The latest on D7000 skin tones?

Started May 24, 2011 | Discussions
Swedish Hambern
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The latest on D7000 skin tones?
May 24, 2011

Hi there everybody. Long time no see. I took a break a couple of months ago after not being able to get a fully functioning camera (focus issues). Now after I've gotten the camera replaced with a fourth one it actually works.

With the focus issue out of the way I still have one thing that keeps bugging me: The D7000 skin tones. It just looks flat, orangey, unnatural and simply bad. It's worst at the Standard setting, but the tendency is there at every setting (best is neutral). At least compared to my old D70 that always produced completely credible skin tones in every lighting situation.

And i can see I'm not the only one with these problems:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1034&message=38321371

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1034&message=37151970&q=d7000+skin&qf=m

And after some researching at Pbase i found that pictures like these are constantly popping up:

One worse than the other... Page after Page...
Now compare those with some D70 images in the same cathegory (the first found):

Not fantastic pictures... SOOC But still much better than the D7000 pictures. And sorry to all who has put these up on Pbase. If you want me to remove your picture from this post, just say so and I will remove it at once.

So how do you handle this new color rendition feature of the D7000? I'm almost starting to give up on getting as good skin tones on D7000 as I got with my D70. And I've tweaked for months now and starting to believe that it's a mission impossible.

And please don't start herrassing me again now. I'm just asking.

chris33
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Re: The latest on D7000 skin tones?
In reply to Swedish Hambern, May 24, 2011

I agree with you. Even my D90 has minor problems with skin tones and red/orange. This is why I decided to keep my D40...

Chris

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GMack
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Re: The latest on D7000 skin tones?
In reply to Swedish Hambern, May 24, 2011

Can't you turn your Saturation down a notch or two and then add more blue to your Color Temp matrix in the menu? You got a menu full of adjustments to tune it.

I'd also invest in one of those $90 xRite Color Passport checkers too and make a profile for the camera+lens you use in your software program(s) and all the lenses you use to - and do it on normal or portrait mode too if that's where your camera resides most often. My Portrait (skin tone) one is dialed down a bit from the factory setting. Vivid is way too much color in skin for me.

Mack

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intruder61
Senior MemberPosts: 2,572Gear list
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Re: The latest on D7000 skin tones?
In reply to GMack, May 24, 2011

first four pics...out of same camera? or each one from a different camera?
one answer..White Balance...before shooting, easily fixed after shooting.
1st and 4th...pic easily fixed with one click WB issue....therefore user error

2nd pic...flash fired, not that bad, would like to know metering used...passable

3rd pic, skin tones are good, run the eye dropper over skin in photoshop and you will see that the CMYK readings are fine, magenta is 5-10% over yellow, no issue here....you are focusing on the background...thats too bad, looks like a crappy decor outfit.

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rpps
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Re: The latest on D7000 skin tones?
In reply to intruder61, May 24, 2011

I just quickly used white Balance edit in ACDSee Pro 4 and edit one photo it came out good what do you have your picture control set at ? . I find my D7000 OK for skin tones

 rpps's gear list:rpps's gear list
Nikon D600 Nikon D7100 Nikon AF Nikkor 35mm f/2D Tamron SP AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF) Tamron SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD +3 more
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R Dunlop
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Re: The latest on D7000 skin tones?
In reply to intruder61, May 24, 2011

I agree with the others comments about white balance. Exposure is about getting the light correct, colour is about correct white balance. I suggest you experiment using different temperature settings for the same exposures in a number of controlled shots to see the difference. Auto white balance takes in too much of the overall scene colour and often gives unusual skin tones. When shooting photo journalist style its not always practical to mess about with white balance settings, consider RAW and set the balance PP.
--
Hotworks

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jonikon
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Re: The latest on D7000 skin tones?
In reply to Swedish Hambern, May 24, 2011

I also believe orange casts to skin tones is an issue with the D7000 under some conditions. See my post here for my thoughts on the subject.
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1034&message=38504340
I hope it helps.

