Keep Oly Colours if you want to use the ETTR technique

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by tomO2013, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. tomO2013

    tomO2013 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 28, 2013
    This post isn't probably pertinent to every shot captured with the ETTR technique where a small adjustment to the exposure slider is all that's needed to pull the image back.
    However I've been playing around with the ETTR technique over the past week or two since reading Petka Pokka's original article and discussion on the threads here (thanks guys again for the fantastic original thread).

    My problem is that for all intents and purposes the primary reason that I use my E-M1 , over pretty much every other systems etc.... is down to how I view IQ. I shoot Olympus for the colour signature. I love it!.
    It's not for everybody and I've friends who hate it, but I love it so my ultimate goal is to keep the Olympus colour signature and maximise the amount of information captured in my Raw files!
    Are these two things mutually exclusive though....

    The ETTR technique is great, but heavily dependant on a good post processing workflow - however that means we are at the mercy of our Raw convertors....

    LR + great highlight/Shadow recovery
    + pretty good colour profiles in 5.3 (but still too much red and not quite the same as Olympus Viewer 3).
    + noise reduction is pretty good
    - lens profile corrections are only average.
    - demosaicing algorithm doesn't look to pull quite as much detail as photoninja or Dxo Optics Pro.
    - Color profile is close to giving Olympus colours but skin tones are not exactly the same - perhaps a little too much red.

    DXO Optics + good shadow recovery / highlight recovery - not quite as good as LR, but automatic 'smart light' generally does a good job of opening up the dynamic range.
    + Great demosaicing algorithm that pulls lots of detail
    + great sharpening profiles based on each individual lens
    + phenominal noise control
    -- crap colours with supplied default DXO standard profile and Olympus camera body profiles compared to the latest LR5.3 and more importantly OV3.
    - red channels are oversaturated but possible to get great skin tones if you have the patience to massage the red channels in post if not using OOC jpeg.

    Olympus Viewer 3 + Best/great demosaicing algorithm looks to pull the most amount of real detail from the Raw files.
    + Opening the a raw file in OV3 the Default sharpening ( setting of 0) looks to be pretty good without requiring any other raw presharpening.
    +++ get to keep the Oly colours :D
    - Highlight/shadow recovery is crap. Not so great for working with ETTR in post if you have deliberately over exposed to the right by a stop and a half.
    - Noise algorithms are crap and smudge details. I leave this to off regardless of ISO as the incamera noise settings are far superior to what OV3 software does for noise control.

    From reading around exporting a 16bit tiff from OV3 ends up truncating a lot of hidden highlight data close to and around pure white.

    If you shoot with the ETTR technique and also keep the Oly color signature, how are you accomplishing this with OV3 / LR / DXO / Photoninja (I got a mail from DXO to say that colour profilesspecific for the E-M1 are coming in jan so this may be a moot point in a few weeks).?


  2. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    It would be really interesting to see some examples of the colour differences between SOOC JPEGs and file PPed using LR, DxO, OV3 etc. do you have any examples?
  3. jamespetts

    jamespetts Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2011
    London, England
    Have you tried LR 5.3 with the Huelight profiles?
  4. klee

    klee Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 20, 2013
    Houston, TX
    Real Name:
    Great observations. I've also been using all three programs with similar observations.

    I'm curious about the 16-bit tiff problem in OV3. Does anybody know about that?

    Color Tone:
    I've been working exclusively with DXO this past month just to see how I like it. I find that the presets aren't as consistent, and the color rendering options aren't as predictable as the LR5.3 profiles. But it's detail recovery is much better than LR5 so I've just been massaging color tone manually in DXO.

    Distortion Correction:
    I found that with my 17/1.8, I don't always need distortion correction, and I like that DXO gives me the flexibility to turn this off, or to adjust the intensity. While OV3's color profiles appear more natural to me, it won't let me export without distortion correction at all. It's the same with LR5. This sucks.

    I'm wondering if DXO will be adding the EM5 to the color rendering body selections... currently I only see the Olympus 4/3 DSLR bodies listed.
  5. tomO2013

    tomO2013 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 28, 2013
    Absolutely, I'd welcome the opinions. Attached are some outputs from the different Raw convertors.

