Discover how to use Nikon Capture NX-D to change the Picture Control setting on your RAW files, and change tones and contrast with a single mouse-click
You can spend lots of time tweaking a photograph’s colours and tones in Capture NX-D, making the most of the tools in the Edit palette.
However, if you’d prefer to spend more time shooting and less time processing pictures, it’s worth experimenting with the sliders and dropdown menus in the Picture Control pane. You can use the Picture Control presets as a springboard to experiment with your adjustments, and then fine-tune their results.
In your camera’s menu you’ll find various Picture Control presets, and these enable you to produce different looks even before you import your photos into your PC. For example, the Vivid Picture Control can create strongly saturated images that have been sharpened to create a print with more punch. The Landscape Picture Control preset will produce stronger blues and greens. If you use an appropriate Picture Control setting on location then you may not need to spend much time processing the image in Capture NX-D.
If you shoot in JPEG then you’ll be forced to accept the look produced by the selected in-camera Picture Control setting. It will be harder to adjust the colours, tones and sharpness of the shot later on in any software. However, if you shoot in RAW then you can import the photo into Capture NX-D and discover which Picture Control setting was used in its capture. (This only works in Capture NX-D; other programs, such as Lightroom or Photoshop, don’t recognise or apply the Picture Controls to RAW files.) You can then experiment with other Nikon Picture Control presets in a few clicks, and once you’ve found a look that you prefer you can fine-tune it with ease. Access to post-production Picture Controls is a good reason to shoot in RAW and edit in Capture NX-D.