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06-30-2010, 05:11 AM   #106
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
The answer to me is realism. I would rather remember things (basically) as the way they were, rather than some over saturated version of it.
At the risk of being too cerebral, "realism" itself is subjective. What you see as real is not what the shooter next to you sees. The camera is always, always an interpretive tool. It helps you illustrate what you wish to illustrate, and nothing more.

I think the point the original poster wanted to make was that Pentax does not (out of the box) immediately provide what his brain considers to be pleasing illustrations of his "reality." Maybe he's been acclimated to Canon-color or whatever, but I tend to agree that a factory set Pentax-rarely yields that "wow" vibrancy that those used to P&S cameras expect from "real" pictures.

06-30-2010, 05:43 AM   #107
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QuoteOriginally posted by germar Quote
At the risk of being too cerebral, "realism" itself is subjective. What you see as real is not what the shooter next to you sees. The camera is always, always an interpretive tool. It helps you illustrate what you wish to illustrate, and nothing more.

I think the point the original poster wanted to make was that Pentax does not (out of the box) immediately provide what his brain considers to be pleasing illustrations of his "reality." Maybe he's been acclimated to Canon-color or whatever, but I tend to agree that a factory set Pentax-rarely yields that "wow" vibrancy that those used to P&S cameras expect from "real" pictures.
All true, but realism is subjective only to a point. Some of its components can be measured, but I'll leave it to someone else to go down that technical road. Suffice it to say that if you took a photo of a Macbeth color chart with many P&S cameras and compared it to the original, you could make some fairly objective judgments about whether certain colors were a close representation of the original.

The semantic problem that gets us off on the wrong track is the use of words like the ones in the title of this thread. Those words imply there is something defective about the Pentax approach, as opposed to asking why Pentax images are darker and less saturated than Canon or a P&S. It does make for a more lively thread, though.

Last edited by GeneV; 06-30-2010 at 05:59 AM.
06-30-2010, 06:00 AM   #108
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ken T Quote
I used to have a Canon S3 IS and I was so happy with the pictures taken by it and I liked to show those off to friends . Then my ex wife took it with her so I bought a K10D .
Now once in a while, when I looked at those pictures, I thought ........... "What was wrong with my eyes by then ?"
Interestingly when I first bought my K10D (with a Tamron 18-250mm) I was shooting side to side with a S3 IS shooter. It was a sunny day of september with a lot of autumnal colors. The images that came from the K10D were far more punchier than the S3. The only difference maybe with you is that the K10D was set to bright mode instead of natural.
06-30-2010, 09:39 AM - 1 Like   #109
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
All true, but realism is subjective only to a point. Some of its components can be measured, but I'll leave it to someone else to go down that technical road. Suffice it to say that if you took a photo of a Macbeth color chart with many P&S cameras and compared it to the original, you could make some fairly objective judgments about whether certain colors were a close representation of the original.
That's definitely true looked at this narrowly, but there is also the question of WB to consider - does one want the actual color of the scene in the light it was in (what you would get leaving your WB permanently set to "Flash"), or do you want the camera to try to mimic how your brain fools you into see "local" colors despite the color cast of the light?

And for exposure, there is no way to be objective in this same way. An object in a photographic print is as bright as the light shining on the print makes it. Combine that with the fact that the camera cannot reproduce the entire dynamic range we perceive (although what we perceive is helped by some tricks our brain plays, doing essentially multiple-shot HDR for us), and you really cannot measure the accuracy of expose in the same way as color. At best, you can measure *relative* levels of light and dark and see how well they correlate, but that's still going to be misleading because of the DR issues.

QuoteQuote:
The semantic problem that gets us off on the wrong track is the use of words like the ones in the title of this thread. Those words imply there is something defective about the Pentax approach, as opposed to asking why Pentax images are darker and less saturated than Canon or a P&S. It does make for a more lively thread, though.
No doubt :-)

06-30-2010, 11:46 AM   #110
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I'm sorry, I came late to this very long discussion, but I'm really confused. . .

