Camera settings for the best Jpeg pictures SOC?

Joined
Jun 27, 2013
Messages
67
Location
Toronto
Hi guys,
Just looking for some advice on what's the best jpeg settings for my
Nikon D700.

I'm doing some birthdays here and there, and some of the clients are asking for pictures on the spot. So what I've been doing is bringing my laptop along and converting my RAWs to jpeg with lightroom with minor touchups here and there.

However, I would rather shoot Jpeg in situations such as these. If someone can give me some pointers as to what I should be setting my camera up for to get nice vibrant colors that pop.

My settings are as follows:

D2X Mode1: Sat + 1, Hue - 1, WB A1 B1. My pics look good, but it's not as vibrant as I'd like it to be, especially the reds.
 
Joined
May 27, 2013
Messages
3,086
Location
Cornpatch
There is no 'one-size-fits-all' setting.

Try shooting raw+JPEG. Raw for editing, JPEG for quick transfer.
 
Joined
Nov 10, 2008
Messages
3,961
Location
Chicago
There is no 'one-size-fits-all' setting.

Try shooting raw+JPEG. Raw for editing, JPEG for quick transfer.
Absolutely.

push up contrast and saturation and medium sharpening. You should consult with clients to see what their tastes are before the event. If you gave me a bunch of wedding or baby pictures or family group that looked like a cartoon, I would not be happy. Outlandish colors do not set you up as as pro. I did a bunch of church pictures last year and people want to know how I got such great colors and what camera I used. D7000, 35 1.8. Have a black point and white point, medium contrast curve, and 10% clarity. Nothing special at all. They were printed by a lab that has superb controls so all this comes across as intended.
 
Joined
Sep 15, 2008
Messages
1,416
Location
Sacramento
My settings are as follows:

D2X Mode1: Sat + 1, Hue - 1, WB A1 B1. My pics look good, but it's not as vibrant as I'd like it to be, especially the reds.
Don't have a D700, but I do have a D3, which is the same sensor. I've tried all of the Picture Controls and even created a few custom curves for some. Your choice may be different from mine, but here are a couple I suggest trying.

Portrait w/5 sharpening. Simple and effective.
- The Portrait PC with sharpening set to 5 is my "go to" choice.
- Portrait has noticeably more contrast and color than neutral, but retains shadows better than Standard and has a better color/contrast curve than Standard when you want a "real" not digital saturation level. The default sharpening level of 2 is too low for the D3/D700 unless shooting portraits of mature women. Anything higher than 5 is too much if you have good glass, and increases noise for very little gain.
- You can add +1 Saturation for a bump in color, but usually I find that if I want to bump color that much, I'll use Standard with +1 Sat and make it less real, more digital. i.e. semi-realistic sunsets and landscape shots.
- To me Portrait color/contrast is between D2X Mode1: Sat +1 and +2. Just a bit more color and contrast than D2X Mode1, yet still real world.

My second choice is Neutral +1 Contrast +1 Sat w/5 sharpening.
I tend to use this in low light situations where the ISO is above 800 consistently. Usually when shooting indoor events with flash, where I cannot get consistent bounce flash results at ISO 800 or below. Even with +1 Contrast, the overall contrast level is to me a bit less than that of Portrait, with the saturation level a bit higher, but noise is noticeably less for some reason. I use this setting when ISO noise may be an issue, or the scene has a lot of contrast already.

For WB I like Daylight M1 or A1/M1 when I cannot set a custom WB at the scene. If using flash I like either 5260K M1 or 5560K M1. If using flash under bright incandescent or fluorescent lights, I gel the flash to match the ambient lighting color temp as close as possible, using one of the previously listed WB values. Then set a custom WB if at all possible.
 
Joined
Jul 21, 2007
Messages
5,262
Location
NJ
Pointing the camera at interesting things helps.

The biggest issue is white balance; the rest is up for taste. If the idea is to deliver the images quickly to the customer, also consider saving them small/mid size. Depending on what your customer wants to do with the pics (facebook, tumblr, reddit?) they might not need full resolution.
 
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