D70 as a P&S camera (Long post)

Started Feb 11, 2005 | Discussions thread
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Charandane Veteran Member • Posts: 3,437
D70 as a P&S camera (Long post)

I’ve had my D70 for the better part of 5 months now and have found that it surpasses my expectations in all but one area.The only disappointing aspect it had was it’s inability to take good usable snapshots that could be printed or e-mailed without having to do a lot of PP. In fact, I found that the underexposed shots,especially indoor shots with flash at the default settings were virtually unusable without doing some PP. Having read many posts over the past months about the level of frustration of a growing number of users, I decided to do some research and try some experimenting using the D70 strictly as a P&S camera. I took well over a hundred shots and will use a few that I believe illustrates my findings.

I started out by trying some custom settings suggested by Kerry Pierce as follows:

In the Optimize Image, Custom Menu:
Sharpness - +1
Tone Comp - +1 Medium High
Color Mode - IIIa (sRGB)
Saturation - Enhanced
Hue - -3

While these produced much improved results, I was still not totally happy with the results, although they were certainly good enough to print or post without doing any PP.

Next, I read a lot about Custom Curves, Nikon Capture, downloading the curves, installing them in the D70 and finally using them by themselves and eventually in conjunction with Kerry’ suggested settings.

The attached photos have no PP, are straight out of the camera, the only thing done to them in Photoshop CS was a “Save for Web” downsizing. All shots were taken in Aperture priority mode at F4.7 or F5.6. The only setting that was changed was the WB and I'll show why later.

This is a typical indoor shot with the built in flash with the D70's "Default" settings:

Now here is the same shot using Kerry's custom settings in conjunction with Photogenic's P&S +3 mode:

This is another night time indoor shot at the "Default" setting:

And this is the same shot with Kerry's custon settings along with the Fotogenic's P&S +5 mode:

This is a daytime shot with fill flash using the same Custom settings along with the P&S +5 mode, ...WB set for flash:

Here is the same shot without Kerry's custom settings but still using the P&S +5 mode...WB set for flash:

Lastly, here's the same shot with Custom settings along with P&S +5...WB set to Auto:

As you can see in the last shot, the Auto WB really puts a green tint to any shots involving the use of flash whether it's fill-flash or full.

This exercise is not claiming to be a tutorial, it was something I decided to do after being unsatisfied when trying to use this fine camera as a P&S camera. I don't claim that these are works of art, let's remember that every one of these shots is straight out of the camera.

My opinion of the D70 as a P&S camera has changed tremendously as a result of this experimentation and I dare say it is as good as my 5700 as a P&S. With the proper tweaking, it may even satisfy shooters who are used to a more vivid output by some other brands of digicams.

In closing, I'll just say that this was not a scientific lab test but a little experiment to see if I could come up with a custom curve that would satisfy me without having to do a lot of PP. I must say that I am satisfied. You may want to try some of these settings before declaring that the D70 is no good in P&S situations. The only thing that I find is critical is to use the proper WB settings beacuse I found the Auto setting unacceptable.

Remember, all these shots are straight from the camera (other than resizing).

I would be very interested in your experiences or thoughts.


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