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Excessive noise with G3?

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by monk, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. monk

    monk New to Mu-43

    5
    Aug 11, 2011
    Hello, first post here although been reading for a while now. I have a G3 and am enjoying it but I've been thinking that there is a lot of noise in the images. Could some one tell me if I have unrealistic expectations for noise or if I have a faulty camera?

    Here are 100% crops to show what I mean (all ISO800).
    All 3 shots show what I consider to be a lot of noise in the shadow areas. I would appreciate peoples views.

    In camera noise reduction -2 (ie off)


    In camera noise reduction 0


    In camera noise reduction +2
     
  2. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    Pavel
    Frankly speaking... This is luminance noise and, in my opinion, it doesn't degrade image quality. This is perfectly normal.
     
  3. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I have a G3, works fine for me. Noise isn't even an issue in print. It's an issue if you pixel peep. :wink:
     
  4. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I wouldn't call that excessive (try one of the -1 series cameras at ISO800!), but for us to help you minimize it, we need more info:

    JPG vs RAW
    Exposure parameters (particularly if you're using exposure compensation)
    Camera settings - in particular i.dynamic and photo style
    What, if any, post processing
    etc
     
  5. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Welcome to the forum Monk!

    I am running the E-P3 with noise reduction completely off, use default Lightroom export settings (minimal NR), and I am very pleased with the output. If I really look for it (peeping), I can see noise, but to me it is just detail and grain. I will take it any day over NR smearing and detail loss.
     
  6. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
  7. monk

    monk New to Mu-43

    5
    Aug 11, 2011
    Thank you for all the replies

    To answer tc's questions, these are raw's with no pp in lightroom, just converted to 85% quality jpg's for posting here. The camera settings are aperture priority AE, F5.6 at 1/80s. The photo style is 0 for everything except the noise reduction as noted above. The i mode is off, as are intelligent dynamic range and intelligent resolution.

    As stratokaster says, this is luminance noise (there is almost no chromatic noise that I've seen, which is fantastic) but I feel that I am loosing some sharpness due to the luminance noise levels, particularly when I am shooting faces.

    I'm glad that the consensus appears to be that the noise that I'm seeing is not a problem as I had the feeling that I was been a little over-critical (ie pixel peeping) but I would still appreciate any tips on reducing what noise I do get.

    krugorg, I have read the low light performance thread that you linked to, it makes for good reading. I have heard of expose to the right but not really tried it, and so thought it time to do so!

    100% at auto exposure


    100% at +2 exposure compensation in camera (to expose to the right) and then -2.3 exposure in lightroom to bring it to the same light level as the original


    There is definitely less noise in the image exposed to the right and then dialled down in pp. So I shall try to adopt this style! However, I guess that if you have brightly lit elements in your shot then there is no room to expose to the right, which makes this strategy only really suitable for low light situations?
     
  8. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    Pavel
    monk, I have played with various Micro 4/3 cameras for a while to find a range of suitable settings for noise reduction and sharpness. Well-exposed ISO 800 shots usually don't require any additional noise reduction. At ISO 1600 I usually use some mild luminance noise reduction (15-20) and up the amount of sharpening a little (usually to 35-40 from the default value of 25).

    This is an example of such processing at ISO 1600 in a very yellow tungsten light: http://photo.torba.com/images/pavel.urusov/f/C7XPK1cOyhQbQMbVlfd8.jpg (warning: a huge file). The noise is not rampant and the level of detail is very good.

    Hope you will find this information useful.
     
  9. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Ok, well, there you go.

    To use ETTR, you have to use the histogram and make sure you're not blowing out the highlights too much - you can't just say dial in +2EV, it's going to depend scene by scene.
     
  10. digitalandfilm

    digitalandfilm Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 18, 2011
    I find that, with the G3, if I limit the ISO at 1600.. just a touch of noise reduction in LR3 and the photo's are fine.
     
  11. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    SoCal
    Dude, if this your noise problem at ISO 1600 and enlarged 100% ... you really don't have a noise problem. What noise you have is in the shadows and seems very acceptable. If printed to an 8x10 I doubt it would even be visible ... a slight touch of NR and voila!

    My $.02,
    G
     
  12. monk

    monk New to Mu-43

    5
    Aug 11, 2011
    I was using the histogram and also checking for clipping, and that resulted in +2EV :)

    I was quite impressed with how well it worked. I need to try it out in more real shooting conditions to see how it fairs. Thanks for the pointer!
     
  13. monk

    monk New to Mu-43

    5
    Aug 11, 2011
    Thank you for posting that sample. I guess as you say, it's a question of finding a good balance between noise and sharpness for the conditions that you are shooting in. I can see for example that there is some noise in the cat's eyes which is the kind of thing that is bothering me, but I can also see that to focus on the eye noise is to miss the lovely detail elsewhere.
     
  14. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    SoCal
    Nice shot Strat, I can see your reflection in the cat's eye.

    G