M43 cameras and blotchy red skin tones

Started 3 months ago | Discussions
OP Dexter75 Senior Member • Posts: 2,893
Re: Jpegs? Raw?

Henry Richardson wrote:

Shooting jpegs or raw? Are you saying that shooting jpegs you are having these skin rendition problems?

If you are shooting Panasonic jpegs then which Recording Mode are you using? You should be using Portrait or possibly Natural. Not Standard, Vivid, or Scenery.

Note that with Olympus you should use Portrait or Muted.

Thanks. With the Panasonic cameras shooting JPEG, I was using Standard.

Henry Richardson Forum Pro • Posts: 17,337
Re: Jpegs? Raw?
13

Dexter75 wrote:

Henry Richardson wrote:

Shooting jpegs or raw? Are you saying that shooting jpegs you are having these skin rendition problems?

If you are shooting Panasonic jpegs then which Recording Mode are you using? You should be using Portrait or possibly Natural. Not Standard, Vivid, or Scenery.

Note that with Olympus you should use Portrait or Muted.

Thanks. With the Panasonic cameras shooting JPEG, I was using Standard.

Panasonic Standard has high saturation and contrast and is often not a good choice for really good skin tones.  Same for Olympus and pretty much all the other companies too.  Usually the default jpeg setting is punchy (higher saturation and contrast and each company may have some other secret sauce they throw in to make things look good for most photos).  Most or all companies also have a Portrait mode with lower saturation and contrast and designed to give much nicer skin tones.  With film we used to have lots of standard color print films from Kodak, Fuji, Agfa, Konica, etc. that also tended to be more saturated and contrasty.  Then there were the portrait color print films which, as you might guess, were designed for portraits and they had lower saturation and contrast.

Of course, white balance is also important, but for the moment let's assume you get that okay.

I suspect that one can get pleasing jpeg portraits from Panasonic, Olympus, Canon, Nikon, Fuji, Pentax, Leica, etc., but one must play around a bit and choose the best settings.  In addition to the Portrait mode one can usually further adjust saturation and contrast.

Good luck!

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JaKing
JaKing Senior Member • Posts: 6,235
Re: M43 cameras and blotchy red skin tones
6

Dexter75 wrote:

JaKing wrote:

Dexter75 wrote:

Thanks, but as I mentioned earlier, those are not my photos, they are just randoms I found online searching Olympus and Panasonic portraits. There are dozens more. So all of these different photographers have their settings wrong? I find that hard to believe and as I said, I dont see this issue with other cameras aside from Panasonic and Olympus M43 cameras. Thanks

With all due respect, presenting random images from other photographers where you can only guess at lighting and camera settings (at best ... ) is hardly meaningful.

This is a good point. I always do it though. Whenever I am interested in a camera or a lens, I search for photos and videos of that gear being used for portraits. I should just rent it and test it myself.

Dexter, I think you would be better served by looking for/seeking out people who are specialists at using the gear for your genre, then examining what they can achieve.

There are plenty of really crappy photographers using all brands of gear ...

While I'm not a people photographer, I do always adjust the defaults downwards from the defaults for 'neutral' settings. I always shoot RAW + LSF JPEGs, as I use the files for different purposes - RAW for editing/printing and JPEGs for automatic PP and web/email etc.

e.g. I set my cameras to natural colour, aRGB, -2 saturation, -2 sharpening, -1 contrast, gradation = normal (default is auto, and can be awful)). AWB mostly works very well with Olympus cameras. My E-30 is the only camera (out of five) that I've ever felt the need to make a global change to the Amber/Green axes. The other four were good out of the box.

I take a lot of photos of cars (mobile Pantone colours ... ), so colour accuracy is very important to me.

All cameras need adjustment from defaults to suit our own personal needs and vision, IMHO.

Can I recommend an E-M1 MkII + 12-100 ... .

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OP Dexter75 Senior Member • Posts: 2,893
Re: Jpegs? Raw?

Henry Richardson wrote:

Dexter75 wrote:

Henry Richardson wrote:

Shooting jpegs or raw? Are you saying that shooting jpegs you are having these skin rendition problems?

If you are shooting Panasonic jpegs then which Recording Mode are you using? You should be using Portrait or possibly Natural. Not Standard, Vivid, or Scenery.

Note that with Olympus you should use Portrait or Muted.

Thanks. With the Panasonic cameras shooting JPEG, I was using Standard.

