- Feb 12, 2014
- Ajax, Ontario
- Real Name
- Rob Faucher
Good question and I'm not sure of the answer. Even so, 12 bit depth exceeds the color gamut of SRGB monitors and most ink jet printers.Doesn't file bit depth also become a factor? m43 (except GH5S) yields a 12-bit file, while most FF (if not all) are 14-bit. That may well be why their files seem "richer".
12 bit RAW files are capable of producing 68 billion colours, where as the SRGB colour space is limited to 16.7 million. Where it might make a difference is in latitude when processing poorly exposed raw files, so 14 bit may provide a bit more leeway before the image suffers perceptible degradation.
The answer may lie in the characteristics of the sensor itself and any pre-processing done in the conversion (de-bayering) stage. Over the years, I've noticed raw files can have their own signature colours when imported into Lightroom or Photoshop - there is a default Adobe colour profile applied. I doubt the default profile is invariant across different sensors. In the past, I used an X-rite ColorChecker Passport to profile my cameras. It had a tendency to create a similar "look" among them.
The most recent versions of LR now have camera matching profiles which do a decent job of emulating OOC JPG colors. So, if you like Oly colors, you can get something very similar when importing RAW files provided the correct matching profile is applied. Since I like Oly's colors, I now use the camera matching Natural profile. In previous Panasonic cameras, I never liked their JPG colors, so I used my own X-Rite derived profile. These days I like the G9's in camera rendering, so I apply the camera matching Standard profile.
Further the above points, changing the development profiles can either reveal or crush subtle colour gradients in the images. Subjectively, this can create a sense of richness or dullness.