M43 cameras and blotchy red skin tones

Started 2 months ago | Discussions
liquidsquid Senior Member • Posts: 1,955
At least with the GH-2, but not the G9
2

My wife has a very pale complexion, and the GH-2 could seemingly see right through her skin! I could see quite a difference in skin tone on the camera preview and computer no matter the white balance, and what was in front of me. Blotchy red-ish complexion on the camera that to my eye, was much smoother and paler.

I would need to turn down the reddest red adjustment in LR to help with it, but then the photo would just look weird.

The G9 does not experience the same thing.

It is not white balance, but I assumed the ability to be very sensitive to longer-wavelength reds which we don't as readily see with our eyes, a broader spectrum of reds all squeezed into the red channel. She looked much "blotchier" on the GH-2, so I tended to avoid taking her picture, our I would never hear the end of it!

The G9... lovely. No problems. So far no complaints from my sweet self-conscious wife.

Hmmm, if I could get away with sharing her picture without hurting her feelings, I would take some side-by-sides in the same lighting to show what I mean. It was especially bad under some indoor lighting scenarios. One of a few reasons I retired the GH-2 and started looking for a new camera.

If I were to guess, the spectral response of red on the G9 is much aligned with our natural sight in reds. Probably true with the Olympus cameras as well.

The cynic in me thinks that the reds on old m4/3 sensors were extended to improve low-light sensitivity.

p.s. My son, who is Korean adopted, has naturally more brown to his skin. The GH-2 was perfectly fine with him. Never noticed anything odd or different from my eye. Just my wife.

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Gnine Senior Member • Posts: 1,274
Re: M43 cameras and blotchy red skin tones
4

Dexter75 wrote:

TwoMetreBill wrote:

Stop shooting jpegs and learn how to use a good photo editing tool. If you insist on shooting jpegs then use a high end smartphone as the best of them have much better jpeg algorithms than any camera at any price.

Thanks for the advice but Ive been shooting JPEG the entire 15 years Ive been shooting professionally and Ive never once had a complaint from any client, art director or editor on the images Ive delivered. I know how to shoot and process RAW in 3 different editors but for what I do, RAW is a waste of time and only slows down and complicates my workflow.

Sorry, but I’ve got to call BS on that. Especially in light of this https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/63526004

All those years of Pro shooting, and you’ve never tried changing picture styles? Really?

OP Dexter75 Senior Member • Posts: 2,889
Re: M43 cameras and blotchy red skin tones

Gnine wrote:

Dexter75 wrote:

TwoMetreBill wrote:

Stop shooting jpegs and learn how to use a good photo editing tool. If you insist on shooting jpegs then use a high end smartphone as the best of them have much better jpeg algorithms than any camera at any price.

Thanks for the advice but Ive been shooting JPEG the entire 15 years Ive been shooting professionally and Ive never once had a complaint from any client, art director or editor on the images Ive delivered. I know how to shoot and process RAW in 3 different editors but for what I do, RAW is a waste of time and only slows down and complicates my workflow.

Sorry, but I’ve got to call BS on that. Especially in light of this https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/63526004

All those years of Pro shooting, and you’ve never tried changing picture styles? Really?

Yep, because Ive never had to think about it with Canon. Ive never had to use anything other than Standard.

Gnine Senior Member • Posts: 1,274
Re: M43 cameras and blotchy red skin tones
7

Dexter75 wrote:

Gnine wrote:

Dexter75 wrote:

TwoMetreBill wrote:

Stop shooting jpegs and learn how to use a good photo editing tool. If you insist on shooting jpegs then use a high end smartphone as the best of them have much better jpeg algorithms than any camera at any price.

Thanks for the advice but Ive been shooting JPEG the entire 15 years Ive been shooting professionally and Ive never once had a complaint from any client, art director or editor on the images Ive delivered. I know how to shoot and process RAW in 3 different editors but for what I do, RAW is a waste of time and only slows down and complicates my workflow.

