Stick with Nikon or Go for the 5DIII ?

Started 8 months ago | Discussions
lefantian
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Stick with Nikon or Go for the 5DIII ?
8 months ago

Hello everyone~ I'm a wedding and people (mainly newborn) photographer, and I also like to shoot landscape and daily life of family. Currently I'm using the Nikon D3s with several lenses. However, one thing I find struggling is the skintone out of the Nikon D3s always requires some labor (I mainly shoot Asian people, and the customers here do like kind of “pink and a little magenta” skintones rather than yellowish): maybe due to the AWB, and maybe also due to the camera's own color rendering.

I’m considering adding new cameras to my workflow, and the choices are:

A). Stick with Nikon and buy a D800 (with D3s as backup);

B). Switch to Canon and go for the 5DIII (maybe with 6D as a backup camera).

And once the decision is made, I’ll stick with the chosen brand for many years.

My concerns are:

1). IS there a big difference between the D800 and 5DIII in skintone rendering? Do Canon users always need to intensively adjust color for a better skintone?

2). IS the AF system of the 5DIII fast, accurate and reliable enough?

The burst shoot speed is not an issue as far as I can see. So please don’t tell me to go for the D4s/1DX as my current budget is limited to the D800/5DIII level… Thanks!

 lefantian's gear list:lefantian's gear list
Nikon D3S Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D +2 more
Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EOS 6D Nikon D3S Nikon D4s Nikon D800
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Wahrsager
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Re: Stick with Nikon or Go for the 5DIII ?
In reply to lefantian, 8 months ago

I wouldn't buy anything except for and X-rite color checker and color munki screen calibrator.

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michaeladawson
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Re: Stick with Nikon or Go for the 5DIII ?
In reply to lefantian, 8 months ago

lefantian wrote:

Hello everyone~ I'm a wedding and people (mainly newborn) photographer, and I also like to shoot landscape and daily life of family. Currently I'm using the Nikon D3s with several lenses. However, one thing I find struggling is the skintone out of the Nikon D3s always requires some labor (I mainly shoot Asian people, and the customers here do like kind of “pink and a little magenta” skintones rather than yellowish): maybe due to the AWB, and maybe also due to the camera's own color rendering.

I’m considering adding new cameras to my workflow, and the choices are:

A). Stick with Nikon and buy a D800 (with D3s as backup);

B). Switch to Canon and go for the 5DIII (maybe with 6D as a backup camera).

And once the decision is made, I’ll stick with the chosen brand for many years.

My concerns are:

1). IS there a big difference between the D800 and 5DIII in skintone rendering? Do Canon users always need to intensively adjust color for a better skintone?

2). IS the AF system of the 5DIII fast, accurate and reliable enough?

The burst shoot speed is not an issue as far as I can see. So please don’t tell me to go for the D4s/1DX as my current budget is limited to the D800/5DIII level… Thanks!

I second the previous reply in terms of Color Checker.  Assuming you use Lightroom or Photoshop I would recommend XRite CC wholeheartedly.  I have a friend who shoots Canon.  I don't like his skin tones.  Way too rosy pink for me.  But to each their own.

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Mike Dawson

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benjaminblack
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Re: Stick with Nikon or Go for the 5DIII ?
In reply to lefantian, 8 months ago

This is such an odd post.

You can go into your menu and adjust the white balance, that's one way. I do Amber +1 personally.

After the fact, skin tones can be easily adjusted in LR, buy some color profiles or presets if you don't want to do it manually. They can also be easily adjusted in Photoshop if you don't use lightroom.

The D3s is known for shooting wonderful skin tones... But even if that's not the case with Asian skin as you say, quick adjustments on camera, or in post-production will solve your problems.

Switching to the 5D3, and to Canon, would be a ludicrous option to improve skin tones, insanely expensive - which makes me wonder are you trolling??? Ha!

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Giovanni_1968
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Re: Stick with Nikon or Go for the 5DIII ?
In reply to lefantian, 8 months ago

lefantian wrote:

Hello everyone~ I'm a wedding and people (mainly newborn) photographer, and I also like to shoot landscape and daily life of family. Currently I'm using the Nikon D3s with several lenses. However, one thing I find struggling is the skintone out of the Nikon D3s always requires some labor (I mainly shoot Asian people, and the customers here do like kind of “pink and a little magenta” skintones rather than yellowish): maybe due to the AWB, and maybe also due to the camera's own color rendering.

