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Olympus Sharpening and Noise



  • Rick Sammartino Community moderator

    I am not able to deal with noise due to high ISO with On1, it's just not effective enough. I have to resort to external apps to deal with it.

    On the other hand, I don't know if you know how to use it properly, so check out the video below. If you're a Plus member, there are other better videos available.

  • Donald Wyllie

    Thanks Rick. I'm seeing what appears to be noise even though the ISO is at 400! Never seen it before in Luminar or in Lightroom. In ON1 the slightest amount of noise reduction really blurs the image, while very little sharpening causes lots of noise or artifacts.I will consider paying $79US for access to the various videos - it is more than I paid for ON1!




  • Rick Sammartino Community moderator

    You should check Youtube for videos by other photographers. You don't need a Plus subscription just for that.

  • Roger Gough

    Hi Donald,

    I would suggest that localized sharpening is worth a try. Instead of using Sharpening in the Develop module, try the Sharpening  filter in Effects. This provides options to protect areas such as shadows and highlights, together with all the other masking tools. And don't forget the "Apply to" options that are in the filter tools (the gear icon).

    Similarly, also try the Noise Reduction filter in Effects. I find that the presets generally work pretty well.

    I am not an Olympus user, but I do use a micro four-thirds camera which are not always the best at handling noise. Apart from extreme cases, I have been able to fix the noise using Photo Raw..

  • Donald Wyllie

    Thanks Roger: I will try the localized route. I have been using the filters in the Effects section. I think it is just a case of getting used to how sliders work. For example I find the Highlights slider in the Develop module very strange and non linear.

    It is all a bit odd as I never had any problems in Lightroom.



  • Donald Wyllie

    Now for Joke of the Day.  I tried asking about noise reduction and the sliders are all or nothing.

    "Hello: I'm having trouble getting noise and sharpening results which are as good as Lightroom 6 or Luminar 4. I've attached some images taken while I was trying an old Olympus 50-200 lens on the E-M1X.
    The Lightroom 6, that I'm trying to get away from, is by far the cleanest. I have been trying Topaz DeNoise AI with good results on ON1 and Luminar files, something I don't need to do with Lightroom. This image is deliberately underexposed just to make the noise stand out a little more.
    Is it me or is it your software?"

    The reply:

    "This is the current design of our product. We are always working to improve raw processing and noise reduction.
    We use two different algorithms and you may get different results, using either Noise Reduction in Develop or by using the Effects Filter>Noise Reduction.

    We will have different results compared to either LR or Luminar."

    My reply:

    "Hello xxxxxx: Not quite what I was hoping for. Why are there two places
    to do noise reduction? What is the difference?
    And you certainly do have different results compared to L6 or Luminar.
    This isn't good, but why? Your noise reduction produces mush very
    quickly, Lightroom 6 doesn't and it is six years old - it does a far
    better job. Luminar is almost as bad as ON1, but not quite.
    So, are my problems a result of ON1 not working well with Olympus or do
    you have these problems with all raw formats.
    Many questions and no answers. Well actually you gave me a bland 'lets
    get this pain in the ass customer off our case' answer. You are really
    trying to narrow my choice of replacement for Lightroom 6.
    I'm disappointed in ON1 for I thought it was going to work for me.

    And the final reply:

    The difference is they use slightly different algorithms. That's as much information as I can provide.
    RAW noise reduction will vary from RAW format from different manufacturers and how noise reduction is applied.
    You will get different results from different cameras etc. This is all apart of how the RAW engine decodes the files and variables determined by camera settings (ISO, etc)"

    At this point I gave up. ON1 doesn't even know why they are doing things. We shouldn't get different results from different cameras! With noise reduction I get mush by the time the slider gets to 4. Escaping from Lightroom 6 is proving to be a lot harder than I expected!

    Even Luminar can give better replies than this.

  • Brian Lawson Community moderator

    The sharpening done in the Details panel is pre-sharpening. It happens before any other processing takes place and is designed to compensate for the inherent softness of digital sensors and it gets applied to the entire image. The Sharpening filter is for creative sharpening allowing you to mask the effect to lead your viewer's eye. Then there is output sharpening designed to compensate for the display media. You want to sharpen in image differently for a paper print from a metal print from a canvas print. This is the sharpening that is done in the Export module.

    If you are a Plus member, Hudson Henry has a training tutorial Tack Sharp that covers ON1's sharpening features in detail.

  • Brian Gibson

    If you are used to Lightroom then On1 works in a different way and you need to adjust your workflow accordingly.

    I have seen it said that Lightroom is about highlight recovery whereas On1 is about shadow recovery.
    Don't expect the "Highlights" slider in On1 to behave the way it does in LR.

  • David Price

    An OM M1X is a very impressive camera. You already have a top notch camera. We had a lecture at our camera club from a chap who earnt his living from photography and his OM M1X photos were very impressive. His advice was to keep the ISO down, and to make full use of the image stabilisation systems. As well as to use the inherent depth of field.
    I can't afford such an impressive/expensive camera. But, I do use micro 4/3rds. If I keep the ISO down, to 800 or less, in good lighting. Then there really is little if any noise. I have shot stars at ISO 800, and then there is some noise in the shadows/dark sky. But, all well within Photo Raw's ability to control noise and to sharpen.
    Hudson's Tack Sharp Course is good.
    Yes, the Details Sliders are all about input sharpening, because ON1 expects that you will also want to add various effects filters, such as Dynamic Contrast, which will further sharpen your image.
    Always hold down the Alt Key when moving the sliders, and zoom in to 100%.
    I tend to use the Amount of sharpening slider first.
    Then I use the Detail slider below it. The Detail mask will show you the edges that are being sharpened and if there is any noise.
    If there is noise, then I will adjust the Luminance and/or the Colour Sliders, and their detail sliders. Be careful when removing noise, because it softens the image, and you should only apply the minimum that you need.
    Then I go back to the Details slider under the amount slider to see if I can move it closer to 1, without sharpening any noise.
    I can push the ISO on my cameras to 1600 and occasionally to 3200. But I certainly wouldn't try to use ISO 6400. But, then again I don't often need to use high ISOs. The depth of field on a 4/3rds lens at f 5.6 is quite impressive. At f 8 it matches a full frame DSLR at f 11, and f 11 it matches most DSLR lenses at their smallest aperture. Also, Photo Raw is impressively good at bringing out the detail from shadows.
    If this is not enough for you, then the best noise control packages at the moment are said to belong to DXO and/or to Topaz.


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