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Author Topic: Sony WB/colors?  (Read 843 times)

BernardLanguillier

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Sony WB/colors?
« on: February 11, 2020, 04:06:30 pm »

Team,

As some of you may know, I have added two Sony bodies to my line up last fall.

I am very impressed by the AF of the a9II, especially the tracking with eye AF in low light that works very well and helps a lot in some situations. That's the part I like and that's my motivation to keep going.

Now... the colors. I had always taken for granted that C1 Pro delivered great colors whatever since my Nikon and Fuji bodies had fared very well. But I am having a very had time getting something similar with the a9II, especially in artificial light for interior portraits. Whatever I do I end up with lifeless colors and terrible skin tones. Those are arguably tough situations to deal with, but I a getting a bit desparate.

Assuming this is user error, what has everybody been doing?

A close friend of mine using Sony professionally for portrait told me he had to work hard for 2 years with his own custom profiles to get results similar to what he used to get with his older Canon DSLRs... that hasn't encouraged me much... Anything easier than that?

Cheers,
Bernard

Shiftworker

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Re: Sony WB/colors?
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2020, 04:55:22 pm »

Iíve never got Ďgoodí colour from any of my Sony cameras ( A7r/ r2/r5 or S) in C1 without a lot of work. I just donít think they spend much effort in creating a profile. Iíve had better colour by setting it as AdobeRGB, increasing saturation and doing a hue shift on red. If you want good colour easily and quickly use ACR or DXO. C1 is particularly bad in flat and low contrast scenes i.e overcast days. I wonder if Sony high MP bodies are seen as competition for PhaseOne backs and they deliberately cripple Sony colour......
« Last Edit: February 11, 2020, 04:59:06 pm by Shiftworker »
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Manoli

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Re: Sony WB/colors?
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2020, 06:34:13 pm »

Bernard,

... artificial light for interior portraits ...lifeless colors and terrible skin tones.

Knowing what a mutually important partnership C1 and Sony have, Iíd address your concerns to PhaseOne in the first instance. Itís not an experience Iíve had, but then again, Iíve not used the A9. Have you tried the Huelight colour profiles, by way of comparison ?

M

Edit:
Related to the A7r2, there was a thread w/interesting comments from Torger way back.
https://forum.luminous-landscape.com/index.php?topic=104195.msg856210#msg856210
« Last Edit: February 11, 2020, 06:48:04 pm by Manoli »
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Sony WB/colors?
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2020, 06:51:29 pm »

Bernard,

Knowing what a mutually important partnership C1 and Sony have, Iíd address your concerns to PhaseOne in the first instance. Itís not an experience Iíve had, but then again, Iíve not used the A9. Have you tried the Huelight colour profiles, by way of comparison ?

Thanks. I have just ordered the a9II profile from Color Fidelity, but I understand it's only usable in LR?

In parallel I have started looking into LR and I prefer the colors with the Adobe profile already, and also found profiles from Guiseppe Torre attempting to emulate the 1Dx and they are even a bit nice so far. For sur much better than the default C1 Pro color rendering I find.

Cheers,
Bernard

Manoli

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Re: Sony WB/colors?
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2020, 07:20:22 pm »

Iíd be interested to hear your feedback ...
Hope it works.

Best,
M
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Martin Kristiansen

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Re: Sony WB/colors?
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2020, 12:49:29 am »

Colour is obviously so very subjective. Having said that I battled to get colours I liked when I first changed to Sony. Not sure what I changed over the years but now Iím quite comfortable it. Perhaps I just became accustomed to the colour .

I very rarely use AWB. Commercial work is all done using a grey card. Landscape and outdoor work is almost always daylight balance. Best colour for me still comes from C1. I use LR for most commercial work but edit mostly in PS still. In LR I have created my own profiles.

Skin tones require something else. There are specific values to aim for for with skin tones. I never can remember them and they vary by race so I have a reminder at my work station.

I liked the colour I got from the Z6 when I played around with it. Even though I used Canon for years and people rave about it I now struggle with it. I only used Fuji for about two years and that was years ago. I just hated the camera. It made me negative about everything it did. No reflection on Fuji, just my thing.
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Sony WB/colors?
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2020, 04:59:33 am »

I very rarely use AWB. Commercial work is all done using a grey card. Landscape and outdoor work is almost always daylight balance. Best colour for me still comes from C1. I use LR for most commercial work but edit mostly in PS still. In LR I have created my own profiles.

Skin tones require something else. There are specific values to aim for for with skin tones. I never can remember them and they vary by race so I have a reminder at my work station.

Very true indeed, thanks for your feedbacks!

Cheers,
Bernard

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Sony WB/colors?
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2020, 05:18:36 am »

... A close friend of mine using Sony professionally for portrait told me he had to work hard for 2 years with his own custom profiles to get results similar to what he used to get with his older Canon DSLRs...

Enough said.

