> Even though I made this crop, I prefer not to crop the E-1 images as
> much as I do a lot of my Fuji and E-M1 images. But, the tones and
> colors of the E-1 do stand out to MY eye, as well.
I recognize that it's partially the image H/W ratio, but E-1 images
(with the 14-54) tend to have a bit of medium-format look to them. Not
necessarily in raw resolution, but in implied detail, bokeh (as MF was
shot in the real world), and general flavor. This was, of course, by
design as Olympus and Kodak were trying to capture the portrait market
with the E-1. The colors, contrasts, etc., just nail it. I rarely feel
the need or desire to crop E-1 images. Or go to extremes with
color/contrast adjustments so the effective bit-depth remains high.
It's the one camera I feel entirely comfortable with capturing the
image just the way I want in-camera. Of course, the format perfectly
splits the difference for all the popular print ratios.
The E-1's "sensel" size is quite large and about the same as a 20MP
full-frame sensor. If you shoot full-frame with a normal (16-24MP)
sensor and heavily crop, you're right back in the neighborhood of the
E-1. The larger camera gets the images cropped, the E-1 doesn't. End
result is not far off. My mantra about sensor pixel count is that you
have to compare "short-side" dimensions. Not diagonal or long-edge
(unless the crop is to 16:9). A square crop of an E-1 image where the
photographer filled it to the edge is 1920 pixels. A full-frame 24MP
camera has 4000 pixels if you don't do any additional cropping, but as
a matter of course, we tend to shoot the bigger sensor with more space
around the margins, so the crop may end up around 3000 pixels. That's
only 50% more pixels in the final print. Yes, a person COULD shoot the
larger sensor to a perfect square crop, but few photographers actually
do as we have more available to throw away so we utilize that feature
and give ourselves more flexibility in the computer. And the modern
sensors tend to require more tonal and color adjustment so the bit
depth applied to the mid-range tones may actually be less.
As to the E-300 and E-400 compared to the E-1? I haven't been able to
measure the differences yet to really determine root-cause, but the
E-1 certainly has a different color response than the 300/400 and
screams "rich tones" even when things seem to be the same.
Themed Olympus Photo Exhibition: http://www.tope.nl/