The OP states that with a K-7, there's constant underexposure and lack of saturation. Since the K-7 allows Ev compensation, even in M Mode, how could consistent underexposure be a problem? I shoot birds in constantly drastically changing lighting conditions, often going from white, yellow, or red birds in direct sunlight to dark colored birds in backlit shade, and the K-7 handle this pretty well. I do have to make a lot of Ev comp adjustments, but with the programmable e-dials, this has just gotten easier as the features have advanced. I shoot jpegs, so I don't even have the added DR headroom that RAW could provide.

Add the very comprehensive in-camera adjustments for contrast, hue, and color cast, and it's not really very hard to dial in jpeg characteristics to please just about anyone -- it can take a while to get it just where you want it, but once it's done. . . The K20 and K-7 are especially easy to setup for jpeg shooting in this respect. I'd imagine by using the color channel histograms, this could even be done pretty respecably by someone who's color blind. This is the first thing I do when I get a new body, since I'm primarily a jpeg shooter. BTW, I like the fact that Pentax tends to not oversaturate colors, but colors are about as subjective as you can get. . .

If the user is shooting RAW, I'd assume any converter that's new enough to handle the K-7's files, either DNG or PEF would be sophisticated enough to be setup to do whatever adjustments are necessary, and batch processing should be a breeze. Even with jpegs, if I want a series of shots to be a little brighter, have a bit more contrast, or I want the colors to pop a bit more, the tools to do these retain "last used" status, and once I find something that works, it's a simple thing to open the file apply the needed adjustments, and resave the file under a different name. In many programs, you can record these as scripts and just play them back. Not really a big deal. . .

What am I missing?

Scott
06-30-2010, 12:03 PM   #111
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QuoteOriginally posted by germar Quote
At the risk of being too cerebral, "realism" itself is subjective. What you see as real is not what the shooter next to you sees. The camera is always, always an interpretive tool. It helps you illustrate what you wish to illustrate, and nothing more.

I think the point the original poster wanted to make was that Pentax does not (out of the box) immediately provide what his brain considers to be pleasing illustrations of his "reality." Maybe he's been acclimated to Canon-color or whatever, but I tend to agree that a factory set Pentax-rarely yields that "wow" vibrancy that those used to P&S cameras expect from "real" pictures.
My point is just that I want my photos to look like I remember them. I could care less about the subjective nature of realism. To me, there are certain photos that look realistic and there are things that are done to pump them up that make them look artificial. I won't argue that it isn't artistic, I just don't like that look and so I don't use it. For instance, HDR feels li.ke it gets artificial looking really quickly

For me, the natural settings on Pentax cameras are about perfect with a little bit of sharpening after the fact.
06-30-2010, 12:10 PM   #112
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When one of my K10D bodies came back from Pentax repair (AF problem, which they fixed but they also installed the latest firmware, which I didn't ask for). it consistently underexposed by 2/3 or 1 stop in every light situation, any meter mode, or exposure mode, including manual exposure. With all my "pancake" lenses too. Before I sent it in, the exposure was pretty much on the money. I decided not to send it back, figuring the risk of damage in-transit or subsequent screw-up by Pentax repair was too great. Instead, I set exposure comp at about +1EV and I get correct exposure (I mostly shoot in AV mode). But I sometimes tweak the exposure a bit in the RAW converter.

If I had a hand-held meter I would use that to check the exposure thus bypassing the camera's meter system but I don't. I wonder if anyone else has tried this.

By the way, my other K10D body works fine, exposure-wise, and has never been in for any repair.

As for the color, I shoot RAW exclusively and handle that in Photoshop (CS4), often pumping up the saturation (selectively), especially my scenics.

Richard

Last edited by Old Timer 56; 06-30-2010 at 12:24 PM.
06-30-2010, 02:04 PM   #113
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My K200D exposes well, sometimes I have to tweak the exposure in light room though. However, my friends' Canons overexpose quite badly, but they actually enjoy that, go figure.

