Automatic ISO setting adjustment

Hamburg Harbour

The automatic ISO sensitivity is an efficient function. The camera decides at what point it makes sense to switch to a higher sensitivity. If you are not active, this decision is based on the focal length of the lens used. The classic rule of thumb is that the exposure time should correspond to 1/ 2x the focal length. If I use a 75mm lens, I switch to a higher sensitivity as soon as the exposure time is longer than 1/150 sec. By the way, this statement only applies in P and A mode. In S mode, the camera will switch to the next higher sensitivity as soon as the exposure time at open aperture is no longer feasible. In M mode the sensitivity changes constantly to maintain the set time/aperture combination without overexposing or underexposing the image.

Why should I adjust the automatic ISO sensitivity?

There are several reasons to adopt this behaviour. On the one hand, the OM System cameras have excellent image stabilisation. Therefore it is possible to realise longer exposure times than the rule of thumb without a tripod. On the other hand, it may be that you are working with a tripod and it is often better to allow longer exposure times instead of switching to the next higher sensitivity.

Sonnenuntergang Elbe bei Dömnitz

However, there is also the opposite direction. Maybe you have a lot of problems shooting freehand and therefore want to work with even shorter exposure times than the manufacturer’s setting.

There is also a camera-dependent maximum ISO sensitivity value up to which the camera automatically switches. This upper limit is somewhat dependent on your perception. For example, if you feel that the preset upper value is too noisy, you can adjust it downwards.

How can I change the behaviour?

You will find the setting in a different place on each OM System camera. If in doubt, check the operating instructions. I describe it here using the OM-1 as an example. You will find the corresponding setting in all current OM system cameras.

The settings for the automatic ISO sensitivity can be found directly in the 3 tab of the camera menu 1. As you can see in the picture above, there are three possibilities to influence the behaviour of the automatic ISO sensitivity.

Screen shot OM-1 Menü to adjust the automatic ISO setting adjustment

With “ISO-A Max./Std.” you can define which maximum ISO value you want to allow and which value should be the default value.

With “ISO-A Min S/S” you can determine the exposure time at which the camera should switch to the next sensitivity level. If this setting is set to “Auto”, the values as written above are used.

Screen shot OM-1 Menü to adjust the automatic ISO setting adjustment

With “ISO-Auto” you can determine in which modes the camera should automatically adjust the ISO sensitivity. Here you can determine whether the automatic ISO sensitivity should be active in M mode.

Limits of the automatic ISO sensitivity settings

Unfortunately, the settings are a little limited and you don’t have all the options. For example, the shortest exposure time that can be set is 1/250 sec. They apply to all modes in which you use the automatic ISO sensitivity. Both settings are not relevant. Changing them only makes sense if you want to use a longer exposure time than the default. If anything, it matters for the long focal lengths, like the M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm F4.5 IS TC1.2 PRO or the M.Zuiko Digital ED 300 F4.0 PRO.

If you want to read more tips on how to set up your camera, you can find them in my “Camera Secrets” section. I am also happy to receive comments or tips on topics that interest you.

My 5 favourite OM System lenses

M.Zuiko Digital ED 8-25mm F4

It is now more than 14 years since the first Micro Four Thirds camera was introduced. The choice of lenses is almost infinite. Unfortunately, both Panasonic and Olympus failed to turn their advantage over Sony, Nikon and Canon into an advantage. Most of the photographers who own or have owned another system have preferred to wait for their own brand to offer a mirrorless system with a corresponding lens range. I am still a very big fan of the Micro Four Thirds format. Therefore, I would like to present my top 5 lenses of the OM system ecosystem.

1. The M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25 IS PRO OM System lens

Also called the white goddess, this OM System lens rightly bears that title. It is the best lens in the entire photographic industry. With a unique focal length range, it is not only small and handy, but also extremely light. The optical quality leaves nothing to be desired and the autofocus speed is more than adequate. I use the lens a lot because it also has an excellent image stabiliser that works perfectly with the one in the camera. This makes it a lens that, despite its long focal length, can be used very well without a tripod. I personally use it 95% of the time without a tripod and am more than satisfied with the results. Using it without a tripod allows me to react quickly to the animals I photograph.

M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25 IS PRO lens detail

My article “M.Zuiko 150-400mm F4.5 lens, my first experiences” is a small report how the lens felt right at the beginning. In this article you find also a comparison with the less expensive  M.Zuiko Digital ED 100-400 F5-6.3 IS.

