ISO 3.200 RAW files have exposure data crushed

L0n3Gr3yW0lf

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Hello, this is a realization and question I've been having for a while but haven't looked into yet. I can't remember if Panasonic files behaved the same way, but the ORF from Olympus E-M1 Mark I, Mark III, and E-M5 Mark II at ISO 3.200 and above (I haven't looked into the ISO between 1.600 and 3.200) have the exposure data quite crushed. What I mean by that is that going the highlight or the shadow sliders in Lightroom moves the entire exposure of the image instead of only the brightest or the darkest parts of the image, and it seems to behave the same on .ORF and .DNG (converted) files.
This makes getting more room in the exposure if you need to protect the highlights or the shadows and possibly why I am not very happy with the skin tones at ISO above 1.600. While this high ISO is not common for some people, shooting with my Oly 12-100mm f 4 PRO and indoors it's quite frustrating if I can't control the light. I had this situation 2 days ago when I was a small baby-sex-reveal meet up with some friends and the place has a quit dark environment, at ISO 3.200 with a 1/10 sec exposure I was -0.5 exposure under (there was a bit of highlight hotspot that I was trying to keep under control). I didn't take my f 1.7 Pany lenses with me because I didn't know the place (and how dark it would be) and my small Jimmy Bo 500 bag doesn't fit too many lenses in. Even a 2.8 Pro lens would not help all that much because it would just bring the shutter speed to a more manageable level (for subject movement). An f 1.7/1.8 lens would get me about ISO 2.500 at 1/25 or 1/30 sec.

Have you experienced any issues at high ISO where the RAW files are a lot less editable/recoverable? I am wondering if it's a similar issue for Panasonic and if so it would be an issue of sensor size limit or processor limit that it can't keep the data integrity at this level of noise/amplification? If so doesn't that mean that ISO 1.600 is the limit of Micro Four Thirds of IQ in terms of malleability and quality output?
 

RAH

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I don't have an answer for you, but I am curious as to why you keep putting a decimal point after the first number in your ISOs (e.g. 3.200). I have never seen anyone else do this.
 

threeOh

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High ISO = limited DR/tonal range. When you limit it enough, there’s insufficient DR for adjustments of extremes as there aren’t any.

My solution for indoors, fast primes and larger sensors. Or flash.
 

L0n3Gr3yW0lf

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I don't have an answer for you, but I am curious as to why you keep putting a decimal point after the first number in your ISOs (e.g. 3.200). I have never seen anyone else do this.
It's my OCD, I see numbers differently, where I "need" a . at the marks of 1.000s, 10.000s, 100.000s, etc and I "need" them to be rounded to in 10s or 5s ... you have my permission to call me weird (or crazy) ... you should see me getting angry when I can't get the Lightroom sliders properly (like 5s, 10s, 25s, 33s, 50s, 66s, 75s, 100s :p ).
 

L0n3Gr3yW0lf

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Always take a fast prime and a flash for indoors. Always.
I have not experienced in Photos what you are in LR.
ISO 200-1600 on the 20MP sensor is "native". Above that...
Olympus advertises ISO range (native or not) at 200 to 25.600:
1628693561952.png
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And DXO Mark (yus, I know there are many out there who dislike their methodology and accuracy of their messurments):
1628693610609.png
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Characterises the dynamic range at 3.200 just bellow the (good) green line, at around 9.5 stops is shouldn't be to bad.

On Photons to Photos a comparison between E-M1 Mark II and Mark III as well as E-M5 Mark III shows a big similarity where, oddly, the older E-M1 Mark II does a fraction better:
1628693823912.png
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The E-M1 Mark III has 6.16 stops dynamic range at ISO 3.200 compared to 9.74 stops at ISO 200.
I am wondering if JPEG output would be good enough at higher ISO values if exposure is much less maleable, noise in the images are still reasonable IF the AF is very accurate (I have noticed that even slight out of focus images makes noise very punishing on the level or detail and sharness and makes them less recoverable), and the white balance still works alright. Though for the white balanace at ISO 6.400 is less maleable because green tint and magenta tint changes in the images will turn the shadows area into a complete colour mess.

Of all my years I don't know why I didnt take the time to learn to process High ISO files and understand their characteristics on the imact of image quality.
 

Armoured

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I don't have an answer for you, but I am curious as to why you keep putting a decimal point after the first number in your ISOs (e.g. 3.200). I have never seen anyone else do this.
If you have never seen anyone do this, you have not worked in or dealt with the many other languages and countries that use decimals and commas in the reverse way of standard English. USA and UK more the standouts.

https://docs.oracle.com/cd/E19455-01/806-0169/overview-9/index.html

Note that I think that some countries listed here as using spaces for thousands separator have done so to remove/reduce the issue, like France, that used to use periods for thousands. I presume the EU will get involved.

In fact I'm sure this 2010 doc is out of date but too lazy to look it up.
 

