Nikon D200 Review
The Nikon D200 is supplied with Nikon Picture Project 1.6 which also includes Nikon FotoShare. Nikon View is also available for download. Optionally you can also purchase Nikon Capture 4.4 (which includes the tethered shooting application Nikon Capture Camera Control), a 30-day trial version is available for download from the Nikon website. Once again I'll have the standard moan that it's a pity Nikon don't include a more capable RAW conversion utility with their high-end digital SLR (Canon include Digital Photo Professional 2.0 and RAW Image Task 2.2 with the EOS 5D). Remember that the bundled software only allows you to convert a RAW image to a JPEG or TIFF with no RAW adjustments.
The easy-to-use PictureProject application provides straightforward workflow and editing capability. It's really designed for the first time user but in this latest incarnation also has enough advanced features to be sufficient for even the more seasoned digital photographer.
PictureProject can catalog images already on your hard disk as well as those transferred from camera or card. PictureProject provides basic image editing including Brightness, Color, Sharpness and Photo Effects (B&W/Sepia). PictureProject doesn't provide any specific RAW features (such as changing white balance) but can convert a RAW to JPEG.
PictureProject is split into three sections; Organize, Edit and Design.
Once installed you get a tray application which monitors for the connection of a digital camera or insertion of a card in a card reader, this will then launch the PictureProject Transfer application (see below).
The PictureProject Transfer normally runs 'in the background' and is used to transfer images from a connected camera (or card reader), you can choose which collection the images are stored in and if images are removed from the camera after transfer. With thumbnails shown you can select which images are transferred. PictureProject Transfer can also be launched from the main PictureProject application.
Transfer Options provides access to a fairly advanced set of features for organizing your images as they are transferred from the camera / card, these include automatic image rotation, date & time sync, automatically created folders and renaming of image files using a variety of masks.
PictureProject: Organize mode
Organize mode allows you to browse your 'collections' in one of three thumbnail modes; Thumbnail (shown below), Photo and Thumbnail (similar to our galleries) and List (a thumbnail with shooting information). The right hand pane displays information about the selected image, including the basic file details but also extended shooting information and user-defined keywords.
The right hand pane Information can be changed to display a fairly wide range of shooting information including IPTC metadata which can be edited.
Output / Display options
You can select one or more image from the index and use any of the toolbar features such as Print, Mail, Slideshow, Burn, Auto Enhance and Auto Red-eye (shown below).
PictureProject: Edit mode
Double-click on an image in Organize mode to enter Edit mode. In this mode you can apply corrections and adjustments such as rotation, cropping, red-eye reduction and a range of Photo Enhance parameters such as Brightness, Sharpening etc. Note that you can still browse through thumbnails by expanding the 'Thumbnails' section of the right hand pane.
Photo Enhance adjustments
When you make a Photo Enhance adjustment to an image the original file (if it's JPEG) grows by approximately 40% and appears to other applications as a it does in PictureProject (with the adjustment applied). Interestingly you can always restore the image back to its original state (with the 'Reset' option) even if the image has been heavily modified and/or cropped, we assume PictureProject does this by storing some kind of restore data in the JPEG file itself (which is clever).
- Brightness (Auto, -100 to 100, Enhance Dark Tones)
- D-Lighting HS (None, Low, Normal, High)
- Color Booster (Auto, 0 to 100, People / Nature)
- Photo Effects (No Effect, Black and White, Sepia)
- Sharpening (None, Low, Medium, High)
- Straighten (-10° to 10°)
- Auto Enhance (applies 'Auto' Photo Enhance settings)
- Rotation (90° clockwise, 90° counter clockwise, 180°)
- Crop (No constraint, presets)
- Auto Red-eye (reduction)
PictureProject: Design mode
In design mode you can produce a multi-image layout for sharing either by email, CD/DVD or as a print. Various template layouts are available and you can choose to have front / back covers as well as text captions.
Below is an animation of PictureProject's options dialog box.