2. The M.Zuiko Digital ED 8-25mm F4 PRO OM System lens

Yes, you read correctly. My second favourite OM System lens is the M.Zuiko Digital ED 8-25mm F4 PRO. The other end of the focal length scale. It has some advantages. On the one hand, the focal length range goes up to the so-called normal focal length of 25mm, but on the other hand it also covers the wide-angle range more than adequately with 8mm. In contrast to the M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm F2.8 PRO, it is not only lighter and more compact, but it also has a flat front lens, which makes the use of filters much easier. It is the lens I use for documentary purposes when travelling and can be used very flexibly.

M.Zuiko Digital ED 8-25mm F4.0 PRO

Shortly after the introduction in 2021 I tested the lens. You find my first impressions in my article “M.Zuiko Digital ED 8-25mm F4.0 PRO my experiences

3. The M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm F1.8

The M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm F1.8 lens has been in the Olympus / OM Digitalsolutions portfolio for a very long time. It has been one of my favourite lenses from the beginning. No doubt about the image quality, it is excellent for taking portraits. Especially small children can be photographed in a natural pose with this lens, because the focal length is long enough to shoot at a distance from which you are no longer noticed by the children. With an open aperture of F1.8, it also has excellent cropping capabilities that separate the subject nicely from the background.

Sample image taken with the  M.Zuiko Digital ED 8-25mm F4.0 PRO OM System lenses

4. The M.Zukio Digital ED 40-150mm F2.8 PRO

The second most frequently used lens by me. It is the perfect complement to the M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25 IS PRO. I always use it when I want to get closer to the animals in wildlife photography. The high speed also allows me to work longer with a lower ISO sensitivity, which is good for image quality. This is good for the image quality. Due to its small and handy design, it is not only very portable, but you can also react quickly to changing situations. Besides wildlife photography, it is also excellent for sports photography. The shooting speed leaves nothing to be desired.

5. The M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm F1.2 PRO

If you want to photograph people from a little less distance, then the M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm F1.2 PRO is exactly the right lens. The image quality is a little better than that of the 75mm F1.8 and the shorter distance and the slightly larger open aperture make it even easier to crop people. Nevertheless, you have enough distance to your model and they don’t feel so crowded. This is an effect that should not be underestimated, especially when working with amateur models. The focal length of 45mm also flatters the face because the proportions are very harmonious.

M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.2 Objektiv


From my perspective, I don’t miss anything in the Micro Four Thirds lens portfolio. In my top 5 are exclusively Olympus / OM Digitalsolutions lenses because they simply work better on their cameras. I simply notice that the communication between body and lens works better than if I were to use a Panasonic lens. The image quality is also a little better.

Which lenses do you use? I look forward to your feedback on why you love them and what you shoot with them.

Noise reduction with Ai

Rauschfilter mit künstlicher Intelligenz

With the introduction of the OM-1 more than a year ago, OM Digitalsolution introduced a noise reduction with Ai. This was a measure to support the marketing claim of a 2 f-stop better noise performance compared to the E-M1 Mark III. If the images are processed directly in the camera to JPEG, this is certainly a valid approach. However, there is still a debate about whether this statement is valid. This certainly stems from the fact that most OM-1 buyers shoot images in RAW format and then process them in Lightroom. Since Lightroom certainly didn’t have the best noise filter until the last release, users thus experienced a different reality than the one communicated by the marketing department.

Now, with the latest release of Lightroom, Adobe has also introduced a noise filter based on artificial intelligence. This is highly praised from all sides. So it made me curious which of the two technologies works better on images from the OM-1. I was not only interested in the quality of the disappointed images, but also the workflow and the processing speed.

Noise reduction with Ai in OM Workspace

To use the artificial intelligence noise filter from OM Digitalsolutions you need to download the latest version of OM Workspace. The software is free of charge. However, you need your camera serial number. Otherwise you will not be able to download the software.
Before you do that, please check the system requirements. Artificial intelligence needs some computing power and therefore the noise filter is not available for every computer. If your computer does not meet the requirements you will not find the AI tab (see picture) in OM Workspace.

AI (artificial intelligence) Reiter von OM Workspace unter dem der Rauschfilter mit künstlicher Intelligenz verborgen ist.


