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OM-D E-M1 Photo Processing

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Richella, May 22, 2015.

  1. I-Enhance

    1 vote(s)
    2.5%
  2. Vivid

    9 vote(s)
    22.5%
  3. Natural

    25 vote(s)
    62.5%
  4. Muted

    2 vote(s)
    5.0%
  5. Portrait

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. Custom

    1 vote(s)
    2.5%
  7. Other

    2 vote(s)
    5.0%
  1. Richella

    Richella The Wandering Scotsman

    267
    Aug 21, 2011
    Kuala Lumpur
    I've recently spent quite a lot of time researching information related to Olympus colour rendition both in conversion of RAW files in Lightroom and in-camera JPEG production. There are many comments across the Internet about the fantastic and accurate Olympus Colour reproduction and this got me thinking. With so many ways to achieve the final photo and the infamous "Olympus Colour", how are we all processing our RAW files, whether it's in Lightroom or in-camera.

    Below are a few links to articles I found, this week, on how to post process the E-M1 RAW files in Lightroom. I've tried all of these and they all create similar but subtly different output.

    https://www.mu-43.com/threads/76508/

    http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3584467

    http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/53304088

    http://dpzen.com/node/1118666

    I've also launched a survey here to survey the users on which picture mode is most frequently used.
     
  2. lightmonkey

    lightmonkey Mu-43 Veteran

    480
    Dec 22, 2013
    every manufacturer claims to have their own wonderful jpegs... fuji, olympus... but imo sony makes the best

    that said i only work with raw, and i dont use the olympus camera profiles since i tweak colors to taste, anyway... so just leave profile to adobe default (whatever they call it). thus the camera mode doesnt matter. camera mode for lcd/evf preview is default
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Aushiker

    Aushiker Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 12, 2014
    Fremantle, Western Australia
    Andrew
    I went with I-Enhance based on Darrell Young's book, "Mastering the Olympus OM-D E-M1" but seeing the voting here I will give Natural a go, hence my vote is now for Natural.

    Andrew
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2015
  4. tyrphoto

    tyrphoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2014
    Seoul | NYC
    ㅇtㅈyㅅr
    I work with RAW predominantly although sometimes I'll use the JPG from my X100T using Classic Chrome or my Ricoh's tweaked B&W mode.

    For my E-M5 II, as was the case on my E-M1, I use Natural as it seems to be the most neutral, yet still retain the nice Olympus colors. The Olympus JPEGs are most used for social media with maybe a quick edit in Snapseed either on my iPad or iPhone.
     
  5. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Atlanta
    None of the above thank you. I shoot raw and never want a camera playing with anything like color styles and spaces. What I want from the camera is a wide/full histogram recording with no clipping. Between the tools and presets in LR and Perfect Photo Suite I can make as many different final images as I want....and still have the original raw file.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. To me the E-M1 represented something of a turning point for Olympus cameras vis-a-vis colours. Converting the raws to DNG and processing them in Lightroom 4 the oversaturated reds and blues were mostly gone and the colours overall are bit calmer and more pleasant than from the E-M5. My assumption is that this likely more to do with the Panasonic sensor in the E-M1 and I would have reservations about buying any newer Olympus cameras that use a Sony sensor.
     
  7. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Atlanta
    If you don't like the color rendition of the basic Adobe converter for a given camera, in LR simply create an import preset that adjusts the colors along with clarity, noise reduction, and other adjustments. You can create a wide variety of import presets to speed up the post processing work. Presets are our friends.
     
  8. Richella

    Richella The Wandering Scotsman

    267
    Aug 21, 2011
    Kuala Lumpur
    I've created preset using the links I provided. They each provide a subtly different result. Haven't decided which I prefer yet. They seem quite robust as I've applied them to many different types of photo and they all give good results.
     
  9. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    First, it seems I'm the only person to use Muted but then I shoot RAW and the reason I use Muted is because I think it makes the light meter slightly more accurate when using RAW since the light meter reading is based on a JPEG conversion. How I process my RAW files is another thing entirely.

    Second, the first of the two DPR links and the dpzen link are for exactly the same preset, posted in 2 different places by the same person.

    Third, the DPR and dozen LR settings are simply crazy in my view. The first DPR link has been posted before and I've criticised it before. The problem with really complex "recipes" like it and it's follow up (the second DPR link) is that if you go through it carefully you can find things that are actually being affected by 2 different settings and one of those settings is given a significant plus adjustment and the other a significant - adjustment. One setting pushes things too far, the other corrects that error. It's a hell of a lot simpler not to push the first setting too far, and to end up using less adjustments in the process. The EM-1 RAW files aren't in need of adjustments to virtually every setting available in Lightroom and you can get as good or better results without changing as many settings as that. You really don't need to visit virtually every slider you can move.

