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Are hot pixels common in Olympus (specifically e-pl3) cameras?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by a_hit_of_meth, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. a_hit_of_meth

    a_hit_of_meth Mu-43 Veteran

    243
    Jan 7, 2012
    @mods - My other post may seem similar but this is a more specific question asking if Olympus users, specifically E-pl3 owners notice hot pixels in their camera's. If you see fit to merge this with my existing, similar but slightly different question, then please go ahead.

    I'd just like to ask if it's common to see hot pixels in Olympus sensors or their 4/3 cameras? When I say hot pixel, I mean the ones on the sensor that show up on the images as white dots.

    I'm asking because I've had three different e-pl3's exhibit hot pixels in many of the images I take, showing up in clusters often in the same spots on different images. The first two had them in around a third of all the images and the third one has them on slightly less than that amount and are quite easily visible upon full magnification. As far as I know they usually appear when the sensor temperature is high, usually during long exposures and high ISO settings, but on mine they show up even on lower settings with fast shutter speeds during daytime shots, which is why I'm concerned.


    I know it sounds a bit like I'm pixel peeping but this has me both, annoyed and curious and I'd like to know if this is a common thing for olympus cameras or this format in general. How many of you find them in your images.
    Here are two quick samples of images I took today. Both around 250-320 iso, 1/160s - 1/200s. You'll have to download and view the full images to see them.

    P1313877.JPG

    P1313838.JPG
     
  2. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 4, 2010
    I couldn't spot them but my eyesight isn't great (or its my laptops cat-slobbered screen). Perhaps you can circle them (I don't doubt they're there) ?

    I see them in my pictures when I shoot the night sky in long-exposure, specifically the moon on my e-p1. Zoom in to see moon detail and there'll be an annoying red pixel in a semi-random spot (almost entirely just the one pixel). Seemed to be worse with adapted lenses from memory.

    Otherwise in day to day shooting I don't see/notice them even when zoomed into the picture. I've been trying an adapted macro lens recently and haven't noticed anything and that particular genre seems to encourage more pixel peeping than most.

    Its been awhile since I shot in the dark, I should give it another go and use the pixel-remap feature and see what happens.

    No idea if this is an Olympus thing or not.

    Even the big-guns can have sensor issues - the Leica M8 got a bad wrap in its early days due to some sensor/design flaws that impacted image quality. And thats in a camera that cost 10x most m43 cameras in its day.

    Not that I'm making excuses.
     
  3. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    I'm not even sure I can tell what you're seeing - at the largest size I can view those photos I'm not seeing ANYTHING that look like hot pixels. I have an EPL3 and it had ONE hot pixel when I first had it. I used the pixel mapping utility in the menu, or whatever its called, and it was fixed and I haven't seen it since. But it was VERY obvious in anything other than small versions of the photo and it was in the same place on every shot - hot pixels do not move around randomly between shots!

    So I'm not sure what you've got here, if anything - maybe some version of noise that you can see at 100%??? I can't see it on what you've posted.

    Might I suggest one less hit of meth??? :biggrin:

    -Ray
     
  4. I can see a few random white pixels in some of the darker areas of the image, but you really do have to look for them. I haven't seen anything similar on the older E-P1 and E-PL1 models, but if there are only a few pixels out of 12000000 they may be hard to spot. Maybe try running the pixel mapping as suggested. The first thing that I really noticed about the image was some very heavy noise reduction happening.
     
  5. a_hit_of_meth

    a_hit_of_meth Mu-43 Veteran

    243
    Jan 7, 2012
    Thanks for the quick answers guys. No meth since 06 but i'll cut down on the espresso! From the two pics I posted, you can start around the bottom right corner, they are easier to spot in the dark area's but are not limited to them. From the 680+ shots I took today, I spot them in around 50 images where they are obvious as soon as I enlarge it on my pc and another 30 more where they are not so obvious. When I have a bit more time, I'll post a few more.

    When I got this as a replacement last week I immediately used it and took around 200 shots, another 400 or so from the past few days. From those 600 shots that I took before today, I scanned them and could only find a handful of hot pixels and certainly not like what I have seen in my images today where they seem to appear in clusters. Even the long exposures I took last night don't have them.

    I don't know what would cause this problem all of a sudden after having and using it for five days. I did do a mapping last night before the hot pixels started appearing but I doubt that would cause them to appear.
     
  6. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Jason
    That to me does not look like "hot" pixels. Looks like magenta from chrominance noise to me, especially in the dark shadows. I didn't see any stuck pixels, which usually can be resolved by remapping.

    Are these jpeg out of camera?

    Long exposures typically, dependong on settings, will actually do dark frame subtraction which gets rid of much of the noise generated by heat and dark current noise. Doesn't do much for read noise, though.

    If you could post crops of the pictures in question, it might be easier.

