Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Trivia (XLIV) - Pro Advice

White Balance.
«Auto WB is totally up to the camera and out of your control. Its goal is to make all whites the same, all neutral greys the same - in other words, to negate any unique character the light has - to average it all out. If instead of Auto WB you choose a specific WB and make it like a specific film, then any changes or qualities unique to the light present, will be reflected in the coloration of the image.
My take on tweaking WB to your own taste is to pick one WB like "Cloudy" and tweak that. Auto WB is all over the map and changes at the whim of the camera - it will not produce consistant results. I feel you need a stable WB and then season it to taste. That way you will know exactly what you are getting.
I picked cloudy, because in the past Cloudy WB has often given the look of an 81A or 81B warming filter. I then cooled it down a tad by going one notch toward blue and two notches toward magenta to get away from any greenish cast, which I personally don't like but others might prefer. Both my GF1 and G1 are set this way and stay this way for all outdoor shots, no matter what the outdoor lighting situation is. Any changes in time of day, weather, overcast skies, etc. will simply be reflected in the final image - and so far, rather accurately.»

«It is really inportant to turn off all noise reduction settings. There is no need for noise reduction and all it does is dull the otherwise fine detail of the image.
I seem to be shooting most of the time in ISO 200. With the image stabilization and/or the fast lenses like the 20mm, I have not needed to go above 800. Consequently, I have the noise reduction down as far as it will go at -2 just to ensure I don't lose any detail. So far this seems to be working fine.»

RAW vs. OOC.
«Unless you spend some time fine tuning the settings, there is no point to taking jpegs - you might as well resign yourself to the tediousness of shooting RAW. However, once you do arrive at the settings you like, the Panasonic G cameras can produce jpegs that are terrific. I did RAW files for six months and found it wasn't for me.
With the tweaked WB (cloudy with 1 notch toward blue, 1 or 2 notches toward magenta) and with Dynamic Film Mode (with contrast at -1, sharpness at +2, saturation at +1, and noise reduction at -2), I find no more need for shooting RAW and stopped doing so in early October of 2010. It was a very freeing experience. I now feel that with natural light, I am getting dependable, usable, appealing images - ones that I can then do a little more tweaking in Photoshop and they are done.»

pjohngren, Micro Four Thirds User Forum member

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