Recently I attended a photography workshop where beginners like me participated. Few participants had Canon 1500D and Canon 80D. I have Nikon D5600.

We clicked butterfly photos. I noticed, Nikon pictures come up with natural colors which are not rich. By default, Canon photos were rich in color.

Please let me know which settings to change in my Nikon D5600 to get rich color.

Photo taken using Nikon D5600:


Photo taken using Canon:


  • \$\begingroup\$ Likely mostly different camera settings. On DSLRs, the standard JPG is rather "neutral" because this gives more room for further editing. \$\endgroup\$
    – xenoid
    Aug 19, 2019 at 7:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ The vegetation is greener on the other side. \$\endgroup\$
    – xiota
    Aug 19, 2019 at 9:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ @xenoid The Canon "Standard" Picture Style, which is selected by default, is anything but neutral. It's fairly highly saturated and adds a bit of contrast "punch" to the camera generated JPEGs. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Aug 19, 2019 at 13:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ The colors of the butterfly are actually more vivid in the Nikon shot than in the Canon shot. But the surrounding areas are flatter because the light illuminating them is flatter than in the Canon shot. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Aug 21, 2019 at 5:10

3 Answers 3


Most cameras have color profile settings that can be changed. On Nikon cameras, they are called Picture Controls. See pages 155-163 of the D5600 User Manual for details.

  • Presets include: Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait, Landscape, and Flat.

  • You can further customize: Sharpening, Clarity, Contrast, Brightness, Saturation, and Hue.

As for the photos, the color of the butterfly itself looks a bit brighter in the Nikon photo. The Canon photo looks brighter because the background, framing, and focal length are different. You may wish to try a lens that will allow you to zoom in and focus closer. Also, when evaluating photos, make sure you use a computer monitor, not the camera LCD.

Other settings you may consider:

  • Colorspace: sRGB vs Adobe RGB. AdobeRGB will appear somewhat desaturated without appropriate color management.
  • White balance presets and custom white balance, if you're having difficulty with color accuracy.
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    \$\begingroup\$ "Vivid" is what you want on Sony and Nikon when using JPEGs straight out of camera. "Standard" when you want the colors more on the subdued, natural side. "Neutral" is for RAWheads :) \$\endgroup\$ Aug 19, 2019 at 8:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @rackandboneman Shouldn't RAWheads shoot in raw? \$\endgroup\$
    – xiota
    Aug 19, 2019 at 9:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ Always assumed "neutral" was about having as good a preview of a minimally processed raw as possible, nevermind the aesthetics? \$\endgroup\$ Aug 19, 2019 at 9:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ ViewNX-i uses that setting [& others] & applies it to the RAW for viewing purposes. Ps & Lr don't [or can't] \$\endgroup\$
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 19, 2019 at 13:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ Whatever 'Picture Control' is selected is what is used for the JPEG preview when shooting raw. @Tetsujin Ps & Lr could, but Adobe has decided they won't. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Aug 21, 2019 at 5:06

There are some differences due to the way each camera processed each image. Nikon's 'Standard' Picture Control is more neutral, while Canon's 'Standard' Picture Style is punched up with saturation, contrast, and sharpening. The closest Nikon equivalent of the Canon 'Standard' Picture Style is 'Vivid'. The Canon Picture Style closest to Nikon's 'Standard' is probably 'Faithful'.

But the main reason the Canon example looks more vibrant than the Nikon example is that there is more vibrant light illuminating the scene.

The Nikon example is shooting down onto relatively dark green leaves that are mostly shaded. The colorful butterfly is fairly small in the frame and the colorful bud of the flower is mostly hidden by flat green leaves.

The Canon example is composed in such a way that the most colorful parts of the scene take up a much larger portion of the frame and much of the background is illuminated by warm light, rather than in the shade.

If one looks critically at both examples, the butterfly is actually brighter and more colorful in the Nikon image! But it is so small in the frame that it is overwhelmed by the shaded green leaves. The Canon image, on the other hand, allows the butterfly and the flower to dominate the frame so that the colors force their way into our perception.


Like the others said, digital cameras have image editing software that's like a little part of photoshop and are automatically editing pictures.

Each camera has different versions of photoshop software and different settings in that software so that's why the images they produce are different. The example below is the same image with some changes to levels, saturation, and contrast. These are the three main things to correct on images for digital display.

Ultimately, you want to turn off all the camera's image editing software and edit the image yourself using photoshop or something similar. The key is editing an image by eye is far superior to the AI of the camera software.

Below is your photo with basic changes to the Levels, Saturation, and Contrast like a camera's software would do. I think this is the vibrancy you were asking about:

enter image description here

enter image description here This is the original

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    \$\begingroup\$ I find this use of "photoshop" confusing... \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Aug 21, 2019 at 16:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mattdm yeah I tried to make it better. I work with photoshop and we call any digitial image editing photoshopping \$\endgroup\$
    – moot
    Aug 22, 2019 at 15:51

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