Tuesday, April 27, 2010

HS10 Review Part 5 – Flowers

Ok … back to business. I’ve been accused of getting personal on my blog … presumably when I reacted to my banning by naming the person who started the nasty thread and the person who started the presumed avalanche of complaints.

Well … I suppose that was a little personal. WWJD? Turn the other cheek of course … so let’s go back to the HS10.

After I shot the macros shown in part 4, I moved on to my neighbor’s yard, with a spectacular array of Narcissus (Daffodils) and Muscari (Grape Hyacinths) … and got some nice images.

One thing I should mention … it’s supposed to be obvious by now for those who read my blog, but I tend to think of cameras as capture devices, and I set the cameras up to get the best possible capture. For the F70EXR, this means setting it on P mode with M4:3 or M3:2 and DR400. That gives captures that have the softest tone curves and hold highlights the best. For the HS10, that means setting tone, sharpness and color to soft. These tactics allow me a lot of leeway later on when I process the images. And I process my images *without fail* … I just don’t believe in posting out of camera images.

In specific tests, like ISO ladders, I tend to go with out of camera images. Unchanged. But with these posts, I am showing you what the camera is capable of … that being what can be made of its output.

Now, back to the images. Muscari First.





The color balance is a bit different here … I did only global saturation bosts, which means that the purple / green balance is different between sensors. No surprise there since the sensors come from different factories and have different Bayer mask layouts. Sheesh … it’d be a miracle if they were even close to each other.

Now you are asking why …

Read this for an explanation of the Bayer mask and some of the math for demosaicing (getting color info from filtered mono info.)

Read this for an excellent discussion of color sensitivity. This is exactly what I am talking about here …. each camera ends up having a different color accuracy level, based on measurements against standardized color charts. Everyone knows that Canon and Nikon color are not the same, and Fuji is different from both. And so on.

Well, that’s the point. These two sensors differ in their color response. If you follow all my postings on these two cameras, you will get a pretty good feel for their color accuracy … I change overall saturation, but I rarely touch individual colors.

Now the Narcissus.





Not too fond of these images. I basically blew the yellow channel sky high, burning highlights completely. Well, I went back to the originals to check and those highlights are flat-lined. Nothing in there that resembles detail. What this means of course is that the sun reflecting off a bright yellow flower is too bright. Duh :-)

Remember that I had compensation set to –.67 for these shots … and that was not enough to preserve the highlights, even for the EXR sensor. That may be because the color of the light is concentrated in one channel, and overload is that much easier. No content in the other channels to provide any detail.

I think the HS10 burns highlights easier than the F70EXR, as it should, being a conventional sensor where dynamic range is concerned (i.e. really low because the photosites are very tiny.) But these images are not good differentiators, so stay tuned for some better examples later in the series.


archish said...

Kim I did some shooting with F70 on a cloudy day, bright sky with cool white/Grey tone. There some some beautiful yellow flowers with fresh spring green grass around it. After shooting I found the tone to be flat and the yellow/green not popping out.

I suspect the DR400 killed the WOW factor. The image was shot at 100ISO with -1/3 EV, DR400. I am wondering if DR400 was required for such scenario. Is there anything else that I should have changed?

Kim Letkeman said...

Archish: One of the things I mention at the end of the "how to shoot" article is that flat light offers the opportunity to play with film modes like Velvia. This mode boost the contrast and saturation and can look really nice with certain images. But on contrasty (bright sun) days, it will damage the captures by blowing highlights and blocking shadows. So be careful to restrict it to those really flat light days.

Also note that I like the capture to be excellent, and DR400 does that. But these images do come out flat if the light is flat. A slight boost in an editor brings back the pop.