I purchased D800 one and half months back. I recently took it to Fiji in my official travel. It was nice green & blue. After downloading the photos I am disappointed, when I compare with the photos taken on slide film last year. I was using RAW (most probably without any colour balance correction by the camera software). Some of them are in P-mode as I could change it to manual and later it was manual exposure & manual focus. Do I need to set my camera differently to get nice saturation of colour or I need to change the file format.
Another observation, when I shoot aligning the camera vertically, there is a cropping and not taking the full LCD & same after download. Is ther any configuration to change this to remove the crop ?
#1. "RE: Colour Saturation & D800" In response to Reply # 0
Bay Area, US
The fact that the D800 files are less saturated than your slide film is normal, especially if you use RAW, and especially if you happen to use saturated slide film like Velvia 50. The D800 has a lot of dynamic range (more than slide film which we know is difficult to expose in contrast scenes). Nikon had to fit all that extra highlight and shadow data into the RAW file, data which the slide film does not have, with the result that the RAW image by default may not look as punchy.
So this is by intention. The RAW file with all this data now gives you a huge margin to work with, to change the curves, contrast, saturation etc in post processing. You can easily bring it up to the slide look and way beyond. Programs like Lightroom make this quite easy. But if you don't have much experience with this yet, another option is to use JPEG, and choose a picture control like Vivid. Since the D800 has two card slots, a good way to do this is to set the camera to NEF + JPEG, and configure slot 1 for NEF and slot 2 for JPEG. That way you have both - the JPEGs for immediate, good looking results, and the RAW for more intricate work later as you gain practice.
Regarding the vertical (portrait) orientation, there is no way the images are cropped any differently than in landscape orientation. So what you're seeing is probably an illusion. The D800 LCD does NOT have the same aspect ratio as the full size image, so seeing black borders is normal.
#2. "RE: Colour Saturation & D800" In response to Reply # 1 Fri 19-Oct-12 09:43 AM by Hawk Eyes
TomCurious, has given you the best Answer you are going to get IMO.... I would try everything he has Suggested. The only way to get close to what you saw with your eyes, is shooting RAW and post processing. Cameras never capture the real color that we see with our own eyes. But some do it much better than others. With the Raw files from the D800 you can pull more color and detail then ever before in any DSLR ever made. Good luck
#3. "RE: Colour Saturation & D800" In response to Reply # 0
Fort Yukon, US
Tom's answer was exactly right, but a little on the technical side for a simple guy like me. If you're in the same boat, here's how I think of it: RAW files are a lot like film negatives-- they have to be developed in your computer. If you want the vivid colors straight out of your camera, you have to go with Jpegs.
One thing that I don't think Tom mentioned is that your camera's Picture Controls (Vivid, Standard, Landscape, etc.) don't affect your RAW files at all. They only affect Jpeg files. They DO affect what you see when you play back your images on your camera because the camera produces a Jpeg file for you to view, but when you get it on your computer, you'll only see the unprocessed RAW.
Hope that makes sense. You might pick up a copy of "Mastering the D800" by Nikonians' very own Digital Darrell. It's a great book-- well written, well thought out, and it will definitely answer your questions.
#5. "RE: Colour Saturation & D800" In response to Reply # 4
Thanks Tom, David & Hawk Eyes. I would try what you have suggested.
Regarding the book I was curious and was checking in Amazon, but it seems to me similar to the D800 Manual from the menu. Does it contain more detail tips like info like your suggestion to help a digital new bee ?
#6. "RE: Colour Saturation & D800" In response to Reply # 5
Fort Yukon, US
Greetings again, Dibyendu,
Darrell's book is far more helpful than the manual. It's laid out in a much more logical, easier to navigate order than the Nikon manual. It not only tells you what the different buttons and settings on your camera do, but WHEN and WHY you might want to use them (or not use them)-- that is a huge difference between the book and the manual. The book has a section at the end of each chapter called "Recommended Settings" that I believe most folks will find very helpful. Of course, you don't have to follow the recommendations if your preferences differ from the author's, but they're well thought out, and will work well for the majority of D800 users.
#7. "RE: Colour Saturation & D800" In response to Reply # 3
>One thing that I don't think Tom mentioned is that your >camera's Picture Controls (Vivid, Standard, Landscape, etc.) >don't affect your RAW files at all. They only affect Jpeg >files. They DO affect what you see when you play back your >images on your camera because the camera produces a Jpeg file >for you to view, but when you get it on your computer, you'll >only see the unprocessed RAW. > >David C. >Fort Yukon, AK
If you view or edit RAW files in Capture NX2 or View NX2, you will see the results of picture controls. Other software will not show the affects of picture controls because it cannot read the in camera settings. Capture and View NX2 will also allow you to change the picture controls, so if you don't like what you shot with, you can change it later.
Picture controls will make permanent changes to jpegs.
#9. "RE: Colour Saturation & D800" In response to Reply # 7
If you are using Lightroom 4.x, you can apply Adobe's interpretation of the Picture Controls to the representation of your RAW file. In the Develop mode, in the right-hand panel, go down to Camera Calibration, and click on the little arrows to the right of the Profile selector. You'll see the different Picture Controls shown as Camera Vivid, Camera Portrait, Camera Landscape, etc. Choose your preferred interpretation, then fine tune using the other available sliders in Basic, Tone Curve, HSL, etc. Once you have found a combination that you think you might use repeatedly, create a preset using your current settings, and one click will get the same settings applied to any RAW file.