I have my D700 as a rule set to Neutral Pic control and I only shoot NEF RAW.
Sorry if its a stupid idea but cant quite get my head around the fact that different picture controls set in camera are going to produce different spreads in the histogram on the LCD.
So if I am in Neutral Picture Control and check that the histogram is not up against the right hand edge in camera and then open the RAW in Capture NX2 and decide to change the control at that stage to say Landscape then the histogram will increase in width. So would it be better to set Landscape in camera (despite being able to change the RAW in post)in order to set/judge the exposure for max to the right. Because Neutral produces the narrower band on the LCD?
Does it matter as long as it was properly exposed within the axis in camera when set in Neutral. ie NX2 should provide enough control.
#1. "RE: Picture controls" In response to Reply # 0
Seattle, WA, US
When shooting raw, the data is what the data is. By changing the picture controls, you change the way it is being processed before it gets displayed (or saved to a new file). What the histogram will display is the result after the processing by the software. The amount of space shown by the histogram is the amount of room you have left for the rest of your post processing, in gross broad-sweeping terms.
If you tend to use the "expose to the right" system, and you prefer to process your pictures similarly to the picture controls, you might be better off setting those controls in the camera. That way the JPG shown on the LCD will approximate the raw results after post processing, thus letting you see if your exposure settings will present a problem later.
---------+---------+---------+---------+ Joseph K Seattle, WA, USA
#2. "RE: Picture controls" In response to Reply # 0
The raw file contains a lot more information than can be displayed on the histogram. I believe that using "neutral" in picture control with all sliders set to the lowest value, you get the best approximation to the raw file. I habitually overexpose with the D700 to capture the low noise data to the right. In PP iwth LR4 these data are pulled back by moving the exposure slider to left. This procedure minimizes noise.
#5. "RE: Picture controls" In response to Reply # 0
Neutral applies the lowest possible level of contrast and saturation - even less than standard. So in an image with a large dynamic range, neutral may give you a bit more space to assess adjustments to exposure.
Generally I'm using Standard these days. I have found that higher contrast levels in Vivid and Landscape picture controls are also more likely to generate excessive highlights and shadows.
As the others have indicated, the RAW image data is the same with all of these options. But the embedded JPEG is different, and you do have a great deal of latitude to process a neutral file with minimal contrast or alternative contrast in Capture NX2 or other tools.
In practice, I tend to make adjustments in post processing if I have an image that needs an exception. So I might move from Standard to Neutral and then only apply contrast as needed. I might even make decisions about applying Contrast differently to luminance vs. chromninance channels.