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Thread: Nikon color and image chrakter from different bodies

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    Super Duper
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    Nikon color and image chrakter from different bodies

    Hi there,
    I might be interested in a Nikon DSLR and was wondering how you Nikon user think about color: Do you find big difference between D800/D810 and DF and D4 and D750?
    Would you confirm my impression from looking at web images that the DF-images have a certain pop or do you find with a little curves etc. images from different bodies look just the same?
    And how wold you compare D810 vs D750 in this regard.
    Thanks a lot, Tom





    PS: I havent used Nikon DSLR for the last 2 years, before all kinds of bodies.
    For example D2h: I really did like the color and pop
    d2x-d300-d3: When switching from the d2x to d300 and d3 I found color and image quality to become a little more platic/artificial
    Then D3x which I found better in this regard.
    Then replaced D3x with a D700 which I liked quite a bit.
    However I sometimes saw a yellowish tint and was not allways super happy with skin color. I wonder how the new generation works in this regard.
    Last edited by Paratom; 22nd January 2015 at 01:43.

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    Re: Nikon color and image chrakter from different bodies

    Tom, With your wealth of experience, you should be writing about these cameras instead of asking for advice, no? I will subscribe.
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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon color and image chrakter from different bodies

    Tom,

    with some processing (easiest done for me in LR) colors, DR and pop of the D800E files I owned look great. It depends more on the lenses you use to really somehow offer the necessary resolution also for 36MP. Which means that the D810 should just be fine with your right lens selection.

    Having also shot D3, D700 and many other Nikon DSLRs before that I must say I found the D700 and D3 to produce the best out of the box RAWs. What I am missing with all Nikon DSLRs is something like film simulation profiles from Fuji which you can also apply now to Fuji RAWs in post while using LR5. This is by far the easiest way to produce certain looks an as the number of film simulations is ever increasing it means this is a great feature. Not sure how you can achieve that as easy with Nikon (or any other) DSLRs in any post processing

    Having said that - if I would go back to Nikon I would do so with either D750, which is just phenomenal with DR, high ISO and speed, but for an even better photographic adventure I would choose the D810.

    The D810 is a bit slower than the D750, but so much more convenient WRT silent shutter, smooth shutter, resolution for having more room to crop etc. And I would choose my lens selection wisely, I think I would go for 1.8/20, 1.8/85, 4/70-200, for longer tele the new 4/300PF and for wildlife the new 80-400.

    Just my 5c!

    Peter
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    Re: Nikon color and image chrakter from different bodies

    Can't comment on the D750, Df, but have own(ed) the D700, D3X and now the D3s and D800e and the 800e (and I assume any of the newer Sony sensor bodies) has a flatter, lower contrast, SOOC RAW than the 3s or earlier models. The flip side to a bit more relative initial processing work is that you can do soooo much more with the files and lifting shadows when needed is almost effortless.
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    Re: Nikon color and image chrakter from different bodies

    Color is of course subjective and then also highly dependent on the profile used by the converter. That said, I find very little color difference between any of the D800 series out of the box -- all are what I'd call accurate neutral.

    I don't have enough experience with earlier models to make any definitive statement, but can for the Df -- for whatever reason, out of the camera the Df has a very definite "film" color quality to it. In fact, it's the main reason I bought the camera. I have not put my finger on exactly what it is, but my theory is the profile is weighted a little cooler on blues, more saturated on greens and a little warmer but less saturated on reds. For obvious reasons I have not bothered trying to tweak it to match the D810
    Jack
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    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    Nikon color and image chrakter from different bodies


    Tom, I once asked Roger (glenerrolrd) and Cenek (ceh) more or less the same question because they have or have had several of these sensors / cameras.

    For what it's worth, with their advices in mind I ended up buying the cheap entrance FX model D610 because of the punchy contrast curve and vibrant colors straight out of the box from that sensor in combination with that processor.

    I wrote about its weaknesses in post # 20 in the following thread, where you can also find links to some D610 RAW files to investigate for yourself (in the initial posts): http://www.getdpi.com/forum/nikon/49...tml#post597370

    Here I'll only add to what I wrote then, that I have occasionally (rarely) found the White Balance maybe a little bit inconsistent so that the same scene seems to come out with slightly differing WB.

    I'm not quite sure about this - and I may very well be wrong about it, wouldn't be the first time .-)

    So far it's just a small suspicion and hasn't been a problem.

    I don't know exactly how the D750 24 Mp sensor behaves compared to the D610 24 Mp sensor with regards to pop and color straight out of the box, but I think Roger once mentioned that he intended to buy the D750.

