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Black and White image quality


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8 replies to this topic

#1
walt@wblady.com

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Most digital cameras offer the option of shooting in Black and White as opposed to shooting in colour, then converting your image to Black and White in post. Is one method better than the other, and why?

#2
Nikon Shooter

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Once the image contains only the luminance of the scene,

you will have less flexibility to tweak it tonally since all chro-
minance will have been ignored — reducing the file size.

I did test that aspect and went on capturing all spectrums.



#3
Jerry_

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If you have the camera take the picture « in black and white » you accept the settings defined by the camera manufacturer.
This can be convenient if you are not familiar with - or don’t want to bother about - post processing.

Once you want to take more control over the resulting picture you will want to do it in post-processing.
As for all other post-processing, while all photo editing software will allow you to turn a picture to BW, some will do a better job - or have better presets (which can be nice starting points) - than others.
As regards conversion to BW my personal preference is using Tonality from Skylum (previously MacPhun)

#4
TBonz

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I really don't see a reason to give up a color image.  It is easy and effectively a better option to convert an image in post processing.  It also gives you the option of having both a color and B&W version of the image available.  Or the option to leave in color once you have seen the final image...



#5
Merco_61

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If you shoot in raw, you still have the option to process in colour, but you get an approximation of the monochrome colour as the embedded jpg preview.

 

That said, doing the conversion in post will usually render a better resulting file.



#6
walt@wblady.com

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Thanks for the feedback everyone. I thought that one conversion method might result in an image with better dynamic range than the other. It seems that they will both produce the same results.



#7
Ron

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Most of the people I know who shoot B&W on their digital cameras shoot RAW+Jpeg normal with their picture control set to monochrome so that the review image is black and white. That allows them to judge light and contrast while they're shooting. They then save only the RAW images and convert them to B&W in post.

 

--Ron



#8
Merco_61

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Thanks for the feedback everyone. I thought that one conversion method might result in an image with better dynamic range than the other. It seems that they will both produce the same results.

That's not what I said...



#9
nikonFILMuser

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it is much EASIER to load with a Fine Grain B&W FILM -- Ha Ha !