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Old Jan 5, 2008, 2:53 AM   #41
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This one is an aberration. Ev -0.3, everything is in total darkness because of a tine hole of sky up above.

Tullio, I think you should test cameras for NASA because if anybody can find fault in equipment you can.

I honestly don't know what you expect to happen when you do things like that, andhope the 'possibility' of operator error should become apparent to you sooner or later. Perhaps you need to go and buy another make of camera and discover that does the same thing before condeming your Olympus.

No camera is going to provide you with the image you expect unless you learn more about exposure,and when the circumstances are difficult (like your trees) you HAVE to expect to do some post processing of the image to 'normalise' it. For instance, the purple patches. You have used 400 ISO, which gives a bit more grain/noise. Then you have underexposed the scene, which gives yetmore grain/noise. So you doubled up the noise by your own efforts, not the cameras. Do you see my point?
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Old Jan 5, 2008, 11:51 AM   #42
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Tullio, I think you should test cameras for NASA because if anybody can find fault in equipment you can.
I don't believe NASA is in the camera business, OCD. They use NIKON. But perhaps I could apply for a job at Olympus, testing their equipment:G

I understand that there is always a learning curve and that there is no perfect camera (speciallyat this price range...no one should expect too much). I also realize that post processing has become part of life, specially if the image comes out of a SLR. However, IMO the blue cast and purple patches produced by the E510 in 70%+ of the images I took under those circumstances, IS unacceptable in my book. Irregardless whether I set the Ev to -0.3 (to try and save at least some highlights from clipping - which BTW IS another serious issue with the E510) and used ISO 400 (chosen by the camera since I had it set to AUTO ISO), the camera should not perform like that. What is the point in having high ISO? Isn't it to be used in LOW light situations? Now, the Ev on that particular shot could have been set to 0 since there was no severe highlight. OK, I'll give you that. But, overall, the result is unacceptable. Try to post process that image and you'll see that no matter what you do (now granted, I'm far from being a PS expert. In fact, my knowledge of PS is somewhat limited) the image will not look very good because it is too bad to begin with. If I had set the camera to its lowest ISO value, I'd need a tripod and that defeats the purpose of having good noise control at high ISO (and the E510 supposedly has, does it not?).

OK, looking through some of my photos taken with the Sony R1, I came across this shot (below)taken also at the Giant Redwood park under very similar conditions. The difference in picture quality is night and day (IMO). Coincidentally, the Ev was also set to -0.3, making the comparison between the shots even more valid. The difference is the ISO. The R1 (also set to AUTO ISO) chose ISO 160 rather than 400. Why? Well, that's not an easy question to answer because cameras are designed differently. The interesting thing though,is that the R1 does not have image stabilization and it still picked a low ISO. You would think that the E510 having IS would select a lower ISO since it would be able to handle a couple more fstops in low light before camera shake would become a problem. But NO, not even ISO 200 was chosen. Anyway, my point here is that the image that came out of the R1 did not require any PP at all. I can certainly use the Nikon Capture D-lighting feature to increase contrast (bring out what in the shadow)but there is no blue'ish cast or purple patches to be fixed (and I have many other images I can post to substantiate my claims). So, what gives? Do I have to tweak every setting of the E510 for every single shooting condition??? My first dSLR was the Nikon D40, which I sold because of its limited DR (pointed out by many reviewers BTW, so it was not me). However, I never had problems with IQ aberrations like this. I haven't given up on the E510 just yet. Since then, I've been playing with WB control quite a bit and I've been making a lot of progress in understanding the camera's handling of WB (as long as it is set to anything other than AUTO). The reason for trying to understand the camera's behavior dealing with WB is because according to some research I did regarding the blue/purple cast, the AUTO WB was the problem. I should have used the SHADE in SUNNY DAY WB setting instead. That means, unless I understand how the E510 deals with WB, my shots in conditions other than outdoor in bright sunlight will be a hit and miss type of thing. I will post some of my findings (not that it really matters, after all, I'm nota professional photographer and certainly Iam not in the position to review cameras. But, I do have some specific personal requirements when it comes to IQ of digital cameras and I do believe that a lot of times, real life experience can be more valuable than lab test results under controlled conditions). However,I musthave consistent results first before I post anything.


