Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital Cameras (Point and Shoot) > Panasonic / Leica

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jun 8, 2006, 7:25 PM   #11
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 10
Default

Jim C:

Thank you for your comments. While not posted, I've had both saturation and contrast set to high before, but the prints end up looking way too green -- even fake. The foliage just seems to run together.

I think your comment about the Sony CCD probably comes closest to hitting the nail on the head, as well as, how the image is processed. That said, rather than continue to fixate on this one pic, I'm going to shoot other scenes and compare those images as well. I took a pic in my front yard and was overall more pleased with the FX30, though the color of the sky from the CP 995 was almost dead on with the real thing. The FX30 produced a sky with almost an aqua blue color.

Anyway, thank you for your input. I'll keep experimenting. I do love the features on the FX30. I just hope that most of the time I'll be able to produce pics that are at least as good if not better than my CP 995. Otherwise, I could have just saved the money. :lol:
Aragorn7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 8, 2006, 7:35 PM   #12
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

I've owned multiple Nikon Coolpix "swivel bodied" models and I still have an old Coolpix 950 I use from time to time.

I've also owned multiple cameras using the Sony 3MP 1/1.8" Sensor (including a Nikon Coolpix 990 and an Epson PhotoPC 3000z).

I think the Sony 3MP 1/1.8" CCD was probably the "sweet spot" in consumer sensors (resolution, dynamic range, sensor size).

It's too bad that the manufacturers didn't continue using this type of sensor with newer lens designs and faster and smarter processors.

But, the megapixel war rolls on. lol

Image processing is the biggest part of it, though. Manufacturers are trying to use more advanced techniques (tone/contrast curves) to extract the most detail out of fingernail size sensors packed full of photosites, while giving a "look" that more users like.

But, you can use image editors to accomplish the same thing. It's best to leave camera settings dialed back from defaults (contrast, saturation, sharpening) for more flexibility. Then, use a decent editor to mold the image to the way you like it later (boosting or lowering highlights, midtones and shadows).

It's all in the processing, and one camera's processing may be very different compared to anothers, just as you can have big differences between brand/type of film.


JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 9, 2006, 12:56 AM   #13
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 10
Default

THANKYOU, JIMC:

Boy, you sure weren't kidding when you discussed the importance of what processing will do. I've added three more photos to the site that were taken this afternoon. Photo 6 is from the Nikon. Photo7is from the Panasonic. Photo8 is from the Panasonic with post processing. Now it looks almost identical to the Nikon image -- similar color variation, tone, and depth.

I know it won't happen, but it sure would be nice if Panasonic would revise their processing algorithim and provide it in a firmware upgrade. Personally, I think the difference between the original and the processed one is obvious.

At least, now I know that if I have a pic, taken with the FZ30 that I really like , I can with some effort and practice make it better.

I understand that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but what do you think JimC? Do you think the post-processed image now has more depth and realism than the original?

Thanks again, for your input. I feel much better.:-)

http://imageevent.com/galenh



Aragorn7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 9, 2006, 6:03 AM   #14
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

Aragorn7 wrote:
Quote:
I understand that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but what do you think JimC? Do you think the post-processed image now has more depth and realism than the original?
Actually, it looks a bit too contrasty to my eyes. That's a tough scene.

The Nikon and Panasonic blew the highlights (too bright to capture any detail in some areas, thanks to the bright sun). A camera has a limited dynamic range (range of bright to dark that it's capable of capturing).

By boosting the contrast, you've destroyed even more highlight detail (for example, the leaves closest to the deck on the left side of the image), as well as lost some shadow detail (because boosting the contrast made the darker areas darker and the brighter areas brighter).

The flatter look of the original image retained more detail (and if settings for contrast had been dialed down from defaults, you may have retained even more detail).

It also appears to be a tad oversharpened. That may just be the camera defaults. I'd dial it back if it were me.

Most people prefer a more contrasty look to an image. It's all in the eye of the viewer.

You can also be more selective on how your process an image, boosting or lowering levels only in the areas you want to. Check out the curves function in many popular editors for more control.

You can get rid of the "haze" look associated with a flatter contrast curve another way using USM (Unsharp Mask) with a small amount and high radius. This is commonly referred to as Local Contrast Enhancement. See this example:

http://www.pbase.com/mtf_foto_studies/mtf_faq#PP2

Shooting raw is another way to give you more control over how an image is processed, since you bypass the camera's processing entirely, using raw conversion software to process the data from the sensor (with pros and cons to different software choices).


JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 9, 2006, 10:01 AM   #15
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 10
Default

JimC:

I agree with your assessment. I will continue to to experiment with this pic to see what improvements can be made.

My original intent, however, (and rather quickly at that) was to see if I could mimic the print of my CP995. I thought I came rather close. I am willing to lose some shadow detail, if the result is a print that creates a feeling of depth rather than a flat appearance.

The comments I got from others was that the CP995 glossy print looked more realistic. Perhaps, as you say, that is because some people prefer a more contrasty image. All I know is that in a glossy print, it looks like you could step into it. In contrast, the untouched Panasonic print looked more detailed, but quite flat. Later I shall try to employ your advice and rework the original Pansonic print so as to try to retain some of that detail, while still trying to give the pic a feeling of depth.

I've saved the link you provided me for further study. Your comments have been extremely helpful and I thank you for taking the time to help me take better pics with my FZ30.

:|
Aragorn7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 9, 2006, 10:22 AM   #16
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

There is no real right or wrong way, and everyone's opinion will vary.

Manufacturers have been heavily criticized over the years for overprocessing images, because once processed, it's tough to reverse problems introduced (for example, loss of detail).

As a result, many manufacturers are using a more conservative approach to image processing now. That means less "punchy" images straight from the camera using default settings with some models.

Most DSLR models use even more conservative processing. That gives you more flexibility for post processing images later using software.

Of course, shooting raw gives you the most flexibility of all, since you're dealing with unprocessed data from the sensor.

Any choice has pros and cons.

JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 9, 2006, 7:27 PM   #17
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 75
Default

Hi there!
It's funny that I have the same 2 cameras as you have.
Nikon CP 995 was my first ever DC. And I've bought my FZ-30 2 months ago.
When I compare photos from the 2 camera, I notice the CP 995 seems to have much better micro ability then the FZ-30. I used to sell some very tiny miniture toys on Ebay and I took a lot of micro pics with my Cp995. They turn out excellent while I can't seem to get the FZ-30 to acheve the same results.
However the operating speed of CP995 is no match for the super fast FZ-30. There is not wait time at all. And you can't beat the manual zooming.

misbehave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 9, 2006, 8:01 PM   #18
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 10
Default

Yes, Misbehave, the CP 995 does have better macro capability, butI knew that when I bought the FZ30. I've been thinking about buying some close-up lenses (filters) that would greatly improve its macro capability. They're not terribly expensive. You may wish to look into this as an option for your work.
Aragorn7 is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 4:10 PM.