Here are some sample images from my D100 using the AF-S 28-70mm f/2.8 lens.
Camera settings were ISO 200, auto white balance, auto tone compensation, Adobe RGB, no sharpening.
All images were saved as compressed NEFs. The files were opened in Photoshop using the Nikon View NEF plugin and converted to sRGB: no other processing beyond resizing, cropping and sharpening as described was performed.
I've done three variations of each shot: the first is the full frame resized down, the second is a pixel level crop from the original and the third has been sharpened in Photoshop (USM, amount=128%, radius=1.1 pixels, threshold=1)
70mm, f/8, 1/250 sec.
This is a pixel level unsharpened crop of the raw data: the softness is typical of an unsharpened NEF - I've included an example from the D1 below.
After sharpening in Photoshop.
70mm, f/7.1, 1/180 sec.
Pixel level crop.
52mm, f/16, 1/160 sec.
Pixel level crop.
For comparison here's a pixel level crop from an equivalent D1 image taken using the same lens (but not at the same time). For those unfamiliar with RAW mode, the softness apparent in these images is typical: the JPEGs produced by most digital cameras are sharpened.
My first impressions of the D100 are very favourable, but I have noticed that the camera seems to blow out highlights more readily than the D1: if I get even a small peak at the white end of the histogram then detail will be lost.
More pictures when I get a bit more than the five minutes of sunshine that saw me frantically running round the garden looking for some flowers that were catching the light!
#1. "RE: D100 sample images" | In response to Reply # 0spacer Basic MemberFri 05-Jul-02 09:05 PM
Congratulations, now that you are one of the first Nikonians having a D100 be assured you will 'have' to spend more time with answering all questions than you will have time for testing
I'm still torn between the D100 and the S2. With the recent D100 test shots getting closer to the image quality of the S2 and considering the redesigned body of the D100 I'm leaning towards the D100.
So far, I wasn't happy with the greens in the pictures available on the net. Your 'cow-pic' shows the first greens I like, nice saturated colors. One concern with this example: even after sharpening, the pixel crop appears to be kind of soft.
Although it is not Christmas time yet, here is my 'wish list' (hope you don't mind):
-The S2 seems to have excellent whites. I saw a lot of wedding shots. Maybe you could provide us with a sample of picture including a white wall or t-shirt. The cows' fur has more of a dirty white appearance.
-I'm longing for long exposure (several minutes) samples.
-Several sources on the net state the D100 tends to underexposure. What's your take on this?
-How is the AF speed?
-Is it correct that the D100 provides a switch for NTSC / PAL, unlike the S2 which has either NTSC or PAL?
Thanks in advance!
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#5. "RE: D100 sample images" | In response to Reply # 1Sat 06-Jul-02 05:55 PM
I'll try and do more sample pics as and when I can. I can't do long exposures at the moment since I don't have any sort of remote release.
On the other points:
Tendency to underexposure - I've had a number of pictures that have looked dark but they've always been where I've had a bright overcast sky in the shot. The issue seems to be more with the way the camera spreads the dynamic range of the shot: it's giving as wide a range as possible but this can overly darken the less bright areas. Setting the tone compensation to 'less contrast' gives much better results.
AF speed - I'm using the AF-S 28-70mm f/2.8 which is very quick. The only difference I've noticed in comparison to my D1 is that the D100 doesn't lock on quite as readily in dubious situations. I haven't tried continuous mode on moving subjects yet, but perhaps I should go out and scare the local motorcycle fast boys club.
NTSC / PAL - yes, you can select either from the setup menu.
#2. "RE: D100 sample images" | In response to Reply # 0
Thank you for your pics and comments, Alan. I just got myself a D100 as well and I'm learning the ropes. I shoot Large files in Fine JPEG, mostly with fixed Nikon AF-D lenses and work with a Macintosh and PS 6. I have acouple of questions for you, if you don't mind:
1) - Do you sometimes get a kind of bluish haze, especially shooting towards (but not straight ahead) an early morning or late afternoon sun? Would you guess this is flare or the UV through very humid air (it's been very hot and humid in Montreal lately)?
2) - Is there a real advantage in shooting in NEF? If there is, I will have to go out with my digital wallet, because I only have one 256 and one 160 megs cards.
And, oh yes, what is a "pixel level crop""
Thank you and happy shooting.
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#6. "RE: D100 sample images" | In response to Reply # 2Sat 06-Jul-02 06:19 PM
Bluish haze - no early morning or late afternoon sun here, I'm afraid: I've had about 5 minutes of sunshine since I got the camera... Joking aside, I have noticed something of this nature in one or two shots. I'd had it down to the auto white balance being incorrect since the rest of the shot also looked 'cold' - is that the case for you, too?
