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A3 reading Nikon Picture Controls

1200 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: May 3, 2012 5:00 PM by jay pegg RSS
jay pegg Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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May 2, 2012 3:40 AM

Research on the internet suggests that only Nikon conversion software will read Picture Control settings in Nikons. I had trouble telling the difference between diferent Controls in test shots I did with the d7000. I'm now thinking there probably wasn't if A3 doesn't recognise this facility. Anyway, I'm quite interested in using Picture Controls so would appreciate any help on this. Cheers, jp

  • CalxOddity Level 3 Level 3 (680 points)
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    May 2, 2012 4:11 AM (in response to jay pegg)


       As you have already concluded, Picture Controls (on raw files) are not recognised by Aperture, but the intent of Picture Controls can still be achieved.


    Consider whatPicture Controls do:  they are, in effect, a set of preset instructions attached to the raw file in-camera, and modify the raw file though addition or subtraction of contrast, saturation brightness etc etc (see link below:


    You can (pretty much) replicate these in Aperture through the use of presets.  I recall Rob Boyer some time ago posted either on his website or in this forum his results of attempting to match some of the Picture Control settings with customised Aperture presets, and I think he got very close.


    Is there a particular effect or look that you're after with the Picture Controls?

  • DiploStrat Level 2 Level 2 (345 points)
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    May 2, 2012 6:00 AM (in response to CalxOddity)



    As our Ozzie friend noted, only Capture NX (and perhaps View NX) will automatically note and decode Nikon's in camera settings.


    Adobe releases a line of presets in Lightroom that mimic these effects, but you have to engage/disengage them yourself.


    Aperture has a range of presets which, while not labeled the same as Nikon's, produce most of the same effects.


    As noted, Rob Boyer published the "formula" for creating your own copies - Shoot a RAW+JPEG pair with the different Picture Controls, analyze the JPEG and then adjust the RAW. See his site for various tutorials and videos.


    The bottom line, however, is that there is NO Nikon magic involved - the Picture Control settings are simply variations of saturation/contrast/brightness/sharpening. You can easily make your own.



  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (22,745 points)
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    May 3, 2012 6:01 AM (in response to jay pegg)

    Unless you have an overwhelming reason to be shooting RAW then the simplest solution here is to just shoot JPG.


    If you're happy with the JPG's as they come out of the camera then you have little to gain by shooting RAW.

  • DiploStrat Level 2 Level 2 (345 points)
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    May 3, 2012 2:30 PM (in response to jay pegg)

    I think you are still missing the point - the ONLY advantage to in camera settings is that someone at Canon or Nikon sat down and said something to the effect of, "Photographers routinely make these edits, so I'll build them into the camera." Convenient, but nothing that you can't replicate in Aperture, Lightroom, Photoshop, GIMP, or whatever.


    While I actually dislike the look intensely, I would guess that the effect in the photos you linked is mostly a drop in saturation and maybe a kick up in contrast.


    I agree that it is nice that Nikon offers things like Portrait, Vivid, etc., but one of the reasons I shoot RAW is so that I am NOT locked in as I would be with an out of camera JPEG that had already been de-saturated, sharpened, or whatever.


    Scholars differ on this, but I would suggest that what you really want to do is learn the editing formulae to achieve any effect you want.


    You can't really use Capture NX as an external editor as it is also a RAW developer. If you want to use Capture NX, either:


    -- Run your images through Capture NX first and then import the TIFF into Aperture, or,


    -- Take a look at Catapult:


    Best wishes,



  • DiploStrat Level 2 Level 2 (345 points)
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    May 3, 2012 4:35 PM (in response to jay pegg)

    I presumed that the effect of the photos you intensely dislike the look of (no sitting on the fence here - an admirable trait)


    Only because I tend to shoot NatGeo style and so I want the most "accurate" reproduction possible. Although I am quite happy to use Brightness and Shadows to create faux HDR, etc. Similarly, in most cases, I would prefer to shoot at f8 or above to get everything in focus.


    But one glimpse at my website will show why no one has ever accused me of being artistic.





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