Olympus viewer 3

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Jerrin1, Feb 6, 2016.

  1. Jerrin1

    Jerrin1 Mu-43 Rookie

    Feb 3, 2016
    I was just wondering if many Olympus OM D EM 1/5 owners use Olympus viewer 3 for processing RAW. If so, what is your assessment? I am just changing from Canon APS-C and used Canon's DPP4. Most people (regardless of Camera make) seem to prefer Lightroom 6/CC and I know that DPP4 was looked down on by many. I found it to be quite alright, though I probably would have changed over to Lightroom this year. I was wondering if most Olympus users were of the opinion that Lightroom is a better option than viewer 3. Dxo are offering a 30 free trial on their version 10 so I may take advantage of that for processing RAW. I only took up digital photography in June 2015 (having not owned a camera for 23 years) and have a lot to learn about processing, so good advice would be appreciated.
  2. sesser

    sesser Zen Master Subscribing Member

    Mar 10, 2015
    Portland, OR
    I don't necessarily recommend LR, but it's a hard to beat package. I use it almost exclusively because it's competent enough at editing and it's fast and handles a large library of photos pretty well. OV3 on the other hand is slow, even on todays faster computers, and is painful to use at times. What OV3 does have going for it is processing RAW files. While LR can process the RAW files, I think it lacks the correct profiles for processing Olympus RAW files. Also, LR default import settings make RAW files look... meh. Something about it's sharpening. Either way, you have plenty of options. If you have a Mac, Affinity Photo is pretty good. Been playing with that recently. But it's just for processing; no photo management there.
    • Useful Useful x 1
  3. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    OV3 is slow. I use RawTherapee, and I use DigiKam as a DAM.
  4. Tilman Paulin

    Tilman Paulin Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 10, 2013
    I'm usually shooting raw+jpg. In Capture One (my default raw converter) I see how the images come out with my quick default adjustments. Then I compare those initial results against the jpg.
    Every once in a while the jpg works better, then I jump over into OV3 and develop it there with very few tweaks (or simply use the jpg).

    OV3 has some good algorithms under the hood (colour rendering, noise reduction, sharpening).
    It's very slow to adjust anything though. So after the basic conversion I might do some additional tweaks in Photoshop if necessary.

    It's easy to dismiss OV3 because of it's sub-par usability - you can get very good results out of it though.
    If you're looking for a tool that allows extensive editing (even down to local adjustments) then it's probably not the right choice.

    I'd say give it a try to see if it works for you at this stage of your photographic journey.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016
    • Agree Agree x 3
  5. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    OV is good for checking EXIF info and files don't have to be imported. The mind numbing slowness of it make me think of of the Monty Python Dead Parrot routine. Seriously, for what it does it makes more sense to just shoot JPGs to begin with.
    • Funny Funny x 1
  6. janelux

    janelux Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 20, 2015
    Clearwater, Florida
    I haven't tried Olympus Viewer. I use Lightroom (the subscription service) and LOVE it! Does a great job of cataloging your images and the editing opportunities are fantastic. It now processes HDR, stitches Panoramas and the new Dehaze adjustment is amazing. I'm very, very happy with my results and I can edit a RAW photo in under a minute.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    I use LR and before that I used Aperture. I've tried OV 2 and 3, may even have tried 1 but I can't remember which version OV was at when I bought my first M43 camera.

    As others have said, OV is slow but it does have some good points. OV is the simplest way to get results with RAW files that look like your JPEGS will look if you're using the ART filters, and it may be the only way to get exactly that result. Olympus know what the recipe the camera uses for conversion with the filters is and it built that into OV. In addition, the default version of the image you are shown on opening a RAW file for the first time tends to look better than the version other apps show you. It seems some people want to do very little to the image over and above what gets done to the RAW data when OV renders it to screen for the first time.

    The bad news apart from speed is that there are no local adjustments like LR's brush and radial and graduated filter, no perspective corrections, and no options for things like changing camera or lens profiles. I haven't used DxO or Capture One but I think they also have more extensive and useful local adjustment features than OV.

    So, if I were going to make a comparison, OV does a good job on the basics, it's slow and the adjustment steps may be a little on the coarse side, but it can deliver a good job. More advanced software like LR do that but give you more and finer control over the adjustments you make and offer additional processing features that can and do make the difference between a good and a very good or great result. Their downside is that you have to buy them and they have a more demanding learning curve because of those extra features and greater adjustability.

    The result you can get from a file in OV is a great finishing point for some people and it would be just a bit further on than the starting point for other people. If it does everything you want and the speed isn't an issue for you, then it could be a good choice. If it doesn't do everything you want or the speed is an issue it will frustrate you. I have no experience of DPP4 but if you were thinking of changing from it to LR, I suspect that you would start to find OV falling short of what you want reasonably quickly. If LR was offering you features and/or speed which you wanted that DPP4 could not provide, then I think that it's a pretty safe bet that LR or one of the other more fully featured applications will offer you similar advantages over OV3.
  8. PaulGiz

    PaulGiz Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 3, 2013
    Rhode Island, USA
    OV2 and OV3 do a wonderful job converting RAW files. They are nondestructive and decent for editing. They are also mind-numbingly slow. Too slow to use as far as I'm concerned.

    I have Aperture (discontinued), but have converted to DXO. The DXO does a great job for converting, but is less than wonderful for editing.

    The best solution, is to use DXO as a plug-in for Lightroom. DXO has presets for every lens/camera combo, is very fast and user-presets can be tweaked to do big batches quickly. Then use Lightroom for any editing and DAM functions.

