E-P3 - max auto ISO and LR4 presets

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by jamespetts, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. jamespetts

    jamespetts Mu-43 Top Veteran

    803
    May 21, 2011
    London, England
    I have just been testing the quality of photographs taken at various ISO settings with the E-P3 and how well it is possible to control the noise in Lightroom 4, and also creating some presets for the various ISO settings. The intention was to set the automatic ISO maximum to the highest level at which I can get a good image out of Lightroom 4. The default is 1,600. When I was using Olympus Viewer 2, I had set the maximum to 640, but I thought that I'd reconsider given that LR's noise reduction is more effective than in Olympus Viewer 2.

    My results indicated that an ISO of 1,250 was about the highest that I could take it without what I considered unacceptable artefacts even after the application of noise reduction.

    For ISO 1,250 on the E-P3, I have set the following as presets in the "detail" tab:

    Sharpening
    Amount: 55
    Radius: 0.6
    Detail: 35
    Masking: 27

    Noise reduction
    Luminance: 56
    Detail: 50
    Contrast: 0

    Colour: 22
    Detail: 20

    Obviously, individual images will need further refinement depending on their particular properties, but starting with these settings will probably get me much closer to an optimal result than starting with LR's own defaults.

    I'd be interested to know how these figures compare to the LR presets and maximum ISO values that others use with the E-P3 (or any other camera using the same sensor, which, as I understand it, is all current Micro Four Thirds cameras apart from the G3 and the OM-D).

    For reference, here are some of my "detail" presets for other ISO levels:

    200

    Sharpening
    Amount: 75
    Radius: 0.6
    Detail: 50
    Masking: 16

    Noise reduction
    Luminance: 25
    Detail: 60
    Contrast: 25

    Colour: 21
    Detail: 60

    400

    Sharpening
    Amount: 60
    Radius: 0.6
    Detail: 50
    Masking: 20

    Noise reduction
    Luminance: 45
    Detail: 50
    Contrast: 20

    Colour: 22
    Detail: 50

    800

    Sharpening
    Amount: 57
    Radius: 0.6
    Detail: 35
    Masking: 25

    Noise reduction
    Luminance: 54
    Detail: 40
    Contrast: 15

    Colour: 22
    Detail: 25
     
  2. phl0wtography

    phl0wtography Mu-43 Veteran

    227
    Apr 15, 2011
    I don't think that it's very useful to apply "global" settings via presets for detail (NR and sharpening).
    What is apparent with your presets is that you sharpen for high frequency edges in addition to an USM applied (uncommon for hf images) to apparently reduce sharpened noise (that results from your low radius) and noise in general.
    Sharpening and NR is so much dependent on content and output, that especially high ISO (above 800) shots need to be post processed individually and very carefully, keeping a delicate balance between NR applied and different sharpening techniques. Since LR has few to no ways of applying (necessary) changes locally via layers and masks, it has a hard time working that balance

    That being said, I think LR is not the ideal tool to post process high ISO shots for (big) prints.
    Of course, if all one wants is to publish some shots for web/mail downsized to 1-3mp it's a different story.
     
  3. jamespetts

    jamespetts Mu-43 Top Veteran

    803
    May 21, 2011
    London, England
    Ahh, three things to put this into context: firstly, Lightroom already has some detail settings (chrominance noise reduction and sharpening) applied by default: the idea here was simply to refine those for particular settings. Secondly, as I acknowledged above, these are intended to be starting points, not immutable standardised settings - but the idea is that they will be starting points much closer to the desired end point than the Lightroom defaults. Thirdly, I hardly ever print images, but instead tend to upload them in high resolution to Flickr with a Creative Commons attribution share-alike licence (so, in theory, other people could print them if they wanted, although they would no doubt want to do their own post processing for that if they were so inclined).
     
  4. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Thanks for the post, James.

    I am interested in this topic after reading Thom Hogan's post on sharpening and noise reduction in LR for smaller sensors:

    Proper Noise Reduction in Lightroom and ACR | Sans Mirror — mirrorless, interchangeable lens cameras | Thom Hogan

    I had been working with the standard LR setting and then only using NR when it got in the way of the image. It seems like I can improve on this a good deal.

    I like the approach of having some presets that work most of the time for easy ISO level. I can always go back and tweak specific images, for example, if I know I am going to print large.
     
  5. Aegon

    Aegon Mu-43 Veteran

    334
    Nov 3, 2011
    Portland, OR
    As a person who doesn't own lightroom, some example photos would be nice to see what I'm missing.
     
  6. gsciorio

    gsciorio Mu-43 Top Veteran

    636
    Dec 29, 2011
    Miami, FL
    Thats similar to what I do but I don't use any NR. I like the grain in my images and they print so nice. Good post!