View Full Version : Help E3 Noise

29-04-2010, 7:51am
Hi All

I'm using a friend's E3 and finding it very difficult to do any night photography without getting a lot of noise.
yes noise reductions seem to work ok but doesn't help when doing startrail where you can't have the processing time,
even at 100 iso f2.8 20sec very noisy (12-60 f2.8 lens).

Am i doing something wrong or is there some tests you guys can recommend?


29-04-2010, 8:15am
best advice is to post an image so people can see what the problem is, having said that I switched brands from Olympus due to noise, mine was a E300, I'd hoped that they 'd resolved the noise issue before the E3 came out:confused013

29-04-2010, 8:58am
Thanks dbax,
and Voila!!!!

This was 15sec f2.8 100iso 12mm straight out of camera resized only.


btw dbax, the fact you changed away from Olympus does not build my confidence that i can resolve the noise issue in my friends E3!!!!!

29-04-2010, 9:17am
ahh this brings back memories or should I say nightmares, I resolved my noise issues for a while using noise reduction software(Noiseware in my case, but there are many others). It seems to be something thats an Olympus problem. I don't know if its too many "pixels" crammed into that sensor or what, but it obviously is an on going issue. I really thought they'd addressed it:confused013.
Any way if you don't mind I've run the supplied image through Noiseware 3 times on the default night exposure setting just so you can see the effect it has.
It kept me going for a time but eventually frustration got me and I jumped ship. no noise issues now:D
I've put them side by side, can you tell the difference

29-04-2010, 10:14am
Thanks for that, the worked image does look good, and i would think at 2000+ iso it would be fair enough.
The idea here was to go do startrails with taking 100 or so images and staking them.
I also noticed that the noise got worst by the end of only bout 30 images, as if it was sensor heat as well, but i'm not knowledgeable enough to know.


29-04-2010, 11:14am
Ok stacking, usually if you take images to stack you need also to take what they call "darks", that is exposures with the same camera settings in the same environment(read same outing) with the lens cap on. These put into the stack and run through a stacking program like startrails(http://www.startrails.de/html/software.html) this will take the Darks into acount and can remove light fog to a certain extent.
I don't know that it will help with the noise because you should still get that with your dark exposures.
Don't know if you have the program, its a freebie, and worth investigating if this is what you want to do.

29-04-2010, 11:27am
Yes i do have have that program, i've actually had a little bit of a go at startrails with my own camera (D300), with some success.
But next time i do it, i'll take your advise onboard, thank you.

That's when we really realised that there was a lot of noise in my mates E3 and couldn't resolve it,
hens the cry help as it is a beautiful camera to use.

I also notice that during the 15sec exposures there was a "werring" type sound, is that normal?


29-04-2010, 11:50am
can't help with the "werring"noise,sorry.
If your interested in astrphotography we have a member who's right into it. He has his own web site http://www.asignobservatory.com/. check out some of his posts on AP in the night/astro section many are full of useful info and tips.

29-04-2010, 12:01pm
Thanks i'll check it out.
It not that i'm into astrophotography anymore that anything else, we're still playing with all genre at the moment.
Tho i do enjoy the peace that comes with astro.


29-04-2010, 12:03pm
perhaps some current Oly users might be along later with more advice about the sensor noise.
Nice chatting with you:th3:

29-04-2010, 12:40pm
Hope so, and yes thanks for the chat!!!!


Wulfys Kingdom
30-04-2010, 8:26pm
I'd hoped that they 'd resolved the noise issue before the E3 came out:confused013

However, the E3 is not a new model, it's a few years old now. There's been talk of a successor, but that's not going to help you right now lol.

I was referred to this site (http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/43/e3-sett.html) not long ago, you may find some useful info on there about the best settings noise wise.

30-04-2010, 8:55pm
Thanks Walfys Kingdom.
I notice that you have an E3 and from Brisbane any chance my
mate and I could origanise a meetup one day to pick your brains?


Wulfys Kingdom
30-04-2010, 9:09pm
Lol, my brains are pretty useless, I'm still getting acquainted with mine too having only purchased it a scant few months ago. Perhaps some day in the future we can swap notes! You may learn faster than me!

30-04-2010, 10:04pm
Happy to have a meet up if you're interested.


30-04-2010, 10:17pm
We'd like to see how another E3 handles the same situations side by side.
I'm wondering at the moment if there is something wrong with his E3.