    EDIT:

    On the second picture I do see some "white" pixels in the bottom right. This seems wierd though, because anytime I've had stuck pixels, they usually get stuck to either R, G, or B. I don't know if remapping will get rid of this. Always try. If not, it might be a sensor defect and may needs returning.
     
  7. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Jason
    I took the liberty of downloading, cropping, and circling what I think the hot pixels are:

    P1313838_1_.JPG


    To me, these do seem a bit odd.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. pcnyc

    pcnyc Mu-43 Regular

    198
    Sep 15, 2010
    it's common. I shoot jpegs and I can pretty much count on random hot (usually white, one time it was blue) pixel when i first get any olympus cameras. not just m43, but I've seen them on e620 and e30 as well. pixel mapping fixes it.
     
  9. mr_botak

    mr_botak Mu-43 Veteran

    222
    Dec 4, 2011
    Reading, UK
    David
    Perhaps use the pixel re-mapper?
     
  10. starlabs

    starlabs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    856
    Sep 30, 2010
    Los Angeles
    I noticed one hot pixel recently, and only because it was a bright red! Turns out I had that hot pixel since September (had gotten my E-P3 a month prior to that) and hadn't noticed until now. Actually I had another hot pixel as well but it was a shade of blue so much less noticeable.

    Used the pixel map feature of the camera and they're gone.
     
  11. a_hit_of_meth

    a_hit_of_meth Mu-43 Veteran

    243
    Jan 7, 2012
    Thanks a lot for that. My previous attempts were resized and did not show the white dots.

    Yes, they are JPEGS straight from the camera.

    Not quite hot pixels, not quite image noise? This sucks, I was planning on selling it on for other reasons but I'm not comfortable doing so knowing there might be a problem with the camera.

    Could it possibly have anything to do with the battery? It came with a fake BLS-5, maybe some sort of voltage thing. The worst examples from yesterdays pics seem to be after I exchanged the batteries. I know it sounds unlikely and I have used both batteries since exchanging to the third camera, but I'm running out of ideas (not that I had that many to begin with) about the causes of these white dots.

    EDIT: Here's anothe try at posting a crop. Hopefully the file shows the little dots, if not I have circled them to show where they are.

    P1313559100corner.
     
  12. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Have you tried the pixel mapping utility yet?
    Settings => Sprockets => Utility => Pixel Mapping
     
  13. a_hit_of_meth

    a_hit_of_meth Mu-43 Veteran

    243
    Jan 7, 2012
    Yes, I've tried it. Not sure if the pixel mapping is to be done with the lens cap on or off to expose the sensor light but I tried it with the cap on, the night before the hot pixel thing got worse with this third camera. Probably just a coincidence though.
     
  14. Boyzo

    Boyzo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    784
    Mar 3, 2010
    Not a problem here with my E-P3
     
  15. zerotiu

    zerotiu Mu-43 Veteran

    222
    Sep 13, 2011
    Indonesia-Singapore
    the only solution I know is like the others, pixel mapping inside menu.
    Did you use video a lot?
     
  16. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Jason
    If it were me and pixel mapping is not resolving the issue, I'd send the camera back if it is that bothersome to you.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. starlabs

    starlabs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    856
    Sep 30, 2010
    Los Angeles
    I agree with Djarum - looks like pixel mapping isn't working so either it's a dirty sensor or the sensor is bad. I'd return it if possible.
     
  18. OPSSam

    OPSSam Mu-43 Regular

    134
    Dec 18, 2010
    NC
    My E-PL1 has maybe had 1 I could spot and was taken care of by mapping. Compared to my Nikon (D-60, about 16-18 hot pixels consistently at ISO 200!), my PEN has fared well with hot pixels. These pixels are more dead than hot. I'd prefer a gray dot in a black or white background over a purple or blue one (which is what shows up on my Nikon).
     
  19. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I'm not sure, but I don't think it matters if you have the cap on or not when you pixel map. I believe it leaves the shutter closed.

    I agree with the others who say that if this isn't doing anything, take it back... That's not normal for a new camera.
     
  20. a_hit_of_meth

    a_hit_of_meth Mu-43 Veteran

    243
    Jan 7, 2012
    I don't know if this means anything but I found at least one other user on flickr, from Australia, where the white dots are obvious in a few of their fully magnified pictures. Same parameters as mine, "normal" daytime shot, low iso, fast shutter speed...

    I thought maybe getting three defective camera's from the same shop was a coincidence, or maybe a bad batch but having seen in on another users pictures from another part of the world makes me think otherwise.

    Here are the examples from the other user. You'll have to view full image and start at the bottom left corner to see the dots.

    All sizes | Flower. Olympus E-PL3 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    All sizes | Mmmm Grass | Flickr - Photo Sharing!