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Epm-1 Noisy Blacks?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by LegacyLens, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. LegacyLens

    LegacyLens Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 25, 2012
    On my epm1 my blacks are very noisy I think I must have done something in settings. Lol. But at Iso 200 they are still very noisy any possible theories as to why? I want to purchase some nod filters but am scared to because my images might turn out really noisy. P.S. if it matters I mainly use a c-mount 25mm lens.

    (Any spelling errors due to ios auto correct)
  2. atmo

    atmo Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 11, 2013
  3. PeeBee

    PeeBee Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Sep 17, 2012
    I'm not certain, but try reducing sharpness to -1. I noticed some of my EPM1 pictures were pretty noisy at 200 ISO. I dropped the sharpness and it seems a bit better, but I've only viewed my recent pictures on the camera LCD so far.

    Maybe this setting alters the sensor gain?
  4. RnR

    RnR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Shooting RAW? JPG? Any examples to show us?
  5. LegacyLens

    LegacyLens Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 25, 2012
    Jpeg and RAW actually I can't post any thing right now because I'm only 13 and can't use my pc on school days :3. But it is really annoying and the settings posted here have helped some but not entirely.
  6. RnR

    RnR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Heh - love your parents style :biggrin:

    Meh - don't worry too much with the noise. The E-PM1 sensor is kinda noisy (I get lots of noise in the blue sky I shoot) when you pixel peep at 100% enlargement. But for normally sized images on the net or prints, I don't see it. You can give it some denoising love with Lightroom or Gimp if you are cropping heavily.

    Don't pixel peep. Worry about good exposure and composition.
  7. woof

    woof Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 18, 2011
    The present.
    Gradation. Set it to Normal, which actually means "off" for all intents and purposes. Don't have the camera in front of me, so cannot tell you navigation.

  8. LegacyLens

    LegacyLens Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 25, 2012
    Don't pixel peep that is like not breathing for me! xD. I usually manually focus everything (OCD lol) so I peep to check if my focus is 100% dead on (it always is :p )
  9. savvy

    savvy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 28, 2012
    S.Yorkshire, UK
    +1 on the Sharpness & Gradation settings.

    However the last gen pen sensors (12mp) are not up there in terms of noise performance with the latest OM-D & E-PL5 (16mp) sensors.

    This was my main reason for upgrading from my E-PL3 to the OM-D. The E-PL3, and I imagine E-PM1, is a great outdoors/bright light camera (apart from seamless dense blue skies as already mentioned), but low-light performance is quite noisy to my eyes. Until I got my OM-D, I learnt to shoot within its capabilities, and got some great shots/keepers.

    As mentioned, some examples with EXIF would help when you are allowed back on your PC :biggrin:
  10. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    What Woof said.
    The cameras usually reach customers with lots of 'wrong' settings.


    While your at it set KEEP WARM COLOURS to OFF,

    and enable SUPER CONTROL PANEL for all P A S M modes.

    Baffling? Yes, inscrutable.
  11. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    How do your histograms look? If they are bunched up on the left, you may just need to use longer exposures.
  12. RnR

    RnR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    bah - air is for noobs :p 

    I use alot of manual focus glass, so yeah for focus checking I quickly go in and do sharpness peep'ing in LR since there are usually multiple shots of the same scene. But I don't worry about noise, other than asking myself, did I really need to use ISO1600 for this shot?
    • Like Like x 1
  13. LegacyLens

    LegacyLens Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 25, 2012
    Ok we'll that is probably another cause of it xD. I love under exposed images lol
  14. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    That explains the noisy blacks to some extent. Do you just take JPEGS or do you use RAW? With a RAW file you would have more control over noise reduction. Even the stock Olympus software works pretty well for individual shots.
  15. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    Underexposure will make your files noisy. If you like things dark, you'd be better off giving good over all exposure and then adjusting in post processing. "Printing down" (that's what we called it in the dark ages of silver papers) reduces noise (and obvious grain), as well as increases contrast, but that can be dealt with in other ways.. Negative film photographers habitually over-exposed for that reason. Overexposure in digital will give you blown, sometimes unrecoverabel highlights, but exposing for a full range of tone, right up to the right of the histogram, and then darkening in post, should help some with the noise issue. IF the noise bothers you, creating low key finals out of a well exposed file will give you better results.

    I agree with those who suggest dialing at least -1 into sharpening and doing your sharpening in post. If your image looks good at 50% on screen, I wouldn't worry too much. At 100% they ARE going to start to look noisy.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. LegacyLens

    LegacyLens Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 25, 2012
    Ok thanks guys! It really does help with my exposure set to +3 I am noise free taking pictures of my black dog. Lol


  17. LegacyLens

    LegacyLens Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 25, 2012
    And last thing here is a unprocessed picture of what I mean by noisy blacks. ( it might not show up on the low res image lol)

  18. BB88

    BB88 Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 16, 2012
    I also found mine very noisy, and decided to reset the camera from the menu, and things are much better. I did think that it's because of Gradataion somehow being set to Auto instead of Normal before which caused the noise. Also, Vivid color will cause the noise more pronounced in my case too.
  19. PeeBee

    PeeBee Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Sep 17, 2012
    Another suggestion, try raising the ISO and see what you think. I've been struggling to get decent pictures out of my EPM1, they just haven't been anywhere near the quality of my G2 images in terms of noise, sharpness and aberation. Tonight I've tried a few things and raising ISO to 400 seems to produce much cleaner images.

    E-PM1    SIGMA 30mm F2.8 EX DN    30mm    f/3.2    1/3s    ISO 400
    • Like Like x 1
  20. PeeBee

    PeeBee Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Sep 17, 2012
    After a bit more testing, I've come to the conclusion that my EPM1 doesn't like its base ISO. Looking back at the pictures I've taken with it, I've had the best results using iso 400 - 800. The G2 however is perfectly happy at it's base ISO 100 setting.


    The G2 crop was ISO 100, ss - 1/30 sec. The EPM1 was ISO 200 ss - 1/200 sec. The dog picture above was ISO 400 ss 1/3 sec. ISO 400 on the EPM1 produces a finer noise pattern that was easier to clean up in PP.
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