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Getting the best Colour Setting on the GF1 (updated! I'll kindly send RAW preset)

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by Iconindustries, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. Iconindustries

    Iconindustries Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    With all the talk around the better out of the camera jpegs on the Olympus cameras I stuck my head down to somehow get better looking jpeg images out of my GF1. I know you'll probably say I should shoot RAW, but for me I don't have that much time to fiddle around with the images too much:smile:

    My images always looked nice but I often needed to always either lighten the image and ad a little contrast. At first I used Standard and then moved to Dynamic. Dynamic is nice but its sometimes takes an image that is quite dark. I tried adding a 1/3 EV to try and have a lighter image but that was just way to much. So after scouring the internet tonight I have got some settings here that alot of people seem to like. I have just set them into my Custom setting C1 and I really like the output. It is night-time here so I will get out tomorrow and try out the settings I've loaded and let you know how it's like.

    So here is what the fella's reckon is good (Dpreview actually).

    Set white balance to 2 steps to the right (blue) and 1 step down (magenta)
    and set that.

    Go into REC settings and set iExposure to 'Standard'

    Now go into Film Mode and change the colour type to 'Nostalgic' this sounds strange but this is the killer setting here.

    contrast +2
    sharpness 0
    Saturation +1
    NR -2

    This is what I did and it looks great for the few shots I've taken inside. Will let you know how it goes tomorrow in the daylight.

    Please feel free to try it out yourself and let me know what you think. Or what settings do you like?


    • Like Like x 6
  2. tam

    tam Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 12, 2010
    Sounds good, I might give this a go on my G1 later.

    I did a load of controlled testing, and came to the conclusion (from the std. film options) that std. is the most faithful colour, but for shots where the colour is an important component of the composition then dynamic is also useful. The other settings less so.
  3. Bullfrog

    Bullfrog Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Hmm. I'll give these a go...

    Do you have any samples you'd care to post using these settings (I'm away from my camera right now so can't play immediately)
  4. Bokeh Diem

    Bokeh Diem Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 14, 2010
    As light changes our perception of colour changes with it. Certain wavelengths get reinforced, others are diminished.

    Presetting white balance on the camera (Set white balance to 2 steps to the right (blue) and 1 step down (magenta)
    and set that) instead of allowing WB to adjust to these varying conditions, or allowing oneself the ability to adjust for changing conditions in WB on the fly (moving to cloudy or shade settings for example) might interfere with the camera's ability to adjust to these conditions, no? Please correct me if I am wrong. (I know that setting a WB profile and then setting WB to Auto can be done, but my point is about interference and the ability of the camera to deal with it).

    Also, different lenses process colour differently. Might not the above also apply here? If I remember correctly there is a thread started on the Forum about profiling lenses and shooting to establish a lens profile via software so that lens corrective presets could be used (if one wanted to)...

    So much of this is subjective. Older, less contrasty lenses which offer up soft colour renditions have a certain appeal to some, whereas another might take a file generated from a shot on these lenses and pump it, saturating the thing and driving the contrast north to satisfy their more modern tastes.

    I am finding that I am tinkering more with the jpegs out of the Panasonic kit zooms than those developed out of the kit primes, fwiw. I have found at times I am desaturating colour and contrast PP. But, in the end, I always let the camera take the picture the way it wants to, and work it up later.
    Bokeh Diem
  5. ajm80031

    ajm80031 Mu-43 Regular

    If you're finding that the camera's auto white balance settings tend to be off, I'd imagine that the amount its off doesn't stay constant across a wide range (e.g. from daylight to fluorescent). I'd think that dialing in a preset amount of change might work well in some lighting conditions but poorly in others.

    I don't think there's a camera out there that gets the white balance set correctly on its own in most all lighting conditions. For that reason I'd suggest getting a small white balance reference card and carrying it around with you. One the size of a business card is plenty large (when you set a custom white balance only the center portion of the sensor image is used) so you can easily carry it on a lanyard or in your pocket. It only takes a few seconds to get a spot-on white balance setting using this approach, and you only need to reset the custom white balance if the lighting conditions change (e.g. you change locations or it was sunny but now clouds are blocking the sun).

    When you're shooting JPEG it's critical to get the white balance right as it will be "baked in" to the image and changing it in post-processing has a negative impact on the final image (this problem doesn't exist with RAW, but I realize that RAW isn't for everyone). The white balance card isn't a panacea -- for instance, if you're shooting a performance on a lit stage, the light reflected to your area in the audience will be weak and won't be representational of the lighting on a given performer. But in most cases it's a quick, easy, and accurate way of getting your white balance set.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Bokeh Diem

    Bokeh Diem Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 14, 2010

    Your point regarding presetting for white balance not working in varying conditions is what I was trying to say, but you managed to do it succinctly.

    And your truism about jpegs being unreceptive to WB PP is an absolute. I have been frustrated lately with this. Thanks for the gentle reminder.

