P7700 gives poor dynamic range / brightness results?

Started Jan 25, 2013 | Discussions
Sol Invictus
Regular MemberPosts: 284Gear list
Like?
P7700 gives poor dynamic range / brightness results?
Jan 25, 2013

So I decided to get the P7700 as this camera seems to fulfill lots of my photography needs. One thing though that I can't understand is why this camera gives so darkened pictures. I mean, even though portraits come out great, landscapes are shot with low brightness levels and the colors are quite flat. It seems that those Nikon engineers had somewhat lowered the eV default settings. Even when I try to take a picture of a fully sunlit landscape, I lose lots of light overall. My attempt to raise the eV value doesn't help as higher eV values tend to "burn" the highlights.

Take a look at the photo in the thread started by fellow member Dwayne Oakes:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3369807#forum-post-50692093

What you see is a picture with great detail but the overall brightness is quite low. I know that Dwayne had set the eV to -0.7 but this picture was just an example of how my photos look like even without altering the eV values.



Do you experience any similar issues and if so, do you find it normal? Also, could it be a fault in the firmware? My P770 has the 1.0 firmware but I don't think that there is a new firmware released.

-- hide signature --

To see a world in a grain of sand and a heaven in a wild flower, hold Infinity in the palm of your hand and Eternity in an hour...

 Sol Invictus's gear list:Sol Invictus's gear list
Sony Alpha 7 Sony FE 24-70mm F4 OSS ACDSee Pro 5 HDRsoft Photomatix Pro DxO Optics Pro Elite +4 more
Nikonworks
Senior MemberPosts: 2,202
Like?
Re: P770 gives poor dynamic range / brightness results?
In reply to Sol Invictus, Jan 26, 2013

Sol Invictus wrote:

So I decided to get the P7700 as this camera seems to fulfill lots of my photography needs. One thing though that I can't understand is why this camera gives so darkened pictures. I mean, even though portraits come out great, landscapes are shot with low brightness levels and the colors are quite flat. It seems that those Nikon engineers had somewhat lowered the eV default settings. Even when I try to take a picture of a fully sunlit landscape, I lose lots of light overall. My attempt to raise the eV value doesn't help as higher eV values tend to "burn" the highlights.

Take a look at the photo in the thread started by fellow member Dwayne Oakes:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3369807#forum-post-50692093

What you see is a picture with great detail but the overall brightness is quite low. I know that Dwayne had set the eV to -0.7 but this picture was just an example of how my photos look like even without altering the eV values.



Do you experience any similar issues and if so, do you find it normal? Also, could it be a fault in the firmware? My P770 has the 1.0 firmware but I don't think that there is a new firmware released.

-- hide signature --

To see a world in a grain of sand and a heaven in a wild flower, hold Infinity in the palm of your hand and Eternity in an hour...

Why refer to another photog's picture to illustrate your camera's issues?

I guess you have not seen the original scene. How can you comment on lighting/exposure issues?

Post your issue related photo and you may get an answer to your properly phrased question.

Identifying problems/issues is helpful but you should post an example from your camera.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Shotcents
Senior MemberPosts: 4,068Gear list
Like?
Re: P770 gives poor dynamic range / brightness results?
In reply to Nikonworks, Jan 26, 2013

I agree with Nikonworks on this.

You have to give us a shot YOU took of a scene you feel is not being handled correctly by the camera.

The shot in the other thread is fine, though I'd post process it differently to my taste. If you want a camera to give you results that POP and with heavy in-camera processing, Nikon is probably not the best pick. Nikon under-processes files so the photographer can carefully tailor them.

Robert

 Shotcents's gear list:Shotcents's gear list
Nikon Coolpix P7700 Nikon D800 Nikon D5200 Nikon Df Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +10 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Sol Invictus
Regular MemberPosts: 284Gear list
Like?
Re: P770 gives poor dynamic range / brightness results?
In reply to Shotcents, Jan 26, 2013

Ok, here is the landscape shot taken with my Nikon Coolpix P7700

Nikon CoolPix P7700 lanscape shot

As you can see, although noise and detail are fine, the brightness levels are quite low. This shot was taken in Auto and Program modes and the result was the same. I tried to raise the exposure a bit (+0.30) and the highlights got burned...

Here is the same shot taken with my Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150. For some reason, the Lumix raised the ISO to 250.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 - Landscape shot

 Sol Invictus's gear list:Sol Invictus's gear list
Sony Alpha 7 Sony FE 24-70mm F4 OSS ACDSee Pro 5 HDRsoft Photomatix Pro DxO Optics Pro Elite +4 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Sol Invictus
Regular MemberPosts: 284Gear list
Like?
Re: P770 gives poor dynamic range / brightness results?
In reply to Sol Invictus, Jan 26, 2013

btw I just saw a typo on the title. Its the P7700 and not the P770 I'm talking about. I hope a forum mod can make the correction to the title.

