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GH4 RAW files Magenta/pink highlight recovery. LOSING MY MIND!
  • I am running into major problems with the GH4 RAW files in every single raw processing program I have tried. Every one is giving me Pink highlights no matter if they are over or under exposed. I am ready to rip out my hair after trying EVERYTHING.

    Can someone please shed some light on what is going on because If I edit the photos using hte In-cam editor there are no pink highlights.

    Lightroom 6,

    Photoshop CC,

    Capture one

  • 55 Replies sorted by
  • @tylerknight,

    That sounds like the auto-white balance. I've found that it does exactly what you are describing when green or other dominate colors fill the frame of your composition. I only custom white balance the Gh4 with either a 18% gray or regular "White" white balancing card.

    Here are two examples below.

    Auto- White Balanced 2.jpg
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    Custom- White Balanced 2.jpg
    4608 x 2592 - 856K
  • @bleach551

    I never shoot on Auto WB though that's not the issue. I always either custom white balance, or set on daylight. The whole image isn't pink or green, it's just the highlights. There are posts from people with the same issues from different cameras. It's something to do with Highlight Reconstruction where the program tries to re construct the detail but ends up changing the colours and there is no way to turn it off.

    I don't get how I can take the same picture with the same settings on my GH3 and pull the exposure right down and have no colour change but have this camera even with a subtle change turn bright pink

    ABove is the RAW file if you want to try it out yourself. This is it with the exposure brought down to really show off the extent of the pink.

    I have tried it in Lightroom 5.6, Photoshop CC with camera raw 8.6 and Raw Therapee and all of them do the same thing.

    If I do an exposure adjustment and lower highlights using the in camera raw editor there are no highlights that turn pink they stay white all the way.

    2000 x 1333 - 325K
  • @tylerknight,

    Unfortunately, I hardly ever use my GH4 for photos. I think someone more familiar with the programs you mentioned above would be a much better help than I can in this situation, sorry I could not help you further.

  • I recommend DxO to develop raw stills, then export or "share" to LR for any final adjustments. Assuming you shot a Macbeth card as well, there are tools that will zero out any color changes.

  • Thanks @DrDave I will look into DxO but it still doesn't solve my problem of WHY this is happening with the GH4.

    I own the GH1, GH2, GH3 and GH4 and only the GH4 exhibits the issue. I can't be the only one with the problem!

  • Very strange. Your green channel seems to be clipped at a value less than 255? I notice that the ISO is 100. I don't have a GH4 (just a GH3). Does this happen for the native ISO (200) as well? I know that Panny does some tricks to get the non-native ISOs. It might be worth trying to duplicate this at ISO 200? Just a wild guess. Maybe there is some strange mis-match in their circuitry for obtaining the expanded ISOs? I also notice that it is a 20 second exposure. Are you using some ND filter that cuts out the Green?

  • @jj_ri_usa

    Let me check my library to find one at a different iso! ( great thought though I will get back to you)

    As far as the long exposure, I shot headshots for a political campaign and had the same issue. iso 100 again, canon fd50mm f1.4 with speedbooster. Same pink highlights.

    As far as the ND filter, it is a low quality variable ND but the fact that it happens with or without it kills that theory.

  • So you are definitely on to something @jjj_ri_usa !!!

    The magenta highlights only occur on the expanded ISO shots. Anything that is 200 and up doesn't exhibit those issues!

    My only question with that, is that I can take that same file shot at iso 100, edit it using the raw conversion in the camera, bring down the exposure and the highlights stay white, so it's something to do with the profile for adobe I assume?


    Some more photos to try out at iso 100

    The headshot is very subtle, but if you bring down exposure and look at her necklace pendant it is pink.

    The over exposed one is just an example of it looking perfectly white, and then with any adjustments at all it will turn pink as well.

    I think there is something seriously weird going on!

  • I've always stuck at iso 200. if your shooting at iso 100 your hitting the "low iso" settings right and thats not recommended.

  • @MRfanny I was always under the impression that the lower the ISO the lower the noise? I know the 100 is expanded but I didn't think that would mean any less quality?

    Either way, I won't be shooting at 100 until this is fixed. I would like to see if anyone else has the same problem shooting at 100 though. There still shouldn't be these issues I don't think

  • If it is an interpolated ISO, I would not use it unless I was stuck with too much light and no ND filter.

