Image Processing Adjustments
The Coolpix 4500 provides control over three different parameters associated with the cameras internal 'post-shot' image processing algorithms. These are Tone (labelled 'Image Adjustment'), Saturation (Colour) and Sharpening. Each of these three parameters can be set independently to best suit your preferred 'look' or the type of shot.
Image Adjustment (Tone)
|More Contrast||Less Contrast|
In this example the Auto setting seemed to choose the Normal tone curve, as we'd expect 'More Contrast' does just that and produces a much punchier higher contrast image. What's odd (and what we've seen in previous Coolpix digital cameras) is the appearance of a 'Less Contrast' image which not seems to not only reduce the image contrast but also its brightness. I think Nikon should really rename 'Image Adjustment' to 'Tone' or 'Contrast' and correct the 'Less Contrast' option.
Saturation Control (Color)
We first saw a color saturation control on the Coolpix 995. On the 4500 you now have two levels of adjustment above and below 'Normal'. Saturation control allows you to set the "intensity" of colour (its vividness) to suit your personal tastes or final image destination. Also new to the 4500 is the Sepia option.
|Maximum (+2)||Enhanced (+1)|
|Normal (0)||Moderate (-1)||Minimum (-2)|
|Black & White||Sepia|
The Maximum (+2) setting allows you to reproduce that vivid (and sometimes overpowering) 'Sony look' to colour, the Enhanced (+1) setting is useful for landscape shots under difficult light which may otherwise appear dull. The Moderate and Minimum settings may be useful if you do a lot of post-processing and prefer to protect the gamut of your input image.
The Coolpix 4500 provides four selectable sharpening levels as well as the 'Auto' setting which will analyse image detail and automatically choose the most appropriate level of sharpening.
The Coolpix 4500 has a new perspective control feature which is available in play mode. This feature allows you to correct the vertical perspective of an image by either stretching the top or bottom of an image. This could be used to straighten the walls of a building taken from below or above. The function is operated by first entering perspective control mode then pressing the up arrow to stretch the top of the image or the down arrow to stretch the bottom of the image.
For a 2272 x 1704 FINE JPEG the processing of an image takes approximately 36 seconds. Unfortunately the results aren't particularly good, the image is processed in 22 pixel vertical strips and there's no anti-aliasing applied between these strips which leads to jagged 'breaks' (see crops below). My advice would be to use a third party tool to perform perspective correction on your computer.
|Original image||Perspective corrected image
(Bottom of image stretched)