Noise, noise and more noise

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by Antonio Correia, Jun 28, 2016.

  1. Antonio Correia

    Antonio Correia Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 19, 2016
    Setubal - Portugal
    What I think about the GX7 is that the photographs always come with too much grain/noise.
    I think sensors must have a radical evolution so that this doesn't happen this way.
    It is not the first time I do not like the result of soem photos when the light is not the best one. It is also true that I tried to recover the dark areas...
    Even using very exquisite lenses - this time I was using the Oly 7-14 f/2.8 @ ISO 800 - the result look pretty bad. A real shame ! Am I being too demanding ?
    I should go back to full frame but the equipment all too heavy !
    i-FwbCSqF-M.png i-8j8DJnX-M.png
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2016
  2. Antonio Correia

    Antonio Correia Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 19, 2016
    Setubal - Portugal
    However some shots turn out to be OK ! ;)

    i-3dFkXpd-XL.jpg i-M9JZ8Tt-M.png i-MWzDSvC-M.png
  3. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Is that a JPEG or from RAW? The filename says TIFF, but I don't quite understand that workflow when it comes to Lightroom, unless you're doing local editing or compositing in Photoshop and then passing it back. I really dislike Panasonic's JPEG processing, but I find that the RAW output from my GX7 is very good and stands up to a fair bit of manipulation.

    That looks pretty bad for an ISO 800 file, not necessarily because of the grain, but because it looks soft. There's also weird colour noise and banding that I never experience with my GX7, certainly not at that ISO. Have you turned off the chroma noise reduction? Any luminance noise reduction (I almost always use none, but I prefer detail to smoothness and don't mind a little noise). How much did you recover the shadows? Because I suppose it goes without saying that if you're pushing the shadows, you're increasing the effective ISO in that region. It could be like exposing that shadow area at ISO 1600, 2000, 3200, or even more depending on how far you push it.
  4. Antonio Correia

    Antonio Correia Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 19, 2016
    Setubal - Portugal
    Thank you for dropping those lines Turbofrog !
    I work in LR and export to CS5. I made some adjustments on LR and than exported to tif so I could open in CS5 to make the crop ! A mess ! :hmmm:
    My CS5 doesn't open raw files from the GX7 so I have to convert them to tif before doing so.
    Perhaps I am doing something I shouldn't and I thank you for your advice.
    How do I turn off the chroma noise reduction ?
    I admit - obviously - that I have done something wrong. The original photograph looks terrible and I am blaming the camera !
    Don't blame the camera blame yourself I read somewhere. Here I show you the original raw photograph.
    i-w7B7CwC-XL.jpg i-rHBXfCR-XL.png
  5. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend


  6. Antonio Correia

    Antonio Correia Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 19, 2016
    Setubal - Portugal
    tkbslc :(
    m43 is not for me then ! :shakehead: :dash2:
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Ahhh, I see.

    From the screenshot of your post-processing, you're increasing your exposure by 1.9 EV (basically 2 stops), so now it's not like you're working at ISO 800, you're working at ISO 3200. On top of that, you're adding +50 shadows. Realistically, in this photograph I would not be surprised if you have pushed the shadows up to an effective ISO of 6400! No wonder it's now showing plenty of noise.

    I'm afraid that this is simply as exposure problem. It says that you made your image with an aperture of 2.8, ISO of 800, and shutter speed of 1/1250s. In this case, you could easily have reduced your ISO to 200 and still increase your overall exposure by 2 stops and end up with a shutter speed of 1/80s which is easily doable for a static image like this, especially with a wide angle and the GX7's IBIS.

    With those settings, such an image would have almost no noise and look very clean. One thing that working with M4/3 has taught me is that I always get better results if I use the correct exposure at the time of capture. Fortunately, the EVF makes that very, very easy to do, so I almost never have bad surprises waiting for me when I download my files.
    • Agree Agree x 16
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  8. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    Noise in the B&W candid is much more controlled since you've allowed the shadows to stay dark and the image has a nice, contrasty punch to it. In the window shot, you are trying to lift deep shadows but for what purpose I ask? Brightening the corner adds little to the photo. If anything, it draws the eye away from what I am guessing is the subject of that shot.

    But you do bring up an interesting point. I've come back to M43 with the GX85 and am learning that, in exchange for smaller size and better video (than my Pentax SLRs) I have to adjust my shooting and processing, lifting shadows less and adding punchier contrast.

    Every camera and system is a compromise. Right now, M43 is a good compromise for me.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  9. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    Side note.