NEFs - shooting NEFs gives you access to the full 12-bit dynamic range of the CCD and means you don't loose any detail to JPEG compression - you get the best possible quality the camera is capable of. That said, it's only worthwhile if you're using an image editor (such as Photoshop) that can handle 16-bit data.
All I meant by the term 'pixel level crop' is that you're seeing a full size crop from the original image - pixel-for-pixel, without any resizing.
#8. "RE: D100 sample images" | In response to Reply # 6Sat 06-Jul-02 11:53 PM
No, it's not that the shot looks cold. It's like everything seems to have the right color balance and all that but there is some kind of very light blue "smoke" (hence a "haze"), the kind you'd get in altitude, I guess, without a proper UV filter.
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#3. "RE: D100 sample images" | In response to Reply # 0
I've seen about two dozen sample images from the D100 from various people, and they all seem, well, to say frankly, just blah!... the constrast seems to be just not there... the color saturation looks bad... is it the users or the camera? Here I am debating whether to blow two grand for a digital camera or a Bronica or Mamiya with a lens for two grand... and I was hoping the digital might compete with the medium format, but so far, the sample images look very discouraging.
#4. "RE: D100 sample images" | In response to Reply # 3Sat 06-Jul-02 05:53 PM
May I suggest you go check some samples at:
Also, check Alan's posts above. They don't seem to lack either saturation or contrast.
I think that digital photography takes some knowledge and effort to achieve good results, and the higher end the camera the more so. It's like wet printing, somehow. You wouldn't expect a good print without some work on your part. Digital photo needs tweaking and fixing in an imaging program of some kind. But first you have to match color mode to your computer environment, choose ISO wisely, WB, tones and sharpness and image quality and size and so on...
So my first guess would be the users...
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#7. "RE: D100 sample images" | In response to Reply # 3Sat 06-Jul-02 06:44 PM
I guess the first question would have to be whether you've seen results from any digital camera that you deem satisfactory.
Certainly the D100 is not going to compete with a medium format camera in terms of print sizes: you'd probably be OK at A3 but anything beyond that would start to look soft.
In terms of the results that have been posted so far, I'd say you're not seeing the absolute best the camera is capable of as most samples will be camera produced JPEGs. The images I posted above are NEFs but are unprocessed other than as noted: I made no attempt to adjust the tonal range or colours and I didn't optimise the sharpening for the particular images - all things I'd normally do. I'm also not particularly satisfied with the Nikon View NEF plug-in: it's obviously basing much of its processing (e.g. the tone compensation) on the camera settings whereas I'd want full control to get the best results.
But having said all that, the difference between manually processed NEF files and camera produced JPEGs shouldn't be radical: the camera seems capable of doing a good job the vast majority of the time.
#9. "RE: D100 sample images" | In response to Reply # 7Wed 10-Jul-02 04:15 AM
Thanks for sharing your early impresions of the D100 with us. I am on the waiting list in my town for a D100 body, but I must say I am getting cold feet on the purchase. What I have seen both here and on other boards, largely out of Europe, indicate the D100 may have a problem with sharpness. In fact, so far, and I admit what I have seen so far is not the best the camera can do I hope, the images I get with my Coolpix 990 are sharper than what I have seen.
Maybe some others have heard about this perceived problem. Any ideas?
#10. "RE: D100 sample images" | In response to Reply # 9
I've been getting the same sentiment from looking at the first rush of pictures taken with the D100 posted on this board and many other boards. I don't think it's the problem with the D100. Not to start a flame war, but it's just lot of bad photographers. But the link to the following images give me a great hope for the D100. I think the photographer's name is Xavier.
#11. "RE: D100 sample images" | In response to Reply # 10Newsphotog Basic MemberWed 10-Jul-02 11:34 AM
This latest batch of photos certainly is a better indication of the capabilities of this camera. But, not so fast as to question the abilities of the photographer, could the folks that have posted or have seen a softness in thier photos respond and give us your perspective of the differences in the pictures we've all seen over the past few days?
I know that Nikon would certainly not release a camera that will only allow photos to be produced that require sharpening EVERYTIME! As astonishing it may be. But stranger things have been carried out by Nikon.
There has to be more to it.
#13. "RE: D100 sample images" | In response to Reply # 11DaveDosch Basic MemberWed 10-Jul-02 04:43 PM
Here's a repost of a message that I posted in responce to this issue...
That "softness problem" is that people expect to be able to look at the pixel level and see the same sharpness as they see in a 4x6 in. or even 8x10 in. blowup. Instead they are looking at the resolution equivelant to blowing up a photo to 45x30 in. and seeing all the fine focus resolution of the lens and artifacts from examining the detail of a lossy compression from the ~18Megs of RAW data to a ~1.5M JPEG (Large Normal JPEG that is the default on the D100). There's several ways around this: shoot in RAW/TIFF, shoot in Fine mode, or understand and live with the fact that the finest details will get smoothed out by the JPEG compression algorythm.
