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Olympus Viewer vs SilkyPix vs SOOC jpegs

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by kingduct, Sep 26, 2016.

  1. kingduct

    kingduct Mu-43 Veteran

    296
    Oct 12, 2013
    So, I'm getting quite close to getting a new camera body, almost certainly either a GX85 or E-M10 ii. One of the key reasons I want to upgrade is that I'm tired of fiddling around with post-processing. I appreciate post-processing, but the reality is that I don't end up producing photos that look vastly better than straight-out-of-camera jpegs. (Well, they are better than G5 jpegs, which is why I want to upgrade.)

    I had been planning to shoot RAW+jpeg, use the jpegs by default, and then post-process RAW files where either I found the jpeg unsatisfying or felt it was a really special picture meriting extra work.

    Then, I thought to myself, "Hey, do Olympus Viewer and Silkypix process RAW files and produce jpegs that are identical to their default SOOC jpegs?" And then I though, "And hey, will Olympus Viewer and Silkypix also by default use any in-camera jpeg choices I make? (Like black and white modes.)"

    If so, could I not use Olympus Viewer or Silkypix instead of fussing around with RAW+jpeg? It'd handle my postprocessing needs by default in most cases and, for those files where I really wanted to postprocess, I could use Lightroom.

    So, do Olympus Viewer and Silkypix behave this way? Are they decent software? Or is this idea nuts?

    The problem with Lightroom is that the default RAW import basically never satisfied me and I don't want to have to go through and create a bunch of presets when Olympus and Panasonic have already done so.
     
  2. robcee

    robcee Mu-43 Veteran

    289
    Jan 10, 2016
    Toronto
    Rob Campbell
    AS I Understand it, Olympus Viewer is an implementation (or maybe just a simulation) of Olympus' Image Processor (TruePic). It takes a RAW file and produces a JPEG, as you would get if you shoot in JPEG mode in an Olympus camera. If you load an Olympus RAW file into Viewer*, it will load it up with the same settings you had when you took the shot (contrast, saturation, highlights and shadows).

    The keyword here is "Olympus". I doubt Viewer will read RAW files from Panasonic (or any other camera). Also, it's painfully slow. I doubt you'd have much fun editing 1000 images in it.

    So, I don't know if your idea is nuts, but it might not be what you want. Give 'em a try and see how you make out.

    * Edited, switched Capture to Viewer since I kept confusing the two.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2016
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  3. RichardB

    RichardB Snapshooter

    442
    Nov 19, 2012
    Maryland, US
    Richard
    I think you're right, if by "Capture" you mean "Olympus Viewer."
     
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  4. robcee

    robcee Mu-43 Veteran

    289
    Jan 10, 2016
    Toronto
    Rob Campbell
    yes, durnit. I keep mixing those up and thought I caught them all in my post. Thanks!

    (fixed it in the original, your record of my shame will continue to exist for future generations) :)
     
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  5. kingduct

    kingduct Mu-43 Veteran

    296
    Oct 12, 2013
    I've been assuming the GX85 comes with Silkypix. Does Silkypix do the same as Olympus Viewer does? (Aim to produce a jpeg the same as the in-camera GX85 jpegs would be.)
     
  6. robcee

    robcee Mu-43 Veteran

    289
    Jan 10, 2016
    Toronto
    Rob Campbell
    donno. haven't used silkypix!
     
  7. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Fred
    Silkypix will use the camera settings by default but the results differ from the in camera JPEG. It's also in a world of its own where the user interface is concerned. I tried it occasionally with raw files from both a G2 and G5 but it made my head hurt worse than Lightroom, so I always stayed with Aperture.

    Fred
     
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  8. kingduct

    kingduct Mu-43 Veteran

    296
    Oct 12, 2013
    Based on the feedback above, it sounds like Silkypix doesn't work quite like Olympus Viewer -- whereas Olympus Viewer aims to match the SOOC jpegs, Silkypix will use similar settings, but without matching the SOOC jpegs.

    I guess I'll have to keep thinking. Maybe I'll just have to do RAW+jpeg for a while. Or maybe I should procrastinate on changing bodies.

    Anybody else have any Silkypix experience? I really wish the camera manufacturers would release their own presets for Lightroom...
     
  9. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    贾一川
    Silkypix just isn't quite good IMO, Olympus viewer may be slow but the function and quality (it has baked in NR as I remember) is more than adequate if you're looking for somthing to do basic conversion and tuning.

    I tried Silkypix for a while when I had my first mft camera, the GF3, the the colour always seemed wierd (like it wasn't designed to handle Panasonic raw files), and there were artifacts and the NR was very very basic, resulting in the photos looking harsh. I can't find any sample for now as I may probably have deleted all those converted with SP.

