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Old Mar 14, 2009, 3:14 PM   #1
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What is the difference in black and white imaging, between shooting native in camera and shooting colour followed by say photoshop conversion to B&W?

By shooting B&W in camera, is something lost (other than colour), which cannot be recovered in PP?
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Old Mar 14, 2009, 4:24 PM   #2
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First, if you shoot in B&W in the camera, and youdon't like it, you've got nothing. If you shoot in color, and convert it to B&W in PP, if you don't like it, you've still got the color image to play with.

Second, there are lots of ways to convert to B&W in PP, some of which may work better than others for you. See http://www.dyxum.com/dforum//forum_p...amp;PID=312842
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Old Mar 14, 2009, 4:30 PM   #3
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What you have to remember is, no matter how you do it, you are still basically converting a color image into a B&W one. That's all the camera does. By doing this yourself on the computer you have more control over the final result. You can for instance use the channel mixer in photoshop the same way you would use filters over the lens to control contract between colors. And you have the added bonus of still retaining a color version of the image. Having said that, if you are satisfied with what the camera gives you. You will save time and effort by using the camera's B&W settings.

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Old Mar 14, 2009, 5:08 PM   #4
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There is really no difference. OTOH, if you are using an EVF camera, swithching the camera to B&W mode also (at least on the ones I have used) switches the EVF to B&W also, allowing you to see the shot that way before you take it, and reframe or adjust exposure as needed to get it to look right.

I used Tri-X B&W film exclusively for about a decade when I was young and feeling artistic, so got fairly used to knowing what a particular shot would look like, but still really appreciate my EVF going to monochrome when I want the B&W shot. Another reason the EVIL cameras interest me.

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Old Mar 14, 2009, 6:51 PM   #5
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You can get very different looks from the same scene when shooting black and white. Different colored filters will change how dark or light related colors are in a picture.

In the digital world, you don't have to carry around all those filters - you can do the same thing in software. Or you camera might have some of that capability, too, depending on the camera. My camera has that capability - you can shoot raw, then go into the menus and add a yellow, IR, red etc. filter and the camera will save a second jpg version of the picture with the filter applied. I played around with it a bit just to see what it could do, especially if I want to get an idea of what a scene will look like in b&w. However, I much prefer doing my conversion in Photoshop or Lightroom - there's so many different methods of doing it and they can give you very different pictures. I like having that ability to change things if I want. If you just have the b&w version in-camera you won't be able to influence how light or dark a color becomes in the b&w version (i.e., if your scene is a green forest with a blue sky and you want to darken the sky, you can darken just the blues in the picture when you convert it). Your only control in post processing becomes either over-all contrast for your scene or else you'd have to use lots of layer masks to influence bits and pieces of the picture.

If your camera has the capability, I'd shoot using the camera's b&w filter but shoot raw + jpg. Then you have the b&w jpg version the camera came up with along with the raw color version that you can play with if you don't like what the camera did. That's the best of both worlds.
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Old Mar 15, 2009, 8:12 AM   #6
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Thanks for that very useful information.

Note:- I too used to shoot and develop on TRi-X film. That's the sort of control I would like to re-capture.
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Old Mar 15, 2009, 9:15 PM   #7
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joggerman wrote:
Thanks for that very useful information.

Note:- I too used to shoot and develop on TRi-X film. That's the sort of control I would like to re-capture.
I suspect you didn't use filters very often either. That wasn't the point of Tri-X. The secret of B&W, IMO, is pre-visualization and having the EVF operating in B&W simplifies the pre-visualization.

A. C.

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