Here's the R1 image:
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Old Jan 5, 2008, 11:55 AM   #43
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How about this one (also taken with the R1)? Ev -0.7 with AUTO ISO (camera once again chose ISO160). Any blue patches? The road has a very natural color cast considering how shady the place was, not blue'ish as the E510 produced.
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Old Jan 5, 2008, 1:41 PM   #44
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Tulio:

The problem with tending to clip highlights in contrasty light is real, and common with that camera. It's often referred to as lacking a bit in dynamic range, though technically it's more a matter of the jpeg tone curve being more contrasty than others (I believe contrast -2 is similar to 0 on a Nikon), and you shouldn't have much problem with it shooting in RAW. In jpeg, to avoid clipping highlights may sometimes require underexposing mid tones. If you shoot in RAW in tough lighting, you not only will have better highlight recovery, you can also easily combine multiple devlopments for enhanced dynamic range when wanted.

The problem you are having with color however is not normal. Either something is set wrongly on the camera, or you have a defect there. One possibility is the white balance (which will make everything blue if it is set too cool). I realize you have it on AUTO, but the Olympus DSLRs also have a white balance compensation feature which you can set to apply to all WB modes (including AUTO). You may have set this to some extreme setting while you were playing around in those menus experimenting. Try going into the menus to the WB+/- feature, and see if it's set. Try ALL RESET to clear it.

The other problem might be with the color. I know I have a Fuji compact that will do some strange things like that with foliage if it's set to something Fuji calls "Chrome" mode (which is panned in most reviews for that reason). So maybe some of that could be caused by over saturation. Try using narural mode with saturation 0. I supose there might be some scene modes that might have unusual color settings which could cause problems like that if used at the wrong time.

If you can't find any setting wrong, at least try a factory reset, and then test it again. Also, maybe make sure you have the latest firmware. There have been a couple of updates already.


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Old Jan 5, 2008, 9:47 PM   #45
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Thanks for the tips, Ken. I've actually played extensively with WB settings once I found out that the reason for the blue/purple cast I got could have been caused by the camera set to AUTO WB. Since then, I haven't been back to that park to re-shoot (it's been raining for the past few days). I did try many different settings for daylight conditions and noticed that setting the camera to K4800 is close to ideal. I was able to increase DR by reducing RED. The image is cooler but I can always increase saturation in Picasa or PS. BTW, I've already set the camera to NORMAL mode (I've also tried MUTE but found very little difference between the two). The presetdaylight WB is at K5300, which produces a warm image but as a result, highlights tend to clip at higher levels thus reducing DR. Now, this setting (K4800) is for sunny daylight.Ifin shade, then one of the best settings is K5600-K5800. CLOUDY is at K6000, which produces way too warm of an image even on cloudy days.The E510 has a preset WB for shade in sunnydaylight (K7300).This is what I want to try next time I go to the Giant Redwood park.Since most WBpreset settings tend to produce warm images, perhaps if I knock down to K6500-K6800I will not get the blue/purple cast. As for saturation, I had it set to -2 but then I decided that -1 was best. It also gave me a bit more DR when photographing lightly colored subjects.My conclusions were basedon thehistogram of hundreds of pictures taken. In every setting, I noticed the histogram moving toward the right as I increase RED in WB.

In any case, although the E510 has great features and functionality, it requires a lot of tweakingin order to consistently delivergood results.
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Old Jan 6, 2008, 4:00 AM   #46
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Tullio,
While I agree that the E-510 requires a bit of tweaking, it sounds like you may be tweaking the wrong things. For most people, that tweaking means setting Noise filter to low (or better off) , the metering to ESP (turn off ESP-AF), and turning down the contrast. Everything else pretty much should behave as expected.

While the cooler white balance may cause slightly greater exposure latitude, that doesn't seem like a good tradeoff to me. Correcting white balance in post processing can be very difficult. If you want to shoot jpeg, you are better off getting the white balance correct initially, and expose for the highlights. It is easier to adjust the tone curve using the levels or curves tool in photoshop than it is to try and correct white balance.

Some of the results you posted looked like about what you should expect if you are turing down red in white balance compensation, and then increasing saturation. In short they had the white balance too cool and were oversaturated.

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Old Jan 6, 2008, 4:48 AM   #47
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I have been trying to decide whether the E510 or the D40x was the way to go.

The E510 is definately a no no for me now.

MtClimber has warned me about this sort of thing but you have illustrated it perfectly.