Panasonic Standard has high saturation and contrast and is often not a good choice for really good skin tones. Same for Olympus and pretty much all the other companies too. Usually the default jpeg setting is punchy (higher saturation and contrast and each company may have some other secret sauce they throw in to make things look good for most photos). Most or all companies also have a Portrait mode with lower saturation and contrast and designed to give much nicer skin tones. With film we used to have lots of standard color print films from Kodak, Fuji, Agfa, Konica, etc. that also tended to be more saturated and contrasty. Then there were the portrait color print films which, as you might guess, were designed for portraits and they had lower saturation and contrast.

Of course, white balance is also important, but for the moment let's assume you get that okay.

I suspect that one can get pleasing jpeg portraits from Panasonic, Olympus, Canon, Nikon, Fuji, Pentax, Leica, etc., but one must play around a bit and choose the best settings. In addition to the Portrait mode one can usually further adjust saturation and contrast.

Good luck!

Well that probably explains it then. I never thought to change the picture profile, only tried changing the WB settings to no avail. Even custom WB didn't work but if Standard is that aggressive with contrast and saturation, that would explain it. The photos did look better when shot in vintage and black and white filters though.

Donald B
Donald B Forum Pro • Posts: 14,945
just terrible
5

olympus has the best skin tines of any brand ive used. mind you the pentax k7 was the best in its time.

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James Stirling
James Stirling Senior Member • Posts: 6,473
Re: M43 cameras and blotchy red skin tones
7

Is it perhaps that most high end portrait shots we see, are often very much touched up giving a false impression of flawless complexions , when alas reality is much harsher . I am often baffled when extremely high mp cameras such as the 100mp Fuji are touted for their portrait abilities .

The combination of razor sharp lenses on highly detailed sensors viewed at often extreme levels in post. Does few faces a favour

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OP Dexter75 Senior Member • Posts: 2,893
Re: M43 cameras and blotchy red skin tones

James Stirling wrote:

Is it perhaps that most high end portrait shots we see, are often very much touched up giving a false impression of flawless complexions , when alas reality is much harsher . I am often baffled when extremely high mp cameras such as the 100mp Fuji are touted for their portrait abilities .

The combination of razor sharp lenses on highly detailed sensors viewed at often extreme levels in post. Does few faces a favour

Medium format sensors are valued by fashion photographers more for the details, color rendering and that medium format "look" you get, not so much the sharpness. Most every portrait shooter wants sharp lenses though, which is why most of us shoot primes. Its much easier to soften a sharp photo than to sharpen a soft photo.

LightCameraAction Regular Member • Posts: 264
Re: just terrible
1

Donald B wrote:

olympus has the best skin tines of any brand ive used. mind you the pentax k7 was the best in its time.

This is what confused me. Many people say that Olympus had some of the best skin tones, but I experienced several cases where the Adobe camera natural and Adobe portrait profiles had way more red that they should have. It could be that Adobe did a poor job creating the profiles, but that would also confuse me (it seems that a company like Adobe should be able to match a color profile).

Note that it was picture dependent and lighting dependent, but correcting white balance didn't seem to help. Switching to Adobe color profiles did help.

I suppose my issue could have been in other parts of the color management process (monitor, etc.)

Donald B
Donald B Forum Pro • Posts: 14,945
Re: just terrible
1

LightCameraAction wrote:

Donald B wrote:

olympus has the best skin tines of any brand ive used. mind you the pentax k7 was the best in its time.

This is what confused me. Many people say that Olympus had some of the best skin tones, but I experienced several cases where the Adobe camera natural and Adobe portrait profiles had way more red that they should have. It could be that Adobe did a poor job creating the profiles, but that would also confuse me (it seems that a company like Adobe should be able to match a color profile).

Note that it was picture dependent and lighting dependent, but correcting white balance didn't seem to help. Switching to Adobe color profiles did help.

I suppose my issue could have been in other parts of the color management process (monitor, etc.)

i use adobe colors from camera raw but they are really no different than any of my Olympus ooc jpegs skin tones just a bit more detail.

Don

this is a K7 jpeg

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James Stirling
James Stirling Senior Member • Posts: 6,473
Re: M43 cameras and blotchy red skin tones
2

Dexter75 wrote:

James Stirling wrote:

Is it perhaps that most high end portrait shots we see, are often very much touched up giving a false impression of flawless complexions , when alas reality is much harsher . I am often baffled when extremely high mp cameras such as the 100mp Fuji are touted for their portrait abilities .