I’m considering adding new cameras to my workflow, and the choices are:

A). Stick with Nikon and buy a D800 (with D3s as backup);

I don't know how your D3s renders skin tones but I can tell you that coming off a Fuji S5 and jumping two feet into D800 was a bit disappointing, sure I am happy with operating speed, crazy pixel count, sharpness and so on but even though tweaking the WB a little I never reached the skin tones I got off of my S5 (I have two of those, not using them any longer, one I'd like to sell but the other I will keep forever, when it's about kids nothing beats it!), if you shoot RAW I would stay with Nikon since you already have Nikon gear, Canon does require, as far as I know, to shoot RAW then you can tweak in PP but would it be worth the pain? Better stay where you are, save money and invest the same time in PP with the D800 which is a great piece of equipment.

My concerns are:

1). IS there a big difference between the D800 and 5DIII in skintone rendering? Do Canon users always need to intensively adjust color for a better skintone?

Again, dunno about Canon but why not to try, maybe a test, a Fuji to see what happens? You might end up with a much lighter bag to lug around with and keep your D3s without to have to completely switch to another brand.

Just my two cents

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Giovanni
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seahawk
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Re: Stick with Nikon or Go for the 5DIII ?
In reply to lefantian, 8 months ago

Should you not be shooting RAW, so that the AWB does not matter at all?

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surrephoto
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You need to ask an asian, or someone who has used Canon.
In reply to benjaminblack, 8 months ago

The above replies are somewhat ridiculous and IMHO do not seem to respect OP's intent and question.

Let's look at the facts. Nikon is not popular in Asia. I live in Singapore. Most Nikon users accept the fact that Canon gives better skintones out of the box. This does not matter whether you shoot RAW or JPEG. Up north in Malaysia, it is a mix bag, but in Thailand & Vietnam, Canon is the market leader. Go ask them the reason... it is always the skintones. I tell you for a fact that Vietnam & Thailand are very good markets to study since majority of photographers there are involved in portraiture of beautiful girls. Not just models, we are talking about cultures where an amateur photographer can turn a girl on the street into a star in a matter of months. Another good reason; both countries feature women with a wide range of skintones. From indian & malay type dark to paler than japanese type of white. Try talking to the taiwanese, they are very passionate about pretty girls & skintone as well.

Color checker and other chart solutions do not solve a fundamental problem, they give you accurate skintones. What about mixed lighting? Are you sure you want to spend more time correct color in RAW and less time shooting?

Asians like to be deluded with nicer skintone. That often means less yellow, fairer & a little red. Canon discovered the secret sauce to making both asian & caucasian skin look good.

To live with this, I developed my own DNG profiles based on PSKiss cross camera profiles over the last few years.

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Giovanni_1968
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Re: You need to ask an asian, or someone who has used Canon.
In reply to surrephoto, 8 months ago

Ok, then with a Nikon Asians will have a green/yellow cast whilst with a Canon they will look more westerly with Canon's red cast...

Out of the box jpg wise he should stay with Nikon, RAW whatever can be fixed in PP, it doesn't matter color of the skin or where in the world, that's a fact and, again, skin tones wise there is Fuji like it or not!

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Giovanni
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surrephoto
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Re: You need to ask an asian, or someone who has used Canon.
In reply to Giovanni_1968, 8 months ago

Giovanni_1968 wrote:

Ok, then with a Nikon Asians will have a green/yellow cast whilst with a Canon they will look more westerly with Canon's red cast...

Out of the box jpg wise he should stay with Nikon, RAW whatever can be fixed in PP, it doesn't matter color of the skin or where in the world, that's a fact and, again, skin tones wise there is Fuji like it or not!

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Giovanni
http://www.flickr.com/photos/giovanniaprea/
FujiS5 Nikon D800 Panasonic L1 shooter

Actually, Nikon has an overly magenta cast for caucasians. This means yellow/green cast & magenta cast for asians & caucasians respectively. It has nothing to do with Nikon's lenses, sensor or processing, but a mere choice made by Nikon in the color profile.
 Yes you can use RAW, but it is not just a simple WB, hue, saturation fix. It is a matter at the level of LUT & color matrix.

Fuji? Fuji only solves the problem by delivering images with low saturation, imho. Try upping the saturation of your fuji files.

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olyflyer
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Re: Stick with Nikon or Go for the 5DIII ?
In reply to lefantian, 8 months ago

lefantian wrote:

Hello everyone~ I'm a wedding and people (mainly newborn) photographer, and I also like to shoot landscape and daily life of family. Currently I'm using the Nikon D3s with several lenses. However, one thing I find struggling is the skintone out of the Nikon D3s always requires some labor (I mainly shoot Asian people, and the customers here do like kind of “pink and a little magenta” skintones rather than yellowish): maybe due to the AWB, and maybe also due to the camera's own color rendering.

I’m considering adding new cameras to my workflow, and the choices are:

A). Stick with Nikon and buy a D800 (with D3s as backup);

B). Switch to Canon and go for the 5DIII (maybe with 6D as a backup camera).

