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Why does the iPhone get the WB right and the X-T2 doesn't?

Discussion in 'X-T3, X-T2, X-T1, X-T20, X-T10, X-T100' started by Zurubi, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. Zurubi

    Zurubi Premium Member

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    Did that title catch your attention? I am going to venture into heresy ....

    I just returned from a trip to NZ, and besides the usual photos with my X-T2, lenses, tripod, the whole thing, I also shot a few with my iPhone (8+). I mostly left the white balance in auto. Many of these places were challenging for auto-WB, snow, ice, clouds, sun, mountains, you know, NZ! The iPhone always nails the WB and in several of the challenging cases, the X-T2 doesn't. It's pretty trivial to get it back right in LR or PS, but why is this? I realize that the iPhone is a massive computer behind that tiny camera, but the fuji is no slouch!

    Example:
    iPhone:
    IMG_3369-2.jpg

    X-T2, uncorrected:

    DSCF7697-2.jpg

    clouds didn't have that bluish tint, so I use them as neutral gray, and do some minor adjustments in LR:

    DSCF7697.jpg

    Now, that looks better, and close to what the iPhone captured!

    It's also interesting to see how many more tricks Apple does to the images to give them that "look", but that's a topic for another discussion.

    thanks.
     
    Irene McC and TNcaveman like this.
  2. Wintersong

    Wintersong Premium Member

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    Were you shooting in RAW or JPG with the Fuji, and if JPG, what simulation?
     
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  3. Illumidata

    Illumidata Premium Member

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    ITT: Things only photographers notice.

    I actually prefer the uncorrected file (for the colour in the ice) and would point out that until you've shot with a Sony you really haven't experienced "creative" white balance.
     
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  4. Woodworth

    Woodworth Premium Member

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    It all comes down to how the colour temperature meter (white balance) in the Fuji is calibrated in the factory as compared to the iPhone.

    Each camera has a slightly different bias. Fuji is different to Sony who in turn is different to Nikon, etc, as Illumidata says above "until you've shot with a Sony you really haven't experienced "creative" white balance", which is partly why I stopped using Sony.

    You can set the bias in your Fuji to your taste if you want to. I'm not falling into the trap of saying that the iPhone is "right" colour temperature-wise, but certainly perhaps more to your liking? Perception of colour is a very subjective thing and can be misleading if your monitor is not calibrated properly or perhaps if your own colour vision is (unknowingly) incorrect (not that I'm suggesting it is).

    It could be suggested that the iPhone image is slightly warm (if you look at the rocks) but this isn't necessarily right or wrong, just what you like.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
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  5. jknights

    jknights Moderator Staff Member

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    I would suggest that the WB in the Fuji is correct and the iPhone is warm...... which is what many people prefer!
    I am looking on my iPad but wouldnt say that either is far away.
    Also dont forget that simulations effect JPG output and RAW images are flatter and less countrasty with neutral WB. If you are using LR default import preset then this may also not be correct as it has import WB tweaks!
     
  6. JohnX

    JohnX Premium Member

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    The absence of air bubbles in glacial ice (due to compression of the ice) allows light to penetrate deeper into the ice. The ice absorbs most of the red end of the sprectrum, but reflects blue.

    So, any shots of glacial ice (which is what you have in your photos) should appear blue.

    The clouds have nothing to do with the colour of the ice.
     
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  7. Zurubi

    Zurubi Premium Member

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    Folks,

    Thanks for your answers. I'll try to answer all these in one reply:

    @Wintersong : these were shot RAW, then imported into LR

    @JohnX : I agree with you. My assertion of the WB wasn't based on the ice but rather on the clouds. They were truly gray, and when you measure their RGB color in PS, you realize that they are bluish, that's why it's easy to shift the entire WB using the color picker tool in PS (this will make sense only if you use PS, sorry).

    I realize that it's hard to see this issue when looking at photos through a web browser and this forum, but you'll have to take my word that in several cases (that granted are hard on the camera to determine auto WB), the Fuji misses the WB. @Woodworth , @jknights: yes, color is subjective, but again, I base my comments on measuring a color neutral surface, like a white or gray patch using the usual tools in photo processing (PS, etc). I only showed one example containing lots of ice, etc, but there are other cases with sky, water, etc, where I can tell that the X-T2 misses the WB (not by a lot, but enough to give an overall tint -- easily corrected, but annoying).

