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Large format sensor colour...

Discussion in 'Creative Corner' started by Brian Mosley, Jun 10, 2010.

  1. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Hello everyone,

    I've just been on Luminous Landscape and really liked MR's front page image of the waterfall here.

    I thought it was obvious from the rich shadow colour tonality that MR was using a large format sensor cam.

    I then noticed there's a new article on shooting waterfalls by Mark Dubovoy here, and thought as I was scanning the article... isn't that funny, Mark's shots are being outclassed by MR's front page shot - crediting the superior large format sensor cam being used.

    I was surprised to read in the article that Mark's images were taken with the PhaseOne DF camera with a P65+ back...

    It made me go back to my last waterfall photo, taken with the E-P2 + 20mm f1.7

    E-P2 + 20mm f1.7
    1/2s f/16.0 at 20.0mm iso100
    View attachment 145875

    ...and reprocess the raw file, looking to emulate what I thought was the big sensor colour tonality...

    View attachment 145876

    I'm not sure that I've succeeded, but I am inspired to keep trying!

    C&C Welcome and appreciated.

    Cheers

    Brian
     
    • Like Like x 3
  2. landshark

    landshark Mu-43 Veteran

    307
    Apr 27, 2010
    SO CAL
    you will find the main advantage of the large format sensors is dynamic range
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Jason
    Brian,

    I prefer the first one. The second one looks a little baked to me. The trees look a little too red/orange for my taste.
     
  4. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Yes, that's the difference I thought I was seeing between MR's cover shot and Mark's work in the article... but when a properly exposed m4/3rds image of a low/normal contrast subject is processed to sRGB alongside a large format sensor image... how can we tell the difference?

    This is what's driving me to consider colour signiture and how it can be used...

    Cheers

    Brian
     
  5. landshark

    landshark Mu-43 Veteran

    307
    Apr 27, 2010
    SO CAL
    The file size should be much larger with the large format, so the resolution is also better but the inherent lack of depth of the large format sensor can make it look like you have less resolution.

    With color, the capture software of any large sensor back has way more control over color than any in camara system. But at the end of the day most all things can be made good in photoshop
     
  6. landshark

    landshark Mu-43 Veteran

    307
    Apr 27, 2010
    SO CAL
    Here is my now discontinued big guy, that we are shooting with today.
    To tell you the truth I would never want to carry this around to shoot landscapes
    View attachment 145884
     
  7. Boyzo

    Boyzo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    784
    Mar 3, 2010
    Brian...
    Both are very good .. but I like the 2nd more warmth and more zap in the greens gives the image more realism.

    Of course LL are always onto equipment but for normal folks the m43 is great, I have no desire to go APS sony EVIL or others.

    People have taken brilliant shots with the likes of the FZ30 and other small sensor CAMS of the same ilk, by comparison the m43 sensor is very big and very hi IQ.
     
  8. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 9, 2010
    Paris, France
    As you have obviously great experience in this field, can you be a bit more specific ? I'm interested in colour management, did a bit of homework on the subject, but am in great need of a bit less theory and much more hands on accounts.
     
  9. pete_t

    pete_t Mu-43 Regular

    52
    Apr 24, 2010
    UK
    Its the resulting picture that counts the most and the second picture makes me smile most. I can hear the birds sing, the brook rushing past and around the rocks, the sound of my boots walking over the wooden footbridge before walking up the steep path just beyond into the woods.

    A high res back like the P65 shows detail within the detail so any enlargement can retain incredible detail. Sure, DR is also increased, but a well exposed image at any resolution can please just as much.
     
  10. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    I'm with Pete and Boyzo, to me your second version is much more alive. It's brighter but it's more than that - I call it alive. That's my reaction, and a strictly nontechnical one.
     
  11. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 9, 2010
    Paris, France
    I'd say the 1st one is certainly closer to the historical 'reality' of the scene, but the 2nd might be closer to your memories... In photography colours are not 'true' in any sense of that word. You create them (or let your camera / PP software handle them) to (re)produce a feeling in the viewer's eyes. The question isn't 'which is better' on an absolute, objective scale, but 'which do I want to look at and show'. Colours in pictures are a bit like make up for women : you can choose the 'out of bed style', stay 'natural', crank up to 'good looking' or go out of scale. You chose what suits you.
     
  12. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    Oh Mauve, I'm going to have to think of a good male comparison scale!:tongue::biggrin:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. landshark

    landshark Mu-43 Veteran

    307
    Apr 27, 2010
    SO CAL
    I guess what I meant to say is, if you are using the large format capture software to process the image you have more control, if you use Photoshop to process the raw files the capture software does not have as much control over the images. The difference then between the sensor sizes will show itself in the increased quality of the large format sensor, with high resolution, longer higher dynamic range and an overall smoothness of the captured image.

