How to improve GH3 for photography

Started Jan 28, 2014 | Discussions
Michael Ma Contributing Member • Posts: 539
How to improve GH3 for photography

GH3 is great for videos. We all know that.

But for the first 3 months that I owned the GH3, I went back to my Canon for photos because the photos just didn't look right. Which was a shame because if I wanted photos and videos, I would have to carry 2 cameras which I as not willing to do.

I thought maybe it was the lenses because I had some really good primes for my Canon and just the kit for the GH3. But as it turns out, the problem was that GH3 is not color calibrated for Adobe Camera Raw. It just let's you use Adobe Standard color profile. Unfortunately, especially with people's faces, the people seem to have an unnatural orange glow. Any adjustments to orange' hue, saturation, luminance doesn't work well. Playing with the red channel's point curve for the highlights won't make it satisfactory. Even adjusting the Adobe Standard's profile won't get it anywhere close to what I'm looking for.

Solution? PSKISS Cross Camera Profiles for the GH3. They take a set of cameras, and match them to work with the GH3. And it was all that was needed.

Adobe and Panasonic really need to work with Adobe and get official lens and camera profiles for the GH3. Seriously, the corrections are built into the raw file only applies to distortion.

If you don't want to spend the $15, you can probably use Silkypix that came with the camera for better results.

I think if people knew this, they would use the GH3 more for photography and maybe even stop saying the Olympus is better for photography. I think they are about the same.

 Michael Ma's gear list:Michael Ma's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8L IS II USM Canon EF 16-35mm F4L IS USM +20 more
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3
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Roberto Tolin Sommer Regular Member • Posts: 150
Re: How to improve GH3 for photography

I use it as my main camera, along with a 5D mk2 (only for arquitectural work with the 24 TSE) and a GX7. Lightroom and ACR don't give me the quality i needed. Aperture has good color, but not very good sharpness. Tried Photo Ninja and wow!!! Give it a try. I use it in a windows version, on a windows emulator (Wine) on Ubuntu Studio (Linux) on a MacPro 3.1. Freaky Rawtherapee 4.0.11has also good color and wonderful sharpness, but Photo Ninja has much better hightlight recovery and better overall image quality.

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ryan2007 Forum Pro • Posts: 12,001
Re: How to improve GH3 for photography
1

Michael Ma wrote:

GH3 is great for videos. We all know that.

But for the first 3 months that I owned the GH3, I went back to my Canon for photos because the photos just didn't look right. Which was a shame because if I wanted photos and videos, I would have to carry 2 cameras which I as not willing to do.

I thought maybe it was the lenses because I had some really good primes for my Canon and just the kit for the GH3. But as it turns out, the problem was that GH3 is not color calibrated for Adobe Camera Raw. It just let's you use Adobe Standard color profile. Unfortunately, especially with people's faces, the people seem to have an unnatural orange glow. Any adjustments to orange' hue, saturation, luminance doesn't work well. Playing with the red channel's point curve for the highlights won't make it satisfactory. Even adjusting the Adobe Standard's profile won't get it anywhere close to what I'm looking for.

Solution? PSKISS Cross Camera Profiles for the GH3. They take a set of cameras, and match them to work with the GH3. And it was all that was needed.

Adobe and Panasonic really need to work with Adobe and get official lens and camera profiles for the GH3. Seriously, the corrections are built into the raw file only applies to distortion.

If you don't want to spend the $15, you can probably use Silkypix that came with the camera for better results.

I think if people knew this, they would use the GH3 more for photography and maybe even stop saying the Olympus is better for photography. I think they are about the same.

The GH-3 is a great camera. I never saw a reason or need to shoot RAW, JPEG's were fine for me. After some upgrades and changes I had all Panasonic lenses (fast glass) and all was good.

Dr_Jon Veteran Member • Posts: 5,404
Re: How to improve GH3 for photography
1

Didn't you already post this? Anyway I use DXO for my GH3 still images and am completely happy with the results. BTW is your monitor calibrated?

