What is meant by "Olympus Color?"

Mack

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I keep seeing "Olympus Color" around the web and am curious as to its meaning and how it originated.

Is it that different from or has something distinctive that stands out from out from other cameras?
 
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I trust its not a trick question....here goes....

From the E1 days Olympus jpeg files were recognized for its good jpeg color output. Olympus capitalized on this by carefully maintaining and refining its jpeg output over the years. I recall with the Pen EP3 Olympus added more natural sharpness to their jpeg files and on the first EM5 one really saw this come to its best. Forget what they call this tech but they still use it today.

Olympus is also one of the few cameras that one can safely use the jpeg files. They edit well and is very responsive to editing.....

With the Pen F Olympus took this a step further. I wrote an article on the color aspects of the Pen F, you can see it here.

Another aspect I saw today again is working with the Olympus camera. I was using my EM1,2 and a Sony A7 III in a studio set and the subject a BMW motorcycle.... The Olympus live view and display of the image on the screen is brilliant. Its great to work with and it supports creativity. The Sony on the other hand does not have a interesting screen look. With the Sony one has to wait to see the results on a PC.

Hope it helps....
 

PakkyT

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Olympus is also one of the few cameras that one can safely use the jpeg files.
Yes, it has always been the rendition of skin tones that Oly cameras were known. In the USA, if you ever took your kids to a Sears department store for photos in a Sear's Photo Studio in the early years of this century, most likely their photo was taken with the E-1.
 

Mack

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Back to Olympus colors...

I photographed the x-rite Colorchecker Digital SG card with the E-M1 Mark II set to CWB=5,200 Kelvin (Adobe RGB). Verified the Kelvin with the ArgyllPro ColorMeter app using a x-rite i1 PhotoPro2 spectrometer head plugged into my S10+ phone (Screenshot below shows it reads 5,201.1 Kelvin circled in green at ~11:30AM so close enough!).

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From what I could see, the TIFF made from Olympus Workspace seemed to have issues with the skin colors in rows 7 and 8 on the SG card. They seemed to show little difference and somewhat light vs. the actual colors on the card. The sky blue (F3) seems to show a bit of yellow as does some of the other colors like the brown at E2. I've seen the yellow sky tint to a lot of stock Olympus blue sky shots.

From Workspace TIFF:

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I then used DxO PhotoLab 3 (My preference.) and used some profiles in it made off the SG card using Lumariver Profile Designer using a couple of profile variants made from it: One was to use the default where it has Automatic Black Subtraction turned ON by default which makes the image more contrasty, and the second with it turned OFF which does not crush the blacks as much.

Below is DxO Photolab 3 and Lumariver Profile Designer profile with Automatic Black Subtraction turned On (Checked by default.):

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Below is DxO PhotoLab 3 and Lumariver Profile Designer with Automatic Black Subtraction turned OFF (Unchecked.):

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The profiles made from the Lumarivier PD are closer to that of the SG card over the Olympus Workspace. I tend to like to see some shadow detail so I may use the Automatic Black Subtraction profile where it is turned off.

I also tried using ON1 Photo RAW 2020 too using ICC profiles made from the LDP software, but I prefer the DxO DCP profiles as it allows for more shadow detail.

Aside, I do a lot of fashion stuff so I need to hit the colors right to the point of being a purist. Some thread colors can go out of gamut or blend in so they show no contrast to the main fabric's color. They have to hit the printer correct for repro. Was sort of surprised that the Workspace skin color tints seemed much the same over what the SG card shows.
 
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It is interesting to see the work getting colors to the "purist" satisfaction. I recall a time that I went down that rabbit hole calibrating my PC monitor, creating my own color profiles plus plus..... I also fully appreciate there are applications and markets that demands absolutely accurate color response from an image....

All said as hobby photographer today I allow myself artistic freedom in terms of color. Applying basics like using the same color space in the camera and editing space and uploading in srgb for the web helps me maintain those colors as I want....bla bla....

At the end color is part of the emotional experience. Example a simple test I do for years is to show people, friends or family an image and to watch their reactions. Especially when I test a new color style like pastel colors or more saturated look..... First reactions is probably one of the most accurate ways of receiving feedback....

I guess the question is....what is your aim as artist?
 

memzinla

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I also really love Olympus colors. It's just my preference. I tend to like vivid and exaggerated colors. I love the way that the blue comes out in the skies in the JPGs. I tried editing raw pictures from other cameras, and I could not the colors to look alike. I'm probably just bad at editing, I'm not an expert.
 