    In that case I hope he will chime in, it's an interesting question.

    Like Vivek I'm looking forward to also hear your own opinion on the topic if you do acquire a Nikon rig again.

    Good luck with your decisions.
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    Re: Nikon color and image chrakter from different bodies

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Color is of course subjective and then also highly dependent on the profile used by the converter. That said, I find very little color difference between any of the D800 series out of the box -- all are what I'd call accurate neutral.

    I don't have enough experience with earlier models to make any definitive statement, but can for the Df -- for whatever reason, out of the camera the Df has a very definite "film" color quality to it. In fact, it's the main reason I bought the camera. I have not put my finger on exactly what it is, but my theory is the profile is weighted a little cooler on blues, more saturated on greens and a little warmer but less saturated on reds. For obvious reasons I have not bothered trying to tweak it to match the D810
    I got the impression that the filmish look is somehow due to the large pixel size; I noticed the same also on other cameras, the Sony A7s, for instance.

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    Re: Nikon color and image chrakter from different bodies

    It is a bit odd that this is my first post in Nikon forum. A long time lurker here. I am a Nikon and Leica user. The Nikon forum here is the best I can find TBH.
    A long time Digital Nikon user, I have used D300, D300S, D700, D800E and D810. I will rate color in preference as following:
    D700>=D300/s>D810>D800E.
    I know the color is very subjective. The standard I use to rating color is over varies lighting condition if I can get consistent performance by just tuning WB to get 90% final color I want without going into HSL panel. And I put very high priority on Skin tone here to talk about color; other stuff is not as important/relevant I feel. There is no right or wrong, though you can consistently see some cameras are more fidelity than others. Good camera can differentiate color spectrum way better than some color blender cameras.
    With brief experience with 6D (worst of all I had) and all experience with Sony A7, RX1 and Leica M9, I realize D700 has very robust RAW file in terms of color.(The same thing can be said with S2) There is almost no need to touch HSL once I have a good profile to start with. And it responds different WB and post process very positively. (Means only a few sliders in Ye/Re/Or will solve most issues for skin tone) I can't say the same thing with D800E and D810; there is green hint very hard to remove I feel. (I am talking about Skin tone only)
    Many people say a good profile will correct color issue, well, it will not, it is an extremely complicate process to having good profile handle all conditions which involving WB, contrast, clarity and hue under different light condition.
    Software(profile) can't fully solve the hardware problem (RGB filter pack in front of sensor) if there is any. Modern Canon put high priority in low light performance which really hurt good color fidelity they use to have. (5d,1Ds,5DII) note here 6D, 1DX, 5DIII...
    Unless you are always shooting under studio with ample white light, you almost impossible to get consistent look over different condition by using different brand or platforms. Browse over different image thread, you can easily trace color signature of each brand or camera.
    D810 is the best Nikon and maybe the best camera ever made, no question about it, it has good color and RAW is very robust to process, but I would say D700 still edge it out in color spec. (mainly skin tone)
    I havn’t used other modern Nikon yet, and by browsing internet I didn't see any special from D610, D750, or DF yet (even though they all good machines)….
    My 2 cents (subjective view)
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    Re: Nikon color and image chrakter from different bodies

    Quote Originally Posted by ZHNL View Post
    It is a bit odd that this is my first post in Nikon forum. A long time lurker here. I am a Nikon and Leica user. The Nikon forum here is the best I can find TBH.
    A long time Digital Nikon user, I have used D300, D300S, D700, D800E and D810. I will rate color in preference as following:
    D700>=D300/s>D810>D800E.
    I know the color is very subjective. The standard I use to rating color is over varies lighting condition if I can get consistent performance by just tuning WB to get 90% final color I want without going into HSL panel. And I put very high priority on Skin tone here to talk about color; other stuff is not as important/relevant I feel. There is no right or wrong, though you can consistently see some cameras are more fidelity than others. Good camera can differentiate color spectrum way better than some color blender cameras.
    With brief experience with 6D (worst of all I had) and all experience with Sony A7, RX1 and Leica M9, I realize D700 has very robust RAW file in terms of color.(The same thing can be said with S2) There is almost no need to touch HSL once I have a good profile to start with. And it responds different WB and post process very positively. (Means only a few sliders in Ye/Re/Or will solve most issues for skin tone) I can't say the same thing with D800E and D810; there is green hint very hard to remove I feel. (I am talking about Skin tone only)
    Many people say a good profile will correct color issue, well, it will not, it is an extremely complicate process to having good profile handle all conditions which involving WB, contrast, clarity and hue under different light condition.
    Software(profile) can't fully solve the hardware problem (RGB filter pack in front of sensor) if there is any. Modern Canon put high priority in low light performance which really hurt good color fidelity they use to have. (5d,1Ds,5DII) note here 6D, 1DX, 5DIII...
    Unless you are always shooting under studio with ample white light, you almost impossible to get consistent look over different condition by using different brand or platforms. Browse over different image thread, you can easily trace color signature of each brand or camera.
    D810 is the best Nikon and maybe the best camera ever made, no question about it, it has good color and RAW is very robust to process, but I would say D700 still edge it out in color spec. (mainly skin tone)
    I havn’t used other modern Nikon yet, and by browsing internet I didn't see any special from D610, D750, or DF yet (even though they all good machines)….
    My 2 cents (subjective view)
    thank you for the long and open answer. Maybe color is the most overseen factor from camera manufactures in order to fulfill reviewers factors like detail, DR and noise.
    Tom
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    Re: Nikon color and image chrakter from different bodies

