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.

ISO25600 ISO before / after
ISO51200 before / after
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.

ISO25600 ISO before / after
ISO51200 before / after
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.

Focus Stacking in landscape photography

Waterfall on Island

OM System cameras have focus stacking a unique function, which is useful to increase the depth of field in macro photography. But there is another use case for focus stacking, even though the depth of field normally isn’t an issue.

When is focus stacking helpful for landscape photography?

A popular creative means in landscape photography is to place an object in the foreground as this emphasises depth. Always when you do this depth of field becomes relevant in landscape photography, even though wide-angle lenses have a much bigger depth of field than tele lenses. But in landscape photography the distances are enormous. Therefore closing the aperture doesn’t help. Especially as image quality is getting worse when you use a smaller f-stop than 11.

Original without focus stacking
result after focus stacking

What to consider when using Focus Stacking

In my article “Focus Stacking and Focus Bracketing” I write about the needed settings in detail. In opposite to macro photography you have to consider a bit more. As already said above you should avoid smaller apertures than 11. In case you close it further diffraction will decrease your image quality. In addition, most properly you must experiment a bit with the step size. Which one is fitting depends on the lens, focusing distance and aperture. Therefore a recommendation is hardly possible.

Focus Stacking takes the first image on the focus point you have set. The next image is taken from a closer point and the following will be taken behind the first focus point. Therefore you should not fonearestthe the closest distance which should be sharp, but behind. Also here you must experiment to get the result you would achieve.

Focus Stacking in landscape photography original
Original without focus stacking
Focus Stacking in landscape photography result
result after focus stacking

Additional sources for this topic

In case you would like to get more information about focus stacking in landscape photography you find additional information on the web. Following sources, I can recommend.

  1. OM System Visionäre Peter Baumgartern article “Maximum Depth of field” veröffentlicht.
  2. If you understand German the article of Helmut Kruse “Fokusstacking in der Landschaftsfotografie? Ja Klar!” is worth reading.

3D printed camera accessories

3D Rendering Mirco Four Thirds Gehäusedeckel

Already lost a hot shoe cover or a lens cap? Can happen quite easily. You either buy it quite expensive from the manufacturer or a bit cheaper from a third-party vendor. I bought the other day a 3D printer and ask myself whether I could print the accessories. Here I would like to share my experience, of how I 3D printed camera accessories.

What you need to made photo accessories with a 3D printer

Sliding calliper to measure the original object

Before you can print photo accessory you need the dimensions of the original. A sliding calliper helps you to get those precise enough. I’m using one with digital display. With it, it is easy to get the values which you are using in the 3D software.

Software to generate 3D data

The 3D printer needs 3D data, which you can generate with specialised software. You can find several different types, but I used them for the moment Sharp3D. Professional software, which you cause with some limitations for free. Whether you can accept those or not is up to you. You find detailed information on the website.

Screenshot  Shapr3D software

The advantage of Sharp3D is, that you get directly in the app a small explanation video on how to use the chosen tool. This helps a lot to learn the software quickly. My 13 year old son and I managed this quiet easily, so you will do it also. In the image above you see the hot shoe cover for an Olympus / OM Systems camera, which is made by my son.

3D printer

For printing you need a 3D printer. Nowadays no problem. You can get one already below 100€. I bought the Monoprice MP10 printer, which cost me 189€. An investment I was willing to make.

Software to prepare printing data

When you have finalised your 3D data, you must prepare them for printing. The object will be divided into layers. Again you can choose between different software, I’m using Ultimaker Cura.

Screenshot of Cura software including 3D printed accessories
Bildschirmfoto der Cura Software mit Objektive- und Gehäusedeckel für die OM System Kameras

This program and the settings are a bit more complex. The settings depend on many parameters. In particular, the filament and the printer type you are using have a huge influence. Also, the resolution is a factor. You must experiment by yourself, there is no other way. This is fun and you will have very fast a feeling of success.

Very important is how you position the objects. As you can see in the image above, the lens cap and body cap lay on their flat sides. A 3D printer is not able to print into the air. Would I lay the object on the other side, I must use supporting layers. It needs not only additional material but is also complicated to remove. Therefore, if possible, the objects should be placed so that there are no cavities downwards.

What accessories can you print with a 3D printer?

I printed only simple accessories such as a lens cap, body cap and a hot shoe cover so far. However, only a view object cannot be printed with a 3D printer. I already saw a filter holder for the M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm F2.8 PRO which is printed with a 3D printer. In theory, it is even possible to print the cover for the power battery grip, as the flexible filament is also available. Also, wooden accessories or carbon accessories are possible. The appropriate filament is also available for this purpose. As you can see, the possibilities are endless. You just have to let your imagination run wild and think about how best to implement the idea.

My 3D date to print accessories with your 3D printer.

