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Archive 2013 · Nikon D4 vs. D3s color accuracy/skin tones
  
 
allstarimaging
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Nikon D4 vs. D3s color accuracy/skin tones


I've read a number of posts indicating that the D4 delivers better and more accurate color than the D3s. A little lighter on the reds and better skin tones. My interest in this "difference" would revolve around portrait work. For those of you that have shot both the D3s and D4 is the quality of color and skin tones from the D4 significantly better?

Thank you
Jack



Jan 03, 2013 at 09:41 PM
Sambru
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Nikon D4 vs. D3s color accuracy/skin tones


It sure does. I have a D4 & had a D3s and yes there is a diffence.


Jan 03, 2013 at 10:09 PM
Avi B
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Nikon D4 vs. D3s color accuracy/skin tones


But is the difference at base ISO or at high ISO?



Jan 03, 2013 at 10:18 PM
davenfl
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Nikon D4 vs. D3s color accuracy/skin tones


The difference is slight at best and easily nullified in PP with a simply profile as is the case where we consistently mix images from different Nikon and Canon bodies on a daily basis.

Dave



Jan 03, 2013 at 10:37 PM
Mescalamba
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Nikon D4 vs. D3s color accuracy/skin tones


Actually D4 is slightly less capable when it comes to how much colors it can distinguish. But if you would use custom color profile, it wouldnt matter much. Probably only at base ISO..

Neither of these is good if you want really good colors..



Jan 03, 2013 at 10:42 PM
aztwang1
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Nikon D4 vs. D3s color accuracy/skin tones


Mescalamba wrote:
Actually D4 is slightly less capable when it comes to how much colors it can distinguish. But if you would use custom color profile, it wouldnt matter much. Probably only at base ISO..

Neither of these is good if you want really good colors..


Mescalamba, out of curiosity if one would want "good color" what camera would he use, in your opinion??



Jan 04, 2013 at 09:40 AM
afm901
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Nikon D4 vs. D3s color accuracy/skin tones


Mescalamba lives in the "Alternative Gear & Lenses" forum. Of course he is going to say that Nikon cameras and lens don't produce good color. Mainstream products are inferior, didn't you know that?

Scott




Jan 04, 2013 at 10:26 AM
Ripolini
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Nikon D4 vs. D3s color accuracy/skin tones


What "really good colors" does mean?
Does it mean "real colors" ?
Do real colors exist in real photography?
Were Velvia 50 and Astia 100 good films? Their colors were rather different though.
BTW, I don't live in any forum (I live in Rome). I use both Nikkor and Zeiss lenses. I prefer the Zeiss color (and overall) rendition (which doesn't mean that Nikkors' colors aren't good).



Jan 04, 2013 at 11:23 AM
Derek
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Nikon D4 vs. D3s color accuracy/skin tones


The difference is substantial at Hi ISO where the D3S falls apart

Its also generally better and more accurate overall at lower ISO's as well, but the difference becomes much greater as the ISO climbs above 6400



Jan 04, 2013 at 11:43 AM
allstarimaging
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Nikon D4 vs. D3s color accuracy/skin tones


What "really good colors" does mean? wrote: Ripolini

With respect to good colors and accurate skin tones what I mean is this: It was widely thought that the sensor on the D2x bodies delivered better colors and skin tones when compared to the D300 and D3. That was why Nikon made available the D2x color profiles when they launched the D300/D3. The D300 always seemed to be a little to "red" to me. So my question on this is a comaprison at BASE ISO of the D4 vs. D3s skin tones and colors.

Jack



Jan 04, 2013 at 12:41 PM
 

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Ripolini
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Nikon D4 vs. D3s color accuracy/skin tones


Jack,
I agree with you about the reddish color shift of D300. However, D2x color profiles are too much contrasty to my taste. I have never used D3/D3s, nevertheless I have a D700 and its chromatic balance is more neutral than D300's. Skin tones can be improved in PP, see this link.
Best,

Riccardo



Jan 04, 2013 at 01:55 PM
Mescalamba
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Nikon D4 vs. D3s color accuracy/skin tones


afm901 wrote:
Mescalamba lives in the "Alternative Gear & Lenses" forum. Of course he is going to say that Nikon cameras and lens don't produce good color. Mainstream products are inferior, didn't you know that?