Wulfys Kingdom
30-04-2010, 11:15pm
I'm curious about what the exposure is in the photo above? Just had a quick play around with 15sec exposures on same camera & lens (indoors though)... some noise is there but not at the level above.

Actually I've just reviewed some old night sky shots with the E510, one had a 60sec exposure, no where near this much noise. I dare say it's a setting in the camera or something's wrong for it to be this bad.

30-04-2010, 11:38pm
That's why we would like to see another E3 side by side.
Because if it's a setting somewhere, we are failing to work it out.
The above photo was taken at 15sec, 100iso, f2.8, center weighed
no flash, no nr, focused to ifinity.

I can put up the exit data if that helps, for some reason photobucket seems to have stripped it.


Wulfys Kingdom
01-05-2010, 7:35pm
Put up the exif data, if i get a chance i'll try my E3 one night this week.

02-05-2010, 10:39am
Here is the exif data using Opanda

Model = E-3
Orientation = top/left
X Resolution = 314
Y Resolution = 314
Resolution Unit = inch
Software = Version 1.4
Date Time = 2010-04-28 19:57:42
YCbCr Positioning = co-sited
Exif IFD Pointer = Offset: 194
PrintIM Data = 528 Byte

Exposure Time = 15"
F Number = F2.8
Exposure Program = Manual
ISO Speed Ratings = 100
Exif Version = Version 2.21
Date Time Original = 2010-04-28 19:57:42
Date Time Digitized = 2010-04-28 19:57:42
Components Configuration = YCbcr
Exposure Bias Value = ±0EV
Max Aperture Value = F2.8
Metering Mode = CenterWeightedAverage
Light Source = unknown
Flash = 8
Focal Length = 12mm
Maker Note = 9540 Byte
User Comment =
Flashpix Version = Version 1.0
Color Space = sRGB
Exif Image Width = 3648
Exif Image Height = 2736
Interoperability IFD Pointer = Offset: 662
File Source = DSC
Custom Rendered = Normal process
Exposure Mode = Manual exposure
White Balance = Auto white balance
Digital Zoom Ratio = 1x
Scene Capture Type = Normal
Gain Control = None
Contrast = Normal
Saturation = Normal
Sharpness = Normal


Interoperability Index = ExifR98
Interoperability Version = Version 1.0

[Thumbnail Info]
Compression = JPEG Compressed (Thumbnail)
X Resolution = 72
Y Resolution = 72
Resolution Unit = inch
JPEG Interchange Format = Offset: 14004
JPEG Interchange Format Length = Length: 2412

Thumbnail = 160 x 120


ps if you are going to replicate the situation, this shot was about the 40th shot in a continuous group. As in i kept taking a the next shot (using the IF remote) 1 second after the previous.

02-05-2010, 11:42pm
We've had some success and i thought i'd pass on the findings :th3::th3:

With the help from Invictus, we've discovered the Gradation needs to be turned to "normal",
this has made a massive difference to the shots.

And for the "whirring" noise, that was the stabilisation fighting the tripod, once turned off no more (audible) noise :o:o


Wulfys Kingdom
03-05-2010, 8:15pm
That's great news! I knew Olympus couldnt be that noisy at it's best lol.

Ross the fiddler
28-05-2010, 10:34pm
We've had some success and i thought i'd pass on the findings :th3::th3:

With the help from Invictus, we've discovered the Gradation needs to be turned to "normal",
this has made a massive difference to the shots.

And for the "whirring" noise, that was the stabilisation fighting the tripod, once turned off no more (audible) noise :o:o


Another thing to remember is not to leave continuous shutter on (use single shutter) for long exposures as that will cancel the noise reduction process which is a closed shutter exposure equal the shutter time used & subtracted from the original exposure canceling out any hot pixel noise.

Auto gradation (auto shadow control) is a trap for the unwary, but if taken in RAW can be deselected in Olympus Viewer 2 (or Master & Studio) RAW developer. I prefer to use JPEG SF + RAW as memory cards are getting cheaper, bigger & faster then you always have a RAW back up for any necessary editing & JPEG's for those you want to keep as is.

A good habit to get into with IS is to leave it off by default & only turn it on when needed as it will give you less sharp shots when on a tripod.

I also recommend reading all the E3 related articles by by J. Andrzej Wrotniak in his Photo tidbits, The Olympus E-System site.

You will probably want to copy them into a word doc (or several) & print them off for some bed time reading, because there is a lot to read there.