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Help Just purchased canon 10D and have posterization

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I have been painstackingly scanning F100 shots on my Nikon Coolscan

for some time when I really checked out my wife's coolpix 5700

(Nikon). I was so impressed with the digital images I deceided to go

digital. Much to my chagrin despite the fact that I have many

expensive Nikon silent wave lenses I was advised to go with the 10D,

so I purchased that with a 24-70 2.8 EF lens and the 550EX flash. My

first shooting day was my daughter's birthday - I took many pictures

that I was extremely unhappy with. The exposure was extremely

inconsistant with some pictures very over exposed looking. but the

biggest problem I am having is that even with pictures that appear

to be properly exposed their is extreme posterization of on peoples

faces when enlarged to any degree. This does not occur with our

Nikon 5700 which is considerably cheaper. Most of the pictures were

taken at iso100 with some taken at iso200. The pictures were not raw

but rather the largest file size jpg with the least compression. I

did not change any of the settings for saturation contrast sharpness

etc. AWB white balance. Most pictures were taken in the P auto mode.

The info on the histogram only usually covered 2/3 of the screen

(none on the right third) I tried over exposing by 1/2 stop with no

sig differenc in the histogram. (I had read that the histogram

should be exposed toward the right to maximize dynamic range to

minimize posterization). I read that I could save the files in RAW

modify them to use the full range while in 14 bit resolution - but

my point in getting the camera was that this needs to be automatic

(less time consuming - I took 200 pictures today). I enjoy tweeking

the perfect picture but my wife misses me when I go to scan and

optimize my pictures.

Are other people having this problem with posterization?

How do I get non posterized flesh tones without going raw and

manually tweeking each picture? Is their an automatic batch process

program for raw that I need due to suboptimal native optimization by

the 10D?

Do I need to go to iso400 and severely over expose?

doesn't the canon spread the histogram out before it does the

jpeg compression?

should I just use the point & shoot coolpix 5700? (the problem

with this is that it takes a long time for it to cycle and save

pictures in high quality mode)

Should I sell this and get a D100 Nikon? the canon 1d is too


Please Help

Thank You

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You should post a SMALL example of what you are seeing so people here can help. By small I mean either a crop no wider than 500 pixles, or a downsized image of the same dimensions.


It's not normal, and since you're unfamiliar with the camera I'm guessing it's much more likely to be an operator error than a camera problem.


10D image quality is superb. I don't know what you're doing wrong, but you must be doing something wrong! Unless I use extreme gamma shifts or drastic cuts on a histogram I've never seen any posterization.<div>005Xbc-13666984.jpg.0917fb231c2bcd05e0222947ce96a2f1.jpg</div>

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>Bob, your sample looks posterized to me!


I don't see any posterizing happening in Bob's sample image. Do you have some

different understanding as to what "posterizing" means? Perhaps it's an artefact of

your monitor and/or bit depth?

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NK, Carl, Bob -


I believe I understand what 'posterizing' means (25+ years in photography;I could be mistaken). I'm seeing 'shortened' tonal scale, with the highlights 'glowing' and jumping off the screen like a 'graphic' image rather than a continuous tone photo.


As I reported in my post, I'm viewing through a (probably poor) laptop screen. I was struck by the irony of seeing a posterized image that Bob posted to 'defend' the quality of the 10D. It struck me that perhaps Jeff is dealing with a monitor / workflow / viewing problem, rather than a camera problem.


It might be just my poor monitor, but I offer it up as a 'clue' to what Jeff's real problem may be. I assume the 10D is capable of 'really good' images, but I'm a Nikon guy, and therefore clueless.

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Thank You very much for all of your responses. I discovered that a majority of my problem was with the viewer I am using (ACDSee 3.1). interacting with the 10D and perhaps its color setting (standard) and its dynamic range/jpeg compresion. When I open the 10D large file (minimally compressed JPEGs) in photoshop the pictures are fine when enlarged, indicating it is a problem with the viewer software.

When I open a Nikon 5700 jpeg interestingly their appears to be much less posterization on enlargement of flesh tones. Perhaps the dynamic range of the 5700 CCD has better than that of the 10D and the difference is exagerated by the viewer software.

I would then ask (and will ask as a seperate question) what viewer software I can use that will not cause this. I have adobe photo album but it will not allow me to zoom in on detail of the photo (for example to see which picture has better detail or focus for enlargement purposes). I would like to be able to navigate through pictures easily then zoom in etc. any Ideas? It would also be nice to have a viewer that manages color properly - I do not beleive this version of ACDSee does.

Thanks again

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Well, with the wrong software and monitor, "good stuff in, garbage out" isn't uncommon.


As I said in the first place, much more likely to be operator error (in choosing the wrong software/hardware!) then a camera problem.


It also shows the futility of trying to post high quality images on the web. They may look great on your monitor, but terrible on other people's screen. Now we know why there are all those fights in the gallery section concerning image ratings...

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