Best regards,
Jon

 jonikon's gear list:jonikon's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon D5100 Nikon 1 V1 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR +10 more
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Swedish Hambern
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Re: The latest on D7000 skin tones?
In reply to Swedish Hambern, May 24, 2011

Seems like Thom Hogan has noticed the same thing:

"[the color is] ever so slightly subdued (some would say flat) from what I see in my D3x. This tends to happen on very tough to capture colors, like golds and bronzes, but it can happen in other colors, as well, including skin tones. It's a very subtle difference, and many people won't notice it. But if you're pushing for every last little bit of capability from a raw file, you're likely to notice it at some point. I'm still trying to figure out if this is just a metamerism that we have to live with or whether you can overcome the slight flatness via post processing."

http://www.bythom.com/nikond7000review.htm

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rainer_g
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Re: The latest on D7000 skin tones? --> Try a D3100
In reply to Swedish Hambern, May 24, 2011

I had the same issues with my D300, while both the D40 and D100 were fine in this respect.

Now, luckily my D3100 I got late last year is completely different to the D300, showing very pleasing (to my taste) skin tones (standard picture control, even with saturation +1).

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Foto1818
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Re: The latest on D7000 skin tones?
In reply to Swedish Hambern, May 24, 2011

Yep the dreaded pinkish, orange cast skin tones of recent Nikons.

However it seems that there are thousands and thousands of nikons users that got used to such skin tones and for them is no issue.

I coming from Canon was really dreading the skin tones from my D7000.

The colors between canon and nikon is really at the opposite end. Canon is cooler and color tones are generally more white-tish while nikon are warmer and more yellow/orange/pinkish cast.

Trying looking at people's photo on Kenrockwell website that are shot indoors. Too funny: very pinkish/orange cast. But it seems that the man likes his colors. He's a pro. but in his eyes such colors seems to be great.

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digitalman4242
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Re: The latest on D7000 skin tones?
In reply to Foto1818, May 24, 2011

This is strange. Because my D3100 has really good skin tones in my opinion. I do shoot in RAW and usually never have to change the temp/color. Mostly just fill light or recovery. Could it be possible the D3100 has better skin tones than the D7000?? I highly doubt it but would be crazy if so. I would like to find out because I am thinking about upgrading to D5100 or D7000 down the road. Heres a few taken with my D3100, it's the first DSLR iv'e ever owned. Do you guys think the skin tones look okay??

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toomanycanons
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Re: The latest on D7000 skin tones?
In reply to Foto1818, May 24, 2011

I'm starting to shoot indoor/low light events, handheld, no flash/high ISO/people. Totally different than the rest of my photography which is indoor/low light/on a tripod/ISO 200/no flash/real estate/exposure blending. In other words, I have one chance per view now to get it right at events.

If a couch I photograph is just a little off in color in my images, who's gonna complain? Skin tones, well, either they're right or they're not. It would be nice if it wasn't a constant post processing thing from nefs to get skin tones right.

I have an Expodisc Neutral that I haven't used much (no need so far) but now I'm going to be setting a custom WB with it at events.

My question is not whether or not you think setting a custom WB with the Expodisc works as advertised but how often do I need to set a custom WB indoors? In a large room is once enough? How to judge when it's time for another custom WB?

My dream is that I can shoot in jpeg (horrors!) on Neutral and have my colors and skin tones come out correct. Yes, I'll shoot nef+jpeg but I'm trying to cut down the processing time.

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digitalman4242
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Re: The latest on D7000 skin tones?
In reply to Foto1818, May 24, 2011

Foto1818 wrote:

Yep the dreaded pinkish, orange cast skin tones of recent Nikons.

However it seems that there are thousands and thousands of nikons users that got used to such skin tones and for them is no issue.

I coming from Canon was really dreading the skin tones from my D7000.

The colors between canon and nikon is really at the opposite end. Canon is cooler and color tones are generally more white-tish while nikon are warmer and more yellow/orange/pinkish cast.

Trying looking at people's photo on Kenrockwell website that are shot indoors. Too funny: very pinkish/orange cast. But it seems that the man likes his colors. He's a pro. but in his eyes such colors seems to be great.

Maybe if your looking at JPG's. But I looked at alot of Canon pics before purchasing the D3100 and I thought they looked too over saturated compared to Nikon. I think for portraits Nikon blows canon away. Looks way more Natural and like a film camera. But that's just my opinion. By looking at pics I just posted do you think they look too warm?

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Cytokine
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Re: The latest on D7000 skin tones?
In reply to Swedish Hambern, May 24, 2011

Swedish Hambern wrote:

With the focus issue out of the way I still have one thing that keeps bugging me: The D7000 skin tones. It just looks flat, orangey, unnatural and simply bad. It's worst at the Standard setting, but the tendency is there at every setting (best is neutral). At least compared to my old D70 that always produced completely credible skin tones in every lighting situation.

