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Canon Drebel (color) Settings

DoctorItDoctorIt Administrators Posts: 11,951 moderator
edited May 13, 2004 in Cameras
Lately I've been a bit disappointed with the colors in my photos. It seemed like I was constantly bumping up the saturation and fixing the tint in PS Camera RAW. So I decided to try and tackle the root of the problem... IN the camera!

Tripod mounted the camera, setup a scene with a good strong red, green, and blue example, then I did a series of pictures going through all the settings: Parameter1, Parameter2, Adobe RGB, Set 1/2/3. The 3 custom settings I set to (1) +1 bump in all 4 (sharpness, contrast, balance, saturation), (2) +1 bump in only color balance and saturation, and (3) all set to 0.

My results were very exciting at first because the resulting shots were noticeably different IN the camera, and that not just based on the preview, the histograms were clearly different. My excitement faded when I put the photos on my computer though. I can honestly barely make out the difference between them. I did no post processing, just opened up the RAW files and accepted them as is, no change to any settings, saved at jpg (just a little resizing), and thats it. See if you can tell any difference:

2004-05-04.jpg

Bigger images here (w/filenames): http://doctorit.smugmug.com/gallery/112429

So I guess I'm looking for 2 responses - (1) what is the best in camera setting, or what have people found are the differences, and (2) why are the differences so much different in the camera preview vs. photoshop???

Learn me oh wise ones!!!
Erik
moderator of: The Flea Market [ guidelines ]


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    dkappdkapp Registered Users Posts: 985 Major grins
    edited May 7, 2004
    Have you tried looking at the photos in the Canon provided RAW software? I know that PS CS does not look as good as my Nikon software. The Nikon D70 RAW files in PS seem to be dull & not as sharp as Nikon.

    Dave
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    fishfish Registered Users Posts: 2,950 Major grins
    edited May 7, 2004
    Doc,

    Don't forget that you're looking at a tiny little LCD screen with about 118k pixels. It's bound to look different from the PC.

    What, exactly, is the problem? You don't want to have to post-process?
    "Consulting the rules of composition before taking a photograph, is like consulting the laws of gravity before going for a walk." - Edward Weston
    "The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over."-Hunter S.Thompson
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    lynnmalynnma Registered Users, Retired Mod Posts: 5,208 Major grins
    edited May 7, 2004
    fish wrote:
    Doc,

    Don't forget that you're looking at a tiny little LCD screen with about 118k pixels. It's bound to look different from the PC.

    What, exactly, is the problem? You don't want to have to post-process?
    I see what doc is saying tho fish.. what if we did'nt HAVE photoshop.... what if we had to rely on just what we TOOK....

    I've been thinkin bout the same thing lately....
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    pathfinderpathfinder Super Moderators Posts: 14,699 moderator
    edited May 7, 2004
    DoctorIt wrote:
    Lately I've been a bit disappointed with the colors in my photos. It seemed like I was constantly bumping up the saturation and fixing the tint in PS Camera RAW. So I decided to try and tackle the root of the problem... IN the camera!

    Tripod mounted the camera, setup a scene with a good strong red, green, and blue example, then I did a series of pictures going through all the settings: Parameter1, Parameter2, Adobe RGB, Set 1/2/3. The 3 custom settings I set to (1) +1 bump in all 4 (sharpness, contrast, balance, saturation), (2) +1 bump in only color balance and saturation, and (3) all set to 0.

    My results were very exciting at first because the resulting shots were noticeably different IN the camera, and that not just based on the preview, the histograms were clearly different. My excitement faded when I put the photos on my computer though. I can honestly barely make out the difference between them. I did no post processing, just opened up the RAW files and accepted them as is, no change to any settings, saved at jpg (just a little resizing), and thats it. See if you can tell any difference:

    2004-05-04.jpg

    Bigger images here (w/filenames): http://doctorit.smugmug.com/gallery/112429

    So I guess I'm looking for 2 responses - (1) what is the best in camera setting, or what have people found are the differences, and (2) why are the differences so much different in the camera preview vs. photoshop???

    Learn me oh wise ones!!!
    Are we sure that changing the camera setting re sharpening and saturation have any effect on RAW files? I suspect that they are JUST utilized in the in camera conversion to jpgs - you said the histograms looked different but the RAW files do not. I agree that I cannot see any difference in the RAW conversions you posted. But RAW file data is EXACTLY what the image sensor recorded WITHOUT camera intervention. The changes in saturation you dial in will be present in jpgs you shoot, but I'll bet not in RAW files. Repeat your shots with jpgs and I thik you will get the changes in saturation that you are expecting.

    I agree that I almost always dial in 5-10 units of saturation increase in my RAW files when I convert them - digital images tend to seem slightly less saturated - I think this allows the sensor to capture a wider dynamic range of light and dark. Not sure I can quote a reference for this tho.
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
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    DoctorItDoctorIt Administrators Posts: 11,951 moderator
    edited May 8, 2004
    fish wrote:
    Doc,

    Don't forget that you're looking at a tiny little LCD screen with about 118k pixels. It's bound to look different from the PC.