This is an umpteenth time I hear the same: one of the forum members I met a few years back in Chicago told me he ditched his new Nikons after a few weeks as it couldn't get the color, in particular skin color, as good as his Canons. Just a few days ago, on the other side of the ocean, I heard the same from another guy. There must be something to it.

KLaban

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Re: Sony WB/colors?
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2020, 05:44:45 am »

I know those who think that the Hasselblad H skin tones are perfection personified. I also know those who struggled with them.

;-)
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Sony WB/colors?
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2020, 07:08:59 am »

I know those who think that the Hasselblad H skin tones are perfection personified. I also know those who struggled with them.

I would tend to agree!

Cheers,
Bernard

BernardLanguillier

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Re: Sony WB/colors?
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2020, 07:15:56 am »

Enough said.

This is an umpteenth time I hear the same: one of the forum members I met a few years back in Chicago told me he ditched his new Nikons after a few weeks as it couldn't get the color, in particular skin color, as good as his Canons. Just a few days ago, on the other side of the ocean, I heard the same from another guy. There must be something to it.

Isnít it a widely spread opinion among former Canon users that the Sony bodies they migrated to in herds have many qualities but that great skin tones isnít one of them?

It looks like it convinced very few of them to move back to Canon DSLRs though. Which frankly speaks very poorly about those DSLRs because the Sonys are far from being the perfect cameras some fans are making them to be. Still today and even less so when the bulk of migrations occured.

But I think that Canon has a nice card to play in mirrorless if the rumored specs of the R5 are true. Iíll for sure consider it once again.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: February 12, 2020, 07:22:07 am by BernardLanguillier »
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Martin Kristiansen

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Re: Sony WB/colors?
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2020, 08:41:48 am »

There isnít a perfect camera thatís for sure. I think any modern camera is fine, obviously. Lots of people migrated to Sony because they wanted to go mirrorless. That was my driver and Sony was the only show in town. Thatís only starting to change now.

I have no issues with Sony colour. Never had a client complain about it. I think with the tools available you can do pretty much anything with colour. Iím amazed people would struggle for years with colour. If that happened to me I would dump the system long before two years was up.

Bernard there is a YouTuber that has a lovely technique for skin tones. Sean Tucker is his name Iím pretty sure. Iím In a car with a dog returning from a vet so you will have to do a search. He has a few videos on this Sony colour thing. I think it will be helpful.
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Sony WB/colors?
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2020, 05:38:34 pm »

There isnít a perfect camera thatís for sure. I think any modern camera is fine, obviously. Lots of people migrated to Sony because they wanted to go mirrorless. That was my driver and Sony was the only show in town. Thatís only starting to change now.

I have no issues with Sony colour. Never had a client complain about it. I think with the tools available you can do pretty much anything with colour. Iím amazed people would struggle for years with colour. If that happened to me I would dump the system long before two years was up.

Bernard there is a YouTuber that has a lovely technique for skin tones. Sean Tucker is his name Iím pretty sure. Iím In a car with a dog returning from a vet so you will have to do a search. He has a few videos on this Sony colour thing. I think it will be helpful.

Thanks a lot, much appreciated!

Cheers,
Bernard

RobertJ

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Re: Sony WB/colors?
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2020, 05:47:26 pm »

People aren't going to like my response, but do yourself a favor and get rid of the Sony, unless you really like it.

I'm in the process of selling my Sony A7R2 system, except for my Voigtlander APO and Zeiss Loxia lenses.

To be fair, Sony has improved colors a lot since the A7R2, however:

With the A7R2 in Capture One Pro, I was using the Canon 1Ds3 color profile, and I was getting at least some "normal" colors.  Because without it, the default Sony A7R2 profile was basically YELLOW.  Literally, it makes everything YELLOW.  The worst color I've ever seen, ever.  Meanwhile, a Canon 5DSR and Nikon D850 have some of the nicest color I've ever seen from any camera.

Also, every Sony I've seen renders detail in a "plastic" or "digital" kind of way, and you either see it or you don't.  But once you see it, you can't UNSEE it.

I borrowed my friend's A7R4 and used it for a while to make sure that Sony fixed the plastic detail look that I hated so much with my A7R2. 

The goal was to make sure that future Sony cameras were going to be good enough that I would feel comfortable buying more Sony FE mount lenses, like the 135 1.8 GM, and maybe some Sigma ART lenses.
 
However, even at 60MP, the image quality was disappointing *to me*.  Nothing had changed.  I'm sure many people are happy with the A7R4, but I am not one of them. 

I'm currently looking at a D850 system, but also waiting for Canon's new R5, and more RF lenses.  Not sure what I will do at the moment. 