Sorry, but I’ve got to call BS on that. Especially in light of this https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/63526004

All those years of Pro shooting, and you’ve never tried changing picture styles? Really?

Yep, because Ive never had to think about it with Canon. Ive never had to use anything other than Standard.

Ha ha ha ha. Now I know for sure you're talking BS, as I've also shot Canon APSC & 36x24 for nearly 10 years. And seen some very ugly looking orange & pink skin tones in that time. Especially on Asian skin. Enough that I resorted to shooting raw.

Interestingly, the one thing Panasonic used to get panned for, was their bland & uninspiring jpeg colours. Which, to my eye, were probably among the most realistic and natural looking out there. I actually cringe a little bit when looking back through some of my Canon shots, but oddly enough I feel no desire to run off to the Canon forums making posts about it. Strange huh?

Thomas Traub Contributing Member • Posts: 742
Re: M43 cameras and blotchy red skin tones

jpg or RAW?

whitebalance correct?

The easy way is the portrait-automatic, improves the skin tones.

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Photo Pete Veteran Member • Posts: 5,221
Re: If you go looking for something....
7

Dexter75 wrote:

cpt kent wrote:

So you’ve posted photos you ‘found’ of a problem you think exists?

You have no idea of the conditions they were taken under, the settings used, or the nature of the original subject, and yet you use them to argue that M43 has a problem?

sounds solid to me.

See my post a couple above yours...

You mean the post containing the tacky ‘70s glamour pictures that look like they’ve been taken as part of a beginner’s studio portrait session?

You’d be better off posting some of your own work or pointing us to your professional website. It would be a very strange professional who didn’t want to advertise their own website.

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El Jeffe Regular Member • Posts: 355
Re: M43 cameras and blotchy red skin tones

Use portrait style with contrast and saturation at -2.

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Donald B
Donald B Forum Pro • Posts: 14,879
Re: M43 cameras and blotchy red skin tones

Hi dex just go into photoshop match color and hit neutralize . you have a color cast in the image.

Don

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Ruairi
Ruairi Contributing Member • Posts: 515
Re: At least with the GH-2, but not the G9

I remember the reds being a bit cramped in the G3 too. Never noticed anything out of the ordinary, regarding red skin, blotchiness, or any odd quirks on the more recent Lumix or Olympus cameras.

Would have to try especially hard to get similar results as OP on his GX85, would be easier to replicate using a Samsung mobile camera with the beauty modes turned up high. Perhaps all the jpeg 'enhancements' are turned on, 'iDynamic' and all that...

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Ruairi
Ruairi Contributing Member • Posts: 515
Re: Aah!

James Stirling wrote:

Ruairi wrote:

That's some impressive editing (sorry about off focus) - and a good way to illustrate the point. Even if I am now unfamiliar with the glamorous lady in the photo!

It is a fine line between depicting reality and how the subject sees themselves. I one retouched , what I thought was a food stain on a wee girls face. Turned out to be a small birthmark that later faded away . I had done a few weddings for that family god bless Mr and Mrs Whiteford and their six daughters

Hah, 'the customer is never wrong'. Could maybe say regarding the birthmark, that it was life imitating art after it faded away.

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Ruairi
Ruairi Contributing Member • Posts: 515
Re: M43 cameras and blotchy red skin tones
2

Not seeing any of the blotches you described in these photos, but am surprised how they have turned out. The GX85 shots look like some beauty mode on a Samsung mobile camera, and the fluorescent lighting in the Canon shot is showing a sickly yellow cast - definitely use some controlled lighting for those shots. The lighting in the Sony pic looks better.

It's a chore, but I'd suggest going through your picture settings on GX85 and turning all jpeg 'enhancements' off. iResolution, iDynamic, NR filter, all of it. The GX85 is a camera for all experience levels, so comes with many auto features turned on by default - as a pro of 15 years, you likely don't want them. Take a few portrait shots in the various Raw profiles to give you an idea of how the camera is performing before the jpeg engine does it's thing. Many have recommended the Portrait profile in particular.