-- hide signature --

To see a world in a grain of sand and a heaven in a wild flower, hold Infinity in the palm of your hand and Eternity in an hour...

 Sol Invictus's gear list:Sol Invictus's gear list
Sony Alpha 7 Sony FE 24-70mm F4 OSS ACDSee Pro 5 HDRsoft Photomatix Pro DxO Optics Pro Elite +4 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
mallbuedel
Contributing MemberPosts: 921Gear list
Like?
Re: P770 gives poor dynamic range / brightness results?
In reply to Sol Invictus, Jan 26, 2013

Sol Invictus wrote:

So I decided to get the P7700 as this camera seems to fulfill lots of my photography needs. One thing though that I can't understand is why this camera gives so darkened pictures. I mean, even though portraits come out great, landscapes are shot with low brightness levels and the colors are quite flat. It seems that those Nikon engineers had somewhat lowered the eV default settings. Even when I try to take a picture of a fully sunlit landscape, I lose lots of light overall. My attempt to raise the eV value doesn't help as higher eV values tend to "burn" the highlights.

Take a look at the photo in the thread started by fellow member Dwayne Oakes:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3369807#forum-post-50692093

What you see is a picture with great detail but the overall brightness is quite low. I know that Dwayne had set the eV to -0.7 but this picture was just an example of how my photos look like even without altering the eV values.



Do you experience any similar issues and if so, do you find it normal? Also, could it be a fault in the firmware? My P770 has the 1.0 firmware but I don't think that there is a new firmware released.

-- hide signature --

To see a world in a grain of sand and a heaven in a wild flower, hold Infinity in the palm of your hand and Eternity in an hour...

I'm somewhat reluctant to discuss your subject by reference to Dwayne Oakes' pictures. It would have been better if you had uploaded pictures of your own. I didn't commend Dwayne's pictures after he had he uploaded them as he hadn't asked for comments.  But well.. I hope Dwayne doesn't mind now!

I agree with you that the picture "Little Side Trail is a bit "flat", not much though. A picture he uploaded prior to it  (http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/50695594) is much "worse" in my opinion.

Why is it so? Lets have a look at the corresponding histograms.

Little Side Trail

Ice Labyrinth

It is obvious that both pictures are underexposed, there are mainly dark- and midtones, while light tones are missing competely (the big gaps at the right side of the histograms). While this could have been avoided while shooting by checking the histogram (live or in playback) on the cam screen and adjusting the exposure  to achieve a tone distribution with both a true black and a true white for pleasing overall contrast, this can to some extend been repaired in PP .

I simply augmented the exposure, thus spreading the tone-distribution over nearly the complete x-axis of the histogram.

Side Trail, left before, right after PP

Side Trail after PP

Labyrinth, left before, right after PP

Labyrinth after PP

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Nikonworks
Senior MemberPosts: 2,202
Like?
Re: P770 gives poor dynamic range / brightness results?
In reply to mallbuedel, Jan 26, 2013

Your ....'spreading the tone-distribution over nearly the complete x-axis of the histogram.' does not necessarily bring the image to the brightness levels of the original scene.

I concur your adjustments 'improve' my viewing of the images but the images posted by Oakes are interesting captures due to the moods his pictures convey due to their dynamic range/brightness levels.

His images were captuerd with the hope of conveying the mood of the scene before him and your adjustment alters the mood he wanted to express through his images. Please note that this is my interpretation of his images based on the series of images he posted.

So, I would not call them 'flat' but very 'moody' with the intention of being so.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
epo001
Regular MemberPosts: 357
Like?
Re: P770 gives poor dynamic range / brightness results?
In reply to mallbuedel, Jan 26, 2013

mallbuedel wrote:

I'm somewhat reluctant to discuss your subject by reference to Dwayne Oakes' pictures.

stuff snipped.

What is the point of this post? You didn't discuss his question at all, all you did was display some unskilled mouse-clicking PP on someone else's pictures. You did not add any insight or take the discussion further. This is typical of the whole problem with DPR, increasingly most contributions are not by photograpers or even people interested in photography, they are by second-rate Lightroom users.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
mallbuedel
Contributing MemberPosts: 921Gear list
Like?
Re: P770 gives poor dynamic range / brightness results?
In reply to Nikonworks, Jan 26, 2013

Nikonworks wrote:

Your ....'spreading the tone-distribution over nearly the complete x-axis of the histogram.' does not necessarily bring the image to the brightness levels of the original scene.

