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Old Mar 23, 2010, 1:19 PM   #1
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Default Olympus E-520 and Noise

What is the truth about the Olympus E-520 and NOISE ?
What is it like at ISO 100 and ISO 400
I am getting mixed reviews.

Thanks in advanve
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Old Mar 23, 2010, 1:51 PM   #2
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Fred-

It seems that noise becomes a problem after ISO 400, in my experience.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Mar 23, 2010, 2:00 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by FredS View Post
What is the truth about the Olympus E-520 and NOISE ?
What is it like at ISO 100 and ISO 400
I am getting mixed reviews.

Thanks in advanve
It depends on the need and also the individuals expectations of noise. Personally I would call ISO pretty usable from the samples I've seen as long as you give it some noise reduction when processing.

Check out http://www.steves-digicams.com/camer...-review-9.html which will give you samples at different ISO settings.
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Old Mar 23, 2010, 2:51 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by FredS View Post
What is the truth about the Olympus E-520 and NOISE ?
What is it like at ISO 100 and ISO 400
I am getting mixed reviews.

Thanks in advanve
Do you shoot using JPEG or RAW capture? I ask as it can make a difference, depending on how you process the files. The JPEG engine of the E520 does a very good job balancing noise reduction and detail retention, but if you choose to shoot RAW, it's all up to you to clean up any native sensor noise and if you do nothing, RAW files can look anywhere from a little to a lot worse than an in-camera JPEG.

Here's a folder of images I shot last Spring using an E520 where I used JPEG capture.

http://gmchappell.smugmug.com/Nature...88341802_Xgm63

The files are all uploaded at their full original file sizes. You can click on any small thumbnail, then place your curser over the larger preview and click on the "save" button to either view or download the full-size file and view/scrutinize any file to your heart's content and come to your own conclusions

At ISO 1600, the E520 JPEG files do suffer from a pretty severe banding issue that was resolved in later models, but for daylight or flash photography up to ISO 800, it works very well as far as I could see.
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Old Mar 23, 2010, 3:35 PM   #5
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While noise is a measurable technical quantity which does lead us to make hardware "quality" comparisons the photographic effect is a lot more subtle. The evaluation of the photographic/artistic effect hinges on the subject and the photographer's objective/intended use of the photograph. In a way it's kind of like bokah, when badly done it's obvious, when correctly applied it is one element provoking the desired emotional response. We don't really see it as noise although it's clearly there at some level in an objective analysis. The artistry is knowing where it enhances, is acceptable or detracts.

It may be that I simply haven't seen it done well but IMO noise added via during post processing does not seem natural to me.

A. C.
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Old Mar 23, 2010, 4:29 PM   #6
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It may be that I simply haven't seen it done well but IMO noise added via during post processing does not seem natural to me.

A. C.
Noise added, or subtracted?

I have decided, after trying way more than I care to admit, that I do not handle noise in RAW files as well as Olympus handles it in the in-camera JPEG engine so I now pay much more attention to all the parameters at the time of capture and have been more than happy with letting Olympus handle the processing.
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Old Mar 24, 2010, 1:48 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by FredS View Post
What is the truth about the Olympus E-520 and NOISE ?
What is it like at ISO 100 and ISO 400
I am getting mixed reviews.
Because users' experiences are mixed!

For instance, noise is worse with cameras when the scene is dark...if people depend on just ISO digging them out when there is little light of course they are going to get more noise.

If people aren't smart enough to turn on the ISO noise filtering, of course they are going to get more noise.

If people don't know how to process images properly, of course they are going to get more noise.
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Old Mar 24, 2010, 8:38 AM   #8
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Noise added, or subtracted?
Actually I had noise added in mind. I know as modern photographers we fight against noise but the available light street (sometimes called available darkness) and indoor sports photography of the the '60s and '70s had an emotional intensity often missing today. This impact was created not only by the photographer connecting emotionally to the subject but by the fact the photographer, to get the shot at all, was "pushing" Tri-X and High Speed Ektachrome to EI's of 1600. Even for less extreme but still candid street and action situations the expected grain (noise) level was Tri-x and HS Ecktachrome at 400. I have not seen any modern photos were grain was added in PP that acheived the same lookj or impact.

By the way no one should take the above as justification for sloppy camera work.

I really have only limited experience removing noise in PP and was never really satisfied with the results. I have never posted any photo w/PP noise reduction applied. A contributing factor is that my 1/2.5 sensor super-zoom at ISO 400 delivers a very good emulation of Ecktachrome 400.

A. C.
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Old Mar 24, 2010, 8:56 AM   #9
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I really have only limited experience removing noise in PP and was never really satisfied with the results. I have never posted any photo w/PP noise reduction applied. A contributing factor is that my 1/2.5 sensor super-zoom at ISO 400 delivers a very good emulation of Ecktachrome 400.

A. C.
Noise removal never has been anything I have been all that good at either. In fact, more and more I have just turned to getting my settings right in-camera and shooting in JPEG capture with the noise filter set appropriately for what I am shooting.
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