In-camera setting when shooting and post-processing RAW

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by bmm, Sep 17, 2010.

  1. bmm


    This question is an offshoot from another recent thread and also from reading David DuChemin's third book (the one on post-processing).
    Basically, I'm interested in whether or not RAW shooters tend to use in-camera presets - for things like saturation, sharpness, etc - in order to get an attractive camera LCD preview and also get those settings reflected (where the software recognises or tries to approximate those settings) in the initial rendering of the RAW file in Capture NX2, Lightroom, Photoshop or whatever.
    Or alternately do people go for as 'flat' / unaltered RAW file as possible in camera, and as an editing starting point (e.g. David DuChemin who 'zeroes' his RAWs before starting to post-process) and work from there.
    I've always both shot/chimped and also started post from a file with some degree of camera settings carried over, without 'zero-ing' my work, and never really thought about it.
    But now I'm really curious both about what others do, and about any advantages and disadvantages of the two approaches.
  2. I shoot neutral. The JPEG histogram/representation of the file is difficult nought to interpret without having additional in-camera processing take place.
  3. I'm with John -- neutral. Sometimes it takes a few seconds to explain to a client that the finished image will look nothing like the monitor preview.
  4. Neutral for me too.
  5. Neutral for me too. I set the menu to "Switzerland mode."
  6. For me, since I shoot in RAW + JPEG, I try to get the JPEG as close to how I want it in the end as possible.
    Many times I don't have to do any PP other than batch rename and running whichever PS Action on the file that suits the look I'm going for.
    Personally, I don't care what the LCD shows because only use it to check my histogram and blown highlights about once every 30-50 shots in a semi-controlled environment and every 15-20 shots in difficult lighting situations. I try to "get it right" in camera rather than relying on PP to "fix" everything. It takes a whole lot less time in the end if I don't have to process every image.
  7. Even though I shoot RAW+large jpg, I simply prefer the neutral setting as being more realistic than "popped-up" jpegs.
    If I end up posting them in sRGB in reduced size on the web, then I often crank up various levers like the clarity and saturation or the jpgs tend to look a little anemic.
    The camera back LCD is left turned off for me and I only look at the results when I wonder if I got it at all.
  8. Neutral.
    I see no point when shooting RAW to crank up sats, contrast etc...
    That said I DO apply a little extra sharpening when using one of my lenses which is a little too soft for me.
    Doing so just saves me a little time.
    There are a few instances when I am shooting a particular scene under particular light where I will load a custom curve; this saves me a ton of PP time. The curve is not loaded to my camera (although it could), rather; I have it as a pre-set curve in NX.
  9. i shoot neutral picture control and use the LCD mostly to check histogram for blown highlights. i only shoot RAW and everything that gets more than a cursory glance is going to be post processed, so the LCD is not expected to have any relation to the final product.
  10. I do not know what it would help you to know how I shoot but since you want to know here it is:
    I do not care how pretty the image on the LCD image looks but I need as much information on the histogram and blinking highlight indication. I therefore set in camera settings to give a fairly good representation of the RAW data. Zooming in I evaluate focus and DOF and have very slight sharpening set in camera.
    For RAW conversion I use Adobe ACR that could not care less about in camera settings but allows me to apply my own presets for typical shooting conditions depending on camera type and ISO as well as camera profiles.
    Since we talk about matter of personal taste I also like black and green olives and like anchovies but should not eat these for health reasons. :)
  11. Neutral here, too.
  12. Ray House

    Ray House Ray House

    I tend to use my settings at minus settings. I find this gives me a histogram that is a little more reprentative of the RAW file. I am however still in the testing stage. I am using a D80 and I think as soon as I get this figured out...I'll buy a D7000!
  13. Maybe I wasn't clear...
    I shoot RAW+JPEG so that if an image is great out of the camera I don't have to touch it other than to apply any PS actions to get the"look" I'm going for.
    I shoot RAW so that if I do have to fix anything I have the latitude to do so. I'd rather do no PP, but inevitably, with the type of shooting that I do, normally I have to do some.
    Since I shoot with JPEGs in mind, I set everything in camera to come out the way I expect. Like I said...less time in post = more time to shoot
  14. D2x mode II
  15. I use DX2 Mode III on my D300; always RAW only.
  16. In essence it really doesn't matter how you set your camera when shooting RAW as the photograph's full data is always available to restore or change as you like. (Not so in .jpg) However, for the sake of a smoother and faster work-flow it helps to shoot as neutral as possible because there will hopefully be less mucking about in your RAW conversion software to get a decent looking output.
    One time I shot an entire outdoor event with the white balance set to florescent without noticing and it was a pain to have to convert 200 plus images. The same would be true if you shot an entire wedding in "Vivid" mode. Yuck!
  17. bmm


    Lanthus - yes I understand that it really doesn't matter in terms of flexibility in post. And I guess that was the basis to my curiosity and my question... whether people tend to go for something that has a 'profile' or 'look' out-of-camera even if they then reverse those settings, or whether people prefer to go as neutral as possible - even if it means that the 'immediate feedback' of their LCD screen is relatively flat.
    Thanks to all and I am interested that most go neutral. Interested even more in JDM's turning off the LCD screen - does that mean you do not look at histogram at all while shooting?
  18. I usually look at the histogram when there is clearly a high-contrast situation or other case where it matters or at the start of some new location shoot where I will choose how I want to proceed. Most of the time, I find that the RAW file has enough data recorded to recover the usual range. The most recent image comes up with the arrow button. You turn off the display by going to the menu item "Review time" and choosing "Off". all praise be to Canon for providing this option.
    I often have the screen set so that when I do call it up by pressing the display button, I get the histogram view, which I consider to be almost important enough to justify having a rear LCD in the first place. :)
    [Is it obvious that I shot for years on film where the review process occurred days or weeks later?]
    Mostly I carry all my cameras with a "Hoodman" type fold-down cover which easily pops up with the thumbnail when I do want to see the LCD. I use one of these even on my Rebel XTi, where the rear screen also displays the settings and so on. I usually just depend on the viewfinder display. I hate screens glowing at me in the dark.
    Oh, I should also mention that a single battery charge lasts for a very long time this way.

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