1. Reminder: Please use our affiliate links for holiday shopping!

E-M5 noise reduction

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by quatchi, May 18, 2012.

  1. quatchi

    quatchi Mu-43 Veteran

    326
    May 17, 2012
    Munich, Germany
    Hey,

    I am playing around with my one week old E-M5 and I am a bit puzzled with the E-M5's noise reduction (or lack of, therefore).

    Yesterday, I shot a landscape with ISO 200 and imported it into Lightroom. The image looks nice when viewed full size (zoomed out). Zooming in to 100%, however, shows that the picture is very grainy. I am aware that in a usual case I will never look at a picture like that (web, printed, etc.), but it I've to say that I was a bit shocked. Attached is the overall, zoomed-out picture as well as the 1:1 view of it. I can't remember to see such an amount of grain with my old G1 raw files. Am I missing something (configuration wise)? Is this normal?

    Thanks in advance,
    quatchi
     

    Attached Files:

  2. silversx80

    silversx80 Mu-43 Veteran

    229
    Apr 27, 2012
    North Carolina
    Looks like a standard Olympus file to me (nice shot by the way), especially if that's the jpeg output from the camera. If it's a raw file, then it looks like Adobe is trying to handle the files like Olympus does.

    I find the grain pleasant, but I can see how it'd surprise you the first time you saw it. When I didn't want that look, however, I found bumping the NR slider up a bit, lowering the detail slider to 0, and bumping the contrast slider to 1/2 what the NR slider was at did the trick. Then, I'd add back a slight amount of sharpening.
     
  3. Has any sharpening been applied to the image? The grain does seem more exaggerated than I would expect to see. The E-M5 definitely isn't a noise-free camera but it does to my eye have more pleasant noise patterns than the other m4/3 cameras I have used. I am applying noise reduction much less frequently on the E-M5 files.
     
  4. AlanU

    AlanU Mu-43 Veteran

    484
    May 2, 2012
    are you exposing for the sky? or land?

    I'm assuming the raw file was quite under exposed and you recovered either land or sky with the LR gradient tool.
     
  5. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Fred
    I'm curious about a few things. Was it shot jpeg or raw? Has there been any type of exposure adjustment, including recovery, black point, contrast, curves, shadow and highlight, dodging, or burning?

    Fred
     
  6. quatchi

    quatchi Mu-43 Veteran

    326
    May 17, 2012
    Munich, Germany
    No gradient tool or histogram changes.
    The in-camera noise reduction was set to low. From my understanding, however, this shouldn't affect the raw file, right?
     
  7. quatchi

    quatchi Mu-43 Veteran

    326
    May 17, 2012
    Munich, Germany
    Sorry about that. I missed to say that I was shooting in raw and simply imported the pictures into Lightroom 4.1RC2. The complete scene is a normal export with the setting "sharpen for display use" (setting: normal) and the close up (1:1) is the unmodified picture as a screen capture.
     
  8. AlanU

    AlanU Mu-43 Veteran

    484
    May 2, 2012
    Raw should be unaffected but not 100% certain with Olympus.

    Seems its always safer to have the dark areas over exposed by 1/3 stop or so and recover in post. Then you can use the gradient tool to adjust overall exposure.

    nice photo by the way....
     
  9. quatchi

    quatchi Mu-43 Veteran

    326
    May 17, 2012
    Munich, Germany
    Ups, I am sorry guys. I just noticed that in fact there was some post processing on the image. I downloaded the preset posted here in the forum and applied it while importing the image. Totally forgot about it. The preset has a sharpening of 100 applied to the image. Hence the heavy grain in 1:1 view.

    Attached is the "reseted" image (sharpness 0, etc.). It looks much less grainy (still not clean, though). I probably have to play a bit with the controls in order to get a feeling for the right settings (sharpness vs. noise).

    Anyway, thank you very much for your helpful comments! As a thanks, I attached another image from the same lake (opposite shore - this time with graduate filter).
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Joe777

    Joe777 Mu-43 Veteran

    225
    Apr 11, 2012
    Oregon
    Several weeks ago I spoke with a very knowledgeable tech rep at Olympus about JPEGs vs RAW and some of the complaints I had been reading from Pen owners on how they could not get their RAW to look as good as their JPEGS. He told me unless one uses the Olympus software there will be a problem. He said all other software such as Adobe products, Aperture, etc etc will not bring the same results with RAW.
    I spoke to him when I was thinking about getting a OM-D.
    He is a pro photographer in his own right and for years was a pro Photog with Olympus prior to retiring from that grind. He is a very well respected top tech rep.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    This is correct. However, this is not specific to Olympus. Vendor bundled RAW converters such as Olympus Viewer or SilkyPix (incldued with Panasonic m4/3 cameras) are designed to match the camera's output closely. Third-party converters like Aperture and Lightroom are not. If your goal is to mimic the camera's JPEGs, there's little point to using a third-party converter.

