Nikon D4 JPG vs others (D810, D3s)

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by robert_bouknight|1, Dec 21, 2017.

  1. I just fell into a D4 deal and am trying out the camera. I've been through the settings to match it up to my D810 and D3s backup. The SOOC JPGs look sharper, contrastier, more vibrant than what I am used to seeing, maybe a little too much so. I'm planning to calm it down a little. Also, the ISO seems to run around a 1/2 stop lower to get the same histogram. Color rendition seems more like the D3s, the D810 looks a little yellow by comparison when the cameras are set the same.. Other than the joy(?)pads and size/weight, there is a lot to like with the D4. Results so far are the most different looking Nikon JPGs that I have seen in a while, just wondering if this is unusual or common. Any setup tweaks that really work for those of you familiar with the D4 would be appreciated. Going to look at the NEF's now.
     
  2. Are you comparing photos taken with the same Picture Control System settings? Have you reset any possible customisation to the mode tested?
     
  3. Yes, picture controls all matched as closely as possible. The D4 came with some unusual adjustments, so I did the total reset, downloaded the latest firmware, then went through all to match my usual settings.
     
  4. There's a theory that Nikon may have changed their filters at some point during that continuum (something I base partly on Thom Hogan having trouble adjusting raw files correctly, and I may be reading too much into it; I've not done detailed colour tests during my time with a D700, D800e and D810). The JPEG engine certainly changed over time - I want to say between the D4 and D4s, with the D810 in the latter generation. I'm sure it's under continuous review and changes a bit according to the sensor characteristics, so I'd be a bit surprised if any of the three matched.

    I swear my D700 meter was more prone to doing the right thing than the D800 or D810's. I suspect something somewhere is trying to be clever.

    Are the raw files okay? If they behave properly, it's just a software oddity, and I hope you can tune it as you need. I wouldn't be surprised if Nikon tweaked the JPEG algorithm to the needs of the expected customers of that body (especially w.r.t. noise reduction vs detail). If there's something up with the raw, I guess it's possible something nasty has happened, although pretty much all I can think of is someone managing to coat the sensor with cigarette tar...

    Good luck, in any case. :)
     
  5. Actually, the comparison has me thinking that I might amp up the D810 JPGs as well as "soften" the D4 JPGs - a little on each. I sold my D800 to finance the D810 purchase so never had a chance to compare the two directly, but I have always had an impression that my D810 JPGs had a little less snap than the ones from the D800.
     
  6. I've had a lot of fun comparing the D810 and D4. The D4 seems consistently about 1/2 stop "faster" than the D810 as defined by adjusting indicated ISO to match histogram centers, at least at around ISO 640. The D4 images seem to have a narrower histogram spread, while the D810 seems prone to having a bunch of values stacked up at 255 even with -.3EV comp and indicated lower auto ISO (I use M mode and auto ISO regularly).

    Why would the D810 have a wider histogram spread in basically shade exposures with a low EV spread? On a D810 photo of Rachel yesterday, I lost some skin highlight details vs an almost identical D4 image, except that the D4 selected ISO640 VS 800 in the D810. Checking again this AM, brick wall in shade, the D810 histogram is more spread out.

    As would be expected, the color between the two seems close when the raw white balance is tweaked to match in CNXD. I have tweaked the Std picture control in my D810 to be very slightly less yellow.

    I'm not much of a post processing guy. I shot slide film back in the day, tried to learn how to get the best possible image on film to minimize subsequent work or problems. That's why I'm always trying to set in camera JPG optimally, even though I shoot Raw+JPG in case I need to tweak an image.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
  7. OK, guess it never registered with me just how fast the dynamic range decreases with increase in ISO, though I was certainly aware of this issue. Looking at the info on the D810 at the protonstophotons site, I can see how I could be approaching the D810 DR limits at ISO 800 in some of the photos I have been evaluating. At these ISOs, the D4 should have around an additional stop DR per that site.
     
  8. I also almost exclusively shot slides and hence had to get things right in camera. Shooting RAW, however, is not akin to shooting slides (shooting JPEG is). In fact, an optimized RAW shot will look overexposed and a bit washed out but provide the best starting point for optimizing the image in post. Nothing wrong with getting the JPEG right in camera - but that quite often means that the RAW is not at its best for later tweaking.
     
  9. Thanks for the insight, I also shot B+W and did all of my darkroom work. As opposed to a slide, I never liked to work with an underexposed negative.
     
  10. But on the contrary an underexposed digital image is much easier to work with than an overexposed one.
     
  11. So, I have been trying to figure out my D810 a little more, been messing with picture controls, have the contrast turned down one notch now. I still get what I think are too dark shadows with some weird colors in there when taking photos with a wide range of brightness. I don't have my D4 or D3s handy, but the new to me $10 D1 works(!)

    Thumb deleted, See below D1

    The D810 looks a little different (LOL) exposure matched to what the D1 selected:

    Thumbs deleted, see below D810

    Why am I getting such dark shadows? I don't have the D4 today, but saw similar differences last week.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
  12. Can't tell much from the thumbs:

    D1:
    DSC_0002.jpg

    D810
    DSC_7138.jpg
     
    Landrum Kelly likes this.
  13. The reduced JPGs look more alike here than the original full res NEF's in my PC.
     

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