Scott



Heh, no.. not really. There are some "fringe" cams that produced amazing colors, but there are some good ones among regular cams too.

From "almost current" Nikon lineup D300 (with custom ICC) and D700.

Similar from Canon 1DsMK3 and 1DMK3. Both pretty much as good as possible. Yes better than Nikon, sorry..

Sony A900,A77,A99. A900 is best. A900 is actually probably best for colors, but there are few problems. One of them is AA which kills micro-contrast, kinda stupid when they have Zeiss AF lens.. Another that most ppl today probably dont prefer camera without LV. And high ISO isnt exactly great..

Now that fringe part..

Best colors of all times, are probably from Kodak 645 back. Closely followed by similar tech inside of SLR/n and SLR/c. I wont list all downsides, cause it would be incredibly long list..

Otherwise there is Konica Minolta 7D and Fuji S5 Pro. Which are probably not "best" just pretty interesting from color point of view.


For regular use I would stick with normal ones - D700 or 1DsMK3 or 1DMK3 (if you are ok with APS-H). Color profiling is pretty much must, if you want to get maximum..

And lens? Well, Nikkors are good (actually prefer those older ones over new sometimes). Canon bit less, few L lens are nice and most of telephotos are pretty good. For example 85mm f1.2L is very nice..

If you want "best" you need bit fringe solutions, including Zeiss/Leica. But funny part is that as far as colors go, best color transfer is from.. tadaa.. Samyang. If you use their lens, you will see how good colors are coming from your camera, cause their lens pretty much dont have any color footprint on image. Which on other hand makes it a bit dull to use. Voigtlaender (Cosina) are quite similar to Samyang, pretty neutral colors too.

Most lens have some "personality" cause it transfer some colors better than others or even shift colors (old C/Y Zeiss for example). Which is why Canon looks like Canon and Nikon like Nikon.. If you use some Nikkor lens on for example 1DsMK3 you will see colors that dont look like Canon ones..

Its possible to negate some of these "problems" by making color profiles..



Good colors dont need to be accurate or real. So pretty much anything can do them. Those I mentioned are different from others cause they can give you "more" colors. Simply they can distinguish more colors then rest. Which is value that cant be replaced by anything as its fixed feature of sensor based on quality of CFA.

Colors of photo are mixture of camera + lens + profiles used (or.. in case of most ppl its based on which RAW converter was used as most ppl dont make own color profiles). If you try most RAW converters on market (or free ones), you will see that it has huge impact on colors as every converter has own color profiles for your camera. Which is good reason to pick one converter you like and make own profiles for it, matching gear you actually have.








Jan 04, 2013 at 03:29 PM
Avi B
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Nikon D4 vs. D3s color accuracy/skin tones


Ah no wonder you like the d300 colours, you like Canon colours (all of which, including those you've listed, are too red). So "good" in your case is purely subjective. The most accurate colours are still from the D2X. But these days, you can simply change up the colours on profiles anyway.



Jan 04, 2013 at 03:34 PM
Mescalamba
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Nikon D4 vs. D3s color accuracy/skin tones


Aehm..

1) Canon 1DsMK3 and 1DMK3 dont have that oversaturated red as others, much better CFA than any other Canon (still reds are bit weaker so they need slight boost)
2) I dont care which are default profiles for any camera, I prefer using either best I can find or simply make own
3) I was talking about ability to distinguish colors, how you work with that later is entirely up to you. These are cams that give you options. If you buy for example 6D which is on verge of being color blind, then you wont have these options.

If someone wants best colors for portraits, then try to get old Kodak or Fuji I mentioned. And Sony is pretty good too.. (actually combo of A900 + 135mm f1.8 is one of best to buy..). It just sacrifices something. There is no free lunch, even tho A99 is pretty close to be nicely balanced, but I guess EVF isnt what ppl like.

Or very easy way - D700 + Samyang 85mm f1.4 + custom focusing screen + custom ICC. If it wont be great after this, you are doing it simply wrong.



Jan 04, 2013 at 04:49 PM
James R
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Nikon D4 vs. D3s color accuracy/skin tones


Mescalamba wrote:
Most lens have some "personality" cause it transfer some colors better than others or even shift colors (old C/Y Zeiss for example). Which is why Canon looks like Canon and Nikon like Nikon.. If you use some Nikkor lens on for example 1DsMK3 you will see colors that dont look like Canon ones..