    A small note re skin tone: if you are not a C1 user, I suggest you download a trial version and learn how to use the Skin-tone WB tool --- it is truly exceptional in its ability to fine tune Skin-tones to your liking; very easy to remove/correct any unwanted overly reddish, greenish or sallow tints. And once you have it dialed in for a particular lighting set up, you can save it as a custom camera profile.
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    Re: Nikon color and image chrakter from different bodies

    Quote Originally Posted by Paratom View Post
    thank you for the long and open answer. Maybe color is the most overseen factor from camera manufactures in order to fulfill reviewers factors like detail, DR and noise.
    Tom
    Can't agree more. This is indeed a grey area with lots of subjective view and also happen to be very complicated area to handle it right.

    Lacking objective standard is the reason manufacture can come away with color bland body with insane ISO performance.

    DXO usually rate color response of sensor they tested. I have found it is a good indication of how well sensor will behave to match human vision.

    I don't give it much attention until I find 6D's 69 score,(lowest FF score after 5DIII ??) what a coincidence?

    Camera with emphasis low light performance (less color selective) RGB filter design usually require more raw manipulate afterward to get correct color response will result file looks ugly/less pleasing.

    I like M9's color, but It is 'colored' with strong signature. S/S2 on the contrary is much neutral to my eye.

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    Re: Nikon color and image chrakter from different bodies

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    A small note re skin tone: if you are not a C1 user, I suggest you download a trial version and learn how to use the Skin-tone WB tool --- it is truly exceptional in its ability to fine tune Skin-tones to your liking; very easy to remove/correct any unwanted overly reddish, greenish or sallow tints. And once you have it dialed in for a particular lighting set up, you can save it as a custom camera profile.
    I had C1,(for better M9 file before) but since I moved to LR, I never look back because of its work flaw is really a life saver It has plus or minus compare to C1, but work flaw just suits me better.

    I have heard many good things about C1, I believe it should handle better on Skin tone for its pro(MF) orientated target usage. For me it is just unpractical to process raw there and catalog in LR anymore.

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    Re: Nikon color and image chrakter from different bodies

    Quote Originally Posted by ZHNL View Post

    I have heard many good things about C1, I believe it should handle better on Skin tone for its pro(MF) orientated target usage. For me it is just unpractical to process raw there and catalog in LR anymore.
    I hear this very often from LR users -- in general you've made a choice of the LR workflow and cataloging over superior color -- and that's certainly your prerogative. Personally, I look for the best file I can get from a detail and color standpoint, then learn to adapt the workflow to suit my needs -- and for me C1 works more than adequately, so I guess I'm lucky there. End of day it's great we have options
    Jack
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    Re: Nikon color and image chrakter from different bodies

    With regard to this topic, does anybody else struggle with the "reds" from their D700/D3…. this is really a problem with poppies and geraniums - in that the red really becomes almost translucent and fragile…..

    It may be the only reason I move to a D750.

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    Nikon color and image character from different bodies


    Swissblad, could it be that what you describe as "red really becomes almost translucent and fragile" is simply a seriously blown out color channel ?

    I believe that in general flower petals easily get totally blown out due to their epidermal layers and pigments which absorb light in some areas of the optical spectrum while other colors are strongly reflected back in order to attract bees and other pollinators.