Try to keep the ISO nearer 200 - you use studio lighting so that should be easy to do.

There's no need to go as high as f14 for portraiture on M43 cameras, diffraction could be causing some of the detail loss in your photos. f8 on M43 gives the same DoF as f16 on a FF camera. Try f8 and lower for best details.

Still not sure what to make of this thread. That first magenta image is a joke surely!

Anyway, hope you've got enough advice and find that great skin tones, whether accurate or glamorous, are easily enough achieved on the GX85 and E-M10iii.

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Ruairi Contributing Member • Posts: 515
Re: M43 cameras and blotchy red skin tones
3

James Stirling wrote:

Speaking as a former wedding shooter overcast days are far far better for generating flattering portraits. Blazing sun is a nightmare , fortunately living and working in Scotland the former is rather more common On the overcast days the sky in effect becomes a massive softbox giving a lovely soft gentle light

Can attest to this. It's like God set the lights to 4000k in Caledonia.

Get the look

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James Stirling
James Stirling Senior Member • Posts: 6,380
Re: M43 cameras and blotchy red skin tones

Ruairi wrote:

James Stirling wrote:

Speaking as a former wedding shooter overcast days are far far better for generating flattering portraits. Blazing sun is a nightmare , fortunately living and working in Scotland the former is rather more common On the overcast days the sky in effect becomes a massive softbox giving a lovely soft gentle light

Can attest to this. It's like God set the lights to 4000k in Caledonia.

Get the look

It is a lovely light for photography

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James Stirling
James Stirling Senior Member • Posts: 6,380
Re: Aah!
1

Ruairi wrote:

James Stirling wrote:

Ruairi wrote:

That's some impressive editing (sorry about off focus) - and a good way to illustrate the point. Even if I am now unfamiliar with the glamorous lady in the photo!

It is a fine line between depicting reality and how the subject sees themselves. I one retouched , what I thought was a food stain on a wee girls face. Turned out to be a small birthmark that later faded away . I had done a few weddings for that family god bless Mr and Mrs Whiteford and their six daughters

Hah, 'the customer is never wrong'. Could maybe say regarding the birthmark, that it was life imitating art after it faded away.

I was just glad the mum took it in good humour some folk get sensitive about that kind of thing

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thinkinginimages
thinkinginimages Contributing Member • Posts: 846
Re: At least with the GH-2, but not the G9
2

liquidsquid wrote:

My wife has a very pale complexion, and the GH-2 could seemingly see right through her skin! I could see quite a difference in skin tone on the camera preview and computer no matter the white balance, and what was in front of me. Blotchy red-ish complexion on the camera that to my eye, was much smoother and paler.

I would need to turn down the reddest red adjustment in LR to help with it, but then the photo would just look weird.

The G9 does not experience the same thing.

It is not white balance, but I assumed the ability to be very sensitive to longer-wavelength reds which we don't as readily see with our eyes, a broader spectrum of reds all squeezed into the red channel. She looked much "blotchier" on the GH-2, so I tended to avoid taking her picture, our I would never hear the end of it!

The G9... lovely. No problems. So far no complaints from my sweet self-conscious wife.

Hmmm, if I could get away with sharing her picture without hurting her feelings, I would take some side-by-sides in the same lighting to show what I mean. It was especially bad under some indoor lighting scenarios. One of a few reasons I retired the GH-2 and started looking for a new camera.

If I were to guess, the spectral response of red on the G9 is much aligned with our natural sight in reds. Probably true with the Olympus cameras as well.

The cynic in me thinks that the reds on old m4/3 sensors were extended to improve low-light sensitivity.

p.s. My son, who is Korean adopted, has naturally more brown to his skin. The GH-2 was perfectly fine with him. Never noticed anything odd or different from my eye. Just my wife.