L0n3Gr3yW0lf

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So basically you are Europe.
Well, I wouldn't go that far to declare myself Europe ... don't like what happened to the last 3 dudes that declared that *cough* Hitler *cough* Napoleon* *cough* Caesar *cough*.
I am, though, made on Europe :p
 

doady

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You can see from those graphs how E-M1 II's true ISO is shifted 1/3 stop, so the base ISO is actually ISO 250 rather than 200. Kinda annoying.

Recently, I set ISO steps back to full stops to make changing ISOs faster and starting using ISO 200 again, but seeing those graphs again, I probably should go back to 1/3 stops and ISO 250. Sigh.

I switched to ISO 3200 to photograph some fishes in a tank in my dad's house, and I also forgot to change it back for some outdoor shots. I haven't spent a lot of time editing the files yet but I haven't noticed anything very unusual about the behaviors of the highlights/shadows/whites/blacks sliders so far in Capture One. Next time I am on the computer, I will check again more closely.
 

RAH

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If you have never seen anyone do this, you have not worked in or dealt with the many other languages and countries that use decimals and commas in the reverse way of standard English. USA and UK more the standouts.
Yes, I know that other countries use decimal points and commas for numbers differently from the USA, but I have never seen anyone EVEN in the USA write 1,600 as an ISO. Have you? I mean, ISOs are usually written as plain numbers, even when you could put a thousand separating comma in. That's what I meant. But @L0n3Gr3yW0lf 's explanation is OK - i.e. he's just weird! (I even have permission to say this! ;) )
 

Armoured

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Yes, I know that other countries use decimal points and commas for numbers differently from the USA, but I have never seen anyone EVEN in the USA write 1,600 as an ISO. Have you?
I just stick to 1.6 X 10^3, 1.6e3 for short. 1,6e3 doesn't work for me so I'm with you as far as that goes.

I'd use natural logs but for some reason folks think it pretentious.
 

Growltiger

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If only we were born with 16 digits instead of 10 then we would never have had any of this decimal nonsense.
1600 should be written as 640h, so much simpler.
 
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I don't have an answer for you, but I am curious as to why you keep putting a decimal point after the first number in your ISOs (e.g. 3.200). I have never seen anyone else do this.
It's a convention in many European countries to use . & , the opposite of the way Americans do. Caused me constant confusion while working there.
 

John King

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Have you experienced any issues at high ISO where the RAW files are a lot less editable/recoverable? I am wondering if it's a similar issue for Panasonic and if so it would be an issue of sensor size limit or processor limit that it can't keep the data integrity at this level of noise/amplification? If so doesn't that mean that ISO 1.600 is the limit of Micro Four Thirds of IQ in terms of malleability and quality output?
Perhaps a couple of before/after examples would help, Ovidiu.

All cameras of all formats have reduced DR as ISO rises.

This also happened (dramatically) with film.
 

Replytoken

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Any success I have when trying to process high ISO images in LR depends a lot on the quality of the exposure. If I am underexposed and at high ISO, my expectations drop radically, and lo and behold, I am usually not disappointed. I also believe that subject matter matters a lot to the outcome, as do a person's PP skills. Mine are not that great when it comes to these types of images, so I am not really able to offer any advice. And FWIW, I have these kinds of issues with larger sensor cameras as well. I shot in a local night club with horrible lighting and it was always a struggle, even with a fast lens and a FF sensor.

Good luck,

--Ken
 

IMoL

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I don't have an answer for you, but I am curious as to why you keep putting a decimal point after the first number in your ISOs (e.g. 3.200). I have never seen anyone else do this.
Many country conventions reverse the meaning of "." and "," in numerical notations; it is this way here in Sweden. So the thousands separator is "." giving "3.200" and an aperture ends up being "f/5,6". I am so used to both (being born in a "normal" country and living in a "reversed" country) that I don't even notice it any more.

I actually use the "reversed" notation more often as I have all my devices set to use Swedish numbering, including the ISO8601 "2021-08-12" date format (which is the only date formatting that makes logical sense :) as it's the only one that sorts correctly either as a number or a string )
 

RichardC

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It's a convention in many European countries to use . & , the opposite of the way Americans do. Caused me constant confusion while working there.

I always assumed that the comma thing in numbers was universal, but you are right, the French for example insert commas in pricing between whole Euros and Cents ( EUR 9,99 vs the right way which would be GBP 9.99).

My Casio destop calculators both have comma separation in large whole numbers, ie, 1,000,000 - as does my iphone/Mac. This is perfectly right, like driving on the left side of the road, which is of course, the correct side.

Oh, and don't get me started on those German '1s' - how they don't order seven of everything is a bloody miracle.
 

Ross the fiddler

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I don't have an answer for you, but I am curious as to why you keep putting a decimal point after the first number in your ISOs (e.g. 3.200). I have never seen anyone else do this.
But it's only just missing a very small tail though. ;)
From this "." to this ",". :) I let my photos go up to ISO 6,400 myself. :drinks:
 

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