Rob Trek

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Back to Olympus colors...

I photographed the x-rite Colorchecker Digital SG card with the E-M1 Mark II set to CWB=5,200 Kelvin (Adobe RGB). Verified the Kelvin with the ArgyllPro ColorMeter app using a x-rite i1 PhotoPro2 spectrometer head plugged into my S10+ phone (Screenshot below shows it reads 5,201.1 Kelvin circled in green at ~11:30AM so close enough!).

View attachment 787381

From what I could see, the TIFF made from Olympus Workspace seemed to have issues with the skin colors in rows 7 and 8 on the SG card. They seemed to show little difference and somewhat light vs. the actual colors on the card. The sky blue (F3) seems to show a bit of yellow as does some of the other colors like the brown at E2. I've seen the yellow sky tint to a lot of stock Olympus blue sky shots.

From Workspace TIFF:

View attachment 787382

I then used DxO PhotoLab 3 (My preference.) and used some profiles in it made off the SG card using Lumariver Profile Designer using a couple of profile variants made from it: One was to use the default where it has Automatic Black Subtraction turned ON by default which makes the image more contrasty, and the second with it turned OFF which does not crush the blacks as much.

Below is DxO Photolab 3 and Lumariver Profile Designer profile with Automatic Black Subtraction turned On (Checked by default.):

View attachment 787383

Below is DxO PhotoLab 3 and Lumariver Profile Designer with Automatic Black Subtraction turned OFF (Unchecked.):

View attachment 787384


The profiles made from the Lumarivier PD are closer to that of the SG card over the Olympus Workspace. I tend to like to see some shadow detail so I may use the Automatic Black Subtraction profile where it is turned off.

I also tried using ON1 Photo RAW 2020 too using ICC profiles made from the LDP software, but I prefer the DxO DCP profiles as it allows for more shadow detail.

Aside, I do a lot of fashion stuff so I need to hit the colors right to the point of being a purist. Some thread colors can go out of gamut or blend in so they show no contrast to the main fabric's color. They have to hit the printer correct for repro. Was sort of surprised that the Workspace skin color tints seemed much the same over what the SG card shows.
This is really fascinating to me. I've noticed the yellow tint in the sky blues as well and assumed there were other irregularities across the entire color gamut. Was curious about your statement that some thread colors go out of gamut. Are you working within the Adobe RGB gamut from raw to print or do you use an even wider gamut? I've never considered what happens when a color is outside of the color gamut. Thanks for sharing all of this.
 
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_4120229.jpg
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Original EM5 with 12-50mm - jpeg out the camera, not edited.....
 

Mack

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This is really fascinating to me. I've noticed the yellow tint in the sky blues as well and assumed there were other irregularities across the entire color gamut. Was curious about your statement that some thread colors go out of gamut. Are you working within the Adobe RGB gamut from raw to print or do you use an even wider gamut? I've never considered what happens when a color is outside of the color gamut. Thanks for sharing all of this.
Yes Rob, the gamut of the Colorchecker Digital SG can go beyond the sRGB gamut and even some of the RGB 1998 too (A bit in the blue outside from my own test. The SG card's colors are really pushed outside the bounds below of the wireframe's sRGB/web standard and can differ a lot from what we all see on different monitors. Printing is another mess where I've accumulated over 500 profiles being I use 6 different printers and a whole bunch of different papers and canvases, along with occassionaly mixing my own inks from scratch (Cone's K7 B&W, or dye inks for brighter color on white film.).

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The Lumariver Profile Designer has a normal profile mode for DCP or ICC, as well as an ICC one in a tighter Repro(duction) mode. These women with their thread/yarn colors can spot very small color irregularities (Don't even go to lunch with a bunch of them where they will start examining their diamond rings for color tints. I often think, "What the heck are you seeing?" but then I'll get the chromosome thing and women see colors better than men, etc. Can't win an argument with them over colors - or painting some room either. "Looks burgundy to me." "No, it's fushia!" Ugh!).

Been beaten into a "Purist's color corner" for too long. Luckily, I have an Eizo CG 4K pro monitor that self-calibrates to the international standards set internally by Eizo so what it says is right and I can't screw that up unless I go into emulation mode on it, verses "I think this looks good enough for her...maybe." Picky d**n thread and yarn people. :rolleyes:
 
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