Tony Northrop: Which Camera Brand has the Best Color Science?

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8 thoughts on “Tony Northrop: Which Camera Brand has the Best Color Science?”

  1. Wow, that was interesting and very surprise outcome.

    I always in my mind thought the old Minolta with Minolta lenses had the best or at least most pleasing colors.

    I usually say that colors are very individual personal taste and also ones mood at the time is very differential in what pleases you..

  2. I was impressed by your comment that a 20 min test only surveys a sub-population of people that tolerate 20 min tests. Most surveys ignore the impact of population selection

  3. Most people who use cameras seriously and worry about “color science’ also do a white balance.

    What would your results have looked like if all of the pictures were white balanced?

    1. There is a section of Tony’s video where he neutralized White Balance. That seems to be an aspect of photography those screaming about ‘Color Science’ simply don’t understand…

  4. I love my a7riiis, and I get comments all the time about how great the color is in my photos. Of course, these photos are the product of raw files I have processed in Lightroom and are, therefore, partly my interpretation of the color not just Sony’s.

    I have also noticed that the color in raw files from the a9 seems to be different than that in raw files from the a7riii. I haven’t decided whether this is good or bad, and I haven’t done any specific testing or direct comparison, but I am curious if anyone else has noticed the same.

  5. Very, VERY GOOD study!!! Camera color output is like ” you have to be the judge” BUT only get to see after you buy one (and end up having to keep). One other thing not mentioned – Monitor Calibration of all the participants! JPEG is the file type put out on the web but very very few monitors are color calibrated. I was first given an old Spyder 3 and used on a very old monitor and was surprised at the calibration colors. And now with the Spyder 5 along with the cube (proper adjustment of cube photo in Lightroom is very complex) and other Spyder tools colors look like what I remember (memory how good is it).

  6. This is an interesting and thought provoking take on color science.

    The only concern that I have here is that color science primarily matters for video, which isn’t mentioned here. For photos, shooting in raw negates the impact of color science. For video on dsrl or mirrorless cameras, that don’t shoot in 10-bit 4:2:2 internal, color science matters. That’s because (and correct me if I’m wrong here) video on these camera is much more analogous to shooting in .jpg — whereas shooting on a cinema camera with the 10-bit 4:2:2 and a good codec is more analogous to shooting in raw. So the color science can have a big impact on video. I know a number of professional videographers who have switched from Sony to Canon because adjusting the color science of Sony was too onerous and time consuming, whereas they felt that Canon was spot on and required significantly less enhancing/tweaking.

    So yea, I think you may have missed the area where color science matters most on these types of cameras, which is video, and not stills.

    1. Actually, sales numbers show that videographers are switching from C100/200/300 to Sony FS-7. With any of these cameras, you should understand the concept of color grading – or find someone who does. Otherwise you’re driving a Ferrari that’s stuck in first gear.

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