Are Canon’s Colors Mushy and Nikons Not? by Matt Anderson, Premedia Guru

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Mushy Colors or Not?

By Matt Anderson, Landscape Photographer & Premedia Guru
Image Specs: Canon 5DMII 70-200mm f/4 L IS at 165mm ISO 50 3.2 Seconds

Pewitt's Nest Baraboo Wisconsin by Matt Anderson Scenic Landscape Photography

I think there is a bit of a brand misconception that has brewed for years. I’m not here to say one is less mushy than the other. I think the proof is in the pudding. Even more so, I dare say a global statement like “Nikon’s colors are this or Canon’s colors are that” is a bit ... ah, um, well, ignorant. How can you summarize a whole brand of various product and technology in one quick categorization? That’s like saying “all GM cars are slow gas guzzlers” or “everyone from California is a pretty movie star.”
 
In my humble opinion, the mushiness stems from lack of skill from camera to output. Sure Canon or Nikon might have weakend the CFA for better transmissiveness. A less dense CFA means possibly having less separation between hue and less defined chroma details. If you have ever worked in prepress or premedia, most of the time you don’t have the luxury of controlling the capture stage. All too often you’re handed a digital file that has suffered from bad decision making from the start. No matter. Get this file into the hands of a skilled color production artist and stand back! Like the Army, a savvy color correction specialist knows how to let the file “be all it can be.” Gazillions of tricks have been created to solve every image problem possible. This is the part where I typically insert before and after images of various wars and miracles I have courageously battled thru. Well, not today mister. No Sir, Today I’m going to give you a RAW file you can do your own R&D with. Today I let you, this here blog reader, download one of my precious RAW files to examine for yourself. (Just don't take credit for the shot and distribute it please!) Today you can process the file however you deem appropriate and make your own assessment(s).
 
Does Canon have mushy colors?
 
I would recommend you process the file in DPP, Canon’s proprietary RAW processor. In doing so, you will have honored all the integrity of the file and the decisions I made at capture time. Yes I know, not everyone has DPP, unless you bought a camera from Canon, you won’t have access. That’s why I also am providing you a full res JPEG to boot! A JPEG that has been exported from DPP with all the nifty decisions I made. (Hopefully I didn’t select the mushy color button!) And, just so you know, I also shoot with a Nikon D3, D300, D200, and medium format. I’m no fan boy. My loyalty is not to some camera making company. So for those of you who want to dig and find out, “Does Canon have mushy colors”, feel free to download the zip file located at the end of this rambling, and make your own assessment. Good-day-mate!

Download: Zip file containing the RAW Canon 5D Mark II Image and Jpeg Exported from DPP

Keywords: Photography, Color Manipulation, Correction, Retouch, RAW, Processing, Digital Image Management, Image Distribution, Canon, Nikon, Digital, Photo, Professional

Topics: Creative

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