Your "Default" Settings on Nikon D300 for Optimum Quality & Future Format Compatibilty?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by andre_noble|5, Oct 7, 2008.

  1. Hello, Sooner than expected, I just ordered a Nikon D300 body today, with grip. It is my first Digital SLR, being a stout devotee of film. Nevertheless, shooting sports and events cried out for digital, so I got what I felt will be the best bang for buck Nikon digital body as of Oct 2008, the Nikon D300. Question: I have a lot of learning and reading to do about the capture formats. Nevertheless, I would be appreciative if you can give me the best default camera settings in general. My primary concerns are: 1) Optimum image quality capture setting? 2) Optimum universal format setting (I guess that will be Raw, convert later in Photoshop to TIFF)? 3) Best action-tracking autofocus setting? 4) Best setting to get best white balance under various light conditions, ie incandescent and fluorescent? Thanks for any and all input, however small.
     
  2. 1) Different settings for different occasions. I would say ISO AUTO, picture mode STD, D-Lighting OFF, Noise reduction OFF (you should do that on your computer). 2) To start maybe RAW + JPG. You should try Nikon Capture NX2, it will come with your camera (60 days trial). Work on your shots with NX and then save what you need in JPGS otherwise the TIFF files are really large and will eat up your hard disk. As you get better working with your software maybe just RAW will do. 3) Sorry! I don't shoot action. 4) White Balance AUTO. It works really well on a D300. You can just tickle it a bit on NX if you are not happy with the results. Good luck! and enjoy it!
     
  3. Andre, the D300 is a lot of camera. I know the D70 very well and I have now only started to scratch the capabilities of the D300, which I've had for a few months. Since you are coming from film I suggest you take it real slow. It will be a while before you get to "best" and "optimum". However, I agree with Rene' except that I have NR on as I do a bit of long exposures.
     
  4. Buy the Thom Hogan D300 guide and read it rather than your manual. Shoot in RAW and forget about the Jpeg file add on. This is so redundant and eats memory on your CF cards. Battery life is excellant and an upgrade. I have had very little trouble from auto WB setting- much improved over previous cameras but not up to D3. This should not be an issue. I keep my EV value at -.67 for most situations. Good luck!
     
  5. I bought my D300 as my first DSLR in January. There are many options and Chris is correct about Thom Hogan's guide. I have mine set to auto white balance and rarely have to correct it in post. I have the noise reduction set to normal and the active D lighting on, which seems to have been helpful in some slightly back-lit situations. I have rarely used auto-iso but have been experimenting with it lately. I like to shoot in Aperture priority to control my DOF. It is a wonderful camera...congratulations!
     
  6. "Shoot in RAW and forget about the Jpeg file add on. This is so redundant and eats memory on your CF cards" This is not good advice. I assure you that shooting Jpeg is anything but redundant. For scenes where the dynamic range is not that wide, Jpeg straight out of the camera give excellent results. That's not to say that Jpeg is better than RAW. I shoot RAW and Jpeg Normal M. The amount of memory you save shooting just RAW is not worth worrying about. The image below is 4 Jpegs stitched. Perhaps it's a tad over sharpened but it's a very good starting point for me to work to when I eventually use the RAW files.
    00R6Tz-76929584.jpg
     
  7. I should add that I shoot in RAW and don't mind taking time in post processing as I'm not worried with the work flow issues of a professional. But, usually there is very little adjustment necessary(I use Aperture 2.1 on an iMac), and occasionally adjust contrast and exposure. Still, just as with film, it is always best to get it right in the camera, but I'm sure you are aware of that.
     
  8. Another point as I read your questions again. For action, the 51-point autofocus with 3-D tracking works great for flying birds with a bland background. But, when shooting with a confusing background like trees behind a bird or a jumble of players in a game, I use the thumb switch to move to a single point autofocus and keep it on my subject. The following are examples...first one with 51-point focus..
    00R6V0-76937684.jpg
     
  9. Second one with single point focus...
     
  10. Sorry about that, here is the second one with single point focus on the runner...
    00R6Vj-76945684.jpg
     
  11. This is also single point on the runner...
    00R6Vx-76949684.jpg
     
  12. Richard, that is one really nice freeze-action shot of a rare bird. I would be proud to have captured such a shot. Thanks all for your tips.
     
  13. You're welcome! I love the D300 and I'm sure you will, too.
     
  14. All the modern Nikons are complex and very similar in most respects so reading one manual and reference materials will give you a leg up to all other Nikon DSLRs. Read specialised websites like Nikonians, Nikon Cafe for specialised Nikon information. Much better to get a broad range of opinion and tips (Nikonians has a great set of resources like suggested settings, tips, etc.) than just read one self-appointed expert like Thom (no disrespect to him, but many pros have axes to grind). Ken Rockwell for an easy reading light take on each Nikon. Chris did not complete his point that you always get an embedded JPG even shooting RAW (NEF) only, this is the midgy little file that is displayed on your LCD in all its er, splendour. No, I am no jpeg fan (no matter how many get posted in a thread!) - if you care about image quality learn about processing RAW images, and treat miserable tiny 8 bit, uneditable jpgs as what they really are: an output file for size-contrained media (web, screen saver) *after* your processing is done and your image cannot be improved further. Capture NX gets more than its fair share of critics, but is stellar at getting the best from NEFs, much to Adobe's chagrin. Control points, anyone? best, philip.
     
  15. You know, I have been a 'Nikon man' ever since a teen. I am glad their software: Nikon Scan and now Capture NX is good stuff and not just bloat ware. I just ordered Capture NX2 with my New D300. Can't wait.
     
  16. I can't find a D300 book by this author on Amazon. Can anyone post the ISBN or more detailed title please? Thanks, William
     
  17. http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2008/03/thom-hogans-nik.html I just ordered from above. G.P.
     

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