I concur your adjustments 'improve' my viewing of the images but the images posted by Oakes are interesting captures due to the moods his pictures convey due to their dynamic range/brightness levels.

His images were captuerd with the hope of conveying the mood of the scene before him and your adjustment alters the mood he wanted to express through his images. Please note that this is my interpretation of his images based on the series of images he posted.

So, I would not call them 'flat' but very 'moody' with the intention of being so.

My I bring to your attention that Sol Invictus was the one who wasn't happy about the looks  of his pictures which obviously ressembled to the ones he referred to. He obviously didn't like what you call "moody" and I  call misexposed. Tastes are different though and I simply showed him what to do to achieve brighter and cisper pictures.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
mallbuedel
Contributing MemberPosts: 921Gear list
Like?
Re: P770 gives poor dynamic range / brightness results?
In reply to epo001, Jan 26, 2013

epo001 wrote:

mallbuedel wrote:

I'm somewhat reluctant to discuss your subject by reference to Dwayne Oakes' pictures.

stuff snipped.

What is the point of this post? You didn't discuss his question at all, all you did was display some unskilled mouse-clicking PP on someone else's pictures. You did not add any insight or take the discussion further. This is typical of the whole problem with DPR, increasingly most contributions are not by photograpers or even people interested in photography, they are by second-rate Lightroom users.

You missed my point. In simple words for you to understand:

When I replied to the question of Sol Invictus, he hadn't yet uploaded his own pictures, but referred to one of Dwayne Oakes wanting his own ones brighter and clearer.

I gave Sol Invictus the advice to check the histogram for correct exposure before taking a shot, and demonstrated in comparison the effects of different exposures based on the histogram of the unaltered picture and one with more evenly spread tones. .

For someone who claims to be a photographer and interested in photography you have comparatively few  pictures in your gallery.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Nikonworks
Senior MemberPosts: 2,202
Like?
Re: P770 gives poor dynamic range / brightness results?
In reply to Sol Invictus, Jan 26, 2013

Sol Invictus wrote:

Ok, here is the landscape shot taken with my Nikon Coolpix P7700

Nikon CoolPix P7700 lanscape shot

As you can see, although noise and detail are fine, the brightness levels are quite low. This shot was taken in Auto and Program modes and the result was the same. I tried to raise the exposure a bit (+0.30) and the highlights got burned...

Here is the same shot taken with my Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150. For some reason, the Lumix raised the ISO to 250.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 - Landscape shot

I Previewed both images and clicked the view 100% symbol.

This brings you to the very distant mountain range just as it touches the sky.

Take note of the snow blankets on both the ZF150 and P7700 images.

You know they are snow blankets due to the resolution of ef P7700, at f2 yet.

In the FZ150, even at f4, they fall apart, and one only looking at the FZ150 image may not know they were snow blankets.

From this position if you scroll down a bit you will see a long white sided house with 5 windows on its side. To the right you will see a blue roofed building with another larger building to its rear.

Compare this view to the FZ150 and you decide which is better detail wise and even brightness/dynamic range wise.

I think the P7700 is a better capture of these elements, at f2 yet.

View the images at full screen and note the vivid colors of the FZ150 on the grass at the left foreground, along with its brightness, both of which I can not see as being accurate due to the position of the sun and the dark clouds overhead.

I think the P7700 performed better than the FZ150 for these reasons.

This is all very subjective and is my opinion, so please don't flame.

What I see captured along the edge of the sky where it mingles with the mountain tops, the P7700 shows a remarkable ability to capture a scene.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Sol Invictus
Regular MemberPosts: 284Gear list
Like?
Re: P770 gives poor dynamic range / brightness results?
In reply to Nikonworks, Jan 26, 2013

I agree about the details. The P7700 gives better results. FZ-150's shot when viewed in full size looks like an oil painting. However in this particular landscape theme, the P7700 didn't give satisfactory results on color and brightness levels. Is there any way to get from the P7700 similar results? Raise the ISO maybe? I think this is the reason why the FZ-150 gave a less detailed shot. FZ chose ISO 250 but P7700 chose ISO 80 at the exact same conditions...

*again, please mods, make the correction to the title. Its P7700 and not P770

-- hide signature --

To see a world in a grain of sand and a heaven in a wild flower, hold Infinity in the palm of your hand and Eternity in an hour...

