HOW IT WORKS Tone adjustment tools
Capture NX-D gives you a number of options for altering tones in your images – take a look at these
This is an indispensable guide to the effect of your adjustments. You can use it to adjust the Exposure Compensation slider and get the best tonal range out of your RAW files, and you can check it to make sure any further tonal adjustments you make don’t cause ‘clipping’.
RAW (NEF) files contain extra tonal range compared to JPEGs, and you can use the Exposure Compensation slider to make use of this. It’s not ‘real’ exposure compensation – you can’t alter the camera’s exposure settings after a shot has been taken – but it’s often enough to rescue small exposure errors.
The Tone button is split in two. The left side displays the Tone panel, which has Brightness, Contrast and Saturation sliders, just like those you see on the camera when you modify the Picture Controls. However, they’re not very subtle, and there are better ways to modify your images.
The right side of the Tone button displays the Tone (Detail) panel. This is quite interesting because it has sliders for Highlight Protection (recovering clipped highlights), Shadow Protection (recovering shadows) and D-Lighting HS – this Nikon’s system for bringing out darker tones without affecting the rest. We’ll look at these options in a future tutorial.
Levels & Curves
Capture NX-D’s Levels and Curves panel offers much more subtlety and control than its Tone panel. You can use curves adjustments to change the brightness and contrast of your image without clipping any important shadow and highlight detail, and the panel also displays the histogram, which will help you judge where to place your curve control points.