My Z6 thread (+ D750 Comparison)

Started Nov 25, 2018 | Discussions thread
OP beatboxa Veteran Member • Posts: 7,962
Part 3: Picture Controls & Rendering

Though I shoot raw, I like previews to be similar to my end point and transferring JPEGs to my phone for instant sharing with friends.  Also, I expose for raw, so I can use the picture control to darken the image for me so it doesn't look all washed out.

So I always create a custom picture control, which means exploring the rendering. I also don't like using a lot of equipment (and I am aware of calibration options out there, particularly with Lightroom), but this will be a "poor man's exploration."

To do this exploration, I first created a JPEG from scratch in Gimp / Photoshop. In RGB terms, we've got 100% each of RGB (circles), then 50% (large squares), then so on and so forth.

We've also got pure black, pure white, and steps in-between.

In parallel, I decided on a display. My display of choice was a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, in its "Basic" mode, which is very accurate in sRGB.

And as an AMOLED, it has pure blacks. Additionally, it won't, for example, turn on the green & blue pixels when it just wants to display red. Great!

Next, I UniWB, using that same display.

And finally, I took several (slightly blurred, on purpose) images with various shutter speeds to find the points of saturation for the various colors (found using RawDigger).

Anyways, here is the camera's "standard" picture profile, white balanced to the gray square:

(And flat looks similar).

Obviously, not the best.  And since this is an electronic display, there is more going on.  But it is still interesting & useful to me.

So, I exported that to TIFF (using flat) and pulled it into Darktable.  Darktable has some really cool tools, that allowed me to produce this, from that TIFF:

Which is generally very close to the original.  And I can save this as a preset and use it for all future images.  (I can also make it against the raw file, rather than TIFF).  So this may be a decent solution for raws.

But for OOC, I used some of this information to create curves & picture controls--though obviously nowhere near as robust as that.  I played around until I created one I like.

So I ended up with a Picture Control that results in this:

Not perfect, but good enough for OOC.  I'm also glad it's not overly contrasty--I tried to match square-for-square the brightness from black to white of that fade.

And then, it comes down to testing and shooting.

Here's a quick test:  a few crayons.  Here they are in "Standard" picture control:

Here's my custom Picture Control:

And Darktable (which I think is the most true-to-life):

Or another example:

Standard Picture Control:

My custom Picture Control:


So I'm good with this.

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