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Software

The D80 is supplied with two CD's containing:

  • Nikon PictureProject 1.7 - image transfer, browsing, organization and basic editing. Provides a fairly good range of image management features, can convert RAW to JPEG but lacks RAW specific adjustments such as white balance or digital exposure compensation.
     
  • Nikon FotoShare - Nikon's own online sharing facility for producing web albums and sharing by e-mail.
     
  • Nikon Capture NX (trial) - Nikon's new fully-fledged image management, workflow, editing and RAW conversion application.

RAW conversion

As is normal in our digital SLR reviews I like to compare the supplied RAW conversion software, any optional manufacturer RAW conversion software and some third party RAW converter. In the case of the D80 we had the supplied Nikon PictureProject, the optional Nikon Capture NX and a very early beta of Adobe Camera RAW 3.6.

  • JPEG - Large/Fine, Default settings
  • PP - Nikon PictureProject 1.7
  • NX - Nikon Capture NX 1.0.1
  • ACR - Adobe Camera RAW 3.6 Beta

Color reproduction

Place your mouse over the label below the image to see the color from a GretagMacbeth ColorChecker chart produced using each RAW converter. As you can see there is absolutely no visible difference between JPEG from the camera and a RAW converted by PictureProject or Capture NX, both clearly using the same basic RAW processing engine. Adobe Camera RAW takes a slightly more conservative approach to color response and has a less contrasty tone curve.

Nikon D80 Compare to:  
      
      
      
      
NormalSofterVividMore vivid
PortraitB&WCustom Mode IaCustom Mode II
Custom Mode IIIa

Sharpness and Detail

The differences between JPEG and PictureProject/Capture NX are subtle and are probably down to a slightly different sharpening algorithm utilized by the RAW conversion engine. Probably the sharpest image with the most detail was produced by Adobe Camera RAW, closely followed by PictureProject/Capture NX.

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P
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P
P

N
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A
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Resolution

Here you can more clearly see the difference between in-camera JPEG and converted RAW, with the RAW converted images showing more detail from 2200 to around 2800 LPH, where as the JPEG image runs out of detail at around 2200 LPH.

JPEG from camera Nikon PictureProject (RAW)
Nikon Capture NX (RAW) Adobe Camera RAW 3.6 Beta (RAW)
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