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Old Feb 16, 2007, 8:49 PM   #1
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Today I received my new E-330, a beautiful camera that I know I am going to love to shoot.

One of the first things I wanted to do was to just get some sort of idea as to what was possible with this sensor at higher ISO's compared to the E-1/E300 I've been using now for a while. It turns out, and probably not with too much surprise considering it's a fairly new model compared to the E-1 and E300,the E-330's files look to be much nicer in terms of possible higher ISO performance.

I'vechecked several onlinetests performed in reviews of thismodeland, no doubt, most of those tests were done with JPEGS, possibly right out of the camera. I wanted to test it based on my style of shooting, which would be to say 100% RAW. I have started a folder on my website dedicated to this little project. So far I have only placed one set if tests of the same image, from ISO 100 all the way to 1600. My method of processing is detailedabove the imageson the website. Here is the link:

http://gmchappell.smugmug.com/gallery/2479722#130098849

These files are available for 100%-sized viewing or for downloading to your computer if you wish to look at them in your own software of choice.

Thisfirst test was performed with an FL50 flash bounced off the ceiling. Please no comments about my possibly bad dietary habits, I know already! I plan, over the next several weeks, to add additional tests, both indoors and out, bright light and shadows. If you have any specific type shots you'd like me to try let me know and I'll do my best to do what you ask within reason. I have found this first test to be very interesting in a very positive way, taking into consideration what I've seen said about the capabilities of this camera from ISO 800 upwards.
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Old Feb 16, 2007, 10:00 PM   #2
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Thanks for doing the test, Greg. Is there any way you could make the RAW file(s) available (at least for the extreme cases like ISO 800 and 1600)? Lots of storage space involved, I know (maybe through bigupload?).


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Old Feb 16, 2007, 10:31 PM   #3
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Do you want them directly? I can do that. Just let me know if you want any others. If your email address is out there or if you want to email me (mine's on the front page of my website), I already have Firefox on my desktop. These were shot with no embedded JPEG's, so they're all approx. 12.9MB in size.
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Old Feb 16, 2007, 10:44 PM   #4
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Here's the ISO 1600 RAW file:

P2160048.Orf.Zip by Bigupload.Com

and here's the ISO 800 file:

P2160045.Orf.Zip by Bigupload.Com
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Old Feb 17, 2007, 10:08 AM   #5
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I opened a 6 month premium membership with Bigupload, so if you see any RAW file from this test you'd like to try yourself, just let me know and I'll give you the link.

Greg
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Old Feb 19, 2007, 1:48 AM   #6
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A couple of newer images I've uploaded to the webpage for full-sized viewing for anyone interested. This first image taken at ISO 1250 with fill flash from the built-in unit:



This next image was shot at ISO 100.



and here's ISO 1600..



Viewed full-size, the shadows on the house in the background show obvious grain, but the quality of the image is quite good compared to what I'm used to seeing from the E300 at ISO 1600. Actually, they don't even compare. I have no qualms using this camera at all up to ISO 800, and 1600 even looks good if exposed right.

Here'san indoor complex subject with areas of shade and highlights. Again, at ISO 1600 I'm impressed with what I am seeing so far:



One subject I still want to test is an indoor sports activity, like thevolleyball shots I posted on another page of my sitethat I took with my E1 at ISO 1600. Right now I'm not sure when that will happen, but I'm hoping I get that chanceover the next several weeks.

So far I am very impressed with the sensor in this camera as far as ISO 800 and higher performancecompared to previous Olympusmodels I've shot with. in some images where I grossly underexposed shadows, bad grain/noise characteristics can still be seen, but that will be the case with most any model available today if a subjectis exposed badly enough.

Good exposure is the key. I am alsoliking very much the high-key and low-key (shadow) spotmetering options that are new for me. The spot in the metering pattern is very tight andaccurately placed and, assuming you've picked the right luminence within the subject, a great additional tool for defining shadows or highlights.




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Old Feb 19, 2007, 4:25 PM   #7
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Hi Greg,

I never fail to learn from your posts.

Hmmm ... now another question. How did you decide to choose
ISO 1250 ?

I tried a few times to choose those intermediate values like using
ISO 320 instead of ISO 200 but didn't gain any significant advantage
in terms of exposure times. I am sure you know exactly what I am
trying to bring out here ...

Just wanna know, how to use the intermediate ISOs effectively.
Although I don't worry a lot when shooting ISO 800 ... nothing too
bad in it.

Cheers,
--
Gaggu
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Old Feb 19, 2007, 5:34 PM   #8
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Hi Greg

I think Pana's nMOS sensor's kind of been underated for some time and your shots proove it. When I was seriously looking at the L1 I took a close look at sample ISO800 shots from the L1 and Sony Alpha and to my eyes (with specs) the L1 had the better ISO800 (esp. detail) and even the ISO1600 there wasn't much between the two. I'm hoping that both Pana(nMOS) and Kodak (FF) have managed to get even more out of the sensor's for the next batch of 4/3 cams.

Pana L1 vs Sony A100 high ISO comaprison

Pre-production L1 (hence the banding - this issue was fixed for the production L1's and didn't effect E330's at all):






What do you think of LV ?? I really wish I had it over the weekend at the New Year celebrations in china-town there's just so many ways that you can use that feature, eps if your trying to be discreet.

Cheers

HarjTT

:? :O
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Old Feb 19, 2007, 6:23 PM   #9
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gaggu wrote:
Quote:
Hi Greg,

I never fail to learn from your posts.

Hmmm ... now another question. How did you decide to choose
ISO 1250 ?
Hi gaggu, than you for the kind comments.

In the shot of the statues in the park it was as much a matter of running out of shutter speeds and F-stopsas anything else. I don't think in most cases it matters too much whether you'd shoot at a "whole" or 1/3 step of an ISO setting with the exception of a case such as this.

I was already up to f20 and 1/160 second shutter speed at ISO 1250and couldn't go to FP flash with the built-in unit. Once I dialed it up to ISO 1600 I was not getting a good exposure readingat 1/180 sec as I was exposing for the background and balancing the foreground with the flash. My inital intention was to shoot it at ISO 1600, but it was simplytoo bright to do.

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Old Feb 19, 2007, 6:32 PM   #10
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HarjTT wrote:
Quote:
Hi Greg

I think Pana's nMOS sensor's kind of been underated for some time and your shots proove it.

What do you think of LV ?? I really wish I had it over the weekend at the New Year celebrations in china-town there's just so many ways that you can use that feature, eps if your trying to be discreet.

Cheers

HarjTT

:? :O
I think you are absolutely right about the Panasonic sensor. I've been very impressed with it. I have a feeling many of the reviews we see of these cameras are based on images straight out of the camera with little of the advanced options programs like Photoshop gives us to maximize quality.

I shot a set of test images this afternoon indoors, one set JPEG with added in-camera sharpening, and the same set again in RAW capture. I'm going to work the RAWfiles up this eveningand post them both here and my website so the differences can be seen side by side. If what I think is going to happen does, there should be a visible difference between especially the two ISO 1600 shots.
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