The combination of razor sharp lenses on highly detailed sensors viewed at often extreme levels in post. Does few faces a favour

Medium format sensors are valued by fashion photographers more for the details, color rendering and that medium format "look" you get, not so much the sharpness. Most every portrait shooter wants sharp lenses though, which is why most of us shoot primes. Its much easier to soften a sharp photo than to sharpen a soft photo.

To take a 100mp image that requires significant post processing so as not to horrify the subject Seems deeply illogical . This is how an attractive model looks under the scrutiny of such a device. I suspect for the level of pro portrait shooters that use MF Phase one, Hasselblad, or Fuji that the tool is more of a status thing.

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Donald B
Donald B Forum Pro • Posts: 14,945
Re: M43 cameras and blotchy red skin tones
2

Dexter75 wrote:

James Stirling wrote:

Is it perhaps that most high end portrait shots we see, are often very much touched up giving a false impression of flawless complexions , when alas reality is much harsher . I am often baffled when extremely high mp cameras such as the 100mp Fuji are touted for their portrait abilities .

The combination of razor sharp lenses on highly detailed sensors viewed at often extreme levels in post. Does few faces a favour

Medium format sensors are valued by fashion photographers more for the details, color rendering and that medium format "look" you get, not so much the sharpness. Most every portrait shooter wants sharp lenses though, which is why most of us shoot primes. Its much easier to soften a sharp photo than to sharpen a soft photo.

Out of curiosity show us a really good head shot with what you call great skin tones.

Don

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OP Dexter75 Senior Member • Posts: 2,893
Re: M43 cameras and blotchy red skin tones

James Stirling wrote:

Dexter75 wrote:

James Stirling wrote:

Is it perhaps that most high end portrait shots we see, are often very much touched up giving a false impression of flawless complexions , when alas reality is much harsher . I am often baffled when extremely high mp cameras such as the 100mp Fuji are touted for their portrait abilities .

The combination of razor sharp lenses on highly detailed sensors viewed at often extreme levels in post. Does few faces a favour

Medium format sensors are valued by fashion photographers more for the details, color rendering and that medium format "look" you get, not so much the sharpness. Most every portrait shooter wants sharp lenses though, which is why most of us shoot primes. Its much easier to soften a sharp photo than to sharpen a soft photo.

To take a 100mp image that requires significant post processing so as not to horrify the subject Seems deeply illogical . This is how an attractive model looks under the scrutiny of such a device. I suspect for the level of pro portrait shooters that use MF Phase one, Hasselblad, or Fuji that the tool is more of a status thing.

Yea, well that's a very average headshot by someone not very proficient with lighting. No offense if that is your shot. Im talking about real fashion photography like this. He explains one big reason he shoots medium format, leaf shutters...

https://stories.phaseone.com/fashion-and-advertising-photography-with-medium-format-and-dslr/

James Stirling
James Stirling Senior Member • Posts: 6,473
Re: M43 cameras and blotchy red skin tones
5

Dexter75 wrote:

James Stirling wrote:

Dexter75 wrote:

James Stirling wrote:

Is it perhaps that most high end portrait shots we see, are often very much touched up giving a false impression of flawless complexions , when alas reality is much harsher . I am often baffled when extremely high mp cameras such as the 100mp Fuji are touted for their portrait abilities .

The combination of razor sharp lenses on highly detailed sensors viewed at often extreme levels in post. Does few faces a favour

Medium format sensors are valued by fashion photographers more for the details, color rendering and that medium format "look" you get, not so much the sharpness. Most every portrait shooter wants sharp lenses though, which is why most of us shoot primes. Its much easier to soften a sharp photo than to sharpen a soft photo.

To take a 100mp image that requires significant post processing so as not to horrify the subject Seems deeply illogical . This is how an attractive model looks under the scrutiny of such a device. I suspect for the level of pro portrait shooters that use MF Phase one, Hasselblad, or Fuji that the tool is more of a status thing.

