What are the 'olympus colours' and do you like 'em?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by hazwing, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    I noticed earlier on when researching the m4/3rds format, people praising the rendition of olympus jpegs and olympus colours.

    Having shot with it myself for a little while now, I feel I don't get the hype for it. I guess this sort of thing can be quite subjective, though.

    There are some shots that I prefer with the olympus jpg rendition, but there are often times when I feel the colours are not to my liking. Sometimes skin tones are a little too red/orange for my tastes. I tend to notice blacks tend to be deeper, images are quite contrasty and sometimes too contrasty.

    So what do you think characterises the 'olympus colours'? And are you a fan of them?

    p.s - I usually shoot jpg + raw, with jpgs set on 'natural'
  2. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Real Name:
  3. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Real Name:
    I tend to like very rich, vibrant and slightly warm colors. I've long been a fan of Fuji colors for the same reason. In the end, it's a matter of personal preference. :cool:
  4. sammykhalifa

    sammykhalifa Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 22, 2012
    Pittsburgh PA
    Real Name:
    I stopped shooting with JPEG. While they looked nice at times, at others they seemed a bit too "over the top" for me.
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  5. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Real Name:
    You know, there is a certain overlap between the two brands in the color dept. I know this is not supposed to be a problem with RAW, but it seems like the PS defaults for Olympus and Panasonic are different. It's not that i want Panasonic to look like Olympus as much as I like Olympus and I want something from the G3 that I like as well. I also wonder if it's all in my head.:redface:
  6. JJJPhoto

    JJJPhoto Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    Cincinnati, OH
    Real Name:
    Jerry Jackson Jr
    I know back in the "old days" when the E-1, E-300 and E-330 DSLRs launched there were many Olympians talking about blues and purples from the Kodak sensors in those cameras being better than cameras with sensors from Canon, Sony or Fujifilm.

    Here's a shot I took a while back with the Olympus E-1:


    Now that Kodak isn't making the sensors for Olympus anymore the issue of color really boils down to Olympus' default color treatment for JPEGs -- you either like it or you don't -- or you shoot RAW and do whatever you want with the colors.
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  7. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I don't find Olympus colors that much better, it's Olympus metering that's superior.
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  8. las Palm as

    las Palm as Mu-43 Regular

    I have the same experience, i remember the ep1 colors better than the omd, or it will be the 3 year using Panasonic. Now i shot only raw.
    like jjjphoto said, now the sony sensor its different.
  9. PatrickVA

    PatrickVA Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 31, 2012
    Central Virginia
    I think it has a lot to do with the blues and blacks, as mentioned. With consistent lighting and manual white balance, the JPEGs are terrific. I often mess around with a RAW file in Lightroom until I really like it, only to find I like the JPEG better.

    I switched to the OM-D from the GX1 partly because of the JPEGs. There was something about GX1 skin tones that I could never fix.
  10. PatrickVA

    PatrickVA Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 31, 2012
    Central Virginia
    Same here. I love the JPEGS, but still shoot both for flexibility in post. There's little reason not to when 32gb cards are $25.
  11. Mytola

    Mytola Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 10, 2013
    I shoot raw, but I can't say I notice any special "Olympus Colours" to be honest.
  12. RnR

    RnR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    Unless you develop your raws in the Olympus Viewer application you are not getting the 'oly colours'.
  13. marcsitkin

    marcsitkin Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 24, 2013
    Harwich, MA USA
    Real Name:
    Marc Sitkin
    I'm trying to create a custom camera profile for use in lightroom to get closer to the Oly viewer app colors as well as the jpg rendition. I'm using Adobe DNG editor and a Macbeth Color checker. Making a bit of progress. Finding that increasing lightness and saturation of some of the chart colors is getting me closer. Also opened up the shadows a bit using the tone curve adjustments.
  14. PatrickVA

    PatrickVA Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 31, 2012
    Central Virginia
    I'd love a profile that is an exact or close match to the Olympus JPEG. Then I'd shoot in only raw knowing I haven't lost the look. It's working for me now, but my workflow consists of scrolling through the JPEGs to narrow it down to the obvious keepers, then working in Lightroom to see if I can get the raws to look better than the JPEG. With difficult lighting I often can, but absent an obvious lost shadow or highlight blowout, the JPEGs win a majority of the time.

    I'm not an artist, though, just trying to document the reality of the scene rather than make it more ascthetic than it was.
  15. marcsitkin

    marcsitkin Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 24, 2013
    Harwich, MA USA
    Real Name:
    Marc Sitkin
    I like the choice of a jpg or a raw, and more often on the oly choose the jpg as a starting point. I especially lean towards the jpgs when using higher ISO's, as I find them a much cleaner starting point. With the controls of Lightroom available to work with on the jpgs, unless I've really blown an exposure, the jpgs work out well.

    I've come to the Oly from years of traditional film and wetlab printmaking, using large, medium and small format film cameras. I've been shooting digital slr for about 7 years, and am changing my approach dramatically with the Oly. I'm trying to spend more time with the camera and less on the computer an printer. I think that rebalancing will help artistically.
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  16. gardengirl13

    gardengirl13 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 26, 2012
    I'm not sure about this either. I was worried about switching since I heard that Olys tended to be on the warmer side and I preferred the canon cooler side of images. But I really don't see a who lot of difference. Sure they're not really the same, but I really am hard pressed to say what makes them different.
  17. mf100

    mf100 Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 26, 2012
    Sawbridgeworth, England
    Real Name:
    I picked the EP-3 over the GX1 in part because I saw a comparison of their JPEGs and felt that there was difference between the two, and for me Oly won the day.
  18. Vivalo

    Vivalo Olympus Loser

    Nov 16, 2010
    My first digital camera was an Olympus P&S in 2004. Since then I've had one Canon P&S, Olympus E-520, E-P1 and now also E-P3. I have noticed that the JPEGs from the Olympus cameras are warmer and I have grown to like that kind of white balance. It gives the images a more nostalgic feeling. Images where the white surfaces are forced to be white, no matter what the lighting conditions are, look too clinical to me. And I think in that regard Olympus white balance and JPEG colours have been more realistic to my eye than what I've seen from other manufacturers.
  19. BLT

    BLT Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 13, 2013
    Real Name:
    I think a lot of people probably use a term like 'olympus colours' when what they really mean is they just generally like the OOC JPEGS.

    I really like the OOC JPEGS from my e-p1, and for some of us that is really really important. Most of the time I simply can't be bothered with RAW I like to snap and go adjusting the camera as I see fit.

    But people simply have different tastes - I enjoy what my e-p1 gives me and i also liked what my old Fuji 'all in one super zoom thingy' gave me in the JPEG respect. I didn't like what I got from a GF1 or what I got from an expensive Sony compact I used to have. . . .just some examples of my taste. . . . .
  20. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    Olympus colors (OOC JPGs in Natural picture mode) differ between camera models. The E-PL2 is significantly different than the OM-D & E-PL5 (which are just about identical). In fact, the 16mp Oly's look more like my D7000 than the E-PL2. Which isn't surprising, since those three have recent vintage Sony sensors.