Z6 vs Z50 comparison

Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
22,988
Location
SW Virginia
I now have both a Z6 with a 24-70 f/4S lens, and a Z50 with the kit 16-50 lens. Both lenses cover the same field of view (slightly longer for the 16-50 on the Z50), and I've been very impressed with the Z50/16-50 for image quality. Today I decided to shoot both combos side-by-side with the same settings and same (equivalent) focal lengths to see if there were obvious differences.

Boy did I get a surprise, but not where I expected. I set them both to the same Kelvin white balance temperature, but the colors were obviously different when I opened them in DxO PL3. Looking at the settings, I found that the Z50 images were set with a tint of -43, while the Z6 tint was +1. When I tried the same tint setting for both, the apparent difference was much greater. This leaves me puzzled.

If anything, the colors in the Z50 images look more accurate.
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2005
Messages
27,006
Location
Moscow, Idaho
In the past when I've shot the same scene with a 50 1.8S vs a 24-70 4S lens, there was a slight color difference which I attributed to the lens. I just got my Z7 and will compare that to a Z6 as soon as I'm done setting the menus etc., to my liking.
 

Butlerkid

Cafe Ambassador
Moderator
Joined
Apr 8, 2008
Messages
22,077
Location
Rutledge, Tennessee
Real Name
Karen
I now have both a Z6 with a 24-70 f/4S lens, and a Z50 with the kit 16-50 lens. Both lenses cover the same field of view (slightly longer for the 16-50 on the Z50), and I've been very impressed with the Z50/16-50 for image quality. Today I decided to shoot both combos side-by-side with the same settings and same (equivalent) focal lengths to see if there were obvious differences.

Boy did I get a surprise, but not where I expected. I set them both to the same Kelvin white balance temperature, but the colors were obviously different when I opened them in DxO PL3. Looking at the settings, I found that the Z50 images were set with a tint of -43, while the Z6 tint was +1. When I tried the same tint setting for both, the apparent difference was much greater. This leaves me puzzled.

If anything, the colors in the Z50 images look more accurate.
This is the reason I create a custom color profile for each camera body. This ensures that each camera body will reflect accurate colors at time of capture. No adjusting or fine tuning of color temps needed during capture . With each camera body "dialed in" for color, each camera will correctly display color and I can shoot interchangebly between the 2 camera bodies on the same scene.
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2005
Messages
27,006
Location
Moscow, Idaho
OK,
Z6 (24-70 s) vs Z7 (50 s) both at base ISO (100 vs 64) F4, 5000k, same metering, framing, same light and same Picture Control.

IN DXO-PL with no auto correction:
Z6: 5070; -6
Z7 5070; -4

In View NXi
Z6 5001; .02
Z7 5002; .01

Pictures look identical (except for detail due to sensor resolution)
Here is Thom Hogan's caution:

Note:
A word about Kelvin values as reported by raw converters: don’t trust them. It seems that every company has its own way of evaluating color temperature from already recorded data (technically that’s true of camera imaging ASICs like EXPEED6 working with the raw data from the sensor, too). In the case of the camera maker’s, they have specific knowledge of true spectral response getting through to the sensor, so I’d say that their figures are the most likely to be close to right.
In particular, I’ve found the Adobe converters to report a value far from what I believe to be correct. Their values when doing their automatic white balancing not only don’t agree with Nikon’s, but they don’t agree with my color temperature meter, either. Thus, you have to “learn” what your tool is doing. Adobe’s numbers tend to be low to what I actually measure, and they seem to use a large amount of magenta/green axis shift in their corrections.
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
22,988
Location
SW Virginia
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5
This is the reason I create a custom color profile for each camera body. This ensures that each camera body will reflect accurate colors at time of capture. No adjusting or fine tuning of color temps needed during capture . With each camera body "dialed in" for color, each camera will correctly display color and I can shoot interchangebly between the 2 camera bodies on the same scene.
Are you then using auto WB on all cameras?
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
22,988
Location
SW Virginia
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #11
DxO PL3 does have specific camera body profiles under "Color Rendering" in the Color menu. There is nothing specific for Z50, but they do have a single profile for D780, Z6, and Z7. Applying that to my samples does close the gap a little bit.
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
22,988
Location
SW Virginia
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #12
Just checked and found that both cameras were set to "Neutral" Picture Control, and Neutral had the same modifications on both except that saturation was set to +1 on the Z50.

But again, I think that only affects jpegs.
 

Butlerkid

Cafe Ambassador
Moderator
Joined
Apr 8, 2008
Messages
22,077
Location
Rutledge, Tennessee
Real Name
Karen
At least with LR and PS CC, camera profiles do affect color "as shot". Under camera profiles/color is where I select the custom color profile I've created for each camera instead of selecting sunny, cloudy, tungsten, etc.
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
22,988
Location
SW Virginia
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #14
At least with LR and PS CC, camera profiles do affect color "as shot". Under camera profiles/color is where I select the custom color profile I've created for each camera instead of selecting sunny, cloudy, tungsten, etc.
Do you have specific custom profiles for various lighting conditions? How did you create these profiles?
 