 Sol Invictus's gear list:Sol Invictus's gear list
Sony Alpha 7 Sony FE 24-70mm F4 OSS ACDSee Pro 5 HDRsoft Photomatix Pro DxO Optics Pro Elite +4 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Shotcents
Senior MemberPosts: 4,068Gear list
Like?
Re: P770 gives poor dynamic range / brightness results?
In reply to Sol Invictus, Jan 26, 2013

Sol Invictus wrote:

Ok, here is the landscape shot taken with my Nikon Coolpix P7700

Nikon CoolPix P7700 lanscape shot

As you can see, although noise and detail are fine, the brightness levels are quite low. This shot was taken in Auto and Program modes and the result was the same. I tried to raise the exposure a bit (+0.30) and the highlights got burned...

Here is the same shot taken with my Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150. For some reason, the Lumix raised the ISO to 250.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 - Landscape shot

Looking at the overall exposures this is typical for Nikon. The Panasonic is overcooking the colors and exposure somewhat and the Nikon is undercooking.

So I'll say it again: Nikon is not famous for their JPEG out-of-camera results. They tend to be much more neutral with less "pop" than other cameras. For my friends, with weak PP skills, I never suggest ANY Nikon camera. They just want bright bold colorful images and that's what most other cameras deliver with their JPEG engines. A Canon G15 or S110 makes more sense for them.

But toning those JPEGs down to something closer to reality is harder work than adjusting the Nikon RAW file. This is what Nikon does. My JPEG files from my D800 are flatter than those from a Canon 5DIII as well. The real image lies somewhere in between and how I end up is all about my personal tastes.

Robert

 Shotcents's gear list:Shotcents's gear list
Nikon Coolpix P7700 Nikon D800 Nikon D5200 Nikon Df Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +10 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Nikonworks
Senior MemberPosts: 2,202
Like?
Re: P770 gives poor dynamic range / brightness results?
In reply to Sol Invictus, Jan 26, 2013

One suggestion is PP ( I took the liberty, hope you don't mind):



One click adjustment using 2IE plug-in with PhotoPerfect.

Just based on breaks on a coudy day I would guess this represents the scene rather closely,

more than the OOC P7700 or ZF510 Jpegs. Of course you were there so please correct if I am wrong.

With a tripod, multuple takes exposing for the highs a lows, and blending PP of course you have other viable options.

I can imagine the detail of the Raw version of this image. That is why I always shoot Raw.

I guess this shows the limitations of using camera settings to try to get the best output of the sensor inside the camera.

You run up against the Jpeg Engine.

This is a very interesting thread you started.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
tomjar
Regular MemberPosts: 468
Like?
Re: P770 gives poor dynamic range / brightness results?
In reply to Sol Invictus, Jan 26, 2013

Sol Invictus wrote:

So I decided to get the P7700 as this camera seems to fulfill lots of my photography needs. One thing though that I can't understand is why this camera gives so darkened pictures. I mean, even though portraits come out great, landscapes are shot with low brightness levels and the colors are quite flat. It seems that those Nikon engineers had somewhat lowered the eV default settings. Even when I try to take a picture of a fully sunlit landscape, I lose lots of light overall. My attempt to raise the eV value doesn't help as higher eV values tend to "burn" the highlights.

Take a look at the photo in the thread started by fellow member Dwayne Oakes:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3369807#forum-post-50692093

What you see is a picture with great detail but the overall brightness is quite low. I know that Dwayne had set the eV to -0.7 but this picture was just an example of how my photos look like even without altering the eV values.



Do you experience any similar issues and if so, do you find it normal? Also, could it be a fault in the firmware? My P770 has the 1.0 firmware but I don't think that there is a new firmware released.

-- hide signature --

To see a world in a grain of sand and a heaven in a wild flower, hold Infinity in the palm of your hand and Eternity in an hour...

My try... I will only comment on the picture you linked to (even though it is not yours):

Mallbuedel showed you how to correct for the fact that this picture was taken with -0.7 EV compensation. In a scene like this "normal" compensation (by normal I mean what is usually used in a scene like this) would be just the opposite: about +0.7 EV because the scene contains a lot of white (snow) which fools camera's exposure meter. The scene was lighter than what the camera (or its algorithms) was expecting to see and thus POSITIVE exposure compensation should be used - unless of course the author deliberately wanted to get the "moody" feeling that Nikonworks likes. In summary, this photo was underexposed by about 1.5 EV (or even more) - that's why it looks so "moody".

For a better explanation see here.

Kind regards, T.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Shotcents
Senior MemberPosts: 4,068Gear list
Like?
Re: P770 gives poor dynamic range / brightness results?
In reply to tomjar, Jan 26, 2013

The reality of this is the JPEG engine of the P7700 is not punchy like other cameras. As I indicated this is a DECISION that Nikon makes so you can tune a photo the way you like.

