Sunday, January 18, 2009

Adding vividity to Canon 50D colors with Canon Picture Styles

I am not sure if it is a general consensus, but I found default colors produced from the two Canons I owned (XSi and 50d) lacking the punch that I desire. I actually also owned a Nikon D90 briefly just because I liked the vivid colors it produces (in fact Nikons are known for that.. isnt it?). Here is an example:

Unfortunately I had to return the Nikon because of sensor problems, and ineffective live view.

So now, I am a happy camper with a Canon 50d, and while looking for a way to give its default colors a punch, I came across the ability of Canon's Picture Style Editor to allow to remap the colors (upto 100) in the HSL space (Hue, Saturation, Lightness). Note that a simple boost in saturation and contrast settings didnt do what I wanted. This is because the colors come out differently treated by default (in RAW format) by 50D and D90's sensors.

Here is a first attempt at vividifying the picture styles, for landscape. The vividified image is the second one:

Here are 100% crops from the images before/after the picture style application:

And here is the same location with a Nikon D90 (on a different day though, so not directly comparable with Canon shots):

If you like the work, please drop a comment here. Thanks!

Updated 02/20/2010. I get many emails every week asking for my custom picture styles, and how to upload them to your camera. Here are the answers:

[1] If you are interested in a copy of the picture styles that you can import to your Canon 50d camera, visit this link, and download the files. No catch here, its available for free. I am a big proponent of the "free resources for all" policy:-)

[2] Check this link for how to upload a custom picture style to your Canon camera, provided your model supports it. If it doesnt support it, you can still apply picture styles after you download pictures to your computer.


  1. the Nikon pictures certainly look lot sharper.

  2. Hi,

    Can you send me the picture style please


  3. Can you please tell me how you load the pictures styles into the camera

  4. @Geomatips: Look towards the end of the blog, I have added a direct link to download the file.

    @Anonymous: You can use the Canon Digital Photo Professional version 3.1+ software to upload picture styles to the camera, if the camera model supports it. Look here for more details.