The Digital Journalist
Tech Tips
December 2006

by Chuck Westfall

I want to switch my color-managed workflow from Adobe RGB to Pro Photo RGB. My question is: Digital Photo Professional does not list Pro Photo RGB as an option in the color management preferences. DPP does list Wide Gamut RGB. Is this the same thing?

Wide Gamut RGB and Pro Photo RGB are similar color spaces in the respect that both are wider than Adobe RGB, but strictly speaking, Pro Photo RGB is a slightly wider color space than Wide Gamut RGB. In practice, this distinction is virtually meaningless for most applications, since the extra width of Pro Photo RGB vs. Wide Gamut RGB consists for the most part of imaginary colors that cannot be reproduced. The best way to decide which color space you prefer is to try them all. This is relatively easy to do as long as you have DPP for Wide Gamut RGB and Adobe Camera RAW or another converter that supports Pro Photo RGB.

Can I follow up your answer with another question?: Wouldn't the best option then be to set DPP to Wide Gamut RGB to get the most possible color from each image? Then set Photoshop to preserve the embedded Wide Gamut RGB working space? Thanks again – and I'm looking forward to your response.

The decision to use Wide Gamut RGB or Pro Photo RGB mostly depends on what you plan to do with the image. In order to take maximum advantage of all the colors in the file, you need to print it with a high-quality inkjet printer that has enough gamut to make it worthwhile. In the current Canon lineup, the best choice would be the imagePROGRAF iPF5000, with its Lucia ink set, because it includes red, green and blue inks in addition to cyan, photo cyan, magenta, photo magenta, yellow, and three shades of black. For more information on the iPF5000, visit this Web page:

Keep in mind that you won't see all the colors in a Wide Gamut RGB image on your computer screen, no matter how good it is. Also, you won't see all the colors if you use a printer with a gamut smaller than the color space in the file. This would include most standard photo-quality inkjet printers that only have subtractive colorants. For these printers, Adobe RGB is sufficient. To get a better understanding of these issues, it would be a good idea to study color management. One of the best textbooks on this subject is "Color Confidence" by Tim Grey.

[In terms of Canon lenses,] should I use IS Mode 2 all the time? If not, why?

The answer to these questions largely depends on whether you're shooting hand-held or from a tripod. For hand-held photography, I recommend Mode 1 for stationary subjects and Mode 2 for panning, with any IS lens that has both modes. When using a tripod, the first thing you need to think about is whether to use IS at all. Unless you are using one of our IS super-telephoto lenses (i.e., 300/2.8L IS, 400/2.8L IS, 400/4 DO IS, 500/4L IS, or 600/4L IS), I recommend shutting off the IS for best results. If you are using one of the aforementioned IS super-telephoto lenses on a tripod, the choice between Mode 1 and Mode 2 is largely a matter of personal taste. If there is any possibility of panning, Mode 2 is best. If not, it doesn't make any difference.

(For the benefit of readers who might be unfamiliar with Canon's nomenclature, Mode 1 on an IS lens attempts to compensate for vertical and horizontal camera movement simultaneously. Mode 2 shuts off IS in the panning direction when panning is detected.)

I have recently noticed on images taken with my EOS-1D Mark II that almost in the center of all of the images, I see what I expect to be a hot or stuck pixel (only one). It looks like a clear hole in the image. None are red color as described in a lot of the posts on this topic. None of my images are long exposures. I usually shoot high school sports and candids. I am trying to understand if there is any work-around that I can do. Is there a re-mapping process that is available to me, or must I clone it out of all my images? Unfortunately, it is almost in the center of the image so it will appear on many faces. I don't think that there will be any issue with uncropped or minimally cropped images, but it is clearly visible on a tightly cropped enlarged image. I would appreciate any comments or experience you have had with this issue, and, do I need to prepare myself for a new sensor? I just had my shutter replaced.

Canon Factory Service in Jamesburg, N.J. should be able to "map out" the bad pixel so that it won't be necessary to replace the image sensor. They might handle it as a warranty repair, even if your warranty has expired, but I would suggest checking with them ahead of time to discuss that issue.

I just picked up my camera from the Jamesburg repair facility; one of the circuit boards was replaced, camera cleaned and adjusted - all considered under warranty. Thanks!!

You're welcome! Glad I could help.

Here's a recent quote from Mark Cohran on the "Canon Digital Photography Forum" at Photography-on-the-Net forum...

"There have been some indication from Canon (Chuck Westfall) that the 1D line will merge in the future, but there haven't been any press releases that I've seen recently that have supported this statement."