Its possible to negate some of these "problems" by making color profiles..
.


I agree with this statement, as well as many other points. Each camera and lens has its own "personality" and it's the photographers job to use those qualities to render a great picture.

I always try to use an Xrite Passport when shooting portraits or anything else for that matter. It makes creating the colors and skin tones I saw and it also allow me to easily render the colors and skin tones I prefer to see. "Real" colors are in the mind of the photographer. Hence, I have many LR presets to quickly give the look I want. Some times I want that Canon look to D4 files and I can achieve it with a preset.

Accuracy is overrated.



Jan 04, 2013 at 05:49 PM
theSuede
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Nikon D4 vs. D3s color accuracy/skin tones


The D3s may have more easily profiled color at high ISOs, 12800 and up. Below that, no person I know (and my usual working surroundings is people that make a living out of assessing and measuring image color quality...) can tell if a certain image was taken with the D3s or the D4. This is from raw files.

For portrait work, by which I take it you mean "natural light" work, there's no real difference. The in-camera jpg rendering engine had a small update with the D4, but that's about it. From raw there's no discernible difference (as long as you use a well made camera profile).

There is however a small difference in how their WB works, but this is easily remedied by adjusting the WB fine adjust setting in camera (not that it matters, I almost always fine-adjust WB in post).

At lower ambient WB temperatures, colors will be off by a significant amount no matter what camera you choose, and then it's actually up to personal preference what type of color errors you prefer... All cameras will have significant color errors at 3000K. The only way to get "good" color at lower WB temperatures is to make camera profiles for the specific light you're shooting in, and shoot raw.

If you're talking about a studio light setup, then they're about equal - and then I'd go for the D4 for resolution, or the D3s if money is tight and/or you don't need very large prints.

If you want to compare color there's no way around it - you need at least ten or more shots taken in the same situation with both cameras. Develop them with good camera profiles, scale them both to (same) screen size, have someone else mark them from "1" to "20", and try to pick out which is which.

Most people that are very insistent that it's very easy to see that camera "X" is a lot better than camera "Y" get very agitated when I subject them to this test, since they tend to have the same "pick the right camera" success rate as:
1) a random generator
2) a hedgehog
3) my blind aunt
-That is, exactly 50%.

In most cases the profile used when developing the file makes a lot more difference than the camera used.
The important thing is that the camera/profile used leaves room for adjustments; i.e it should not make the fault in any hue in saturation or brightness large enough to make it hard to recover.



Jan 04, 2013 at 06:28 PM
Jonathan
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Nikon D4 vs. D3s color accuracy/skin tones


Jack,

I used a D3s for a long time and when I switched to the D4 the biggest differences were(to me) at high iso's, but at base iso I think the D4 has a much better white balance, and that makes a difference in skin tones. Skin tones are better at base iso(imho) on the D4. More natural and less red.

The AWB on the D4 is tremendous, and one of my favorite features.



Jan 04, 2013 at 08:17 PM
macrobild
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Nikon D4 vs. D3s color accuracy/skin tones


jonathan
read the Suedes answer

and regarding Canons CFA in 1dsmk3+ old 5D, it is different CFA / thinner from the 5dmk2 and also in the later Canon cameras to gain light.
How well the skin tones will be reproduced depends on the chosen profile
It is easy to correct 5dmk2 5dmk3 to look like 1dsmk3 regarding color rendition





Jan 07, 2013 at 11:11 PM
Jonathan
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Nikon D4 vs. D3s color accuracy/skin tones


macrobild wrote:
jonathan
read the Suedes answer



macrobild, I did read the Suedes reply before posting mine. My thoughts still stand. YMMV.

Jack, if you're still following this thread, here's an interesting comparison from Rob Galbraith regarding the D3s and D4:

http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/multi_page.asp?cid=7-12721-12406



Jan 08, 2013 at 03:31 AM
macrobild
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Nikon D4 vs. D3s color accuracy/skin tones


well, then you understand if you have the same WB value and use a similar written profile there is no difference between the D3S and D4 in color rendition


Jan 08, 2013 at 12:47 PM
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