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Old Jul 7, 2011, 4:57 AM   #1
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Default (e-pl2 has user adjustable curves tool) Another hidden poorly explained function.

I was reading my e-pl2 manual yesterday at lunch & noticed a small section on "tone control", by pressing the Exp. comp. button then immediately pressing the info button a small curves tool appears in the bottom right of the display. the first time you press the info button you are able to adjust the shadow's side of the curve between -7 & +7 the effect can be seen on the lcd. by pressings the info button again you are able to adjust the highlight's portion of the curve between -7 & +7. this tool is applied pre-capture, although I haven't figured out if it can be used with the in camera editing after the shot. this could be a very useful tool for adding or removing contrast at the time of the shot. it is a very basic curves adjustment with no allotment for midtone adjusting but is nice to have if it proves effective. I will be experimenting with it & update everyone if it proves to be as useful as I think it will be. Olympus is still creating useful technology but fails in explaining it's worth.
Charles

Last edited by cshanaberger; Jul 7, 2011 at 5:15 AM.
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Old Jul 7, 2011, 8:53 AM   #2
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DPReview made this feature sound like it was brand-new in their preview of the E-P3, and devoted a little bit of space to it. I will have to go back & look, but I do not think they even noted this feature in doing their review of the E-PL2.

Olympus manuals are really bad. I think it's a two-fold problem. Bad writing and translation by someone who's primary language is something other than English. From what I understand (can't remember where I saw that, DCResource or DPR) there's not even going to be a printed copy of the manual with the E-P3....just a pdf file on the included CD.

This may be how Olympus writes their manuals in judging their usefulness in helping to learn how to use a product...

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=38844070

Chances are, if you shoot JPEG it is not going to be an option for in-camera editing afterwards, but it probably would be for in-camera RAW processing since you can set it like any other parameter and the camera processed the RAW file based on your current camera settings. I would not be suprised to see it even added eventually to Viewer as an option.

Last edited by Greg Chappell; Jul 7, 2011 at 4:00 PM.
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Old Jul 10, 2011, 12:04 PM   #3
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The more I look and take into consideration what I expect to be able to do with my Pens, the better the E-PL2 looks, with some decent upgrades to the E-PL1. The one rear dial, expanded shutter speeds to 1/4000 compared to 1/2000 on the E-PL1 that can be limiting when wanting to use the 20mm f1.7 in daylight at f2 or faster, the ability to plug in a cabled remote (huge for me these days) and ISO 6400. I have gotten to the point in processing RAW files from my E-PL1 in ACR that were shot in conditions where ISO 3200 is really needed can look very good. It'd be interesting to take an E-PL2 RAW file shot at ISO 6400 and see how it processes out in ACR.

ISO 3200 on an E-PL1....I wonder how much different ISO 6400 on the E-PL2 can look with the same processing? Plus, I could keep the shutter speed one stop faster when shooting this type image..

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Old Jul 11, 2011, 5:04 AM   #4
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Greg, sorry it took so long to reply, but I have been busy these days. Thanks for the link to DP review that was an interesting preview. The curves tool in the e-p3 is the same as the e-pl2. As far as your second post the remote release cable & 1/4000sec. shutter was the primary reasons I purchased the e-pl2, as there was somethings I just couldn't do without the remote release cable that now I can. I have not had any of my full size Dslrs out in 4 months as the pens have replaced them for ease of carry. The e-pl2 is a great improvement all around to me in comparison to the e-pl1, the build quality is more along Olympus standards, as I was quite depressed about the cheap plastic feel of the e-pl1. The one thing that has surprised me with the e-pl2 is its display, I very rarely put the vf-2 on it when shooting landscapes as it is exceptionally clear even for manual focusing which I do 95% of the time when tripod shooting. the only time I find I need the vf-2 is when shooting directly into the sun at sunrise & sunset as I get blinded looking toward the sun. The dial is a great improvement. Also there is a place to enter your copyright info in the menu which is a very nice addition. The new 14-42mm II is also quite impressive. But if you could afford it, the e-p3 would probably suit you better as I think the faster AF would do better for the shots you like to take. IMHO.
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Old Jul 11, 2011, 10:49 AM   #5
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I'm not surprised the back LCD is better for manual focusing. I think they doubled or more the resolution on the E-PL2's back LCD. I replaced the original 14-42 some time agao with the "II" version and totally agree with you on that optic.

the cabled release is a nagging issue with the E-PL1. I really do need a body that accepts a cable release. I could have used one this past weekend while shooting closeups off the tripod with the E-PL1 and 75-300.

As much as I would probably like the E-P3, I'm not sure I want to spend the additional money it's going to cost over an E-PL2 for a while. The majority of the upgrades I stand to benefit from are on the E-PL2. The new LCD on the E-P3 sounds outstanding, but it also sounds like the colors might not be too representative of what the file looks like once downloaded. Since I use the VF-2 most of the time that often would not be an issue, but I used the back LCD quite a bit this past weekend while shooting closeups off the tripod. The baseball game I attending a week ago with the E-PL1 more than convinced me AF is plenty fast on these bodies as long you use the MSC-designated lenses, I just dropped a wad on the 75-300 Zuiko and am also interested in picking up that 45mm f1.8. You started adding it all up and I've now substantially committed to the system.

