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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Zuiko and E-5 Withdrawal


* A word of caution, image may not be suitable for vegetarians.

Urrrgggh... no E-5 to shoot with!

What should I do to remedy the pain??

Wait a minute... why don't I pixel peep some of E-5's pics. Since I didn't have time to do it due to severe time constraints during the E-5 weekend madness, now is the perfect time to nit pick some of the images that I captured.

* Please take note that the E-5 used for this blog review was a pre-production unit with Firmware 1.0.

Well, to be honest, the rapid shots I did with the E-5 mostly were events type, and not really pixel peeping material. I had a hard time finding a handful out of hundreds. So far, I found one.

E-5 with Zuiko Digital ED35-100mm F2.0
33mm, f/4.0, 1/250s, ISO200

All the shots I posted in my 4-day blog with E-5 are either straight-out-of-camera JPEGs or straight-out-of-Olympus-Studio RAWs. I did not do any postprocessing with regards to any image enhancement techniques.

Well, for this image, I did some work with the GIMP software. I just upped the contrast with masking and bumped the sharpness a tad with High Pass Filter. Other than that, nothing was done.

To start with, I am going to nit-pick on the exposure. This image was metered with the ESP 49-point matrix metering system. I believe there's not much tweak in the current E-5 compared to the E-30. Notice that my exposure was not set to biased -0.3ev as I usually do with the E-3 and E-30. This was purposely done during the test to see how the E-5 metering cope with high contrast scenes. When I processed the RAW file in Olympus Studio, I noticed that the cook's white hat was in Zone XIII or IX as there's no detail at all. I tried to pull down the exposure by 0.7ev, and the whole histogram shifted within an acceptable shadow-highlight range. Typical, I told myself.

Thus, the best way to deal with this is to pre-set 0.3ev in the Exposure Shift function of the E-5, or just bias the EV by -0.3 using the dial.

As can be seen the highlight is blasted into kingdom come, image is 100% crop

Actually, there's enough range to cover this scene from Zone II to Zone XIII but instead the ESP metered between Zone III and Zone IX, as the shadows still show some detail but the highlight is burnt. I don't blame much on the meter, as the overall scene is biased to be darker, and in the effort of the AE to compensate for potential underexposure, it overexposes for the goodness of the cook's hat.

But there's still space for shadows to show detail, image is 100% crop

Hmmmm.. I wish Olympus can produce a much improved ESP metering system, but for a seasoned E-system user like me, I know how to cope with it.

Okay, enough with the exposure stuff. I will now move on to nit-pick on the resolution of the whole system with the Zuiko Digital ED35-100mm F2.0 lens.

In general, I am very satisfied with the edge sharpness of the image, and somehow I didn't get sharp focus at the center of the image when it's cropped 100%. As the general rule, I used f/4 in many situations to get acceptably sharp images for event shoots. Maybe there's not much depth-of-field for this shot, maybe f/8 should do it. Ah well...

If only I have used f/8 aperture, then this would be sharp. Then again, I won't be able to get the mood I wanted, image is 100% crop

The below image that is slightly off to the bottom left of the frame exhibits excellent details, especially the grains of spice used to marinade the lamb can be clearly seen.

Texture is detailed clearly with details of the spices used, image is 100% crop

And finally, the last image below really shows the details even at the edge of the frame. I have nothing much to comment on the E-5's ability to resolve the SHG lenses. I salute Olympus for a job well done!!

The fabric's weave on the collar can be clearly seen even at the edge of the frame, image is 100% crop

Wow, I found another picture with edge-to-edge sharpness. This is even better than the sample above. Why? Because this picture was straight-out-of-the-camera-JPEG without any additional sharpening done!!!! Please click HERE to get the full 12MP resolution, and marvel at the amazing detail with shots made by the Zuiko Digital ED35-100mm F2.0 at WIDE OPEN F/2.0!!!!!

The two hours I took to write this blog has been a good therapy for me to cope with the E-5 withdrawal. I don't know how long will this last; maybe I need to write another blog tomorrow!!

How about commentary on how accurate AWB is compared to preset WB?


Amir Ridhwan said...

so neat i am having fits now waiting for another week.

wjl (Wolfgang Lonien) said...

wow, razor sharp - pun intended ;-)

Shamrie said...

E-5 will only shows its champ with HG and SHG lens. How about the standard lenses as I have the 14-42mm and 70-300mm only.. =)

Thru-the-Zuiko said...

Amir, your Ledang trip will be special. Just ask for 300/2.8 also.

Wlj, yup razor..

Shamrie, SG lens also very sharp, but need to stop down a bit.

CityBasher said...

To be fair, I'm keeping mum until a production unit is reviewed. I hope the production ones have improved dynamic range.