 Dr_Jon's gear list:Dr_Jon's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W3 Sony RX100 V Canon EOS 5DS R Panasonic GH5 Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM +28 more
OP Michael Ma Contributing Member • Posts: 539
Re: How to improve GH3 for photography

ryan2007 wrote:

The GH-3 is a great camera. I never saw a reason or need to shoot RAW, JPEG's were fine for me. After some upgrades and changes I had all Panasonic lenses (fast glass) and all was good.

Ryan, for the first 5 years with a DSLR I shot mostly jpeg, and raw, just in case I forgot to set the white balance correctly.  And if I didn't I deleted the raw files because they were huge at the time.  What I would give to get those raw files back.

RAW is like the red pill in The Matrix.  Once you start getting the hang of it until every lever becomes second nature, it is infinitely better than jpeg.

Out of 100 images of anything in any situation, 99 of them could be dramatically better with something like Adobe Camera Raw.

I highly recommend Chris Orwig's Camera Raw 8 tutorials on Lynda.com.  It changed my life.

 Michael Ma's gear list:Michael Ma's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8L IS II USM Canon EF 16-35mm F4L IS USM +20 more
OP Michael Ma Contributing Member • Posts: 539
Re: How to improve GH3 for photography

Dr_Jon wrote:

Didn't you already post this? Anyway I use DXO for my GH3 still images and am completely happy with the results. BTW is your monitor calibrated?

I think I posted it in a GH3 camera review.  Do those get posted in the forums automatically?  If so, I apologize.  I also left out the name PSKISS in that review.  I didn't want to make it look like I'm trying to sell it.  But I thought I'd make a formal post with the right information in the right context.

 Michael Ma's gear list:Michael Ma's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8L IS II USM Canon EF 16-35mm F4L IS USM +20 more
Dr_Jon Veteran Member • Posts: 5,404
Re: How to improve GH3 for photography

I had noticed the lack of the name last time so posting it is okay by me, but IIRC you got quite a hard time previously suggesting the GH3 wasn't so hot, so good luck on try #2... (As I said I'm perfectly happy with mine without any cross-processing.)

 Dr_Jon's gear list:Dr_Jon's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W3 Sony RX100 V Canon EOS 5DS R Panasonic GH5 Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM +28 more
OP Michael Ma Contributing Member • Posts: 539
Re: How to improve GH3 for photography

I had no idea people were replying to that thread.  It is mainly filled with just fanboy rage anyway.  What I said wasn't even taken out of context.  It was just misinterpreted and then it took off into another conversation.  I am rather disappointed with the level of proficiency, not by all, but some users.  But its to be expected whenever you go down a sensor size.

 Michael Ma's gear list:Michael Ma's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8L IS II USM Canon EF 16-35mm F4L IS USM +20 more
Dr_Jon Veteran Member • Posts: 5,404
Re: How to improve GH3 for photography

Okay, but humour me a little and say how you compared the colours - do you calibrate your monitor? If so how? If you print do you use a colour-managed workflow?

Not trying to argue, just clarify...

 Dr_Jon's gear list:Dr_Jon's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W3 Sony RX100 V Canon EOS 5DS R Panasonic GH5 Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM +28 more
ryan2007 Forum Pro • Posts: 12,001
Re: How to improve GH3 for photography
1

Michael Ma wrote:

ryan2007 wrote:

The GH-3 is a great camera. I never saw a reason or need to shoot RAW, JPEG's were fine for me. After some upgrades and changes I had all Panasonic lenses (fast glass) and all was good.

Ryan, for the first 5 years with a DSLR I shot mostly jpeg, and raw, just in case I forgot to set the white balance correctly. And if I didn't I deleted the raw files because they were huge at the time. What I would give to get those raw files back.

RAW is like the red pill in The Matrix. Once you start getting the hang of it until every lever becomes second nature, it is infinitely better than jpeg.

Out of 100 images of anything in any situation, 99 of them could be dramatically better with something like Adobe Camera Raw.

I highly recommend Chris Orwig's Camera Raw 8 tutorials on Lynda.com. It changed my life.

Thanks for the suggestion.  I'm using a different camera system now and the JPEG's are really nice.

