Some tips for maximizing Image Quality for Nikon 1

Started Jan 26, 2014 | Discussions thread
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jonikon Veteran Member • Posts: 5,945
Some tips for maximizing Image Quality for Nikon 1

For those interested, I have some setting tips for getting the best possible image quality from their Nikon 1 cameras. These tips are based on my experience  shooting thousand of photos with the V1 and information gleaned from Thom Hogan's "Complete Guide to the Nikon 1".  You may agree with them or not, but feel free to comment on my suggestions or make post some of your own in this thread.

  1.  Use "Neutral "or "Portrait" Picture control to retain maximum tonal (dynamic) range. Avoid using "Landscape" or "Vivid" which reduce tonal range and color pallet.
  2. Avoid using apertures smaller than f5.6 to avoid diffraction softening of the image. (Use Aperture priority in bright light to avoid small apertures that may inadvertently result from using Shutter Priority).
  3. Turn Noise Reduction (NR) OFF for ISOs of 100-400, as it is applied to ALL ISOs (including RAW files), when turned on and will  unnecessarily soften detail at low ISOs. Turn NR on only at 800 ISO and above.
  4. Set Sharpening to zero and do your sharpening on your computer using ViewNX2, LightRoom, or other software of your choice (I find Picassa does an especially nice job of sharpening with N1 files for some reason) . By doing this you will retain more detail and can avoid sharpening artifacts. This is especially true at high ISOs. 
  5. Use ADL  only in bright high contrast scenes and Turn ADL off  when using ISO's above 400 to avoid excessive image noise or in low contrast scenes to avoid lowering contrast.
  6. Use the lowest  ISO possible to maximize tonal range. 100 ISO has the greatest tonal range, but ISO 200 is not far behind and even 400 ISO is quite good., so don't avoid the slightly higher ISOs when you need them. At high ISO's the dynamic range get smaller rapidly.
  7. Always use a lens hood to avoid flare and increase contrast. I find the 10-30mm lens is especially prone to veiling flare and even the Nikon lens hood is too shallow to avoid it. 
  8. When shooting with the V1, or V2, use the electronic shutter to avoid possible micro-blur caused by the mechanical shutter shock.
  9. Only the sharper N1 lenses with better micro-contrast will make the 1" sensor shine. The 10-30mm lens just doesn't do it, IMO.
  10. If you find your flash photos are underexposed, try using Program mode for your flash photography.d
  11. For the best possible image quality, shoot in RAW mode and process with ViewNX2 or Capture NX.
  12. When shooting JPEGs,  use FINE JPEG only and make adjustments in the Picture controls in the camera to your liking and do as little post processing as possible. The reason for this is that N1 cameras do all their Picture Control adjustments (tone curves, color, noise reduction, sharpening, etc), on the 12 bit data which has been rendered into 16 bit set of pixel data and is only reduced to 8 bit JPEG data afterwards.  What this means is that in-camera JPEGs are processed with much more data resulting in high IQ than will be available in post processing of JPEGs.

Although this is not a complete list of possible tips, I hope some will find these tips result in better images from their N1 cameras. 

Best regards,
- Jon

 jonikon's gear list:jonikon's gear list
Nikon Coolpix A Nikon D7000 Nikon 1 V1 Nikon 1 V2 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR +11 more
Nikon 1 V1 Nikon 1 V2
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