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Thread: A few E-300 questions...

  1. #1
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    Default A few E-300 questions...

    First off, I want to say that after my brother bought the E-500 a few weeks back, he decided to buy another body. This time, he bought an E-300. He (both of us actually) liked the E-300 so much that he took the E-500 back and bought another E-300. We really enjoy these cameras and we will be slowly increasing the lens inventory to the better quality ZD glass as we go along. We already have the ZD 11-22 which is an excellent lens which he found at an unbeatable price plus the two Sigma lenses.

    Anyway, I was just curious about a few things and want to ask you all here, since you have been dealing with Oly DSLRs longer than we have.


    1) How many of you shoot in RAW and why?

    According to DPReview, the colors in RAW are "more true to life" and the images are also a little sharper and cleaner which results in finer details. I also noticed in the example photos that the jagged clipping found in the in-camera jpegs are a lot worse than what shows up in RAW, which there is almost none.


    2) What are your "tweaks" for the AWB issues?

    All I have done so far is use one of the preset WB settings. But I have noticed that using the "Cloudy" setting gives a green tone to everything. This looks nice at times, but isn't something I want all of the time. However, if just shooting outdoors with AWB, it does a pretty decent job overall.


    3) What is your best way of resizing images for web use?

    I know this really isn't a camera specific question as such, but it still has to do with the image quality as far as showing pictures online.

    The reason I ask this question is because for the past few years I have noticed that when I resize an image to whatever size I want, the sharpness and crispness of the images goes a little soft. I don't know if it's the way Photoshop CS processes the image after its been resized or what. And I hate to sharpen images, but when I do, I use Unsharpen Mask at very low levels. Sometimes it will come out looking pretty good, almost unnoticeable, but other times it gives the image a grainy look to it.

    I see the images you guys post, and others on other forums as well, and the images are very smooth and clean, but also very razor sharp. Are there better ways of resizing images in Photoshop CS and retaining all of the detail, or are you using some other kind of editing software?

    At the moment, I have Photoshop CS, Photoshop LightRoom and Neat Image 5.0 Pro+. Oh, and I also have Picasa v2.6 from Google.

    Thanks in advance!

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    Default Re: A few E-300 questions...

    I'll be happy to answer one of your questions, regarding white balance. That is one thing that can be a bit tricky with the E-300. Ways to deal with it:

    1. Shoot raw (see, now I answered 2 of your questions )

    2. Use the reference setting to set your WB. Bring something white along with you (a t-shirt works fine, or I usually have a sheet of photocopy paper in my bag). Put the white object in the light you will be shooting in, aim at it and take a reference setting. As long as your light stays the same your WB will be spot on.

    3. Practice fixing minor WB errors in post-processing. I have gotten pretty good at this so that I can do it in a couple of clicks. Shots that at first I might have discarded turn out to be keepers now.

    Otherwise it's an excellent camera. It never gets in the way of shooting.

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    Default Re: A few E-300 questions...

    Thanks ditto1958.

    I'm going out in the back yard to try some RAW shots.

    I tried doing the custom WB a little while ago, and no matter what I did, I could not get anything usable, and couldn't even correct it in post-processing. Everything was an orange-red. Then again, it was in mixed lighting with "soft-white" fluorescent and natural light from the window. Plus, everything outside the window was blue. It really sucked. LOL

    Also, one more thing I forgot to ask...

    Which color space do you all shoot in, sRGB or Adobe RGB?

    I read in the E-300 review on DPReview that the Adobe RGB is a bit oversaturated. Again, would shooting RAW help with this as well?

    Thanks again!

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    Default Re: A few E-300 questions...

    Are you doing a one touch white balance setting? See p.97 of your advanced manual to do it. It works great for me.

    I haven't had any oversaturation issues. I shoot 99% jpeg and it works fine as far as I'm concerned.

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    Default Chops...

    Page 97 of the "Ghetto Cam" manual is not clear enough (at least for me)
    I do it this way...lets say you are using the 14-45mm kit lens, set it to the 14mm position,open it all the way, f3.5 I think, go thru the menu to find the "One touch WB", put a Mr.Coffee filter in front of the lens, or a sheet of inkjet photo paper (the back side), aim the camera where the light source is and click the OK button...that's it.
    ***If it is the sun, then aim it to the right or the left of the sun (sky area)...



    It gives you the best WB, even if you shoot RAW like I do, is best to set it up that way, one less adjustment to make later...

    Carlos
    PS.I have two E-300, kit lenses, 14-54mm, 50mm f2, 1.4EC

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    Default Re: A few E-300 questions...

    Alright ditto1958 and Carloskbco,

    I've been playing around with this camera all afternoon. Thanks to you guys, I now know exactly how to get the custom WB to work for me. Apparently when I was doing it before, I was hitting the wrong button and things weren't taking like they should. But now it works perfectly and I'm getting great looking images indoors.

