Panasonic RAW vs Olympus RAW in LR?

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by hazwing, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 25, 2012
    I have a panasonic GM5 and a olympus EM1, and have used both for a reasonable amount of time now to get a good feeling with both of them.

    I process my photos in LR and don't keep the JPG, so default LR RAW with a few tweaks is my usual starting point. It's hard for me to quantify, but I find the LR rendering of the olympus RAW better than the panasonic RAW. They seem to be more rich and contrasty. Skin tones feel less flat and plasticky.

    Not sure if I am imaging it... I haven't performed any consistent direct comparisons, but just a 'feeling' I get from using both cameras and post processing in LR. Anyone else agree with me?

    Anyone have any suggestions on getting a better starting point with the panasonic RAW files? I have previously tried huelight profiles when I had my EM5 (and the profiles were cheaper then), but I was never that impressed with the huelight profiles, and generally preferred the LR default for the EM5.
  2. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    I think overall Panasonic and Olympus cameras of the same generation look very similar in RAW (for example, the GX7 is almost indistinguishable from the E-M1).

    I haven't used the GM5, but I suspect it could have less dynamic range because most of the time it uses the electronic shutter which reduces but depth.
  3. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    there definitely are some differences, whether it's orf or rw2 you like better is personal preference, but to me I've always found the Panasonic raw more pleasing when processed in LR, albeit the Panasonic sensor is a bit behind in performance compared to the Sony sensor in Oly bodies.
  4. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    I thought EM1 is using Pany sensor too, isn't it?
  5. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    Some say it's an Panny sensor, but some say it's not, doesn't matter, as the raw file could be very different even if the sensor is identical
  6. Vivalo

    Vivalo Olympus loser Subscribing Member

    Nov 16, 2010
    I use GM5 and E-M5mk2. GM5 is the only Panasonic I've had so my experience is very limited. I've noticed that in some photos it is a bit harder to get the colours right with the RW2. It might be the lesser DR in the GM5 files when the shot is taken faster than 1/500 sec shutter (electronic shutter). The shadows seem to have greenish tint sometimes. Also the white balance is more often wrong with the GM5 RW2 files. The Oly ORF files with the LR "portrait" profile seems to give better starting point in my opinion.
  7. panamike

    panamike Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jul 5, 2016
    Lincolnshire UK
    Must admit i dont always like the GX8 raw files through ACR and Photoshop,but after some recent reading ime wondering if its because my fear of shutter shock has driven me to use E shutter,will come off it and see.
  8. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    What are you comparing, Adobe Standard profile for both cameras or some other profile for each camera? Are you also comparing the RAW and JPEG rendering for each camera, and is that influencing your opinion? What are the "few tweaks" you're using in your usual starting point?

    Adobe Standard may show the same name for files from both cameras but it is a different profile for each camera. Adobe create an individual "Adobe Standard" profile for each camera and my understanding is that they may not necessarily be all of the same quality. I understand that in some cases the profile is developed from tests with a single camera while in some other cases tests are made with a number of different camera bodies for that camera model. That means that some profiles are going to take longer and cost more to prepare than some other profiles. Adobe may have spent more time, effort and money on developing the E-M1 profile than they did on the GM5 profile and that may be part of the cause. If you're using different profiles then there could be other differences in the quality of the profile.

    Adobe don't try to reproduce one of the native profiles from the camera in their Adobe Standard profile but one of the camera profiles will always be applied by the camera to the JPEG file and the 2 cameras have different native profiles. If you're comparing the JPEG and LR RAW renderings at some point, they are definitely going to look different and the difference between RAW and JPEG for one camera isn't likely to be the same difference you find between RAW and JPEG with the other camera so if you're expecting to see LR's Adobe Standard profile deliver something similar to the camera's JPEG you're likely to be disappointed, but the disappointment you get with that comparison with one camera may not be the same with the other camera. That could be influencing your feelings.

    But here is a real issue. You said "default LR RAW with a few tweaks". If you're applying those tweaks as part of a default preset you've created, especially if one of those tweaks is a change in contrast, then things are going to be different. Default profiles are camera specific so if you've created a default profile for one or both cameras, then the initial default rendering of the RAW files you see from each camera are going to be different. The reason I mentioned a contrast change specifically is that the contrast slider in LR also has an effect on saturation, increases in contrast increase saturation slightly and decreases in contrast decrease saturation slightly. That means that if you're adjusting contrast as part of a default profile you're also adjusting saturation slightly and probably by different amounts for each camera. That may make a big difference.

