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Classic Negative Film Simulation - Pushing the Limits of Sony Picture Profiles

Updated: Mar 28

Classic Negative film simulation on Sony RX100 VI

Classic negative Film Simulation Recipe using Sony's Picture Profile Settings

All shots were taken with the RX100 VI

The Kodachrome 64 film simulation is the most complex Sony Picture Profile that I've created up to this date. It took me about 2 months to study the characteristics of the real Kodachrome 64 Film Roll.

Took hundreds of tests, compared footage, and tested it in real life,

only to get closer to the real Kodachrome 64.

And finally, it came close to the real deal, but now there is a new king.

It's the Classic Negative film simulation.

Classic Negative film simulation on sony

Sony Classic Negative Film Simulation Recipe SOOC JPEG

Fujifilm's film simulations - a little rant from an outsider

The Classic Neg it's my absolute favorite FujiFilm Simulation Recipe,

and in my perspective, the only one that actually has film like colors and characteristics.

Don't get me wrong, Fuji has great colors. Still, their Film Simulations are not as special as it's marketed, hence the reason why I could replicate the Fuji Eterna, Classic Chrome, Velvia ,and Acros with a very High Accuracy in Color and Tonality only by using Sony's Picture Profile Menu.

So I was pretty disappointed when I tried my first Fuji camera.

And that is because Fujifilm Simulation Modes are very comparable to the regular Picture Styles,

like Portrait, Landscape, Flat, Neutral, Nighttime, and so on, which every camera brand has, and pretty much work on the same concepts, which are Contrast, Saturation, Highlights, and Shadows.

The only advantage to Fuji is the Film Grain and the Chroma Fx, which is basically just Luma adjustments on Individual Color channels. And we can do that on Sony cameras on every channel with much stronger effects. There is a clear advantage and feels like Fuji's tweaking options inside the Menu are quite limited.

Comparing Fuji's Film Simulations

Here are the Basic Fuji Film Simulations, straight from the camera

Without Grain, Chroma Effects, or Contrast Adjusted.

FujiFilm Simulations as follows:

Provia, Velvia, Astia, Classic Chrome, Pro Neg Hi, Pro Neg Std, Classic Neg,

Eterna Cinema, Eterna Bleach Bypass, Across, Monochrome, Sepia.

Shot on Fuji XS10

If you checked them, you will notice there is barely any differences between them,

besides Classic Neg which is an absolute beast.

Now I gotta give it to Fuji, they have introduced the Grain Effect into a digital camera, which is amazing, but the Chroma Effect is just Luma Adjustments, and I can do that from a Sony camera on Every Color Channel, not just a couple of them like on the Fuji.

I know there will be a lot of Fuji Owners hating on me by this point,

but this is my honest opinion after testing Fujifilm for some time now.

Not saying it's terrible, but definitely not as special as they marketed as.

And this is what made me start Sony Film Simulations in the first place, because I knew Sony had a lot more Color Modes, contrast Types, Color Depth, and options to tweak inside the Picture Profile Menu, so I could get closer color to film, most probably even closer than Fuji.

Classic Negative film simulation on Sony RX100 VI
Sony Classic Negative Film Simulation Recipe using Picture Profiles

The Classic Neg film simulation - Fuji Vs Sony

Coming from a background of Shooting Real Film, I was expecting something totally different when Fuji announced their first cameras featuring the Fuji Film Simulations.

If you ever shot film and digital Fuji cameras, you know what I'm talking about.

Organic complementary analog colors, different hue tinting in the shadows and highlights, this is what I get when shooting film, and this is not what I got from Fuji Film Simulations.

Until the Classic Neg film simulation appeared.

Classic Neg is the only Film Simulation with real Film like colors and tones. It's so real, that it's pretty much impossible to replicate.

Here is a comparison between the FujiFilm Classic Neg & Sony Classic Neg Simulation

FUJI Classic Neg

Fuji classic neg film simulation sample

SONY Classic Neg

Classic Negative film simulation on Sony

Here is a slider to see exactly the differences between the two

You can notice there are some bold differences.

Even tho' I was able to bring Sony pretty close to the Fuji, there is a clear winner here

and that is Fuji. The Classic Neg is in my opinion the only Film Simulation that simulates authentic film colors and cannot be reproduced in camera at the moment without HSL(Hue, Saturation, Luma) tools.