As you can see in the picture above, the noise filter is part of the normal image processing and therefore easy to use. The noise filter is not limited to images from the OM-1. According to the OM Digitalsolution website, the following cameras are compatible:

  • OM-1
  • E-M1X
  • E-M1 Mark III
  • E-M1 Mark II
  • E-M5 Mark III

The OM-5 is not on the list. However, since it uses the sensor of the E-M1 Mark III, I assume that it is also supported. Probably the website has not been updated yet. If your camera is not compatible with the noise filter, you will not see the AI tab.

Once selected, you have several options. Firstly, you can decide whether you want to give priority to resolution or noise reduction. On the other hand, you can set the strength of the noise filter in three steps (Low, Standard and High). Here only the graininess is reduced. For color noise the second setting “False Color Suppression” is responsible. Here you also have three levels (Low, Standard and High) to choose from.

Finally, you can activate “Dark Area Color Suppression”. This function reduces low-frequency noise that remains in the dark area.


I own an Apple Macbook Air with M2 processor and judge the speed on this basis. Since the minimum requirements for the AI-based noise filter are relatively high, I think the speed will be similar on other systems. The noise filtering runs pleasingly fast. It takes about 4 seconds.


The noise filter does an amazing job. If the quality of the OM-1 is already very usable up to 6400 ISO, the noise filter raises it to 25600 ISO. I would say you gain about 2 f-stops. I would not use the “Dark Area Color Suppression” function though, it leads to a very strong decolorization of dark areas and can have very unpleasant side effects. Here are a few comparisons before and after noise filtering.

Comparison Noise reduction with Ai
ISO25600 ISO before / after
Comparison Noise reduction with Ai
ISO51200 before / after
Comparison Noise reduction with Ai
ISO25600 before / after

Download the OM Workspace files here.

Noise reduction with Ai in Adobe Lightroom

Workflow and Speed

In Lightroom, the noise filter is also part of the normal image processing chain. It can also be applied at any time, but Adobe recommends using it as a first step.

Instead of a discrete three-step setting, Lightroom has a slider that ranges from 0-100 and can be adjusted with a preview. In addition, the dialog also shows the estimated editing time. The processing takes much longer than with OM Workspace. Doesn’t have to mean anything bad if the quality is better. More about this later.

Lightroom saves the file processed with the noise filter as a new DNG. So the noise filter can’t be activated and deactivated so easily. If you are not satisfied with the achieved quality, you have to start over with the other file. In practice, however, this is not a problem. The original file remains after all.


Lightroom’s noise filter also produces amazing results. After initial viewing, I would even say the results are better than OM Workspace.

Comparison Noise reduction with Ai
ISO25600 ISO before / after
Comparison Noise reduction with Ai
ISO51200 before / after
Comparison Noise reduction with Ai
ISO51200 before / after

You can download the Lightroom files here.


Both software variants deliver amazing results with the artificial intelligence noise filter and deliver at least 2 stops better image quality. The workflow could not be more different. Lightroom is much slower in processing and a new DNG file is created after the application. But the normal Lightroom workflow is available and the noise filter is not limited to Olympus / OMDS files. This is exactly the reason why I find the Lightroom solution better. The OM Workspace workflow is rather sluggish and cumbersome and can’t keep up with Lighroom in the slightest.

What are your experiences? I’m looking forward to hearing from you in the comments.

OM-1 remote control comparison

Hamburg Harbour

Regarding an OM-1 remote control, there are basically two options, each with advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, you can use the free OI.share on your cell phone or get a RM-WR1. I will detail the differences and share my favourite solution with you.

OM-1 remote control with OI.Share

In addition to many functions that the free OI.share app from OM Digitalsolution brings along, there is also a built-in remote control of the camera. You even have two options to control the camera remotely. Very comfortable with live images on your phone or a classic remote shutter release with a simple shutter release button.

Dunnock in my backyard


The live preview variant is very comfortable, as you are able to see from the distance what the camera sees before you press the release button. In addition, you can adjust your all settings. Exposure time, aperture, ISO and a lot more can be adjusted without touching the camera. Of course, this is always an advantage if you have trouble getting to the camera. In addition, the final images will be displayed. However, the live view variant has a decisive disadvantage. You need a WIFI connection. At the latest when you are in an environment with many WIFI networks you will notice that the connection between the camera and cell phone becomes very unreliable. It is not always ensured that a trigger is actually released.

