Just like other recent Nikon digital SLRs the D40 features six preset 'Image Optimization' (image parameter) settings. These provide the default mapping for color, tone and sharpness for various image 'looks' or shooting situations. In addition you can use the Custom option to change image sharpening, tone (contrast), color mode, color saturation and color hue. Sharpening, Tone and Saturation all have 'Auto' options where the camera selects the best value depending on other camera settings and scene information. According to the user manual Auto mode works best with Type G or D lens.
Just like the D80 you can not independently select color space, it is instead tied to the color mode, Ia and IIIa being sRGB, II being Adobe RGB. The D40's default color mode is IIIa which delivers higher overall color saturation and but specifically stronger blues and greens for landscape scenes, this in contrast to the D80 which uses mode Ia by default.
Image parameter adjustments
- Image Optimization presets: Normal, Softer, Vivid, More Vivid, Portrait, B&W, Custom
- Custom image optimizations
- Sharpening: Auto, Normal, Low, Medium low, Medium high, High, None
- Tone: Auto, Normal, Less, Medium low, Medium high, More, Custom
- Color mode: Ia (sRGB), II (Adobe RGB), IIIa (sRGB, for landscapes, default)
- Saturation: Auto, Normal, Moderate, Enhanced
- Hue: -9° to +9
Image Optimization presets
Below are samples of our test scene taken in each of the Image Optimization presets, we've also included a 100% crop from each image so you can see the sharpness level of each preset.
The D40 provides a total of six different sharpening settings, from -2 to +2 as well as None. As you can see in this example the Auto setting selected a sharpening level nearest to Normal. We found the default level of sharpening to be more than sufficient, turning up to the Medium High (+1) setting can lead to the visibility of halo artifacts.
|Medium Low (-1)|
|Medium High (+1)|