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Bert Bigelow Nov 25, 2002 1:56 AM

E20 Sharpness and Contrast Settings Question
The menu for the E20 allows the user to select one of three sharpness settings...SOFT, NORMAL, HARD and three contrast settings, LOW, NORMAL, HIGH.
The defaults are NORMAL, but the manual says that if you are using an imaging editing program that the SOFT and LOW settings for sharpness and contrast respectively are "ideal."
My take on this is that SOFT sharpness means no sharpening is done in the camera. Ditto for LOW contrast. No processing. The manual doesn't specifically say that, but I can't imagine that they would actually UNsharpen an image...would they?
I am a Photoshop user, and I would prefer to do the sharpening there, using the Unsharp Mask. I feel I will have more control. Same with contrast. I'd rather adjust it with Levels and/or Curves in PS. Therefore, I have selected the SOFT and LOW settings. Am I right on this, or should I be using the NORMAL settings to get best sharpness?

marokero Nov 25, 2002 11:19 AM

With Soft and Low settings I think the camera doesn't apply any sharpening or increase contrast. I've been using my E-10 for almost two years and in the begining didn't want to fiddle too much in Photoshop, prefering to leave the settings on Soft and Normal. I've left it like this since then, and used raw whenever I wanted the absolute best out of the camera. It's more work, but you have much more control over the final image. Soft and Low settings will afford the greatest dynamic range from your camera, perhaps I should set mine back to those settings. Unfortunatly I can't since my camera is being serviced at Olympus right now ;)

Bert Bigelow Nov 25, 2002 1:27 PM

Thanks for the input. You've confirmed what I thought.
I considered using RAW or TIFF, but the files are so huge! If I did portrait work, I think that would be the way to go. Mostly, I do family and travel photography. I also have a Nikon CP first digital camera...but I found its 2 megapixels to be marginal for 8x10 prints. I still use it when I want to "travel light."
What happened to your E10? Just curious.

marokero Nov 25, 2002 2:10 PM

I zapped it using an AC adapter that had the same specs as the Olympus one, but was meant for the Japanese market... instead of the regulated 6.5V it was putting out 10.2V :( So it must've burned some circuitry in there... I bit the bullet and shelled out $385 + tax for an out of warranty repair. That money goes to new electronics, calibrating optics, hopefully new buttons because I use them a lot, specially the display button... tapping that button twice in short succession to display the last shot taken :) I should be getting my camera back in a week or so.

Bert Bigelow Nov 25, 2002 3:55 PM

Ouch!! I don't have an AC adapter, and was thinking of buying one. Guess I better buy Oly's if I do! :(

tapping that button twice in short succession to display the last shot taken.
On the E20 you can set it to automatically display the last pix for 5 seconds or for the duration of the transfer to flash memory. Can't you do that on the E10?

marokero Nov 25, 2002 5:22 PM

Yes, that's also a feature on the E-10, but it slows down the shot to shot speed if you use it.

About the AC adapter, the Japanese use 100V as opposed to 110-120V we use in the USA. I should've tested the voltage prior to pluging it to my E-10 :( Live and learn... the Oly adapter is also regulated, that is, the voltage doesn't drop or go above the specified 6.5V.

Bert Bigelow Nov 25, 2002 9:29 PM

Man, that's terrible! I didn't know Japanese utility power was 100 VAC. That's a real bummer. I would have made the same mistake, and I'm an Electrical Engineer by training.
I hadn't thought about the shot-to-shot delay caused by writing to the monitor. I turned that feature off, too, by the way. I usually don't bother to look at a picture after I take it, so I figured it's just using up the battery. Turn it off. The delay is another reason.
What do you use for ISO value? I read about it and decided to leave it in AUTO. I want the lowest setting (80) when possible to reduce noise.

marokero Nov 25, 2002 10:40 PM

I leave the ISO at 80 at all times, except when I really need more sensitivity. I think either E-10/20 might pick a higher ISO sooner than you'd expect... that's why I leave it fixed at 80.

If you use Photoshop a lot, perhaps you can push the ISO 1 stop by deliberatly under exposing your images by 1 stop, and then adjusting them in Photoshop. Pushing your images seems to generate slightly less noisy images than switching to the next ISO up. For example, the normal exposure for a given shot is 1/125s f5.6. Under either S or A modes you can adjust exposure compensation to -1 so the the exposure would read like 1/250s f5.6 in shutter priority, or 1/125s f11 in aperture priority. Under manual mode you can ajust the settings manually (duh! :D) Okay, now bring the under exposed shot into photoshop and copy the background image into its own layer. Set the top layer to Screen mode and adjust its opacity until desired exposure is achieved. You're done! :wink: Afterwards flatten the image so you can do whatever other adjustments you want :)

marokero Nov 25, 2002 10:48 PM

oh yeah, and that's why when I bought my battery chargers I made sure to get one that could handle 90-264VAC for world wide use. The DPS-9000 battery pack I recently purchased too handles 100-240VAC. Can't be too careful right? :roll:

Bert Bigelow Nov 26, 2002 3:44 AM

Hmmm. Well, you're obviously more skilled with PS than I am. I've never used Screen Mode. Gotta go read up on that. Thanks for the tips on pushing the ISO. I think I'll change the setting to 80 also. I'd rather KNOW what the ISO is.
You also got me thinkin' about my LiPO battery charger (B-20LPC)
It's 100-240VAC, 50/60 Hz. Output is 4.3Vdc, 2.4Amps. We travel quite a bit, so it's good to know that it will work anywhere in the world. I've also got LiMH AAs for the little battery pack if I don't want to carry the big Power Battery unit. It adds quite a bit of weight and bulk to the camera. I probably would not have bought that...oh, I should explain that I bought the camera used from a friend who is a real camera nut. His wife gave him a Nikon D1X for his birthday, so he offered to sell me the E20, less than a year old for about half price, plus an FL-40 flash, flash bracket, four 128 MB SMs, a 1GB IBM Microdrive, the LiPO setup with 2 batteries and the charger...and more! Couldn't pass it up!

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