Solved my heavy noise problem with high ISO images on E-M5

Started Jul 17, 2013 | Discussions thread
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FrankParis
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Solved my heavy noise problem with high ISO images on E-M5
Jul 17, 2013

I've complained a lot about this on this forum: getting offensive noise from ISO 800 and above with the Olympus E-M5 when everyone else is satisfied with noise up to at least 1600 and some even mention up to 3200. I finally found out how to get rid of this noise without any objectionable side effects, at least objectionable to me. It was really quite simple and made me slap myself 'aside my head when I "fixed" it: de-noise it in Lightroom before I sharpen! I've only had Lightroom for a week and haven't even read about de-noising yet in the documentation, and am just winging it with the sliders, so that might explain the lack of optimization in my examples, if you notice any.

This first image was taken the day before I got Lightroom, deep in the heavy shadows of a forest. The camera was hand-held and set at Auto-ISO, so I could get a decent shutter speed. The camera chose ISO1600. I started with a camera-raw image and tweaked the levels with Adobe Elements 10, and then sharpened it with the same. I didn't perform any de-noising. The resulting noise in the following image viewed at 1:1 is horrendous:

My two grandsons sitting in the heavy shade of a forest

The rest of these images were taken yesterday in the Japanese Garden in Portland, Oregon, U.S.A. Again, all images were hand-held and the camera was set at Auto-ISO to get a decent shutter speed in the heavy shade of the overhead trees in the Garden. This time I used Adobe Lightroom 5 to do all post-processing except sharpening, which I performed with Elements 10 as the last step of PP, exactly the same way I sharpened the above image. For the following images -- all camera-selected at ISO1600 -- I de-noised them all by moving the sliders to the right, without really knowing what I was doing. My next step will be to read the documentation (Martin Evening's The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 Book: the Complete Guide for Photographers).

The only illuminating way to look at these images is at 1:1:

A couple of Western Red Cedars

An artificial waterfalls in the Japanese Garden

An ornamental tree with a lot of burls on it

A strange ornamental tree trunk

Backlit, so it's a little washed out

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Frank Paris

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Olympus PEN E-PM1 Panasonic Leica D Summilux Asph 25mm F1.4 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 II R Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm 1:4-5.6 R +7 more
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