    I have seen this again and again with many different camera models of different brands and I have found that the only solution is to underexpose the capture with exposure compensation until the color channel is no longer blown out in the histogram.

    In other words I doubt you can solve this "problem with capturing flower petals" by changing camera model (or brand for that matter).

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    Re: Nikon color and image chrakter from different bodies

    Steen, thanks for the reply - interesting suggestion!

    It is odd as we only notice it with the D700, not the D4, D800 or D7100.

    I've heard similar comments by D3 users.

    I will try it out again and see if your suggestion works - don't really want to relegate the D700 - still like it a lot.

    Cheers, S

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    Re: Nikon color and image chrakter from different bodies

    Here is a comment with example by other D700 users….

    https://www.flickr.com/groups/nikond...7629903472344/

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    Re: Nikon color and image chrakter from different bodies

    Since I posted late last year on the different Nikon models , we have reviewed literally thousand of images form the Nikon bodies you have mentioned . Carolyn uses the D750 (having moved from the D600) . I use a D4s for sports with the Nikon telephotos , the D810 with Leica R and zeiss lenses for subjects benefiting from the larger files and the Df with the 28/58/85 AF Nikkors for family ,travel etc where I can benefit from the high ISO performance .

    The Df files are very similar to the Nikon D4 and likewise the D4s. They have excellent color saturation ,DR and an edge sharpness that works well for many subjects . The files hold up well into the ISO 3200 range (you can go higher but the loss in IQ becomes apparent ). These files definitely have “POP” but they are less suitable for low key subjects .

    The D810 files are similar to the D800E files .. they are smooth with a huge DR and a more subtle color . These files benefit from calibration and presets matched to the subject . I can get close to my M240 files in color rendition .

    The D4s files are slightly better than the Df ..using the newer “version 4” in camera processor . I find these files just superb for sports ..they have good color saturation and slightly better noise reduction than the Df files . They need very little post processing to get a nice consistent rendering (FYI the grass is no longer yellowish ) .

    The D750 is similar to the D600/D610 alternatives ...the 24MP Sony sensor produces (IMHO) the best out of the camera file when you are seeking minimum post processing . Color is very neutral with no real signature cast ,saturation ,DR,noise,detail are all excellent . For shooting family this is the easiest to work with . Never needed any calibration ....Nikon s out of the camera is terrific .

    As with any of the alternatives ....the raw conversions make a noticeable difference in the aesthetic achieved . You also favor different aesthetics for different subjects .

    Personally I like the files from the D810 the best with the Leica R lenses converted using the Leitax mounts . You have to up your investment in technique both in capture and in post ...but you can get a better file in the end .

    For ease of use I prefer the D750 .....has an improved AF ,screen that tilts , excellent out of the camera files,built in flash for fill lighting . Small light weight ...a joy to shoot with . Almost a perfect tool for family shooting . Skin tones are not an issue .

    The Df is better if you are shooting a lot in that 800-3200 range . Low light AF sucks but I was able to work around it without much problem . An excellent tool for street shooting with fast AF lenses . If I was doing black and white street shooting for example ..this would be my pick . It also is an excellent tool for sports ..when you can t take the heavier equipment .
    Easy to achieve that TRI X aesthetic . Enjoy shooting with my Df bodies in situations where getting maximum IQ is secondary to getting the shot .
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    Nikon color and image character from different bodies


    Quote Originally Posted by Swissblad View Post

    Here is a comment with example by other D700 users….

    https://www.flickr.com/groups/nikond...7629903472344/

    Thank you for the link, Swissblad.
    I think most of those flickr users quite well support my suggestion (and my experiences with the difficulties in general when capturing flower petals).
    Also the flickr histogram example illustrates the problem: the histogram has a heavily blown out red channel.
    The Original Poster keeps talking about using exposure compensation in post processing, but at that time it's too late, a lot of the red channel information is already lost in the capture.



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    Re: Nikon color and image chrakter from different bodies

    Just a FWIW comment in case it's relevant to the flower shooters that may not be aware -- adding even a little saturation can very quickly blow a color channel, though often this is due to it being pushed outside the profile's range more than an over exposure. So best practices editing would be to work the image in say Prophoto, then convert when done to sRGB for web using a proof profile view, as you can often make corrective edits that generate the look you are after even inside the relatively small sRGB working space.
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    Re: Nikon color and image character from different bodies

    Quote Originally Posted by Steen View Post



    Thank you for the link, Swissblad.
    I think most of those flickr users quite well support my suggestion (and my experiences with the difficulties in general when capturing flower petals).
    Also the flickr histogram example illustrates the problem: the histogram has a heavily blown out red channel.
    The Original Poster keeps talking about using exposure compensation in post processing, but at that time it's too late, a lot of the red channel information is already lost in the capture.


