Micro 4/3 My first ever JPEG only shoot, in the orchard

grebeman

Old Codgers Group
As part of my cunning plan to stave off insanity during the covid situation I've spent some time trying to set up satisfactory jpeg outputs from some of my Panasonic cameras. This morning was my first attempt at anything other than a standard test subject, the view from my kitchen door.
My landlord Graham was in his orchard pruning some of the apple trees. It used to be a productive cider orchard many years ago, Graham recently gave me copies of the farm diary from 1930 onwards and that showed worst year production rate of 2 tons, best years 14 tons. As you can deduce there were many more trees in the orchard then. Graham said that as a schoolboy in the autumn, if he wasn't at school, he ws out in the orchard bent double putting cider apples into sacks. There are still three or four of the old cider trees standing, sadly their names are lost to history, Graham is however planting new trees of old varieties, indeed 15 more are due in soon. From my taste testing of both eating and cooking apples I can testify that some of them are delicious.
These jpeg images have been tweaked for levels and a touch of sharpening added in GIMP, there has been no other processing or cropping.

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My cottage is just above Graham's head, the large barn to the right is his workshop and the Dutch barn to the left is the home of my nearest neighbour, a barn owl!

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I'm rather pleased with these images in terms of colour and tonal quality. As you can tell I'm neither a people photographer nor do I like saturated images, so these suit me well. Truth be told it was jpeg only by accident, I hadn't reset the camera to jpeg + raw, but in the event, nothing lost. Whatever it was good to get out after several days of grey skies and drizzle, I celebrated by going into Kingsbridge and getting some take away fish and chips!

Barrie
 

bartjeej

Hall of Famer
Real Name
bart
Looks like a very nice quiet place to live!

I am often guilty of oversaturating my images in post, but I have been moving away from filmic film simulations and towards a more natural look, trying to still keep pleasing colors. Surprisingly often, straight raw conversions with only a smidgen of vibrance do the trick. And with my X100, quite often the JPEG (asia / soft mode with a white balance shift) is all I need, although it needs more work on the shadows or highlights than the jpegs can handle on just a few too many occasions to rely on jpeg only.
 
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grebeman

Old Codgers Group
Hi Bart,
Yes, I agree that there are tricky light conditions that are difficult to render satisfactorily with a jpeg only shooting regime. I certainly don't want to reopen that debate, I'm happy to accept that what suits one person might not suit another, so each to his own and if you are satisfied with your approach then you should be left alone to get on with it and not be told by one side or the other that your approach is wrong, it's just different and you are able to make it work for yourself, so enjoy it. My intention is probably to shoot raw+jpeg and use the raw file where the conditions have outwitted the jpeg engine in the camera. I think to increase the hit rate with jpeg only would require a reading of difficult lighting conditions and an adjustment of the in camera settings particularly in terms of highlights and shadows although even then my recent experience suggests that in camera settings often do not allow sufficient adjustment.

Barrie
 

agentlossing

Top Veteran
Location
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Andrew Lossing
Those are very nice looking JPEGs, from an era where Panasonic wasn't known for producing the best colors. Never underestimate the power of a lightly overcast sky to produce excellent diffused lighting! Digital sensors really like this kind of light, I've found. On Panasonic cameras from the GX85 onwards, I've found the standard JPEG setting while nice is a little oversaturated, it looks really good when the saturation is turned down a notch or two.
 

grebeman

Old Codgers Group
Those are very nice looking JPEGs, from an era where Panasonic wasn't known for producing the best colors. Never underestimate the power of a lightly overcast sky to produce excellent diffused lighting! Digital sensors really like this kind of light, I've found. On Panasonic cameras from the GX85 onwards, I've found the standard JPEG setting while nice is a little oversaturated, it looks really good when the saturation is turned down a notch or two.
Andrew, I've spent a great deal of time in recent weeks repetedly shooting the same scene from my kitchen door with several different Panasonic cameras and varying the photostyle settings to get something I rather liked. For the GX7 I'm currently using Natural, Contrast +1, Sharpness +5, Saturation -3, Noise Reduction -5, Shadows +3, Highlights _2, iDynamic low, iResolution off, White Balance Cloudy B+2:M+2. So some way from their default settings. I still did a very small amount of tweaking to the levels in GIMP. I have a feeling that to get an ooc jpeg to be spot on you'd need to make adjustments to suit each image, or series of images, in one type of light condition. I think that would mainly involve the shadows and highlight settings so the histogram feel as close as possible to the black and white points. It's been an interesting journey and all part of trying to keep me sane given the current conditions.

Barrie
 

agentlossing

Top Veteran
Location
S. Oregon Coast (the Northernmost-Cal of them All)
Real Name
Andrew Lossing
I think you've gotten the GX7 to a very good place, at least in these images. You're right about JPEG results often needing specific tweaking, the camera just isn't good at understanding the nuance of different lighting conditions in the same way that a linear film response would be. In newer cameras, I use in-camera RAW conversion as often as I can for this reason. Do you ever use a grey card for setting a custom WB?
 

grebeman

Old Codgers Group
I think you've gotten the GX7 to a very good place, at least in these images. You're right about JPEG results often needing specific tweaking, the camera just isn't good at understanding the nuance of different lighting conditions in the same way that a linear film response would be. In newer cameras, I use in-camera RAW conversion as often as I can for this reason. Do you ever use a grey card for setting a custom WB?
No I've never used a grey card. I have a great deal of trouble over white balance since I'm partially blue/green colour blind, I understand that 10% of the male population are. So I found in GIMP that an auto setting erroneously called white balance can be applied to a jpeg image. What I think it's doing is equalising the levels of the three colour channels (by doing that manually I can achieve the same effect) and in effect it gets rid of colour casts which I find most difficult to judge. However if I tweak the white balance settings in the camera until the application of that auto white balance setting in GIMP produces little or no change to the ooc image then I think the in camera white balance setting is probably about optimum. I can now judge when an image is too yellow and I think the Panasonic sensors, certainly earlier ones, were biassed to producing a yellow cast.

Barrie
 

melanieylang

Regular
@grebeman, as a JPEG-only shooter using Panasonic cameras currently, I found that the 20MP sensor of the GX9 has far nicer output than my much-loved-now-sold GX7 - Panasonic worked hard to improve how skin tones rendered, and the results are also much sharper with no AA filter onboard. The 9 doesn't handle as well as the 7, though, which was very disappointing.

All the best with your JPEG journey :)

Melanie
 

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