SLT-A99V Color Contamination

Started Mar 29, 2013 | Discussions
samael9
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SLT-A99V Color Contamination
Mar 29, 2013

A problem is showing up with some consistency with my A99 in low lighting situations which is a bit disturbing, to say the least.
In the shadows, the A99 body contaminated the shadow detail in red smear. I've done all the usual, i.e. changed lenses, formatted cards in-camera, batteries, firmware updates, etc.

Here's a link to sample images with the problem. In particular is the portrait of the woman I shot yesterday. Look at what's happening in her hair on the dark side of her face. Hmm... bummer.

I called Sony customer service to report the issue and was told that someone should get back to me on either Monday or Tuesday. There CS department call center is in the Philippines. I've not had such great experiences with Sony's CS department in the past, and wanted to journal this incident online in a public forum to the benefit of everyone.

To get the issue documented an a case number generated through Sony customer service, took nearly 40 minutes and two transfers to get to an agent qualified to work with me.

Let's see how the rest of it goes...

Thoughts? Comments?

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Clint

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samael9
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Re: SLT-A99V Color Contamination
In reply to samael9, Mar 29, 2013

Karen from Sony just sent me this article from Sony:

This is Karen from Sony Support. We spoke earlier regarding the shadow smearing red issue on your alpha camera. I just want to confirm if you have already tried adjusting the White Balance setting of the camera? We have an article stating this;
"The subject coloring is affected by the lighting conditions. For example, the entire image may appear blue under cloudy conditions, and light-colored subjects may gain a reddish tint under certain light sources, such as incandescent bulbs. The human eye can resolve these problems, but digital still cameras may not recognize the correct colors without adjustments. Normally, the camera makes these adjustments automatically, but if the recorded image colors appear unnatural, manually adjust the white balance."
Thank you,
C7E8
Karen

Hmm.. OK...

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Clint

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Clyde Thomas
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Please keep us posted.
In reply to samael9, Mar 29, 2013
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Here to help. Here to learn.

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VirtualMirage
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Re: SLT-A99V Color Contamination
In reply to samael9, Mar 29, 2013

Can you give a bit more info on what you are doing with the image?

Did you shoot RAW or JPEG?

Was any post processing done to the image?  If so, with what software and what did you do?

From what I am seeing it looks like you are getting posterization occurring in the shadows.  I am seeing it on the wall, in her hair, on her face, and all over her jacket.  I see this occur more when their is an attempt to extract more out of the image than what is there, poor image compression techniques, or through different kinds of post processing or filters being used.  There are a couple of other possibilities, but most that I have seen were due to post processing or the RAW converter being used.

Do you have a shot of the original, untouched, image that came directly from the camera?

P.S.

Also, do you have any EXIF information from those shots that you can provide (ISO, shutter speed, etc.)?

Thanks!

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Paul

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Edward Sargent
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Re: SLT-A99V Color Contamination
In reply to samael9, Mar 29, 2013

samael9 wrote:

Karen from Sony just sent me this article from Sony:

This is Karen from Sony Support. We spoke earlier regarding the shadow smearing red issue on your alpha camera. I just want to confirm if you have already tried adjusting the White Balance setting of the camera? We have an article stating this;
"The subject coloring is affected by the lighting conditions. For example, the entire image may appear blue under cloudy conditions, and light-colored subjects may gain a reddish tint under certain light sources, such as incandescent bulbs. The human eye can resolve these problems, but digital still cameras may not recognize the correct colors without adjustments. Normally, the camera makes these adjustments automatically, but if the recorded image colors appear unnatural, manually adjust the white balance."
Thank you,
C7E8
Karen

Hmm.. OK...

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Clint

I was thinking the same thing. In the second image below,  what was different?

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Endos
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Re: SLT-A99V Color Contamination
In reply to samael9, Mar 29, 2013

Can you share any of your RAW files?

I think you has a defective camera but it can be also something weird in your processing method.

