The D2X allows you to change image sharpening, tone (contrast) and color hue. It doesn't allow you to directly modify color saturation, the only choice here is to select sRGB Mode I or III (which is more saturated). Both the sharpening and tone settings have 'Auto' modes where the camera selects the best value depending on the scene. According to the manual Auto mode works best with Type G or D lens.
Image parameter adjustments
- Sharpening: Auto, Normal, Low, Medium Low, Medium High, High, None
- Tone: Auto, Normal, Less contrast, More contrast, Custom
- Hue: -9° to +9°
As you can see from the 100% crops shown below the difference between Normal, Low, Medium Low and Medium High are very subtle. You can push sharpening all the way to 'High' without introducing too many sharpening artifacts and you will get a much punchier image straight out of the camera. The None option is available for the purists who don't want their image over-processed and will be doing some kind of sharpening in their workflow.
|Sharpening: Auto||Sharpening: Normal|
|Sharpening: Low||Sharpening: Medium Low|
|Sharpening: Medium High||Sharpening: High|
Tone (contrast) adjustment
Adjusting the tone alters the shape of the 'S curve' (gamma curve) used to map the linear image data captured by the sensor into the correct gamma. A lower contrast setting maintains more of the original data's dynamic range but leads to a flatter looking image. A higher contrast setting stretches the grayscale (dark to light) of the image and could lead to clipping of both shadow detail and highlights.
The hue adjustment setting allows you to make some subtle changes to the hue output of the image, it is useful for compensation of hue shifts caused by certain artificial light. The D2X manual describes Hue adjustment in this way:
The RGB color model used in digital photographs reproduces colors using differing amounts of red, green, and blue light. By mixing two colors of light, a variety of different colors can be produced. For example, red combined with a small amount of green light produces orange. If red and green are mixed in equal amounts, yellow results, while a smaller amount of red produces a yellow green. Mixing different amounts of red and blue light produces colors ranging from a red dish purple through purple to navy, while mixing different amounts of green and blue light produces colors ranging from emerald to turquoise. (Adding a third color of light results in lighter hues; if all three mixed in equal amounts, the results range from white through gray.) When this progression of hues is arranged in a circle, the result is known as a color wheel.