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

Started 8 months ago | Discussions
TangoR
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Em-1 Noise in Low ISO, Low light shots.
8 months ago

It seems that I am getting some noise in Low(ish) light ISO 200 images. Usually in normal condition my images are pretty much noise free. But IN the attached image (ORF converted to JPG in Aperture) there what I would call noise at ISO 200.

Is this normal? Is there a setting I missed on the camera?

Noise type stuff in the Sky portion.

Sourze
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Re: Em-1 Noise in Low ISO, Low light shots.
In reply to TangoR, 8 months ago

It's normal and it's the reason for why I'm considering A7.

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TangoR
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Re: Em-1 Noise in Low ISO, Low light shots.
In reply to Sourze, 8 months ago

Sourze wrote:

It's normal and it's the reason for why I'm considering A7.

Hmm. Does not seem normal to me? Normal as in its a feature or normal as in Its a normal  but?

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Dave Sanders
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Re: Em-1 Noise in Low ISO, Low light shots.
In reply to TangoR, 8 months ago

Looks like what I've seen from my E-M1. I'd say that exposure is 'brittle' with m4/3...you need to really ETTR to minimize noise, even at base ISO. That said, the only time I really notice it is at 100% while editing.

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TangoR
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Re: Em-1 Noise in Low ISO, Low light shots.
In reply to Dave Sanders, 8 months ago

Dave Sanders wrote:

Looks like what I've seen from my E-M1. I'd say that exposure is 'brittle' with m4/3...you need to really ETTR to minimize noise, even at base ISO. That said, the only time I really notice it is at 100% while editing.

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Dave Sanders

What is ETTR?. It seems images that were exposed perfectly have no noise Its only images that are slightly underexposed that have the strange noise. In fact it only affects the Sky really. Its a bit annoying because I have less noise at 1600 ( with no noise reduction) that I have at 200..

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Dave Sanders
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Re: Em-1 Noise in Low ISO, Low light shots.
In reply to TangoR, 8 months ago

TangoR wrote:

What is ETTR?.

It stands for 'expose to the right' which means to get as close as possible to clipping highlights without actually clipping. This is indicated by a histogram that is as close as possible to the right side without going over. This is a way to minimize noise and maximize tonal gradation.

It seems images that were exposed perfectly have no noise Its only images that are slightly underexposed that have the strange noise.

Yup. The small sensor in the E-M1 is great but it does require care in exposure to really keep noise to a minimum. The bigger full-frame sensors offer more latitude in this respect. I use a Sony RX1 for landscapes and it is much more forgiving. However, when an image is exposed correctly on the E-M1, there is not a ton of difference between the two.

In fact it only affects the Sky really. Its a bit annoying because I have less noise at 1600 ( with no noise reduction) that I have at 200..

You really have to avoid underexposure.

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Sourze
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Re: Em-1 Noise in Low ISO, Low light shots.
In reply to TangoR, 8 months ago

TangoR wrote:

Sourze wrote:

It's normal and it's the reason for why I'm considering A7.

Hmm. Does not seem normal to me? Normal as in its a feature or normal as in Its a normal but?

Normal as you really need to be careful with exposure. Underexposed = noise. Good exposure = less or no noise. This is why I have started to use bracketing more lately, where I do "manual HDR" using layers in photoshop. One layer for the sky and one for the ground. In bright daylight this is not much of a problem but with less light, like in your pic, noise is almost always a problem.

You might have had a less noisy picture if you exposed a little bit more to the right and then in PP adjusted the exposure down (if necessary).

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fcheh
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Re: Em-1 Noise in Low ISO, Low light shots.
In reply to Sourze, 8 months ago

Try processing in Olympus Viewer 3 and compare results you may be surprised with the reduction in noise
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Gianluca Grossi
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Re: Em-1 Noise in Low ISO, Low light shots.
In reply to TangoR, 8 months ago

.You can have clean 1000iso file with omd but it's very important how you develop the raw file
Aperture it's not the best for Olympus.
I suggest you Lightroom, (but you have to tweak the sharpness/noise default value ) or Photo Ninja, the best raw converter for OMD.

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Gianluca Grossi
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Re: Em-1 Noise in Low ISO, Low light shots.
In reply to Sourze, 8 months ago

Sourze wrote:

It's normal and it's the reason for why I'm considering A7.

This is really really funny..:)

I think it's better for you to understand better the develop of raw file instead of buying another cam...

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Sourze
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Re: Em-1 Noise in Low ISO, Low light shots.
In reply to Gianluca Grossi, 8 months ago

Gianluca Grossi wrote:

Sourze wrote:

It's normal and it's the reason for why I'm considering A7.

This is really really funny..:)

I think it's better for you to understand better the develop of raw file instead of buying another cam...

I think I understand developing raw-files pretty good. Noise is a weakness with the u4/3 sensors. The only reason i stay with u4/3 is the compact size of the cameras.

