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Thread: In camera WB setting (D7000) + Nikon Capture NX2

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    crisscross's Avatar
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    In camera WB setting (D7000) + Nikon Capture NX2

    At the instigation of a short course tutor, I have recently changed the in-camera WB setting from Auto where I always had it first to 'Daylight' (=5200K) then to 5600K + fine tune + amber & magenta, ie pre-empting & mimicking what I often found myself doing in PP. I am not sure if this helping to record light more correctly or manufacturing idealised light???

    NB this may not make any difference in CS, as ACR ignores half of the .nef content anyway, but using Nikon PP software, every pre-set made on the camera comes through as set when in the 'raw' editing stage of PP and can then be changed as usual or just turned off altogether. In the latter case I am not sure if my setting would over-ride an auto setting or revert to auto.

    Canon DPP has similar adjustments in the raw pane, and imagine similar WB setting can be made on the camera as the said tutor was a canoneer

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    Re: In camera WB setting (D7000) + Nikon Capture NX2

    Quote Originally Posted by crisscross View Post
    At the instigation of a short course tutor, I have recently changed the in-camera WB setting from Auto where I always had it first to 'Daylight' (=5200K) then to 5600K + fine tune + amber & magenta, ie pre-empting & mimicking what I often found myself doing in PP. I am not sure if this helping to record light more correctly or manufacturing idealised light???
    Changing camera WB settings has no effect on the data captured - it's only a "post it note" for the RAW converter.

    NB this may not make any difference in CS, as ACR ignores half of the .nef content anyway
    ACR doesn't ignore ANY image data - only most metadata tags pertaining to picture styles.

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    Re: In camera WB setting (D7000) + Nikon Capture NX2

    ACR doesn't ignore ANY image data - only most metadata tags pertaining to picture styles.
    Yeah, I was a bit confused as to what Chris meant by that. Nikon software picks up on all the settings set in camera even when you are shooting in raw. It was one of the main reasons I stopped using it.

    As for white balance, I'm all for getting it right in-camera (especially for long shoots) but this can always be put right later in software.

    I'm a big fan of the recent improvements to ACR and can't understand why people are still derogatory about it.

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    Re: In camera WB setting (D7000) + Nikon Capture NX2

    Quote Originally Posted by The Blue Boy View Post
    Yeah, I was a bit confused as to what Chris meant by that. Nikon software picks up on all the settings set in camera even when you are shooting in raw. It was one of the main reasons I stopped using it.
    But you can turn it off or adjust it, as you imply yourself in 2nd para:

    Quote Originally Posted by The Blue Boy View Post
    As for white balance, I'm all for getting it right in-camera (especially for long shoots) but this can always be put right later in software.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Blue Boy View Post
    I'm a big fan of the recent improvements to ACR and can't understand why people are still derogatory about it.
    (a) Whatever Colin says, it just doesn't have the adjustments exactly parallel to those in the camera (or didn't in CS4)
    (b) as they didn't have the courtesy to add D7000 (and how many other cameras?) as both Canon and Nikon do free in their software, I have lost interest

    Now to return to the question: Does a pre-set in the camera have any effect over leaving WB at 'auto'? If really not, why bother to include the facility at camera stage when it can be fine-tuned later. In the case of NX2 , much later and still in raw/nef section, even after several saves.

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    Re: In camera WB setting (D7000) + Nikon Capture NX2

    Now to return to the question: Does a pre-set in the camera have any effect over leaving WB at 'auto'?
    Well, yes as it predetermines the kelvin value. The auto mode will adjust this value according to the metering mode.

    If really not, why bother to include the facility at camera stage when it can be fine-tuned later. In the case of NX2 , much later and still in raw/nef section, even after several saves.
    I would imagine there are many answers to that but, to pick just one, would you rather have a technician in a factory/lab determine your creative outlook?

    Personally I think the white balance issue is more relevant to jpeg shooters than to those of us that shoot raw. Sports and wedding photographers spring immediately to mind as they'll shoot hundreds of shots that need to be processed quickly.

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    Re: In camera WB setting (D7000) + Nikon Capture NX2

    Quote Originally Posted by crisscross View Post
    as they didn't have the courtesy to add D7000 (and how many other cameras?) as both Canon and Nikon do free in their software, I have lost interest
    We covered this last time ...

    There's no point (or business justification) in adding support for new cameras to old software when all one has to do is simply convert the files to a standardised RAW format (DNG; which they provide a free converter for) that then allows them to be opened in ANY old version of CS.

    Does a pre-set in the camera have any effect over leaving WB at 'auto'?
    On the RAW data? No - none what-so-ever.

