CCD color looks natural than CMOS

Started Mar 27, 2012 | Discussions
mgalang
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CCD color looks natural than CMOS
Mar 27, 2012

I found the color from my CCD cameras (d200, d70, and d40) looks more natural and pleasing to my eyes than the color i'm getting from my CMOS camera (d90). I can imagine that the newer cameras with CMOS will also produce the color my d90 is producing. This is true on both the portrait and landscape colors. My workflow is simple. I shoot RAW, pp all my pics on NX2. I only adjust the sharpening and levels and if needed, the exposure. I cannot make my d90 produce a pleasing and natural colors as my other cameras. The photos from the d90 is ok until I compare the photos with the other cameras side by side. The only advantage my d90 is giving me is a cleaner images of high iso. But I run my noisy images in neat image and I'm getting good result.

Nikon D40 Nikon D70 Nikon D90
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Barry Fitzgerald
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Re: CCD color looks natural than CMOS
In reply to mgalang, Mar 27, 2012

Post some samples if you can. This old CCD v CMOS is a debate on it's own I have several older CCD DSLR's myself and have used various CMOS sensors.

I would say this look at the WB settings as this greatly influences colours and tone.

If there is a difference once the WB is the same it's probably quite minor. D90 is known for being quite good for colour accuracy (ie close to ideal) in those imatest results and not overpumped saturation wise (unlike some models)

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mgalang
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Re: CCD color looks natural than CMOS
In reply to Barry Fitzgerald, Mar 27, 2012

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I'm really struggling producing a natural color to my eyes from my d90. Of course colors are subjective. I wish to post a photos but can't find out how. I click on add a gallery photo to message button and I believe I was able to upload one but can't post it. I wonder if you can tell me how and I'll be happy to post some photos.

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baloo_buc
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Re: CCD color looks natural than CMOS
In reply to mgalang, Mar 27, 2012
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mgalang
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Re: CCD color looks natural than CMOS
In reply to baloo_buc, Mar 27, 2012

thanks I will try that.

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mgalang
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Re: CCD color looks natural than CMOS
In reply to mgalang, Mar 27, 2012

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crsantin
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Re: CCD color looks natural than CMOS
In reply to mgalang, Mar 27, 2012

Try using custom white balances (Pre on the menu). Leaving the WB on auto doesn't always produce pleasing results. I set custom white balances all the time now when I shoot, whenever the lighting changes even slightly. I am much happier with my colors from all my cameras (I still shoot mostly with my D50). I use a white translucent Pringle chips top, works great, it sits in my bag and I can do a quick white balance setting as needed.

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Gene J. Paull
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Should I go back to D70s?
In reply to mgalang, Mar 28, 2012

Quick comment - I think I agree with you. Long comment - I'm actually considering going back to D70s.

Long story. When I first got the D70s, 7 years ago, coming from film, I hated it - bad jpegs and missed white balance. Then I went to ACR, shot in RAW, did manual white balance, and the D2x profiles. Nothing since has given me the colors. D80 - great colors, but have to use center-weighted, and prefer the D70x 1005 pixel metering to the 420 of the D80. D700 (CMOS) - no criticism whatsoever, but colors are quite different and it's my tripod camera, not for candid street and travel. Also have a Panasonic GF1 - very sharp, good acuity, but the colors are dull.

Sounds crazy, I'm thinking of getting a used D70s. Probably should have stayed there in the first place and saved myself $$$$. Why D70s over later D40 - the AF lens thing, viewfinder grids, bracketing, and a a direct ISO access.

Any input - am I crazy?
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Gene J. Paull
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D70s CCD images using D2X curves
In reply to mgalang, Mar 28, 2012

The following were taken in 2006 using D70s. I originally trashed them the jpegs were so bad. Four years later using ACR, I worked the RAW files using ACR D2X curves. The big question - the colors look nice, but are they real?

I've had trouble getting back to these colors with subsequent cameras.
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Suntan
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Re: CCD color looks natural than CMOS
In reply to mgalang, Mar 28, 2012

I always remember the D200 as having really nice, accurate colors as shipped. Much more so than the D300 shipped with.

That said, after profiling the color output of the D300 it can be very accurate too. In truth, after profiling my D300 and my older D70 (which I still use on a rare blue moon) they offer very similar colors.

My recommendation is to get and understand how to use an Xrite Colorchecker Passport.

-Suntan

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capanikon
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Re: CCD color looks natural than CMOS
In reply to mgalang, Mar 28, 2012

I suspect it's more than just CMOS vs CCD that accounts for color differences.

Different cameras process color differently. They may use different algorithms.

The D70 is one of the early Nikon DSLRs which had a weaker infrared-cut filter than is found on modern cameras. The D70, D100, D1 series, D2h and other cameras also had fairly weak IR-cut filters over the sensor. But the D80, D200 and D2x and later cameras have much stronger IR-cut filters. Infrared light -- if not filtered out -- can cause subtle color shifts.

The Bayer filters might be different.

The sensor amplifiers might be different.

The silicon used on the imaging sensor might be of a different variety.

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_sem_
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Re: CCD color looks natural than CMOS
In reply to Suntan, Mar 28, 2012

Suntan wrote:

I always remember the D200 as having really nice, accurate colors as shipped. Much more so than the D300 shipped with.

Cameras don't have natural colours. Companies tweak colours to look pleasing. You can get much more natural colours by using colour calibration, for instance the ColorChecker Passport (not perfect, especially not under some fluerescent lamps with ods spectra). But sometimes this looks great, other times factory colours look better. Most raw converters offer a set of profiles, some even cross-camera profiles (for instance DxO OP, and PsKiss profiles for Adobe).

