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Understanding Picture Styles


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#1 dhampson

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 07:21 PM

Hi All - I recently purchased a new 7D Mark II from B&H and I'm currently reading through the instruction manual. I came to the Picture Styles section where one can select different styles for different subjects. For example, a Portrait style may have different in camera processing than a Landscape style. Now, my question is, does this apply only to JPEG images (not RAW)? I feel confident it applies only to JPEG's but would like some others corroboration on this. For amateur folks like myself who are still learning, I think it would be helpful for Canon to make this clear in the manual, even as a footnote (which they do not do). Other settings which I believe apply only to JPEG's are: Noise Reduction, Highlight Tone Priority, Auto Lighting Optimizer. I would appreciate any comments on this.

 

Btw, I purchased the 7D Mark II as a camera for shooting my daughter's sporting events (currently indoor track and indoor soccer). Everything is posted on SmugMug for the players and parents. 95% of my photography is high school sports.

 

Thanks - Dave

 



#2 RAH1861

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 10:01 AM

Yes, you are correct that picture styles only apply to jpg. In fact, almost all settings that modify the final image out of the camera only apply to jpg, including such basic settings as white balance (of course, exposure settings like ISO, aperture, and shutter speed apply to both RAW and jpg).
 
I guess Canon doesn't mention this because maybe they figure people know that raw images are basically unmodified; i.e. images go directly from the sensor to the memory card with little or no post-processing. In order to really use raw images you have to process them with a raw editor and convert them to a regular image format like jpg or tif. When you do so, YOU do what the camera does for you when you shoot jpg (or raw+jpg).
 
If I were you, I think I'd not bother with those styles. I do shoot raw+jpg, but pretty much leave the jpg settings at the "standard" setting (I forget the actual term, but whatever the default is). If I want to do any additional tweaking, I do it in an image editor. If you use a style, it may be harder to modify in an image editor later, I think. 
 
I shoot raw (i.e. raw+jpg) mainly to give myself the ability to use the raw image in cases where the exposure isn't quite right and I need to recapture some blown-out hightlights or noisy dark areas, or if I am having trouble getting the correct white balance (rarely). But often I find the jpgs are fine, after minor tweaking in an image editor.

Rich


#3 David Pavlich

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 10:41 AM

Rich covered it.  If you want to have Jpegs sent to one of your memory cards, I go into the menu and find the settings for each type of Jpeg.  You may want a little more brightness or saturation and this can be done with sliders in the menu.  I'm not sure how to drill down in your camera, but here's a video that shows the menu and how to adjust the settings:

 

 

Above all, unless you're shooting an event that requires you to have images right after the event, I'd keep that CF card in you camera set at RAW.  That way, the data is processed by you and not the camera.  If I'm shooting a pay event, I have both cards set to RAW (5D MkIII), but for other stuff, I have my CF card on RAW and the other set at M-Jpeg.

 

As an aside, I have an acquaintance who's neighbor is the primary photographer for the Seattle Seahawks (there's a total of 5).  All of them use a Canon 1Dx or the DxII and all shoot in Jpeg because they have to get the best shots to the customer right after the session.  And I'm sure you can imagine how many shots are taken during a typical game.

 

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#4 dhampson

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 09:57 PM

Thanks Rich and David for clearing this Picture Styles issue up for me. Very good information (the use of RAW and the Adorama video).

 

Last Saturday night I shot my daughter's indoor soccer game in a dimly lit building (the first use of my new 7D Mark II). I got fooled though and this is why. I decided to use Manual mode, shutter at 1/500, my 24-70 wide open at 2.8 and Auto ISO which set itself at 6400 (to give me a "standard exposure" I thought). I was chimping the histogram while taking the shots and was rather alarmed that all the data was bunched up toward the left hand 1/3 of the graph. I didn't know what to make of it at the time. When I got home and got the images on my iMac, sure enough the histogram was right. The images were all underexposed by at least 1 stop. I then discovered while reviewing the menu's ISO speed settings that the Auto ISO Range is set by default from a minimum of 100 to a maximum of 6400. So I thought I was getting a "standard exposure" at 6400 but I wasn't and the ISO really needed to go up to 12,800 or so to get a true "standard exposure". I learned my lesson.



#5 David Pavlich

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 10:25 PM

That's one of the great assets of digital....experimentation.  My 5DIII has about 14,000 clicks on it and I can't imagine how many of those were just test shots trying out different stuff.

 

David


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