Canon EOS 400D / Digital Rebel XTi/ Kiss X Digital Review
The EOS 400D provides a wide range of control for image sharpening, contrast, color saturation and color tone. You can also select output in sRGB or Adobe RGB color space. The EOS 400D features the now Canon standard "Picture Style" parameter presets, these are slightly different than found on other digital SLR's as the Picture Style used can affect both the contrast curve and color map.
Image parameter adjustments
- Picture Style: Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Neutral, Faithful, Monochrome, User def 1 - 3
- Color space: sRGB, Adobe RGB
- Image parameter adjustments
- Sharpness: 0 to 7
- Contrast: -4 to +4
- Saturation: -4 to +4
- Color tone: -4 to +4
Each Picture Style can be thought of as being similar to different types of 'film', each one is made up of a tone curve, color map (including differing hue responses) and default sharpness. The camera comes with six programmed Picture Styles but you can download other styles from Canon. The disappointing aspect of Picture Style (still) is that the tone curve and color map are not revealed to the user, you have to experiment to understand the effect of each Picture Style. An approximate summary of the available Picture Styles are as follows:
|Picture Style||Canon description||Tone curve||Color|
|Standard||Vivid, crisp general setting usable for variety of conditions.||Type 1
|Slightly more saturation|
|Portrait||Produces a soft texture and beautiful expression of skin color.||Type 1
|Medium saturation, skin tones get a pink hue|
|Landscape||Sharp expression with particularly vivid results for blues skies and green hues.||Type 1
|High saturation, blue and green emphasis, hue chg.|
|Neutral||With post-processing in mind, saturation and contrast are low.||Type 2
|Low saturation, neutral hues|
|Faithful||Faithful production of the subject's colors, with no exaggeration.||Type 2
|Low saturation, colormetrically accurate|
|Monochrome||Monochrome expression in black & white, sepia, etc.||Type 1
|B&W, can use filters (red, green, orange, etc.)|
For a reference of how each of these Picture Styles relate to older EOS digital camera parameter settings please refer to the chart at the bottom of this page on canon.co.jp.
Picture Style default parameters
You can see an interactive example of the color response difference between each Picture Style in the 'Photographic tests' section of this review.
Picture Styles 'real life' portrait example
Below are six images in different Picture Styles produced from the same RAW image. Each was saved at a reduced size to aid full size display / download speed (in these examples we're only interested in tone and color). As you can see the Portrait picture style does produce more pleasing skin tones which are pinker and more natural looking.
|Neutral||Faithful||Monochrome (no filter)|
Picture Styles 'real life' landscape example
Below are three images in different Picture Styles produced from the same RAW image. Each was saved at a reduced size (as above). Here you can see the advantage of using the Landscape Picture Style when shooting shots with a lot of folliage and blue skies, with a more pleasing green color hue and stronger overall color response.
|Standard||Landscape||Monochrome (red filter)|
Use Portrait Picture Style only for Portraits
The Portrait Picture Style is designed very specifically for the purpose of producing pinker, more healthy and natural looking skin tones. This can clearly be seen in the portrait example above, however what can also be seen from the 'watch scene' example below is that this Picture Style should not be used 'generally' in the same way as Standard, Landscape or Neutral can. It has very specific color mappings which can produce some hue shifts in reds which may be unexpected.
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