Color and Levels corrections for D30 in Photoshop


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PKPing

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Hi all,

I've been doing slides for 1-2 years. Recently, I've decided to use a Canon D30 for my shooting. While I have to say it's a good camera (well. at least the feel of an SLR is still there) I experienced a few stuffs which left me puzzled.

Firstly, while the camera's histogram told me the exposure was good (peak of curve was at central point) and the image on the LCD looked good to my eyes, I was disappointed with the image when I downloaded it to my computer. The image lacked contrast, is slightly over-exposed, and the color is not vibrant (vivid) or 100% accurate. Looks on screen like the pic was taken using a point and shoot camera! Is it because there is a limit to which the D30 can interpret the scene well, due to contrast, etc?

Of course, after I tweaked using PS's Levels and adjusted the color slightly, the image came back to life.

Another problem experienced is the lack of sharpness despite using prime and L lenses but I understand D30 users have exprienced this all the while. Simple USM wil do the trick.

The strange thing is, sometimes I don't need to adjust the image much (the D30 is able to reproduce it well, sharpness is there too) but more than 50% of the time, I have to tweak.

Are the problems I face inherent in digital cameras, D30 in particular? Of course I can always fall back on PS to do the trick
but somehow I feel like I'm cheating....shouldn't the camera give me exactly what was taken or at least close to it? Maybe I'm spoilt by slides. What I see is what I get and the colors blow me away anytime.

Sorry for the long enquiry but I'm a newbie to digital! Thanks a lot in advance to those who can help me. :)
 

zapp!

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Jan 17, 2002
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The D30's image color space is close to sRGB by default...

Have u checked what color space u are using in PS?
 

Red Dawn

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Jan 17, 2002
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Originally posted by PKPing
Hi all,

I've been doing slides for 1-2 years. Recently, I've decided to use a Canon D30 for my shooting. While I have to say it's a good camera (well. at least the feel of an SLR is still there) I experienced a few stuffs which left me puzzled.
hey ur nick is familiar - are u the one to whom i sold my 28-70 f2.8L?? ;)


Firstly, while the camera's histogram told me the exposure was good (peak of curve was at central point) and the image on the LCD looked good to my eyes, I was disappointed with the image when I downloaded it to my computer. The image lacked contrast, is slightly over-exposed, and the color is not vibrant (vivid) or 100% accurate. Looks on screen like the pic was taken using a point and shoot camera! Is it because there is a limit to which the D30 can interpret the scene well, due to contrast, etc?
All right, i need to put all these into a FAQ someday, but meanwhile....

1. go to this page and learn how to calibrate your monitor's white point and black point:
http://www.aim-dtp.net/aim/calibration/blackpoint/crt_brightness_and_contrast.htm

2. Next, load up Adobe Gamma which comes with photoshop and go through the entire calibration procedure, but remember not to touch the brightness and contrast setting, cos u've already done tat in Step 1.

3. Having properly (more or less) calibrated your monitor, shoot a few test shots, and verify that wat u see on the histogram matches that of your monitor.


Of course, after I tweaked using PS's Levels and adjusted the color slightly, the image came back to life.
here's the truth - images taken with any digital camera will need some kind of adjustment (not all the time though), either contrast, level etc. This is one of the great selling points of digital - the taking back of control of your images from sloppy printers, careless labs, faulty minilab machines etc. YOU determine how your images look - instead of changing film everytime u want a low contrast image or high contrast image, black and white or colour, grainy atmospheric look or clean look, you can change all that after you shoot.

It's like shooting black and white and having all those darkroom options available to you, only now u're working with colour. It's no different from the labs correcting the print when printing from negs.


Another problem experienced is the lack of sharpness despite using prime and L lenses but I understand D30 users have exprienced this all the while. Simple USM wil do the trick.
Actually u would rather the camera not apply any sharpening at all. In camera sharpening often produces artifacts and other ugly stuff - worse if the camera stores it in JPEG mode. The compression and oversharpening severely limits your upsizing / up ressing options.

The very clean, soft image from the D30 allows you to sharpen at will, to the level that u desire. More important is the fact that the clean soft image is EXTREMELY upsizable. You can blow up that image to amazingly big proportions, sharpen it and u can easily get very large prints of amazing quality.


The strange thing is, sometimes I don't need to adjust the image much (the D30 is able to reproduce it well, sharpness is there too) but more than 50% of the time, I have to tweak.
i find that you can really see the effects of prime, L and good lenses versus not so good quality glass, even with the D30's inherent softness.


Are the problems I face inherent in digital cameras, D30 in particular? Of course I can always fall back on PS to do the trick
but somehow I feel like I'm cheating....shouldn't the camera give me exactly what was taken or at least close to it? Maybe I'm spoilt by slides. What I see is what I get and the colors blow me away anytime.
the D30 does give you something that is already very close to wat u see. at least that's how mine works :)

to use those slides in any useful way (to produce in print, in electronic form, in publication) u will eventually need to scan it as well. Digital files from the D30 are far cleaner without grain when compared to slides scanned by affordable consumer slide scanners. Unless you have a drum scanner at home......;)


Sorry for the long enquiry but I'm a newbie to digital! Thanks a lot in advance to those who can help me. :)
welcome to the world of digital imaging :)
 

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