You hit on something when you mentioned skin translucency. I prefer to not be photographed because of that. I was in an accident and had some "repairs". In natural lighting it's hardly visible. Some cameras pick it up and enhance the "work".

Makeup and camera flash can also cause some strange effects. "Street" makeup wasn't made for the intensity of a camera flashes.

Another thing I found was Adobe's autocorrect over-corrects. It has a strange sense of what skin looks like.

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fiddleseth Junior Member • Posts: 38
Re: M43 cameras and blotchy red skin tones
1

Yeah I noticed this with my GX85. Compared to Canon and Fujifilm the Panasonic colors are a bit more saturated and look sort of unnatural. The color mix tool in Lightroom can help with that. I switched to Fujifilm and now people look pale and unhealthy to me so I try to make those images look more like the Panasonic's. I think skin tones were slightly improved on the GX9, at least judging from some image samples I've seen.

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Martin JC Veteran Member • Posts: 3,003
Re: M43 cameras and blotchy red skin tones
2

Not seeing blotches...

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OP Dexter75 Senior Member • Posts: 2,889
Re: M43 cameras and blotchy red skin tones

fiddleseth wrote:

Yeah I noticed this with my GX85. Compared to Canon and Fujifilm the Panasonic colors are a bit more saturated and look sort of unnatural. The color mix tool in Lightroom can help with that. I switched to Fujifilm and now people look pale and unhealthy to me so I try to make those images look more like the Panasonic's. I think skin tones were slightly improved on the GX9, at least judging from some image samples I've seen.

Right. I’m betting the people who don’t see it have never shot with a Canon or other system that more accurately renders skin tones. I shouldnt have to play with the colors in post to get useable images. That’s just not feasible when I’m dealing with up to a thousand photos on a shoot sometimes. There is a good reason so many portrait/wedding photographers shoot with Canon. I’ll probably rent one of the newer Olympus cameras and play with all the profiles and see if I can get one that will work straight out of the camera.

AllFlawed Contributing Member • Posts: 800
Re: M43 cameras and blotchy red skin tones

drj3 wrote:

I think Olympus cameras come with Keep Warm Color turned on. Easy to turn off or change color balance if you shoot RAW with Olympus WS or any good PP software.

Olympus do seem to be rather enamoured of this keep warm option which can often be in practice more of a tobacco stained room or object option. The E-PL9 silent shutter option being shunted in to an Auto mode really shows this to terrible effect in artificial light and I imagine the EM10 Mk III also.

The opening shot seems very much to be in Auto WB Smoking Den mode in the background.

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ahaslett
ahaslett Veteran Member • Posts: 5,895
Re: M43 cameras and blotchy red skin tones
6

Dexter75 wrote:

fiddleseth wrote:

Yeah I noticed this with my GX85. Compared to Canon and Fujifilm the Panasonic colors are a bit more saturated and look sort of unnatural. The color mix tool in Lightroom can help with that. I switched to Fujifilm and now people look pale and unhealthy to me so I try to make those images look more like the Panasonic's. I think skin tones were slightly improved on the GX9, at least judging from some image samples I've seen.

Right. I’m betting the people who don’t see it have never shot with a Canon or other system that more accurately renders skin tones. I shouldnt have to play with the colors in post to get useable images. That’s just not feasible when I’m dealing with up to a thousand photos on a shoot sometimes. There is a good reason so many portrait/wedding photographers shoot with Canon. I’ll probably rent one of the newer Olympus cameras and play with all the profiles and see if I can get one that will work straight out of the camera.

We see lots of complaints on the Sony forum about skin colours.  It turns out that I prefer Sony over Canon examples.  In any case, my images are whatever I add to the C1 Pro defaults.  The Canonistas who drop in to complain don't seem at all happy that anyone could like colours other than Canon ones.

The landscape equivalent is how clouds are rendered.  They have to look like photographs of clouds, not like real clouds.

I hope that you like Olympus jpegs, although I find that grass is too realistically green for my liking.  If you like Canon, maybe the solution is obvious.

Andrew

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