Release button

In case you set up OI.share remote control without a live view but as a remote button only a bluetooth connection is needed. The bluetooth connection is stable even though a lot of networks are available. But the release button remote control is not as comfortable as the remote control with Live View. It is like a virtual cable release. This solution also saves battery life of your mobile as Bluetooth consume less power than WiFi. Neither Live View nor a preview of the taken image is available. In case you would like to change setting you must do it at the camera. As you don’t have the Live View you are not able to judge the image before you release the camera.


OM-1 remote control with the RM-WR1

The RM-WR1 is an easy but genius accessory. It can remote control the camera either wireless via Bluetooth or cable. In case you are using it as a cable release the RM-WR1 even doesn’t need a battery. A perfect fall back solution in case you are running out of battery.
In addition you can set-up the OM-1 that it connects with the RM-WR1 as soon as the RM-WR1 is switched on. This enables you to use the RM-WR1 much faster than with the OI.share. In addition the RM-WR1 is as splash proof as the OM-1. You can use it without any issue in rain. When you are using the RM-WR1 of course you have to make the settings at the camera. A Live View is not available.

Conclusion and my favourite solution

Depending what your would like to achieve each solution has advantages and disadvantages. The biggest advantages of the solution with your mobile phone that you don’t have additional costs. Today everybody has a mobile phone and OI.share is available for free. Live View and total control over the settings helps you in case the camera is only difficult to reach.
The RM-WR1 in opposite is directly ready, as the connection will be established as soon as you switch on the RM-WR1. No complicated connection between camera and mobile phone is necessary. In addition the RM-WR1 is as splash proof as the camera. In case it is raining you don’t have to think about it. The haptic release button can be used without any issues with gloves. This is the reason why I prefer the RM-WR1 in 80% of all use cases. For the rest of the use cases I use OI.Share.

Great tit

What do you think. Happy when you share your thoughts in the comments.

Connect the RM-WR1 with the OM-1

In case you have a RM-WR1 and you need to know how to connect it with the OM-1 my small video on You Tube might be helpful.

Four OM-1 shortcuts I like

two seagulls

In programs, it is normal, that you have shortcuts to use functions with keys. This is very handy as you can work much faster than without shortcuts. Most don’t know that the OM-1 has also shortcuts. However, those are helpful to use the camera. Therefore here are my four favourite shortcuts.

1. OM-1 shortcut to set the eye sensor

The eye sensor is very helpful. It switches the electronic viewfinder on as soon as you hold the camera in front of the eye. In rare cases, this could be annoying as the display is switched off when you come too close to the sensor with your finger. Often is this the case when you are taking images and going into the menu takes too much time. In this situation, you can use the shortcut. Press the button, which switches between the viewfinder and display for longer than 1 sec. This brings you directly to the menu to switch the settings for the eye sensor.

2. Program Fn buttons of the OM-1

Even though your program functions key mostly at the beginning, I face now and then the situation to change them for special tasks. Also here you find an OM-1 shortcut, enabling you to work faster than the menu. The Super Control Panel (SCP) opens when you press the OK button. Here you find the gear wheel, which brings you directly to the menu to set up the function keys. This enables you, in case you need it, to change the settings fas.

OM-1 Kurzbefehle für die Funktionstasteneinstellung

3. SD card / save settings

How OM-1 is saving images and movies can be set up. You can decide, for example, that images are saved on card 1 and movies on card 2. Also, you can decide that card 1 saves all material and card 2 is used as a backup card. In the menu, you can also reach the Super Control Panel, which you can open with the OK button. Instead of the gear wheel, you must choose the small card symbol in the lower left corner. This brings you directly to the menu for the card settings.

OM-1 Kurzbefehle zu den Karteneinstellungen

4. Reset settings

The OM-1 offers a lot of possibilities to change settings. This starts with the exposure correction and ends with the adjustment of the gradation curve. Once the setting is done resetting them is more time-consuming. Often you exceed the zero position and it is a little exhausting. Therefore this OM-1 shortcut is very handy. By pressing the OK button for more than 0.75 sec (this is the standard setting, but it can be adjusted to your needs) the setting will be rested to default. This shortcut can be used in many cases.

Another interesting article is “5 functions I love in OM System camera“.