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Those shooting Lumix cameras in JPG - your favorite custom settings?

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by DHart, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    I know that some of you who use the Lumix cameras have experimented with finding some "rich" settings for your JPGs. As a RAW only shooter, I've been wondering about how good a Panny JPG from the camera can get.

    Will you share your favorite settings for dialing in the Lumix cameras for sweet JPGs?
     
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  2. pjohngren

    pjohngren Mu-43 Top Veteran

    560
    Oct 15, 2010
    I shot RAW with my GF1 and G1 for six months and concluded it was not for me and so have been pursuing the ultimate JPEG. Admittedly the Lumix default settings leave something to be desired, so it is necessary to "season to taste" your Lumix camera.

    For virtually all outside shooting I have settled on a WB of "Cloudy" which I further tweak by adjusting it one notch toward blue (since the default is too yellow) and two notches toward magenta (since the default is too greenish). I leave the WB on this setting for all outdoor shooting and allow the natural light to determine the look. I am in the process of doing a similar tweak for indoor under incandescent light, but haven’t gotten there yet.

    I then use “Film Mode” and have settled on “Dynamic” which I further tweak by decreasing the contrast -1 and increasing the saturation +1. I leave the noise reduction at zero and haven’t decided about the sharpening – currently I have it at zero also, but may jack it up. Am not sure how good the sharpening in camera is as opposed to sharpening in Photoshop under Lab Color “lightness” channel, which works great.

    I may also do a similar tweak to “Vibrant” film mode, for those times that I want an even more snappy look. But so far the adjusted Dynamic setting works great.

    I find that my tweaked JPEGs, which I then adjust slightly in Photoshop especially re: sharpening, are better than what I was getting with Adobe Camera Raw. I did use SilkyPix and batch converted all my RAW files before throwing them away, using the default settings of SilkyPix, and a sharpening of 100 (out of 500) and was very happy with the results – way better than Adobe Camera Raw. I think that SilkyPix may actually take into consideration the in-camera settings whereas Adobe does not.

    Anyway – it is very possible to get great JPEGs with Lumix G cameras and save gobs of time in the process. I am getting the exact color I want right out of the camera. You do have to pay absolute attention to the exposure. I have the live histogram hanging right over the picture and adjust exposure comp so that the right hand edge just touches the right side of the histogram box.

    Shooting JPEGs is a pure joy. I also no longer use Adobe RGB. You get just as many colors with sRGB and it makes for a universally usable file if you want to e-mail it, make a book on Blurb, upload to Kodak or any other printing service, and it makes wonderfully colorful prints on my Epson Stylus Pro 4000. Adobe RGB uses a weird compression/expansion process to squeeze a wider gamut into a small space, then expand it again. This can lead to problems in post processing, at least of JPEGs.

    So that’s my approach. Hope someone finds it useful. I would love to learn more about shooting the best JPEGs possible, but JPEG shooters seem to remain in the closet. Hope this thread takes off – thanks for starting it Don.
     
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  3. benjie

    benjie Mu-43 Regular

    63
    May 17, 2010
    London
    I'll be trying those out as I've been searching for the holy grail of ideal jpeg settings. I'd much rather get it right in camera rather than poring over a hot computer weeks after I've taken the images, when I finally get round to PP.

    Thanks for the suggestions.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. pjohngren

    pjohngren Mu-43 Top Veteran

    560
    Oct 15, 2010
    Check out "JPG vs Raw: Get it Right the First Time" by KenRockwell. He will give you courage to proceed on this valid quest.
    RAW vs JPG

    Also check out his article on Adobe RGB vs sRGB
    sRGB vs. Adobe RGB
     
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  5. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I have been using pjohngren's settings for my trip to India and since. I really like it for outdoor shots, but the white balance is WAY off for indoor shots.
     
  6. pjohngren

    pjohngren Mu-43 Top Veteran

    560
    Oct 15, 2010
    I agree with you re: indoor shots - way too orange. We need to use the incandescent WB as a starting point perhaps and tweak from there, but it may be difficult as indoor lighting is a mixed bag.

    Would love to see some of your shots from India!!
     
  7. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    pjohngren... thank you for sharing that info... looks like we have a great start to a thread which hopefully many will contribute to in sharing their tweaks for JPGs.
     
  8. Kade.Sirin

    Kade.Sirin Mu-43 Regular

    47
    Sep 23, 2010
    Las Vegas
    When I shoot jpg, I adjust the balance for each situation unless I'm unable to (at which point I just shoot auto).
     
  9. I used to set my old Canon 350D to a WB setting of 'cloudy' for most outdoor work as well. It's a good way to get some extra warmth in the colours if you have a camera that tends to produce quite muted colours. Sometimes it can be a bit over-the-top, though.
     
  10. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    there's a thread in the travel section, or at
    Message
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Grant

    Grant Mu-43 Veteran

    JPEG is 8 bit you camera isn't, get over it. Shoot it right in the fist place, show in RAW.
     
