Sharpening (CSM 23)
Through custom setting 23 you can select from four levels of sharpening: None, Low, Normal and High.
|CSM 23-0: Normal|
|CSM 23-1: Low|
|CSM 23-2: High|
|CSM 23-3: None|
At anything above Low the sharpening algorithm has a tendency to introduce sharpening artifacts such as joined pixels, speckle artifacts and white halos around black lines. I steered clear of using too much sharpening by setting CSM 23 to 1 (Low) and (if necessary) sharpened the images later in Photoshop (even this isn't necessary if you shooting for resolutions lower than native - for the web for instance), this procedure produced a far cleaner image.
Tone (CSM 24)
Through custom setting 24 you can select one of 5 custom tone curves: Auto, Normal, Contrast -, Contrast + and Custom. Custom curves can only be programmed through the Nikon Capture application. Each of these settings applies a different "correction curve" to the RAW data before it's turned into a JPEG / TIFF. (In RAW mode the Tone is recorded in the header of the RAW file but image data is not modified).
Majority of pixels level 11 - 229
|CSM 24-0: Auto|
Majority of pixels level 5 - 229
|CSM 24-1: Normal|
Majority of pixels level 5 - 203
|CSM 24-2: Contrast -|
Majority of pixels level 5 - 235
|CSM 24-3: Contrast +|
Generally speaking the Auto setting produced the best results, with the camera selectively choosing (this is an assumption base on observation) either Normal or Contrast - curves. Contrast - is useful if you're going to be post-processing the images as it produces the "flattest" image without clipping the low or high end of the grayscale.
NIKON D1X 5.47 Megapixel SLR Digital Camera (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Nikon D4S 16.2 MP CMOS FX Digital SLR
with Full 1080p HD Video (Body Only)
Nikon D2X DSLR 12.4 MP Camera
Nikon D100 DSLR Camera (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Nikon D3 FX DSLR Camera (Body Only) (OLD MODEL)
Nikon D2Xs Digital SLR Camera
Nikon D2H Pro Digital SLR Camera (Body Only)
Nikon 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR Auto Focus-S DX Nikkor Lens
Nikon D3X 24.5MP FX CMOS Digital SLR
with 3.0-Inch LCD (Body Only) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Nikon D1H 2.7 MP Digital SLR Camera - Black (Body Only)