Yea, well that's a very average headshot by someone not very proficient with lighting. No offense if that is your shot. Im talking about real fashion photography like this

https://stories.phaseone.com/fashion-and-advertising-photography-with-medium-format-and-dslr/

That was rather an unfortunate link as frankly the first image in it is godawful and the rest are marginal and no better than could have been done with many far less expensive cameras. The shot is from the Dpreview gallery so no offence taken

https://stories.phaseone.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Blog_BelaRaba_featured.jpg

Most fashion and advertising shooting is massively retouched they have dedicated folk to do it. The results are often so far from reality as to be bordering on CGI and other than prestige I see no benefits of MF for portrait shooting . There are a glut of fast high quality lenses in the FF world, whilst they are in short supply for MF taking away some of the DOF and tonality advantges.

I think this quote at the bottom of the the advertisement  from the photographer says more about MF portrait photography than the rest of it

When you shoot medium format, you can also position yourself as a photographer in a higher league and justify better wages for your work. There are not so many competitors playing in the medium format league.

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Adrian Harris
Adrian Harris Veteran Member • Posts: 5,691
When using the gx8 for colour critical work
2

When using the gx8 for colour critical work ...

The GX8 has a Superb and easy system to adjust colour tone and these can be added to memory.

I photograph lots of people in alsorts of tricky lighting conditions and am thankful for that feature.

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Cafe Racer Contributing Member • Posts: 746
Re: M43 cameras and blotchy red skin tones
3

Dexter75 wrote:

In the past, I’ve owned the Panasonic GX7, GX8 and GX85 and all have suffered from terrible skin tones. Blotchy red spots on faces, chests, even arms.

What made you continue to buy Panasonic cameras after the GX7 if you're unhappy with the results?

This seems to happen both in natural light and really bad with flash or strobe lighting. I have really been wanting to get an Olympus EM 10 iii because of the great deals and I love a few of the Olympus portrait lenses. However, looking at samples of different Olympus cameras online, seems they suffer this same problem with blotchy red skin. It’s pretty bad, makes people look like they have some kind of skin disorder. I could never deliver photos like that to a client.

What camera do you use when you want to produce photos with good skin tones that you can deliver to a client?

Why is this? Is this a M43 thing? is there a way to correct this with different settings?

These questions sound rather rudimentary. The skill level of a photographer can be more important than the equipment when aiming to achieve high quality results.

Here are some examples of what I’m talking about from both Panasonic and Olympus cameras

Do you get the results you talk about with brown skin?

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Keit ll Veteran Member • Posts: 4,639
Re: M43 cameras and blotchy red skin tones
2

Dexter75 wrote:

Ruairi wrote:

I think your camera has just captured exactly what is in front of it. Namely, people with blotchy, sun-kissed skin, or in the case of the first image, someone under a magenta light/massive colour tint error - you may notice that when bright light shines through our skin, the shadow is distinctly blood coloured. If you shoot raw, all of the red mid-shadows can be cooled off easily in post.

Using the same gear as you. This is pretty much exactly what was in front of the camera - my freckly wife.

Those aren’t my shots. No offense but that red is showing in your photo too. Her forehead, cheeks and neck all look sunburned and several shades different then under her eyes and her arms. This has to be a M43 Olympus/Panasonic thing, I’ve not seen this on any other cameras. I might just pick up that EM 10 III and shoot it back to back with my Canon and see how they handle the same skin tones.

Dare I suggest that you look at people more closely?  Most people don't have perfect skin either in texture or colour. We become more aware of small differences when viewing still images. Colour appearances change depending on the prevailing light &  body & light temperature as others have said.

Are you talking about Jpegs OOC or your inability to PP your chosen images? Some examples may help to illustrate your particular problems.

I have attempted to process your chosen example, the end results may not appeal to everyone so it is all going to depend on who you want to please?

Pete_W
Pete_W Senior Member • Posts: 1,169
Re: Jpegs? Raw?
3

Dexter75 wrote:

Henry Richardson wrote:

Shooting jpegs or raw? Are you saying that shooting jpegs you are having these skin rendition problems?

If you are shooting Panasonic jpegs then which Recording Mode are you using? You should be using Portrait or possibly Natural. Not Standard, Vivid, or Scenery.

Note that with Olympus you should use Portrait or Muted.

Thanks. With the Panasonic cameras shooting JPEG, I was using Standard.

Hang on!

Didn't you say before that the photos you posted were not your own? But now you say you were shooting JPEG?

