Picture Control Setting on my new Nikon D7000 ..

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by cory_reynolds, Jul 9, 2011.

  1. I just bought a new nikon D7000 a week ago. So far i do like it! I have been reading the manual and going out and taking pictures. I have read about the Picture Control Settings? What are the best setting to use on my camera? I heard the vivid setting is the best one to change and use. Thanks for all your help.
    Cory
     
  2. best settings are different for everybody. You should do some experimentation and find out for yourself.
    Don't believe everything Ken Rockwell says about super-vivid images, they don't work for everybody.
     
  3. Use the default settings until you get a feel for the baseline performance of the camera. Then allow your creative juices to flow and start tweaking Picture Control accordingly. I usually start with sharpening. Undoubtedly, you will choose different settings in Picture Control for different shooting situations; portraits vs landscape, etc.
     
  4. To get the most out of your camera, shoot RAW and experiment during capture using NX with the different picture controls. Sometimes you will want "neutral" if you are doing post-processing, and sometimes otherwise. There is a lot of information in those RAW files, more with each generation of new camera. Learning how to exploit it is half the fun.
     
  5. I found the jpeg files from mine look great with little need for improvements. The Active D-Lighting does a very good job, so good that I can't easily duplicate the effect in Adobe Camera Raw converter. All I've done to the standard settings is bump the sharpness up a little bit.
     
  6. I have concluded that I want JPGs made as 'flat' as possible so that I can boost colour, exposure and sharpening in PS.
    I use D300 and D3100
     
  7. Each shooting situation may require its own unique set of settings. If you shoot in RAW or NEF, you can make all of the adjustments in Capture NX2 during post processing. If you shoot in JPEG, and want to minimize your post processing time, then you should learn how to set Picture Controls to get the best JPEG as possible "in camera." A landscape scene taken with great sun at your back will require different settings than portraits taken in overcast light. As a former slide shooter, I try and get it right in the camera. I encourage you to do the same. Go here for more info:
    http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/microsite/picturecontrol/index.htm
    Check Thom Hogan's site to see if he has info on how to best use Picture Controls. Many of the settings on other Nikon bodies will probably apply to your camera.
    Joe Smith
     
  8. Forget other people's picture control preferences. It's a very individual thing, and it can even depend on what lens you are using when you take the picture. For example, while I have nothing remotely as nice as a D7000, on my lowly less-than-consumer Nikon, I use Standard for the cheap kit zoom, and Neutral for my much more contrasty prime lens.
    The quickest way by far to get up to speed is to experiment with the Picture Controls on your computer rather than with the camera. Set anything you want in the camera, but start out shooting raw. That way, you can use any of the same picture controls in the free copy of ViewNX 2 you should have (or can download), and you can change them at will to see what you like most -- no matter what was set in the camera. Once you know, then you can just set the camera's picture controls the same way and shoot JPEG from then on if you want to.
    Personally, I don't know why anyone would want Vivid, though. But like I said, it's a matter of personal preference.
     
  9. +1 for Pierre's view.
    Try taking a RAW (NEF) picture which is representative of what you normally shoot; load it into View NX2; try the different picture controls; then set your camera to your favorite. Over time you can learn to adjust in camera for different lenses/subjects/lighting.
    Personally I leave my D90 on the neutral picture setting, and then choose the most appropriate picture control in Capture NX2 or View NX2. Of course this only works if you take NEFs. I find I rarely change it, although sometimes vivid is good for very colourful scenes. Otherwise I hate it.
    Chris
     
  10. Pierre
    I use vivid in my D70 when I shoot a Santa Claus thing in a mall. I print pics from the computer using Capture and only adapt the file when absolutely necessary. Other than that, you are correct. Shoot flat, change on the computer.
     
  11. Is it fear or laziness that makes people shy of using RAW? Because I really can't see why RAW isn't the first choice of capture format and Jpeg simply regarded as a quick'n'dirty second best and second rate (which it is).
    The history of the JPEG image format is that it was developed 20 years ago so that reasonable quality full colour images could be dowloaded from the internet using the 14.4Kb/s dial up modems of the time. Well that was then, this is now and both bandwidth and storage capacity have improved dramatically, but we still seem addicted to this dated and nasty image compression method. JPEG files were never, ever, meant to be for high-quality image storage.
    Cory, if you shoot RAW or RAW+Jpeg, then you can change your mind about the colour saturation, White Balance, colour space, sharpness and a whole host of other parameters in post processing, and all without losing any picture quality at all. Here's an example of the extra IQ you can get from RAW versus the Jpeg straight from the camera. BTW, saturation setting for the Jpeg in this instance was Neutral.
    00Z1E0-378253584.jpg
     
  12. The D70 delivered almost 10 bits on a good day. The D7000 delivers 14 bits practically free of read noise. When you shoot JPG at 8 bits, you throw away (plus or minus) 6 bits of good data now instead of maybe 2. The case in favor of working in RAW is that much stronger.
     
  13. " RAW versus the Jpeg straight from the camera" - no question about RAW benefits, but comparing unprocessed JPG to processed RAW file side by side trashes the JPG unnecessarily so.
    You can also try to post process the JPG to the best for color and sharpness, in an equivalent processing amount to the RAW part, and then comparing of those would be more fair.
    Try simple adjustments on JPG left picture, and you could bring it very close to the right picture. Perhaps small picture fragment presented on photo.net would not show much of a difference for the pictures presented, after JPG part was processed properly.
     
  14. In general it's best practice to shoot RAW files and make your processing selections on a calibrated computer monitor. But if you want to experiment with Picture controls on JPEG files for results right out of the camera, here are a few considerations.
    - The default (Standard) mode is adequate for most types of photos and a good starting point for post processing.
    - Avoid the Black and White (or monochrome) setting. It's better to do black and white conversion on a computer from a full-color file so you can decide how much red, green, blue, and yellow to include or exclude from your final conversion.
    - Vivid looks interesting because it boosts contrast and saturation. The boost can have a negative effect on exposure latitude, however. If you are shooting a high-contrast scene (bright highlights and dark shadows), adding more contrast could cause you to exceed the sensor's dynamic range if you are shooting in JPEG mode. (When you hear people complain about red flowers being overexposed, it's usually due to this in-camera contrast boost.)
    - If you are using the Vivid setting in combination with RAW file capture, and if you rely on the camera's histogram for exposure confirmation, the higher contrast of the Vivid setting could lead you to UNDEREXPOSE your images by a stop of more. This won't cause too much grief for low-contrast shots (like green grass on a golf course), but it will cause problems with high-contrast shots.
    - Sharpening and saturation are great for landscapes but horrible for portraits.
     
  15. Well, everyone has different likes and needs. On my D7000 I generally use Vivid, and like what I get. But then, I shoot jpg and I may crop, straighten and sharpen, or lighten shadow areas, but almost never change saturation after shooting. That technique is certainly not for everyone, especially if you like to post process (I don't).
    As with everything else in life, there is a big HOWEVER - the Vivid setting sucks for reds, especially in bright sun. Nice thing about the D7000, it's not that hard to change while you're shooting.
    If you're shooting jpgs, my suggestion would be to experiment and get a feel for just what you like - take a shot at the standard setting, then the same exact shot at vivid, etc. You'll figure it out, and as others have said, just because someone on a website says you must do something, doesn't mean it's true. That applies to what I wrote above as well.
     

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