Excessive Grain

jereece

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I have a problem with excessive grain in my digital photos when I use a flash. Here's a link to an example of the grain I am seeing.

I have an Olympus SP-510UZ. Outdoor shots look great but indoor shots with a flash or without are terrible. I can understand indoor shots being grainy without a flash because the camera increases the ISO pretty high. However, the example photo I posted was shot at ISO 400 which should have a pretty good grain. Below is the EXIF info for this shot. Is is simpl a matter of using a lower ISO indoors? When I used 35mm film I got pretty good results at ISO 400. Any suggestions is helpful?

EXIF Information
ImageDescription : OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Make : OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
Model : SP510UZ
XResolution : 72/1
YResolution : 72/1
ResolutionUnit : Inch
Software : Version 1.0
DateTime : 2007:11:22 18:45:57
YCbCrPositioning : co-sited
ExifInfoOffset : 1084
CustomRendered : Normal process
ExposureMode : Auto
WhiteBalance : Auto
DigitalZoomRatio : 0/100
SceneCaptureType : Standard
GainControl : High gain up
Contrast : Normal
Saturation : Normal
Sharpness : Normal
PrintIM IFD : 690Bytes
Print Image Matching Info
Version : 0300
Unknown (0001) : 14 00 14 00
Unknown (0002) : 01 00 00 00
Unknown (0003) : EE 00 00 00
Unknown (0007) : 00 00 00 00
Unknown (0008) : 00 00 00 00
Contrast : 0 (-128`127)
Brightness : 0 (-128`127)
ColorBalance : 36 01 00 00
Saturation : 00 00 00 00
Sharpness : 00 00 00 00
Unknown (000E) : 4E 01 00 00
Unknown (0010) : 5E 01 00 00
Unknown (0020) : 52 02 00 00
Unknown (0100) : 03 00 00 00
Unknown (0101) : FF 00 00 00
Unknown (0102) : 83 00 00 00
Unknown (0103) : 83 00 00 00
Unknown (0104) : 83 00 00 00
Unknown (0105) : 83 00 00 00
Unknown (0106) : 83 00 00 00
Unknown (0107) : 80 80 80 00
Sub Information
ExposureTime : 1/200Sec
FNumber : F3.3
ExposureProgram : Program Normal
ISOSpeedRatings : 400
ExifVersion : 0221
DateTimeOriginal : 2007:11:22 18:45:57
DateTimeDigitized : 2007:11:22 18:45:57
ComponentConfiguration : YCbCr
CompressedBitsPerPixel : 2/1 (bit/pixel)
ExposureBiasValue : EV0.0
MaxApertureValue : F2.8
MeteringMode : Division
LightSource : Unidentified
Flash : Fired(Auto)
FocalLength : 14.20(mm)
MakerNote : Olympus Format : 2008Bytes (Offset:1466)
UserComment :
FlashPixVersion : 0100
ColorSpace : sRGB
ExifImageWidth : 2304
ExifImageHeight : 3072
FileSource : DSC
SceneType : A directly photographed image
Compression : OLDJPEG
XResolution : 72/1
YResolution : 72/1
ResolutionUnit : Inch
JPEGInterchangeFormat : 3682
JPEGInterchangeFormatLength : 4764
 

Alex_B

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is your example shot a crop?


anyway, ISO 400 is not really low ISO and some cameras show quite pronounced colour noise at ISO 400. Is there any way to lower the ISO manually?
 

Alex_B

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welcome to the forum anyway ;)
 

Digital Matt

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However, the example photo I posted was shot at ISO 400 which should have a pretty good grain. Below is the EXIF info for this shot. Is is simpl a matter of using a lower ISO indoors? When I used 35mm film I got pretty good results at ISO 400. Any suggestions is helpful?

Unfortunately p&s digitals do not handle noise very well, and certainly cannot be compared to 35mm film. Manually set the ISO to it's lowest.
 

SpeedTrap

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In my dealings with Olympus they are all show alot of noise compaired to others, if you are using a flash anyway, just go to your lowest ISO and it should fix the problem
 
OP
J

jereece

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Thanks for the quick replies. Yes the example is a cropped shot. I can manually lower the ISO to 200, 100 or 50. So I will give that a try next time. I guess I used 400 just because that's what I used to use most often when shotting 35mm and got good results. Well I am learning.

Thanks again for the help.

Jim
 

Cero21

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Bear in mind too that the crop is much much bigger than I imagine you had 35mm shots printed.
 

Big Mike

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Welcome to the forum.

All good points so far....
ISO 400 is a fairly high ISO for a 'digi cam'...although the high end digi-cams are getting better. A digital SLR camera will produce much, much cleaner images at ISO 400...and probably ISO 800 and even 1600.

One problem with digital is that we can very easily zoom in and have a close look...which emphasizes the problems or faults. Try printing your image at a reasonable size (maybe up to 8x10) and hold it at viewing distance (not up to your nose)...then see if the grain (digital noise) is a problem.
 

_SnapShot_

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That looks like an underexposed photo that was adjusted and cropped. You are right, it's ugly. I've had the same happen so don't feel alone. It almost looks like there is no flash and you used natural light.

What this "GainControl : High gain up"

The white bowl, the pots and pans and foil should have been lit up by the flash, and they hardly show anything. Could it be you were more then 15 or 20 feet away.
 

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