Seems like every picture I take with the D-100 has the Histogram heavily weighted to the left of dark side. There appears to be almost no information on the right half of the histogram. I have shot both in JPEG and RAW and same thing. Photoshop or Nikon View can cure this, but it means I have to play with every signle shot. Is this my camera only or normal for the D-100??
...depends on what you are shooting and how you are metering. For low key images that have lots of dark areas, a left-weighted histogram is normal. For high-key images, the histogram will lean the other way. For midtoned images, the histogram will max in the middle somewhere. And for contrasty images, you might find the middle of the histogram empty and the left and right sides full. Etc. etc.
So, if your images are indeed not low-key but simply appear to be too dark, you need to add some exposure compensation to push the histogram to the right, if that is the effect you want to achieve. Many D100 posters on this site and others are reporting routinely dialing in +0.7 EV of compensation, but I find this will blow out highlights in the typical shots I make. (I think Nikon may have made the D100 err on the low side of exposure for exactly this reason.) Quite frankly, I have been dialing in -0.3 EV to hold back highlight burnout for much of my shooting, but for some mid-toned shots I can see the need to dial in some + exposure compensation, especially when using matrix metering. This medium is different than film, and I am busy un-learning many ingrained film instincts with the D100.
I have not been compensating, but obviously I need to. The first post on adding +.7 EV is probably right, and thus I need to + on the Flash too. I have not shot any pictures with the 80DX yet as I have it still on order locally. Getting great results from the camera, just a pain having to work every one in photoshop.
I believe Thom's review of the D100 also mentioned the lopsided weighting of the curves. Exposure compensation isn't a good way to fix this. It will retain the same curves, but just shift them to lighten the exposure. This could blow out highlights.
If the highlights are coming in near the end of the histogram you'll want to slide the midpoint using levels in Photoshop - or use curves and adjust the arc for the midtones. If you need to do a consistent adjustment for all your images, just create an action so you can batch-process files.
From Phil's review it looks like flash exposures will require exposure compensation to prevent chronic underexposure. It's hard to excuse Nikon for shipping the camera with this bug.
Wonder if Nikon can or plans to issue a firmware update to cure the balance problem. I have the camera on trial, love its operation better than a D-60 that I had for a week, but the D-60 curves were right on and no photoshop needed for correction. Unless Nikon plans on fixing this problem, I will have a rough decision sticking with the Nikon, even if I like the camera operation itself better.
Bob, I think they did it on purpose to avoid burning the highlights. Anyway, after inspecting several pictures I came up with my own custom curve in NC3 to suit my taste and uploaded it to the camera. That's the beauty of this camera, it has so many settings. I gave it a first try during this weekend and the pictures were right, out of the camera. No need for post processing, just sharpening since I shot with sharpening set to none. Sure I have more problems with highlits in highly contrasty scenes but I should have changed to the less contrast setting in those anyway. The curve also solved the problem with pictures taken with the flash looking a tad underexposed. I just wish I could upload 2 custom curves. If you're interested I can send you the curve so you can try it out. Herbet.
>Wonder if Nikon can or plans to issue a firmware update to >cure the balance problem.