Image parameters (contd.)
Adjusting the tone alters the shape of the 'S 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. I'm very pleased to see Nikon providing a wider range of adjustment (seven levels in total) however the latitude of change is smaller than I would have expected, we would expect -3 to provide very flat images and +3 very contrasty.
New and unique is the Brightness adjustment which makes a subtle linear brightness adjustment to the image, essentially shifting the 'black point' slightly from the default, it may have been more useful if it had more latitude of adjustment than just -1 or +1.
Saturation (color) adjustment
Saturation adjustment allows you to control the strength of color in the final image. Compared to previous Nikon digital SLRs the range of saturation adjustment on the D300 is considerably larger (Kudos for that) but I would perhaps have liked even less saturation at the -3 end of the scale.
Hue (color) adjustment
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, a negative setting makes color appear more blue-ish, a positive setting makes color appear more yellow-ish.
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