    If really not, why bother to include the facility at camera stage when it can be fine-tuned later.
    Because if WB correction is done to JPEGs then it's destructive, and JPEGs have less safety margin to start with. In terms of RAW shots, it only serves as a starting point for any converter ... nothing more. It's just a "post it note" that says "when you do your white balance, start at (eg)5250 Kelvin, and -14 tint" - it's not applied to the RAW data in any way shape or form.

    In the case of NX2 , much later and still in raw/nef section, even after several saves.
    As is the case with ACR & LR - it's only when you go into Photoshop and start pixel-level editing that you lose this ability (prior to that you can either export/save as a JPEG directly out of ACR / Bridge / LR, or even return to ACR for further adjustments if the file is opened in Photoshop as a smart object (which remains available until one starts pixel-level adjustments (ie "non global adjustments").

    Hope this helps.

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    crisscross's Avatar
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    Re: In camera WB setting (D7000) + Nikon Capture NX2

    Thank you Colin - I like the analogy of 'post-it' notes. To take it a a stage further, what you are saying is that the camera sensor records a package of data termed "the raw data". The camera settings then get added as notes suggesting instructions for PP that are then wrapped up with the raw to make a .nef file that gets transferred from camera to computer.

    One then has the chance of opening the package in (a) software that understands the instructions but allows one to vary them for a specific occasion (b) software that discards the instructions and you start again from scratch.

    It strikes me that Mark is implying that 'the instructions' may be an interference with ones liberty on the one hand, but quite useful for type shoots on the other. Doesn't seem to be a problem really. In fact doing mostly landscape and natural pics and living in an inland area where the light is harsh for about 3/4 of the time, it is therefore useful for me to stick some instructions into the camera to take an 'optimistic' view of the light, as it may not be possible to re-visit in better light for months if ever.

    Then to return to the processing software, I find it useful for my contextual instructions (a bit like an artists notes on the bottom of his sketch pad?) to remain available for the entire life of the image. Capture NX2+ .nef does just that, and including through 'non-global adjustments' and even later when someone says of a colour image "that would make a good mono" etc.

    I think I have an answer to my question! But I can't help proseletysing for the Nikon software that performs the essential task of digital processing costing less in total than the cost of a CS upgrade and does it keeping the file down to about 25MB (from 16mp sensor) with full recall and no need for .tiff or .psd or any other additional files (except a 250kb .jpg for the web)

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    Re: In camera WB setting (D7000) + Nikon Capture NX2

    Quote Originally Posted by crisscross View Post
    Thank you Colin - I like the analogy of 'post-it' notes. To take it a a stage further, what you are saying is that the camera sensor records a package of data termed "the raw data". The camera settings then get added as notes suggesting instructions for PP that are then wrapped up with the raw to make a .nef file that gets transferred from camera to computer.
    Yes - exactly.

    One then has the chance of opening the package in (a) software that understands the instructions but allows one to vary them for a specific occasion (b) software that discards the instructions and you start again from scratch.
    Yes.

    It strikes me that Mark is implying that 'the instructions' may be an interference with ones liberty on the one hand, but quite useful for type shoots on the other. Doesn't seem to be a problem really. In fact doing mostly landscape and natural pics and living in an inland area where the light is harsh for about 3/4 of the time, it is therefore useful for me to stick some instructions into the camera to take an 'optimistic' view of the light, as it may not be possible to re-visit in better light for months if ever.
    It's really up to "artist preference"; personally, I find an approx white-balance useful as an aid to pre-selecting images for further processing (if it's a country mile out then it's not as easy to make selections), but the rest I'd rather "orchestrate" from a clean slate - that way I know that "what's in front of me" is "all that I have to work with"; if a "non-neutral" interpretation had already been (non-destructively) applied then (a) I've have to change it anyway, and (b) I wouldn't necessarily be able to see the true potential of the image, as the (non-destructive) adjustments cut into the "safety margin" (as do manual adjustments I might add, but at least with a neutral image I can make a better guess as to what I have to play with). And if one wanted to emulate a particular look then it's a trivial matter to adjust an image to look like one likes and then save this as a preset (or download other folks presets) for future use.

    Then to return to the processing software, I find it useful for my contextual instructions (a bit like an artists notes on the bottom of his sketch pad?) to remain available for the entire life of the image. Capture NX2+ .nef does just that, and including through 'non-global adjustments' and even later when someone says of a colour image "that would make a good mono" etc.
    ACR and LR are exactly the same; all they're doing is adding their own "post-it notes in the form of XMP data that says "next time this file is opened then set saturation to "X", exposure to "Y", Vibrance to "Z" etc, and "hey presto" you're back where you finished up last time - and you can edit further from there - or save snapshops along the way. When you've finished edit #1 or Edit #101 you simply "hit the button" to export an updated JPEG / TIFF etc.