And there are others you can find if you Google the right terms. Back to early 2005...So--Chuck--now's the time to set the record straight (especially since the search at old RG's forum is currently not working). Did you (or someone from Canon) say "they'll merge sometime in the future" or "at the next release"? Or were you just trying to say, between the lines "things have changed?"

I never said that the EOS-1D and 1Ds model lines would be merged. As best as I can tell, this line of thinking is based on the alleged comments of another Canon executive (Mr. Takaya Iwasaki) who was interviewed a couple of years ago by a European digital camera Web site.

Jernej: "At the moment you have two high-end cameras. Will the next generation be just one, high-speed and high-resolution camera?"

Takaya: [nodding] "Yes."

Back to Chuck: I strongly suspect that Mr. Iwasaki was simply acknowledging the question rather than answering it. This type of reaction is quite typical in Japanese culture. Another possibility is that he simply misunderstood the question. After all, he's not a native English speaker, and neither were the folks who interviewed him. In any case, I strongly doubt he meant to answer this question affirmatively.

It's interesting to note that Mr. Iwasaki's October, 2004 interview was followed very closely in the same month by an interview with another Canon Inc. executive, Mr. Tomonori Iwashita, who incidentally holds a much higher position in Canon's global organization [Chief Executive, Image Communication Products Group, Canon Inc.] than either Mr. Iwasaki or I. Mr. Iwashita was asked a similar question by a Japanese digital camera Web site. Here is a relevant excerpt from an English translation of that interview:

At the present time Canon has 35mm full-frame sensors, 1.3x sensors, and 1.6x sensors, a lineup of three different sizes. End users have various complaints about this, such as lenses behaving differently depending on the body, and difficulty switching between high-end and low-end bodies. Do you have any plans to consolidate your sensor offerings into either 1 or 2 sizes?

"We feel that the ability to use different sensor sizes is a strong point of digital cameras. Rather than consolidating into fewer sensor sizes, we feel that different sensor sizes offer various strong points to different users. For users who wish to make use of the full range of their EF lenses, full-frame sensors are best. For those searching for the fastest frame rates, 1.3x is best. For the most cost-sensitive users, the APS-C 1.6x size is ideal."

Back to Chuck again: In my opinion, this quote is much more in line with Canon's philosophy regarding the use of several sensor sizes. It echoes my response on the subject, which I posted on Rob Galbraith's Web site in September 2003:

"Canon's digital SLR design philosophy is to provide a range of camera models to cover clearly defined market segments. For the foreseeable future, this is going to involve a range of sensor sizes from APS-C (as in EOS Digital Rebel and 10D) through APS-H (as in EOS-1D) to full-frame (as in EOS-1Ds)."

My statement was true then and it remains true today. I have no intention of discussing Canon's future plans in detail, but it wouldn't surprise me to see us continue to manufacture several distinct sensor sizes, if that's what it takes to offer the best camera performance in each DSLR product category.

Thanks for reading Tech Tips! That's it for now. See you in January!

You are invited to submit questions about photo equipment, imaging technology, or photo industry trends that may have a bearing on your work or interests. I cannot promise to answer everything, but I pledge to do my best to address the issues that concern you. (Please use the e-mail link provided at the end of this article.)

© Chuck Westfall

After earning a degree in Professional Photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology and accumulating some valuable on-the-job experience during a 10-year stint in commercial photography and photo retail, Chuck Westfall began his corporate career with Canon U.S.A. in 1982 as a Technical Representative. He has steadily advanced through the ranks to achieve his present position as Director of Media & Customer Relationship for the company's Consumer Imaging Group, working out of Canon U.S.A.'s headquarters office in Lake Success, N.Y. Among his many assignments, Chuck Westfall is currently Canon USA's main media spokesman for new camera products. He also provides a unique insider's perspective to financial analysts who follow the company's CIG sales and marketing activities.

Chuck's involvement with digital cameras began in 1994, when he assisted Canon and Kodak engineers in developing the EOS-DCS series of professional SLRs. Since then, his responsibilities have expanded to include participation in the development and launching of many other Camera Division products, including Canon's professional and consumer-oriented digital cameras. Over the last 10 years, Chuck has continued to participate in the design, development, introduction and marketing support of camera products. Most recently, he supervised the launch of a comprehensive on-line and on-site dealer training initiative for the Camera Division.

On the personal side, Chuck married his beautiful wife Ying in 2000 and they have been blessed with a wonderful 2-year old daughter, Anna. As Chuck says, "Bringing up the baby is a blast, and we're enjoying every minute of it."