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Advent1sam
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Re: Em-1 Noise in Low ISO, Low light shots.
In reply to TangoR, 8 months ago

Try Dxo?

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rcjim
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Re: Em-1 Noise in Low ISO, Low light shots.
In reply to Sourze, 8 months ago

Perhaps this is only a problem with Only m4/3 cameras.  I don't see this noise problem with my Pany GX7.

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stevez
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Re: Em-1 Noise in Low ISO, Low light shots.
In reply to TangoR, 8 months ago

Try shooting at ISO 100. I think you'll be quite pleased with the results.

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knickerhawk
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Sigh...so much bad advice in this thread
In reply to TangoR, 8 months ago

TangoR wrote:

It seems that I am getting some noise in Low(ish) light ISO 200 images. Usually in normal condition my images are pretty much noise free. But IN the attached image (ORF converted to JPG in Aperture) there what I would call noise at ISO 200.

Is this normal? Is there a setting I missed on the camera?

Noise type stuff in the Sky portion.

First, sky noise is not uncommon at all in these lower midtones.  However, unlike the claims of some in this thread, it is by no means a problem limited to MFT cameras (or Oly bodies in particular).

Second, it's not a problem that's caused by the raw converter being used.  Converters other than Aperture may have higher default noise supression, but there are trade-offs that go along with that.  The point here is that the noise is real and inherent in the image and any converter used is going to be compromised as a result.  Yes, a lot more could be done in your raw converter to improve this image, but the fundamental problem has nothing to do with the fact that Aperture is the converter of choice here.

Third, a number of responses in this thread have missed the fundamental point that this image is underexposed and signficantly so.  Given the subject and the scene dynamic range, the correct exposure for this image in raw should be increased by at least a couple of stops.  There would have been no downside in terms of highlights or motion blur, and the sky noise would have disappeared.  The OP needs to learn how to ETTR with this camera for "proper" raw exposure, and he'll be far happier with the results in these situations.

By the way, it's a lovely image, that can still be improved with some better processing and post-processing.

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Anders W
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Re: Em-1 Noise in Low ISO, Low light shots.
In reply to TangoR, 8 months ago

TangoR wrote:

It seems that I am getting some noise in Low(ish) light ISO 200 images. Usually in normal condition my images are pretty much noise free. But IN the attached image (ORF converted to JPG in Aperture) there what I would call noise at ISO 200.

Is this normal? Is there a setting I missed on the camera?

As others have already pointed out, you could probably have improved that image significantly with regard to noise by exposing according to the ETTR criterion (i.e., expose the highlights just up to the clipping point of the sensor but not beyond). For a low-contrast scene like the one you show and given the way Oly ISO is calibrated in the first place, it is quite conceivable that you could have given it two, perhaps even three EV more exposure without clipping the highlights. The OOC jpeg would have looked too bright ("overexposed") but that's not a problem if you shoot RAW as long as the highlights are intact in the RAW file. You just "pull back the exposure" (or rather reduce the brightness) in the RAW converter afterwards.

The E-M1 (and other Oly bodies) have very good tools for deciding proper exposure based on the ETTR criterion, i.e., the live-view highlight/shadow warnings (aka live-view "blinkies" although they do not blink), which lets you see exactly when you reach the clipping point and where in the frame you do so. There's also a program called RawDigger whereby you can check how your RAWs actually fare as far as highlight clipping is concerned. By checking things afterwards by means of RawDigger, you will be able to fine-tune your exposure practice to perfection.

Noise type stuff in the Sky portion.

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Gianluca Grossi
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Re: Sigh...so much bad advice in this thread
In reply to knickerhawk, 8 months ago

knickerhawk wrote:

TangoR wrote:

It seems that I am getting some noise in Low(ish) light ISO 200 images. Usually in normal condition my images are pretty much noise free. But IN the attached image (ORF converted to JPG in Aperture) there what I would call noise at ISO 200.

Is this normal? Is there a setting I missed on the camera?

Noise type stuff in the Sky portion.

First, sky noise is not uncommon at all in these lower midtones. However, unlike the claims of some in this thread, it is by no means a problem limited to MFT cameras (or Oly bodies in particular).

Second, it's not a problem that's caused by the raw converter being used. Converters other than Aperture may have higher default noise supression, but there are trade-offs that go along with that. The point here is that the noise is real and inherent in the image and any converter used is going to be compromised as a result. Yes, a lot more could be done in your raw converter to improve this image, but the fundamental problem has nothing to do with the fact that Aperture is the converter of choice here.

Until you use Photo ninja with is really great noise/sharpening setting and you'll see a great difference between this and Aperture a  LR. Raw converter DOES the difference especially PN. If I could "work" this raw file with PN you'll see 0 noise and much more detail...

Third, a number of responses in this thread have missed the fundamental point that this image is underexposed and signficantly so. Given the subject and the scene dynamic range, the correct exposure for this image in raw should be increased by at least a couple of stops. There would have been no downside in terms of highlights or motion blur, and the sky noise would have disappeared. The OP needs to learn how to ETTR with this camera for "proper" raw exposure, and he'll be far happier with the results in these situations.

By the way, it's a lovely image, that can still be improved with some better processing and post-processing.

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knickerhawk
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Re: Sigh...so much bad advice in this thread
In reply to Gianluca Grossi, 8 months ago

Gianluca Grossi wrote:

knickerhawk wrote:

TangoR wrote:

It seems that I am getting some noise in Low(ish) light ISO 200 images. Usually in normal condition my images are pretty much noise free. But IN the attached image (ORF converted to JPG in Aperture) there what I would call noise at ISO 200.

Is this normal? Is there a setting I missed on the camera?

Noise type stuff in the Sky portion.

First, sky noise is not uncommon at all in these lower midtones. However, unlike the claims of some in this thread, it is by no means a problem limited to MFT cameras (or Oly bodies in particular).

Second, it's not a problem that's caused by the raw converter being used. Converters other than Aperture may have higher default noise supression, but there are trade-offs that go along with that. The point here is that the noise is real and inherent in the image and any converter used is going to be compromised as a result. Yes, a lot more could be done in your raw converter to improve this image, but the fundamental problem has nothing to do with the fact that Aperture is the converter of choice here.

Until you use Photo ninja with is really great noise/sharpening setting and you'll see a great difference between this and Aperture a LR. Raw converter DOES the difference especially PN. If I could "work" this raw file with PN you'll see 0 noise and much more detail...

I have no doubt that you could do better (and so could I) with processing the file, but there are no free lunches when it comes to noise removal and I'm sure that Photo Ninja is no exception (which is based on extensive experience with at least a half dozen different raw processors but not Photo Ninja specifically, although I have used Noise Ninja).  Covering over a problem is not the optimal solution, especially when there's a perfectly viable solution in the first place.

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Gianluca Grossi
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Re: Sigh...so much bad advice in this thread
In reply to knickerhawk, 8 months ago

knickerhawk wrote:

Gianluca Grossi wrote:

knickerhawk wrote:

TangoR wrote:

It seems that I am getting some noise in Low(ish) light ISO 200 images. Usually in normal condition my images are pretty much noise free. But IN the attached image (ORF converted to JPG in Aperture) there what I would call noise at ISO 200.

Is this normal? Is there a setting I missed on the camera?

Noise type stuff in the Sky portion.

First, sky noise is not uncommon at all in these lower midtones. However, unlike the claims of some in this thread, it is by no means a problem limited to MFT cameras (or Oly bodies in particular).

Second, it's not a problem that's caused by the raw converter being used. Converters other than Aperture may have higher default noise supression, but there are trade-offs that go along with that. The point here is that the noise is real and inherent in the image and any converter used is going to be compromised as a result. Yes, a lot more could be done in your raw converter to improve this image, but the fundamental problem has nothing to do with the fact that Aperture is the converter of choice here.

Until you use Photo ninja with is really great noise/sharpening setting and you'll see a great difference between this and Aperture a LR. Raw converter DOES the difference especially PN. If I could "work" this raw file with PN you'll see 0 noise and much more detail...

I have no doubt that you could do better (and so could I) with processing the file, but there are no free lunches when it comes to noise removal and I'm sure that Photo Ninja is no exception (which is based on extensive experience with at least a half dozen different raw processors but not Photo Ninja specifically, although I have used Noise Ninja). Covering over a problem is not the optimal solution, especially when there's a perfectly viable solution in the first place.

I use PN  from one year and I can trusty say that it can do an unbelievable work in supressing luminance noise while maintaing a lots of detail, much much more of Aperture and LR that I own.
Until you use it (with the right setting), you can't understand what this program is capable of doing.

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Michael Jardine
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Re: Good point
In reply to Sourze, 8 months ago

Sourze wrote:

I think I understand developing raw-files pretty good. Noise is a weakness with the u4/3 sensors. The only reason i stay with u4/3 is the compact size of the cameras.

Sourze has two good points. My first thought when I saw this photo was "it's beautiful". My second was "hmm, but it may be a bit under-exposed". As he suggests, increasing your exposure a smidge will help with noise. It was only when I pixel-peeped, that I saw the 'noise' you are referring to - which led me to ask, what is the purpose of this photo? If it's to publish on the web or print it in a magazine, or print out up to 11x14, you'll be fine.

If you want to publish it in a coffee table book or make a highway billboard out of it you'd be better off with a D800. And this takes me back to Sourze's second point. We all know why we like M43

Hmm - but beware of pixel-peeping with your 36MP D800 photos (or your A7R photos) - you'll still see noise and blurs. Because, after all, you're still pixel peeping!

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