So at least something good came out of it.
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Old Jan 6, 2008, 11:14 AM   #48
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When I first got the E510, I tweaked exactly the things you mentioned, Ken. NF set to OFF, all other settings to -2 (contrast, sharpness and saturation) and ESP to ESP only instead of ESP+AF. My initial problems were only related to the limited DR. In terms of image quality, I had no complaints until I went to the Redwood park. The pictures I took in there under very shady conditions were unacceptable to me (I posted a couple here). At that time, I had not changed anything else on the camera. The reason I'm tweaking it so much is because I want to make sure that I get decent results in conditions other than outdoor in sunny daylight. As you said, fixing WB in PP is very difficult so I need to either get it right the first time or shoot in RAW, which I haven't done just yet.

Deadshot, if you were discourage by this thread, I don't blame you. I've had many cameras and I've posted many images in this forum. I must say, I haven't come across such a temperamental camera until I got the E510. Perhaps my camera is defective (I'm seriously thinking about contacting Amazon to get a replacement). But, letme warn you, you will not be much better off with the D40. First of all, do not buy the D40 ifDR is important to you. Read the reviews and you'll see it has the same limitations as the E510 (Ibought onea year ago and sold it after two months because of this exact limitation). So, I suggest you get the D40x, which hasbetter DR. The other two things that the D40/D40x lack of are: image stabilization (great to have and I'd be reluctant to buy an SLR w/o it. Granted, you can buy VR lenses for your Nikon but they are expensive and you'll be paying for the ISon every lens you buy (BTW, the kit lens isnot VR); andthe lack of an AF system built into the camera. That means again, the lense hasto have the AF built into it or you will have to manually focus. So, all the old Nikon lenses that you can get on eBay for good $$$ will be MF only.

So, when you add these two features plus a sensor dust removal system (once again, the D40/D40x do not have it), live view and excellent kit lenses (not to mention the Leica line of lenses you can also use) to the E510, it makes it a great package. Yes, you'll have to tweak the E510 almost immediately if you want your images not to be as soft (have more resolution right out of the camera) and make sure you use preset WB (or better yet, set your own WB) when shooting in unusual conditions, such as heavily shaded areas, cloudy days, etc. But, once you do this, the images produced by the E510 are superb. So, go to a camera shop and take a look at it before you buy the D40x. It's a real fun camera (temperamental but fun!)
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Old Jan 6, 2008, 11:45 AM   #49
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Tullio, http://www.adorama.com/IOM18180.html

It isthe D40x + the 18-200vr that I am thinking about.I was seriously thinking of the E510 +18-180 lens but this post made me think twice (if you have a look at it you will see why) plus several reviews and forum people also commented on E510s metering being a bit tempremental. Then I read your post and that just about finished me off . A friend of mine has just bought the E510 and let me try it indoors recently with the 14-45mm kit lens. I took one or two low light family shots,the W B looked good but in Auto it under exposed compared with my Panasonic FZ7. I have taken lots of forest shots with my Pana and never had a problem,in fact it is an amazing little camera,but has high noise in high I S O as to be expected and is slow for sports or anything fast moving.Hence my interest in a D S L R .I have owned quite a few film slrs over the years but not Dslrs.
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Old Jan 6, 2008, 12:00 PM   #50
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Yes, that's expensive indeed. I bought the E510 with thetwo-lens kit for $625 from Amazon just before Xmas. The two lenses complement each other well (although it won't quite give the range you get with the 18-180mm. With that said, the Zuiko 18-180mm will give you more range than the Nikon 18-200mm because the multiplier factor on the E510 is 2x and on the D40x it's 1.5x. If you look at Adorama, the Nikon 18-200mm is going for $679, so a lot more than the Zuiko equivalent. In a long run, you options with the D40xis greater in terms of available lenses but you will either have to put up with MF (which I don't recommendspecially for action shots) or pay a lot for VR lenses. Rumors are that Nikon will eventually addIS into the camera body but I doubt. They are investing too much moneyexpending their VR line. Honestly, between the E510 and the D40x I'd go with the E510, despite its issues. Itwill give you much greater control of camera settings, ithas very fast (and accurate from what I've experienced so far)AF (even in low light, which some reviewers have stated that it's a bit slow, I haven't noticed that limitation at all) andIQ is outstanding (once you get the WB right -and to be fair,the AUTO WB is pretty accurate most of the time).
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