Image settings: Sharpening

The D100 provides four selectable levels of image sharpening as well as the Auto setting. In Auto mode the camera will (somehow) decide how much sharpening to apply to the image (I would assume this is in some way associated with ISO). Otherwise you can choose from Normal, Low, High or None. For my tastes (and those of the early adopters by the noises made in our forums) the Normal setting is too soft and the High setting too harsh, there is no middle ground.

It's interesting to note that in our tests the 'Auto' setting consistently delivered sharper images than the 'Normal' setting.

Settings: Tone: Normal, Color mode: I (sRGB), ISO 200, 50 mm F1.4 D @ F8.0, Large/Fine JPEG

Sharpening: Auto
Sharpening: Normal
Sharpening: Low
Sharpening: High
Sharpening: None

Sharpness of JPEG images from the D100 does appear to be an issue for some owners, and it's fairly clear by shooting RAW that the problem lies with the conservative levels of in-camera sharpening applied to JPEG images. My feel on this is that the 'Normal' sharpening should be slightly harder than it is, and that 'Auto' sharpening should tend towards a harder sharpening level than it currently does. Whether this can be addressed with a firmware update only time will tell.

Image settings: Tone Compensation

Selecting different tone compensation subtly adjusts the S-curve applied to the linear input image to produce the output image in the correct gamma. The default setting of 'Auto' instructs the camera to automatically decide the best tonal balance depending on the light balance of the shot. The Normal, Less and More Contrast settings provide a fixed (and therefore 'known') tonal balance to all images. Additionally you can also program your own Custom tone setting via Nikon Capture 3 (optional).

Settings: Sharpening: Normal, Color mode: I (sRGB), ISO 200, 50 mm F1.4 D @ F8.0, Small/Fine JPEG

Tone: Auto Tone: Normal
Tone: Less Contrast Tone: More Contrast

Image settings: Hue

The Hue setting allows you to make very subtle changes to the color balance of the output image. The manual describes hue as "The RGB color model used in digital photographs reproduces colors using differing amounts of red, green, and blue light. By mixing two colors of light, a variety of different colors can be produced. For example, red combined with a small amount of green light produces orange. If red and green are mixed in equal amounts, yellow results, while a smaller amount of red produces a yellow green. Mixing different amounts of red and blue light produces colors ranging from a reddish purple through purple to navy, while mixing different amounts of green and blue light produces colors ranging from emerald to turquoise. (Adding a third color of light results in lighter hues; if all three mixed in equal amounts, the results range from white through gray.) When this progression of hues is arranged in a circle, the result is known as a color wheel."

A value of 0 is 'neutral' (the default), negative values push the color balance towards purple, positive values push the color balance towards yellow.

Settings: Sharpening: Normal, Color mode: I (sRGB), ISO 200, 50 mm F1.4 D @ F8.0, Small/Fine JPEG

Hue: 9 Hue: 6 Hue: 3
  Hue: 0  
Hue: -3 Hue: -6 Hue: -9