Nikon D300 Photo Techniques

Overview

The Nikon D300 puts a wealth of new features at the fingertips of amateur and professional photographers alike; with three times the battery life and sensor upgrades to keep the shoot moving, no moment is missed. The camera's ability to handle bright highlights and deep, rich shadows makes for more vibrant images. Using the Nikon D300 makes it easier for amateur and professional photographers to produce dynamic, captivating images with just a few simple techniques and settings.

Adaptive Dynamic Range

The Adaptive Dynamic Range, or ADR, changes the sensor's view of highlights and shadows, allowing for more of a color range to be captured. When this option is turned on, the sensor's sensitivity expands the range of color capture, preserving more colors in the image more accurately. Since one of the failings of digital cameras has been the inability to reproduce the greater dynamic capture range of film, Nikon's newest addition has been a great leap forward in digital camera technology. To turn on the ADR, press the menu button. Choose the "shooting menu" option, then select "Active D Lighting." This option is normally set to "OFF"; to turn it on, it should be set to "NORMAL." Continue shooting as normal and enjoy the great dynamic range and preserved, true-to-life colors of your finished prints.

Picture Controls

One of the advantages of the Nikon D300 is the increased ability to handle color processing in the camera. This allows for greater saturation while in the camera, cutting the need for further post processing. This setting used to be known as "Optimize Image"; it is now called "Picture Controls." To turn on Picture Controls, press the Menu button, and select the "Shooting Menu" option. Press the right arrow to enter the shooting menu and scroll down to the option that says "Set Picture Control." This presents you with the options "Standard," "Neutral" or "Vivid". Standard is the default option, Neutral is a lower contrast setting and Vivid creates high contrast. You can then scroll right from your chosen option to set both the saturation and contrast, allowing even finer control over the processing in the camera.

Saving Your Settings

Once you have determined your ideal settings, saving them for future use is the next technique to master on the D300. This allows you to create custom setting options that are easily accessible, and simple to switch back and forth as easily as you change subjects. To save your settings, press Menu, then select the "Shooting Options" menu. Scroll down to "Manage Picture Controls." You will then be able to name and save your custom picture control settings, allowing you to come back to your preferred custom modes later.

Keywords: D300, Nikon, photography

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