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Nordstjernen
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Re: SLT-A99V Color Contamination
In reply to samael9, Mar 29, 2013

Very high ISO? Underexposed images? What light source? Under some circumstances the A99 shadows can be reddish, but this is easily corrected at post processing. I highly recommend shooting raw under such extreme conditions to keep as much sensor data as possible for post processing.

I rather prefer the Sony color cast and clean and detailled shadows over Canon banding and water color look - not bashing any brand, just saying that all cameras have their limitations when exposure is pushed.

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samael9
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Re: SLT-A99V Color Contamination
In reply to Nordstjernen, Mar 29, 2013

Nordstjernen wrote:

Very high ISO? Underexposed images? What light source? Under some circumstances the A99 shadows can be reddish, but this is easily corrected at post processing. I highly recommend shooting raw under such extreme conditions to keep as much sensor data as possible for post processing.

I rather prefer the Sony color cast and clean and detailled shadows over Canon banding and water color look - not bashing any brand, just saying that all cameras have their limitations when exposure is pushed.

Thank you! Nope, ISO100, f6.3@1/50. Yeah, a little underexposed... Always shooting in RAW. Absolutely love this rig otherwise!
Just for giggles, I took these into Ps CS6 extended, made selections of the contaminations and had poor results.
Something is wrong ;-( with my new baby... Waa... I want it fixed. Now! Or sooner...

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rithex
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Re: SLT-A99V Color Contamination
In reply to samael9, Mar 29, 2013

I don't think the camera is faulty.

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VirtualMirage
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Re: SLT-A99V Color Contamination
In reply to samael9, Mar 29, 2013

samael9 wrote:

Nordstjernen wrote:

Very high ISO? Underexposed images? What light source? Under some circumstances the A99 shadows can be reddish, but this is easily corrected at post processing. I highly recommend shooting raw under such extreme conditions to keep as much sensor data as possible for post processing.

I rather prefer the Sony color cast and clean and detailled shadows over Canon banding and water color look - not bashing any brand, just saying that all cameras have their limitations when exposure is pushed.

Thank you! Nope, ISO100, f6.3@1/50. Yeah, a little underexposed... Always shooting in RAW. Absolutely love this rig otherwise!
Just for giggles, I took these into Ps CS6 extended, made selections of the contaminations and had poor results.
Something is wrong ;-( with my new baby... Waa... I want it fixed. Now! Or sooner...

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Clint

are you using the latest ACR in PS CS6?  I think 7.3 is the latest with 7.4 being in beta.

Are you shooting just RAW or RAW+JPEG? Is DRO enabled?

And you probably have already done this, but have you performed a full reset, setting the camera back to defaults?

If you haven't shot JPEG+RAW or just JPEG, give them a shot and see how the JPEGs come out compared to the RAW.  I am just trying a process of elimination here.

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Paul

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Bart7D
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Re: SLT-A99V Color Contamination
In reply to samael9, Mar 29, 2013

To me, the mentioned areas look like symptoms of a somewhat underexposed, cranked-up image.

Could that be the case?

Bart

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sybersitizen
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Re: SLT-A99V Color Contamination
In reply to samael9, Mar 29, 2013

samael9 wrote:

In the shadows, the A99 body contaminated the shadow detail in red smear.

Funny, over at dyxum there's a complaint about the A99's shadows producing a green cast, but he's aware that it's a RAW converter problem. As Roseanne Roseannadanna would say, t's always something.

http://www.dyxum.com/dforum/a99-dxo-raw-shadow-problem_topic96783.html?KW=green

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samael9
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Re: SLT-A99V Color Contamination
In reply to VirtualMirage, Mar 29, 2013

VirtualMirage wrote:

Can you give a bit more info on what you are doing with the image?

Did you shoot RAW or JPEG?

Was any post processing done to the image?  If so, with what software and what did you do?

From what I am seeing it looks like you are getting posterization occurring in the shadows.  I am seeing it on the wall, in her hair, on her face, and all over her jacket.  I see this occur more when their is an attempt to extract more out of the image than what is there, poor image compression techniques, or through different kinds of post processing or filters being used.  There are a couple of other possibilities, but most that I have seen were due to post processing or the RAW converter being used.