    The white balance card is fabulous advice, much like the pros used to use grey cards. I think I will start carrying one myself. Thanks a bunch for the idea!

    Bokeh Diem
  7. Pelao

    Pelao Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 3, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    I find this subject technically interesting, but feel that the latest RAW converters are so fast and easy to use that it makes no sense for me to try altering the jpeg settings.

    I cull assertively from each shoot, so am really left with a relatively small batch to edit. Many will be similar in terms of exposure, so a copy and paste of adjustments is easy.

    I will almost always crop a bit anyway - so taking a few more seconds to edit is no hassle.

    For the few occasions I use jpeg (for snapshots) the colour is generally fine - but I rarely shoot jpeg.
  8. Maczero

    Maczero Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 13, 2010
    I thought I would try to shoot just jpeg only with my GF1 as an incentive to try to make me estimate exposure and WB more accurately than I need to with Raw. I aim to go back to shooting my normal Raw plus jpeg (normally ignoring the jpeg!) in due course, but thought this would be a useful exercise.

    I seem to have been round the houses on GF1 settings (Standard, Dynamic, Smooth, Vibrant and tweaked versions of all of these and WB too). Your settings seem to produce a jpeg that is pretty close to what I see (at least in a Scottish September afternoon). A bit of a tweak to a tone curve seems to be about the only PP that's really needed to punch the images up. Thanks.

  9. bilzmale

    bilzmale Mu-43 All-Pro

    Icon I'd seriously encourage to shoot in RAW and learn to 'tinker' in post processing. As said a constant setting on the camera does not allow for changing light. You might find you get hooked on pp as well as on shooting. Silkypix is not the easiest program to use but the free Raw Therapee is worth a look. It works on Windows and Linux but not Mac.

    Photo-Freeware.net - RAW Therapee Download
  10. Iconindustries

    Iconindustries Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Hey Bizmale no fear! I made this thread up back in June and I can tell you I have gone completely over to RAW. No more Jpegs, nada, zilch.

    I was hesitant at first with RAW as i only had iphoto and that was not the best to work around with RAW. I dreamed of an app that I could put the RAW images into and then it would convert them into the desired look that i liked. Well after looking around the net I convinced myself to try Aperture. I'm so glad i did because that app is the next best thing since sliced bread. After a little research I found that I could make up a preset and then when I import to Aperture I select the preset I made and then, wham! All my pictures are so crisp, colourful and really pop.

    I very rarely need to adjust the images any further.

    Thanks Bizmale for your concern-

    I love Aperture because it is so similar to iphoto I didn't take long to pick it up.

    • Like Like x 1
  11. Maczero

    Maczero Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 13, 2010
    Yes please. PM sent.
  12. Iconindustries

    Iconindustries Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Thanks maczero, preset emailed
  13. Maczero

    Maczero Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 13, 2010
    Thanks. I'm away from home at the moment so only have a few images on my laptop to try this out on. However, the preset makes a subtle but noticeable difference which I like. A real case of less is more.
  14. kwaphoto

    kwaphoto Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 4, 2010
    Colorado, USA
    Thanks! Email sent for the preset, I can't wait to try it! It really is amazing how much better the RAW is vs. JPG with the GF-1. Not the great a diff with the E-3 (never shoot RAW there).
  15. Iconindustries

    Iconindustries Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Thanks kwaphoto. Preset sent.

    I forgot to say that Maczero has kindly added a slight tone curve to the preset I have sent you. My thanks to Maczero.

  16. Maczero

    Maczero Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 13, 2010
    Just a quick note on my tweak - sometimes it is better and sometimes Iconindustries' original is better. To get that, just disable the curves adjustment and decide which you prefer. Cheers.

  17. burro39

    burro39 Mu-43 Rookie

    Feb 14, 2010
    Cupertino CA
    Email sent for the preset!
  18. Iconindustries

    Iconindustries Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Hey Presets sent Burro and Jonkobek! Thankyou.
  19. Iconindustries

    Iconindustries Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Here is an example of the subtle difference between my original image and the image with the 'lighter' preset added.
    1st is the original. 2nd is with the preset. Note the lighter shadows in the latter.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/50527022@N02/5028988391/" title="P1070240 - Version 3 by iconindustries, on Flickr"> View attachment 150568 "1024" height="768" alt="P1070240 - Version 3" /></a>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/50527022@N02/5028991039/" title="P1070240 - Version 2 by iconindustries, on Flickr"> View attachment 150569 "1024" height="768" alt="P1070240 - Version 2" /></a>
  20. rkhndjr

    rkhndjr Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 9, 2010
    I have not tried this with the M4/3 yet but I use CS4 to edit and I go to File and choose Open As and click on Camera Raw, Then I open an image and it will be in ACR and I use the WB there, close it and the image goes right to CS4 for finishing. Or, you can edit further in ACR before finishing in CS4.
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