Which Camera Brand Has the Best Color?

Think your camera brand is best when it comes to color quality? Even better, do you think you can tell an image with excellent color from one with inferior color quality? If you answered yes to either of these questions or if you’re simply curious, you’re going to be fascinated by photographer Tony Northrop’s brand comparisons:

To collect information for the video, Northrup used a blind poll asking 1,500 photographers to pick the image with the best color in several different scenes. Some surprising results came up.

One of the more interesting observations was that most people changed their choices about what was “good color” and what was “bad color” when their brand’s name or a brand they despised was associated with it. Apparently, our color sense is quite mercuric or brains either automatically adjust or we decide according to our belief system. As Northrup puts it, “your brain applies auto white balance to everything it sees.”

Which pretty much illustrates Northrup’s point: color science, for the most part, doesn’t really matter when choosing a camera. Especially since most images go through some level of color change in post-processing. And if you shoot in Raw, then it absolutely doesn’t matter.

brand loyalty

When faced with brands tagged randomly to different images, people almost exclusively went with their favorite brands as to what was “good” color–even if they’d already chosen a different photo moments before.

But aside from having all of my questions answered, I did find out one promising thing: color is like wine. As one commenter put it:

“My Canon has colors grounded in deep blackberry tones with shades of lemon, anise and cherry … with a back pallet of oakiness. It is low in tannin producing a smooth silky quality to the final image reminiscent of under-exposed Kodachrome.”

So what do you think? Does the exact color science of each brand matter? Is your brand superior?

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One response to “Which Camera Brand Has the Best Color?”

  1. Countervail says:

    This article makes no sense as the resulting image color is dependent on a lot more factors than just the body of the camera. You have to factor in the lens profile and the finishing software at least, and then a host of other options and choices for final output.

    If you aren’t getting the colors you want, it’s not your camera. It’s you.

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