    I suspect that you are actually seeing a difference but there's a lot of things which could be contributing to that difference and it's impossible to tell from your description just what may be making a contribution.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  9. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Kiillarney, OzTrailEYa
    do a double blind test ... get someone to shot more or less the same thing with one of each and have them open it in LR and then you look
  10. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 25, 2012
    Hi David, I was expecting an post from you actually... you always seem to weigh in LR and RAW discussions :) 

    I'm not comparing JPGs, or RAW against JPG. Just adobe standard RAW profile vs adobe standard RAW profile. The default tweaks I make to the RAW profile are relatively minor and I apply the same default tweaks for both RAWs. (If interested my default tweaks are +10 clarity, +15 vibrance, +15 whites, -5 blacks... but these are generally just my starting point to give the RAWs a tiny bit more 'punch')

    I realise the adobe standard profile will render the RAW differently between the different cameras. Just that, I'm not sure I like how LR default renders the panasonic GM5 RAW (as much). I think I've posted previously where I was noticing a green colour cast with adobe converted GM5 raws... so I've always felt theres something off with adobe's rendering of GM5 raws.

    In regards to whether it's from the E shutter and subsequent reduced DR on the GM5... I don't think so. I try avoid E shutter where possible, and most my shots are under 1/500.

    In the end, what I've noticed is more of a feeling from usage and processing of both cameras. It could be a placebo. That's partly why I'm seeing if anyone else has noticed. Also looking for an alternative to create a better starting point for panasonic GM5 RAWs. I quite like that LR now has camera calibration profiles for the EM1. I still often prefer to start with adobe standard profile, but sometimes the calibration profiles for the EM1 work quite nicely with some photos.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2016
  11. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    I don't see anything in your tweaks that would make an obvious difference but I did just think of another possible difference that could interact with them. Olympus and Panasonic may have tuned the exposure meters slightly differently for each camera so one camera may actually be exposing differently to the other and that may be affecting things. I also remember reading a post from Ctein on the Online Photographer blog some years back where he pointed out that Olympus was doing a little "tinkering" under the hood which basically amounted to the equivalent of applying a curves adjustment to the RAW data before creating the RAW file in order to improve performance in the highlight area. One of his comments was that "RAW isn't necessarily raw" or something like that. I suspect other camera manufacturers may do something similar and they all won't be doing exactly the same thing. I notice you are including the same Whites and Blacks adjustments in your tweaks to files from both cameras and that may be doing something if Olympus and Panasonic are tuning the meters differently and applying slightly different modifications to the RAW data when saving to file. Try comparing results from both cameras with just the profile only and without any of the tweaks. It may be that you need to set slightly different values for the tweaks for each camera.

    I suspect the probable cause of what you're seeing is a difference in Adobe Standard profile quality. I suspect that Adobe spent more time and effort on the E-M1 profile and used a number of cameras in creating it. The GM5 profile may have been created from only 1 or 2 cameras and that would mean that sample variation in camera bodies would have much more influence on how the profile works with your particular GM5. It could work well if your camera is very close in performance to the body or bodies Adobe used, but if your camera is at one end of the variation range and the body or bodies Adobe used are at the other end of the variation range, that could mean a less satisfactory result. Given that Adobe has also released some other profiles for Olympus bodies but doesn't appear to have done so for Panasonic bodies, I think it's a safe assumption that Adobe has spent more effort on profiles for the Olympus bodies than it has for Panasonic bodies.
  12. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    If you're seeing a consistent color cast with the GM5 you can tweak the camera's white balance. The Panasonic allows an adjustment for each white balance setting.

    I needed to go a step or two yellow and a little magenta on both my G2 and G5. I went through every white balance setting and tweaked them.

  13. bigboysdad

    bigboysdad Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 25, 2013
    Sydney/ London
    Why not enter the post processing challenge every week here on and see for yourselves. Panasonic and Olympus raw files all the time there.
  14. Bruce McL

    Bruce McL Mu-43 Veteran

    My theory (or fantasy) about profiles is that manufacturers pay Adobe to make the Camera series profiles. That would be Olympus, Sony, Nikon, and Canon. If they don’t pay, like Panasonic, then Adobe makes Adobe Standard for free. Once they pay, each company can make up whatever names they want for their Camera series profiles.

    Fujifilm is a special case. Unlike the others, their Camera series profiles are not accessible by the user. I suspect they had to pay Adobe more to make this happen.

    In all cases, I don’t think Adobe buys any cameras. I think they are dependent on whatever camera (or cameras) the manufacturer sends them. As far as Adobe slacking off or trying harder on some profiles, I don’t believe that.

    I don’t think they try very hard on *any* profiles. They take the camera(s) they are given, run them through a standard suite of photos, and then run the photos through whatever internal software they use to make the profiles. No art is involved, just a lot of button pressing - on the camera and on the computer.

    From my experience testing many profiles by many camera manufacturers, I find that both Adobe Standard and the Camera series profiles can vary a lot from model to model and from manufacturer to manufacturer.

    With all that out of the way, there are generalizations that can be made. To me, Panasonic’s M4/3 Adobe Standard has a look that is different from Olympus Adobe Standard. In my theory or fantasy, this is because the firmware in Panasonic and Olympus cameras is different, which makes the RAW file different, which affects the Adobe Standard profile.

