The EOS 40D, like all current Canon Digital SLRs, provides presets of image parameters in different 'Picture Styles'. There are six default and three user defined Picture Styles, all of which can have any of their four image parameters (sharpness, contrast, saturation and color tone) adjusted. In addition the user defined Picture Styles can be 'based' on any of the preset Picture Styles. This is important because as well as having slightly different image parameters each preset Picture Style also has a slightly different contrast 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
As mentioned above, 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. One new addition which came along at the same time as the EOS 40D is the Canon Picture Style Editor, a piece of software which allows you to produce your own custom Picture Styles which can include complex color maps.
Picture Style default parameters
You can see an interactive representation of the contrast and color difference between each Picture Style in the 'Photographic tests' section of this review.
Picture Styles 'real life' scene 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).
|Neutral||Faithful||Monochrome (no filter)|
Landscape Picture Style
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 for shots with foliage and blue skies, stronger blues and a richer green hue.
|Standard||Landscape||Monochrome (red filter)|
|Wood Panel Truck, Retired by Buzz Lightyear|
from Random Items - Challenge 22
|The Falls by jdaniels10|
from Show us LIQUIDS!
|Silence by JP Zanotti|
from Blown highlights