Nikon know-how

Dis­cover what Nikon’s Pic­ture Con­trols do, when to use them, and whether you need them at all…

NPhoto - - Contents -

Ex­plore Pic­ture Con­trols, dis­cov­er­ing how they’re ap­plied to im­ages, and when you’re most likely to need them

Pic­ture Con­trols change the colour ren­di­tion, con­trast, sharp­ness, sat­u­ra­tion and over­all ‘look’ of your pic­tures to suit dif­fer­ent kinds of sub­ject.

They are com­pletely op­tional, though, be­cause there is ob­vi­ously some cross­over with the kinds of ad­just­ments you might make on the com­puter later on.

For ex­am­ple, the Vivid Pic­ture Con­trol in­creases the im­age con­trast and sat­u­ra­tion to make colours re­ally stand out, but you could just as eas­ily use the Stan­dard Pic­ture Con­trol to cap­ture a more neu­tral im­age and in­crease the con­trast and sat­u­ra­tion in a pro­gram like Pho­to­shop, where you can be a lot more care­ful and pre­cise.

The same ap­plies to the Mono­chrome Pic­ture Con­trol. This saves your pic­tures in black-and­white, and can even repli­cate the ef­fect of tra­di­tional black-and-white red, yel­low or green fil­ters to change the way colours trans­late into shades of grey. But many black-and­white fans will pre­fer to con­vert their colour im­ages on the com­puter, where you get much more con­trol over the re­sults.

Pic­ture Con­trols are op­tional, then, and don’t achieve any­thing you couldn’t do yourself us­ing soft­ware. But they do have some ad­van­tages nonethe­less.

Pic­ture Con­trol pros

If you know the ‘look’ you’re go­ing for when you take the pic­ture, se­lect­ing the right Pic­ture Con­trol will leave you with less work to do later on the com­puter. They also act on the RAW data cap­tured by the sen­sor, so if you’re shoot­ing JPEGs you may get the­o­ret­i­cally bet­ter qual­ity than if you man­u­ally ad­just your im­ages later on to get the same look.

If you shoot RAW files, though, the sit­u­a­tion changes. The cam­era will still ap­ply your cho­sen Pic­ture Con­trol to the im­age you see on the back of the cam­era, but the RAW file will con­tain all the orig­i­nal data, so you can choose a dif­fer­ent Pic­ture Con­trol or im­age ef­fect later.

The Mono­chrome Pic­ture Con­trol is es­pe­cially use­ful, even for RAW pho­tog­ra­phers, be­cause it helps you vi­su­alise the scene in shades of grey while you’re shoot­ing, but lets you choose your own con­ver­sion set­tings on the com­puter.

Pic­ture Con­trols aren’t just for novices. Even ex­perts could find them both more in­ter­est­ing and more use­ful than they might re­alise.


MONO­CHROME Nikon Pic­ture Con­trols change the re­pro­duc­tion of colours and tones in your pic­tures – you choose a set­ting to match your sub­ject


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