    Edit: to be fair, LR 4.* also failed to handle Panasonic raw with correct colours back then, red shifts to magenta

    The bundled Silkypix is an outdated 4.* version with raw support for the camera you bought, there is Developer Studio Pro 7 ($199) which I think might be a huge upgrade and that also supports Olympus raw files.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2016
  10. speedy

    speedy Mu-43 Regular

    163
    Nov 27, 2015
    I tried the latest Silkypix pro version about 4 or so months back. On one of their Panasonic only discounted promotions. Someone said that it recognizes your camera raw picture style settings that you set in the camera menus on import. Much like Canons DPP does with their own bodies. It doesn't. Well, not that I could find, or figure out.
    It's also rather slow. I use a relatively fast quad core i7 laptop, with 8 gig of ram, and it's slow. The fan works overtime. It gets hot. I also don't really like the color reproduction. Just can't get something that I consistently like.
    I have Lightroom 4, and used Abobes DNG converter with my GX8, and find that much better. Can pull much more detail out of the highlights than SP. I still can't get color that I consistently like though. Which is a bit strange, as I can quite easily match Canons DPP output with my Canon bodies.
    I've actually gone to shooting jpegs, in vibrant setting, +1 on contrast, saturation, minus 5 on NR, sharpening on standard, and using iDynamic. Lovely detailed colorful jpegs, straight out of the camera, with zero work. Occasionally I might run them through LR just to very very lightly tweak shadows or highlights, maybe WB, because I'm resizing as well, but that's it. I really want to like SP, but simply can't.
     
  11. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    It doesn't matter what RAW conversion application you choose to use, it will have its own default settings for the image you get shown on import. Some applications including Lightroom let you modify the defaults with your own preferred default setting, Olympus Viewer uses the JPEG settings from your camera as the default (it's the only application with an editing program which can apply the camera settings you enter in your Olympus camera's menus), and I don't know what Silkypix does. The big problem with Olympus Viewer is that it can only process Olympus RAW files and possibly JPEGs from other cameras (never tried that). If you ever find yourself in a position where you buy a camera body from another manufacturer, say a Panasonic m43 body, you're going to have to process files from that camera in another application. Olympus Viewer is slow as others have said, and it also doesn't have the same range of editing options as 3rd party applications like Lightroom, DxO's application, Capture One, and many other applications.

    I wouldn't recommend an application which is dedicated to the files of only one camera simply because of that fact. You're better off selecting an application that can work with files from a wide range of cameras and which offers more processing flexibility than an application like Olympus Viewer does. You won't use all of what the application offers at the start but you can grow into it over time and you can continue using it regardless of what cameras you choose in the future. That means you aren't going to be forced into the problem of learning a new processing application just because you bought a new camera. In addition, the longer you keep using an application and the more you do with it, the greater your skills and experience become and the less time it takes you to get good results. You also get better results over time because of that developing skill base. I'm not going to recommend Lightroom which you mentioned, even though I use it and think it does a very good job. I'm just saying that I think there are good reasons for going to applications other than Olympus Viewer and Silkypix.

    How the default image on import looks on import is not a guide to how good the application is at RAW conversion. Conversion doesn't actually take place until you export the image to an image file format like JPEG or send it to a printer. Until then all you're really seeing is a preview of how the image looks, first with the default settings which get applied on import and then with the additional editing changes you make as you process the image. Really what you're doing as you process is changing the settings that will be used for the actual conversion from the default settings, whether those be the original defaults the application used or your own personally created set of defaults, to settings which you think will be better for that image. The default import rendition of the RAW file isn't intended to satisfy you or to be the final result with any application, it's just intended to give you a starting point that allows you to work from in order to make the image look good. If you want to look for an application that has default import settings which satisfy you then I think you are going to be out of luck. Default settings are the same for every image, they don't change for overexposed or underexposed or high contrast or low contrast files or portraits or landscapes. The default settings are default and the same default settings are applied to every file regardless of their suitability for that file but then software has no way of knowing what kind the subject of the image is and whether you wanted a bright or a dark image or a high contrast or low contrast image or whatever. Every application simply applies a set of default operations to every file and defaults can never satisfy you for every file, or even the majority of files in my view. If that's one of the things you're chasing I think you're doomed to failure in that regard.

    My advice is to talk to any photographer friends about what they use and get them to show you how they use their application, read a few application reviews, make a short list of the ones that interest you and then download the trial versions of those applications. See what you like and dislike about them, especially whether or not you like the interface and find the controls easy to use or not, and make a decision based on a bit of hands on experience with the sort of files you make. All of the major applications are good and all of them will do what you want an application to do for quite some time so features aren't really an issue. How comfortable you find the interface and how easy you find it to do what you want to do is much more important in my view because the one thing you really don't want to find yourself doing is struggling with an application that annoys you every time you need to use it.
     
  12. RichardB

    RichardB Snapshooter

    442
    Nov 19, 2012
    Maryland, US
    Richard
    I like SilkyPix. I usually shoot with Olympus and do my basic edits in Olympus Viewer, but I bought SilkyPix and I use it sometimes on my Olympus (and Ricoh) raw files. It produces nice colors and I like the preset "tastes."