06-30-2010, 08:31 PM   #114
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As far as "muddy" images are concerned, this is usually a blessing in post-production. Usually, the muddier the overall image, the richer the file is in coding for all three primary colours (Red green blue). This gives us wider scope for image adjustment prior to printing. Making an image vibrant is achieved by the PP software removing a portion of coding for one or more colours, so that another colour is more dominant. If your image is vibrant to begin with, that means there's less coding embedded, and therefore less flexibility at post-processing stage.
06-30-2010, 09:55 PM   #115
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
That's definitely true looked at this narrowly, but there is also the question of WB to consider - does one want the actual color of the scene in the light it was in (what you would get leaving your WB permanently set to "Flash"), or do you want the camera to try to mimic how your brain fools you into see "local" colors despite the color cast of the light?

And for exposure, there is no way to be objective in this same way. An object in a photographic print is as bright as the light shining on the print makes it. Combine that with the fact that the camera cannot reproduce the entire dynamic range we perceive (although what we perceive is helped by some tricks our brain plays, doing essentially multiple-shot HDR for us), and you really cannot measure the accuracy of expose in the same way as color. At best, you can measure *relative* levels of light and dark and see how well they correlate, but that's still going to be misleading because of the DR issues.



No doubt :-)
I don't disagree with any of that. There is a subjective and objective component to what we call "realism."
06-30-2010, 09:58 PM   #116
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QuoteOriginally posted by marcdsgn Quote
As far as "muddy" images are concerned, this is usually a blessing in post-production. Usually, the muddier the overall image, the richer the file is in coding for all three primary colours (Red green blue). This gives us wider scope for image adjustment prior to printing. Making an image vibrant is achieved by the PP software removing a portion of coding for one or more colours, so that another colour is more dominant. If your image is vibrant to begin with, that means there's less coding embedded, and therefore less flexibility at post-processing stage.
I'm the same way about film. Since I'm scanning it, I'd rather have it fairly flat. It is a whole lot easier to punch up contrast than to recover a highlight.
07-01-2010, 04:27 AM   #117
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Interesting. I don't need any EV comp in general, same is true for saturation ("neutral" image tone gives realistic colors if I use PPL/DCU for conversion, in Bibble I use a similar neutral preset). I only need EV comp when the scene dictates it, i.e. large white/shiny or black/dark areas fooling the camera meter, otherwise the cam nails the exposure well. I also don't like those heavily overbrightened and oversaturated images that look like a fantasy cartoon.
07-01-2010, 07:35 AM   #118
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QuoteOriginally posted by noahpurdy Quote
So, in conclusion:

Don't blame the equipment on your follies.
We've already gone over this. That's the point of this whole thread.

Finding out how and why Pentax and other brands process/capture their images differently and how we want to personally adjust for it.

I'm just going to ignore anyone that can't read and wants to post an useless 1/2 pennies-worth comment.
07-01-2010, 07:47 AM   #119
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On the RAW issue (since many are saying shoot RAW and just process your own images)...

Which do you prefer? (I know the response might be varied)

RAW: DNG or PEF?
MAIN BIG APP: Lightroom, Aperture, or another app?
SECONDARY APP: What other apps do you use to enhance/remove noise/process/etc.
COMPUTER: Mac or Windows (or might not matter, since some apps are made for both)?

(I know what I use, but seeing how others operate their RAW workflow can help me and others in this thread to be even more efficient, give new ways of doing things we didn't see before, offer tips, etc.)
07-01-2010, 09:18 AM   #120
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QuoteOriginally posted by snostorm Quote
The OP states that with a K-7, there's constant underexposure and lack of saturation. Since the K-7 allows Ev compensation, even in M Mode, how could consistent underexposure be a problem?
Thanks, Scott, I didn't know the K-7 allows EV compensation in M mode, I know it doesn't in my K10D. Good to know.
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