Quote Originally Posted by Bluedog
Dang this thread turned kinda cold ...
Awright, I'll bite. Silkypix has come out with an upgrade (vers 2.0) and it's available in English (or Engrish, perhaps ) now. Notable additions for me include: highlight controller, cropping tool, perspective/lens aberation correction, good NR engine, and a delightful "fine color controller" that makes it a joy to fine tune specific bands of color. The additions make it more than a mere RAW developer, and raise it to the level of a (nearly) fully equipped one-stop post-production tool. No more having to develop RAW and then still have to use PS or PSP to up the saturation or tweak the colors, and for most uses, it will take the place of NeatImage NR as well.

The upgrade price is 6200 yen (about $45 US), and full price for first timers (those who didn't get version 1) is 16,000 yen (about $145 US). IMO, the depth and breadth of additions is what makes this upgrade worth the price. It's almost as fast and intuitive as RSE, and head and shoulders in terms of color rendition.

Soo. . . just to warm up this thread a bit, let me show a few examples of what the program can do. All photos were taken with the Oly e-300 and the lenses indicated.

First, an example of the distortion correction function; this was taken with the Oly 14-54 mm lens at 14mm, equivalent to 28mm on 35FF film:

In this shot, notice that the newel or roof-support post at right is slanted in toward the left. The architectural distortion correction tool fixes that in a jiff, as follows:

Next, a quick comparison of in-camera Olympus HQ jpegs with the results produced by Silkypix 2.0 and RawShooter Essentials. These are Kudzu vines in bloom all around our house; the shot was taken with the Oly 50mm f2.0 macro, f8.0 @ 1/6s (tripod). (One other note: I developed these without noticing that this frame has a bit of wind blur due to the slow shutter; I have another frame without the blur, but since these are already uploaded to my website, I'll use them anyway; sorry).

First the straight-from-the-camera HQ shot:

And next Silkypix 2.0:

And finally, RSE:

The difference is really dramatic; Oly and Silkypix come out virtually spot on, while RSE is just plain WRONG. Not only at the defaults--which were painful to even look at, but even when tweaked heavily in the attempt to come as close as posslble. In fact, I had to do very little to get the Silkypix version to closely approximate the Olympus colors--I did give it a bit more saturation since I left in-camera saturation at neutral.

I hasten to reiterate, "Your Mileage May Vary," specifically, the RSE developing engine seems to work better on some kinds of shots, and with some makes of RAW files, than it does on other shots or with Olympus ORF files in general. So it pays to test each of these possibilities before assuming anything from a test like this. Silkypix is available in a limited-time full-featured trial for free, so it doesn't cost anything to check it out. It's available at Silkypix.

(NTS, I have no connection to the Silkypix people or company)