    If you are going to process out the images in the capture software, you have a lot of controls over the color in the software, for example I use Leaf Capture with my Leaf backs, it lets me control color temp, tint, exposure, there are about 16 built in color profiles or I can custom make my own, control over saturation, grain, moiré, sharpness, 8 or 16bit tiffs as well as jpegs. Plus all this time we are tethered to a calibrated monitor.
    This way you and/or your client can see pretty much see what the final image will be as you shoot. Also with this setup once you are dialed in you can have practically anybody with access to the software process out the images correctly.
    This system does produce beautiful images; I just would not use it unless some is paying.
    For my own stuff I sometimes use a Canon MKIII 1Ds, or most of the time my m 4/3 cameras or even my Ricoh GR III. Since I only shoot raw, I am processing these images in Photoshop already.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Herman

    Herman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 7, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Goodmorning everyone! Interesting thread, thanks Brian for starting it.
    To get close to large sensor megapixels:
    Take a large number of pictures with your mft camera, stitch them together with ICE, will there be a difference in result compared to ONE picture taken with a large sensor camera. Did anyone try this?
     
  15. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    You have to be quite obsessive with these things... I made another adjustment this morning.

    My first take : Olympus Studio with
    Natural Colour Mode
    Contrast -2
    Sharpening -2
    Saturation -2
    Gradation Normal
    Noise Filter Off

    Exported to exif tiff in AdobeRGB colour space, Imported to Lightzone and my 'enrich shadows' action applied to add 'soft light' saturation progressively from the shadows to the highlights.

    E-P2 + 20mm f1.7
    1/2s f/16.0 at 20.0mm iso100
    View attachment 145925

    This left the highlights a little too 'thin'...

    ...I reprocessed the raw file, looking to emulate what I thought was the big sensor colour tonality...

    This time I converted the raw file using : Capture One 5 PRO
    FujiColy's E-P2 Olympus colour signature simulation
    Low contrast
    Low saturation

    Exported to tiff in BruceRGB colour space, Imported to Lightzone and my 'enrich shadows' action applied to add 'soft light' saturation progressively from the shadows to the highlights.

    Also added saturation to highlights.

    View attachment 145926

    This morning, I went back to the free Olympus Viewer...

    Natural Colour Mode
    Contrast -2
    Sharpening -2
    Saturation 0
    Gradation Normal
    Noise Filter Off

    Exported to 16 bit tiff in AdobeRGB colour space, Imported to Lightzone and my 'enrich shadows' action applied to add 'soft light' saturation progressively from the shadows to the highlights.

    View attachment 145927

    Cheers

    Brian
     
  16. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Jason
    Mauve, this is why I like the first picture. From an artistic view, the second is probably better. But if I am taking the picture from a memory point of view, to me, the first feels more real. The more and more I take jpegs with the E-P1, I feel that sometimes the pictures are warmer than what I remember. Panasonic to me is much more cooler, and really doesn't even show greens and reds realistically. I hate to say it, I prefer Canon's color, slightly less saturated, the best.

    To me, the most realistic color I've seen of any camera is from the Faveon sensor. I've always been impressed with the realism of the colors.

    I also think, that when remembering a scene from memory, there is the 3-D effect of actually being there. A 2-D picture can't always represent that, and sometimes playing with the colors helps in that regards.
     
  17. landshark

    landshark Mu-43 Veteran

    307
    Apr 27, 2010
    SO CAL
    Honestly the only way to judge color is to shoot a color chart, then process the image on a calibrated monitor use the chart for reference, and then even after all that it will be wrong, because everybody else will be looking at the image on a different system using a different monitor, pushing the images to adifferent output device. This is the constant nightmare of the working professional

    So at the end of the day it all becomes very subjective and you should just output what colors you think you remember and what you like. I tend to prefer warm saturated images, but other times I like bluish images with the saturation turned way down, all depends on the day.

    Just have fun and express yourself the way you like.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  18. ChristopheG

    ChristopheG Mu-43 Regular

    49
    Jun 4, 2010
    prix photographe mariage

    Hey, i like the first one,It's amazing ans awesome, color and the clearity is too good and nice and it seems to be presence of there at this time.
     
  19. Pelao

    Pelao Mu-43 Top Veteran

    959
    Feb 3, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Very interesting exercise.

    Of course, it's a challenge working through these things on a various monitors. Leaving aside what to my eye are some clear resolution and DR points, a lot of this is really down to what you want to portray.

    For me, the real test is in the print.
     
  20. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    How much more do we see in a print, compared to a screen image? Will that difference be surpassed in due course by display technology?

    Cheers

    Brian
     
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