After determining the composition and subject, the result is not what you expected. Have you ever had such an experience? If you want an image that is close to your intentions, try Nikon’s Picture Control system.

To create images with Picture Control system, at first, select a Picture Control from the seven options that matches your creative intentions the closest. And then, adjust parameters such as contrast, saturation, clarity*, brightness, hue and sharpening of the selected Picture Control to elaborate your image as you want.

On this page, basic adjustment steps using each parameter within the camera are introduced. If you are new to using Picture Control, you can grasp the basic flow of creating images with it here.
*Only available with the D810 or cameras released after the D810, Picture Control Utility 2, ViewNX 2 and Capture NX-D (as of June 26, 2014).

Step 1: Adjust contrast and saturation which are the basis of image creation.

The best way to create images smoothly is to adjust contrast and saturation at first. If you adjust these two parameters, you can change the look of the image drastically.
After selecting the Picture Control that matches your creative intentions, go to the adjustment display to modify contrast and saturation. Deciding these settings first forms the basis of your image creation. After surely determining the basis, you can adjust other parameters smoothly for the results you want.

Press the menu button or Picture Control button to go to Set Picture Control display.

Modify contrast and saturation on the adjustment display to set the basis of your image creation.

Note: The image above shows a monitor display of the D810. Design of the display may vary, and some items may be unavailable or not displayed, according to the camera.

How does the look of the image change when you adjust the parameters of contrast and saturation?

In this section, sample images created with various parameters of contrast and saturation are introduced. You can see how the appearance of the image changes when you increase or decrease the parameters. Even if the values of the parameters are the same, images will look different depending on the Picture Control selected. Click the tab of each Picture Control to view the difference.

Standard

Neutral

Flat

Portrait

Landscape

Vivid

Step 2: Adjust clarity.

After you set the basis of your image creation by adjusting contrast and saturation, you can adjust clarity*. By setting clarity to the plus side, the image becomes clearer, delivering sharpness and depth to the subject. On the other hand, by setting it to the minus side, a dimmer and more fantastic atmosphere is emphasized.

*If you change clarity in live view shooting, the selected value will be applied to the image but cannot be seen on the live view display.

>More about clarity

Step 3: Adjust sharpening, brightness and hue (coloration) as necessary.

General image creation is performed by adjusting contrast, saturation and clarity. Change the other parameters of sharpening, brightness, hue (coloration) as necessary.

Further elaboration ― RAW processing with Capture NX-D

You can adjust Picture Control after shooting freely using Capture NX-D
If you use Nikon’s RAW processing software Capture NX-D (can be downloaded from Nikon’s website free of charge), you can create your image more flexibly utilizing RAW images (NEF/NRW).

NEF/NRW (RAW image file) is one of the file formats used by digital cameras to record images. When recording images in JPEG and other similar formats, the camera automatically processes the images to create an image that is ready to view on a PC or other devices; in contrast, RAW images are “raw”, completely untouched data that require further processing to become true images. To make them true photographs, it requires RAW processing within a camera or processing with RAW processing software. The advantages of developing RAW files are that it is possible to change white balance and exposure, and adjust the tone curve*1, after shooting, while allowing extensive image editing without concerns about degrading image quality.

RAW processing with Capture NX-D realizes setting or adjustment of images after shooting, that are usually made before or while you shoot with a camera. Also, the Picture Control you select with a camera can be changed and adjusted later on. With Capture NX-D, you can apply the latest Picture Control to RAW images (NEF files only*2) no matter which camera you use. Even if you use a Nikon digital SLR camera that does not employ Flat or clarity, Capture NX-D enables you to create images utilizing them.

*1
A tool that enables adjustment of brightness and colors. The image changes when the curve is adjusted, allowing visual confirmation while making adjustments to achieve flexible and intuitive adjustments.

*2
Excluding NEF files shot with the following models; COOLPIX 8800, 8700, 8400, 5700, 5400 and 5000.

> Capture NX-D