Attached are a photo of a sunflower that I took with the D100 and my 50mm and a cropped image of the fine detail. (The origonal was shot in Large Normal no sharpening and was compressed to 600x400 with no enhancment. The crop also has no sharpening or enhancement.)
Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but bubbles.
Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but bubbles.
#12. "RE: D100 sample images" | In response to Reply # 0
#17. "RE: D100 sample images" | In response to Reply # 12Wed 10-Jul-02 07:21 PM
You just need to keep the file size below 70Kb by suitably adjusting the JPEG compression when you save. It's also a good idea to keep the dimensions of the image below 600x400 so it'll fit the majority of screens.
#16. "RE: D100 sample images" | In response to Reply # 9
You might like to take a look at the results that wildlife photographer Uwe Steinmueller is getting from his D100, and how he rates it in comparison to his D1x. Also take a look at how the PJ's on Rob Galbraith\'s forums are rating the camera.
I'm guessing that one of the 'other boards' you mention is DPReview? What seems to be happening there is that people who have previously owned cameras such as the Sony F707 (which sharpen images very aggressively) are taking their first shots with the D100 using the default settings (auto everything) and comparing the results....
From my personal point of view the jury is still out since it's been raining ever since I got the camera (well, near enough ). From what I've seen so far, working in RAW mode, I'd say I'm probably sharpening things rather more than I would with the D1, although not to an excessive degree.
I'd say the D100 is far more akin to the D1/x/h than to the 'prosumer' cameras in the approach it takes to processing images so it's going to take some experimentation to get the best out of it. I still remember my impression of my first D1 shots - I thought I'd made an extremely expensive mistake but once I'd had time to get used to the camera I was (and remain) very pleased with it, and I've had some excellent photos out of it.
#21. "RE: D100 sample images" | In response to Reply # 16Sat 13-Jul-02 02:42 PM
Thank you ,Alan, for the thoughtful reply. You are correct. I was reading the posts on the British board dpreview and , as you know, all the posts were not confidence inspiring. Had it not been for the recent " mistakes" Nikon has made with the coolpix 5000 and, I am told, with other models, too, I would not have been very concerned. But it appears Nikon is locked in a life and death struggle with Kwanon for market share in this new digital market. ( I might say Olympus has made some headway with pros I know with their E10 and 20 models, too). And I know that market share, once lost, is very hard to regain. Some people in the business I know and respect think Nikon may be rushing too many products to market prematurely. I doubt that the D100 is one of those products.
Since I am 35th on the list at my store, I think I am going to have plenty of time to "do research"
Thanks, too, for the other links. I am on my way over there now.
#22. "RE: D100 sample images" | In response to Reply # 16
#23. "RE: D100 sample images" | In response to Reply # 22Sat 13-Jul-02 03:26 PM
I think Thom has hit the nail on the head with his comments on the softness issue being down to an aggressive anti-aliasing filter. One thing I've not found in any of my own D100 photos - or in any I've seen on the web - is evidence of aliasing, and I'm willing to put up with things being perhaps slightly softer than the D1 in exchange because when aliasing does show up as colour fringing in fine detail it's all but impossible to get rid of.
The other thing we all need to remember is that when you're looking at a 3008x2000 D100 photo at full resolution on a 72ppi computer monitor you're effectively looking at a 42" x 28" image: now, how sharp would you expect a 35mm print to be at that sort of size?
#18. "RE: D100 sample images" | In response to Reply # 0
Man, you must be awfully bored of that new toy. Hmm, I got 65 cents here on the table. Telly ya what, I'll let you have the change in exchange for that awfully boring toy you got there hhehehehe
Aaron J. Heiner
Team Coast Guard Photographer
US Department of Homeland Security
#19. "RE: D100 sample images" | In response to Reply # 18Fri 12-Jul-02 06:01 PM
You're most kind to offer me your life's savings in exchange for my new toy. However I must insist that you present your great wealth in person and, since I can't risk you spending any of it, I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to walk here.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention there's the small matter of the Atlantic Ocean in the way so you might get a little wet - and you'd better start practicing holding your breath....
#25. "RE: D100 sample images" | In response to Reply # 19BJNicholls Charter MemberMon 15-Jul-02 04:02 PM
Alan, I'd personally prefer to use raw files and sharpen to the intended output for best results. For those who want autopilot images, have you tried the "high" sharpening value for science?
Thanks for the informative comparison images!
#26. "RE: D100 sample images" | In response to Reply # 25Tue 16-Jul-02 06:57 PM
I've not tried high sharpening. I did some initial tests using JPEG mode just to check there weren't any funnies a la D1 but then I stopped using it and went over to uncompressed NEFs.
I really don't like having the camera produce the finished JPEGs - to me it's like being given prints but no negatives when I know I'll be able to do a better job 'developing' them myself in the future.