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jonikon
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Re: CCD color looks natural than CMOS
In reply to mgalang, Mar 28, 2012

mgalang wrote:

I found the color from my CCD cameras (d200, d70, and d40) looks more natural and pleasing to my eyes than the color i'm getting from my CMOS camera (d90). I can imagine that the newer cameras with CMOS will also produce the color my d90 is producing. This is true on both the portrait and landscape colors. My workflow is simple. I shoot RAW, pp all my pics on NX2. I only adjust the sharpening and levels and if needed, the exposure. I cannot make my d90 produce a pleasing and natural colors as my other cameras. The photos from the d90 is ok until I compare the photos with the other cameras side by side. The only advantage my d90 is giving me is a cleaner images of high iso. But I run my noisy images in neat image and I'm getting good result.

I agree that it is easier to get proper skin tones with a CCD sensor, but CMOS can do as well, if more care is taken to get the exposure and WB correct. My theory is that with CMOS sensors the WB shifts more with exposure changes, which makes getting the proper exposure more critical. I found the most reliable way to get accurate color out of a CMOS sensor camera is too shoot in RAW mode and develop some custom settings for best color. Funny that the camera that gives me the best skin tones right out of the camera is my ancient Fujifilm F31fd pocket camera!
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mgalang
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Re: Should I go back to D70s?
In reply to Gene J. Paull, Mar 28, 2012

Call me crazy. That is the reason why I can't get rid of my CCD cameras. I started with the d70. Sold it after 4 years then bought another one. Then bought a used d200 to be my main body. Bought the d40 for the wife as the other two are too big for her. Then bought a new d90. That is when I started appreciating the colors am getting from the CCD cameras. The D2X mode 1 as suggested seems to improve the color on d90 but seems not that natural as the CCD.

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mgalang
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Re: CCD color looks natural than CMOS
In reply to jonikon, Mar 28, 2012

I think you said it correctly, it is easier to get good skin tone from the CCD than the CMOS. So far I am still struggling in pp my photos taken by the d90 and I am not giving up.

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TFergus
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Re: Should I go back to D70s?
In reply to mgalang, Mar 28, 2012

mgalang wrote:

Call me crazy. That is the reason why I can't get rid of my CCD cameras. I started with the d70. Sold it after 4 years then bought another one. Then bought a used d200 to be my main body. Bought the d40 for the wife as the other two are too big for her. Then bought a new d90. That is when I started appreciating the colors am getting from the CCD cameras. The D2X mode 1 as suggested seems to improve the color on d90 but seems not that natural as the CCD.

This has been discussed a lot on forums and review sites over the years. First it was Canon vs. Nikon because Canon was already using CMOS when Nikon was still using CCD.... then when the D90 came out, it was D80 (CCD) vs. D90 (CMOS).

And it isn't only colors that people see the difference in but also the sharpness of the photos. The CCD sensor can render a broader array of color and more vividly... but also more crisp images. The salesmen I knew would say the Canon's had a "softer" image.... not out of focus... just softer feel based on the colors and less crispiness. I see it in the D80 vs. D700.
Hard to explain so don't ask.

I bought a D80 (same sensor as your D200) when it was released and loved it. Learned to account for the Matrix Metering overexposure tendencies, but loved the results I got with that camera... consistent performance. Long story but when I bought a D700 (after trying and deciding against the D7K), I IR converted the D80, didn't use it, sold it and bought another one because I missed the low ISO results I got with it. The D700 is of course much different, with it's low noise and better quality enlargements, but I still use the D80 a lot.
Like you, I can't seem to give up what that CCD sensor gives me.

Yes you can work an image to look like whatever you want it to.... but it's impossible to achieve some things.... and this is one of them.

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Brev00
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Re: CCD color looks natural than CMOS
In reply to mgalang, Mar 28, 2012

Post an image or two from your D90. I would like to see what you are talking about. I started with a D90. Having no prior experience with anything different/better, I have no issues with the colors I get. I am more aware of how colors change based on white balance, software programs, exposure, etc. I really feel more like a child with a 64 count crayola box able to make any color. On second thought, don't share your pictures: I want to continue my love affair with my D90 without any nagging comparisons.
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Reilly Diefenbach
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Re: CCD color looks natural than CMOS
In reply to mgalang, Mar 28, 2012

If this pic is meant to be representative of good color, it simply is not. It is way oversaturated and overexposed into the bargain. Both ends of the histo are blown. A great many people appear to be flying blind using a washed out monitor. A Dell or a Mac monitor works great, preferably 1080p. You will have no issue with color intensity on one of those, be it laptop or desktop.

http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19&sku=320-2736&~ck=baynoteSearch&baynote_bnrank=9&baynote_irrank=0

Calibrate it by eye using the simple provided adjustments in the video card driver or go the full route and use hardware calibration, then adjust the camera to the monitor. You have to trust something.

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mgalang
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Re: CCD color looks natural than CMOS
In reply to Brev00, Mar 28, 2012

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am OK with my d90 but if I will looked at the photos side by side with my other CCD cams it does not look as natural to my eye. As I said, I am not giving up. I will try different pp until I will be satisfied. Tried the d2x mode 1 and seems to give me better result.

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mgalang
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Re: CCD color looks natural than CMOS
In reply to Reilly Diefenbach, Mar 28, 2012

Thanks

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