    DH
     
  12. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Houston
    Muttley
    Great photo Quatchi!!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    995
    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Chuck
    Will the Olympus conversion software generate an uncompressed format file, e.g., TIFF? I would guess that whatever the Oly converter does, I'd want to continue tweaking the image in Lightroom, Photoshop, Nik, etc. before it's ever baked into a JPEG.
     
  14. Joe777

    Joe777 Mu-43 Veteran

    225
    Apr 11, 2012
    Oregon
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Joe777
    Several weeks ago I spoke with a very knowledgeable tech rep at Olympus about JPEGs vs RAW and some of the complaints I had been reading from Pen owners on how they could not get their RAW to look as good as their JPEGS. He told me unless one uses the Olympus software there will be a problem. He said all other software such as Adobe products, Aperture, etc etc will not bring the same results with RAW.


    This is correct. However, this is not specific to Olympus. Vendor bundled RAW converters such as Olympus Viewer or SilkyPix (incldued with Panasonic m4/3 cameras) are designed to match the camera's output closely. Third-party converters like Aperture and Lightroom are not. If your goal is to mimic the camera's JPEGs, there's little point to using a third-party converter.

    DH

    Agreed, however I believe the point the rep was trying make is. When shooting RAW do not expect to be able to achieve as good an image as their JPEGS when adjusting a RAW image using non Olympus software, one will not be able to make the image better. As you stated what is the point of trying to mimic a great JPEG.
    As a matter of fact the rep told me many Olympus owners have given up trying and don't even bother using the Olympus RAW converter, they stick with the great JPEGS. In my humble opinion if the shooter knows what they doing in the first place, there isn't much point shooting RAW for the average joe. I shot JPEGS for years then the last 5 years RAW and suddenly woke up to the simple fact I was wasting too much time sitting in front of a computer trying to get that over the top image for what ? Nothing. Sorry, would rather be out shooting than wearing my butt out looking at a screen for hours.
     
  15. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    995
    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Chuck
    Perhaps... However, if highlights are slightly blown or white balance is far off the mark, you'll have a much better chance of recovery from a RAW file. Personally, I hedge my bets with RAW+JPEG, although the Oly SOOC JPEGs are often usable with only minor corrections. I import both versions into LR simultaneously, so the selection process is quick.
     
  16. Is there some company called "Jpeg Inc." that people can buy shares in? It might explain a few things.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    995
    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Chuck
    I understand it's a division of Kool-Aid....
     
    • Like Like x 2
  18. Joe777

    Joe777 Mu-43 Veteran

    225
    Apr 11, 2012
    Oregon
    Yep, all those award winning photographers from the Civil War to the Vietnam war must have consumed gallons of Kool Aid to get those fantastic shots. Real difficult without a digital camera and by god no RAW software !!!!!!!!!!

    I might add some of this stuff was developed outside on the ground in some clearing in the middle of the jungle using whatever containers they had available. It was a very common practice with the North Vietnam army photographers.

    If anyone ever has a chance go see the “Requiem" exhibit, it will blow you away.
     
  19. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    I shoot both - why? because RAW gives you flexibility and dynamic range control JPG quite simply can't. And particularly for Landscape shots, I find that to be invaluable.

    I also completely disagree with the idea that in-Camera JPG output is the maximum you can expect to get out of a RAW file. The beauty of RAW decoder software is that it evolves - reprocessing old RAW files with new software has in numerous cases resulted in significantly more pleasing images.

    I'm most familiar with Canon - DPP is a very capable, powerful RAW processor that can recreate the in-camera looks if you want to, as well as do a number of other interesting things. However, in almost all cases, I prefer the control and look I can get from processing a RAW file in DxO - color rendering, contrast, dynamic range, lens aberrations and sharpness are all significantly better. Noise reduction is far more customizable, ditto the degree of sharpening (if I want even more control, I go into Photoshop and use Nik's plugin suite).

    Now, in most cases, the JPG is more than enough. Hence why I shoot both side-by-side, because JPG is generally perfectly fine for web use. But if I'm going to print an image I'll spend a lot more time with it. Shaprening needs to be different (generally much more than looks good for web), lighting and color often do as well (little bit brighter, touch more contrast). And RAW lets me do that without clipping channels.

    And let's not even talk about those times when the white balance is just simply wrong. RAW? No problem. JPG? Problem.
     
  20. Joe777

    Joe777 Mu-43 Veteran

    225
    Apr 11, 2012
    Oregon
    Mattia.

    I also completely disagree with the idea that in-Camera JPG output is the maximum you can expect to get out of a RAW file.

    This is not what I said. What I did say is you will not improve the Olympus JPEG with other companies RAW software (as long as one knows what they are doing when one shoots JPEG) This point was made by a very well respected Olympus tech rep. As for others not bothering with even the Olympus RAW, I assume they know what they are doing in the first place and are happy with the JPEG result.