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01-18-2012, 02:18 PM   #1
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When people say they love the colors produced by Pentax DSLR...

What do they really mean? Shound't that only applies to film?

I always having hard time understanding that statement when it's referred to a DSLR. To me, since I only shoot RAW, I can in theory set/control the color output of any of my photographs - assuming I have the right skills and tools.

Or perhaps those people are referring to the default JPG output? I guess I'm a bit confused here. Can someone please shed some lights?


Last edited by ducdao; 01-18-2012 at 02:38 PM.
01-18-2012, 02:37 PM   #2
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My sister has a Canon DSLR and I use it to shoot photos sometimes...with the same settings...But the difference is very clear...For me, Pentax is more sensitive to colours and reproduces more vivid colours! It's very clear when I go through my different photos albums and compare Pentax vs Canon
01-18-2012, 02:38 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Neel1 Quote
My sister has a Canon DSLR and I use it to shoot photos sometimes...with the same settings...But the difference is very clear...For me, Pentax is more sensitive to colours and reproduces more vivid colours! It's very clear when I go through my different photos albums and compare Pentax vs Canon
That's when you shoot RAW or JPG?
01-18-2012, 02:38 PM   #4
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People are confused. People see what they want to see. PP determines the colour, period.

01-18-2012, 02:40 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
People are confused. People see what they want to see. PP determines the colour, period.
I think it would be fair to say that different lenses can have an effect on color as well, even when shooting RAW.
01-18-2012, 02:59 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote
I think it would be fair to say that different lenses can have an effect on color as well, even when shooting RAW.
Yes, but PP has far greater impact on colour since the digital age, and any great pics being shown these days have received a great deal of PP.
01-18-2012, 03:04 PM   #7
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My brain says that in theory different cameras can be different in which colours they are more sensitive to and therefore reproduce them to a degree of different accuracy. We already got a test of "Colour depth" at DXo-mark so the fact that there is a difference is clear but can we actually see it?
01-18-2012, 03:09 PM   #8
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I think that a lot of people who have warm feelings for the colours produced by their camera system are referring to their quality as they come off the camera. In this context, the claim applies equally to jpeg or raw, as it's a completely subjective impression. Of course, anything can be changed in post, but a camera or particular lens that makes that process a bit less tedious is noteworthy.

01-18-2012, 03:14 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
Yes, but PP has far greater impact on colour since the digital age, and any great pics being shown these days have received a great deal of PP.
No disagreement here.
01-18-2012, 03:17 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
Yes, but PP has far greater impact on colour since the digital age, and any great pics being shown these days have received a great deal of PP.
Post processing may determine the color, but when same post processing is applied to DNGs from a Canon and PEFs from a Pentax, they don't give the same results. Heck, post processing can change contrast, sharpness, noise, etc too. But at the base files, there are definitely differences.
01-18-2012, 03:33 PM   #11
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It's an imperfect metaphor, but being an old film guy I tend to think of the camera/sensor/built in RAW processing as the film and the digital processing as the development.

Even in the film days, there were some processes -- Kodachrome, for example -- that were so arcane that only the big labs could handle them. And they all followed the Kodak cookbook, meaning postprocessing/development was not a factor in image quality.

Shooting digital today is much more like a guy with a batch of Tri-X and a darkroom full of different developers. The Tri-X, aka the sensor etc., is the unvarying part; the different developers and differing ways of using them is the range of postprocessing techniques, from letting the camera do it ("straight from the camera JPEG," which just means you picked some default PP setting) to mucking around endlessly in Photoshop, Lightroom, etc.

Beating that metaphor to death, in a sense you had more freedom in film days than you do now. That's because you could buy a new sensor for the cost of a new roll of film. That Tri-X guy could shoot a roll of Panatomic-X now and then, if he wanted to, without overdrawing his credit limit.
01-18-2012, 03:56 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by ducdao Quote
What do they really mean? Shound't that only applies to film?

I always having hard time understanding that statement when it's referred to a DSLR. To me, since I only shoot RAW, I can in theory set/control the color output of any of my photographs - assuming I have the right skills and tools.

Or perhaps those people are referring to the default JPG output? I guess I'm a bit confused here. Can someone please shed some lights?
I think its common for people to repeat things without really knowing better(I mean this in a kind way of course). However, in this day and age, I don't think it's likely that digital camera's will inherent the color characteristics like we saw in the days of film.

As already mentioned I too think lens would have a greater impact on image characteristics than a sensor. That is beyond the sensor's capacity handle dynamic range etc.
01-18-2012, 04:25 PM   #13
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Given that many manufacturers use the exact same sensors in their cameras (ones built by Sony show up in Sony, Nikon, and Pentax), we can really only be talking about default JPEG processing algorithms. And it's kind of misleading to imagine that one is going to be consistently better than another. Consider - if, say, Pentax's algorithm happens to result in more muted greens than Canon's (which i think many might say is true), that's going to be a good thing in some cases and a bad thing in other. Taking the camera defaults in all cases doesn't make one a particularly discerning viewer, and yet those are the only folks who are going to see any difference at all.

As for lenses, yes, there can be a subtle difference lens to lens, but it would be an almost miraculous coincidence if each and every Pentax lens somehow shared similar characteristics that were identifiable different from Canon or Nikon. Statistically, it is practically a foregone conclusion that there will be more difference between any two different Pentax lenses than between the "average" across all Pentax versus Canon or Nikon lenses.
01-18-2012, 07:09 PM   #14
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JPG yes for me

QuoteOriginally posted by ducdao Quote
What do they really mean? Shound't that only applies to film?

I always having hard time understanding that statement when it's referred to a DSLR. To me, since I only shoot RAW, I can in theory set/control the color output of any of my photographs - assuming I have the right skills and tools.

Or perhaps those people are referring to the default JPG output? I guess I'm a bit confused here. Can someone please shed some lights?
when shooting simple snapshots in JPG yes I do notice that Pentax colors are more vivid than C/N (though N is closer). At least that's what I see when I compare shots to my friends who have a Canon 450D and Nikon D5100/D40/D3100. Skin tones especially have a warmer, more "alive" look in it. Reds are more saturated, blues not that strong. Or at least in my K-x's defaults lol. Hard to beat a Fuji in skin tones though.

Maybe it also depends on the lens being used. My FA 28-70 f/4 projects better contrast and more vivid colors vs. my FA 28-105 (PZ) at the same settings, even on RAW. I'll post a sample comparison in a bit.
01-18-2012, 07:17 PM   #15
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So I think the general consensus here is that if everything being equal a lens has somewhat a subtle impact on the color output, not the sensor/camera.

The above statement is also what I observe while shooting with all my Pentax DSLR bodies, of course I only shoot RAW.
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