Q+A Ask Jason...
Our resident Nikon expert Jason Parnell-Brookes answers your questions and solves your problems. If you’d like Jason to come to the rescue regarding your Nikon-related question, email it to email@example.com. Please note that we reserve the right to edi
Do camera settings like Picture Control (Standard, Neutral, Vivid, etc) and White Balance have any impact on Raw files? Jim O’Neill, via email
Jason says... These settings work directly on images when you’re shooting in JPEG quality modes but, for Raw files, they’re only stored as markers or ‘flags’, rather than affecting the actual pictorial data. This enables you to change the settings at the editing stage.
Nikon’s own Raw processing programs, like ViewNX and Capture NX-D, work seamlessly for altering Picture Control settings, but attributes like Standard, Neutral and Vivid aren’t supported in many independent editing programs. Recent versions of Adobe’s Lightroom, Photoshop CC and Elements software have options to emulate Nikon’s Picture Controls, but they’re not exactly the same and you have to select them manually.
The screen on the top panel of my D7100 seems to remain live even when the camera is switched off. Won’t this drain the battery? Peter Power, via email
Jason says... The power required by the mono LCD on the camera’s top plate is negligible, at least when the backlight isn’t switched on. For example, ‘retro’ LCD watches can run for several years or more before needing their tiny coin-shaped battery to be replaced.
Can you recommend an affordable graduated ND filter system to improve landscape shots with my D5500 and Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 lens? Brian Chadwick, via email
Jason says... Your Sigma is a smart buy as an ultrawide-angle zoom lens for DX-format cameras like the D5500, but it does have an oversized filter attachment thread of 82mm. This, coupled with a wide angle of vie w (stretching to 110 degrees at the short end of the zoom range), limits your choices of filter system.
The popular and low-cost Cokin A series and P series systems, which use square filter sizes of 67mm and 84mm respectively, will both be too small for use with your Sigma lens. The same applies to competing systems of the same sizes from suppliers like Formatt-Hitech and SRB.
Larger 100mm systems from companies like Lee Filters are often very expensive, at around £300/$350 for a starter kit with three ND grad filters. I’d recommend the Cokin Z-Pro 100mm filter system, which costs about half the price for a similar kit.
Using Capture NX-D (see previous page) it’s easy to change Picture Control settings at the editing stage, for example between Standard and Vivid Standard
The Cokin Z-Pro ND Grad Kit (£75/$100) includes three filters but you need to buy the filter holder and adaptor ring separately, at about £80/$100
The top-plate LCD remaining active has no noticeable impact on the discharge rate of the camera battery