As you can see in the images above I made already some accessories for OM System cameras. In case you own a 3D printer I’m happy when you use them for your own needs.

In case you don’t own a 3d printer, let me know. I can print any part and send it to you. Just write an email, we can discuss the details. When you have your own ideas to realise let me know in the comments. I will have a look and try to make it happen.

What can we expect from the camera industry in 2023?

Bild von den Landungsbrücken.

A lot of people already celebrated, that in 2022 quantity of sold camera raised compared to 2021 (graph below). They already predicted a turnaround from a shrinking to a growing camera market. But we have to consider two factors when we are comparing year on year. First, 2021 was a pandemic year, second, therefore, the supply chain was interrupted. The industry was not able to manufacture or deliver more cameras. Whether 2023 will be for the camera industry a good year or not depends on several factors. Some can be influenced by the industry some not.

CIPA total DSC shipment in 2020, 2021 and 2022

Economic situation

After the covid pandemic in 2021 and 2022 struggled due to supply chain constraints, it seems that 2023 will be much better. For example, some of the semiconductor manufacturers are reporting growing stock and therefore prices are getting lower. This leads to better availability of cameras and lenses. If this leads to better sales numbers or even more important better profit, some additional factors must be considered. One negative factor is the world economic situation. Triggered by the Ukraine war we are facing an energy shortage and inflation is growing. This means also that the living cost is getting higher. Less money is available for additional investments. It is more important to pay rent and food than to buy a camera or lens. In addition, all experts expect that we are getting a worldwide recession, which means a lot of jobs are in danger. People rather save their money than spend it. The economic precondition is not good. Therefore it is important that the camera industry have to be creative to be successful.

Hamburg Standard View, to illustrate the article "What can we expect from the camera industry in 2023?"

Product introductions of the camera industry in 2023

It will be interesting to see what kind of products will be introduced by the camera industry in 2023. In the past, most of the product introductions have been an enhancement of the predecessor and lag real innovations. I’m curious whether the camera industry can launch real innovations in 2023. How about a new business model to earn money? Instead of launching new camera models every year, with only a few improvements, it would be possible to update cameras in the market and get money for it. By the way, this would be also more environmentally friendly than the current strategy. Or some of the features could be provided based on a monthly payment. Similar like the software industry is doing. But looking at the first announcement this year, the Panasonic S5 Mark II, I’m not very optimistic. The camera manufacturers seem to stay with the old strategy and will not take any risks.

Even for lenses, we could not expect much. The technology is already matured and innovation steps are pretty small. OM Digitalsolutions have already announced the development of a 90mm F3.5 Macro, which will be for sure qualitative very good. But will it have also some innovations? Will it show the strength of the Micro Four Thirds? It would be great if it could be compatible with the two teleconverters. Nikon and Canon will for sure concentrate on the most popular focal length. They entered the mirrorless market quite late and must catch up.

Marketing options

I would be surprised in case we see changes in marketing from the big players. They will still play the influencer game to get as much coverage on the web as possible. People trust someone they are following for a while more than the manufacturers even though the influencers are just telling the same with different words. I don’t see that the camera industry already can catch up with the newest trend in marketing and bring information in an analogue way to their customers. They are lacking human and financial resources. It is even worse, as most of the manufacturers are concentrating on digital platforms rather than on real events. This is in my opinion a big mistake. Cameras are highly emotional products and it is important to touch them. You have to discover them with all senses. This is not possible with digital events. Olympus once had a “Photography Playground” to address also people who are not so in photography. The feedback for those events was excellent and even at the last Photokina a part of the show. Unfortunately, the industry is not running such kind of events at the moment.

In Germany, we do have photo festivals (Umweltfestival Zingst / Oberstdorfer Fotogipfel) and the Photopia, which offer you the option to touch cameras without buying them. The advantage is that at those events all manufacturers are present. However, the camera industry has to save money as much as possible. The golden age in the camera industry is gone.

Hamburg Harbour
Harbour Hamburg

Prospects for the camera industry in 2023 and beyond.

Honestly, I’m very sceptical that the quantity of sold cameras will grow in future. On the one hand side, the market is shrinking. On the other hand, the mobile phone industry needs differentiation for the new generations of the phone. The processor performance is not relevant anymore. It is enough for all daily tasks. Mobile phone cameras are the feature which is selling. Sony already announced the end of digital SLR cameras and I think for the majority of the users this is already true. The more subtle among you might say that the DSLR died more than 10 years ago with the introduction of mirrorless systems. However, you forget that Sony’s head of the semiconductor business does not distinguish between DLSR and mirrorless cameras. He was referring to system cameras with interchangeable lenses in general.

What is your opinion?

What do you think about this topic? My thoughts are very personal and I’m happy if you share your thought in the comment. I’m curious and looking forward to having a friendly discussion.