Your D70 is at the top of the metamerism index and the D7000 is second from the bottom in these DXO tests. At best we can say that CCD colours are easier to manipulate than CMOS colours The CMOS configuration relies on more complex noise reduction software and apart from the D2x cant be tweaked in analogue prior to digital conversion. But if you need all that Hi ISO ability CMOS is the answer and the colours can be just as good but require more attention to camera set up and is less forgiving of bad practice.

Indoor lighting uses so many different lamp types, giving different colour outputs and it is sometimes difficult to get a good white balance, and this is compounded by the CMOS set up. So we should shoot with flash where possible and use RAW.

The only difference I see in CCD apart from being easier to use, is better tonal gradation. IF I had pots of money I would use CCD in Daylight and studio shots and CMOS at night but I would use CCD and good glass before resorting to CMOS.

Just my biased 2 cents.

John

DXOMark Scores for Sensitivity metamerism index (higher = better ability to reproduce accurate colour consistently.

Standard ISO 17321. CIE/D50 (Matching Daylight Source)
D300/D200/D70 = 84
D2Xs D700/D5000 = 83
D3000 = 80
D80/D3x = 79
D7000/D5100 = 78
D3/D300s = 77

ISO 17321-1:2006 specifies colour stimuli, metrology, and test procedures for the colour characterization of a digital still camera (DSC) to be used for photography and graphic technology. Two methods are provided, one using narrow spectral band illumination and the other using a spectrally and colorimetrically calibrated target. Except for a specific set of permitted data operations, these DSC data are raw. International Standards Organisation.

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Foto1818
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Re: The latest on D7000 skin tones?
In reply to digitalman4242, May 24, 2011

digitalman4242 wrote:

Maybe if your looking at JPG's. But I looked at alot of Canon pics before purchasing the D3100 and I thought they looked too over saturated compared to Nikon. I think for portraits Nikon blows canon away. Looks way more Natural and like a film camera. But that's just my opinion. By looking at pics I just posted do you think they look too warm?

Yes, I'm looking at JPG's only, I guess in RAW you can set whatever you want.
For my D7000 I trim my White Balance to B2 and shoot JPG's only.

IMO:
The 3rd photo looks pretty warm for a outdoor shot.
The 4th photo looks pretty pinkish.

When I shoot photos of my boys they look as if they are wearing pink lipstick. LOL!

But these days I shoot using bounce flash indoors and this reduces the pinkish skin tones a lot.

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Swedish Hambern
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Re: The latest on D7000 skin tones?
In reply to Swedish Hambern, May 24, 2011

Thanks for good input. Especially that thing about metamerism index. I didn't know about that one. Worth thinking about.

I've now looked into that D3100 and it accually DOES seem to produce better skin tones than D7000. Looking at the dpreview test-photos I've noticed that you can accually see this phenomenon on the Mickey Mouse red pants. The more natural red pants, the better skin tones. Judging from those i get these results:

Sony A55 = Too smudged
Nikon D7000/D5100 = Really unnatural color tones
Nikon D5000 = Really good
Nikon D3100 = Unnatural but a tiny notch better than D7000/D5100
Nikon D300s = Really good
Nikon D3 = Really natural, close to perfection
Nikon D3s = Not as good as D300s but not as bad as D7000/D5100 either
Canon 60D = Really good, though a tad purple
Canon 7D = Really good
Pentax K5 = Too purple and also smudged
Pentax K7 = Too purple but not as smudged

According to my very subjective analysis they rank up like this...

1. Nikon D3
2. Canon 7D
3. Nikon D5000
4. Nikon D300s
5. Nikon D3100
6. Canon 60D
7. Nikon D3s
8. Nikon D7000/D5100
9. Sony A55
10. Pentax K7
11. Pentax K5

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Swedish Hambern
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More examples
In reply to Swedish Hambern, May 24, 2011

These samples from the DPreview test shots illustrate the problem pretty well.

And en even more horrible example from Ken Rockwell

Strange that this forum is not plagued with threads about how to solve this critical flaw on the D7000/D5100 cameras. And worst of all, if you listen to Thom Hogan, this is not a Picture Control thing but a sensor thing, and that means that it does not help to shoot in RAW.

