Why do the vibrant colours on my camera look washed out on my PC and ditto with my printer?

  amyfleur 20:01 07 Jul 2014

How can I print / view photos taken on my camera Panasonic DMC-TZ7, which shows the pictures on its screen with bright and vibrant colours, so that they look just as colourful and sharp on my laptop?

As an example, taking a photo indoors having the camera set to: iA (intelligent auto) the file info. tells me this: 5m – f3.3 – 1/30 – AWB – ISO 160

And yes, the screen on the camera shows a brilliant photo.

But when I transfer them to my laptop, they are dull and washed out.

So I edit the photos in Photoshop Elements v9. I lighten and add many colour variations until they are reasonably acceptable ready for printing, (as seen on the laptop screen).

And when I print them on my Canon printer, the original ones are even duller and the edited ones are too orange, even the wood flooring which is a beach colour, looks like mahogany.

Outdoors photos using iA are lovely, true to colour and light not dull.

I tried using 10m but the photos are wobbly and when I zoom in on Photoshop they are grainy.

I have tried using the different modes and manual camera settings but I don’t really know what I’m doing. The camera’s manual is extensive but not enough guidance on colours and resolution.

Any advice please?


  Number six 22:55 07 Jul 2014

Looking at your file info, I would hazard a guess that your flash is not firing correctly, or at all, for indoor shots. This would explain the orange tint you mention. Check the flash setting on your camera is on and set to auto should be OK.

  woodchip 12:06 08 Jul 2014

It may be down to your Screen Colour defaults, try changing it under display in Control Panel, or Right click Screen then Properties

  woodchip 12:07 08 Jul 2014

PS Printer normally is linked to screen colours

  john bunyan 12:39 08 Jul 2014

When you import photos to PC, what size and resolution is shown in photoshop? for 2 to a page (landscape) printing I adjust the size to 19m cm x about 14.3 cm (Photoshop will auto adjust to suit the second parameter) and the resolution at 300 dpi. If your photos are at 72 dpi they will look ok on the screen but lacking in sharpness in print. pleas give a size as imported and we can suggest more.

  SparkyJack 14:07 08 Jul 2014

Wool well is correct with the rgb/CMYK analogy.

It is perhaps better vualized as on the one hand looking directly at a church window(the screen) and a reflection on a white sheet(print). As an experiment try this. Connect camera direct to printer if able to print from card,or if that facility not available,connect to PC then with uncorrected image on screen press Ctrl/p This will produce spring direct from card.

Tell bus the result.

  amyfleur 13:50 10 Jul 2014

Thanks for all advice. I hadn't received any emails from this forum so I assumed nobody had answered. Just signed in again and found 7 replies. So sorry I haven't got back till now.

The file info. for my downloaded photos, before making any changes, are:

Image Size is Pixel Dimensions: 17.8M Width: 3328 pixels Height: 1872 pixels

Document Size: Width 18.489 inches Height: 10.4 inches Resolution: 180 pixels/inch

All photos that I want to print, I resize to 7" x 5" and 300 pixels/inch

I have just had some photos printed at Tesco. One of 7 x 5 x 300 (no added enhancements) and one with the same sizes but using enhancements in Photoshop.

The enhanced photos are certainly brighter and lighter but too yellow rather than the natural green. I used brightness and contrast both set at 30 and I clicked once on 'more saturation' (adjust colour - colour variations - saturation).

Thank you again.

  amyfleur 13:51 10 Jul 2014

Thanks sparkyjack. I will try your suggestion and let you know what happens.

  john bunyan 14:42 10 Jul 2014


I will reply later. I use a "auto" fix on Photoshop to produce the size you want.

  amonra 17:03 10 Jul 2014

Check if your camera has a "White Balance" setting. Most cameras are set up for "daylight" white, but if you take indoor shots under artificial light then they tend to look reddish or greenish depending on the available lighting. By changing the white balance it can compensate for the "wrong" colour.

  martd7 17:46 10 Jul 2014

Just to put my pounds worth in,ive worked in a printing background for many years and have used a colour matching system,im not an expert but the basics are,the RGB system has a far wider gamut of colours,in a printer you have only a choice of 4 cyan yellow magenta and black and it does its best through software to interpret rgb into 4colour mode,now sometime ago a six colour system was introduced,hexachrome,cyan,magenta,yellow,orange,green and black to make up some odd colouration in photographic printing

Also your images through your camera will look good,like a pc monitor its backlit,when u print onto a substrate,gloss paper your printing onto a flat opaque sheet,so you never achieve the same quality

On a pc its a matter of tweaking the colours using software,increasing or decreasing the colour curve etc to find your personal preference

Like i said,just a bit of info

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