  • @tylerknight The expanded ISOs on the lower side can reduce dynamic range slightly. Other than that, there arent really any drawbacks to using them, unless you get purple photos, then there is a huge drawback!

  • Exactly! @joethepro

    If I'm shooting in bright light, the lower the iso the better for me at least, but this sounds like a bug to me! I would love it if some other members could test this out for themselves to shoot at iso 100 and post the raw files to test!

  • I'm no photographer, but had a quick flick back and found an iso100 pic with plenty of highlights pushed and pulled it to extreme and I couldn't get it to go pink. Just using Silkypix 6 that came with the camera to process it. Here's an example I also noticed that the examples you posted were all around the 16meg mark, mine all come out around 19meg raw for the GH4 don't know if that is something.

  • I took a quick look at the headshot using DxO Pro (which I find superior to LR CC for raw file processing). The shadow from the pendant is pink, but not the pendant. I couldn't make the highlights go pink. DxO didn't recognize the lens, so couldn't do auto processing of the image. Agree using color card might help. I haven't seen this behavior at ISO 200 even with very high contrast subjects in bright daylight.

  • For some reason, DxO couldn't load your shot of the stream (P1200485.RW2). Now it has and the pink highlight is very prominent. No clue as to cause save for ISO or camera problem.

  • I had the same pink highlights when loading your shots into Apple Aperture with the new GH4 RAW support. I have not had this effect with any of my GH4 photo's. Maybe you have a camera fault? Have you tried checking ALL camera settings to be certain there is nothing odd set in the camera?

  • I just did a proper test in Apple Aperture; RAW at ISO 100 and ISO 200 in manual mode with slightly clipped highlights and can confirm the pink highlights at ISO 100. This is an issue that should be brought to Panasonic's attention. My next test is to try different converter software.

  • I used Silkypix from Panasonic and the problem does not happen. I can only deduce that 3rd party RAW support does not take into account the extended ISO100 setting. I think I'll use Silkypix for ISO100 RAW shots and Aperture or Adobe RAW for everything else. It does make me worry that other issues may arise with RAW files at other settings in future.

  • @caveport

    Thank you! This is exactly what I needed to hear. And thank you to @jjj_ri_usa for suggesting that iso 100 was the problem.

    I never used Silky Pix so I will have to try using it for the ones I took already and go from there. I won't be using iso100 though and this definitely needs to be brought up to Panasonic.

  • I don't have a GH4 and I'm kind of guessing here, but if it's anything like the cameras I know, there is no point in using an extended ISO setting when shooting raw. An extended ISO setting of 100 will have the same highlight range as a native ISO 200, but less shadow range. The camera's display (and JPEG images) may show extra highlight range at ISO 100, but whatever extra range it shows would also be recoverable from a raw image at ISO 200. There's up to 1 stop of additional highlight range at all native ISO settings relative to the JPEG, depending on the white balance setting. Shooting raw at the extended ISO 100 can lead you to believe there is more hightlight range available than there really is, since the amount of extra highlight range depends on the white balance. Shooting at ISO 200 guarantees your hightlights are covered if the image is exposed correctly, regardless of the white balance setting.

    If Silkypix decodes the ISO 100 raw images correctly and other software does not, it just means the other software is wrong. This isn't Panasonic's problem.

    The situation is flipped when using extended high ISOs: the extended high ISOs have less highlight range and the same shadow range as the top native ISO, so again, there is no point in using them for raw shooting.

    The bottom line is that the extended ISO settings are just for JPEG shooting. They give you nothing that you couldn't get with raw shooting at a native ISO setting, and the camera won't perform as well as in its native ISO range.

  • @balazer

    Thanks for that info that's great t know!

    As for the software issues, it is definitely a software/profile issue that needs to be resolved. It happens on everything but silkypix so it must be an issue with how the gh4 profile was given to the different softwares to work?

  • Panasonic doesn't provide 3rd-party software makers with information about how to decode the GH4's raw files. The raw format is proprietary. 3rd parties had to reverse engineer it. At least that's how it usually goes with raw formats. It's unfortunate and it's a good argument for the DNG standard format.

  • The extended ISO helps when wanting to open the aperture for shallow depth of field. If the GH4 had ND filters built in, it would be unnecessary.