    You don't need to export to TIFF. You can open a RAW file that is supported in LR directly into CS, even if your version of CS doesn't. Right click in LR and edit in CS. It should prompt you to let LR handle the RAW conversion part. I'm still running CS5 but have the latest LR.

    You could also use the DNG converter (free) and then open the DNGs directly into CS.
  10. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Legend

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Yeah, if this is the type of regular work you do with a camera, then you really need to be looking at a FF camera. You can't take an area of the original image that was completely black, and try to push it up by 3 stops and expect it to not have any noise in the shadows.

    Either work on exposing the image better, make use of stacking multiple exposures, or move to a camera system that will allow you completely muck the shot up, and make it look like nothing ever happened in post.

    I haven't bothered to do an ISO invariance test, but you likely would've been better off exposing at IOS 1600, pulling the highlights back some, and then pushing the shadows 1 stop or so.
  11. Wisertime

    Wisertime Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2013
    Your second shot is a keeper...the sample is not....delete and move on. I can't speak to Panasonic never having owned one, though it should compare closely to Olympus EM1 but ISO 6400 works for me and still able to get great prints. IF you have in-camera noise filter on, try turning it to low and follow the others advice & shoot raw. Don't leave Auto gradation on either (if Panasonic has that). There are ways to get good results and you can also use programs for NR for the troublesome ones (NIK Dfine is free and good). If you're on obsessive pixel peeper, then I don't know what else to say. There's always tripods, flash, depending what you're shooting, but ISO 800 should be gravy.
    I wouldn't consider that noise absolutely horrible, but it's not a National Geographic cover shot either. Maybe you're picking too small a sample size variation or cherry picking to convince yourself to move back to FF. Maybe you're just trying to push the sensor to it's limits of DR in this shot as a torture test?
  12. siftu

    siftu Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 26, 2015
    Bay Area, CA
    You had 3 stops of shutter speed you could have knocked off and reduced the iso to base iso. You really have to expose properly on these systems, they don't have as much room for error like a FF does but as has already been noted it's really easy to do that with the EVF.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  13. Wasabi Bob

    Wasabi Bob Mu-43 All-Pro

    1. decrease your ISO
    2. Stop playing with shadow detail
    3. You don't need to shoot this at 1/1250th sec
    4. Once you corrected all this, do all your adjustments in the RAW file.

    Any camera will show increased noise when you do what you've done. Remember, for the most part "noise" is the visual manifestation of a poor signal-to-noise ratio. The high ISO, by itself, is not totally to blame.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  14. Nathanael

    Nathanael Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 12, 2015
    Yea this basically covers it. m43 doesn't look super hot at ISO 6400.
    As others mentioned, in your particular situation a correct exposure with much lower ISO wouldn't have been difficult.
    On the other hand, if you chose your exposure for this photo to intentionally test your ability to gain 3 stops of shadow detail in post processing, then you have your answer :) m43 doesn't quite have it
  15. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    I respectfully disagree. This is a knowledge problem more than gear problem. Knowledge of exposure, knowledge of what the gear is capable of doing, knowledge of understanding a proper post processing workflow.

    The gear in and of itself is not failing the OP, his lack of experience and knowledge is the bigger factor.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. CyVan

    CyVan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 9, 2016
    I've been reviewing the answers in this thread and I more or less agree, his shutter speed was too high. I have one question tho. I noticed that the 'Exposure Program' was set to Aperture Priority in his shot so wouldn't the camera been in charge of that setting? If it was manually set that way I would understand.
  17. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Legend

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I agree with you 100%, but if this is the type of work that's being done (i.e. very little effort to optimize the exposure), and a user is looking to get performance out a RAW file like the A7R II offers, then m43 is not for them. There definitely is a learning curve with m43 in terms of optimizing the exposure, and there are even some instances where no matter what you do you still would have wound up with a better image from a larger sensor camera, but most of the time those "issues" can be resolved through an adjustment in technique.
  18. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    OK - so the ISO was too high given the EV of the scene, but even with that plus all the shadow lifting the result would, in all probability, print just fine at 16x20". Pixel peeking is the road to madness and financial ruin. Look to the real output medium and judge the result on that and that alone.
    • Like Like x 2
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  19. musicwack

    musicwack Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    May 21, 2015
    South Jersey
    The camera in Aperture Priority does automatically choose the shutter speed, but if the ISO was set to a lower value, the shutter speed would then be reduced as well.
  20. CyVan

    CyVan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 9, 2016
    I have a GX8 and in AP mode it adjusts both the shutter speed and ISO to get the right exposure. So I'm guessing then that he manually set his ISO to 800 and, with the aperture set to f2.8, the camera chose 1250ms to compensate?
    • Agree Agree x 2
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