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Digilux 3 - help please


SEMH

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Hello - I have just bought a Digilux 3 and am pretty pleased with first impressions but not as pleased as I thought I would be. My images just do not seem to have that Leica quality I was hoping for. Are there some settings I should be altering in the camera to help with the quality? And should I be shooting in SRGB or Adobe RGB...I admit to not being as technically minded as I ought to be.

 

Any hints on how I can enjoy this camera even more would be gratefully received.

 

Thank you

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Hello - I have just bought a Digilux 3 and am pretty pleased with first impressions but not as pleased as I thought I would be. My images just do not seem to have that Leica quality I was hoping for. Are there some settings I should be altering in the camera to help with the quality? And should I be shooting in SRGB or Adobe RGB...I admit to not being as technically minded as I ought to be.

 

Any hints on how I can enjoy this camera even more would be gratefully received.

 

Thank you

 

Hi SEMH,

 

I bought a Digilux 3 (D3) two months ago and I am really pleased with it. I made some adjustments recommended in this forum, and I cannot complain at about the image quality. I don't recall the name of the user who suggested the following settings but we can find it here with some search. According to him, the D3 default settings out of the box produces really mediocre images, as you can testify. This camera need to be configured further to give its best. Even though I could not find his post here, I have printed a while ago his presets and suggestions and I strongly recommend it.

 

1) for faster auto focus you should set "central zone only" auto focus, instead of the standard 3 zones ones ( left-center-right)

2) Set you white balance manually

3) Manual aperture. This user found that F/5.6 (+/- half to one stop) to be the sweet spot

4) ISO 200 is as good as ISO100 99% of the time.

ISO 400 is as good as ISO100 97% of the time

and ISO800-1600 is pretty usable

(I agree with all the above!!)

5) Film 1 setting based on Dynamic Color with minimum Noise reduction. (I use the dynamic Color film preset 100% of the time)

6) for B&W, he recommends using ISO400 and Dynamic B&W film preset and manual aperture control (I dont use this because I prefer doing the B&W conversion in my computer)

7) OIS set to mode 2 only

 

He also states that de D3 takes the best pictures when used in semi-automatic mode, as suggested above and I fully agree with him. I printed his recommendations to use them during my vacations in Italy and France and I am pretty happy with the results! You can see some pictures here: Vacations

 

I don't know if they have the "Leica Look" or not, but I am pretty happy with the results, and that is the sufficient to me! :)

 

I hate not remembering who suggested all settings I mentioned above, but I would like to thank him for this! :)

 

Hope you enjoy your camera because it is a fine one!

 

Best,

Carlos

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I think you got some very good advices above. With the kit lens, the sweet spot is really f/5,6. I have a D3 myself and uses it a lot, every day.

 

When it comes to white balance, I strongly believe auto succeeds in most the cases. Manually tuning means adjusting to a certain light situation. If you don't want to do that every time you change location, you should stick to auto.

 

Regarding srgb or Adobe rgb, it depends on what you want to do with the jpg pictures (with raw, you select colour model after being imported to the computer). If you intend to see and distribute the pictures mainly on computers, srgb is the choice. Computer monitors and applications are tuned for this colour space. In most situations, you wont notice any difference between the two, and srgb.

 

There are a lot to read on this topic, a search on the forum will likely reveal quite a few threads where this has been discussed, if you want to get a deeper understanding of this and what you could get out of using Adobe rgb instead.

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Leica quality, heh...

 

This is a great camera, I've been using it for the last years.

 

My comments on the above (based on the L1 though), maybe they help:

 

-ISO 400 is definitely a loss of quality compared to 100, whose experience is that based on? Less details in the shadows, less tonal differentiation and visibly more noise. Not strong, but not the same as 100. And ISO 1600 is close to unusable, maybe in black and white if one has no choice. Rather underexpose ISO 800 from my experience.

 

-Auto WB is extremely reliable unless shooting at night or under mixed lighting conditions. Most of the time I find the jpegs from the camera more pleasing than what I get straight from the RAWs via ACR (Adobes RAW converter), although finest details in structure may suffer in jpeg mode (like details of a fassade or the wires of a distant bridge come out a wee bit better from the RAW file). Typically I'd use a bit of a warming filter on the RAW output from ACR.

 

-A custom film setting based on Dynamic is really full on. Having high contrast as standard mode for jpeg generation is naturally a disadvantage in post processing. It is easy to increase contrast and vibrance of a photograph afterwards, but not possible to recover some details the other way around. My opinion: The dynamic mode is still pretty cool, but only when used with a certain intention.

Therefore, I'd start from the normal setting, reduce saturation a bit for more natural colours, and possibly increase sharpness by 1 if required by the lens and not done in post processing (also a matter of taste). For the Leica 2.8-3.5 Vario Elmarit lens I'd neither increase sharpness nor contrast, for the Olympus 9-18 I typically increase sharpness a bit.

 

-The bokeh of that lens is just beautiful, so use it wide open a lot. I agree that it is sharpest at around 5.6. For shots at 14mm that have to be sharp across the whole image, I'd use f8, f5.6 is not enough with my lens. The corners get very very soft wide open at 14mm, so stopping down beyond f5.6 is sometimes required.

