With any digital camera, the manufacturer has “Default Image” settings for 3 or 4 main areas.
- Noise Reduction (NR from here on out)
- Photo Mode (Natural, Vivid etc.)
These setting are on the “Super Control Panel” of the LCD screen on the upper right area. But, what you don’t know, even though they are set “0”, Olympus has set internal settings that you are not aware of. For example, a “0” setting on the adjustable panel, may have a +1 internally by default. NR is typically set at +1 or so internally, but, the adjustable scale you use will read “0”, so, for less NR, you would have to go to a “-1” or “-2” to really have no NR.
Here, you see 3 settings, Photo Mode, Sharpness, and Contrast settings. Many people, Myself included, leave these at “0”, and then I bring them up in editing. With the NR control, I use the “-2” setting and, if I need to reduce it in editing, I can fine tune how much I want for that photograph. Using a good 3rd party Noise Reduction program is essential. I use “Noiseware Professional”, an Adobe *.8BF plugin. Many times, the better NR programs allow control over specific colors, and shades of gray. Their sharpening adjustments also won’t be too aggressive, that can cause other artifacts along with the NR.
- To find the Noise Reduction Filter, go to the Custom Setting Menu, and choose Option “G”, then chose “Noise Filter”.
I can understand why this may be buried, most of us will set it, and leave it at that setting.
If want my suggested settings, I can only advise you with my taste in these settings. I typically turn the Noise Filter “Off”. But, if the camera does not allow that, I set it to lowest setting. Usually “-2”. With the “Sharping” and “Contrast”. I leave them on “0”. And for the Photo Mode, I use Normal.
But, That’s me, with some older lenses that may not have any flare coatings, or they are worn down, I may kick up the “Contrast” to compensate a bit. But, I usually buy older lenses for B&W conversion from a RAW file. The Lower contrast actually opens-up the shadows. My early Canon FL 50mm f/1.4 MkI, is such a lens with low contrast. Great for B&W that has a great Dynamic Range for the shadows. The Newer Canon FD SSC has much higher contrast naturally, and is not a Sonnar design, but a Planar design.
OK. try this, and go from there:
- NR Filter, = OFF, or the lowest setting
- Sharpness, = “0”
- Contrast, = “0”
- Photo Mode, = Normal