Mono man­ual Pic­ture con­trols

Your Nikon D-SLR has a Mono­chrome Pic­ture Con­trol – should you use it?

NPhoto - - Special Feature -

Nikon’s Pic­ture Con­trols of­fer you dif­fer­ent ren­di­tions for your pho­tos, from Stan­dard to Vivid… and Mono­chrome. In fact, the Mono­chrome set­ting of­fers fur­ther op­tions, in­clud­ing the abil­ity to sim­u­late tra­di­tional black-and­white fil­ters, such as yel­low or red. But how use­ful is this, and are you bet­ter off shoot­ing in colour and pro­cess­ing the im­ages yourself?

The key thing to un­der­stand is that Pic­ture Con­trols only ap­ply if you shoot JPEGs. If you shoot RAW, the sit­u­a­tion be­comes a lit­tle more com­pli­cated, and de­pends on which RAW con­ver­sion soft­ware you use.

You’ll find your Nikon’s Pic­ture Con­trols in the Shoot­ing Set­tings menu. The Mono­chrome op­tion will help you judge the com­po­si­tion and bal­ance of your black-and-white shots, but shoot­ing RAW gives you added flex­bil­ity later.

If you open your RAW file in ViewNX 2 or Cap­ture NX2, your pic­ture will be in black-and-white, but you’ll be able to change it be­cause you still have all the RAW data. But if you don’t use Nikon soft­ware, it’s a lit­tle dif­fer­ent…

…Adobe Cam­era Raw will dis­play your RAW file in colour, even if you shot it in black-and-white! That’s be­cause it ig­nores Nikon’s Pic­ture Con­trol set­tings – you’ll need to ap­ply the black-and-white con­ver­sion yourself.

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