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01-02-2012, 07:25 AM   #1
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Dull colors from Pentax K-5

Hi there,

I've been using Pentax K-5 for a while once I switched over from K10D last month. One of the issues that I struggle with is the quality of colors produced by K-5. I had been using K10D for few years and was very happy with the vidid and bright colors it'd been capturing most often.

When I start using K-5 colors are not that bright, images feel dull and I can see yellow/orange or pink/magenta cast ill over the image. I hope this is some setting of the camera that I don't understand that causes this and I'd appreciate if you guys could help me out a bit.

Here are some samples taken by K-5 an K10D with the same settings and the same lans. Pictures were taken with daylight (ABW setting).

Sample in JPEG (Unprocessed, as produced by camera)


Sample in RAW (Unprocessed, just exported to JPEG by LR)


Here are also links to the full size files if you want to take a closer look:
K10D DNG
K10D JPEG
K-5 DNG
K-5 JPEG

01-02-2012, 07:32 AM   #2
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Looks to me like the exposure is different in the first and the wb in the second (the k5 got it right), but generally if you want to pop the colors I'd change the custom image settings until you're satisfied with the results straight out of the camera.

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01-02-2012, 07:46 AM   #3
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Thank's for your reply.
Actually WB in both cameras is the same (ABW) and the exposure bias is set to 0.
In K10D there are only two image settings (toning) options: flat and bright and in K-5 there is several ones and I set it to 'bright' to match what I have in K10D.
01-02-2012, 08:09 AM   #4
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Yep, Adam is right, there are custom presets like bright, natural, vibrant, muted, etc. I thought my colors were too bright and saturated, so turned them down to natural, YMMV

01-02-2012, 08:15 AM   #5
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Just because you use a setting with the same name doesn’t mean that both cameras are doing the same thing. Even if you used the same cameras you may not get the same results. In this case as pointed out by Adam the K5 has a better at lying about WB then the K10 and as it has more DR it is a little more conservative about setting exposure then the K10. As for what tonal setting to use you will have to have both photos the same before you can judge what setting you like as they are also going to be different.


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01-02-2012, 08:42 AM   #6
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Also your focus points were different. Here are my thoughts, make the environment more controlled. Use an indoor room, all manufactured light. Focus in Live View manually on the object. Have all the settings set to manual and set your shutter speed and aperture manually, and force it to 100 iso.

This will eliminate differences in the metering between the bodies.

FWIW, I prefer to shoot in the bright and sometimes in reversal film.

In the samples you posted, I'd say you got substantially more color detail out of the K-5. It does feel a tad underexposed though.
01-02-2012, 08:47 AM   #7
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Correct your EV compensation around +2/3 - +1, and everything should be fine.
01-02-2012, 08:53 AM   #8
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Have you turned on shadow and highlight compensation? You might think about turning them off if you have.

01-02-2012, 09:02 AM   #9
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Manual expose the photo with the same settings and then compare.

There will always be a colour difference though, because they use a different sensor, processor, metering, ect. The K5 is completely different on the inside then the K10D so they will never match 100%.
01-02-2012, 09:45 AM   #10
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You are comparing you old K10D, which you have probably set-up and customized to your preferences, to a new K-5 in it's default settings. Take some time browsing through the manual, the menu and the camera settings. You will see that in the end you will find settings even more pleasing to your eye than the K10D ever produced.
01-02-2012, 10:12 AM   #11
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Both shots look a little under exposed and the K5 especially. There will not be that much color pop in a dark scene. Not a good scene for a test shot as the camera's light meter is going to adjust for the window and reflected light off the seat. Add a little fill flash and you will get some color. A back lit scene is going to always tend to look like a silhouette depending the the amount of light. Both cameras metered the scene essentially the same with slight differences. The lack of color is due to the lighting. Cameras aren't the same as our eyes, which can see a much higher range of light.
01-02-2012, 11:53 AM   #12
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As mentioned, different focus points in both pics, different shutter speeds.
A very quick PP adjusting exposure and tone has the K5 image looking better than the K10 image in detail, and very similar coloring/WB.

I think it's mostly down to adjusting to your new camera, and deciding which settings work best for you - I don't bother with JPEG out of camera at all, as it's quick enough to make exposure and WB adjustments in LR and then export for printing, and you have a lot more control. I'd still suggest trying 'vibrant' for K5 jpg shots, that may give you closer to expected results out of camera.
01-02-2012, 12:31 PM   #13
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The outside light (look at window sill) is much more blue for the K10d--and that is likely a camera to camera difference. (Use a skylight or UV filter!) Include a grey card (or white paper) in the scene and do an individual wb adjustment (in raw). Also as noted by others adjust the exposure for camera to camera differences (I agree with earlier comment that both are underexposed--much more so for the K5)--and then fine tune using camera raw software (and sampling the same color spot).
01-02-2012, 12:58 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by rtpguy Quote
As mentioned, different focus points in both pics,
How does using a different focus point change the colours?
01-02-2012, 01:18 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by tblachowicz Quote
Actually WB in both cameras is the same (ABW) and the exposure bias is set to 0.
Well K-5 has a different metering system then K10D has, so they are different. The frame is also a little different wich could make the difference in the under-exposure of the K-5.
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