The tussle with the GX20 continues! (See immediately previous posts)
Or rather, with its colour balance.
Or rather, with the apparent inability of Adobe Lightroom to render an accurate colour balance from RAW files produced by the GX20.
Well, I’m not having any of it!
Having begun to suspect some fundamental flaw in the way the Samsung GX20 was processing shots in-camera, I’m now beginning to backtrack from that a little bit.
Even using the software that’s supplied with the camera (Samsung RAW Converter 2.0) some tweaking appeared to be necessary to mitigate the effects of what appears to be a bias in favour of the red/magenta/purple spectrum in the darker (shadow) areas. And, almost without exception, the shots seem to be over-saturated. (Compensating for this is still causing me a few problems… but I’m getting there, slowly… largely by trial and error!)
In the course of trying to tackle this issue I’ve received suggestions from a number of people, quite a few of which have referred to various camera settings. But, being a bit of a Doubting Thomas by nature these suggestions have done little other than cause me to do a bit more in-depth reading about RAW files themselves.
Out of which emerged the fact that most of the camera settings (white balance, saturation, contrast, sharpness etc., and more especially the range of “digital colour filters”) only really have an impact on JPEGs; if one’s shooting exclusively in RAW (as I now do by default) they make no difference whatsoever. For all intents and purposes the only settings that impact RAW files are ISO, shutter speed, and aperture.
(This pdf from Adobe makes quite an interesting, and sufficiently short/non-technical, read!)
Thus, theoretically, any RAW converter app worth its salt should be able to satisfactorily process files from the camera… assuming it supports the DNG format that is.
Which Adobe Lightroom does! And given that Lightroom is my app of choice (for all sorts of reasons, not least of which is familiarity with the interface, and a few extra features that other RAW converters don’t seem to possess) I’m buggered if I’m going to be forced into using Samsung’s own RAW converter if I can possibly avoid it.
So, adopting “persistence” as my middle name, I repaired to my favourite watering hole (where, as frequenters of this blog and my Flickr photostream will already know, lighting conditions are somewhat “curious”) and fired off another batch of test shots.
Which I then processed entirely using Adobe Lightroom and utilising an import preset I’d configured to compensate for the apparent under-exposure and over-saturation that had seemed to be the hallmark of GX20 shots. And, I have to say, I’m not entirely dissatisfied with the results.
Whether this will be equally successful under other lighting conditions remains to be seen, but I’m not prepared to give in just yet!
Oh, perhaps I should also mention that this batch of shots were intended purely for me to play with exposure/colour/saturation… in terms of composition and focus (indoors, variable lighting, hand-held) well, basically they’re crap. So bear that in mind!
What makes this whole issue incredibly irritating, aside from the fact that I’m actually having to work at producing even half-way decent pics (which seriously goes against my nature) is that the price-bracket of this camera (in the UK at least) suggests its not aimed at the dSLR entry-level market but at the “serious” enthusiast, with aspirations to targetting the semi-pro market also.
In consequence of which I really did expect a somewhat better performance.