    Red channel blow up is quite common in flower picture taking. You get better result from D750 might come from higher DR or slightly different RGB filter array in front of sensor.

    luminosity histogram will be not much helpful in this case if you use that as a exposure guide. As you may well over expose your individual channel already. So, my suggestion is either underexpose by 1 or 2 stop based on experience or try to watch out individual channel histogram. You need be very careful about it especially you are photo flower, green grass, blue car etc...

    I can give you a example: R/G/B 280/35/80 will give you luminosity of 280X0.3 + 35X0.59 + 80X0.11= 113 so you are well below you lum clip point.

    For any digital camera, the red usually be problematic(Maybe I should not say that as problem is happen from operator) is that even it has less weight than Green: Green contribute more in Grey exposure, the camera usually will not wildly over or under exposure Green Chanel.

    Hope that make sense. I didn't find D700 has more problem than other cameras in RED Chanel per my experience.
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    Re: Nikon color and image chrakter from different bodies

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    I hear this very often from LR users -- in general you've made a choice of the LR workflow and cataloging over superior color -- and that's certainly your prerogative. Personally, I look for the best file I can get from a detail and color standpoint, then learn to adapt the workflow to suit my needs -- and for me C1 works more than adequately, so I guess I'm lucky there. End of day it's great we have options
    So right! I use LR to catalogue my files, after that I open/import them into C1 to process them. Talk about making things complicated 😳 It is just I cannot stand the colors coming from LR. Certainly if you start comparing it to what C1 delivers.
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    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon color and image chrakter from different bodies

    Thanks for the info, gents!

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    Re: Nikon color and image chrakter from different bodies

    I've been shooting Nikon DSLR since 2008 now. I was renting and late 2012 I bought my first one, the D700. Since then I rented all the ff body on the market apart D600/610/Df/D750 so I won't pronounce myself on this subject.

    What I can say is that the renesas sensors (D700/D3/D4/Df) are less "cmos" than the sony sensors, and have a completely different color output. First, the Sony sensors are less contrasty, more flat maybe because backlit. The info are here but you need to dig it in PP to match the original Nikon crisp or whatever. The renesas sensors are more rich in color and contrast while losing a little bit of DR but nobody care about any additional DR at this level.

    So I will segregate color output by sensor brand : Sony rendering and renesas rendering. They are quite different and I so far prefer renesas output.

    For the D700, yea, colors can go wild sometimes because of AWB. AWB on the D700 is quite sensitive and radical especially when it go wrong. BUT, the kelvin WB settings are flawless thus, when making serious shoots,either you set kelvin right or make a custom WB. That's all.

    Concerning the final output out of Nikon body's, C1 give the best (the quickest). LR is good but, by default, it is not as accurate as C1. Using C1 on nikon files can be a revelation for some who never tested it, period.

    It is like using good lenses when you always used subpar lenses, even on a D700. I remember the day I bought a Zeiss 100/2 for my D700, used to have only little inexpensive or old FF glasses; it was a revelation, a second life, something completely different.

    So for me, renessas sensor color output is superior to Sony color output, whatever you do. For the ppl who want to know if there is a difference between D600/D610/D750 ... I would say no. Just marginal differences maybe linked to either the processor and especially the lenses used. Same goes for D800/800e/810. Same sh*** different body. You might see a difference between D800 and D810 but only because the D810 AWB is freaking damn accurate and far more advanced than all other nikon bodys.

    So for me, all goes to the sensor brand and signal processing behind : I AM RENESAS.

    (And it is why I keep and pimp my D700 and might get a Df).

    http://www.chipworks.com/en/technica...nikon-vs-sony/
    Last edited by Hulyss Bowman; 24th January 2015 at 04:55.
    Kind regards - Hulyss - hulyssbowman.com
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  25. #25
    Super Duper
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    Re: Nikon color and image chrakter from different bodies

    Thanks again for all the interesting answer and experiences.
    Its interesting how different are the experiences regarding color.
    If I had to decide today I would probably take a D750 body with a D4s sensor but the resolution of a D810
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  26. #26
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon color and image chrakter from different bodies

    Quote Originally Posted by Paratom View Post
    If I had to decide today I would probably take a D750 body with a D4s sensor but the resolution of a D810
    Hahahaha! Build it, they will come

    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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