    I know that I was a bit provocative with the choice of title (or purpose :) ), and you can argue on the many things that the iPhone does on photos, but if I measure the color neutral parts of a photo using the same tools, I'd say that the iphone does a better job at choosing the WB that renders those color neutral parts correct. Yes, on top of that it most likely does other things that appeal to the masses, etc, etc.

    Since the X-T2 does it in some cases, it's not something that I can correct using an overall WB bias. Maybe this is something for the Fuji folks reading this forum to consider...
     
  8. Zurubi

    Zurubi Premium Member

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    I forgot to ask: have people seen a similar behavior in your X-cameras?
     
  9. Goldingd

    Goldingd Premium Member

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    Also.
    Next time you are shooting in such an difficult situation (snow difficult for WB, ice difficult, dull gray day difficult) include a properly exposure of a gray card, or at least an image of the back of your hand, as reference for WB in post processing.

    As for iPhone vs Fiji, Apples vs Oranges. Lots of variables like film simulation used, any mods to color settings, etc, and decisions made by manufacturers as to how to treat WB. Not something to get all picky over, just adjust to your taste.
     
  10. Goldingd

    Goldingd Premium Member

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    P.S. you probably know this, but in LR Develop module, use the WB eyedropper, select the snow on the mountains, and bingo.
     
  11. HSimon

    HSimon Premium Member

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    My 2 cents: The WB is not comparable since the two images are different. The image from the iPhone has been made from a different position.
     
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  12. Zurubi

    Zurubi Premium Member

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    Yes, of course. Did exactly that on the clouds that were pretty neutral. But still, having to do this extra step is annoying.....thx
     
  13. Wintersong

    Wintersong Premium Member

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    @Wintersong : these were shot RAW, then imported into LR

    Yeah, they looked RAW to me. You'll never be able to compare a RAW image to a JPG and have the RAW come out favorably, as the RAW isn't processed (it could be argued that the RAW isn't actually an image file, but a data set). The RAW image is going to show you everything the camera perceived, whereas the JPG will have applied processing algorithms to generate its image. In building the JPG, the iPhone discarded color in the sky because it didn't fit within the parameters that the processing engine was working with, whereas the Fuji included them since they were there. I'd suggest shooting your Fuji in RAW+JPG to get a better sense of comparison to the iPhone, or use the "Reprocess RAW" control in the the shooting menu to generate a JPG file from within the camera.
     
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  14. gyoung

    gyoung Premium Member

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    I have had Panasonic, Nikon, Sony (x2), and Fuji digital cameras, all have had idiosyncrasies in auto WB. Anything I don't like is easily corrected. It's just variations in software assumptions, especially visible in odd circumstances such as mixed lighting or your example of extremely 'blue' light conditions.
    Don't have an Iphone but my Samsung android 'device' has similar issues as a camera, and quite a few others as well!

    Gerry
     
  15. Dirk Offringa

    Dirk Offringa Premium Member

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    As said above, raw files need processing. All sorts of processing, that's all. Don't ever make the assumption that a raw file should look great without any "corrections". That's just not what they are meant to be. Both the above Fuji images look like that: undeveloped raw files. I wouldn't even consider the 3rd one as a finished image.

    I wouldn't have made the definitive assumption that the WB was incorrect either, and would ALSO have tried to process using either the saturation sliders in the camera profile, and/or the blue channel sat slider in the color correction tab. White balance is not a correction filtering out dominants, but to caracterize the illumination. To get a correct color, sometimes you need to filter too.
     
  16. lawsofphysics

    lawsofphysics Premium Member

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    Well this is not a FUJIFILM WB issue. It is related to the default WB rendering used by Adobe Camera Raw in Lightroom.

    The raw data contains no WB information whatsoever. The raw file contains the raw data and metadata records that include FUJIFILM WB parameter estimates.

    Adobe Camera Raw uses the in-camera WB estimates as a staring point. There is no reason to assume LR's initial rendering will be optimal. In fact the, the Camera Calibration Profile you use could play a role in color temperature rendering.

    A more meaningful test might be to compare raw files front the iPhone and the FUJIFILM camera. It is likely differences between the iOS raw file demosaicking algorithms for the iPhone JPEG rendering and the Lightroom default raw rendering are dissimilar.
     
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  17. Dirk Offringa

    Dirk Offringa Premium Member

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    It's always a question of interpretation!

    DSCF7697-2.jpg
     
  18. Jomon Mondia

    Jomon Mondia Active Member

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    What Film Sim did you use? Some film sim produce a blue tint on shadow areas.
     

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