6 camera colour comparison

Started 1 month ago | Discussions thread
OP andrewD2 Veteran Member • Posts: 9,357
Re: 6 camera colour comparison

juanmaasecas wrote:

Thank you so much for your hard work, it is really interesting.

I think that actually when judging the color science we are also judging the metering,

Most definitely not. Which metering? Highlight metering on 0EV? Spot? Matrix?
You have to accept you will need EV compensation for subject reflectivity.

the tonal curve and the white balance from one manufacturer or another. It all counts, and it all deliver a first image that could condition our later “edit” if we edit at all.

WB is your choice in camera or in post. AWB is not reliable on any camera.

The tone curve can be set in post, you can also generate linear profiles.
The JPG has settings too for contrast and picture profiles can change the curve.
But yes, the contrast may vary between brands default SOOC jpgs which will affect the colours.

About the video I posted of that guy comparing the EOS R and the A7III, you can have a look at the channel of the guy because he has thousands of videos. Firstly he was comparing both cameras with auto WB and the colors were closer, but still Canon was clearly better to all people commenting in the video, so some people were complaining about why he was not using a white balance card.

Then the guy bought a white balance card, and did some videos with the white balance card, and guess what? The Sony was much much yellower when using the manual white balance with the white balance card than the EOS R. This also happens to me. I don’t know if there is a problem with the manual white balance, but the Sony is too warm using a manual WB setting whereas the Canon looks more neutral.

After that, the guy just decided that the best thing he could do with the Sony is to use AWB-white priority during daylight, because otherwise both in auto and with a grey card, the pictures from the sony were too yellow (specially compared to the Canon, that are on the cold side for most outdoor situations, with even blue shadows that give the pictures a nice color contrast look).

In the video you posted it says "grey card WB". That isn't easy to do with reflected green from trees.
It'll vary if the Sun is in and out. He has managed to set both cameras poorly. They are off in different directions. If you have green in your scene and your error is towards magenta and blue you'll have a desaturated greens and paler skin. If you have the error towards yellow and amber you have over saturated greens and skin. That might be interesting but the WB is not set neutral for sure.
Add the underexposure to that one and you have the awful muddy colours you get from underexposure and a colour cast of the same.

One other factor is that face detect affects AWB on the Sony, I don't know if it does on the Canon.

Then you also need to note that all manufacturers are doing twisted profiles with complicated LUTs in their jpg engines. A ColorChecker is showing you a flat color for an specific luminance at an specific brightness level.

For example, Canon can make light reds a bit lighter, giving a fresher skin tone, but mid reds remain very saturated, and dark reds look darker than the supposed value in the color chart, etc. I have made tons of profiles with DNG editor, with ColorChecker and with Lumariver Profile designer, and it is not an easy task. And you can match two cameras for an specific situation, but you can’t do (or not with the commercial software we have) a profile or a preset that mimics another camera behavior all over the different illuminats, exposures, etc. It is just too complicated.

You are right, it is complicated. Before you get to that though, you have to agree that the WB and exposure are much bigger factors. That you would try and compare the images in that video at all is odd when you seem to have a good feel for colour and some understanding of what is involved.

People simplify this saying that with a ColorChecker you have the correct color, and I am sorry but you don’t, and looking at how you create a profile with Lumariver, you realize the compromises you are doing all the time with your profile.

I agree, if you create Xrite and adobe dng editor profiles from the same source image they don't even agree with each other!
24 patches isn't enough and two illuminants + interpolation and extrapolation isn't perfect.

The CFA in the sensor has also a lot to say in all of this. I commented this before, but for a good compromise accuracy in all colors with Lumariver profile designer, sony sensors will twist light skin patch towards pink, and dark skin patch towards yellow. This is WRONG, this is the opposite we see in real life, and I think this is why most of the time sony pics have a “something” that just looks unnatural for some people, like plasticky cartoonish skin.

I think you are confusing a twist with a correctional shift here? The H twist only occurs with changes in V.
You can make invariate and untwisted versions of the adobe profiles with dcptool, if you haven't already done so it might be worth doing to see what, for example, the twists do when you change exposure compared to having no twists.

With Canon sensors, with a neutralized WB, the light skin patch naturally tends to go warmer (usually the lit parts of the skin are warmer), whereas the dark skin (skin in the shadow areas) tends to go more saturated and cooler.

So to make a good profile with Sony, you really need to be tweaking this things, losing accuracy in other colors to have the skin right, otherwise, to have a nice looking warm skin in the highlights, you will have a yellow color cast in the whole picture, or to have black people looking not too yellow, your picture will be too cold, or if you go for a very neutral WB, your picture will look too “plasticky”. This is what happens in general and it is my experience as well.

Never understood the term "plasticky". You need to analyse the colours across the face and work out what is the problem you are seeing. If you can post something "plasticky" compared to something not "plasticky" then I'll take a look. Lack of colour differences? Poor separation is often due to a colour cast.

Color is a very complicated thing and we see colors differently. For people shooting mainly Caucasian, Sony is fine, and specially in the third gen, the jpgs are much better. But if you are shooting black people, Asian, south East Asian, etc, you might find that there is something wrong with Sony colors as I do.

You need to find out exactly what is wrong, by the numbers, by the colour channels.
If you have comparisons, "wrong" vs "right" I'll take a look.

I LOVE sony files and I have been shooting Sony for years (A7, A7RII, A7III now). I love the depth i can get with the pictures, the level of detail, the dynamic range, and how malleable are the files. It is like magic and I enjoy a lot editing them. But there is something about the color that it doesn’t feel right to me. Over this time I have learnt how to deal with white balance, how to create profiles in different software, how to port profiles from one camera to another, how to try to match cameras in different situations... But whenever I pick a Canon raw (or Fuji raw) and i see that with no effort at all I can have beautiful and natural looking photos (to me), and I can even just use the JPG in the 80% of my casual shots and be perfectly happy (like I am with my iPhone pictures, that i moved from android also because of the colors of the iPhone pictures are unmatched to my eyes).

The adobe color profile evened things up greatly. The adobe standard profile was much better for say 6D than A7RII. I take two Canon and two Sony cameras to weddings.
The only colour issue I believe I have seen with the A7RII is in backlight, I think it is a cast from the antireflective coating but I've not proved it to myself yet. A7III seems not to do it.

So yes, color is a matter of taste, and for some things like landscape, or people shooting ramdon things in their backyard, or brick walls, or people shooting in studio lighting conditions, Sony could be perfectly fine. But for me, most of the time shooting friends from all over the world, in all over the world, in different lighting situations, I can see the difference. And the difference is there, regardless the software you use to process the files, regarding the profile, etc.

If you have a side by side RAW file from Canon and Sony, one you like, one you don't then let's analyse and see what changes need to be made to match them.
If you are a Lightroom generation photographer it might be worth finding out the older ways. It wasn't a one click WB for example, it was black, grey and white point and terms like "detail in the weakest ink" won't make any sense. 
Gry Garness' Hidden Colors is a nice e-book I think you might connect with.

You need the carefully shot side by sides. Impossible to go by feelings. I've walked around with a new lens, thought "wow the colours are great". Next day it is cloudy and the colours are weak.

Thanks for posting, would love to help you get your Sony colours as you like them, I'm sure it would help me.

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