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09-03-2019, 12:30 AM   #1
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Color accuracy?

Hi,

I'm aware that all camera's have their own "color science", but I always prefer the colors to be reproduced as accurately as possible.

So I'm looking for advice on how to achieve this with the K-70. I've been playing around with the various white balance options and custom image modes, but I wonder if there's some kind of magic formula that others are using?

I have noticed that reds are generally over-saturated and yellows are paler than they appear in reality.

Thanks,

Charlton

09-03-2019, 01:57 AM   #2
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Personally, I don't see a reason to be bothered with this and I don't think there's a way to address your concern in-camera.
Considering how bloody bitingly bright and contrasty most images on social medias these days are, most people would never know a difference between a theoretical "100% accurate colours" and "90% accurate colours".
09-03-2019, 02:07 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Hi Charlie

To get exact (or as close to exact as possible) colour accuracy from your photos, you'll want to shoot raw rather than JPEG. You'll also need to use a colour chart and profiling software to create colour-accurate profiles for the camera / lens combo and raw processing software you're using. Then, when you load raw files into that software, the relevant profile can be applied.

To ensure your computer monitors are displaying photos with accurate colour reproduction, you'll need to profile them using a colorimeter and supplied (or alternative) software - for example, X-rite's ColorMunki Display...

This is the approach I use, and I'm happy with the colour accuracy I can achieve.
09-03-2019, 02:14 AM - 2 Likes   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by MetalUndivided Quote
Personally, I don't see a reason to be bothered with this and I don't think there's a way to address your concern in-camera.
Considering how bloody bitingly bright and contrasty most images on social medias these days are, most people would never know a difference between a theoretical "100% accurate colours" and "90% accurate colours".
With respect, though, we're not necessarily talking about photos destined for social media here

It needn't matter all that much... so long as you like the colours your camera produces - and many people do - there's no need to make them more accurate. But certain types of photography. - products, perhaps weddings, others too - benefit from, or in some cases, absolutely require colour accuracy. Furthermore, if you shoot more than one camera - especially different brands - it can be helpful to baseline them to the same colour accuracy through profiling, such that any processing presets you've developed will have a more consistent effect when applied to photos from each camera...

09-03-2019, 02:54 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
With respect, though, we're not necessarily talking about photos destined for social media here

It needn't matter all that much... so long as you like the colours your camera produces - and many people do - there's no need to make them more accurate. But certain types of photography. - products, perhaps weddings, others too - benefit from, or in some cases, absolutely require colour accuracy. Furthermore, if you shoot more than one camera - especially different brands - it can be helpful to baseline them to the same colour accuracy through profiling, such that any processing presets you've developed will have a more consistent effect when applied to photos from each camera...
Thanks for the advice and I agree 100% with your observations. Believe it or not, I do not post to social media :-o

It's common knowledge that some of the most stunning images out there are not true reflections of the actual colors at the time of shooting, and I'm fine with that. Art is art, regardless of how it was created.

But the ability to capture a scene as I remember it is important to me.

Charlton
09-03-2019, 03:05 AM   #6
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I use an x-rite colour checker for the reference, and I create custom profiles for each individual shoot and your camera. Obviously if the light is changing a lot then you may need to take multiple colour checker photos and create multi-shot profiles.

But as @BigMackCam essentially says, going to this level of effort is pointless if the screen you edit on is not calibrated.

The effects you notice with reds and yellows may be just as likely to be an issue with the monitor you view the photos on as it is with the camera, assuming you're using only a single monitor.
09-03-2019, 03:48 AM   #7
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Be sure your "scene selection" is set to "natural", and the mode switch on anything other than "auto". Read up on how to get your white-balance set correctly for the shot you plan to take.

09-03-2019, 03:51 AM   #8
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Color accurate images can look rather dull, but if color accuracy is the goal, then the white balance can be "measured" with pocketable grey card, white balance card, even a piece of well white paper in the camera bag. But, again, perfect white balance doesn't mean that pictures will be as your eyes saw it, because human perception adapts when the color temperature changes. Default camera settings can be a starting point, shooting RAW and then adjusting to taste. About the over-saturated red, that's a problem with sRGB because of the limitation of sRGB range for the reds, using Adobe RGB is a better choice, but then the working display must support 100% Adobe RGB coverage and take care later to convert to sRGB for web display or printing if sRGB is expected by the printer.
09-03-2019, 05:24 AM - 1 Like   #9
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Including a colour card in your photo and then matching it in post is the only way to ensure colour accuracy. If it's a studio set, you do it once and it's good for as long as you use that set up. In nature, it's not even a thing. You can do all the colour accuracy you want, then the image is viewed by 100 people on 100 monitors and only the guys with your monitor and profile get colour accuracy. Unless done in combination with a printer or monitor (a known output device) it's pretty much moot anyway.