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Sano1 Junior Member • Posts: 25
Re: M43 cameras and blotchy red skin tones
1

Dexter75 wrote:

In the past, I’ve owned the Panasonic GX7, GX8 and GX85 and all have suffered from terrible skin tones. Blotchy red spots on faces, chests, even arms. This seems to happen both in natural light and really bad with flash or strobe lighting. I have really been wanting to get an Olympus EM 10 iii because of the great deals and I love a few of the Olympus portrait lenses. However, looking at samples of different Olympus cameras online, seems they suffer this same problem with blotchy red skin. It’s pretty bad, makes people look like they have some kind of skin disorder. I could never deliver photos like that to a client. Why is this? Is this a M43 thing? is there a way to correct this with different settings? Here are some examples of what I’m talking about from both Panasonic and Olympus cameras.

Hi Dexter,

I can confirm same behaviour with the Panasonic FZ1000 camera. Same problem with skin tones, not so strong in natural light (but anyway rather upleasant), but very strong with flash light, especially if applied indirectly (reflected from ceiling and/or walls). Additionally to what you described I can see in the pictures even blotches of blue/violet colour in the skin tones, which I never saw with my eyes. So, though the FZ1000 is a fantastic camera for shooting nature, architecture, animals (even mooving ones) with exceptional ergonomics (I love shooting with it), I find it absolutely inconvenient for shooting people. A possible workaround is shooting RAW. I gave it a try - the results were waaayyyy better. But I am a "jpeg" shooter and am not willing to process hundreds and thousands RAW shots (eg. from a holliday).

So I decided to jump to Olympus and bought a second hand EM1 II in the  last autumn. The result is, that the skin tones are much better, as well as the general image quality compared to the FZ1000. So I don't understand your having same problems with an Olympus camera (???). I am quite satisfied with the output of the EM1II so far. Another issue is the more complicated menu system, the rather worse viewfinder and some other minor issues with setting the camera to one's own needs. All in all, shooting the Olympus camera is not such a pleasure as shooting the Panasonic FZ1000.

Sano

I

Sano1 Junior Member • Posts: 25
Re: Jpegs? Raw?

Henry Richardson wrote:

Dexter75 wrote:

Henry Richardson wrote:

Shooting jpegs or raw? Are you saying that shooting jpegs you are having these skin rendition problems?

If you are shooting Panasonic jpegs then which Recording Mode are you using? You should be using Portrait or possibly Natural. Not Standard, Vivid, or Scenery.

Note that with Olympus you should use Portrait or Muted.

Thanks. With the Panasonic cameras shooting JPEG, I was using Standard.

Panasonic Standard has high saturation and contrast and is often not a good choice for really good skin tones. Same for Olympus and pretty much all the other companies too. Usually the default jpeg setting is punchy (higher saturation and contrast and each company may have some other secret sauce they throw in to make things look good for most photos). Most or all companies also have a Portrait mode with lower saturation and contrast and designed to give much nicer skin tones. With film we used to have lots of standard color print films from Kodak, Fuji, Agfa, Konica, etc. that also tended to be more saturated and contrasty. Then there were the portrait color print films which, as you might guess, were designed for portraits and they had lower saturation and contrast.

Of course, white balance is also important, but for the moment let's assume you get that okay.

I suspect that one can get pleasing jpeg portraits from Panasonic, Olympus, Canon, Nikon, Fuji, Pentax, Leica, etc., but one must play around a bit and choose the best settings. In addition to the Portrait mode one can usually further adjust saturation and contrast.

Good luck!

In addition to my previous reply:

I also tried all the possible settings which the FZ1000 offers (various shooting modes, less saturation, less sharpening, etc.) but the results were never satisfying. Maybe sometimes a tiny bit better, but never never really good. So I simply stopped using the FZ1000 for shooting people and use for this purpose other cameras.

Sano

stateit
stateit Senior Member • Posts: 1,164
Take these two examples:
3

Take these two examples

(Images exported @2048px on long edge to save space. ).

If you zoom in the images you'll see the difference between make-up and no make-up.

This lady was quite an example of having blotchy skin, and it was difficult editing her flatteringly. There were varied light sources at this venue, so the WB didn't help either.

Point is: None of us have uniform skin.

This thread reminded me of thinking about how to edit these images, and how this lady would react to the images of her un-made-up skin, but then I realised she'll have acknowledged this fact years ago anyway...

BTW, babies are even worse with their translucent skin. All sorts of purples, reds and blues.

Unblotchy skin on neck and face (make up)

Blotchy skin (how she is)

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