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06-05-2008, 12:02 PM   #1
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bright vs. natural: another comparison

This is sort of a continuation of this earlier post: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/27653-bright-natur...e-balance.html

Here's natural:


And here's bright:


Again, converted from the same RAW file in-camera. The natural image has saturation -1, contrast +1, and sharpness normal. The bright version has saturation -1 and contrast and sharpness normal.

What do you think? I much prefer the warmer, more contrasty "bright" version.

06-05-2008, 12:09 PM   #2
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PS: i find the comparison easier if you open each image in a separate window or tab and flip back and forth....
06-05-2008, 02:54 PM   #3
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I think the skin tones look more natural in the.....well, natural.
06-05-2008, 03:19 PM   #4
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Yes, I think the skin tones in the "bright" version appear a bit washed out. For a valid comparison I suggest you leave the other settings the same so that the tone curve is only variable. It might also be interesting, if skin tones are the main area of focus, to overlay the two images in an editor using layering & masking so that they join vertically in the centre of her face.


Last edited by dosdan; 06-05-2008 at 08:28 PM.
06-05-2008, 05:16 PM   #5
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The bright version has a blue cast on my monitor, it is rather prominent on her bangs, followed by on her face. The natural version have a slight yellow cast, you'll see it using the flip back and forth technique. Relatively speaking, I prefer the natural version.

I think the main issue is the background being brighter than the foreground. Suggest trying for selective brightening of the foreground, and selected darkening of the background.
06-05-2008, 05:31 PM   #6
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Yep I prefer the natural, don't like pink cheeks on kids.
06-05-2008, 06:44 PM   #7
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I prefer natural, since right now I am predominantly shooting JPEG's I shoot with the natural image tone, that way I can tweak the JPEG's in CS3 to my liking knowing that they have not been over processed in camera like bright mode sometimes does.

P.S. I'll get around to shoot RAW someday, once I figure out a reasonable workflow.
06-05-2008, 06:46 PM   #8
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I much prefer the "natural" shot.

06-05-2008, 07:22 PM   #9
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Funny. I've been experimenting with natural setting also. After shooting in bright mode from day 1, I decided to try the natural setting in hopes of getting a more even exposure in some situations. Thus far, that's exactly what I'm getting. A more evenly exposed picture with more detail & more pleasing overall image.

Note in the examples of Post #1 the background is slightly more subdued, helping to bring focus on the main subject of the photograph. Subtle, but it makes a difference.
06-05-2008, 10:14 PM   #10
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Like TourDeForce, i have always shot with bright mode. Coming from Kodak P&S i'm used to vivid colours. However, lately i've also been playing around with natural mode and find there are certain situations where natural is more appropriate.

In the pics above, i prefer the skin tones in the natural pic more. In bright mode on my monitor, i also noticed blue/purplish cast under her eyes and near her cheeks.
06-05-2008, 11:26 PM   #11
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it is quite obvious that most would prefer Natural in this shot.

To get serious about image quality, one should really be well acquainted with the performance of one's photo equipment, which i find quite an overwhelming undertaking.

Specifically, there are two sets of variables, camera body and lens.

For the modern dslr body alone, the matrix of image quality variance is simply mind boggling, natural/bright x saturation x sharpness x contrast x white balance x +/-EV ....

And coupling with 2 to 3 zooms, each exhibiting variance in contrast, color, exposure bias, sweet spots, DOF behaviour ...

I am wondering how can one ever manage ?

Which reminds me the K10d do offer the User Define mode which should be helpful in calibrating the camera to the characteristics of different lens ... is anyone taking the trouble to do that ? Is this a valid thought?

Or would it make life much easier if one just rely on photo editing for controlling image rendering ?
And in doing do, would it make you feel more like a painter than a photographer ? Does it still make sense choosing a camera or lens for its colors ?

Last edited by badbrother; 06-05-2008 at 11:32 PM.
06-06-2008, 02:05 AM   #12
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Today in the realm of digital - I firmly believe you need to have a firm grasp of post processing to truly get great pictures in terms of colour, sharpness etc.

Yes you need to expose correctly, understand how the camera meter reads the light etc etc.

I have never really worried about each lens characteristics but am sure with continuos use I would pick up nuances and change some settings accordingly.

I have a friend who has a Canon and he found he has to always shoot RAW for him to get a decent pic but comparing my Jpeg after a bit of pp the colour and depth in my K10D pics blows his away.

We even took pics side by side on a recent trip and I pp his pics the way I do with my Pentax and still couldn't get the look I was after - so the Pentax gives you massive headroom for pp

My jpeg pics shot in natural mode with +1 Sat +1 sharpness +1 contrast and a constant +.3 ev and generally using evalutive metering will give the ave user great pics - but with a bit of simple pp they will be stunning
06-06-2008, 04:09 AM   #13
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Depends which monitor I'm looking at...

(On mine I prefer natural).
06-06-2008, 04:52 AM   #14
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My vote is natural by a long way
06-06-2008, 05:20 AM   #15
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I guess I am another user that prefers natural. It is because of the warm skin tones. Who knows, maybe if I had only one picture (bright) I would say it is a good one :-)
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