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Nikon D800 / D800E Live View Tip

While researching the effects of Picture Control settings on RAW (NEF) files (none that I see so far), I found a useful setting that greatly improves the definition in Live View mode.

It’s a small but very useful tip for Live View focusing involving Picture Control on the D800 / D800E. I’ve included large actual images of the rear LCD with A/B mouseover to show the gains, as well as a how-to and downloadable custom Picture Control file.

Observe in the split image below the definition before/after. This tip probably works on most Nikon DSLRs.

    Split image of Nikon D800E LCD in Live View mode, before/after
Split image of Nikon D800E LCD in Live View mode, before/after

Roderick W writes:

Thank you very much for the Picture Control tip for Live View. The effect looks excellent in my camera. I would never have found that unaided, it seems a counter intuitive control setting.

DIGLLOYD: Surprised me too. Pretty dumb for Nikon not to make this explicit.

Daniel M writes:

That's so incredibly useful I can't even say! Just had to write a note of thanks!

DIGLLOYD: Great!

Mark J writes:

I'm on holiday photographing & away from usual email client so hope this
reaches you. Thanks for the brilliant fix for D800/E LV. What's the bet it
will find its way into the rumoured impending firmware update mentioned on
NR?

DIGLLOYD: I don’t expect anyone at Nikon to go to Clue School anytime soon. There are so many improvements to be made to Live View on every Nikon model that it’s no longer even mildly amusing after 5 years of dumb and dumber.

Al L writes:

It has been this way since at least the D3), did you also realize that the Picture Controls affect the Histogram? This is insane!

The histogram is supposed to show me the actual values of the recorded tones. But No! It shows me the values after the Picture Controls have been applied! I only use NEF files (no jpeg). I leave the Picture Controls on "Standard" on all my Nikons so the histograms act similarly across all my Nikons.

DIGLLOYD: For JPEG, one would certainly want a histogram showing the affects of Picture Control, since settings are baked in.

For RAW (NEF), yes, this is why I always leave Picture Control at Standard and white balance at Daylight (or Cloudy) and turn off D-Lighting and other gimmicks. All of these influence the histogram. It is indeed insane— when shooting RAW, the histogram should offer both linear and gamma versions but without all the goofy settings baked into the histogram.

Hans T writes:

Thank you for this very helpful information! It's very easy...but one has to know! Like all time in life. It really helps a lot for taking sharp photos! It also works on D4 and I will try on D7000, the camera my best friend in Crimea is using! Thanks again)))

DIGLLOYD: Yup.

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