So, you who actually is totally satisfied with your D7000's or D51000's how do you get around this skin tone issue?

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digitalman4242
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Re: The latest on D7000 skin tones?
In reply to Foto1818, May 24, 2011

IMO:
The 3rd photo looks pretty warm for a outdoor shot.
The 4th photo looks pretty pinkish.

When I shoot photos of my boys they look as if they are wearing pink lipstick. LOL!

But these days I shoot using bounce flash indoors and this reduces the pinkish skin tones a lot.

The 3rd photo looks slightly warm because the sun was shinning casting a yellow tingle to everything it lit up. The 4th pic looks a little pink because my sons skin tone is a little pink sometimes. He has very pale skin, just like my 7 yr old daughter. And at the time he was having a little outbreak of eczema which gives him pinkish patches on his skin. His skin is natually pinkish sometimes. If you go outside in mid day and take pics of something the sun is shinning on it will cast a warm yellowish tint, that's not the D3100's fault.

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digitalman4242
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Re: More examples
In reply to Swedish Hambern, May 24, 2011

Strange that this forum is not plagued with threads about how to solve this critical flaw on the D7000/D5100 cameras. And worst of all, if you listen to Thom Hogan, this is not a Picture Control thing but a sensor thing, and that means that it does not help to shoot in RAW.

So, you who actually is totally satisfied with your D7000's or D51000's how do you get around this skin tone issue?

Picture 1 and 3 look fine to me, looks like they were taken outdoors on a cloudy day. And the child has pale skin tone to begin with. Other two look like white balance issues to me. But im no expert. Did you look at my pics I posted?? I am not saying the skin tones were perfect but they seem to be spot on with how my childrens skin tone looked when I took the photos. I noticed alot of the time if you shoot in JPG the D3100 gets the wb wrong so I started shooting in RAW strictly and it's been pretty good since. Ofcourse the D300 will have better skin tones, it costs way more.

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Swedish Hambern
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Re: The latest on D7000 skin tones?
In reply to Cytokine, May 24, 2011

After checking up with the DXOMark it seems that your numbers are very wrong. These are the correct scores:
82: Pentax K-5
80: Nikon D7000
73: Fujifilm FinePix X100
73: Sony SLT Alpha 55
72: Nikon D5000
72: Pentax K-x
70: Nikon D300s
67: Nikon D3100
67: Nikon D300
66: Canon EOS 60D
65: Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro [sic!]
64: Nikon D200
61: Pentax K7
59: Leica M8
50: Nikon D70 [sic!]

Cytokine wrote:

Swedish Hambern wrote:

With the focus issue out of the way I still have one thing that keeps bugging me: The D7000 skin tones. It just looks flat, orangey, unnatural and simply bad. It's worst at the Standard setting, but the tendency is there at every setting (best is neutral). At least compared to my old D70 that always produced completely credible skin tones in every lighting situation.

Your D70 is at the top of the metamerism index and the D7000 is second from the bottom in these DXO tests. At best we can say that CCD colours are easier to manipulate than CMOS colours The CMOS configuration relies on more complex noise reduction software and apart from the D2x cant be tweaked in analogue prior to digital conversion. But if you need all that Hi ISO ability CMOS is the answer and the colours can be just as good but require more attention to camera set up and is less forgiving of bad practice.

Indoor lighting uses so many different lamp types, giving different colour outputs and it is sometimes difficult to get a good white balance, and this is compounded by the CMOS set up. So we should shoot with flash where possible and use RAW.

The only difference I see in CCD apart from being easier to use, is better tonal gradation. IF I had pots of money I would use CCD in Daylight and studio shots and CMOS at night but I would use CCD and good glass before resorting to CMOS.

Just my biased 2 cents.

John

DXOMark Scores for Sensitivity metamerism index (higher = better ability to reproduce accurate colour consistently.

Standard ISO 17321. CIE/D50 (Matching Daylight Source)
D300/D200/D70 = 84
D2Xs D700/D5000 = 83
D3000 = 80
D80/D3x = 79
D7000/D5100 = 78
D3/D300s = 77

ISO 17321-1:2006 specifies colour stimuli, metrology, and test procedures for the colour characterization of a digital still camera (DSC) to be used for photography and graphic technology. Two methods are provided, one using narrow spectral band illumination and the other using a spectrally and colorimetrically calibrated target. Except for a specific set of permitted data operations, these DSC data are raw. International Standards Organisation.

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