  9. So Thankful

    So Thankful Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 9, 2015
    I have used OV2 and OV3. Like others have said they do a great job but are sloooow. I tried LR CC and had a TON of problems with it and Windows 10. I dumped it for ACDSee 9 and have not looked back.

    Sent from my XT1254 using Mu-43 mobile app
  10. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    For those using Lr and Windows 10, the Lightroom Forums site, Lightroom Forums, is full of similar stores. Much fewer problems with users of other Windows versions, and lesser still, problems with Lr over any recent Mac OS. Highly recommend the Lightroom Forums site.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. RichardB

    RichardB Snapshooter Subscribing Member

    Nov 19, 2012
    Maryland, US
    I use OV3 frequently and I really don't notice the slowness of the program. I preview raw files in standard mode, so it takes a few seconds when I manually update the preview image to see my changes in detail. It's fine for crops, resizing, applying a different white balance, and other straightforward changes. It's indispensable for making the jpeg that you would have gotten straight out of the camera if you shot with different settings.

    There are other programs that use more sophisticated algorithms for certain features such as sharpening or color balancing. I've bought a half-dozen raw developers because each offered something useful and unique. Picking a single best program is like picking a single best lens.
  12. TonyVentourisPhotography

    TonyVentourisPhotography Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 1, 2015
    Washington DC
    I've tried OV3 and it is just a nightmare when it comes to image organization and cataloging. Development is fine, especially if you stick within the lines of what the software can do. I found it a bit confining...but also very slow. Capture 1 and Lightroom do a much better job in terms of moving things along. Lightroom has had issues, and some people do have issues depending on their machine configurations...but it works for me right now. (after a lost week going to LR6 and a full reformat...) However, I use Lightroom because of the invaluable work flow, cataloging and metadata functionality. Especially if you have a lot of files. I do about 20,000 files a year or so and would go crazy if I had to rely on OV3 for management of that.

    The latest Lightroom can match the looks obtained in OV3 close enough that it is negligible when it comes to making a decision.
  13. OldRadioGuy

    OldRadioGuy Enthusiast Amateur Subscribing Member

    Nov 11, 2012
    Austin, Texas USA
    I gave up on Olympus Viewer 3 long ago -- too slow and not user friendly. Now using Capture One Pro 9 as my primary raw converter with Photo Supreme for DAM.

  14. If you become a dedicated RAW shooter, OV3 will squeak the most from your files. Otherwise, look elsewhere. It seems that Oly uses a secret sauce that no one quite understands. I mainly use the False Color Suppression and Noise Filter..maybe exposure tweaks or color temp..then save to 16 bit tiff and then to my Editor of Choice. I feel like I've lost the least amount of IQ with this workflow, even though it's rather time intensive.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  15. Angus Gibbins

    Angus Gibbins Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Dec 6, 2015
    Brisbane, Australia
    Played around with OV3. I don't even understand why it feels the need to exist. It's slow, it's not slow on old or underspecced computers, it's just plain slow.

    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43 mobile app
    • Funny Funny x 1
  16. If you shoot RAW, you might want to try comparing results..carefully.. between OV3 and your warez of choice before totally savaging it. As for other file types, I agree. But then again, why should we expect first class free software from a camera maker. How much are they going to invest in time and personnel to come up with something that's competitive with Adobe? Their focus (no pun) is elsewhere...and I'm OK with that.
  17. Angus Gibbins

    Angus Gibbins Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Dec 6, 2015
    Brisbane, Australia
    No one's expecting first class software but come on, it sometimes take 30 seconds between making an adjustment and the results of that adjustment appearing on screen! I have processed RAW and remember it being dog slow regardless. If I get time I'll try it again sometime.

    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43 mobile app
  18. I agree..very slow..and I would assume that this is a result of poorly written code. But do you know any good code writers working for free? I'll stick with OV3 for now because it gives me the results I expect. I'd rather take the extra time to get the results than be in a hurry to get mediocrity.
  19. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    As a RAW shooter, I absolutely love Lightroom for conversion and image processing. I don't need to use Photoshop very much these days, except for some specialized tools, on occasion.

    Right now I'm using OV3 just to convert the .ORF files from a Pen F as Lightroom isn't updated yet for the Pen F .ORF files. I hate OV3 because it is slow as molasses and I'm not adjusting to using it very well. I do my RAW conversions in OV3, output 16-bit TIF versions, and then go right back into Lightroom again with the TIFs.

    The moment LR converts Pen F .ORV RAW files, I won't open OV3 again (unless and until necessary.)
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Brian Beezley

    Brian Beezley Mu-43 All-Pro

    I use an older 3 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with Windows XP and I've never seen delays like that. You might check that you have enough memory. If memory must be swapped to disk during processing, it will really slow things down. Also check that OV3 has access to more than one CPU core. It uses both of the ones I have. On my computer, operations generally take no more than a few seconds the first time. They are quicker on subsequent invocations, perhaps due to data caching. I think OV3 is slow, but not unbearably so.

    I feed RAW files to OV3 because it generally yields realistic colors. Usually I do little other than cropping and spot white balance correction before passing a 16-bit TIFF to RawTherapee at final output size. There I do more extensive modifications with its more sophisticated algorithms. I have done many experiments to arrive at what I think is an optimal split between sharpening in both OV3 and RT. Finally I emit a JPEG from RT. I don't find this two-step process burdensome, though occasionally I'll skip RT and emit a JPEG straight from OV3. I never save the TIFF since I can regenerate it at any time from OV3.

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