Auto distortion correction - in camera?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by ilkka_nissila, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. Is there a way to activate an auto distortion correction feature similar to that in Capture NX2 in the camera with the D700 and/or D3? The pincushion distortion in the 24-120/4 drives me crazy when reviewing shots made in a city environment. I can correct it in post but the correction eats the edges of the image, often altering composition in an adverse way. It would be useful to see the final framing already on the camera by using playback so that I can adjust if necessary.
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  2. That lens is not one of Nikon's stars as far as I know. I do know that my cute little D3100 (I will be using it as a travel camera) has this feature and there is no reason not to have it on all the time. I never saw a menu item in my D300 which is similar to its bigger brother the D700 so I expect that it is not there.
     
  3. My little LX3 does it, I think. Maybe the next generation d700 perhaps...
     
  4. Maybe the next generation d700 perhaps...
    Yeah... but I'm planning on using my D700 for several years still.
    I don't know how to assess how much computation is required to run the distortion correction algorithm - it takes about 0.5-1 sec per image on my PC in NX2 but with NX2 it's difficult to distinguish between the results of tangled memory management and actual computational complexity. If the algorithm is fast, it might be possible to add it in firmware. I think the D700 (which is the camera on which the 24-120 makes most sense in terms of handling) would really benefit from such an update.
     
  5. Don't get me wrong, I would love an firmware update as well. I have a d700 myself but I don't see nikon doing it. It is another marketing ploy for them to make people "upgrade" to the next generation...I can see myself using the d700 for the next 3 years or until it breaks...
     
  6. Executive summary: no FX Nikons have onboard distortion correction at present. Evidently only 3 Nikon DSLRs have auto distortion correction and de-fish: D5000, D3100, and D7000. Even if auto distortion correction is not selected in the shooting menu, those three bodies will still allow distortion correction in-camera, including manual control. AFAIK, it works with RAW, too.
    A rebate bundle helped me overcome my aversion to the D7k's AEB deficiency, so I got a kit. As soon as the weather breaks again, I'll be checking out the auto distortion correction with the 18-105 kit lens and a couple of others and comparing that against LR's distortion correction (DxO doesn't support the D7k).
    IMO, the feature is long overdue. Nikon's excluding it from the D300s and D3s appears to be a lens marketing scheme rather than a technical issue (they both post-date the D5000). If auto distortion correction works well, it'll be a very welcome improvement. Doesn't do a thing for my trusty D700, but I'll be keeping it :)
     
  7. The JPEG conversion should be much more processing intensive. Distortion correction is not that hard...
     
  8. No way would I trust my camera to do this.
     
  9. Peter, why not? The raw data would be unaffected; the jpg shown on the camera display would be distortion corrected using the same algorithm as is used in Capture NX2 (which works nicely and is completely automatic). You could still turn it off afterwards if you don't like what it did (or use a raw converter that ignores the tag).
     
  10. i think the assumption here is that if you care enough to purchase an FX body, you also care enough to tweak it in post ;) also, different lenses have different distortion patterns or 'signatures' so i'm not sure a one-size-fits-all algorithm, as opposed to a lens profile like in lightroom/PS, will meet critical standards. it would be nice though, especially when using UWAs.
     
  11. Shoot a little wide? Hey, maybe this is why Nikon put a 90 percent viewfinder on the D700 - so you'd have extra pixels around the edges to throw away in the process of correcting lens flaws.
    Canon's 24-105 f/4 IS has similarly annoying distortion characteristics, as does their 70-200 f/4.
    Hey, I have an idea! Why don't these companies and their brilliant engineers just make some distortion-free lenses if they expect us to buy their multi-thousand-dollar DSLR's every few years?
     
  12. "Why don't these companies and their brilliant engineers just make some distortion-free lenses if they expect us to buy their multi-thousand-dollar DSLR's every few years?"
    Conspiracy ... definitely a conspiracy. They are all in it together. You can't fool me.
    ;-)
    Tom M
     
  13. Ilkka, I don't think I've ever seen your post in such a panicky state before!
    Anyway, I think it's time to go for Panasonic m4/3 system. Since I purchased G1 around two and a half years ago, I've never seen lens distortion! Barrel or pincushion. The camera corrects the distortion and chromatic aberration in real time.
     
  14. i think the assumption here is that if you care enough to purchase an FX body, you also care enough to tweak it in post ;)
    I don't mind doing distortion corrections on selected images in post. The problem is that I have to leave extra room around the edges of the frame for the algorithm to work with. Although the D700 viewfinder doesn't show the image framing accurately, for the images where it would matter I just use the playback to confirm the composition, but it doesn't show the final result that I'd get after distortion correction. So I have to break up how I normally shoot just for the sake of this one lens. I also have to remember to refrain from using apertures outside of the range f/5.6-8. No zoom range is worth messing with my system. ;-)
    also, different lenses have different distortion patterns or 'signatures' so i'm not sure a one-size-fits-all algorithm,
    Raw converters like Capture NX2 and DXO Optics Pro recognize the lens, the focal length used and (in the DXO software) the focused distance from the EXIF data and use it to retrieve appropriate calibration data to allow automatic distortion correction. These parameters are sufficient without user input, provided that the lens and camera are supported by the software. I'm happy with the quality of the distortion correction in either software for the purposes of architectural shots (though DXO corrects distortion more perfectly; Nikon's algorithm leaves some residual barrel distortion in 14-24 shots at 14mm, but otherwise I generally prefer NX2). Without doubt, the lens calibration data and algorithm could be included in the camera firmware.
    Why don't these companies and their brilliant engineers just make some distortion-free lenses
    They do. ;-) I should shoot with the 50/1.8 some time, now that's a well corrected lens for the size and cost.
    Ilkka, I don't think I've ever seen your post in such a panicky state before!
    Yeah, I'm just annoyed at myself for not doing my research. I considered micro four thirds for some of the same applications I intended for the 24-120, but decided against it because I figured that it's better to work within one system to avoid having to switch between significantly different user interfaces. Also with micro four thirds I want to see more extensive lens support, particularly a 50mm tele prime, before I would get into that. I suppose I could try how easy to use it is with a Nikon 50/1.4 and a G-compatible adapter.
     
  15. Why not save a step if the camera can do a good job correcting the distirtion?
     
  16. Alan,
    How is the camera going to know exactly how to correct the distortion in every possible lens you could have attached? This is easy on a computer with a program that can download new profiles of the internet, but on a camera? Sounds like one heck of a challenge.
     
  17. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I am sure Nikon will never put correction for 3rd-party lenses in their firmware. Why help a competitor?
    The CPU power inside the camera is limited. If it takes 0.5 sec to correct distortion on a powerful PC, do you really want to slow down the frame rate to a halt? Currently, a lot of the NEF compression is done in hardware. In "the old days," NEF compression was done in software. E.g., on the D100, RAW compression typically takes like 25 seconds per image; that is effectively a useless mode.
     
  18. Thanks for the info Peter,I only use Nikon AFS lenses wouldn't the distortiom control work on those lenses? Thanks.
     
  19. Alan,
    Maybe, but read what Shun said again.
    This is simply something that computers are great at, and a camera would likely not be as good at.
     
  20. Thanks again Peter he makes a good point,I just got LR 3 and all of my lenses have profiles. so I'm good to go.
     

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