This is the closest I could get to the real Classic Neg after countless testing and retesting, and even tho Sony is not 100% accurate, doesn't mean it won't render film-like images. Quite on the contrary, It's a great competitor to Fuji.

Sony Classic Negative Samples

Classic Negative film simulation on Sony RX100 VI

^Sony Classic Negative JPEG^ Shot on the RX100 VI

Classic Negative film simulation on Sony RX100 VI

Classic Negative film simulation on Sony RX100 VI

What I need from Sony Cameras

I need to congratulate Fuji for this Film Simulation, It definitely deserves its title and it's my personal favorite from Fuji.

I don't understand why camera manufacturers are not offering more of this into our cameras, or at least give us the option of shifting hues, de-saturating individual color channels and color depth. These are basic HSL tools, and they are very helpful for adjusting color and user experience.

Would be nice to be able to add a color tint in the Shadows and the Highlights. That's what I'd like to see in a New Sony Camera.

I don't need more Megapixels, I don't need 18bit color RAW output with 20 stops of dynamic range, nor 50 frames per second burst in Lossless RAW Format.

I need style, aesthetics, good colors. and good design for a richer user experience.

Give us an APS-C camera with film-like design and Advanced Controls for Color.

Let us create our own Profiles with Unique Colors.

Classic Negative film simulation on Sony RX100 VI
Sony Classic Negative with Diffusion Filter

I am tired of this High Specs Race every brand is being part of in the moment.

I don't care about 8K, 16bit RAW Video Output, or any High Spec sheet.

Sony cameras, love them. They keep improving on every camera model and that's why I stick with them, because they listen to the customer and give us what we need.

They are great for Professional use, but Sony, do you have anything for the casual photographer?

Here's what we want. A camera that lets you create your own film recipes. A camera that when held, molds perfectly with your hand, with a design that keeps you staring at its beauty.

Sony, we know you keep pushing the envelope with cutting-edge technology, but

do you have a camera that people will keep 10 years from now, even tho the specs have been long deprecated?

skintones with Sony classic chrome
Sony Classic Negative Film Simulation

Style and good taste lasts more than Specs.

Because next year there always will be somebody pushing more megapixels on their cameras, more frames per second, and more color information to be post-processed.

The camera that you bought this year will be outdated in max 2 years time.

We all know that.

What about a classy camera?

It's timeless.

You will keep on picking it up the shelf because how it feels in your hand, because of the scratches and marks that you've made over the years, because it's so customizable it became an extension of you, and you got attached to it.

So my message to Sony is, Be bold, be creative, be organic.

Be Timeless Sony.

Golden hour sony classic neg film simulation

Differences between the Sony & the Fuji Classic Neg

So to come back to the subject or the article,

The main Differences between the Sony & the Fuji Classic Neg are as follows.

Compared to Sony, on the Fuji

  • Pinks and Reds are heavily shifted towards orange

  • Violets are desaturated almost completely,

  • Blues are shifted towards Teal and desaturated

  • Greens, shifted towards cyan and desaturated

  • The Cyans are shifted towards light Blue.

Besides all that, highlights are pinkish while shadows are predominantly Green-Teal.

Custom Sony Picture Profile

^^ Sony Classic Negative Film Simulation Picture Profile ^^

This is why the Classic Neg is truly such a special Film Simulation.

Because Fuji took the extra steps to shift colors for a complementary color scheme inside the camera.

With shadows that shift towards green and highlights towards pink, they have reduced all colors to mainly 2 major ones.

Teal & Orange.

Sony is close, it will definitely give some interesting images out of the box and it's very impressive how close we can color match two different cameras only by using Sony's picture Profile Menu.

But at the time being, Sony cannot compete just yet with this film simulation.

I am still waiting for the day Sony or Fuji introduces in depth Color Adjustments for each individual Color Channel like Hue vs Hue & Hue vs Saturation to take the Film Simulations a step further.

At the time being, with Sony we have control over Hue vs Luma, Overall Hue Shifting, Saturation Control, Different Color Modes, Different Contrast Modes, Shadow & Black Point adjustments and that is more than any other brand is giving us.

But it's still limiting in terms of what you can reproduce inside camera, and how much you need to refine in post-production if you want an accurate reproduction of film.

All we can do is keep on pushing this idea of Film Aesthetics and hope that Sony will catch this idea some day.

Until then,

Have a lovely day!

Sony Classic Negative Film Simulation Recipe Using Picture Profiles

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