise. It's an added step; not lengthy, but a step I wish I wouldn't need. So I use it only for photos I'm preparing for more critical work. And the 'batch' tools aren't yet turned on. They are there, the developer tells me, just not functional yet.