  12. Howi

    Howi Mu-43 Veteran

    208
    Feb 23, 2011
    Sheffield
    Howard
    Ouch! :bravo-009:

    Man the barricades.......
    Stand by to repel boarders.............
     
  13. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    Yeah, I know. I have been an all-RAW shooter for years and for best results, it is the way to go! But I was just curious to see what the Lumix folks have done to bring the OOC JPGs to a level they are very happy with. While I may dabble with JPG for fun once in a while, I will remain a RAW shooter.
     
  14. pjohngren

    pjohngren Mu-43 Top Veteran

    560
    Oct 15, 2010
    I feel sorry for you RAW shooters - all that unnecessary work for so little gain. Here is an interesting quote from the Rockwell article:

    "If you're a tweaker you'd be interested to learn raw and JPG also have the same effective bit precision. JPG has 8 bits per color per pixel and raw may have 12 bits, but here's the big catch: raw is 12 bit linear, and JPG is 8 bit log, gamma corrected or some other non-linear transform derived from the 12 bit linear data. Thus in the shadows where this might matter the two are the same, since the full 12 bit resolution in the dark areas is preserved by the non-linear coding. "

    No, I don't really understand that either - but, the fact of the matter is, it doesn't matter - you can make great images with good old reliable, universal, 8 bit JPEG. I know I should feel guilty about that, but I am adjusting to it, even though I'm from New England where one is supposed to suffer at least a little bit.

    Also, I just tested out the in-camera sharpenning of my G1 in the "Dynamic" film mode, and cranked it all the way up, taking a picture at each of the five possible sharpness settings. The full +2 setting requires very little post process sharpening compaired with the -2 and in fact looks terrific. The in-camera processing is done on the camera's RAW output before it is saved as a JPEG and is not overly agressive. In Photoshop LAB color (lightness channel) I still needed a little more sharpenning with the +2 setting and everything looked great.

    I really feel that we can continue to fine tune our JPEGs and end up with the camera doing most of the work, with us just adding the finishing touches in post processing. And, we end up with a real stable digital negative with JPEG that will be readable forever as it is not a proprietary format, unlike RAW.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Howi

    Howi Mu-43 Veteran

    208
    Feb 23, 2011
    Sheffield
    Howard
    Et tu Brutus.
    If I preferred jpg I would have gone Olympus, as I shoot raw it didn't matter, so picked body and lens combo at cheapest cost (gf1 + 20mm 1.7) that would give me the best pocketable (just) camera as it stood, with the option to add my existing 4/3 lenses when needed.
    The 20mm gives me the 40mm FL I have been used to for more years than I care to recall with my Konica FS1 ( long gone but not forgotten).
    I have not been disappointed!

    For the jpg shooters, just let me say ' most wrong with that' if you are happy with what you get. There has been a lot of crap written in both camps.
    Shoot what you want to shoot - forget what you have read regarding the pros and cons, it is the final results that matter.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  16. pjohngren

    pjohngren Mu-43 Top Veteran

    560
    Oct 15, 2010
    Panasonic is conservative in their default settings, which is why their default JPEGs are rather bland. Once you set your GF1 the way you like it, the JPEGs are wonderful. Stone_chimney1.
    This is an out of the camera JPEG I took when I was first making the change to JPEG from RAW. I took this with my GF1, so no need to go Olympus if you shoot JPEGs.
     
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  17. brents

    brents Mu-43 Regular

    45
    Feb 24, 2011
    I have also been mainly using the "dynamic" film mode with +1 saturation, +2 sharpening and -1 contrast. I find the out of the camera jpegs to be very pleasing, which is great for me as i'm not a big fan of post processing.

    It is definitely possible to get nice looking jpegs out of a lumix g or gf providing you tinker with settings to please your own taste. I've only had my GF1 for a few days but have improved the jpeg considerably from default settings.

    I look forward to seeing everyone elses settings!

    Edit: I also find the standard film mode good with +1 sharpening and +1 saturation.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    In the end, what's the difference in creating a LR RAW profile and an "in camera" profile? They are both "developing" the RAW data and converting to an 8 bit color depth, but the in-camera solution provides instant feedback out in the field and makes it considerably easier to upload and share with friends while on the road.
     
  19. pjohngren

    pjohngren Mu-43 Top Veteran

    560
    Oct 15, 2010
    For me, being able to look at a fully developed image that packs all the intended punch makes the whole experience exciting. Tweaking and refining becomes part of the picture taking process, rather than occuring in post processing. The tweaked film mode is as important as the tweaked white balance and the right exposure, since they will all be "baked" into the final image when you press the shutter.
     
  20. banana101

    banana101 Mu-43 Regular

    57
    Mar 5, 2011
    London
    Wow that's a great pic! What settings did you use for it? Or do you adjust each one separately for the picture?
     
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