As a camera, the A7R4 is probably the nicest, easiest camera to use.  I mean, the buttons are nice, the auto and manual focusing is stupidly easy, and it's a really nice camera to use.  I just feel that other cameras have better image quality.
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digitaldog

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Re: Sony WB/colors?
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2020, 06:54:42 pm »

Got a Sony camera, no complaints with the color. I do use Lightroom, I do use a custom DCP camera profile. And recently X-rite updated their software to use the much larger ColorChecker SG target and the results are even a bit better than before.
2 years struggling to get good color?
ďThere seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things difficult.Ē -Warren Buffett
BTW, hereís really what my Sony cameras Ďcolorí looks like (at least one of the grayscale channels):
« Last Edit: February 12, 2020, 06:59:59 pm by digitaldog »
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Andrew Rodney
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Sony WB/colors?
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2020, 08:55:56 pm »

Got a Sony camera, no complaints with the color. I do use Lightroom, I do use a custom DCP camera profile. And recently X-rite updated their software to use the much larger ColorChecker SG target and the results are even a bit better than before.
2 years struggling to get good color?
ďThere seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things difficult.Ē -Warren Buffett
BTW, hereís really what my Sony cameras Ďcolorí looks like (at least one of the grayscale channels):

Hi Rodney,

I would certainly expect a color scientist of your caliber to be able to come up with nice colors with any camera.

The topic being discussed in this thread here is more how a normal photographer not necessarily interested in/able to creating custom DCP profiles can reach pleasing colors, like I have been able to easily on my Nikons and Fujis, and like many others have been able to to on their Canon bodies.

As far as my friend goes, I consider him a world class portrait photographer and he is extremely picky about colors. Extremely. He has not been saying that the Sony wasn't usable much faster than 2 years, but that it took him 2 years to reach a level he finds totally satisfactory.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: February 12, 2020, 09:09:15 pm by BernardLanguillier »
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Sony WB/colors?
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2020, 09:06:58 pm »

People aren't going to like my response, but do yourself a favor and get rid of the Sony, unless you really like it.

I'm in the process of selling my Sony A7R2 system, except for my Voigtlander APO and Zeiss Loxia lenses.

To be fair, Sony has improved colors a lot since the A7R2, however:

With the A7R2 in Capture One Pro, I was using the Canon 1Ds3 color profile, and I was getting at least some "normal" colors.  Because without it, the default Sony A7R2 profile was basically YELLOW.  Literally, it makes everything YELLOW.  The worst color I've ever seen, ever.  Meanwhile, a Canon 5DSR and Nikon D850 have some of the nicest color I've ever seen from any camera.

Also, every Sony I've seen renders detail in a "plastic" or "digital" kind of way, and you either see it or you don't.  But once you see it, you can't UNSEE it.

I borrowed my friend's A7R4 and used it for a while to make sure that Sony fixed the plastic detail look that I hated so much with my A7R2. 

The goal was to make sure that future Sony cameras were going to be good enough that I would feel comfortable buying more Sony FE mount lenses, like the 135 1.8 GM, and maybe some Sigma ART lenses.
 
However, even at 60MP, the image quality was disappointing *to me*.  Nothing had changed.  I'm sure many people are happy with the A7R4, but I am not one of them. 

I'm currently looking at a D850 system, but also waiting for Canon's new R5, and more RF lenses.  Not sure what I will do at the moment. 

As a camera, the A7R4 is probably the nicest, easiest camera to use.  I mean, the buttons are nice, the auto and manual focusing is stupidly easy, and it's a really nice camera to use.  I just feel that other cameras have better image quality.

I would follow your advise if I didn't like so much the AF of the a9II. The ratio of sharp images on the eye of moving subjects in dark environments is best in class at the moment.

Cheers,
Bernard

digitaldog

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Re: Sony WB/colors?
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2020, 09:23:24 pm »

Hi Rodney,
I would certainly expect a color scientist of your caliber to be able to come up with nice colors with any camera.
I think you have me confused with someone else.  ;) Iím not a color scientist. Check my background: https://www.linkedin.com/in/digitaldog/
My degree is in Photography. From a pretty good school. I made a living shooting for companies like Apple, Microsoft, GTE, Disney. Advertising, corporate, editorial. All long before color profiles existed.
Quote
The topic being discussed in this thread here is more how a normal photographer not necessarily interested in/able to creating custom DCP profiles can reach pleasing colors, like I have been able to easily on my Nikons and Fujis, and like many others have been able to to on their Canon bodies.
Itís rather easy to do. Iíve had no difficulty doing so with my Sony camera. Or my Canonís. FWIW, I have no idea what a Ďnormal photographerí is.  ;D
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Andrew Rodney
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Re: Sony WB/colors?
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2020, 04:15:50 pm »

I went from A7R2 to  A7R4 and noticed better colour from the start. If you zoom right in you can see some kind of NR going on with fine detail that looks a bit artificial but itís not visible unless you pixel peep to a silly degree. Until Canon can match Sony DR (where they have always lagged behind just about everyone) and have >60mp Iíll keep it as a body for now for my EF lenses and switching back wonít be hard as I donít have any native E mount glass.
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Martin Kristiansen

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Re: Sony WB/colors?
« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2020, 12:39:51 am »

Well Iím perfectly happy with the colour Iím getting and donít notice any fake plastic feel to the Sony files at all. If the colour looks off I simply change it to what I want.

Guess Iím just not as fussy, discerning, experienced or accomplished as most photographers here.
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