And once the decision is made, I’ll stick with the chosen brand for many years.

My concerns are:

1). IS there a big difference between the D800 and 5DIII in skintone rendering? Do Canon users always need to intensively adjust color for a better skintone?

2). IS the AF system of the 5DIII fast, accurate and reliable enough?

The burst shoot speed is not an issue as far as I can see. So please don’t tell me to go for the D4s/1DX as my current budget is limited to the D800/5DIII level… Thanks!

If your biggest issue is color then changing the camera won't solve the problem. Of course, a more modern camera, like the D800, has better Auto WB, but even in that you might need to adjust the color balance. So, my advice is don't buy anything, adjust the WB to your (or your customers) taste and be happy.

Anyway, for the sake of skin tones and AWB, I would not jump ship, maybe would buy the D800 instead. Just too much costs involved in jumping ship, because it is not just the body that is changed, but the whole system. Surely, even buying a D4 would be cheaper than buying into a Canon system, because if you buy the D4 you only need to buy the body, and even if you would sell all you have today, surly the loss would be huige. Never the less, if you decide to buy a new camera because you want AWB then in my opinion the D800 is best. Not because I have Canon experience or because I think Canon is technically worst, but because the D800 is good enough, it has excellent AWB and you are already familiar with the Nikon, so it would only take a few minutes to start, basically no learning curve and definitely no other gear is necessary to buy with it.

The D800 would be a huge step forward for you in any way and would probably give you better images. It has two different AWB modes, and you can tune each one of them to your taste.

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ImageAmateur
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Re: Stick with Nikon or Go for the 5DIII ? bingo.....calibration, RAW and color profile
In reply to Wahrsager, 8 months ago

Wahrsager wrote:

I wouldn't buy anything except for and X-rite color checker and color munki screen calibrator.

I am no pro by far, but I see things posted about skin tones etc etc etc in many posts. I have a D300 (also oft complained about by some I have seen) and have no problem with accurate (and pleasing) skin tones, of many hues.

Color calibration is key as you note AND using a good RAW converter and choosing a good color profile (of course shoot RAW, why buy a $$$$$ DSLR and shoot JPEG? except for fast reporting of events for news editors etc?). And, I am still a relative newbie to this, so if I can figure it out...it is not hard.

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ImageAmateur
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Re: You need to ask an asian, or someone who has used Canon. color profiles...
In reply to surrephoto, 8 months ago

surrephoto wrote:

.......

To live with this, I developed my own DNG profiles based on PSKiss cross camera profiles over the last few years.

Surely you just supported what the others are saying??? Not being a smartxx but...

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surrephoto
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Re: You need to ask an asian, or someone who has used Canon. color profiles...
In reply to ImageAmateur, 8 months ago

ImageAmateur wrote:

surrephoto wrote:

.......

To live with this, I developed my own DNG profiles based on PSKiss cross camera profiles over the last few years.

Surely you just supported what the others are saying??? Not being a smartxx but...

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Wishing You Good Light.

The PSKiss cross camera profiles are far from perfect. I had to work on them to get them to work to my taste. These profiles do not aim to provide accurate color, but rather, colors which emulate other brands. What the others are suggesting is to use a color chart. That does not solve the problem, it just makes everything more clinical.

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surrephoto
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Re: Stick with Nikon or Go for the 5DIII ?
In reply to olyflyer, 8 months ago

olyflyer wrote:

lefantian wrote:

Hello everyone~ I'm a wedding and people (mainly newborn) photographer, and I also like to shoot landscape and daily life of family. Currently I'm using the Nikon D3s with several lenses. However, one thing I find struggling is the skintone out of the Nikon D3s always requires some labor (I mainly shoot Asian people, and the customers here do like kind of “pink and a little magenta” skintones rather than yellowish): maybe due to the AWB, and maybe also due to the camera's own color rendering.

I’m considering adding new cameras to my workflow, and the choices are:

A). Stick with Nikon and buy a D800 (with D3s as backup);

B). Switch to Canon and go for the 5DIII (maybe with 6D as a backup camera).

And once the decision is made, I’ll stick with the chosen brand for many years.

My concerns are:

1). IS there a big difference between the D800 and 5DIII in skintone rendering? Do Canon users always need to intensively adjust color for a better skintone?

2). IS the AF system of the 5DIII fast, accurate and reliable enough?

The burst shoot speed is not an issue as far as I can see. So please don’t tell me to go for the D4s/1DX as my current budget is limited to the D800/5DIII level… Thanks!