    I think I have an answer to my question! But I can't help proseletysing for the Nikon software that performs the essential task of digital processing costing less in total than the cost of a CS upgrade and does it keeping the file down to about 25MB (from 16mp sensor) with full recall and no need for .tiff or .psd or any other additional files (except a 250kb .jpg for the web)
    And if that's all you need then great (as I say, LR and ACR do it the same way) (the original RAW data stays untouched at whatever size it came out of the camera) (not withstanding lossless compression) and the JPEGS pop out at whatever size they pop out - but - there's only so much you can do with that type of file structure ... and Photoshop goes way way way way beyond that kind of functionality (not saying you need that kind of functionality - I do, you may not) - but it really like comparing a 4 cylinder car with a V16; the V16 will have a lot more power, but it'll also cost a lot more -- if you need the power you need to expect to pay the price for it -- if you don't need the power then you can save a lot of money. Personally, I like the power (and once one gets over the initial investment, upgrades work out at less than a dollar a day).

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    Re: In camera WB setting (D7000) + Nikon Capture NX2

    A suspected 'sleight of hand' at the beginning. Unless the raw processor has access to the outer wrapping, you have in fact lost your 1st batch of post it notes. Checking in DxO on an image shot with camera setting at 5560K, it turns up with "as shot" at 5300K. I expect it would be the same in all non-Nikon converters. Ditto sharpness setting & a few others.

    In the middle, I don't think it is worth comparing Nikon Capture NX2 with ANY software that (a) needs some arcane library protocol; I store images where I want them on my computer. (full stop). Hence ignoring Lightroom and also ignoring Aperture despite being a mac user for 25 years (b) does not have a clear and permanent record of mask used for all work on only parts of the image. (c) keeps raw conversion open throughout. To keep the peace I will allow the 'smart object' protocol in PS despite its cumbersome and not-quite seamless character.

    At the end I would prefer the comaparison to be between my adequate and versatile 4 cyl Corolla and a historic Landrover with double-declutch gears and towing a trailer full of squillions of filters, brushes, borders and I know not what that are for graphics industry (marketing division) not photography.

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    Re: In camera WB setting (D7000) + Nikon Capture NX2

    Quote Originally Posted by crisscross View Post
    A suspected 'sleight of hand' at the beginning. Unless the raw processor has access to the outer wrapping, you have in fact lost your 1st batch of post it notes. Checking in DxO on an image shot with camera setting at 5560K, it turns up with "as shot" at 5300K. I expect it would be the same in all non-Nikon converters. Ditto sharpness setting & a few others.
    Chris, there is no "outer wrapping" - only the ones and zeros that pop out of the A/D converter, and metadata about that data (the "post it notes") - that's it - all of it.

    In the middle, I don't think it is worth comparing Nikon Capture NX2 with ANY software that (a) needs some arcane library protocol; I store images where I want them on my computer. (full stop). Hence ignoring Lightroom
    ... and LR / ACR users can store their images where they want them on their computers ("full stop") too. If they want to import metadata into a catalog that's fine -- if they want to keep it with the image (where ever they choose to keep it) then that's fine too ... all it takes is 1 click in preferences.

    [IMG]In camera WB setting (D7000) + Nikon Capture NX2[/IMG]

    To keep the peace I will allow the 'smart object' protocol in PS despite its cumbersome and not-quite seamless character.

    At the end I would prefer the comaparison to be between my adequate and versatile 4 cyl Corolla and a historic Landrover with double-declutch gears and towing a trailer full of squillions of filters, brushes, borders and I know not what that are for graphics industry (marketing division) not photography.
    At the end of the day, Photoshop offers a box of sophisticated tools for ANYONE to use for WHATEVER they want to use them for; those who make the investment in learning to use them get the rewards of better images in less time ... it really is that simple. But NX2 doesn't really compete against Photoshop (that's a bit like a bunch of Somalian pirates with RPGs in an inflateable taking on an Aircraft Carrier ... it competes more against ACR (and arguably LR), albeit NX2 has a more "grown up" interface than ACR due to the fact that ACR is just a "pre-processor" for Photoshop (albeit a very powerful one).
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 19th March 2012 at 01:08 PM.

