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Canon vs Nikon color.

Mars C , Dec 13, 2009; 09:35 a.m.

Hi everyone,

Recently, Me and my old friends , Whom are also shutter Ka'chk sound addict, Are having this discussion about what color is more accurate, Canon or nikon? Then it evolved into what is the more beautiful color, canon or nikon? Then into what color you like. Of coarse the canon owners said canon, and nikon, nikon.

I said, the color I like best is my own color. I dont really like canon color or nikon color, Nikon is too colored , and canon is too red. Long ago I discovered that I dont have to stick to the default color style set by each manufacturer, By using WB shift in my canon.

My setting on my 350d/xt is B5/G4 WB shift, contrast set to1 of 5, sharpness 3 of 5, saturation 4 of 5. This would make the general color output from you camera ,look different . Try it.

I would like to encourage those who are new or eveyone who havent change those parameters in the camera, To do so.

Thought , I'd like to share.


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Howard M , Dec 13, 2009; 09:44 a.m.

the beauty of digital is that you can basically make it anything you want. until digital came along, canon & nikon were fancy 'box' makers. now, they have to 'render'. so you're getting what a bunch of engineers and marketing guys think are the correct colors.

Hal B , Dec 13, 2009; 09:55 a.m.

I set my color shift towards M/A. Sometimes, it just depends on the situation. My Canon is a little unsaturated for my taste, so I also bump up the saturation.

Mark Ethridge , Dec 13, 2009; 09:59 a.m.

I'm with Hal. I prefer more saturation than what Canon typically sets as standard so I usually bump up the saturation as well.

Alan Green , Dec 13, 2009; 10:39 a.m.

to me, nikon glass always produced higher contrast and deeper color -- was especially noticeable when shooting (and underexposing) kodachrome (especially k25). canon has always been more neutral contrast/color.
with digital you can adjust for any style in post. i usually boost the saturation/contrast a tad for canon images. on the flip side, though, if the subject is high in contrast nikon glass may be problematic. of course, again, you can compensate for almost anything in digital post.

Robert Budding , Dec 13, 2009; 11:27 a.m.

"the beauty of digital is that you can basically make it anything you want. until digital came along, canon & nikon were fancy 'box' makers. now, they have to 'render'."

Canon and Nikon did make some nice "boxes", and the color rendition was controlled by film makers and by printers. Of course, there have long been folks who like to cross-process their film.

Yes, the photographer now has more control over color. But it also means that there's more to learn.

Scott Ferris , Dec 13, 2009; 11:29 a.m.

Interesting, now I shoot in RAW I really don't see an issue. You can put Nikon profiles into LR and get your Canon shots to look like Nikon and the other way round. Indeed if you spend a little time making a profile you can make any lens look like any other from a colour point of view.

Another thing, if you are a RAW shooter who exposes to the right then you need to set your picture style to Neutral, shoot the same image and look at the histogram as you change picture styles. Neutral gives you a decent bit more headroom.

Take care, Scott.

Ben Goren , Dec 13, 2009; 11:47 a.m.


At least for Canon — and I would assume Nikon has something similar — the picture (forgive me) is muddied even further with “Picture Styles.” Basically, they’re different ways of mapping RAW values into color. They can be applied in-camera to JPEGs at the moment of exposure or on the computer when processing RAW files. Variations with more and less saturation, contrast, sharpness, and various hue shifts ship with the cameras; they have descriptive names, such as “landscape,” “portrait,” and “neutral.” There’s one, “faithful,” that’s a very close match to a colorimetric rendering; it’s an excellent starting point for an ICC-managed workflow.

To complicate things even further, Canon makes available a Picture Style editor so you can create your own.

And, as if that weren’t enough, Adobe supports even more variations on the theme, including DNG profiles — and even that is, of course, ignoring all the other ways of altering color, from playing with raw converter sliders to converter presets to Photoshop actions…the list isn’t literally infinite, but it sure seems that way.

If there’re a particular look you have in mind, if you can put a name to it, a bit of Googling will probably find some sort of preset for one of those methods to give it to you automatically. Or, if your needs are more particular, it’s not hard at all to create one for yourself.

So, when it comes right down to it, the manufacturer’s choice of color palette is only relevant for those who use the defaults. And if you’re gonna make a multi-thousand-dollar choice based on defaults…well, if that floats your boat, fantastic — but it sure doesn’t make sense to me.



JDM von Weinberg , Dec 13, 2009; 01:12 p.m.

Long before digital, there were similar discussions/arguments about Canon vs. Nikon lenses having a warmer or cooler cast. At one point or another there were even magazine articles testing whether there were such things or not. I frankly don't remember the outcomes too well, but my impression was that there really wasn't much significant overall difference.

I join with those above who suggest that in the digital age, you have so many variables and so many ways to control things like color cast, that the discussion becomes more or less moot.

G Dan Mitchell , Dec 13, 2009; 01:22 p.m.

This is a meaningless question in the end. Both cameras do an outstanding job of capturing color information. In addition, the non-camera variations in color (subject, ambient lighting, your personal preference in post) swamp any tiny, insignificant difference between brands. And those differences themselves are probably no greater than the differences among different cameras from the same manufacturer.

Moot it is.

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