    I've also been switching back and forth between sRGB and AdobeRGB. With the camera shooting in JPEG, you can clearly see a difference between the two different color spaces. The AdobeRGB in JPEG is in fact more saturated than sRGB. However, when shooting in RAW, there is very little difference between the two color spaces. The only area I can see any improvements is in the reds while using AdobeRGB and RAW.

    The other really big PLUS that I see from using RAW (other than being able to correct all parameters of the image), is the fact that there are absolutely ZERO jaggies in the images. No matter how I expose the image or how drastic I make the highlights with contrasting backgrounds, there's simply no clipping going on to make the jagged edges show up. Overall image sharpness has improved as well, I guess from the omission of the jaggies.

    And as for developing and converting the RAW images, I'm using Photoshop LightRoom instead of Olympus' own software. I haven't even looked at Oly's software, but I doubt it has the features and options that LightRoom has to offer. It's an excellent program that I'm quickly learning to use. And one of the nice things about it is that it has a noise reduction filter built in as well, which does a great job without overly softening the picture. It has virtually everything you need to get the job done right the first time.

    Thanks again for everything, guys! I really appreciate it.

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    Default Re: A few E-300 questions...

    Due to the somewhat dodgy WB on the E-300, I shoot 99.9% RAW when using it at ISOs 400 and below, and I use Silkypix for developing. The exception is, as I recently noted, my concert shoots. When the E-300 was my only camera, I would shoot RAW+SHQ at ISO 800-1600, and then see what results were best, either sending the SHQ through Neatimage or Noiseware, or else using Silkypix' native NR when possible (too often, though, Silkypix cannnot handle the yellow noise produced at high ISOs). Since recently getting a new E-1, I have switched to SHQ only on both cameras, shooting at ISO 400 on the E-300 with the 50 macro, and the 50-200 on the E-1 at ISO1600, then sending both through Noiseware. And I always do a custom WB beforehand. If custom WB isn't possible, then I'll probably continue shooting RAW+SHQ just to be sure to be able to adjust later.

    Resizing for the web: I develop my RAW shots in Silkypix as noted above; in any case, I then use PS7 with an automated action(s) (one for portrait, one for landscape) that resizes the photo, imprints my copyright info, and adds sharpening to make up for the softening effect you mentioned.

    Color space: I shoot SRGB and will probably continue that way until monitors are capable of reproducing wider gamuts.

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    Default Re: A few E-300 questions...

    I shoot almost only RAW. It gives a larger margin for exposure errors and complete independence on WB. For E-300 it is of particular importance, since its WB is not known to be the best.

    In RAW the WB setting on the camera is just a recommendation for the RAW converter. I leave it in AUTO most of the time. The method I found most convenient for me is to use WhiBal.

    Go to http://www.rawworkflow.com/ and read about it. The $30.- or so is the best investment I made in photography (that is, when I don't forget to take it along...)

    Moshe

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    Default Re: A few E-300 questions...

    I shoot RAW on my 300 and 330, even my 8080 for a few reasons.


    Take some pictures in RAW + SHQ, run them thru Master slideshow.
    First the jpeg will come up then you will see alot of detail come in as the RAW image loads.

    I also like having the ability to adjust WB and exposure in RAW.

    When shooting at 1600 iso you can turn on the noise reduction in the raw settings in master 2, if that isn't enough I run the through either neat image or Noiseware.

    The 300's high iso clean up well but you do lose detail.

    I usually leave the WB on either Sun or shade outside and auto inside, in really tricky situations I use a expodisc and onetouch but that isn't as often as I thought it would be.

    I have found reds in floral come out much better if I drop the saturation with the 300.

    Jim
    E 5, E 3, E 330, C-8080, 8mm FE, 7-14, 11-22, 12-60,PL 25MM F 1.4, 35MM, 50MM F 2, 50-200, 70-300, EX 25, EC 1.4 & 2.0, FL 40, FL 5Or, FL 20, SRF-11, Foam Ring Flash.

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    Default Re: A few E-300 questions...

    I shoot all jpeg unless when i shoot in some critical condition then i use RAW.For WB,i put a White card in my camera bag and do refence wb all time except outdoor.

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    Default Re: A few E-300 questions...

    1) How many of you shoot in RAW and why?
    I shoot in Raw as it allows me to make minor adjustments after the fact. I set the WB to auto and forget about it for example

    2) What are your "tweaks" for the AWB issues?
    See answer 1 above!

    3) What is your best way of resizing images for web use?
    If I can process the image completely within RSP then I use it to resize, but if I need to do more processing on an image then I resize in the Gimp and apply the necessary sharpening.
    About Bob

    Daily Photoblog and Photography Blog

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    E-3, HLD4, E300, HLD3, ZD11-22, ZD 14-45, ZD14-54, Sigma 30 f1.4, ZD35 Macro, ZD40-150(orig), ZD50-200, EC-14 and EX-25, fl-36.

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