All D5100 settings related to the creation of JPG and RAW files explained. They control what can happen to the image data on its way from the sensor to a finished JPG and/or RAW file.
What | RAW and/or JPEG? You have the choice. For JPG files, the D5100 expects additional information about how many megapixels the image file should have and how strong the compression should be.
Where | You have to visit the shooting information or the shooting menu:
Image quality for file format and JPG compression:
The levels/ / represent different levels of JPG compression, produces the largest, the smallest file size.
Image size relates to JPG files only, determines their resolution in megapixels:
L for 24 megapixels (6,000×4,000 pixels)
M for approx.13 megapixels (4,496×3,000 pixels)
S for approx. 6 megapixels (2,992×2,000 pixels)
Nikon summarises these parameters for the development of RAW data into JPG under the title Picture Control. You find them in the shooting information and the shooting menu.
You have three options for adjusting the image processing to your taste:
Select existing Picture Control configuration | See the screenshots of shooting information / menu where to do this. The differences are subtle but visible; most obvious in and .
Change existing Picture Control configuration | When selecting one of the configurations, you can press the arrow key to the right and adjust the individual parameters behind it. The configuration then gets an asterisk * attached to its name.
These changes are lost again when you perform a camera reset.
Theconfiguration is different, for creating black and white or differently toned monochrome images. It offers filter effects that simulate the use of colour filters in analogue black and white photography, to control contrast of the final image.
Create your own Picture Control configuration | You can create your own configurations using the next menu item
This is the best way to use your own configurations permanently.
Recommendation | Use this menu if you want to permanently apply a specific custom fine-tuning to your JPG images. That is, if you keep noticing that the images have e.g. a bit too little saturation or could do with a little more sharpening.
It is too complicated and impractical to play around in this menu all the time; also it is difficult to judge the effects on the small camera monitor.
White balance is also placed in the shooting information and the shooting menu, with slightly extended options in the menu.
First the shooting information – there you can select the type of light for the white balance: sun, cloudy sky, shade etc.
A manual white balance on a grey or white reference surface is done as follows:
The shooting menugoes a little deeper:
Pressing the direction button to the right takes you from a menu item to a graphical adjustment aid, which is easy to operate with the direction buttons.
Active D-Lighting (ADL) is a brightening of shadows, one of the most common post-processing tasks. Not quite as pronounced, it also helps reduce overexposure by making the D5200 expose a little shorter and brightening the image afterwards. ADL uses the RAW data from the image sensor on its way into a JPG file, giving it an advantage over later editing of the JPG file.
It is switched off in Nikon's default settings.
You can switch it on in the shooting information or the shooting menu with same result.
I like to have ADL set toand the D5100 decides how much to brighten shadows. I haven't seen any images where ADL has had a negative effect, only improvements. But it's not a magic wand either, it intervenes rather gently, you'll still find shadows in the image processing that will benefit from brightening.
The custom settings menu can display the date and/or time in the finished JPG image. It is like a stamp of red digits, you can't remove it later.
When you turn this feature on, the D5100 applies additional image processing for noise reduction when shooting with more than 1 s exposure time.
More noise reduction means a smoother, cleaner image, but surface textures and details are washed out.
I always leave it turned off. The noise of the D5100 is already quite low and if necessary it can be done just as well afterwards in image processing − at least in RAW files.
Here you can set whether the D5100 applies additional noise reduction at higher ISO sensitivities. I leave the default value
If you select OFF , the noise reduction is not completely switched off, just weaker and only takes effect from ISO 1600.
Distortion means that a lens produces a slightly curved image of straight lines. How much depends on the lens and, in the case of zoom lenses, also on the focal length.
Auto distortion correction reduces this aberration. It does not work with all lenses; according to Nikon, only those with a G or D in their type designation.
In Nikon's default settings it is switched off.
If exactly straight lines are important to you, this function brings a small, but fine and important improvement. On the other hand, it crops the image slightly at the edges, so take a slightly larger picture.
But I never use the function, in the meantime good image editing programmes like DxO PhotoLab or Adobe Lightroom automatically recognise camera and lens and correct distortion exactly and automatically. The built-in distortion correction of the D5100 is quite good, but not completely accurate.
The shooting menu
Create or select folders for saving new images | This can be done in the shooting menu
If a folder icon appears next to a number when you enter it, there is already one with this number.
Reset the four-digit number in the file name | This is controlled in the custom settings menu .
Recommendation: Change this menu to.
What | With Nikon's default settings, the D5100 stores in every JPG and RAW file whether you have held the camera horizontally or vertically. If you don't want this for whatever reason, you can suppress it.
Display programs can read the information about the image orientation to automatically show photos in portrait or landscape format as taken.
Where | In the system menu.
The D5100 can store a comment in an image's metadata. It is not visible when you view an image, but many programmes can read and display it. You can store your name there, for example, to document a copyright.