    The best advice I've come across is actually quite simple. It's to adjust the overall image brightness with the Exposure slider and to get the mid-range tones basically where you want them with that, then to adjust for the extreme shadows and highlights using the Contrast slider. Really, with most files you can get most of the way with just those 2 sliders and you should aim for getting a basically acceptable rendering using just them. Then you fine tune with the other sliders. Typically I end up using small amounts of Clarity and Vibrance and I rarely use the Saturation slider in the Basic panel. I rarely use Curves, and I normally only use the HSL panel when I need to adjust the saturation and/or luminance of a particular colour and I do that using the Targeted Adjustment Tool. I virtually never touch any of the colour channel adjustments in the Camera Calibration panel. I tend to use either of the 2 Sharpening presets that Adobe provide and make small adjustments to them if necessary. It doesn't take me very long at all to get a result I like with most images, but it did take time for me to learn how to get those results.

    I tried the first of the two DPR approaches a year or two ago and really didn't like the results since the colours seemed slightly off to me and the overall brightness and contrast at the end wasn't what I wanted either. I just tried the second DPR set of settings and came to the same conclusion. I used a photo I had taken of my living room and the end result ended up with too much contrast, the black leather of the chairs and sofa got pushed too far into the black, and the white of the floor rug started to get a cream to beige tint that it doesn't have. Definitely not an accurate or natural looking result. It isn't noticeably bad if you don't have the original scene to compare the image too but when you can just walk from one room to another or, even better, stand in a doorway as I can and look at my living room to one side and the computer monitor to the other, the difference is quite apparent and not at all satisfactory.

    Ultimately I think you get much better results if you forget about trying to find a preset that does everything in one hit and just spend the necessary time it takes to learn to use the adjustments for yourself. I've never had to adjust as much as these presets fiddle with in order to get a result I preferred much more than either of those two DPR approaches deliver with my files. Even more telling is that the more I've learnt to work with the various adjustments over time, the fewer different adjustments I find myself needing to make, and the smaller those adjustments often are, in order to get a better result. Every now and then I go back over some of my old images, create a virtual copy of the original RAW import, and reprocess again from the original file data and every time I do that I tend to end up with a slightly better end result with fewer adjustments than I had previously used and in far less time than it previously took me. It takes time to learn how to process well and I'm definitely still learning, but it's time well spent given the improvement you get in your results and the reduction in time you spend processing as you develop your skills.

    Using someone else's recipes and presets will save you time when you're starting out but it also stops you from developing the skills and experience required to produce the best results yourself. Ultimately developing those skills and experience will make your photography a lot more rewarding activity for you in my view.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  10. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Atlanta
    When you shoot raw the picture modes only impact the jpg preview file, never the raw file itself. It is the jpg preview file that is used to create the histogram. So if you use natural picture mode, the jpg preview and the corresponding histogram will be the closest match to what is in the raw file. If you want the camera to actually manipulate the image, shoot in jpg. Then the body uses the raw sensor file to create a jpg with the processing indicated by the picture mode. The camera will make a smaller preview jpg that drives the histogram.
     
  11. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    I did some thinking after my post above and you started out by saying:

    So, I'll ask a question. Don't you find it rather strange if there are so many comments around about the "fantastic and accurate Olympus Colour reproduction" that the person responsible for 2 of your linked articles sees a need to use a processing strategy that makes 33 adjustments that affect colour reproduction (Contrast (actually affects saturation slightly as well), Vibrance and Saturating in the Basic panel, 24 different adjustments in the HSL panel, and 6 adjustments in the Camera Calibration panel)? He's adjusting the basic settings for interpreting the 3 sensor colour channels in the Camera Calibration panel, both saturation and vibrance in the Basic panel, and then making separate adjustments for hue, saturation and luminance for each of the 8 colour channels you can adjust in the HSL panel.

    If the Olympus colour reproduction is good enough to draw the sort of comments you refer to, why does it require that many adjustments affecting every step of the colour rendition processing available in Lightroom to be done as part of a basic processing strategy? I'd suggest that the conclusion which needs to be drawn from that is either that the Olympus rendition is bad enough to require what is really a major onslaught on Lightroom's colour processing ability, or that the Olympus rendition is as good as a lot of people say and that the person who came up with those settings either doesn't know how to use Lightroom and/or he doesn't like the Olympus rendition. Seriously, if Olympus' colour rendition is "fantastic and accurate", or at least very good which is how I would describe it, it won't require that level of processing. Very good to "fantastic and accurate" colour rendition should mean that the files need very little done to their colour rendition to deliver extremely good results.

    As I said, I think Olympus' colour rendition is very good and I don't find that it needs anywhere near that level of adjustment in order to get really good results. Reading books such as Martin Evening's "The Adobe Lightroom 5 Book" and Jeff Schewe's "The Digital Negative" which are my 2 main references for Lightroom processing, neither of them suggest anything approaching the level of adjustment contained in those two DPR links as being necessary for getting very good colour results from any camera, much less one that earns comments like the ones you refer to.
     
  12. thenextpage

    thenextpage Mu-43 Regular

    89
    Oct 13, 2014
    Thank you for starting this thread, I'm enjoying it. Where is this survey you mentioned? I don't see it. Maybe because I'm viewing on the iPhone?
     
  13. johnvanatta

    johnvanatta Mu-43 Regular

    181
    Aug 5, 2014
    Oakland, CA
    I've come to like Vivid for the EVF and manual focusing. But for image processing, I shoot RAW, and wouldn't take any of the presets very seriously for final output.