If your biggest issue is color then changing the camera won't solve the problem. Of course, a more modern camera, like the D800, has better Auto WB, but even in that you might need to adjust the color balance. So, my advice is don't buy anything, adjust the WB to your (or your customers) taste and be happy.

Anyway, for the sake of skin tones and AWB, I would not jump ship, maybe would buy the D800 instead. Just too much costs involved in jumping ship, because it is not just the body that is changed, but the whole system. Surely, even buying a D4 would be cheaper than buying into a Canon system, because if you buy the D4 you only need to buy the body, and even if you would sell all you have today, surly the loss would be huige. Never the less, if you decide to buy a new camera because you want AWB then in my opinion the D800 is best. Not because I have Canon experience or because I think Canon is technically worst, but because the D800 is good enough, it has excellent AWB and you are already familiar with the Nikon, so it would only take a few minutes to start, basically no learning curve and definitely no other gear is necessary to buy with it.

The D800 would be a huge step forward for you in any way and would probably give you better images. It has two different AWB modes, and you can tune each one of them to your taste.

I don't agree with this advice at all. Skintones have absolutely nothing to do with WB values. Unless of course your WB is completely off, and so your skintones get affected. We need to assume that whatever cameras you are comparing are delivering the correct WB value if you are using AWB. And btw, canon's AWB isn't perfect either. Try it in warm lighting.

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Mikael Risedal
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make your own profile with www.qpcard.com
In reply to michaeladawson, 8 months ago

simple to generate own profiles , fastest and best way to get skin tones as you like them

www.qpcard.com

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Donald Chin
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Re: Stick with Nikon or Go for the 5DIII ?
In reply to lefantian, 8 months ago

Sound like you were referring to OOC JPG rather than raw, if that was the case, neither Canon or Nikon is the best choice for East Asian, perhaps you should rent a Fujifilm X-Trans to see if it works for you. I'm a native raw shooter and I use different brand of camera, in real world I don't find I have issue with skin tone issue due to the camera I used.

Here's a quick snap during a basketball match, lighting certainly not ideal but I think the skin tone is acceptable for an East Asian.

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ImageAmateur
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Re: You need to ask an asian, or someone who has used Canon. color profiles...
In reply to surrephoto, 8 months ago

surrephoto wrote:

ImageAmateur wrote:

surrephoto wrote:

.......

To live with this, I developed my own DNG profiles based on PSKiss cross camera profiles over the last few years.

Surely you just supported what the others are saying??? Not being a smartxx but...

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Wishing You Good Light.

The PSKiss cross camera profiles are far from perfect. I had to work on them to get them to work to my taste. These profiles do not aim to provide accurate color, but rather, colors which emulate other brands. What the others are suggesting is to use a color chart. That does not solve the problem, it just makes everything more clinical.

Understood, the thing is, the calibration is just step one. Step 2 is adjusting the color profiles so that output is 'to your taste' where necessary.

As you have done.

Cannot do 2 easily until 1 is done, no?

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MPA1
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Re: Stick with Nikon or Go for the 5DIII ?
In reply to benjaminblack, 8 months ago

benjaminblack wrote:

This is such an odd post.

You can go into your menu and adjust the white balance, that's one way. I do Amber +1 personally.

After the fact, skin tones can be easily adjusted in LR, buy some color profiles or presets if you don't want to do it manually. They can also be easily adjusted in Photoshop if you don't use lightroom.

The D3s is known for shooting wonderful skin tones... But even if that's not the case with Asian skin as you say, quick adjustments on camera, or in post-production will solve your problems.

Switching to the 5D3, and to Canon, would be a ludicrous option to improve skin tones, insanely expensive - which makes me wonder are you trolling??? Ha!

I wondered the same thing. No one doing paid professional work should be seeking answers to questions like this...

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Peter M J
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Re: Stick with Nikon or Go for the 5DIII ?
In reply to Donald Chin, 8 months ago

I have a Canon 6D, a Nikon D800 and a Nikon 700D.
I got the Canon because I was unhappy with the Nikopn skin tones and spent hours trying to get decent skintones out of the nef files, The canon produces great colours and very acceptable skin tones with very little effort.As I said in a previous post about this and for which I was given alot of abuse by fan boys cameras of this quality should be able to give very acceptable results quickly and easily. If you want to mess about for hours thats fine and your choice  but it shouldnot be an essential requirement.

I have tried showing the results to friends and almost without exceptions they have gone for the colours from the Canon

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Peter M J
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Re: Stick with Nikon or Go for the 5DIII ?
In reply to Peter M J, 8 months ago

Here is an example from the Canon 6D. Shot in raw , bounce flash only alterations slight increase in exposure and a slight reduction in saturation. The bride ( who had used spray tan ) and her mother thought the colours were lovely. Good result with little effort.

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