Nikon Capture 4.2.1 Camera Control (optional)
Nikon Capture 4.2.1 Camera Control allows you to control the camera in a tethered fashion from a PC via the supplied USB cable. Once connected the software displays five camera control pages accessed by clicking on the appropriate tab. At the bottom of the window is a representation of the viewfinder LCD status bar which provides a summary of exposure settings as well as the current exposure. Note that the small icon of the camera indicates the camera's orientation.
Below you will find a summary of each of the control pages. When the camera body controls are disabled you can change settings such as metering mode and shooting mode which are otherwise tied to the position of a physical dial.
|Exposure 1: Exposure mode, Shutter speed, Aperture, Compensation, Flash compensation, Flexible program||Exposure 2: Focus area, Metering mode, Flash sync mode, Sensitivity (inc. Auto), White balance (& Fine Tune), Image Comment|
|Storage: Data Format (Image format), JPEG quality, JPEG compression type Image Size, Raw compression, Hi-speed Crop||Mechanical: Shooting mode, No. of continuous shots, Bracketing, AF Area Mode, Focus Mode (from camera), Lens (information), Battery level (information)|
|Image Processing: Sharpening, Tone (Edit curve), Color space, Color Mode, Hue Adjustment, Long exposure NR, High ISO NR|
As you can see you can control every aspect of the camera. In addition to these settings you can also modify custom function settings, this is a helpful feature which provides a more descriptive method of customization than can be achieved on the camera menus.
Other camera settings which can be modified include internal clock, image comment (this could be a copyright note), white balance preset, white balance fine tuning, bracketing and custom tone curves.
User triggered exposures
To actually take a shot you simply click on the 'AF and Shoot' or 'Shoot' buttons on the main window. At this point the camera will take the exposure and the image will be transferred back to the controlling computer (note that images are not stored on the CF card). A quick preview of the image taken is shown in the Status window, you can also display a histogram for the image as well as blinking highlights of overexposed areas of the image. The USB 2.0 interface means that image transfer (to a USB 2.0 compatible computer) are virtually instant.
Live Batch exposures
Camera Control also has a mode called 'Live Batch', in this mode you can shoot with the camera tethered to the computer and have it process each RAW file automatically as it is taken. The idea behind this mode is to allow you to shoot RAW and produce a 'final' image in real time, the NEF file can also be stored as a 'digital negative'.
Time lapse exposures
Lastly is the time lapse feature, here you can configure Camera Control to trigger an exposure at a set interval. Each frame taken will be stored in the preselected image format and the camera will assume the settings selected. You can choose to shoot continuously (until canceled) or for a set number of frames.