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Nikon's JPG processing / quick RAW prep for auditioning

Started Dec 29, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Nikon's JPG processing / quick RAW prep for auditioning
Dec 29, 2013

I know this question has been asked before, but I haven’t been able to find the answer I’m looking for yet here, or elsewhere on the web.

Basically, I am curious from a learning perspective to find out how Nikon cameras go about processing shots in-camera. I have been trying as an experiment to process some RAWs to get as close as possible, and while I can get most aspects close (contrast / colour hues and saturations), I can’t avoid it looking rather unnatural, or to be consistent across different scenes.

My main eventual goal is to find a way of quickly preparing RAWs for showing people (non-photographers / clients etc) that haven’t yet been properly processed. I always shoot RAW+JPEG (JPG as a backup, and occasionally will use if it looks great off the bat), but only ever import the RAWs into Lightroom…I have thought about bringing in the JPGs too so I can use those for auditioning but would rather not clog up my drive!

Does the Nikon processing algorithm try to ‘read’ the context / subject of a photograph? I.e. can it recognise faces / skin tones and adjust balance intelligently? Or is the process consistent (albeit with the user settings set up on camera) across all frames?

With RAWs unprocessed, I find that the Adobe Standard calibration preset tends to present skin tones with an overly reddish/pinkish hue (the Nikon JPGs by comparison are generally pleasing to my eyes - less saturated, less hue and ‘smoother’). Other calibration profiles (Adobe’s in camera approximations - esp. Camera Standard) are closer and more initially ‘pleasing’, and I am considering using this as an audition template unless I can find a better alternative.

How do you guys go about quickly preparing RAWs to show to clients? Do you have a quick ‘one size fits all’ strategy?


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