Nikon D50 Review
The Nikon D50 is supplied with Nikon Picture Project 1.5 which also includes Nikon FotoShare and also a 30-day trial version of Nikon Capture 4.2 (around $99 for the full version). Nikon View is also available for download. We covered Nikon Capture 4.2 in some detail in our recent review of the Nikon D2X, you can read more about it there.
The easy-to-use PictureProject application provides straightforward workflow and editing capability, it's ideally suited to the D50 buyer who is likely to be an upgrader or absolute beginner. PictureProject can catalog images already on your hard disk as well as automatically cataloging images 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, you can choose which collection the images are stored in and if images are removed from the camera after transfer. In Advanced mode you can actually select which images are transferred. PictureProject Transfer can also be started 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.
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