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    Re: In camera WB setting (D7000) + Nikon Capture NX2

    Quote Originally Posted by crisscross View Post
    At the instigation of a short course tutor, I have recently changed the in-camera WB setting from Auto where I always had it first to 'Daylight' (=5200K) then to 5600K + fine tune + amber & magenta, ie pre-empting & mimicking what I often found myself doing in PP. I am not sure if this helping to record light more correctly or manufacturing idealised light???
    Hi Chris,

    I can only see this being of benefit if you shoot under exactly the same lighting all the time; e.g. in a strobe equipped studio perhaps.

    In the great outdoors, I just see there being too much variability of the colour temperature of the light (e.g. throughout the day) for it be useful.

    If you'll forgive me a silly/crude humourous chronological analogy; to me this seems like someone with an analogue quartz watch that keeps bad time deciding it is better to just take the battery out, because, with the hands stopped, it'll definitely be right twice a day. I think that's what you meant by saying "or manufacturing idealised light".

    If you feel Auto WB isn't good enough, surely the better way would be to shoot a custom WB reference for the session - although as times goes on in a long shoot, it must become less accurate. Not to mention the practical issues around shooting it; perhaps not being in the same light as the subject, what angle do you hold it at, facing which way, etc. (most of those are common sense to answer for a skilled/experienced photographer)

    I use ACR (+CS5) and even though I don't use any form of batching, I can pretty quickly set a PP custom WB and use that for all shots in a session - where appropriate - see b) below.

    I guess what works for each of us is very dependent upon;
    a) what we know (including the software package we get on with best)
    b) what we shoot and how 'stable' that is in WB

    Expanding upon b) - I shoot mostly wildlife and expecting to be able to make sense of WB for say, a swan as it transitions from sitting on the water, tracking the take off run through sunlit and shadow areas (trees/buildings), shooting with a backdrop of water, then trees, then sky and then having the sun go behind a cloud, renders standardisation a moot point - I'm probably going to sample on the swan (which, if an adult, is at least white) - if I can get away with what that does to the background. If I were shooting wide angle landscapes, or in studio, things would be far more stable.

    I guess what I am saying is that we're all different and what works for one doesn't for another, but above all else, what conditions you're shooting in may have a far greater effect.

    +++++

    If I'm right; I believe a RAW file also contains the preview jpg and that will be created using the camera's WB as set while shooting, in addition to the meta data tags.

    Where I have occasionally set a fixed WB when shooting say, under tungsten lamps, then forgotten to put it back to Auto WB when I next go out to shoot birds, it certainly does make for some very difficult to assess
    images, even though it is of no permanent consequence when processing the RAW image. hence I'm an Auto man - even if I shoot a WB reference, I'd use it in PP.

    +++++

    However, I'm still learning and will adapt as I learn - so re-reading this in one or two years time may make me cringe with embarrassment

    Cheers,

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    crisscross's Avatar
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    Re: In camera WB setting (D7000) + Nikon Capture NX2

    Thank you Dave & pleased to see your characteristically friendly approach and by the looks a lot of extra experience over the last year or two

    I have actually kept the D7000 with the WB to 5560K+ A1 M1 for 3 or 4 weeks and occasionally doing same shot with auto in addition to back-check. I likewise have the Picture Control set to Neutral with a touch of sharpening. It can be adjusted in seconds eg when I was shooting ice a few weeks back (http://www.pbase.com/crisscross/iceday), I would have put it to say 4900K. Likewise with the U1 & U2 settings, I set U1 with everything as nearly as possible to typical D80 as I had used for 4 years previously (& U2 for bird fly-overs). The D7000 is the same case size as the other Nikon consumer range, but there is a very different beast inside, not that much different from D300s

    I work intuitively from start to finish and though I like to get to the bottom of such technical mysteries as rear their ugly heads, in the end I do return to the intuitive approach with a touch of feed-back from the technical circuit.

    Whatever Colin says no RAW converter except the Nikon ones keeps the additional info as the starting line for PP & for de-setting or re-setting in the rare cases that it has been counter-productive. Even one or two I took of my grandson indoors using the flash assistance didn't need the usual tweaking of colour temp I always had to do with the D80

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    Re: In camera WB setting (D7000) + Nikon Capture NX2

    Quote Originally Posted by crisscross View Post
    Whatever Colin says no RAW converter except the Nikon ones keeps the additional info as the starting line for PP
    Err, if I've ever said that it does Chris, I'd be grateful if you'd point me to it. As I (and one other) have mentioned, I see this as a benefit, not a limitation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    ACR doesn't ignore ANY image data - only most metadata tags pertaining to picture styles.

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