Last night I downloaded the ISO 6400 RAW file DPReview loaded for users to try in their review of the E-PL2, processed it in Adobe Camera RAW and was pleasantly surprised with the results. Definitely nothing you'd want to enlarge to 100% and look for micro details with a loop, but at 66% enlargement looks very respectable for the low-light shot they took.

What I need to do is to start making some decisions about less to not being used at all stuff I might want to put up on eBay and just hold on to only the DSLR/Pen combinations I will continue using going forward, with more and more of an emphasis on the Pen. The ultra-light weight of the Pen system is something one can get used to rather quickly.

Last edited by Greg Chappell; Jul 11, 2011 at 11:00 AM.
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Old Jul 11, 2011, 3:52 PM   #6
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Don't get me wrong the e-pl2 is an outstanding camera, save the quick auto focus & weatherproofing it beats my e-3 hands down in every other category. I decided awhile ago I was switching to the pen system as my primary outfit, I to am going to part with all my 4/3rd bodies & lenses except the e-3 & the 2 SWD lenses as they will cover everything I know I will need from a full size dslr. I have no ego to support so I have no need to lug around a full size dslr everywhere when a pen can do the job 99% of the time more conveniently & they are much less abrasive to potential subjects.
Charles
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Old Jul 12, 2011, 11:26 AM   #7
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[QUOTE=cshanaberger;1240539]The e-pl2 is a great improvement all around to me in comparison to the e-pl1, the build quality is more along Olympus standards, as I was quite depressed about the cheap plastic feel of the e-pl1.QUOTE]

Quite right. Night and day, actually. The rear control dial and new interface makes the E-PL2 positively DSLR-like in use compared to the button-pushing-happy interface of the E-PL1. So much more fluid it isn't even funny .
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Old Jul 12, 2011, 12:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cshanaberger View Post
I was reading my e-pl2 manual yesterday at lunch & noticed a small section on "tone control", by pressing the Exp. comp. button then immediately pressing the info button a small curves tool appears in the bottom right of the display. the first time you press the info button you are able to adjust the shadow's side of the curve between -7 & +7 the effect can be seen on the lcd. by pressings the info button again you are able to adjust the highlight's portion of the curve between -7 & +7. this tool is applied pre-capture, although I haven't figured out if it can be used with the in camera editing after the shot. this could be a very useful tool for adding or removing contrast at the time of the shot. it is a very basic curves adjustment with no allotment for midtone adjusting but is nice to have if it proves effective. I will be experimenting with it & update everyone if it proves to be as useful as I think it will be. Olympus is still creating useful technology but fails in explaining it's worth.
Charles
From what I can tell about this, if you want to shoot RAW and output JPEG's from your camera, once the images are captured RAW, you could create your own in-camera "Tone Map" as often as image to image if you want, set the other JPEG parameters you want to use, then use the camera's internal RAW converter to spit out a JPEG.

This is much better than using Viewer II on your computer to process RAW files because the in-camera processing offers the ability to produce a very low compression Super Fine JPEG, where the best file compression possible in Viewer II is FINE. If you have a tone map set that does not open up shadows enough or too much, just delete the JPEG and change the tone map settings to adjust the look the way you want and create another JPEG.

This lets you both shoot RAW so you can be sure to get everything right but not shoot the space hogging RAW+JPEG, delete the images you do not like at all and keep all the processing in-camera if you do not want to be doing a lot of computer work afterwards.

The funny thing about this feature is, DPReview never even mentions it in their review of the E-PL2, then touts it as a "new feature" for the E-P3 on page 6 of their preview. Just goes to show you how reviews maybe are not always as thorough as some might think.

*Edit*- I just tried this and what I described above is exactly the way it works if you shoot RAW and then use the in-camera RAW processing and elect to enable the tone control to adjust shadows and/or highlights.

Last edited by Greg Chappell; Jul 12, 2011 at 12:53 PM.
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Old Jul 12, 2011, 2:48 PM   #9
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Thanks for the info Greg, did you get an e-pl2 or just trying one out?
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Old Jul 12, 2011, 3:02 PM   #10
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I did go ahead and get one and am glad I did. Really, really nice. I'll wind up getting the 45mm f1.8 shortly after they are available in September and be happy for a while. It's amazing the difference in build-quality and the one dial is excellent. Also ordered the Olympus cable release from B&H.

I am sure the second dial on the E-P3 is nice, but I'm not sure where it's located is an ideal spot. Twin dials work great when one is on the front of the camera and you can utilize both at the same time. With both on the back you're limited to using only one at a time. Kinda defeats the purpose in my mind.

The 20mm f1.7 Panasonic behaves much better on the E-PL2 as well. None of the twiching you hear with it on the E-PL1 as aperture values change and the autofocus action is quiet.
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