Yellow color tint in Darktable for Lumix S5 RAW files

Hello to all friends of Darktable,

I did observe this problem multiple times now, that I do sometimes get an ugly yellow tint with RAW files from my Lumix S5. This is a good example:

On the left, you can still see the embedded JPEG of a similar photo, which did look the same as the one of the right side before opening in the “Darkroom” tool of Darktable.

The only changes I made were to contrast and exposure. I am using sigmoid processing here, filmic shows the same problem but not that strong.

I guess that this is caused by the red color channel clipping (the statue was illuminated by the evening sun):

But how does the camera manage to get a look that is much closer to how it actually did look like, and what is the best way, to achieve the same in Darktable? The red channel is not clipping in the RAW, so darktable should have enough information to work with, but something seems to go wrong when compressing the dynamic range to sRGB here.

Thanks in advance for any hints.


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Hi and welcome!

If you can share and licence a raw file it would help to make better suggestions.

Have you tried lowering the ‘preserve hue’ slider in sigmoid? Probably not the thing but just a suggestion…

You might be right, but if so it will be actually be the jpeg that has clipping, and darktable that doesn’t, IMO. :smile:
It’ll be easy to reproduce, but not sure on the best method without a sample…

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You need to use the color calibration to process your raw image. This module will help you determine the white balance for the image. The embedded jpg is using the default processing the camera manufacturer developed.

This section of the manual explains the details on how to start processing in darktable.

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The most accurate and repeatable way is definitely to use a color checker and calibrate as described in the documentation.

I’ve noticed a similar yellow hue on many of my photos (with a Sony a6xxx series). I don’t have a color checker, so my quick solution is an ‘rgb primaries’ preset for slightly shifting yellow towards red. This has the effect of also impacting the opponent blue hue slightly. If the effect is too large, I’ll either adjust the opacity, or just pull the hue shift slider up a bit. Definitely not the most ‘correct’ way, but I’m happy with the results I get.



A recent bug in master was not setting correct default white balance.
It has now been corrected.

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Thank you for all the hints. White balancing was the first thing I tried. But only when I did change it so far that the background became a neutral grey, the yellow tint disappears. As I wanted to keep that sunset warm look I have to tweak the channel input to come close to how it actually did look like. I case someone wants to give it a try, I have attached the raw file.
PLS56918.RW2 (34.4 MB)

I will give the color checker a try next time. The point is, that I do not always have it with me, and was expecting that I just might have to change white-balance to fix the look.

I thought the scene referred workflow uses some kind of input transform, which will give you a color-correct starting point for editing, similar to OpenColorIO with the ACES workflow in video. But I guess you need a lab to record this input transform.

It does, and it tries to auto correct the white balance, but your image is pretty much monochromatic, which makes that difficult.

I went the color grading route with this.
First I neutralised the color cast by white balancing (in color calibration) on the background. I then added it back in color balance rgb with power in 4-ways tab.

I didn’t try to match the color exactly, but went for something less “muddy”. The OOC JPEG preview is a bit more greenish.

Yellow color tint Lumix S5 PLS56918.RW2.xmp (10.5 KB)

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The issue it’s not in the tonemapping stage but earlier in the “camera rgb” to rgb conversion
Same problem here

If you don’t want to manually adjust the color shift try with a software that supports DCP profiles

ART without DCP

ART with DCP

Are you using color calibration?? if so also be sure that in the color mapping section you have the values at 50% for luma and 0 and 0 for hue and chroma… some people set these by mistake when playing with wb and it affects all subsequent edits…it is not reset by a module reset… just something to check if you see strange wb issues…

Well, in this case, I think I got a pretty good match by;

  • lowering exposure, as the default dt settings were compensating for the -1 ev set in camera
  • dropping preserve hue in sigmoid to zero
  • shifting the reds in rgb primaries
  • slight tweaks to saturation in color balance rgb and contrast in sigmoid
    I left the WB (in color calibration) left as shot, the default setting.

Out of camera on the left, my darktable version on the right. (edit: I seem to have a color management issue - this screenshot’s colours are not true when viewed on the forum. The upload below seems fine.)

PLS56918_01.RW2.xmp (7.2 KB)

I think this image in the jpg likely has some camera specific settings not translated to DT and then if you also use tonemapping you might have to deal with how that interacts… I was playing earlier and got an excellent match by just using the color match feature of CC from the background of the jpg and then an instance of the tone eq…that was it and the image was pretty much a match…

I also shoot with an S5 and I’ve done the color calibration with the color checker and the custom WB capturing my color calibrated monitor as described by AP in this video. Although, I should probably redo the first few steps with improvements in DT over the past 18+ months since completing the process.

It removes most of the yellow-tint and is closer to the JPEG. It might provide a better general starting point for you.

Snapshot is WB/CC as-is. On the right is the calibrated WB + the color checker corrected color calibration set to “as shot in camera” as described in the video.

Here’s the sidecar, but it’s using development version of DT.
PLS56918.RW2.xmp (9.2 KB)

If you can’t open it here’s ab export of style which includes the WB/CC modules only.
S5-Neutral.dtstyle (1.0 KB)