1. Welcome to Mu-43.com—a friendly Micro 4/3 camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

Noise in the shadows for portrait

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Yves Giot, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. Yves Giot

    Yves Giot Mu-43 Rookie

    13
    Apr 7, 2018
    Hello,

    I have a EM1 markII and I am very happy with it, it is a joy to use. Previously I had a Nikon D700.

    Buying that camera, my assumption was that under 800ISO results would be pretty much similar to my Nikon and obviously it would be not as good above that which I was OK with given all other functionalities and weight.

    Using it, I start noticing that even at 200ISO there is a difference if subject has shadows. Making portrait if you have a shadow side of the face, you clearly see noise (not in all pictures, obviously depends on light ...) but in some of them. This is something I never noticed with my D700 unless it was very underexposed.

    I guess you can work around and make sure you expose all the time to the right, may be overexpose slightly. ... In a way it makes sense but still something I wasn't expecting. Basically noise appear a lot quicker even at 200ISO. It makes me wonder if I want to keep using MFT for portrait.

    Any experience, idea ? I am thinking particularly portrait work. I might have to change a little the way I work. What are your experiences using MFT. Are you overexposing some all the time to avoid that or use LOW ISO ?

    Thanks
    Yves
     
  2. I just care less about noise. As long as it's monochromatic and limited to the shadows I don't mind too much.
     
  3. ionian

    ionian Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 20, 2016
    Kent, UK
    Simon
    Yes, this is normal. I mainly shoot portraits too. It doesn't bother me at all but this is what you get stepping down to a sensor only 25% the size but with nearly twice the number of photoreceptors - it's just physics. Plus those Nikon sensors are crazily good for noise and dynamic range.

    No one is going to notice except you. In fact I often add a touch of grain to my pictures anyway - just my style I guess.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  4. ionian

    ionian Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 20, 2016
    Kent, UK
    Simon
    I forgot to say that I used to ettr but now just shoot as I want to expose (or shoot for my editing presets which normally requires me to overexpose a little). Once you adjust your editing to suit the files coming from the camera you'll work out how best to expose in camera - it's bound to be different to the Nikon.
     
  5. pake

    pake Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Oct 14, 2010
    Finland
    Teemu
    Most likely you're the only one who notices (or is bothered by) the noise. Your clients won't. And if you don't shoot for clients, no one cares. It's not the amount of noise that makes/breaks the picture.

    If you want superclean images you need to improve your workflow/post processing - or switch system.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. m43happy

    m43happy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    559
    Feb 18, 2012
    Coming from a Nikon D700 myself, I've noticed that m43 (particularly with newer cameras) tend to be better at recovering highlights and lifting shadows. I tend to overexposure a touch. It was a slight learning curve to find the right balance though. Even still, the noise that I get when shooting portraits w/ m43 I don't mind. It is what it is. I just try to focus on getting a decent looking picture (from a creative standpoint, not technical).
     
  7. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Kiillarney, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    Yes there will be more noise, but how much?
    can you post a sample, and also tell us (me)
    • how it was processed
    • was it OOC JPG or RAW
    • perhaps provide the RAW as well?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Yves Giot

    Yves Giot Mu-43 Rookie

    13
    Apr 7, 2018
    Thanks for your comments, it makes perfect sense.

    I think this is far from being a deal breaker in the end and I will continue to use this great camera and learn to use it to extract the most of it. As mentioned, it is just different and you have to deal with the strengths and weaknesses. I think I just got surprised because I had wrong expectation. In my mind until 800 ISO it would be same than FF, only above 800 or more would it be different. In fact, noise will appear in shadows quicker than FF which makes perfect sense, as somebody mentioned it is just physics. I just didn't think about that.

    This said, I agree the noise you have can be removed (I was talking out of camera no noise reduction) and in the end I am probably the only one who will see it. Most pictures, well lit, you have no noise. If you do, you can manage it post processing. I started noticing it at 100% when I was trying to edit some pictures with darker shadows, didn't pay much attention to it before. It took me a while to really notice it But when I start seeing something, I have a tendency to obsess about it even it is really not that big of a deal.

    Below is an example with the EM1. Will have to dig to find more images, (I don't have access to all here).

    Thanks again for your feedback.