 

-Stay away from the adobe RGB setting on this camera. To me it makes no sense at all, see a previous thread. I tried to get feedback on this from Panasonic and Leica (it seems to be the same with the Digilux 3), but their reply made no sense at all. Fact is: Colours come out quite differently in Adobe RGB, and far from reality. Sunflower yellow looks like a marker pen in Adobe RGB jpegs from the camera, no idea, why. This is not a matter of a workflow on a wrongly calibrated system, but something the camera does to the jpegs. If you feel that you need a colour space with a larger gamut than sRGB, you will have to shoot RAW and create the images on the computer in your preferred colour space. If you do, you should know your reasons why, otherwise use sRGB.

 

-In some situations there is a tendency to overexpose slightly in the automatic metering mode, and a -1/3 or -2/3 setting is sometimes required to avoid blown out highlights. I'd set the camera to show that on the display (blinking).

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Hello - I have just bought a Digilux 3 and am pretty pleased with first impressions but not as pleased as I thought I would be. My images just do not seem to have that Leica quality I was hoping for. ...

 

It's not easy to give a suggestion without you being more specific on what you feel they miss, unfortunately "Leica quality" is something we all know about, but also often express differently when trying to define it.

 

Now, there are two ways to work with a digital camera, one is to get the best you can have from in-camera processing, the second is to use some pp on your pictures. I use the latter, after all it's a habit from my old darkroom days, as for me pressing the shutter has always been just the first step in the making of a picture.

 

While I often like the in-camera b&w in Dynamic, my D/3 is usually set on Standard which gives me jpegs that usually look rather soft and unimpressive, so to say, but in pp a small dose of sharpening and the setting of the black and white points is mostly enough to make them pop.

 

Though I suggest using raw for the best result, I often use the jpeg for web and leave the raw file for printing and everything else, in fact most of the pictures you can see on my site are from the jpegs. You're welcome to browse them, actually most pix of the last couple of years are from the D/3. Just remember that they all have undergone some pp, *none* is direct from the camera, and that if you happen not to like them, well, do not blame the camera. It's really capable of good results, and there's no reason why you cannot get them, just take your time and learn how to.

 

If you prefer to avoid pp, my suggestion is to try the different camera setups, until you find the one that pleases you best. Carlos' advices are good, start from there, I'd just add to avoid underexposing in low light, as that's where noise becomes visible.

 

Best of luck, and, of course, welcome to the forum.

Edited by ASpes
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Thanks to you all for your advice...it's been really helpful.

Obviously I'm only at the beginning but so far I do find the dynamic contrast a bit over the top - especially on portrait black and white but will do some more investigating with all of your suggestions.

My post production skills are pretty poor at the minute, as is my technical understanding but I perserve. Still...it's a lot of fun just being out there shooting.

Feel free to throw any other tips my way

thanks again

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He also states that de D3 takes the best pictures when used in semi-automatic mode, as suggested above and I fully agree with him. I printed his recommendations to use them during my vacations in Italy and France and I am pretty happy with the results! You can see some pictures here: Vacations

 

Carlos - these pictures are great - thanks for sharing them

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I remember being vaguely disappointed with my Digilux 3 when I first got it. I tweaked the settings based on recommendations in this forum, and was much happier.

 

The most important points in the advice given so far are to use single point autofocus and minimum noise reduction. Those are vital. The rest is a matter of taste. My custom mode setting has contrast, sharpness and saturation at normal, and NR at minimum. I'm fine with auto WB most of the time. I always shoot raw. I do simple PP in Aperture, and more complex changes in ACR. I find that I can correct blown highlights pretty effectively.

 

I love the bokeh of the kit lens (the 25mm f/1.4 is even better) so I often shoot wide open. I'll try 5.6 when I want maximum sharpness, though, since it's been recommended here.

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ISO 400 is definitely a loss of quality compared to 100, whose experience is that based on? Less details in the shadows, less tonal differentiation and visibly more noise. Not strong, but not the same as 100. And ISO 1600 is close to unusable, maybe in black and white if one has no choice. Rather underexpose ISO 800 from my experience.

 

Quite agree on this. I only use ISO 400 when the light gets a bit dusky. But only a bit, and only in emergencies. ISO 800 is unusable for anything else that post-it notes, I you know what I mean. There is so much noise in the shadows that the images are practically useless for anything but reminders that I have to get back with a tripod. For sure, they could work if I want to make grainy b+w images out of them.

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  • 4 months later...
I have a d3 and this is a great thread. Lots of good information and educated, well informed tips. Thanks. Dan

 

Agreed.

I have been needlessly neglecting my Digilux 3 for the better part of a year - and this thread has reminded me of what a tremendous system camera it is.

 

The images stand up to much more in post-processing than the D2 and the kit lens is really astounding.

 

I think I'll take the camera as my primary this week and see what I come back with (after I make the suggested tweaks).

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I hope you are not using the camera's LCD make your judgement about IQ....? or even a computer screen ?

 

When I compare the image using the camera's LCD, those on my D2's LCD look better than those of my D3/L1.

 

However....The IQ of my L1 shots when printed are better than those from my D2 (which are still excellent).

 

If your search back through this forum there are many post's about tweaking the D3 and L1

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