Friday, January 06, 2006

Skin Tone Comparison:Fuji S3 and Nikon D200

Check out Fotomat's quick in-studio comparison of skin tone rendering characteristics between the FujiFilm FinePix S3 Pro and the Nikon D200 at this dPreview URL.
Fotomat states that the set-up,shooting,and image post-processing was all done in less than 30 minutes,so this is a QUICK test. It features a model holding a color chart,and wearing an orange,striped sweater,standing in from of a light colored seamless background, using a softbox as mainlight illumination. Both cameras were shot in RAW mode,using AUTO white balance, and images were converted pretty much straight across from RAW to JPEG, and were saved for the web as sRGB JPEG files (as it should be done,for the web, IMO).
Conclusions? Well, I myself have shot tens of thousands of images under studio lighting,including many,many "slate" shots of a color chart, and one of the CARDINAL RULES of shooting a "slate" (aka color chart/gray card/info slate) is to make absolutely sure there is NO GLARE from the lights....and honestly, I can spot the glare on the color chart in the D200 images, which makes the color charts patches look weaker and less-saturated than they should. This is a very,very easy thing to have occur.
As I said I have considerable experience in long-roll studio portraiture, and shooting the "slate" demands that the lights not cast ANY glare on the front surface of the reference target...the angle the model is holding the slate at in the D200's sample shot is catching the glare of the softbox. A softbox gives a terrible glare in many circumstances--a softbox and its FLAT, broad surface can easily interface wrongly with a FLAT-surfaced card, like a "slate". All flat-fronted softboxes can easily create a big,broad glare on a flat surface.Not that many people are practiced at shooting a slate shot, but the start and end of each roll in a long-roll camera must have PERFECT and absolutely GLARE-FREE illumination if the color references and gray values of the "slate" are to be of any use to automated printing machines.
Still...look at the flesh tones of the FujiFilm FinePix S3 Pro and the Nikon D200 in Fotomat's comparison. Very close. As to the other colors in the scene,the sweater looks more orange,and more-saturated in the Nikon image than the S3 image has. The hair color is very close from both cameras. Fingernails,teeth,eye coloration,background coloration,all are very close between the two cameras.Looking at the background's light fall off pattern is interesting,and personally I think there might be a_slight_ difference in the sensitivity of the sensors relative to their stated ISO settings.The exposures both do look very close, within about no MORE than .4 stop difference. I would say,based on my experience with +/- exposure correction in Nikon Capture,that the difference is around .27 stop difference. Overall, the mythical Fuji S3 skintones seem to be missing in action. All the "tonality" and "gradation" and "unparalleled Fuji skin tones" I've read about in the Fuji SLR Talk forum seem to be a lot of hyperbole. Check out the test and see for yourself how CLOSE the FujiFilm FinePix S3 Pro and the Nikon D200 look on Caucasian flesh tones.

1 comment:

Fotomat said...

Wow Derrel I'm honored.

Thanks for the mention