    What, exactly, is the problem? You don't want to have to post-process?
    I know, I know - I was looking at histograms too. Admittedly, I was letting the preview pic convince me a little one way or the other, but there was a difference in the histograms - they don't lie! :D
    Erik
    moderator of: The Flea Market [ guidelines ]


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    DoctorItDoctorIt Administrators Posts: 11,951 moderator
    edited May 8, 2004
    pathfinder wrote:
    Are we sure that changing the camera setting re sharpening and saturation have any effect on RAW files? I suspect that they are JUST utilized in the in camera conversion to jpgs - you said the histograms looked different but the RAW files do not. I agree that I cannot see any difference in the RAW conversions you posted. But RAW file data is EXACTLY what the image sensor recorded WITHOUT camera intervention. The changes in saturation you dial in will be present in jpgs you shoot, but I'll bet not in RAW files. Repeat your shots with jpgs and I thik you will get the changes in saturation that you are expecting.

    I agree that I almost always dial in 5-10 units of saturation increase in my RAW files when I convert them - digital images tend to seem slightly less saturated - I think this allows the sensor to capture a wider dynamic range of light and dark. Not sure I can quote a reference for this tho.
    Interesting answer, thanks!

    I'm going to try another test using jpg's, definitely. As for RAW, that makes total sense, thats the whole point of RAW files! It had kinda occured to me, but I kept thinking that if the in camera histogram was different, there should be some difference. I'm also glad to hear someone else routinely bumps up saturation, and your reason sounds pretty good for that too. I'll try to read up on that.
    Erik
    moderator of: The Flea Market [ guidelines ]


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    AndyAndy Registered Users Posts: 50,016 Major grins
    edited May 8, 2004
    raw and parm settings on the rebel
    i did not read all resps but

    in raw, the parm settings have *no* effect. they are for jpg only.

    aw
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    cmr164cmr164 Registered Users Posts: 1,542 Major grins
    edited May 8, 2004
    DoctorIt wrote:


    So I guess I'm looking for 2 responses - (1) what is the best in camera setting, or what have people found are the differences, and (2) why are the differences so much different in the camera preview vs. photoshop???

    Learn me oh wise ones!!!
    Folks have already told you that the raw data is immutable, but that is not the whole story. The in camera settings that you do should be part of the raw file and the PS acquire/twain s/w that Canon (or 3d party) provides should pay attention to those settings. The images should be visually different even when viewing raw. If it isn't it is either the fault of Canon's raw file format or of the acquire s/w.

    My Canon/Kodak DCS 520 works as I have described with PS.
    Charles Richmond IT & Security Consultant
    Operating System Design, Drivers, Software
    Villa Del Rio II, Talamban, Pit-os, Cebu, Ph
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    michael972michael972 Registered Users Posts: 43 Big grins
    edited May 8, 2004
    Paramater settings DO NOT affect RAW
    Hi:

    Your problem is that you are shooting raw. The paramater setting have absolutely no impact on RAW files. You are getting the raw date from camera, no sharpness, saturation, contrast, white bal adjustments.

    Param settings only impact JPG settings.

    HTH
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    DoctorItDoctorIt Administrators Posts: 11,951 moderator
    edited May 12, 2004
    michael972 wrote:
    Your problem is that you are shooting raw.
    HTH
    Never thought of that as a problem :D
    Erik
    moderator of: The Flea Market [ guidelines ]


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    tmshotstmshots Registered Users Posts: 59 Big grins
    edited May 12, 2004
    What are you using to process the pics on the comp? photoshop may be the problem. From the experience I've had with some pics is that they are color corrected by Adobe and what you view is from the alterations of that. I went out and purchased Spyder by Pantone to adjust my color sceams on the monitor and used it also in the adobe color sets and my pictures had a great difference. Just a thought.
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    DoctorItDoctorIt Administrators Posts: 11,951 moderator
    edited May 12, 2004
    Using Photoshop CS. I have a Gretag Macbeth Display (like your spyder), so I'm calibrated. But from the reading I've done, its better to set Photoshop to work in a standard colorspace like Adobe RGB 1998 rather than the icc profile of your monitor... I'd love to hear comments on that as well.
    Erik
    moderator of: The Flea Market [ guidelines ]


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    tmshotstmshots Registered Users Posts: 59 Big grins
    edited May 12, 2004
    What I've read about photoshop is that it is suggested to use standard, though my findings have been with my dog, She is a chocolate lab and every time I use the standard she turns out to be a black lab. When I calibrated and went to the spyders profile she went back to being a chocolate lab. So I've always tended to stay with those stettings.
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    digismiledigismile Registered Users Posts: 955 Major grins
    edited May 13, 2004
    DoctorIt wrote:
    I know, I know - I was looking at histograms too. Admittedly, I was letting the preview pic convince me a little one way or the other, but there was a difference in the histograms - they don't lie! :D
    You aren't going mad! Yes, the histograms did change ... but they weren't for the RAW photos. The image that you preview on your camera is a considerably downsized jpeg rendering of the original, AND it shows you a preview of your changed settings! But as you have read, none of the changes are made to the RAW file.

    As far as your RAW images being a bit flat, that is a well documented characteristic. However, the upside is that you have a 16-bit file vs. 8 bit, plus 1 - 2 stops extra latitude on the exposure. RAW would still get my vote.
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    DoctorItDoctorIt Administrators Posts: 11,951 moderator
    edited May 13, 2004
    tmshots wrote:
    What I've read about photoshop is that it is suggested to use standard, though my findings have been with my dog, She is a chocolate lab and every time I use the standard she turns out to be a black lab. When I calibrated and went to the spyders profile she went back to being a chocolate lab. So I've always tended to stay with those stettings.
    sounds like I'll have to give it more of a try... thanks for the input!
    Erik
    moderator of: The Flea Market [ guidelines ]


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