    DISCLAIMER!!!! : I have deliberately exported as Adobe RGB jpegs. I'm aware that many browsers will have probs displaying the jpeg using the adobe RGB colour set.
    This link : should help you to determine if your browser is rendering with the Adobe RGB profile.

    On windows chrome and firefox do not (latest builds). I have found that Safari on Windows looks to work ok with this.

    On OS X I believe that Safari is fully capable of rendering jpegs with the Adobe Color space.

    DISCLAIMER 2: I am absolutely NOT an expert on color space but no better way to learn than to try :). I'm using Adobe RGB here because ultimately my first use for images that I really like is to print them, the web is second use-case for me.

    Shot details :
    Olympus 45mm shot at F1.8

    Camera setup with pekka potka's recommended settings in their entirety.
    See link here :
    Similar settings are equallly applicable to E-M1.

    Original ETTR image (unprocessed apart from a direct export in OV3 version 1.2) here :

    I made the following small modifications in OV3 :

    Exposure -.6
    Contrast 0
    saturation 0
    Distortion Correction enabled default
    gradation normal
    Everything else at default as shot (e.g. sharpness = 0, no additional sharpening)
    NR - low
    Color Space - Adobe RGB
    Picture Mode - Natural
    output Jpeg - high quality.

    OV3 - natural color profile

    OV3 - Neutral color profile


    Lightroom setup

    LR 5.3
    Exposure -.6
    Default contrast, highlights shadows etc... at 0.
    0 modifications to tone curve
    default sharpening and NR (amount 25, radius 1.0, detail 25, masking 0, Luminance NR =0 , color NR = 25)
    output Jpeg (hightest quality - selected Adobe RGB color space).

    LR53 - Adobe Camera Raw

    LR53 - Camera Natural profile

    LR53 - Huelight Normal Profile

    LR53 - Camera Muted Profile


    DXO Settings :
    Default DXO standard profile
    -to make things fair, i've disabled DXO smart lighting and manually set the exposure to -.6 again.
    - Reduce Luminance NR - by default DXO uses it's 'high' engine and sets luminance to 40, I set this to 20 instead and enable chrominance color NR).
    - Default lens profile corrections for distortion, vignetting, chrominance abberation and lens softness are enabled (these have not been touched).
    - Output highest quality Jpeg, ICC profile - Adobe RGB

    DXO Standard color profile

    DXO Camera Body - Olympus E3,E5,E30,E620, Intensity 100 (out of 200) and protect saturated colours intensity (36 out of 100) . These are default values when enabling this preset.

    DXO Camera Body - Olympus E410,E420,E450,E510,E520 Intensity 100 (out of 200) and protect saturated colours intensity (36 out of 100) . These are default values.

    Finally just because I can I decided to do a few small further tweaks (maybe about 5 mins tops in DXO and Filmpack) to the image to get me this :
    <iframe src="" width="775" height="1024" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen></iframe>

    A bit of background on this image. It's my grandad of 102 years of age born 1911. We were having a chat and he didn't mind posing for a photo as we were chatting about life growing up.
    Possibly Ireland's oldest active boules player..... possibly ;)



    Edit: I'm fully aware that from a composition point of view, that I've chopped the top of his head off! It was intentional and kinda works, I think?!
    • Like Like x 1
  6. tomO2013

    tomO2013 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 28, 2013
    On hindsight, this image doesn't really convey the 'red' tinge issue as my grandad has tanned skin and the light that it was taken in doesn't really emphasise it enough. It does show how bad the DXO is and possibly how washed out the Muted Adobe is compared with the Olympus Muted. My favourites are the Olympus Muted, Olympus Natural and Huelight Normal in terms of colour reproduction.
    I've noticed the red tinge issue primarily in outdoor daylight (cloud) with very pale caucasians that the pretty much every convertor bar OV3 and the Olympus OOC colours have a red saturation.
    Keeping on topic, I'm fascinated to know how those of you here manage to keep the Olympus colour signature AND manage to use the ETTR technique with tricky images where highlight, shadow recovery is required. The sample that I've provided is quite an easy image to correct.