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Olympus E-M5

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Olympus E-M5 High ISO Noise Reduction

The Olympus E-M5 offers four settings for noise reduction, or "Noise Filter" as the company calls it: "Off", "Low", "Standard" and "High". The user manual doesn't state at which ISO noise reduction kicks in, so we've started with the base ISO of 200 here to find out.

See for yourself how the Olympus E-M5's various noise reduction settings work under daylight-balanced lighting. Click on any of the crops below to see the corresponding full-sized image.

Noise Reduction Settings Comparison
Daylight-balanced illumination
Off
Low
Standard
High
I
S
O

2
0
0
Off
Low
Standard
High
I
S
O

4
0
0
Off
Low
Standard
High
I
S
O

8
0
0
Off
Low
Standard
High
I
S
O

1
6
0
0
Off
Low
Standard
High
I
S
O

3
2
0
0
Off
Low
Standard
High
I
S
O

6
4
0
0
Off
Low
Standard
High
I
S
O

1
2
8
0
0
Off
Low
Standard
High
I
S
O

2
5
6
0
0

As you can see, the Olympus E-M5 applies noise reduction already at ISO 200, the base ISO. The E-M5's four noise reduction settings allow you quite a bit of flexibility in choosing how you want to make the trade-off between subject detail and noise levels in your JPEGs. The "Off" setting does not eliminate noise processing altogether, but it leaves the most fine/subtle subject detail, however shooting RAW will of course give you maximum detail and control.