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P45+ colour rendition

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P45+ colour rendition
Imatest Colour rendition charts
Imatest colour rendition diagrams
Another test based on IT 8.7
Innichen church
Lago Antorno
Casual portrait
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Before buying my P45+ I was aware of some colour rendition issues. Sensors are different and may also give different colour rendition. It also used to be said that Capture One is needed to make the best of P45+ colour. 

Personally, I prefer my camera to give good colour without additional manipulation as I don't feel comfortable with manipulationg colour. So I investigated some of the options.

I also posted some early observations on this thread. The thread may have high noise to information ratio, but may be worth checking out.

The importance of white balance

Check the images below. Both were white balanced on the white paint on the left corner of the house, the left part was sunlit white and the right part was white in the shadow. White balance is absolutely crucial for colour rendition. It is a very good idea to shoot a WB target for each subject, but it is easy to forget.

The options

  • One of the options is Capture One. It is developed Phase One it is not limited to Phase One files, on the contrary it is a highly regarded raw converter on it's own and has in the most recent version gotten DAM capability. 
  • Adobe Lightroom is the tool I normally use. It uses a new set of "DNG Color Profiles" that differ from traditional ICC profiles. There are at least three tools to generate DNG Profiles.
  • There are a lot of other options, like RawTherapee and raw Developer, I will check them out later. 
The major tools are Adobe DNG Profile Editor, Color Checker Passport and QPCard software. All those tools are free. QPCard has it's own reference card while the other two use XRite ColorChecker. The QPCard has more color samples and may work better in some cases.

Measuring colour rendition

There are standards for measuring colour. The adequacy of these standards may be up to discussion. Most standards are based on the Macbeth/Gretag/XRite ColorChecker. The standard ColorChecker has sixteen colour patches and six gray patches.

I shot the colour checker with my P45+ and also my Sony Alpha using a set of two small Elinchrome studio flashes and measured ΔΕ using Imatest. Processing was default, except that I adjusted exposure in raw processor to match reference data and adjusted saturation so Imatest reported 100%. 

Capture One

Camera ProfileDeltaESigma
P45+Capture One 7.458.4
P45+LR5.3, Adobe Standard 5.656.5
P45+LR5.3 DNG Profile Editor 4.715.31
P45+QPcard 6.977.85
Sony Alpha 99LR5.3, Adobe Standard 4.14.52
Sony Alpha 99LR5.3, DNGPE_2013_12_15 3.654.12

Based on these figures the Sony Alpha has much more accurate colours than the P45+. Also we can see LR 5.3 delivers more accurate colours than Capture One on the P45+. 

I am not sure how relevant these results are, however. In some of the cases the Capture One rendition is very good and the Adobe Standard is generally weak on the samples below. 

Last Updated on Sunday, 09 March 2014 21:24  


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