Here are three shots. The 1st is from a Canon SD1400. The 2nd is from the P7700 and the 3rd is a somewhat overprocessed shot from the P7700 showing that you can easily mimic the "punchy" results from other cameras.



The P7700 does tend to underexpose slightly, but you can easily compensate for this. Frankly I find it will hold details better and prevent blow-outs. The REAL looking photo lies somewhere between the 2nd and 3rd.

Robert

 Shotcents's gear list:Shotcents's gear list
Nikon Coolpix P7700 Nikon D800 Nikon D5200 Nikon Df Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +10 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
tomjar
Regular MemberPosts: 468
Like?
Re: P770 gives poor dynamic range / brightness results?
In reply to Shotcents, Jan 26, 2013

Yes, I agree. I personally like the conservative approach Nikon is taking in this regard.

But it still stands that the photo linked to in the OP was taken with erroneous exposure compensation (unless that was what the author did on purpose).

T.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Sol Invictus
Regular MemberPosts: 284Gear list
Like?
Re: P770 gives poor dynamic range / brightness results?
In reply to tomjar, Jan 26, 2013

It isn't only about the exposure issue, its also about the color reproduction. Even if the FZ take pictures that are then color enhanced, its also true that the P7700 takes flat pictures that lack color. Regarding exposure values, is it "safe" to assume that all shots should be taken with eV at +0.3 or more? Seems like an exposure calibration issue to me...

-- hide signature --

To see a world in a grain of sand and a heaven in a wild flower, hold Infinity in the palm of your hand and Eternity in an hour...

 Sol Invictus's gear list:Sol Invictus's gear list
Sony Alpha 7 Sony FE 24-70mm F4 OSS ACDSee Pro 5 HDRsoft Photomatix Pro DxO Optics Pro Elite +4 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Nikonworks
Senior MemberPosts: 2,202
Like?
Re: P770 gives poor dynamic range / brightness results?
In reply to Sol Invictus, Jan 26, 2013

Sol Invictus wrote:

It isn't only about the exposure issue, its also about the color reproduction. Even if the FZ take pictures that are then color enhanced, its also true that the P7700 takes flat pictures that lack color. Regarding exposure values, is it "safe" to assume that all shots should be taken with eV at +0.3 or more? Seems like an exposure calibration issue to me...

-- hide signature --

To see a world in a grain of sand and a heaven in a wild flower, hold Infinity in the palm of your hand and Eternity in an hour...

Perhaps you did not see my last post above.

I am saying that no exposure compensation will correct for a sensor's programmed processing of an image in regards to Nikon's established philosophical approach which Shortcents clearly explains above.

You can't make a red onion a yellow onion.

Time for you to explore PP as I illustrated above to obtain what you want from your P7700.

Then you will be in the same boat we are all in.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
tomjar
Regular MemberPosts: 468
Like?
Re: P770 gives poor dynamic range / brightness results?
In reply to Sol Invictus, Jan 26, 2013

Sol Invictus wrote:

It isn't only about the exposure issue, its also about the color reproduction. Even if the FZ take pictures that are then color enhanced, its also true that the P7700 takes flat pictures that lack color. Regarding exposure values, is it "safe" to assume that all shots should be taken with eV at +0.3 or more? Seems like an exposure calibration issue to me...

-- hide signature --

To see a world in a grain of sand and a heaven in a wild flower, hold Infinity in the palm of your hand and Eternity in an hour...

No, not at all, my suggestion for +0.7 (or more) was just a very approximate rule of thumb based on how much snow there was on that particular photo, and would be valid for scenes with a lot of very light elements (snow, sandy beach and such) - this is not P7700-specific - in very dark scenes (such as night scene) negative compensation would be required. How much exactly - it depends on the particular scene and personal preference of course. And of course, sometimes (when the dynamic range is just to big) it is impossible to get everything properly exposed and then you must expose properly for your main object and not for the entire scene.

BTW, I appologize if I am telling you things you're already familiar with.

In my experience P7700 does not require any "default" exposure compensation (and I use JPEG mostly, I am still learning how to do RAW). In contrast, my default setting on all my previous Canon Powershots was -0.3. But I always fine-tune exposure to particular scenes, if required (and not always successfully :-D). "Live" exposure histogram is a great help with fine-tuning the exposure.

If you are finding that default settings in P7700 do not produce enough "punch", you can try fine-tuning contrast, saturation and sharpening (or even white balance) to produce your own default settings.

Kind regards, T.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads