My new E-M5 has nasty high ISO noise bands with 12-50 :-(

Started Jul 2, 2012 | Discussions thread
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dkadc Forum Member • Posts: 97
My new E-M5 has nasty high ISO noise bands with 12-50 :-(

So I walked into my local photo store, saw an OM-D and jumped on it. I needed high ISO but the stuff I'm getting often isn't good, with pretty nasty wavy noise bands, almost like watching a weak station on an old analog TV. Please excuse the composition, these are just test shots. They are .jpg as shot with no editing whatsoever.

I saw this noise while I was chimping my new camera and thought HUH? So I shot another. Because it looked like radio interference, I shut off my HTC Evo 4G phone and took another shot...

And now I'm worried. I don't expect 25,600 ISO to look like 3200. I can live with lots of image noise at the extreme high end, but the banding makes it unusable. Not a chance I can lift this image.

A photo of my living room wall with 50" plasma, 1/600s, what is all this darn banding?

Shorter exposure, 1/320s, and no visible banding. Have not tried to lift the background to see if banding is there.

Is it the lighting somehow playing tricks with the OM-D? Not that I ever saw anything like this in my E-30, but maybe the artificial light can somehow be blamed. But incandescent does the same thing:

This is a dance studio shot at night, lit only by the incandescent white light strings you see in the back, there is another set right behind me, and I see lots of banding.

Not every high ISO shot is bad. Here is a shot of a friend in a sports bar, f/5.1 1/40s and again, 25,600 ISO. There is a slight amount of banding if you know where to look.

I also saw banding with my f/1.8 Sigma 24mm with mmf-3, but not as severe.

I just got the camera Thursday afternoon, I work 12 hour days so I don't have much time to play with it until Wednesday. I haven't had a chance to look for banding with my other 4/3 lenses: 14-54II, f/1.4 30mm or 70-300. None of the reviews I saw mentioned banding at high ISO with the kit lens. Did I get a bum camera? I'm tempted to return it but don't want to sound like a crybaby. It sure looks like its flawed to me. Am I on crack? Did this get discovered in reviews and I just missed it?

Give a man a match, and he'll be warm for a minute, but set him on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

 dkadc's gear list:dkadc's gear list
Olympus Tough TG-4 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus E-M1 Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 Pro +6 more
Olympus E-30
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