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View Full Version : Tweaking internal camera settings?


Matt Green
11-05-10, 18:35
I haven't tried yet, but would it be advisable to tweak with my cameras internal settings as regards to sharpness and colour levels ...I'm kinda wary of straying away from the default factory settings!!

Just want to get the best from my Nikon D5000

Matt

Alex1994
11-05-10, 19:00
The time and effort would be better spent working on composition, subject choice and general technique. That would certainly get you far better photographs.

To be honest, this sounds like the car modification debate. If you think you're professional and knowledgeable to do better than a major optics company (one of the most respected camera makers in the world) then go ahead. I don't think that many people have that sort of know-how.

EDIT: Apologies for the sarcasm ;-)

yelvertoft
11-05-10, 19:48
matt, it's all down to personal taste. Give the settings a tweak, see if you prefer them, if so keep the tweaks in place. If you don't prefer them, put the settings back. Of course, if you shoot raw, you can tweak these settings post-capture without having to worry about what the camera is set to.

Matt Green
11-05-10, 19:54
To be honest, this sounds like the car modification debate. If you think you're professional and knowledgeable to do better than a major optics company (one of the most respected camera makers in the world) then go ahead. I don't think that many people have that sort of know-how.

EDIT: Apologies for the sarcasm ;-)

I didn't realize adjusting internal settings required so much 'know-how' ..always thought it would be an extention from setting ISO, exposure and aperture etc as we all have to do...just wondered if the default settings were set to an industry standard and not worth bothering with or a part of 'tuning' ones own camera to taste to get optimal results.

I'm not claiming to be a professional or knowledgeable, just curious!!

Matt

Alex1994
11-05-10, 20:05
What 'internal settings' do you plan on adjusting?

miketoll
11-05-10, 21:29
I think Alex over stated about tweaking, it is a matter of adjusting to personal taste but having said that I leave most of mine on default then make any alterations on the computer where I have real control and can see exactly what I am getting plus it is reversible and none destructive.

yelvertoft
12-05-10, 07:50
I didn't realize adjusting internal settings required so much 'know-how' ..always thought it would be an extention from setting ISO, exposure and aperture etc as we all have to do...just wondered if the default settings were set to an industry standard and not worth bothering with or a part of 'tuning' ones own camera to taste to get optimal results.

I'm not claiming to be a professional or knowledgeable, just curious!!

Matt

Matt, it doesn't require that much know how, it doesn't require any know how at all, just the ability to look at an image and decide if you prefer it one way or another. If the settings were so perfect as Alex implies in their default positions then the manufacturer's would not give you the opportunity to adjust them.

It's all down to how YOU prefer things to look, just because a bunch of marketing people in a big corporation have decided they think the majority of their customers will prefer their pictures to look, does not mean you have to agree with them.

andy153
12-05-10, 08:49
Hi there Matt, the D5000 gives you Picture Control and Active D Lighting - These are settings that will alter your final picture. The Active D Lighting is worth altering depending on your final choice of look. It tries to extend the in camera dynamic range so that highlights don't blow out and shadows retain detail. I tend to set mine on either normal or high, rather than auto. Picture Control gives you four settings - standard, neutral, vivid and monochrome and also the option to install up to 5 custom settings. Mine is always set to vivid on one shooting bank, monochrome on another shooting bank and Nikon D2x Landscape on a third shooting bank. This last one may seem strange but if you go to the Nikon web site you can download some custom picture controls from them - this one replicates the colours and settings of the D2x camera which I used to have and which I found one of the best colour/highlight/shadow balances ever. These are all matters of personal choice and you may set and save your own settings hence the nine picture controls available with your camera. My advice is run some test shots - camera on tripod, a scene or portrait set up and alter the picture control and active D lighting for each shot in order. Then look at them on a split screen and see what you like best, and set up your camera accordingly. Some of the changes will be subtle, some quite marked - they will help you see what to expect from the camera. They are fun to experiment with and I find the Landscape ones are most useful to me. There are also portrait sets as well- read your manual about Active D Lighting and Picture Control - there are also several useful explanations on the net - have Fun :)
If you look at Moose Patterson on the net - he gives a couple of lists of the way his cameras are set up - taking you through the menu one step at a time. There are others who do the same. Google Nikon D5000 menu setting.

Matt Green
12-05-10, 20:34
Many thanks for all of your replies folks!!

I was thinking about experimenting with the sharpness first, then play around with the colour setting in an effort to cut down on post editing. I've seen how horrible over sharpening can effect images so weren't sure if the camera's settings might be better, same or worse!

Hoping to get the chance to play around and experiment over the weekend!

Matt

surfg1mp
13-05-10, 14:24
Hi there Matt, the D5000 gives you Picture Control and Active D Lighting - These are settings that will alter your final picture. The Active D Lighting is worth altering depending on your final choice of look. It tries to extend the in camera dynamic range so that highlights don't blow out and shadows retain detail. I tend to set mine on either normal or high, rather than auto. Picture Control gives you four settings - standard, neutral, vivid and monochrome and also the option to install up to 5 custom settings. Mine is always set to vivid on one shooting bank, monochrome on another shooting bank and Nikon D2x Landscape on a third shooting bank. This last one may seem strange but if you go to the Nikon web site you can download some custom picture controls from them - this one replicates the colours and settings of the D2x camera which I used to have and which I found one of the best colour/highlight/shadow balances ever. These are all matters of personal choice and you may set and save your own settings hence the nine picture controls available with your camera. My advice is run some test shots - camera on tripod, a scene or portrait set up and alter the picture control and active D lighting for each shot in order. Then look at them on a split screen and see what you like best, and set up your camera accordingly. Some of the changes will be subtle, some quite marked - they will help you see what to expect from the camera. They are fun to experiment with and I find the Landscape ones are most useful to me. There are also portrait sets as well- read your manual about Active D Lighting and Picture Control - there are also several useful explanations on the net - have Fun :)
If you look at Moose Patterson on the net - he gives a couple of lists of the way his cameras are set up - taking you through the menu one step at a time. There are others who do the same. Google Nikon D5000 menu setting.

Hi andy

With regards to picture control and active d-lighting.....do these settings apply if you are shooting in RAW?

andy153
13-05-10, 14:48
Hi Lee, yes they do. They are subtle internal adjustments to the way the sensor works in seeing the image - the camera continues to output RAW or JPEG files as normal.