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Nikon D3 User's Guide:
Retouch Menu

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Nikon D3

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August 2008    Top of D3 Users Guide    D3 Review    More Nikon Reviews

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How to Get Here

Select the Retouch Menu by pressing MENU, moving to the left and then up or down to select the brush icon second from the bottom. You'll then see RETOUCH MENU on the top of the color LCD.

What it Sets

This is a silly menu that lets you twiddle with images you've already shot. The originals are unaltered. The D3 creates new versions of the images and saves them.

Concatenation: The D3 is sneaky enough to know if a file was created with these trick modes, and often won't let you apply the same filter twice. You can concatenate different filters.

If your original image is an NEF or TIFF, it will be saved as a FINE LARGE JPG. Otherwise, it's saved the same way as the original image.

Firmware Defect: The new images are saved with a file number one more than the most recent image. The EXIF create time is unaltered, so you'll have to sort images by create time if you can.

This defect means that the file numbers of the newly created versions are scrambled from the originals. If you're playing with the most recent image the file numbers are close, but if you're playing with an earlier file, its file number will be unrelated to the original.

The correct way to have done this would be to retain the same file name and append -edit, -edit1, -edit2, etc. For instance, if you make a new version of DCS_0123.jpg, the new file might be called DSC_5837.jpg. Good luck sorting them out! If done correctly, the new version would be named DSC_0123-edit.jpg.

The D3 is improved from earlier cameras. At least the files all begin the same way as the original file, regardless of how you set it. Pity the D40 owners who use these Retouch gimmicks, because the D40 changes the file prefixes as well!

Here's what each does.

D-Lighting        top

This lightens dark shadows. It doesn't touch highlights.

You have three levels of lightening: Low, Normal, and High.

If you set ADR to NORM for shooting as I do, you shouldn't need this. Remember: shadows are supposed to be dark.

Red-Eye Correction        top

This attempts to rectify flash-induced red eyes.

This filter is sneaky enough to know if you used flash or not to make the image, and won't let you use this filter if you didn't use flash.

I've never had a problem with red-eye with my D3, so all the better. When I was able to cause red-eye, this filter only corrected half of the eyes!

Trim        top

This creates cropped versions of images.

No pixels are moved or changed in size.

Trim removes unwanted pixels from the sides of an image and saves a smaller image.

Monochrome        top

This creates black-and-white images.

It has three modes:


Sepia (Brown-and-white)

Cyanotype (Blue-and-White)

Have fun!

Filter Effects        top

This creates images with warmer colors. You've got your choice of:


Very slightly pinker.

Warm Filter

Slightly warmer (more orange).

The Warm filter usually improves casual images. You can forget the skylight filter.

Color Balance       top

This one's slick. It calls up a better control panel than Photoshop's color balance tool, which dates from the 1980s.

Nikon's tool reminds me of what we have on million-dollar Hollywood telecine color correction machines used to color correct motion pictures.

The Nikon D3 shows three histograms (reminiscent of Tektronix' WFM700 waveform monitors) and the D3's Up/Down/Left/Right key becomes the color correction track ball. Click it left and right to alter blue-red, and up down for magenta - green.

If you have something neutral, watch the waveforms, oops, histograms, until they are about equal. Left - right on the Up/Down/Left/Right key slides the red and blue in opposite directions, and green - magenta slides the red and blue equally left or right. The green stays put.

This allows you to correct in any color, and if you want to warm an image (that I do most often in Photoshop), allows more flexibility than the fixed Warm filter above.

Image Overlay        top

This is silly. It creates a new image by adding two others together in the z-axis (intensity).

It only works with raw originals.

A reader wrote me with a genius plan to use this for in-camera mutilation of large dynamic range scenes by combining two very different exposures. I don't see it working. I'm missing the genius part, but try it and see if this is what blows your hair back.

You can't get to this with the OK key on playback. You have to use the menu button.

Side-by-side comparison        top

This lets you compare an original image with versions that have been messed with above.


My D3 User's Guide continues below.

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          a Autofocus

          b Metering/Exposure

          c Timers/AE&AF Lock

          d Shooting/Display

          e Bracketing/Flash

          f Controls




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