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.

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“.

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.

Customize your AF points

The E-M1X and the E-M1 Mark III do have already a lot of AF layout presets, which are usable in many different situations. Customize your AF points to increase your AF hitting rate. You can adjust them like follows

Customise your AF points in the menu

Screenshot OM-D menu to localize Target mode settings

1 In the gear menu select A2 “Target Mode Settings” and open the menu with the arrow right key.

Screenshot OM-D menu to show target mode settings options

2 You can program and save up to four AF field presets.

Screenshot OM-D menu to show Mode Settings location

3 To be able to select those presets you have to activate them under “Mode Settings”.

You also can watch the following film, which shows step by step how to program your AF fields.

Fast selection of images

When using a function like continuous shooting mode, ProCapture or Focus Bracketing you get very fast a lot of images. The SD card gets filled up very fast and not every image is needed. The normal way to delete single images is very time consuming and therefore not helpful. Cameras from the E-M1 series have fortunately do have a fast selection of images to easily select many images in a short time.

How fast selection of images work

Rückseite der E-M1X

1. Press the replay button to see the images on the SD card

Topansicht der E-M1 Mark III

2. Use the thumbwheel to switch from the single image view to the thumbnail view.

Topansicht der E-M1 Mark III

3. Select the first image, which you would like to select. Press and hold the movie record button.

Topansicht der E-M1 Mark III

4. Rotate either the forefinger wheel or thumbwheel to select the other images. You can select up to 200 images.

As soon as you have selected the images you can either delete or mark them as protected or share them with OI.share.