Image Size / File Quality Options

The D2H allows you to select image size and quality separately, it provides two different image size output options, 2464 x 1632 (4.0 million pixels) and 1840 x 1224 (2.3 million pixels). These can be selected in combination with TIFF, JPEG Fine, JPEG Normal or JPEG Basic. Additionally of course there is RAW mode, either uncompressed or compressed. Thankfully there now appears to be no performance overhead using the compressed mode which delivers .NEF files mostly under 4 MB (depending on content). You can also shoot RAW+JPEG at the same time, any size / quality of JPEG in combination.

Lighting note: Because of the poor weather (dull and very low light levels) in London at this time of year we decided to use our Studio Strobe to light the scene, normally we use daylight.

Standard Test Scene

To give an impression of what some of the combinations of image size and quality produce the table below is a cross reference of some of them:

  • 2464 x 1632 RAW (to TIFF using Nikon Capture 4)
  • 2464 x 1632 TIFF (RGB)
  • 2464 x 1632 JPEG Large / Fine
  • 2464 x 1632 JPEG Large / Normal
  • 2464 x 1632 JPEG Large / Basic
  • 1840 x 1224 JPEG Medium / Fine

Crops below are of the same 240 x 100 area of each image nearest neighbour magnified 200%. Note that due to a bug we discovered in Nikon Capture 4 we had to set sharpening to 'Low' when performing the RAW conversion to get as close to the sharpness of camera JPEG as possible. For more detail see the RAW comparison of the Photographic Tests section in this review.

Settings: Sharpening: Auto, Tone: Normal, sRGB (I), ISO 200, 28-70 mm F2.8 @ 60 mm, F13 (Studio Strobe)

2464 x 1632
3,357 KB Compressed .NEF, VGA crop - 661 KB .TIF
11,868 KB .TIF (not available for download), VGA crop - 927 KB .TIF

1,831 KB

918 KB

495 KB

1840 x 1224

1,110 KB

Visually there is no difference between TIFF and JPEG Fine, which doesn't appear to exhibit any artifacts at all. However there is a noticeable difference between the in-camera image processing engine and that used by Nikon Capture 4 (default settings), the RAW converted image looks considerably different in both tone and sharpness (as well as sharpening artifacts).

Drop down to JPEG Normal or Basic modes and 'mosquito' JPEG artifacts become visible around the edge of fine detail (such as the numbers on the watch face).

Color modes

The D2H provides three color modes, Mode I and III are both mapped to the sRGB color space and so images shot in these modes will look correct immediately and can be used as is. Mode III has been designed for use for nature and landscape shots, it provides richer greens and a more natural balance of other colors.

Mode II is mapped to the Adobe RGB color space, this provides for a wider color gamut but will require conversion to sRGB for computer monitor output. Many professional photographers and publications have standardized on Adobe RGB, this ability is now expected of almost all digital SLR's. Thankfully Nikon listened to my complaints and those of others and now embed images shot in this mode with the 'Nikon Adobe RGB' color profile, this means that color space aware applications such as Adobe Photoshop immediately recognize and apply the correct color profile.

GretagMacBeth ColorChecker samples

Place your mouse over the labels below the image to see a ColorChecker chart taken in each color mode.

Settings: Sharpening: Auto, Tone: Normal, ISO 200, 50 mm F1.4 D

I (sRGB) II (Adobe RGB)* III (sRGB)

* Note that the Adobe RGB image has been converted to the sRGB color space for correct display in your web browser. Below are two studio shots taken as both sRGB and Adobe RGB.

Studio shot samples

Note that in these samples the Adobe RGB image has NOT been converted to sRGB and so to view it correctly you will have to load it into a color space aware photo application and assign the Adobe RGB color space. Below each sample is that image's CIE u'v' Color Distribution chart; larger gray triangle approximately represents the range of color which the human eye can resolve, the inner triangle the available gamut in each color space (sRGB or Adobe RGB).

Settings: ISO 200, 28-70 mm F2.8 AF-S D @ 70 mm, F14 (Studio Strobe), Medium / Fine

I (sRGB) II (Adobe RGB) III (sRGB)