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gpo

UK
8 posts

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gpo Registered since 21st Aug 2010
Sat 21-Aug-10 10:15 PM

I purchased my D5000 a year ago having previously owned a D40.
The camera takes fantastic photos on bright, sunny days in Auto mode. But on dull days, the photos are terrible. They are very drab and lack colour. If I put them in Picasa and auto contrast them, I can see the colour jump out and bring the photos to life.
I have emailed Nikon with this problem a couple of times but they just tell me to use the manual settings and P mode.
But surely, in Auto mode, I should expect reasonable photos and shouldn't have to go through every single dull day one to auto contrast them?
I didn't notice this problem with my D40.
Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.
Gail

blw

Richmond, US
28713 posts

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#1. "RE: D5000 picture quality" | In response to Reply # 0

blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004
Sat 21-Aug-10 10:00 PM

On a dull day, the colors don't pop. "Pop" mostly comes from either high saturation or high contrast, or both - neither of which usually come on dull days with flat lighting.

There's nothing wrong with your camera.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

gpo

UK
8 posts

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#2. "RE: D5000 picture quality" | In response to Reply # 1

gpo Registered since 21st Aug 2010
Sun 22-Aug-10 06:55 AM

>On a dull day, the colors don't pop. "Pop"
>mostly comes from either high saturation or high contrast, or
>both - neither of which usually come on dull days with flat
>lighting.
>
>There's nothing wrong with your camera.


That's a relief. I shall have to start experimenting with Picture Control more to get the results I want.

I went out with with my son to an Arboretum recently who has a Canon 450D and we took the same pictures on the same settings. His results were so much more vibrant than mine. Should this happen? Do different brand cameras produce different results?

Thanks for your help.

Drbee

Naperville, US
5927 posts

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#3. "RE: D5000 picture quality" | In response to Reply # 0

Drbee Silver Member Nikonian since 05th Aug 2004
Sun 22-Aug-10 11:51 AM

Gail,

Could you post an example of your "dull" image. It would be very helpful for discussion purposes.

There are differences between cameras, but the D40 produces excellent images and just what to "tweak" might be answered by the images and what camera settings and lenses were used to take them. The camera setting sounds like "auto" and that's OK, but what lens were you using and whether the "auto" setting called for the use of flash should be able to be determined from the information embedded in your files.

Best Regards,
Roger

gpo

UK
8 posts

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#4. "RE: D5000 picture quality" | In response to Reply # 3

gpo Registered since 21st Aug 2010
Sun 22-Aug-10 12:15 PM

That's very helpful. It's a lovely dull day here. I will nip outside and take some pictures.

gpo

UK
8 posts

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#5. "RE: D5000 picture quality" | In response to Reply # 4

gpo Registered since 21st Aug 2010
Sun 22-Aug-10 12:52 PM

Ok I have some taken a couple of photos. How do I upload them?

Drbee

Naperville, US
5927 posts

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#6. "RE: D5000 picture quality" | In response to Reply # 5

Drbee Silver Member Nikonian since 05th Aug 2004
Sun 22-Aug-10 01:49 PM

Hi,

How do you post an image?

1) move the image to your computer
2) use an editor (maybe Picasa has this function) and resize the image so that the longest side of the image is 800 pixels and the size of the file is less than 150Kb.
3) respond to one of your posts - below the message box you see a box labeled "Attachment"
4) below that is "Click here to choose your attachments"
5) "Click" and locate your reduced image on the computer and follow the upload dialogue.
6) the image will be uploaded to Nikonians and there will be a http link to that image written in your message box. You can add information about how the image was produced in the message box, essentially adding a note about that image.

Hope that helps.

BTW: there is a "free" image editor called irfanview that can help your resize images for posting if you haven't tried that before. I'm not familiar with Picasa, but that may be able to help also. Or if you can store your image on Picasa and post a link to it there for public viewing that may work also. Note that when you put in a HTML reference in the text of your posted message you can just copy the full html string e.g. https://images.nikonians.org/galleries/showphoto.php/photo/127238/size/big/cat/9116 and we should be able to find the image.

Best Regards,
Roger

aolander

Nevis, US
3978 posts

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#7. "RE: D5000 picture quality" | In response to Reply # 2

aolander Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Sep 2006
Sun 22-Aug-10 04:57 PM

A digital camera is almost infinitely adjustable. You can make the images out of your D5000 look the same as your son's 450D by changing the settings that increase contrast, saturation, etc. Not all images require everything to be "maxed out", nor should you want them all to look like that. Your D5000 is set more "conservatively" than the D450 apparently.

Alan

blw

Richmond, US
28713 posts

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#8. "RE: D5000 picture quality" | In response to Reply # 2

blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004
Sun 22-Aug-10 07:03 PM

Stop and think a moment. You said that it's a dull day. You're describing it as dull precisely because... it's drab and doesn't have much color. So what you're capturing with your D5000 is realistic: it's what's there, and that's a good thing.

If the Canon is yielding something that's "more" than realistic, most likely its in-camera settings are turned up. And on a dull day, amping things up may yield what you want. If you leave those settings in place for a bright sunny day, it'll probably be giving you results that are over the top. Similarly, if you then use the high saturation and high contrast settings for, say, portraits, you'll find that your results will be a lot like what used to happen back in film days when we loaded Fuji Velvia for landscapes and then used it for shooting portraits: intense red highlights, blown out highlights and generally unacceptable results. So if you start working with Picture Control, be sure you set it for each of your shooting environments.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

gpo

UK
8 posts

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#9. "RE: D5000 picture quality" | In response to Reply # 6

gpo Registered since 21st Aug 2010
Sun 22-Aug-10 07:07 PM

I have posted links to 2 photos on Picasa. They were taken in my garden today, a dull grey day. My house bricks and wall bricks are much more red in real life and the patio is much lighter and more yellowy/beige.

http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/gailoswald/NikonDullPhotos#5508341540268768082

http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/gailoswald/NikonDullPhotos#5508341577772077442

I used my Nikon D5000 on Auto setting. The lens is my Nikon 18-200mm VR with a UV filter.

