2012 - Happy

This is Keith. Keith is happy. Keith, say hi to your fans 🙂 Well, the image of Keith was taken with the E-P2 and the Olympus 40-150 lens. Of course this image is from the same series as "2010 – He Shall Feed His Flock". Btw, I'm happy as well. Today I got my Olympus OM-D E-M5, and although I made only a few images so far, I can already say that this is the best camera that I ever had. See for instance the two images below:

On the left side you see the JPEG that came out of the camera. On the right side, with the white border, you see what I made of the RAW file using Corel AfterShot Pro, Topaz Denoise 2 and Photoshop CS3.

Of the few images I have chosen this one, because although it is base ISO 200, the dynamic range of this scene is brutal. Click on the images, both open to full size. Look at the dark ceiling. It was almost black and I have opened it up considerably. There is definitely some noise, but it is very well controlled. At the same time I could bring a little more contrast into the highlights. There is plenty of headroom on both sides.

Of course this would not have been possible with the Panasonic LX5 and the Olympus PEN E-P2, but in fact my Nikon D300 would have been much worse as well. Really, in terms of dynamic range (and also of high ISO noise as I’ve already seen) the OM-D bests the D300, just as I had hoped for.

In case you wonder, I have tried the RAW converter of Olympus Viewer 2, the software that came with the camera. Forget it! It is so painfully slow, I can’t use that program in my regular workflow. In a discussion on dpreview.com I found out that although Adobe does not yet support the OM-D, Corel AfterShot Pro does. You may not know it by that name, Corel only recently acquired it. The program was formerly known as Bibble Pro 5, thus it is no newcomer at all. It’s also reasonably fast and it may currently be your best choice if you need a RAW converter for the OM-D. At 80$ or 90€ it is not even expensive, and usability is fine as well.

As soon as Adobe’s DNG converter supports the OM-D, I will switch back to that again, but for now I can at least work.

Of course I have not tried everything yet, but as far as I can tell now, the OM-D is a perfect upgrade from the D300. As a consequence, not only the E-P2 will go, the D300 and most of its DX lenses will go as well.

The Song of the Day is “Happy” from the 1972 Rolling Stones album “Exile On Main Street”. Lead vocals by Keith Richards. See a live video on YouTube.

There are 5 comments

Juha Haataja   (2012-04-21)

It seems that the dynamic range of the OM-D has generated a lot of (even heated) discussion in the forums. Your analysis seems to support the claim that the OM-D is indeed something special. I'm getting itchy hands, have to resist. (But then I have an allergy to non-pocketable cameras so I think I'm safe...) But anyway, I love Keith. I think Keith has a lot of street cred. Though he made our youngest daughter laugh, I don't know why.

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flo (tonebytone)   (2012-04-21)

Well, I'm with Juha's daughter - I too laughed when I was "introduced to" Keith! What a beastie he is and you've captured that quite well. Have you ever heard a camel greet its owner and beg for food? That's quite an amazing experience. Andreas, thanks, you may have helped me find my perfect smaller camera to replace the D300 and its lenses! I'll have to see one and try it out first, tho, before I make up my mind.

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Ken Bello   (2012-04-22)

Oh boy!!! The pressure is on now to produce great images. I have no doubt that you're up to the task and it should even be fun. These are great. I should take Emo to meet Keith, I think they would get along swell.

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Paul   (2012-04-24)

Well, congrats on the new camera. It's always nice to get new equipment and have fun taking it through its paces and the inevitable comparisons that will come. 🙂

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andreas   (2012-04-24)

Thanks. I pretty much knew what to expect, so although nothing comes as a real surprise, it is a pleasant experience nevertheless 🙂

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