    The only Panasonic shots I've processed with SilkyPix were from a GF3. The one comparison I found was an interior shot, and the GF3's OOC jpeg had an unnaturally cool white balance. The SilkyPix version had prettier colors, with exactly the right amount of warmth to look natural while still correcting the incandescent lighting. (I wish Olympus had a preset for that kind of white balance, because its Keep Warm option is too warm and turning it off is too cool.)
     
  13. kingduct

    kingduct Mu-43 Veteran

    296
    Oct 12, 2013
    I've been using Lightroom and processing the RAW for three years with my G5. I have decent presets for it (I bought the Huelight color profiles and a user here helped me figure out sharpening and luminance presets) and understand the advantages of a RAW processor.

    However, I do not have the time or energy to keep fussing with RAW when I know that the SOOC jpegs are 90% of where I want to be already. I understand your points here, but wish that the default import applied settings that got me close to where those SOOC jpegs are -- so that I don't have to reinvent the wheel. I want a starting point that is much closer to my destination. I understand others may want a blank slate to start with, but I don't!

    I don't just want to shoot JPEG, because I take advantage of many things offered by RAW all the time. As I said above, I wish the camera manufacturers themselves created presets for Lightroom that got me to a good starting point, but they don't. I guess it'll be RAW+jpeg for me.
     
  14. GBarrington

    GBarrington Mu-43 Veteran

    I'm not sure I understand your goals. The OOC jpgs from the E-M10 are pretty darned good (I've never used a Panasonic camera, so I can't speak to that). Why are you shooting raw to get what is essentially the equivalent of jpg output? If you want to improve the quality of the unprocessed jpg, surely improving your shooting technique would be a better use of time than searching for and learning a new raw developer. It also sounds as if a simple touch up editor, such as found in FastStone or ACDSee 20 would work as well and more quickly for the sort of minor enhancements you seem to be looking for.

    And for those situations where you just aren't certain of an appropriate approach, I'd say shooting raw and jpg together would make some sense. When using that approach, as I am not a fan of either OV3 or Silkypix, I think the Open source editor/raw processor of Lightzone might serve you well since it combines the bit mapped editing and raw development into the same integrated user interface. Editing a jpg is pretty much the same workflow as developing a raw image.
     
  15. kingduct

    kingduct Mu-43 Veteran

    296
    Oct 12, 2013
    Off the top of my head, a few things I regularly do that are better done with RAW than with jpeg:
    • Fix white balance
    • Work on highlights and shadows
    • Work on individual colors
    • Try out different looks
    • Dodging and burning small areas of the image
    • Using the color version of a photo that I shot in black and white in camera! (Off-topic: Is there a way to have the camera record both b&w and color jpegs simultaneously?)
    Sure, I can do a lot of these working from the jpeg, but I like the security of having the RAW -- it means that if I make an error as I'm shooting or if I don't have the time to get my settings just right, I can fix in the post-processing.

    What I don't enjoy about RAW is doing all of the sharpness and noise removal adjustments, remembering to apply the lens profiles (for my Sigma 60/2.8 in particular), and making the main color adjustments (when I know that the camera has already made adjustments I like), and having to redo B&W when I selected it in camera.

    I dunno -- I used to shoot jpeg with my E-PL1, and when I look at my old photos, I just love the look. My G5 is awesome, but there was an effortlessness to the E-PL1 that I want to go back to.
     
  16. Dragos101

    Dragos101 Mu-43 Regular

    68
    May 1, 2015
    Bucharest, Romania
    Dragos
    Silkypix 7 is miles ahead of OV3 in terms of functionality and speed (while still slow compared to Lightroom). I use it as my main RAW processor and I find that, with some tweaking, the output most closely resembles the OV3/camera jpeg look (which I love but cannot do even the most basic adjustments due to lack of features or terrible workflow and speed). Try Memory Color 2 in color settings, I generally use it as my starting point. FWIW, both of them, especially OV3, seem quite a lot faster under Windows then Mac
    Also, the sharpening and NR in Silkypix 7 easily beat Lightroom, might even be the decisive features for some.
     
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  17. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I don't have a GX85, It does for my GX7. Including color selections like B+W, etc.

    100% agree . This is one of the reasons I still use free SilkyPix most often for editing RAW. Its a major time saver to start with a file that looks as good as the JPEG does SOOC. Then I can get right to editing. In LR, I have to spend minutes on each file just getting it to look decent before I can start editing.

    I was the same way with Canon, eschewing Adobe products and the like for perfect SOOC starting point with their free DPP product.
     
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  18. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

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  19. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    I'd also throw in Capture One for comparison. Moved to it after LR became just unbearably slow and never looked back.
    Many people have praised Olympus camera jpeg processing colors on that old 12 mp sensor.