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E-M5 noise and Lightroom 4.3

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Rockinggoose, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. Rockinggoose

    Rockinggoose Mu-43 Regular

    I've noticed for some time that noise in E-M5 ORF images is more difficult to deal with than noise in my Canon 7D. Early this morning I was trying to get some photos of a male Blackcap Warbler in my garden with both the E-M5/75-300mm and the 7D/400mm. The light was flat and pretty low level with the bird in the shade of a tree. At similar ISOs the E-M5 exhibited as much noise as the 7D but it appears to be more granular and wasn't as easy to deal with in LR - the resultant image was inferior noise-wise to the Canon. I have noticed at even higher ISOs (1600 +) the Canon, whilst showing more noise initially actually can be processed to produce a cleaner image. Has anyone else noticed this and could it just be with Lightroom or a factor with other software?

    David
     
  2. ralfmouth

    ralfmouth Mu-43 Regular

    77
    Oct 16, 2012
    bit depth

    Could it be the lower bit-depth at work. Don't quote me but i read M43 are are 12bit while other dslrs are 14-16?. Anyway there would be less info in the shadows to pull up.
    Plus the Om-d under exposes more than most cameras from what i remember, and then pulls those lows back up (with noise) to get those fantastic dynamic range numbers on DPreview. Shoot raw? or you could try NeatImage. They have a couple nice tutorials on their website.
     
  3. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
    Vassilios
    I have found exactly the opposite to be true. Noise from the OM-D is much easier to handle and exhibits a more "film like" granularity, IMO. Furthermore, I never had as much color noise as with Canon (at higher ISO and/or long exposures) and never had banding problems (which Canon is infamous for).

    14bit makes no difference at all and, in fact, the OM-D sensor has broader color depth than Canon's sensors.
     
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  4. savvy

    savvy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    714
    Sep 28, 2012
    SE Essex, UK
    Les
    @David,

    I have never used any CanoNikon gear, so I can't directly compare/comment.

    I have always found my E-M5 produces files that are easy to deal with the noise. If I am having any trouble with a particular one, i find the individual Control Points in Nik's DFine is very good at local noise adjustments

    @Ralf, the E-M5 sensor is 16mp, and is widely acknowledged as having good noise and even high ISO performance.
    In the first line of his post, David states he is using ORF files, so he is already shooting RAW.
     
  5. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    Bit depth has nothing to do with noise. Bit depth determines how many discrete levels there can be in each color channel: 2^8 / 2^12 / 2^14 / 2^16. Note the total range is the same regardless of the number of bits; it's the difference in the size of the steps.

    For example 1 meter can be divided into 10, 10cm steps, 100, 1cm steps or 1000, 1mm steps. The total range is still 1 meter.

    Also, converting from 14 bits to 12 bit to 8 bits doesn't throw bits away, because the numbers aren't truncated; the values are re-binned.
     
  6. macalterego

    macalterego Mu-43 Veteran

    228
    Jul 10, 2012
    Lawrence, KS
    Jeffrey McPheeters
    My suggestion, for shots over ISO1600 with wide dynamic range with OM-D: go to picturecode.com and download a demo of Photo Ninja and give it a whirl. you may not like it, but think for hard to render RAW photos, it's worth the time to take it through once. For really bad stuff above ISO6400 I use Topaz Labs' Denoise and Detail to render. There are recorded webinars for dealing with really difficult noise with Denoise.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
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  7. savvy

    savvy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    714
    Sep 28, 2012
    SE Essex, UK
    Les
    Mac, Interesting, I've only used the Nik Suite of plugins, if I need to do more than basic Lightroom. Why would you have two workflows, Photo Ninja & Topaz? If Topaz is good for "really bad stuff", is it not also good for "less bad stuff"?

    Just wondering :smile:
     
  8. napilopez

    napilopez Contributing Editor

    826
    Feb 21, 2012
    NYC Area
    Napier Lopez
    Like With_Eyes_Unlocked, this has been the exact opposite experience for me with my canon shooting, so I'm not sure what's really at play here. I generally find canon noise less pleasant to deal with. Not sure what's at play here, but since the OM-D "underexposes" you may want to try a bit of ETTR(exposing to the right) as long as the dynamic range and shooting conditions of the scene allow for it to get rid of shadow noise.

    I also agree that noise ninja does a really good job with noise reduction. You may want to check out their Photo Ninja raw developer, which uses Noise Ninjas algorithms(I assume anyway).
     
  9. ralfmouth

    ralfmouth Mu-43 Regular

    77
    Oct 16, 2012
    Thanks for clearing that up. Are there any drawbacks to 12-bit. Would it be notceable duing heavy grading perhaps.
     
  10. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
    Vassilios
    I'd like to second the ETTR suggestion. There is very slight possiblity to blow the highlights with the OM-D; highlight response is modified to have more of a film-like (again) curve. Experience with Canon show exactly the opposite: seemingly burned highlights are... actually burned. :smile:

    As for noise reduction, if at all needed, I have found Nik's plugin quite useful. I haven't used Ninja with the OM-D but had used it a couple of times with Canons, with good success.
     
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  11. napilopez

    napilopez Contributing Editor

    826
    Feb 21, 2012
    NYC Area
    Napier Lopez
    The highlights really are the most impressive part of the OM-D's dynamic range. DxO already shows the OM-D to have better dynamic range than any of canon's cameras, even it's FF ones, but this is most pronounced in the highlights which the Oly emphasizes. What surprises me time and time again about the oly, particularly against my old G3, is how point light sources are so rarely distractingly blown out, even at high isos.
     
  12. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    8 bits per channel is what we see in JPGs and on almost all computer monitors there are 256 discrete levels and appears as continuous tone. 12 bits has 4096 and 14 bits is 16384. If curves and levels aren't manipulated much there won't be an visible difference. Do a great deal of manipulation and banding will appear sooner with lower bit depth.
     
  13. macalterego

    macalterego Mu-43 Veteran

    228
    Jul 10, 2012
    Lawrence, KS
    Jeffrey McPheeters
    Has to do with automation and workflow tools that are best suited to a particular need or situation. I shoot so many different lenses and 'situations' that I've found it helps to have more than one available workflow to save time. For example, if noise is minimal, I can select a batch of photos and run them through Nik DeFine 2 as an Aperture plugin and get acceptable results. Topaz won't batch them the same way Nik will. PhotoNinja doesn't have batching turned on, yet, so haven't been able to test it's capabilities. For lots of HDR bracketed sets, again, depends on subject, dynamic range, and output (print) size, as to what I'll use to clean noise prior to assimilation in Nik HDR Efex Pro 2. Sometimes PhotoNinja is the way to go due to ability to adjust CA and Lens aberrations in one step along with noise and better overall RAW conversion. For HDR work I'm rarely, if ever, shooting above ISO200. But there are lots of times when I'm shooting above ISO2000 at events. I like to stay under ISO1600 because at that "film speed" or slower, I can choose to ignore or treat the noise rather "lightly" and use Nik or Topaz or PhotoNinja, again, depending on other factors that will influence the workflow for that project. Above ISO 3200 or my old Canon shots above ISO1600, or any shots with complex noise profiles that vary with color and luminosity, I will use Topaz Labs' DeNoise, at this time, until something better comes along.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. savvy

    savvy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    714
    Sep 28, 2012
    SE Essex, UK
    Les
    Thanks for the comprehensive reply - you sure have a lot of software :biggrin: