The Best Cameras for Color Reproduction, Ranked

May 9, 2019

By Greg Scoblete

Pexels CC

This article, first published in has been in June 2018, was updated on October 21, 2019.

When it comes to reproducing colors, not all cameras are created equal. If you’re interested in discovering which camera does the best job reproducing colors, we’ve collected data from our testing partner, Image Engineering, and ranked cameras from most to least accurate.

How Image Engineering Tests for Color

Image Engineering sets the camera color space to sRGB using the factory default for a color profile.

To measure color reproduction, they use color patches within the TE42 test target. The colors in these patches have been selected with reference to the well-known X-Rite ColorChecker SG color target. Each of the 96 color patches is individually measured using a calibrated spectrophotometer. Reference data is provided to the analysis software along with the image being tested. With the knowledge of the RGB color space (the commonly used sRGB), they convert the RGB data to the CIE-LAB color space. Based on the LAB color space, they calculate color error and differences in brightness, saturation and color tone.

Each camera test produces a chart which shows color deviations (Delta E). Red cells indicate that the camera produced a strong deviation from the reference color, light green represents a “noticeable” deviation and dark green represents a moderate. For our list, we tallied the total number of noticeable and strong deviations for each camera. Strong deviations were weighted double and the list was generated accordingly. The actual color data, plus the deviations, is included in each entry.

(If you’d like the full breakdown of how Image Engineering tests cameras across a variety of metrics, pour yourself a strong cup of coffee and read this.)

The Caveats

Image Engineering has only been conducting tests for us since 2017, so its catalog of results is still limited relative to the entire universe of available cameras. In other words, this list isn’t exhaustive though it does encompass a wide range of models and will be updated regularly as new cameras are tested.

The List

#1 Ricoh GR III

Ricoh GR III

Read the full Ricoh GR III review.

#2 Fujifilm X-T30

Fujifilm X-T30

#3 Fujifilm X-T3

Get the full Image Engineering technical data on the Fuji X-T3.

#3 (Tied) Sony a6400

Sony a6400

#3 (Tied) Sony a7 III

Sony a7 III Review

Read: Sony a7 III Review

#4 Sony a7R III

Read: Sony a7R III Review

#4 (tied)  Fujifilm X-E3

Read: Fujifilm X-E3 Review

#4 (tied) Leica CL

Read: Leica CL Review

#5 Sony a9

Read: Sony a9 Review

#5 Canon Rebel SL3 (Tied)

Read the Canon Rebel SL3 Review.

#5 Fujifilm GFX 100 (Tied)

Read the Fujifilm GFX 100 Review

#6 Leica Q2

#6 Sony a7R IV (Tied)

#6 Canon EOS 90D (Tied)

#6 Canon 6D Mark II (Tied)

#7 Fujifilm X-H1

Read: Fujifilm X-H1 Review

#7 (tied) Panasonic GH5S

Read: Panasonic GH5S Review

#8 Nikon D850

Read: Nikon D850 Review

# 8 (tied) Canon EOS M50

Leica CL Color Chart

Read: Canon M50 Review

#9 Pentax K-1 Mark II

Read: Pentax K-1 Mark II Review

#9 (Tied) Panasonic Lumix LX100 II

Panasonic LX100 II

#10 Panasonic Lumix S1

Panasonic Lumix S1 camera review

Get Image Engineering’s full technical report on the S1.

#11 Canon EOS R

#11 (Tied) Sony RX100 Mark 6

Sony RX100 VI

#12 Canon 6D Mark II

Read: Canon 6D Mark II Review

#12 (Tied) Nikon Z 6

Nikon Z6

#13 Panasonic G9

Read: Panasonic G9 Review

#13 (Tied) Leica M10-P

Leica M10-P

#14 Panasonic Lumix S1R

Panasonic S1 Full Frame Mirrorless Camera

#15 Olympus E-M10 Mark III

Read: Olympus E-M10 Mark III Review

#16 Nikon Z 7

#17 Fujifilm X-T100

Best Cameras for Color Fuji X-T100

Read: Fujifilm X-T100 Review

#18 Canon EOS RP

Canon EOS RP
Facebook Comments