Do you have a shot of the original, untouched, image that came directly from the camera?

P.S.

Also, do you have any EXIF information from those shots that you can provide (ISO, shutter speed, etc.)?

Thanks!

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Paul

Thanks Paul! The images are all captured in RAW only and uploaded straight into Aperture 3.4.3. Given my experiences with the A99 in jpeg in low light, I'll never use it for jpg's and that's not why iI bought it I have an X-E1 for that, which is killer in jpg.
Yup, posterization, but these are pre-post, so I'm not cranking sliders. I'm very familiar with posterization when over-doing levels or curves. That's what's so perplexing to me. I shoot in Manual most all the time with all the in-camera settings set to 0 (STD). I don't like letting the camera do *anything* for me... and, these are pre-fiddled-with. ???
The one of Poe with my watermark and the woman I went ahead and finished in Ps CS6 Extended because they were usable. The other ones are untouched except converted to jpg in 3.4.3 so I could upload the files for Sony's inspection and ours too.
Again, the problem is in-camera, pre post and I calibrate my monitor weekly. The only thing I am admittedly unsure of is could I have seen this in-camera either in the EVF or LCD before ejecting the card and uploading into Aperture.

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Clint

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Ed at Ridersite
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Re: SLT-A99V Color Contamination
In reply to samael9, Mar 29, 2013

Why Adobe 1998 color space?  I don't understand this stuff, but my LR4 only has processes 2003, 2010 and 2013.

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VirtualMirage
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Re: SLT-A99V Color Contamination
In reply to samael9, Mar 29, 2013

samael9 wrote:

Thanks Paul! The images are all captured in RAW only and uploaded straight into Aperture 3.4.3. Given my experiences with the A99 in jpeg in low light, I'll never use it for jpg's and that's not why iI bought it I have an X-E1 for that, which is killer in jpg.
Yup, posterization, but these are pre-post, so I'm not cranking sliders. I'm very familiar with posterization when over-doing levels or curves. That's what's so perplexing to me. I shoot in Manual most all the time with all the in-camera settings set to 0 (STD). I don't like letting the camera do *anything* for me... and, these are pre-fiddled-with. ???
The one of Poe with my watermark and the woman I went ahead and finished in Ps CS6 Extended because they were usable. The other ones are untouched except converted to jpg in 3.4.3 so I could upload the files for Sony's inspection and ours too.
Again, the problem is in-camera, pre post and I calibrate my monitor weekly. The only thing I am admittedly unsure of is could I have seen this in-camera either in the EVF or LCD before ejecting the card and uploading into Aperture.

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Clint

When you say you brought it into CS6 for further adjustments, did you export it from Aperture or did you use Photoshop's ACR (7.3 is the latest) to convert the RAW?  I want to make sure it isn't Aperture causing your problem.

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Paul

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VirtualMirage
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Re: SLT-A99V Color Contamination
In reply to Ed at Ridersite, Mar 29, 2013

Ed at Ridersite wrote:

Why Adobe 1998 color space?  I don't understand this stuff, but my LR4 only has processes 2003, 2010 and 2013.

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Adobe 1998 is the color space, also known as AdobeRGB.  The LR 2003, 2010, and 2013 processes are RAW conversion processes, not related to color space.

LR works in a ProPhotoRGB color space.  Since it is one of the largest color spaces available, Adobe RGB and SRGB can fall within it without any clipping.  You can then export your images into Adobe RGB, ProPhotoRGB, or SRGB color spaces.

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Paul

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samael9
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Re: SLT-A99V Color Contamination
In reply to Endos, Mar 29, 2013

Endos wrote:

Can you share any of your RAW files?

I think you has a defective camera but it can be also something weird in your processing method.

Thank you, Juan. I can't upload an ARW to this site.
 "but it can be also something weird in your processing" Yes... I am guilty of user errors. So, I went back to the original files, undid the levels adjustments and zoomed in to 100% to look at the shadows *very closely* and the distortion is still there. Picking up the brightness in either levels or curves amplifies the mess, so I tend to agree that this is specific to my body.