Butlerkid

Cafe Ambassador
Moderator
Joined
Apr 8, 2008
Messages
22,077
Location
Rutledge, Tennessee
Real Name
Karen
Do you have specific custom profiles for various lighting conditions? How did you create these profiles?
I use Xrite's Color Checker Passport to create the custom camera profiles. 95% of my shooting is in natural light, so that is the custom camera profile I create and use. Then in processing I can always tweak slightly if I was shooting a sunrise, etc. If I were shooting with artificial lights, you can create custom camera color profiles for those situations also. Creating a profile is very easy. Take a photo of the Color Checker Passport in the type of lighting you will be shooting in (sunshine for me!). Open the image in the Xrite s/w. Let the s/w create the profile. Then you simply choose the profile when processing images. I have my custom camera color profiles set up as defaults in LR Classic and PS CC.

Here is a short video.

One of the reason I never seriously considered DxO or On1 or Capture One as my processing s/w is because they did not recognize the custom color .dng files that are created by Xrite. HOWEVER, I believe that now DxO will recognize those .dng files. Check to make sure........
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
22,988
Location
SW Virginia
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #16
I use Xrite's Color Checker Passport to create the custom camera profiles. 95% of my shooting is in natural light, so that is the custom camera profile I create and use. Then in processing I can always tweak slightly if I was shooting a sunrise, etc. If I were shooting with artificial lights, you can create custom camera color profiles for those situations also. Creating a profile is very easy. Take a photo of the Color Checker Passport in the type of lighting you will be shooting in (sunshine for me!). Open the image in the Xrite s/w. Let the s/w create the profile. Then you simply choose the profile when processing images. I have my custom camera color profiles set up as defaults in LR Classic and PS CC.

Here are 2 short videos:

#1

#2
I did all that a few years ago when I still used Lightroom, but I gave it up when I moved to DxO PhotoLab. Even back then it was frustrating because I take photos in so many different lighting conditions. I had about five profiles, and none of them was exact for any specific condition.

For the last few years my practice has been to adjust Kelvin temperature as I take photos so that what I see in the replay matches what I see with my eyes. This is especially easy with the Z cameras as you can do it before pressing the shutter.

Yesterday when I was doing the camera comparisons I just dialed in the same Kelvin value on both cameras before I started, thinking that would yield the same result. Not so! But the Z6 and Z50 have different sensors so I guess I shouldn't have been so surprised. I plan to try again today.

Thanks for your detailed answer!
 

Butlerkid

Cafe Ambassador
Moderator
Joined
Apr 8, 2008
Messages
22,077
Location
Rutledge, Tennessee
Real Name
Karen
I use the profiles I created in bright sunlight for everything I shoot, even interiors of cathedrals with light coming through stained glass and mixed interior lighting and interiors of state capitols. I seldom have color problems. In processing my raw files, I use NIk Color Efex Pro plug in with PS CC. As a double check, I will usually try the color cast slider in the Pro contrast preset just to see if there is any unwanted color cast. 90% of the time there is no color cast. If there is, moving the slider takes just a few seconds.

Most folks understand the value of color calibrating their monitor. BUT - they don't color calibrate the source of the color information....the raw capture. I could never accurately adjust color when shooting because I wouldn't have an accurate comparison without the effects of the current lighting, slight color casts are so hard to determine and because the human brain tends to "know" what colors should be and uses that information when "interpreting" colors that one is viewing. The beauty of the Color Passport Checker is that each square has a specific color "formula". The s/w compares what the color should be to how the camera s/w displays that color and corrects any anomalies.
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2006
Messages
4,579
Location
Columbia, Maryland
Real Name
Walter Rowe
I use Xrite's Color Checker Passport to create the custom camera profiles. 95% of my shooting is in natural light, so that is the custom camera profile I create and use. Then in processing I can always tweak slightly if I was shooting a sunrise, etc. If I were shooting with artificial lights, you can create custom camera color profiles for those situations also. Creating a profile is very easy. Take a photo of the Color Checker Passport in the type of lighting you will be shooting in (sunshine for me!). Open the image in the Xrite s/w. Let the s/w create the profile. Then you simply choose the profile when processing images. I have my custom camera color profiles set up as defaults in LR Classic and PS CC.

Here is a short video.

One of the reason I never seriously considered DxO or On1 or Capture One as my processing s/w is because they did not recognize the custom color .dng files that are created by Xrite. HOWEVER, I believe that now DxO will recognize those .dng files. Check to make sure........
X-rite now supports creating ICC color profiles for cameras which is supported by Capture One (the link shows how to use them) and many other raw processors. You use the ColorChecker Classic 24-patch color sample.

https://xritephoto.com/ph_product_overview.aspx?id=1192&catid=158

I have seen another company online that offers a much larger number of color patches. You can order their color patch tool and send them your raw files and they will generate your ICC profiles for you.

Lumariver also can make LUTs and ICC profiles for custom camera profiles.
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
22,988
Location
SW Virginia
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #20
X-rite now supports creating ICC color profiles for cameras which is supported by Capture One (the link shows how to use them) and many other raw processors. You use the ColorChecker Classic 24-patch color sample.

https://xritephoto.com/ph_product_overview.aspx?id=1192&catid=158

I have seen another company online that offers a much larger number of color patches. You can order their color patch tool and send them your raw files and they will generate your ICC profiles for you.

Lumariver also can make LUTs and ICC profiles for custom camera profiles.
Thanks, Walter. I'll look into that.

can you post the pictures, Jim? Is there any difference attributable to APS-C vs FX sensor?
I intend to post some comparison pictures after I take some more this afternoon.
 

Latest posts

Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Nikon Cafe is a fan site and not associated with Nikon Corporation.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Copyright © 2005-2019 Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom