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Camera Reviews

Nikon D700 Picture Control

J. Ramon Palacios (jrp) on September 6, 2010

Keywords: d700, picture, control, nikon, camera, bodies, product, articles


Having found what almost looked like the WB minus 2 setting on my D2X, I set myself to search for the combination of settings that would exactly match it. One way to achieve it was by playing with the addition of D-Lighting.

I first applied the setting on-camera, and shot all the variations: Auto, High, Normal and Low.

Nikon D700 DSLR - Shooting Menu - Active D-Lighting



After examining each series, in my perception the best one was when D-Lighting was set on Auto for these light conditions and subject.

Then I took the first set of images (shown in the previous page) and applied D-Lighting in Nikon Capture NX2. (Adjust -> Light -> D-Lighting)




SD- STANDARD produces a good balance as the manual says. Brightness, contrast and hue are balanced. It is the Nikon recommended for most situations.

At right with D-Lighting applied with Capture NX2




NL - NEUTRAL does what is expected . It produces subdued brightness, contrast and hue; "natural" by the D700 manual. For me it is crying for heavy duty post-processing intervention.

At right with D-Lighting applied with Capture NX2




VI - VIVID is more to my personal liking. The added contrast under this setting provides the perception of enhanced sharpness over any of the previous two settings, STANDARD and NEUTRAL.

At right with D-Lighting applied at post-processing with Capture NX2




C1 - AAASTANDARD-02 custom setting

At right with D-Lighting applied with Capture NX2

Surprise! This shown above set, post-processed in Capture NX2, matched my perceptions from the set with D-Lighting set at Auto on-camera. And in the process I found out the equivalent to the White Balance minus 2 setting on my D2X! I know I could have just played with White Balance to find it, but then I could have missed these exciting Picture Controls.

Aside from solving a personal puzzle, the real experience was to see how a large number of settings could be combined not only into a Shooting Menu Bank and further diversified with Custom Setting Banks, but also by adding many other variables (like Sharpening, Filter Effects, Toning, etc) via the Manage Picture Control menu.

In other words, never mind the convenience and expediency to produce ready-for-press images, the level of customization is very deep in this camera, allowing for more versatilization that I had experienced before.

Picture Controls can be selected from those preset, existing in the camera; can be modified; new ones can be created and stored; you can shared them with other software (by saving them in the memory card) or you can upload your own ones created outside the camera, in your computer. And of course you can always rename them for improved mnemonic denomination. Maybe we should try those downloadable from Nikon sites, it will likely save us a lot of port-processing time.

Now that my puzzle was solved, the search for the VELVIA look was next.

(2 Votes)
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J. Ramon Palacios J. Ramon Palacios (jrp)

San Pedro Garza García, Mexico
Admin, 34870 posts


kam leung (professorune) on June 23, 2013

Thanks. Very useful. Article shows what the manual doesn't. Still learning how to use the D700 2 & a half years on.

PAVEL KRBEC (krbec) on September 18, 2012

Very nice. Looking forward to read your comments on D-lighting.

Robert S Lappin (tanker179) on June 23, 2012

I'm still learning, thanks. Next I've got to figure out how to up load new technical info from Nikon.

Gary Worrall (glxman) on January 29, 2012

Well jrp, Much appreciated, You have got me out of the comfort zone, I'm now on a mission to create a picture control Regards, Gary

ESAT ULKU (teshup) on July 7, 2011

I can't see any C1-AAASTANDARD-02 setting or something like that on my pitty D700 .((

Zita Margit Kemeny (zkemeny) on April 19, 2011

Nice colors.

Val Timon (valtimon) on January 4, 2011

Apologies I meant my old 75-150 got resurrected

Val Timon (valtimon) on January 4, 2011

Back to Nikon after 24 years away. D700 just arrived. My old 75-75mm got resurrected as 24-70 is awaited. Then I saw C1-AAASTANDARD-02 and my heart went thump. Then I rang my friend with Canon 1DS Mark 3 and suggested he have a look! Many many thanks now I just have to load it- but first a manual to read..many times over.

Jacques Sin (eurostar) on September 8, 2010

thanks for sharing again :)

J. Ramon Palacios (jrp) on September 8, 2010

Cathy, Nice of you to mention you liked it.

J. Ramon Palacios (jrp) on September 8, 2010

Judi, thank you, glad to hear you liked it.

J. Ramon Palacios (jrp) on September 8, 2010

Thank you, Bruce. The D2X comes with two built-in Menu selectable color spaces: sRBG (for web display) and Adobe RGB (for printing). These could be further refined in post-processing when using Nikon Capture (Tool Palette 2 - Advanced Raw) with D2X MODE I, Ia, II, III, IIIa, and B&W. Capture NX got more sophisticated allowing to select many different color spaces (Preferences > Color Management). Capture NX2 now also allows to select many different color spaces (with either Preferences > Color Management or through Adjust > Color Profile), but it also allow for Picture Control refinement with DX2MODE1, DX2MODE2 and DX2MODE3 when the image is made with a camera other than the D2X/D2Xs. One of those modes was likely imported into your camera for demonstration of Picture Control.

Judi Helsing (photochick33) on September 7, 2010

Thank you, thank you, thank you. This was the most useful thing that I have read in a long time. No over the top tech explanation that blows up my brain. Great analogies to films that I used and loved and have been searching for in the digital world. More of the same please!

Bruce Smith (blubdog) on September 7, 2010

Thanks for the great article, Thanks! My D700, which is also running firmware 1.02, did not come with picture control setting "C1-AAASTANDAR-02", but instead has one named "D2XMODE1". I wonder if they are the same?

Cathy Moore (kittin21) on September 7, 2010

great article jrp

J. Ramon Palacios (jrp) on September 7, 2010

Thank you. Very useful and user-friendly feature this Picture Control.

Zita Margit Kemeny (zkemeny) on September 7, 2010

A very clean and clear explanation of 'Picture control' attributes. Thanks!

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