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Jan Wakker Jul 8, 2004 6:16 AM

Hello to all the Minolta digicam users.

I'm using the Minolta Dimage 7i for some years now. So far I left the onboard settings for contrast, brightness, saturation and sharpness in default. Thinking that changing this settings would give longer calculation and storage times for each picture. But is this thought correct?

Using this default settings doesn't result in ready to use pictures. I always have to make corrections in Photoshop. Which is a lot of work, but thinking that Photoshop probably give better results than changing the default in camera settings, might be worth it. But is it really better?

I thinkit is possible to give on board corrections for contrast, brightnes, saturation and shapness in two separate memories in the camera, one for sunny and the other for cloudy conditions. But which settings are the best in this two situations?

Does anyone have experiences with this?

Thank you for sharing it!

KCan Jul 8, 2004 8:30 AM

Hi Jan,
I am pretty sure that changing those settings wouldn't affect calculation and storage (writing) times .
In my case, I always use the vivid :?color setting in camera.

Jan Wakker Jul 9, 2004 7:00 AM

Thank you KCan,

For this info. It's good to know that changes in settings (practically) don't bring longer processing and writing times with it. So this will be the starting point for making some experiments. The vivid color setting is an easy one tostart with.
But after that I will have to try a lot more settings.

It's a pitty that the 7i has only 3 memories and one of them will be in use for the mainly used "from day to day" settings. Leaving only 2 memories for different situations. It will be a puzzle to decide which situations will be most handy to store there.
Each of the 3 memories should be not only a usable setting, but also a good starting point for minor differences. There's a lot to think about.

I wish it would be possible to "transfer" the most used changes in Photoshop to changes in the 7i settings. They use much too different gradations/scales for getting "matching" results easily.

So there's a lot of testing ahead of me.

Kind regards,

KCan Jul 9, 2004 10:11 PM

:idea:Another though …
May be you want to try shooting in RAW ? it take a bit more in memory but you will have more latitude in the post-processing.
Also, I remember vaguely that the Dimage viewer (the Minolta software that came with the camera) allow you to batch process images based on one setting , but myself I never use it that way.

Jan Wakker Jul 10, 2004 3:55 AM

Hi KCan,

I must admidot that I never use (never even tried...) the RAW-modus and neither the TIFF-modus. Both because of the too long processing and writing times. I want to be able to shoot several times one after another, while the EVF must be giving the actual view.

Also, I hardly ever use the Dimage viewer because I think it's to limited compared to Photoshop. But maybe you are right and it gives possibillities that Photoshop doesn't. I will check that out.

It would be nice, very nice, if Dimage viewer should use the same parameters as the on board firmware does. Is anyone familiar with this?
That would be the fastest and most accurate way to find out the best recording settings in specific situations.

By the way, I always use the max resolution and less compressed JPG files in camera.
Does Dimage Viewer only allow the batched processing on settings with RAW fils or also with JPG's?

The original JPG files I keep as my "digital negatives" (I should better say positives...), my digital film.
When I bring in changes I save it under a different/changed name, mostly as TIFF.
Unless of course it's for web use or for creating a slide show, then it will be JPG.

Kind regards,

Jan Wakker Aug 1, 2004 4:58 AM

In another forum I found a remark about this in a string about comparing the A2 with an Olympus 8080:

stubloom wrote:
> The Askey review that blessed the 8080 and slammed the A2 image
> quality was based on the A2's JPEG fine with sharpness set to
> normal and no saturation boost - the default settings.
> If you want the best image quality possible without post
> processing, IMO the A2 is not the best 8 MP choice (although with
> the optimum in-camera settings, it can make very fine images). But
> if I didn't want to post-process, before I went to the 8080, with
> all its ergonomic problems, I'd buy a Pro1 or an F828.

What does interest me most, isthe remark about the optimum in-camera settings for JPG. I think he's pointing at the settings for: contrast, sharpness, color saturation and brightness. The same as in this thread.

I wonder if anyone has suggestions (next to the allready given ones in this thread)for the best combination with this settings?
Maybe devided in settings for general purposes and for special purposes?
Another question in this, are these optimum settings the same for all camera's in the Dimage series from D 7, D 7i, D 7Hi, A1 to A2?
If not can anyone indicate the differences?

I know that is a relative simple question, with probably very complicated answers. But I think it will be very interesting for the majority of the users of these camera's.

Maybe this (now more wide)item is worth a separate thread of it's own?
I think it's an important issue and it should be possible to find it easiliy.

slipe Aug 1, 2004 11:05 AM

Have you considered setting up some actions in Photoshop? It is falling off a log easy to batch process your images and you get the advantage of the much finer settings in Photoshop.

I shoot with minimum contrast and sharpening in all of my cameras. Minimum contrast gives the best dynamic range the CCD is capable of (other than raw) and sharpening adds artifacts that are enhanced in post processing. I batch process the good images and save them in a separate file for general use and viewing. And save the originals unaltered for advanced post processing.

I don't get too sophisticated with the action. Defogging, levels (5% clipping), saturation and sharpening. I have another with auto-levels rather than the standard clipping. Auto-levels is better for most shots but sometimes will really screw up a shot.

I also have a 7i. I use raw for static scenes but usually use best quality JPG for anything dynamic as the wait times are excessive for raw. If I had a newer model with a buffer I would shoot mostly raw. It is a far superior format to JPG and especially TIFF. Greater bit depth and you can set all the parameters in the Diamage software just as if you had set them in the camera. All you have to be concerned with while shooting is focus and exposure, which gives you more time to think about the shot rather than screwing around in menus deciding how you want your white balance etc.

If I had a Canon I would love the two custom settings they put on the mode dial for their higher-end cameras. I have an Oly with a single custom setting on the mode dial and use it often. Once they bury the custom settings in menus they might as well save the menu space as far as I am concerned.

I doubt that the settings would be exactly the same between the models. The A1 has a different processor from the predecessors and they changed it again for the A2 going back to 12 bit like the 7i. I think different teams have a different opinion of how they want the image to look, and therefore exactly what "normal" is.

Jan Wakker Aug 1, 2004 11:57 AM

Hi Slipe,

Thanks for your reaction. I can agree with almost everything you say.
But as you can see in the message I started this thread with, I'm now using Photoshop for all the post processing. But that takes a lot of time, not in the last place because it's almost impossible to batch these actions. Mostly because the "auto level" spoils a lot of pictures by making wrong corrections in the color balance quite often.

And I wonder if the Photoshop actions are really so much more sophisticated than changing the onboard settings in the Minolta. I think that the factory settings already change the result of the RAW image of the sensor. And would changing that factory setting have a more negative effect on the resulting image?

I agree that one has to be carefull by not overdoing the contrast setting, there's already a loss of details in the lighter parts.
This is also why I think it's very strange that Minolta was going back to the 12 bit conversion with the A2, compared to the 14 bit in the A1.

That's also the reason that the A1 will differ most from the "average Minolta setting", I suppose.

But why do other manufacturers manage to get better "straight from the camera" results?That must be possible by using other settings with the various Minolta's too.
But what settings? That's the question. I know, everone has it's own favorite balance in his pictures, but there must be a general guideline for getting better than the standard settings.

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