Question regarding the colors of the Z6 and Z7...

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Jonathan0007
Jonathan0007 Regular Member • Posts: 158
Question regarding the colors of the Z6 and Z7...

For those of you who have (or have had experience using) both the Z6 and Z7, have you noticed a difference in color response in the JPEG and/or RAW files? Or do they appear to be identical?

Nikon Z6 Nikon Z7
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Ellis Vener
Ellis Vener Forum Pro • Posts: 14,536
Re: Question regarding the colors of the Z6 and Z7...
1

Jonathan0007 wrote:

For those of you who have (or have had experience using) both the Z6 and Z7, have you noticed a difference in color response in the JPEG and/or RAW files? Or do they appear to be identical?

What are you processing your NEFs with? What are your in-camera JPEG processing settings?

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(unknown member) Forum Pro • Posts: 11,837
Re: Question regarding the colors of the Z6 and Z7...

It often also depends on the Raw processor you are using.

Mark Regular Member • Posts: 318
Re: Question regarding the colors of the Z6 and Z7...

Jonathan0007 wrote:

For those of you who have (or have had experience using) both the Z6 and Z7, have you noticed a difference in color response in the JPEG and/or RAW files? Or do they appear to be identical?

WB plays an important  part in JPEG color reproduction; less important  when files are converted from RAW.

I make the assumption that camera manufacturers make adjustments in this respect from one camera generation to the next but maybe not between the high end models of the same generation.

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sirhawkeye64 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,269
Re: Question regarding the colors of the Z6 and Z7...
1

Jonathan0007 wrote:

For those of you who have (or have had experience using) both the Z6 and Z7, have you noticed a difference in color response in the JPEG and/or RAW files? Or do they appear to be identical?

As others have said, it depends on the RAW processor.  For example, I found LR to be off (too much purple tint) on the Daylight WB setting built-into LR.  Whereas on CaptureOne, the colors (and thus WB settings) look a bit more normal, although a bit more saturated, so your RAW processor of choice will make a difference.

I guess if you want a true test, download some of the sample NEF files from the site, download a copy of Nikon's free RAW processing program (CaptureNX) and compare yourself I guess (using the same settings in the RAW processor).  That would probably be a good test to tell you what you want regarding color.

Me personally, I haven't noticed a color difference in mine (other than the issue that I mentioned with LR but that's more a software issue).  I'd go out on a limb and say the color science between the two is probably almost identical out of the camera (JPEG) as they both most likely use the same algorithms for in-camera processing (they both use the same processor so I would assume the algorithms are nearly identical).  the only difference that might be at plan then would be differences in the sensor (not resolution, but how the sensor works in both bodies, since the sensor is different).  But I think from a color perspective (color rendition) its probably the same.

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Ernie Misner
Ernie Misner Veteran Member • Posts: 7,427
Re: Question regarding the colors of the Z6 and Z7...
1

Jonathan0007 wrote:

For those of you who have (or have had experience using) both the Z6 and Z7, have you noticed a difference in color response in the JPEG and/or RAW files? Or do they appear to be identical?

Well the color is baked into the jpeg depending on your camera settings.  But the raw file is just a lot of malleable data that you can process any which way depending on your taste and choice of software.  Trying to compare the two color wise is not making sense.

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sirhawkeye64 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,269
Re: Question regarding the colors of the Z6 and Z7...

Jonathan0007 wrote:

For those of you who have (or have had experience using) both the Z6 and Z7, have you noticed a difference in color response in the JPEG and/or RAW files? Or do they appear to be identical?

I should add to my previous post I made a few minutes ago...

To do a proper test, mount both on a tripod, shoot the same subject under the same lighting (ideally at the same time period in the day) and compare. You could use OOC JPEGs for this as a RAW file won't tell you too much about color science. This would probably be the best test I could come up with to compare color, but color is subjective, and if you shoot RAW, can be manipulated in your RAW processor/pixel-based editor.

The only time I'm concerned about getting the proper colors is when photographing people because if someone's skin tones are off slightly, it's can stick out like a sore thumb (for example, if your WB is slightly off and a person's skin has a slight blue tint to it, or it's too warm looking).

But as i mentioned earlier, I think the colors between the two cameras are going to be very close and probably not worth worrying about. Any slight differences can be adjusted for in post processing. Color is also subjective, and more or less up to the photographer unless you're trying to be as realistic as possible (ex. with a portrait for a corporate profile, where it has to look as natural as possible). But for everything else, color is really a matter of preference. Some people like natural skin tones, while others might like the more punchy/saturated color or deeper reds and blues over more accurate, but duller blues and reds.

Again, I don't think too much about the color science, except for when I'm photographing people, but the camera will capture the image however it can and it's up to me to make sure I have my ducks in a row and have the scene set up to get the best possible result (ie. lighting, gels for flashes/lighting, etc). Then it's a matter of making any additional corrections in post. And the other reason is because I know for most of my non-people photographs, I'm going to be playing around with the color a bit anyway (rarely do I just leave the color alone and simply export an image--I'm almost always tweaking color in post) so I don't get worked up about the differences between how my cameras capture color. They'll capture it however they can, and it's up to me (in post) to try to produce the image I had in my head at the time.

If you're really worried about color accuracy, then get a grey card or camera color calibration kit (like those from X-Rite) because that way you'll have a reference point to work from.

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Leonard Shepherd
Leonard Shepherd Forum Pro • Posts: 21,170
Re: Question regarding the colors of the Z6 and Z7...
1

The nuances of colours recorded by Nikon DSLR and ML bodies can be fine tuned in the menus to any "look" you prefer.

As has been mentioned, opening in different software (other than Nikon) can result in different results to those using other software - depending in part on which in camera settings are recognised by the software.

Ideally a calibrated monitor, a colour checker test chart, and shooting in your most used lighting is needed to get precision.

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jthomas39 Regular Member • Posts: 480
Re: Question regarding the colors of the Z6 and Z7...
3

The responses here are useful, but the question appears to be about differences between the same scene shot with a Z6 or Z7.

It's not so critical with raw images. But would there be differences in the edit settings between the two? I'm guessing that they are quite close.

...

I rarely use the jpg from my raw+jpg pairs, except as a review or comparison to what I saw in-camera. Results from the raw are so much better.

ggbutcher
ggbutcher Contributing Member • Posts: 960
Re: Question regarding the colors of the Z6 and Z7...
2

Jonathan0007 wrote:

For those of you who have (or have had experience using) both the Z6 and Z7, have you noticed a difference in color response in the JPEG and/or RAW files? Or do they appear to be identical?

I've been measuring spectral response of cameras with the objective of making better camera profiles.  While I don't have a Z 7 measurement, what I've observed is that the more recent Nikon cameras have very similar spectral curves, to the point where on a whim I used my Nikon D7000 profile for a Z 6 image and it came out just fine.  My surmise about all that is that Nikon started at some point specifying the bandpass characteristics of the dyes used in the Bayer mosaic on the sensor consistent for all cameras.  I've only looked at a couple of Canon plots, and they're different from the Nikon pattern, but similar to each other.  Here are such plots, Nikon, Canon, and others, for you to consider:

https://glenn.pulpitrock.net/openfilmtools_ssf_plots/

I know you're asking more about the renditions you're looking at, but really the principal place where discernable differences might lie would be in the spectral response dictated by the Bayer array.  Even then, most cameras' mosaics are built to measure light as close to human perception as possible.  After that, differences are introduced in the processing where you have discretion.

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j_photo Veteran Member • Posts: 5,193
Re: Question regarding the colors of the Z6 and Z7...

I have both and have not noticed any difference. However I shoot raw and often adjust in post.

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