If you aren't happy with the colour in your edits, that's a completely different issue, not at all related to colour accuracy.

It's surprising how many people actually believe the best photographs are "colour accurate". Or that a photograph has to have level horizon to look good. All a photograph needs to do to look good is to look good. I can say without fear of contradiction, the most colour accurate photo is rarely the most pleasing to look at. And if you look at the whole concept of colour accuracy you'll find it impossible to define. Is a sunset taken in yellow (filtered by the atmosphere) light colour accurate with a yellow tint, or should you make the white on the colour card white? This is an un-resolvable argument that boils down to a matter of taste with their being no correct technical answer. Most of the time technical colour accuracy is not what you want. What you want is what makes your monitor appear to be as much like what you saw, remembering that your eyes do their own white balance and that what your eyes "saw" was not what was there. You really are not trying to do a technical colour balance, but match the colour balance your eyes and brain imposed.

And for folks like me, I don't even care, it's not about what's there. A raw file is something i can use to create something. I shoot to give me interesting files to post process. But it
is the post processing that makes the image. If you are shooting jpeg then you have to live with your selection, which will suit some images and be not so good for others. Essentially, if you want to shoot jpeg, you have to be familiar enough with each pre-programmed setting to be able to select one of those functions that will match the scene. Personally, I find it easier to not do that in the field, shoot raw, and make the decision on how to process in front of the computer, so I have little experience in how to use the camera presets in the field to achieve what I'd do at home. I suspect that's what you are asking for.

Colour accuracy is really only an issue for commercial studio photographers doing product photgraphy. Most of the rest of us want what looks best to us. If it's colour accurate, but it doesn't look good, it's still not everything it could be. A little tweaking the colours may save it. I often do a final adjustment, blue colour cast or yellow colour cast after a white balance to reflect what I actually saw. I really never consider technical colour accuracy. I consider "perceptual" colour accuracy. Not an actual reproduction of what was there in a scientific sense, but a reproduction of what the perceptual biases hard wired into my brain saw was there. After all the final images are viewed by people.

You might want to turn your discussion to "What setting do you use for sunset, what do you use for mid-day sun? What setting do you use in shadow, what setting do you use at "blue" hour" etc. if discussing jpeg.

Last edited by normhead; 09-03-2019 at 06:00 AM.
09-03-2019, 05:37 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Charlie70 Quote
But the ability to capture a scene as I remember it is important to me.
Ah, then you don't actually want accurate colors. You want to replicate the white balance and colors of your own eyeballs and brain.
09-03-2019, 06:01 AM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
Ah, then you don't actually want accurate colors. You want to replicate the white balance and colors of your own eyeballs and brain.
Well after all, the fact that I thought what I saw using my own eyeballs and brain was pleasing is why I took the image.

And even then, a slightly different white balance may make that even better, as compared to what i saw.

I don't hunt for technical colour accuracy. I hunt for endorphins.

If there's one thing I've learned later in life, endorphins kill pain, endorphins make you sleep better, endorphins make you a happier person. It's all about the endorphins.

Photographers don't need maximum colour accuracy in an image, they need maximum endorphin production. Creative white balance can help with that.

Yes, I know you technical types don't think all that highly of us hedonist pleasure seekers.

Last edited by normhead; 09-03-2019 at 06:37 AM.
09-03-2019, 06:15 AM - 3 Likes   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
endorphins make you a happier person. It's all about the endorphins.
Yes, they're such caring, intelligent and beautiful creatures....

Wait, no... I'm thinking of dolphins... It's all about the dolphins!
09-03-2019, 06:26 AM - 3 Likes   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Yes, they're such caring, intelligent and beautiful creatures....

Wait, no... I'm thinking of dolphins... It's all about the dolphins!
Dolphins make me release endorphins.

But releasing dolphins is good too.
09-03-2019, 06:51 AM   #14
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Well, looks like everybody is having a good time...I'll leave you at it

Seriously though, I made need some endorphins if my wrist doesn't get used to this thing

In the meantime, I'm going to attempt to break the 200 shutter count barrier and will post the best (or worst depending on how they are received) of my efforts soon...

Charlton
09-03-2019, 07:06 AM   #15
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My system to get accurate color and brightness from shoot to print in to set a custom white balance with a grey card and keep my monitor calibrated with the Spyder 5 pro. I shoot mostly weddings. The two photographers that work with me and myself have used the same calibration tools for the last two years with very accurate results. One of us can edit and one can print with the same accuracy as if the same person edited and printed. Simple system that gets accurate results.
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