And yet many photographers choose Canon because of their inherent colour rendition. Skin tones are far nicer on Canon than Nikon. I belive this is due to hot reds on the Canon gamut. I don't want a clinical colour accuracy, that would be boring. I want a colour interpretation whihc is nice and pleasing on the eye. In a simular way to hi fi...some components are very neutral and a little bland. I like speakers and amps which inject a little colour to the sound and add some charector to the performance. This is why I like Arcam amps and Ruark speakers. Unfortunatly, both companies have been pretty much killed by the iPhone market....go figure!
And those "many photographers" would be ill educated.
There is no "inherent" aspect to colour in a RAW file. RAW files don't have a gamut, nor a colourspace, they are rendered into a profile that contains a gamut by software, there is no quality impact or degradation by different rendering algorithms, that is why you can change WB in post to a RAW file with no ill effects, or choose Portrait, Landscape etc Picture Styles after the fact.
While true, the fact remains that in the default rendering the Canon sensors tend to produce warmer tones with more red and less blue than Sony's sensors, which are still drastically warmer than, for example, Panasonic's ultra-cool sensors. I couldn't tell you how much of that is the choice of colors in the Bayer filters and how much of it is arbitrary white point math differences, but even 20+ years ago, back in the analog CCD days, Canon was always the warmest, Panasonic/JVC the coolest, with the rest at various points in between. And oddly enough, that hasn't changed much despite radical changes in the underlying processing electronics. So I'm guessing that at least part of it is the choice of color filters. Either that or Canon just prefers slightly oversaturated reds.
What is "default rendering", DPP, LR, ACR 2003/2010/2012, DXO, Capture One, which profile? Camera Standard, Adobe Standard, Landscape, Portrait, Neutral, Faithful, or a custom profile made for the illumination of the subject? What colourspace, Prophoto, Melissa, RGB, sRBG, CMYK?
That is the point, there is no "default rendering", you have to choose one and making your own is very easy. If your Canon files are red, it is your choice.
IMO, the default rendering is what you get when you compute the color information using the camera-provided AWB color temperature value from the RAW file's EXIF data. Any other color temperature value is a user decision, whereas the camera-provided AWB value is what the camera believes to be "truth".
This isn't actually the case. The AWB color temp is just that...a color temp. It is not an actual mathematical algorithm that specified how to achieve that white balance when rendering the raw to screen or to another image format. It's just a piece of metadata. It is then up to the implementer of the RAW editor to actually define the algorithm, to specify the tone curves, that go into actually applying that white balance during rendering.
That's why people comment on how Lightrooms "Canon Faithful" camera style is different than DPP's "Faithful" camera style. It's the same style NAME, but IMPLEMENTED differently. Having a white balance setting of 5250K is largely meaningless...you will get small, often noticeable differences in white balance depending on what RAW editor you use, because they all use slightly different approaches to applying things like white balance, exposure, saturation, picture or camera styles, etc.
There is no "default rendering"...because RAW is not rendered by default. It is RAW...it's just data, that's it. The rendering ENGINE is what determines how the RAW is rendered, and there are many RAW rendering engines out there.