|Long exposures can cause bright or hot pixels to appear in digital images, a phenomenon called Fixed Pattern Noise. Olympus Noise Reduction technology cancels this noise. Noise reduction doubles the exposure time in order to create a second exposure equal in time to the original exposure. The second exposure is immediately captured after the initial exposure with the shutter closed resulting in a black image. Any bright noise is visible against the black exposure. Noise reduction then cancels the corresponding bright pixels on the original exposure to result in a final image that is virtually noise-free.
Enable Noise Reduction:
Enable Noise Reduction in the camera menu by selecting “ON.” Remember to turn it back OFF after shooting – leaving this mode enabled prevents continuous shooting. Noise reduction becomes active at shutter speeds typically longer than a few seconds.
When using a slow shutter speed it is also necessary to eliminate any unnecessary camera movement to prevent blur. One source of vibration occurs when the mirror flips up prior to exposing the CCD. Setting up Anti-Shock permits you to delay the time between when the mirror flips up and it begins the exposure. Setting it to 10 seconds should be sufficient to eliminate any vibration. Remember to turn it OFF for regular shooting.
Cover the eyepiece during exposure using the eyepiece cover or shutter to prevent extraneous light entering the camera during the long exposure time.
Select an ISO of 100. A higher ISO can add to the overall amount of noise.
Set the camera to “M” or “A”. In “M” (Manual) the camera will permit you to select both aperture and shutter speed. Use the exposure level indicator to determine the correct exposure combination. However, take some shots under or over the recommended exposure so you can have several shots at different exposures to choose from. When choosing your shutter speed keep in mind that longer shutter speeds create more blur on moving objects in your scene.
In “A” you select the aperture and it will select the correct shutter speed value. This is an easy mode to choose if your goal is to control the depth of field. Shoot a few images with at least a 1/3 stop of under or over exposure compensation applied so you have several images to choose from.
Auto white balance should work in most situations. However, if the image looks too red or blue, white balance compensation can be used to shift color balance towards red or blue.
The camera may have difficulty focusing in low light. The “MF” Manual Focus mode will permit you to manually turn the lens focus ring to achieve focus.
Vibration also occurs when you press the shutter button. To help prevent this, trigger the shutter remotely or use the self-timer to delay the time between pressing the shutter and when the exposure begins. Using the self-timer will prevent any vibration caused by pressing the shutter button.
A good tripod provides essential overall stability for your camera. The tripod should be designed to support the total weight of the camera and lens.
Shot in a dark space without Noise Reduction:
Camera Settings - 25 seconds at F14 at ISO 100
Night shot without Noise Reduction:
Night shot with Noise Reduction: