Image Processing Adjustments (contd.)
The best compromise between image sharpness and reducing artifacts appears to be the 'Low' setting which still manages to maintain detail but doesn't introduce too many harsh sharpening artifacts (such as light halos around dark detail).
Clear Image Mode
The Coolpix 5000 features a special shooting mode called ''Clear Image", it works by taking TWO frames one immediately after the other and combining them in-camera to produce a "better" image. According to Nikon marketing material, "(Clear Image Mode) gives you highly accurate color, low noise, smooth edged and wide dynamic range images at resolutions of 1280 x 960 and below." Well, I'm here to put the brakes on that bit of marketing splurge, Clear Image Mode is just as useless as Progressive Scan mode on the E-20 (and looks shockingly similar too). It pays sometimes not to believe all the hype.
|Normal image mode, shot at 1280 x 960|
|Clear image mode (max 1280 x 960)|
No, I didn't get the two images mixed up, the bottom one is with Clear Image mode enabled. Why on earth did Nikon even include this setting?? (So I could have a dig at it!)
Nikon Accessory Lens comparison
The comparison below was shot on an (unfortunately) typical January day in London. The camera was set on a tripod, aimed at the distant crane with the 3x lens attached and then shots were taken with successive lenses all the way down to fish-eye. White balance, tone etc. were all set to automatic. Sharpening was set to 'Normal'.
* Camera AF appeared to fail in this shot