    With all of THAT out of the way, I own a GM5, and I started making alternate Camera Profiles before I bought the camera. I would not have bought the camera (any camera, really) if I was limited to Adobe Standard. Why bring the photo in with crummy color and tonality and try to fix it, when you can bring it in just the way you want? That is the goal of a good camera profile.

    I haven’t posted any profiles for the GM5 yet. There is Huelight which makes and sells alternate profiles for many Panasonic M43 cameras. I've heard good things about them from many people. The Huelight website is very slow right now.

    Someday I would like to write up a tutorial on making your own camera profiles, but not right now. I’m busy tweaking my camera profiles for the DNG files from my iPhone. It's only been a day since Apple made it possible for my phone to shoot RAW. :) 
  15. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    OK, since I was the guy who made the comments about Adobe and camera profiles that you are responding to:

    1- I never said anything about Adobe "slacking off or trying harder on some profiles". What I said was that I understood some profiles were made using several camera bodies to provide sample files and some were made using only a single camera body. Obviously if you use more bodies you end up with more files and the processing takes more time and effort which I did say. I read somewhere that Adobe use several camera bodies for profiling some models and only one body for profiling other camera models but I have not been able to locate where I read that. My memory could be wrong but I don't think so. The source I remember reading could be wrong but I remember thinking at the time that it was probably a reliable source. I've actually come over the years to regard Adobe Standard as a good profile despite the poor opinion many have of it. It doesn't provide a rendering that tends to grab you at the start but I find it possible to consistently get results I like with it, probably because I find it provides a fairly "neutral" starting point. The other profiles I've tried seem to provide a less "neutral" starting point in my view and I find I end up having less flexibility working with them. That's me, others definitely have different opinions, but in my view the fact that Adobe Standard does not provide a rendering that has a strong, individual appearance is a strength rather than a weakness.

    2- I don't know if manufacturers pay Adobe to make the Camera series profiles but I think it is wrong to say that "If they don’t pay, like Panasonic, then Adobe makes Adobe Standard for free". That implies that Adobe creates an Adobe Standard profile for a camera only if the manufacturer does not pay for the creation of a camera series profile and that is not correct. Adobe creates an Adobe Standard profile for every camera supported by ACR/LR and I don't think whether or not a camera manufacturer pays for the creation of one or more camera series profiles has any effect on the effort they put into making their Adobe Standard profile.
  16. Bruce McL

    Bruce McL Mu-43 Veteran

    Right. A better choice of words on my part would have been, "If they don't pay, Adobe only makes the Adobe Standard profile."

    I have used Adobe's publicly available DNG Profile Editor. Adobe also has a Lens Profile Editor publicly available, but I have not used it. Both apps work similarly. They take as input photos that have been taken under very specific conditions and as output they produce Camera or Lens profiles. In my imagination, Adobe has more sophisticated apps which take a wider variety of images as input that they use for creating their own Camera and Lens profiles.

    As far as how many cameras are used, I don't know. If all you meant was that using more cameras would take more "time and effort," than using one, I agree and I misunderstood your intent.

    There is a command line app called dcpTool that can be helpful in investigating Camera Profiles. The documentation also explains some very complex things that are done in Adobe's profiles.

    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  17. I have had an E-M5, GM1, and now have E-M1, GM5. I find the Adobe RAW treatment from the both Olympus bodies generally better than the two Panasonics with respect to WB - the Panasonics seem to require some bizarre tweaking with green/magenta, and it's hard to get RAWs from the Panasonic to look good on both the LCD and the computer.

    You're also stuck with Adobe Standard out of the box with Panasonic, whereas Olympus have the full set of camera emulations (Natural, Portrait, Muted, Vivid). Olympus does have the issue of things often ending a bit too yellow, and reds being over saturated though.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  18. Bruce McL

    Bruce McL Mu-43 Veteran

    The only option I can think of is to make your own camera profiles. It’s complicated, and generally requires different profiles for different lighting conditions - for example one for indoors, one outdoors and one low light.
  19. Joe Smith

    Joe Smith Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 6, 2016
    It doesn't matter. "Raw file" is a misnomer, there's a lot of processing between the sensor read-out and the creation of the so called "raw" file.
  20. Bruce McL

    Bruce McL Mu-43 Veteran

    This can be seen clearly with dcpTool. It allows you to "cross process" a profile by assigning it to another camera without changing any of the color and tonality instructions.

    Using another Panasonic profile on my GM5 is - interesting. The changes are noticeable, but the images are similar. There is definitely a family resemblance. Using Olympus profiles on the GM5 gives radical color and tone curve shifts.

    Viewing Olympus raw files with other Olympus profiles show a definite family resemblance as well. Some Olympus profiles look identical from one camera model to another.
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