    Yves
     

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 2
  9. Yves Giot

    Yves Giot Mu-43 Rookie

    13
    Apr 7, 2018
    Another one EM1 MarkII test shot at 800 ISO. Out of camera
     

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 1
  10. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Kiillarney, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    @Yves Giot@Yves Giot
    I'm not seeing anything in either of those pictures to consider "noisy" ... either I have low standards / expectations or you're pixel peeping WAY too much
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. avihan

    avihan New to Mu-43

    5
    Jul 10, 2017
    Are you using lightroom? lightroom add noise to mft quite a lot.try to reduce sharpening.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. pake

    pake Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Oct 14, 2010
    Finland
    Teemu
    True. One thing I've read many times is that people coming from CaNikon world are used to using much higher sharpening values than it's necessary on m4/3s. Obviously that will affect the noise levels too and lowering the amount of sharpening (or increasing masking) can do wonders.
     
  13. ionian

    ionian Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 20, 2016
    Kent, UK
    Simon
    In lightroom the sharpening does get noisy fast. I have a friend who uses a canon 5diii and she couldn't believe how low my sharpening values were on a raw file. I have it set to 55 / 0.6 / 75 as default for base ISO but often increase the masking and reduce the sharpening for higher ISO. If I need more I use a high pass filter in PS with a mask.

    Like @pellicle@pellicle, I can't see any noise in the pics you've posted but the forum downsamples to 1600px so most noise would be lost in that process.
     
  14. Stanga

    Stanga Mu-43 Top Veteran

    540
    Oct 16, 2016
    I shot some wedding pics using available light in a church at 800 ISO with a G80 and the married couple were extremely happy with them. By the time the images were transferred to print, there was no noise to be seen.
     
  15. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    Ah, so the noise goes away with age? :hide::D 
     
  16. Martin11er

    Martin11er Mu-43 Rookie

    20
    Apr 18, 2018
    Sweden
    Very true. I always set masking to at least 70, often 90, and adjust the radius when dealing with m4/3, and this seem especially important with E-M1 files. It is quite different compared to let's say Sony A7 files or Canon 5D II and III. The same goes for Fuji X-Trans files btw.
     
  17. Yves Giot

    Yves Giot Mu-43 Rookie

    13
    Apr 7, 2018
    Thanks all,

    Yes, I cannot see on the photo on this site either, but at 100% in Lightroom it is very clear (I use Lightroom)

    Am I pixel peeping too much :)  Maybe right ... I will take my medication (it doesn't work). No honestly I wasn't even looking for it, I just opened the file in Lightroom, clicked to enlarge at 100% (I do to see if in focus) and it jumped at me. What is this ! Look at her face. Now I realized that I was at 800ISO, Lightroom had put 40 for sharpening (used to be 25 but looks like now it is 40) so it shocked me a little. What was wrong. From there .... I started ... pixel peeping, yes... then obsessing about it little too, then noticing my ISO and sharpening were high. LOL

    I agree reducing sharpening and/or using masking helps a lot. Put a little noise reduction helps too. This being said, I have to realize that it is less forgiving than FF and it is something you need to know. Even at 200ISO. Can you do great pictures with it, sure but also it seems that you need to be more careful with your exposure because it is less forgiving. That is the price to pay for all other advantages you get from M43. It is always a compromise.

    Using more sharpening. May be too, with my Nikon I always left the sharpening default (or more) almost never reduced it. May be with M43 you need less. I am definitely reducing it now and using masking.

    Thanks much for your help
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. 50orsohours

    50orsohours Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 13, 2013
    Portland Oregon
    I hope this doesn’t sound mean but what jumped out at me, was not noise, but bad composition. Having things growing out of her elbow is a dealbreaker for me.
     
  19. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    Clint
    You've answered your own question. With lighting, exposure, and post processing I can get noise with my D700 or D800 too.

    Then there are the questions: Why are you using 800 ISO! And why are you pixel peeping?

    Eleven years of using 4/3s and m4/3s and I've never had a customer mention anything about noise.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. RichardC

    RichardC Mu-43 Regular

    181
    Mar 25, 2018
    Hasn't got used to the amazing IBIS yet.

    Could also be an age thing. Those of us who were brought up on Kodachrome 64 or Fuji 50 do not suffer with the same issues.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.