FYI - D3 & D300 reviewed in

Started Nov 12, 2007 | Discussions thread
Tom Christiansen Senior Member • Posts: 2,239
Impossible requests for exposure: you forgot white balance

Higuma wrote:

MOST important in my mind is that the D300 has a much brighter tone
curve than the D200 by about a full stop I think - - testing will
prove this out but I think that it is a step in the right direction -

  • I almost ALWAYS need to do a curves / levels adjustment on almost

any 200 file... I take this as possibly the greatest improvement in
the D200's evolutionary path for a REAL improvement in IQ because it
gives the D300 files a better place to start with - - regardless of
shooting RAW I want to see a file exposed less than 1/3 of a stop
from a highlight clip...

And just how, pray tell, do you intend to do that in all channels,
no matter the white balance? You can't, you know.

The coëfficients can be quite extreme; eg, between 2400K and 9000K.
And yet a Nikon meter sets the exposure completely without regard
to white balance setting. That way you may do as you please with it
later on.

(You can trivially prove to yourself that it works this way if you
don't realize this yet.)

Now you're talking that you want the camera to bump right up to
less than 1/3 of a stop from clipping, and you expect it to do that
under all possible white balance settings.

How can it do that?

Aren't you asking Nikon to expose in such a way that you will no
longer be able to freely determine the white balance when your NEF
gets demosaïcked by Nikon Capture at some later date? It seems that
you're asking us to surrender a degree of latitude that we've always
enjoyed, without recognizing the price of that loss. Wouldn't it be
better for you to manually overexpose than to have everybody else
forced to do so, no matter whether they want to or not?

Then again, maybe you'd do better with a D40 or a D80; those bodies
tend to have much more zealous exposure meter than on a D70 or D200.
And just look at all the querulous kvetching this behavior elicits there.

On a D200, maybe you'd prefer the postcardy look you can get by
setting the auto-brightness and auto-colorboost controls on Capture
when you render your final TIFFs from your NEFs. This might be
appropriate for certain workflows, but certainly isn't for all of them.

Many photo minilabs are configured to do this sort of thing. Drives some
of us crazy, but average consumers really do need this jacking done to
their photos. I guess the D40/D80 superbright boosts that blow out
highlights are one attempt to satisfy you, and them.

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tom

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