Olympus SLRs ship with Olympus Master, a basic browsing and editing package.

But for RAW processing you really need Olympus Studio 2. Studio 2 has a browser and sophisticated set of RAW conversion tools. These are arranged in a 'stack' down the side of the program window.

A range of conversion tools

There are two tabs - one for adjusting the RAW image and one for enhancing the converted RGB image. The RAW adjustments include EV compensation, colour/aberration correction, noise control and all the colour/tone options which can be set on the camera.

Under the RGB tab there are even more options, including Levels, Curves, Distortion Control, Corner Shading Correction, Unsharp Mask, Colour Correction and a whole lot more.

The results seem pretty good, and the software does appear able to recover highlight detail to some degree. This is important with the Olympus E-410 and E-510, for example, which seem to have slightly less dynamic range than other DSLRs.

Lethargic rendering

E-series cameras do produce good-quality JPEGs in the camera, so you may not see much of an improvement in noise or sharpness - the principal advantage is the ability to re-adjust the camera settings after taking the shot.

It does seem a little slow at rendering changes. This means that unless you're using a very up-to-date computer, applying RAW adjustments could prove tiresome.

In the end, Olympus Studio 2 may be a fairly expensive way of achieving some modest aims - after all, Photoshop Elements 6 is only a little more expensive and yet vastly more versatile.