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Clint

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VirtualMirage
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Re: SLT-A99V Color Contamination
In reply to Ed at Ridersite, Mar 29, 2013

Ed at Ridersite wrote:

Why Adobe 1998 color space?  I don't understand this stuff, but my LR4 only has processes 2003, 2010 and 2013.

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I think I see what you are referring to.  Which makes me want to ask the original poster:

Did you change the color space in the camera to AdobeRGB or are you setting that in your editor then converting it to SRGB when saving as a JPEG?

If setting in the camera, when shooting RAW this does not need to be done.  RAW files are pretty much color space agnostic and will work in whatever colorspace the editor is working in, whether it is SRGB, AdobeRGB, or even ProPhotoRGB.  That setting will tag the EXIF information in case the editor relies on the file to make a color space decision. Otherwise, that setting is intended for when shooting JPEG from within the camera.

Maybe something is occurring during the different color space conversions if this is being done multiple times?  I'm not familiar with Aperture, so I can't say how it treats or converts to different color spaces.

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Paul

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samael9
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Re: SLT-A99V Color Contamination
In reply to VirtualMirage, Mar 29, 2013

VirtualMirage wrote:

samael9 wrote:

Thanks Paul! The images are all captured in RAW only and uploaded straight into Aperture 3.4.3. Given my experiences with the A99 in jpeg in low light, I'll never use it for jpg's and that's not why iI bought it I have an X-E1 for that, which is killer in jpg.
Yup, posterization, but these are pre-post, so I'm not cranking sliders. I'm very familiar with posterization when over-doing levels or curves. That's what's so perplexing to me. I shoot in Manual most all the time with all the in-camera settings set to 0 (STD). I don't like letting the camera do *anything* for me... and, these are pre-fiddled-with. ???
The one of Poe with my watermark and the woman I went ahead and finished in Ps CS6 Extended because they were usable. The other ones are untouched except converted to jpg in 3.4.3 so I could upload the files for Sony's inspection and ours too.
Again, the problem is in-camera, pre post and I calibrate my monitor weekly. The only thing I am admittedly unsure of is could I have seen this in-camera either in the EVF or LCD before ejecting the card and uploading into Aperture.

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Clint

When you say you brought it into CS6 for further adjustments, did you export it from Aperture or did you use Photoshop's ACR (7.3 is the latest) to convert the RAW?  I want to make sure it isn't Aperture causing your problem.

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Paul

Hey Paul.

Yes, when I transfer from my cards, I create an album in Aperture for each session. This is where I make my go-no go decisions and basic compensation adjustments. I don't use ACR for my RAW converter as Aperture has served me well over the years and versions.
I have ACR too, so I'll try it and see if it works differently. I shot the glass pieces intentionally low, but the lighting on the mother wasn't too dark (I thought, anyway). That was daylight coming through a window just to her right.

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Clint

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samael9
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Re: SLT-A99V Color Contamination
In reply to VirtualMirage, Mar 29, 2013

VirtualMirage wrote:

Ed at Ridersite wrote:

Why Adobe 1998 color space?  I don't understand this stuff, but my LR4 only has processes 2003, 2010 and 2013.

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AEH
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I think I see what you are referring to.  Which makes me want to ask the original poster:

Did you change the color space in the camera to AdobeRGB or are you setting that in your editor then converting it to SRGB when saving as a JPEG?

If setting in the camera, when shooting RAW this does not need to be done.  RAW files are pretty much color space agnostic and will work in whatever colorspace the editor is working in, whether it is SRGB, AdobeRGB, or even ProPhotoRGB.  That setting will tag the EXIF information in case the editor relies on the file to make a color space decision. Otherwise, that setting is intended for when shooting JPEG from within the camera.

Maybe something is occurring during the different color space conversions if this is being done multiple times?  I'm not familiar with Aperture, so I can't say how it treats or converts to different color spaces.

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Paul

Yup. Eat lunch, then play with ACR and see what happens. I really appreciate everyone's interest and suggestions! This is how we learn... Thank, Paul, All!

I be bahck...

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Clint

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