Thanks
Gail

Drbee

Naperville, US
5927 posts

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#10. "RE: D5000 picture quality" | In response to Reply # 9

Drbee Silver Member Nikonian since 05th Aug 2004
Sun 22-Aug-10 08:02 PM | edited Sun 22-Aug-10 08:04 PM by Drbee

Gail,

I tweaked these in photoshop just bumping the exposure (e.g. levels) and color vividness (e.g. saturation). If this is what you had in mind, there are a series of menu settings in your camera that should help you go in this direction.

These should be two controls that are easily adjustable from your camera menu so that the corrections are applied in-camera to the jpg files - and you should be able the see somewhat the effect on the LCD screen on the back of the camera. The most accurate way is to take a picture, make an adjustment, retake the same picture and keep on doing this and then check the series of adjustments on the computer. Taking notes as you go, you should be able to arrive at a group of settings that satisfies your photographic eye.

I personally think these are a bit overdone, but Canon output tends to be a bit more saturated at their basic settings. So this is just a starting point and example. Please season to taste.

I'm not a D5000 expert, so you may need to consult your manual or ask some more specific questions if you need more help.

BTW: beautiful little garden. My lobelia is burned up by our summer sun this year in Illinois, USA.

Best Regards,
Roger

Click on image to view larger version



Click on image to view larger version


Attachment#1 (jpg file)
Attachment#2 (jpg file)

Hotswimmer

St. Paul, US
384 posts

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#11. "RE: D5000 picture quality" | In response to Reply # 0

Hotswimmer Silver Member Nikonian since 01st Apr 2008
Sun 22-Aug-10 10:35 PM | edited Sun 22-Aug-10 10:46 PM by Hotswimmer

I shoot a D300 and a D40, so I won't pretend to know your particular camera, but I've noticed that Nikon's automatic white balance doesn't work very well if you're shooting in cloudy weather or shade - it gives a fairly cold, blue image. If you're shooting on a cloudy day, try manually setting your white balance to "cloudy" instead of using Automatic WB, and I think you'll be much more pleased with the result.

Different cameras, but I posted some sample images in a similar thread here: https://www.nikonians.org/forums/dcboard.php?az=set_threaded_mode&forum=149&topic_id=170360&prev_page=show_topic&gid=170360#170376

gpo

UK
8 posts

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#12. "RE: D5000 picture quality" | In response to Reply # 11

gpo Registered since 21st Aug 2010
Mon 23-Aug-10 02:42 PM

Wow! I have adjusted the white balance to cloudy and put Picture Control at Standard/Neutral and it works! Pictures are still natural but colour much more true.
I take it these settings will only work in Programme Mode?
Thank you very very much for your help and input.
Gail

blw

Richmond, US
28713 posts

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#13. "RE: D5000 picture quality" | In response to Reply # 12

blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004
Mon 23-Aug-10 03:34 PM

> I take it these settings will only work in Programme Mode?

No, they work in all exposure modes. Just be aware that the effects aren't applied to RAW files unless you post process with NX2. But if you're shooting JPEG, no problem.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

Hotswimmer

St. Paul, US
384 posts

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#14. "RE: D5000 picture quality" | In response to Reply # 12

Hotswimmer Silver Member Nikonian since 01st Apr 2008
Mon 23-Aug-10 05:35 PM

Gail,

I'm glad that worked for you. Manual white balance settings will be applied in P/S/A/M modes, but I'm not sure about AUTO, SCENE, or all those preset icon modes on the selector knob on top of the camera - you'll need to look at the camera's documentation to verify this. I'm guessing not, though. I never used anything other than P/S/A/M, even on the D40.

The white balance and picture controls are creative settings - there's not necessarily a right or wrong answer - it's what's pleasing to your eye, or what you're trying to achieve artistically. Photography isn't all about Xeroxing reality. You can do some neat things creatively under certain circumstances by using the "wrong" white balance - play with it a little bit. Likewise, using different picture control settings.

STANDARD picture control setting and nailing the white balance is a generally a good, safe starting point, and you can monkey with the saturation level in each picture control setting until you get the color where you want it. Adding a little sharpening (5-6) will give your pictures a little more snap as well, in situations where you want that (generally when you're shooting things, rather than people). As BLW said, if you shoot RAW/NEF and use Capture NX2 software, you have the flexibility to apply or modify these and other camera settings in post-processing, if you're into that sort of fun.

gpo

UK
8 posts

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#15. "RE: D5000 picture quality" | In response to Reply # 14

gpo Registered since 21st Aug 2010
Mon 23-Aug-10 07:10 PM

Thank you very much to everyone for your replies and help with this. I must try to be more creative and to experiment more. I now know I how to get some better photos on dull days.
I am not a very artistic person but I can recognise a good photo when I take one. The tweaking is still a challenge as I always think the original looks best (apart from contrast on a dull day!!!!).
I am working all week but next weekend is a Bank Holiday so I shall make sure I get out and about and get creative!
Gail

G