I take the JPEG image take one pass with all the corrections and adjustments and that is it with one save as. No need for me to keep opening the file and to work on it. If I use a plug in suite like Topaz labs you can preview and adjust before doing the save or just cancel, no harm.

I have not found anything so pressing that needed RAW and most of the time I need to keep processing and not obsessing for me.

IMO, If any camera is not capable of producing good JPEG's it is not a good camera and with what I am using for my mirror less solution now I have no issues.

Mike Ronesia
Mike Ronesia Veteran Member • Posts: 3,042
Re: How to improve GH3 for photography

I have to agree that there is too much orange in the skin tones. It's a lot better then the GH2, but not where I'd like it. I use LR and do the best I can to get what I want, but might try one of your suggestions just to see how much different it is. Other then that it's as close to perfect for my needs/wants as you can get.

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Mark James
A.K.A. Mike Ronesia

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amtberg Veteran Member • Posts: 6,083
Re: How to improve GH3 for photography

I shoot with a GH3 and I've always thought it was about the same as Olympus for stills ... provided you know your way around PS.  I've never had a problem getting the color I was looking for.  I'd be curious to seem some before/after pics using the PSKISS profiles.

Jim T Veteran Member • Posts: 4,288
Re: How to improve GH3 for photography

It's long been my opinion that the only reason to use RAW was to correct something the software in the camera has failed to do.  I've been following the talk on DPR since I started here in 2000.  Since I am Red Green colour blind I searched for a camera I could use that got the colours right without my warped colour problems being inserted.  The first Olympus camera I used the lowly Olympus D340L was a good start but many people complained that I was screwing up the colours even though I just let the camera do the job.  My solution was to calibrate my monitor, use the white dipper thing to set the white point and possibly the black dipper point in Adobe and everyone was happy.  This was corrected with the Olympus 3030, C2100, 570z, 8080 having so much more accurate colours.  For while I had a Pentax and then Canon compacts that seemed to not need a lot of correction, but these failed.  I ended up with a Panasonic GH1 and left Photoshop upgrading behind me.  The EPL2, GF3 and now the GH3 all seem to give me the jpg files that just work.  If someone wants to tweak the RAW files I shoot I give them the RAW files and let them go at them.

Reading a lot of DPR Canonikon DSLR talk it seems that they just needed or wanted to have Photoshop RAW processing to make the real colours better and Adobe has supported this very well.  Using a Canon DSLR or Nikon DSLR just didn't work for me because the colours were never right so RAW processing was required, but never trusted the corrections given my colour blind status.  If my oldest daughter or my sister were around I could work with them to get the colour right, but my daughter moved on and found a guy and my sister has her grand-daughter now to enjoy and she lives in a different city.  The GH3 along with the GH1 and other m4/3 cameras I have seem to work well for me.  The only place the RAW files were ever used from any of my photos was when my niece asked me to be her backup Photographer to help out her professional wedding photographer.  My niece and the Canon Photographer took my RAW files and tweaked them to get some of the shots I got that the official pro didn't and I produced a wedding present with a big book of photos from her Uncle's perspective.  Since my niece also shoots with a Canon dslr she loved the fact that I gave her RAW files.  I'm not sure why they didn't use them though , then found out they didn't now what the ORF and RW2 files were and assumed I only gave them jpg files.  They never let me look at the official wedding album though!

I'm rambling on, but basically, while RAW may have a place, my opinion is that the place they are needed are in the Canonikon camp or when something is really screwed up by me and the jpg hasn't worked.  I think I used a TIFF file once to enter a photo contest because they wanted both jpg and RAW files in my digital entry.  I created the TIFF file created by Photoshop 7 and explained that it was the RAW file created.  I won the contest and whenthey asked for the RAW files for publication purposes I explained my camera the Olympus C2100 didn't create RAW they changed the rule for me and gave me the prize.  Mainly because the TV show had already aired.

So jpg out my m4/3's is all I need.

 Jim T's gear list:Jim T's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX10 Olympus Tough TG-1 iHS Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 Olympus PEN E-PL2 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 +12 more
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