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Picture Style Settings on 5D?

Steve Crist , Jul 07, 2006; 10:08 p.m.

Does anyone change their picture style settings? I leave this set to "standard" no matter what the subject. I then adjust accordingly (sharpness, contrast, color) in PS-CS2. Is there any advantage in changing picture styles, or even setting them different from the default setting? It appears the only thing that varies is the sharpness - all other settings are left at 0. Any help is appreciated. I've only had the 5D about a month and I'm learning more about it every day. Thanks. Steve

Responses

Puppy Face , Jul 07, 2006; 10:32 p.m.

Shoot a few RAW files and open them in DDP. Cycle through the Pictures Styles and decide for yourself. The differences are somewhat like using different films, e.g., Velvia vs. Portra 160. So there are differences in contrast, saturation and color tint (warmer/cooler).

If you shoot RAW, the selected Pictures Style will open in DPP as the default. However you can change the style or other parameters to your heart's content prior to conversion to TIFF. The style is merely a tag and the RAW file is untouched. The main idea is to find a style nearest to your taste and therefore save time postprocessing. My fav Pic Style is landscape and I often find it very near to the look I want. It makes sense as I mainly shoot landscapes. However once in a while standard or portrait look better.

Incidentally, some non-Canon RAW converters don't recognize Pictures Style tags.

Dan Lovell - Orange County, California , Jul 08, 2006; 10:12 a.m.

Ignore PS's and Learn to Process RAW

If you're a serious photographer, advanced amature, or professional, then you'll find that the Picture Styles are a big waste of time. This is especially true if you shoot RAW, which you should be doing anyways.

PictureStyles are for the Point & Shoot crowd...they prefer the camera make the decisions, and are less likely to process RAW images. This is not a bad thing, so don't get me wrong. However if you're really serious about your pictures, you'll ignore the PS's.

DPP will work with the PS's, but most other RAW converters will not.

Incidentally, no 1D series body provides PS's.

Dan Lovell - Orange County, California , Jul 08, 2006; 10:14 a.m.

Moreover....

Think about it....you paid nearly $3,000 for your 5D, so why treat it like a Point & Shoot? Let it capture the light, and even provide features to help it do it better, but leave the post processing decisions to YOU.

Puppy Face , Jul 08, 2006; 01:54 p.m.

Even guys like Dan can use Pictures Styles. Dan would set the RAW Pictures Style default to "Neutral," no processing (even less than "Standard"). This is the RAW conversion style default Canon recommends if you want to hand stroke your image extensively in PS.

I disagree Pictures Styles are only for the Point 'n Shoot crowd. If it saves you a few minutes of postprocessing it's a smart choice. I find it similar to using a PS Action for the same adjustment you do to every file. You haven't sold your soul. It it doesn't work for you, select Picture Style "Neutral." Convert to TIFF And stroke away in PS. Most of my images require additional tweaking both in DPP and PS. Pictures Styles is sort of like the Auto Levels command in PS. Sometimes it nails it and sometimes it doesn't.

Incidentally, you can hand stroke saturation, contrast, color, etc., on any Pictures Style incamera and save as a user defined style on your command dial. A modified Landscape saves me a few minutes of doing the same adjustments over and over in DPP. Remember it's a RAW file, so the original is untouched. The PIcture Style moniker is merely a tag so DPP will display your RAW file at your default setting. If it's wrong for a a particular image, you can change it all you want without fear of degradation.

Dan Lovell - Orange County, California , Jul 08, 2006; 09:22 p.m.

PuppyFace, the PS Nuetral is really not a real PS in the sense that no in-camera processing is done, so really Nuetral effectively turns off PS's. So really, I'm not using a PS even if I set the camera to Neutral.

Images are not commodities. I don't like to apply the same recipe to all images in a shoot. I treat each one uniquely, and therefore I post process.

For pro and serious usage, I maintain that it is best to keep PS "off" by setting it to neutral.

Puppy Face , Jul 09, 2006; 03:29 a.m.

"Neutral" is simply one choice among 6 Picture Styles. You have no choice but to use a Picture Style by default, be it Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Neutral, Faithful, etc. That's how it is with the 5D. You can can't do it any other way.

Besides, when shooting RAW, it doesn't matter which Picture Style you set in camera as you can flip between any of the styles, adjust contrast, color tone, color space, WB, EC, etc., in DPP before conversion. However, if you happen to select a particular Picture Style that doesn't mean you stop there. The Picture Style is merely a point of departure. I usually need a slight levels/contrast tweak, maybe WB, color tone, etc., before conversion. I often convert 2 or 3 files with differing WB, exposure compensation, etc., and blend and mask to taste in PS layers. Just because I used Standard, Neutral, Faithful, etc., as a starting point for my postprocessing doesn't place my images into the cookiecutter mold, render them as point 'n shoot or degrade the artistry. With such logical one would have to say masks, gradients, PS actions and plugins render all images the same. So does that mean a true artfart only sticks to the traditional burn 'n dodge tools?

Wait--lightbulb blinking--I strongly recommend defaulting to the Monotone Picture Style. Heaven forbid if your delicate eyes should gaze upon the bogus hues of Japanese engineers. After all, they use the same processing algorithms in everyone's frickin' EOS. Subsequently, a true artist must add color during postproduction, and thereby preserve his uniqueness. Bust out the crayons brother. But wait, if you use crayons your images are at risk of looking like every dad burn picture hatched in preschool art hour...

Christian Deichert , Jul 10, 2006; 01:51 a.m.

Only time I use a picture style is when I'm shooting digital IR; as a blood-red landscape tends to be distracting, I set it to monochrome instead (it's where the image is going to end up anyway, so this lets me get a good preview in the field). It amazes me that "monochrome" is still a color photo, as demonstrated by my file size shrinking by 2/3 whenever I discard the color information in Photoshop...

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