Em-1 Noise in Low ISO, Low light shots.

Started 8 months ago | Discussions thread
SaltLakeGuy
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In reply to TangoR, 8 months ago

First off if I took that image file from RAW and worked it up in my normal workflow in LR 5.3 I can guarantee you not only would there be virtually NO artifacts in the sky, but the buildings would be crisper and more defined. It isn't really that hard. Let's get one thing out there for sure. The mft sensor's DO in fact exhibit a bit of sky noise by their nature at lower ISO's, just a FACT of life if you are viewing on a calibrated screen at 100%. It's NOT an argument but a FACT. At ISO100 on the EM1 I have noted it's pretty tamed so I will go for that when the DR allows for it.

Now having said that NONE of this is even so much as an issue IF one were to print that file. I can also guarantee you on my Epson 3880 and a 22x17 luster paper that file would print virtually noise free with excellent color rendition. If all I wanted to do is process it to look awesome on a calibrated screen then I would probably first, mask off the sky areas, and use a competent NR program AFTER I had done a masked sharpening in Lightroom. The masking slider on the Lightroom 5.3 is simply stunningly effective at allowing control to ignore sky's and sharpen other detail. THEN you go for selective noise reduction on the sky areas. So that is being obsessive (which much of the time I am as well). I've had pro DSLR's right down to point and shooters and frankly ALL have noise when viewed at full file size on screen unless of course you are talking about a full frame camera like a 6D, D610 or A7R at lower ISO's but their advantage is you can resize the file to be equivalent to say the EM1's file and you are automatically eliminating tons of noise (and of course pixels) which are perceived by the eye as being cleaner.

Honestly I rarely print beyond 13x19 which is pretty much my norm. At those sizes most cameras can and will present themselves as noise free in a print. Even looking at a file viewed fitted on a calibrated 27" screen exhibits NO noise. I have found if I want a pretty accurate idea of what to expect in a larger print, I view in Irfanview at 50% on my 27" screen and I will see the color and detail (and noise although there never really is any at that size) I can expect in a print. We ALL want that elusive perfection of a 100% view with pixel level detail in everything within the file, no color artifacts, no pixelation, no false colors, and sharpness where you can see a gnat's a$$ on a leaf a mile away. But in reality ALL cameras have some foible that can be discussed, and NOTHING is perfect.

I agree the primary allure of the mft format is lowered carry weight and bulk. Now of course with the EM1 you get a more professional experience in a tiny body and the lenses can be superb. I would surely MUCH rather vacation with a small bag containing a EM1 along with the 12-40 f2.8, a Panny 35-100 f2.8 and for those long shots the 75-300MKII . It weighs next to nothing , never gets in the way and can easily be carried in a small hip or shoulder bag. In the end the 13x19's and yes even 22x17's on my wall are indistinguishable from the one's taken with a Nikon D700 FF or D300. Even the lowly PL1 shots I have 13x19's of on the wall look right at home and don't call attention to themselves as inferior. As has already been said, KNOW what you're intended end purpose of the file is, and process accordingly. But what you've presented as a problem really isn't. It is easily addressed and handled with a good result.

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