Complete Guide to the Nikon D200- P21

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Complete Guide to the Nikon D200- P21

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Complete Guide to the Nikon D200- P21:As with all my books, a full draft was reviewed by volunteers to weed out unclear language and misstatements. This book is better because of them.

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  1. V1.03 1. Press the ▲ and ▼ keys on the Direction pad to increment or decrement the number of copies you want. 2. When you’ve selected all the images you wish to print, press the ENTER button 3. You’re taken to the Setup screen, where you may be able to choose options for print size, border, and time stamp 148 (depends upon your printer ). F 4. Press the > key on the Direction pad to start printing. 11. When you’re done printing, turn the camera Off, then unplug the cable. Note: DPOF and PictBridge printers expect images using the sRGB color space. If you plan to use either to print, you should set the Color Space of your D200 to sRGB. See “Color Profiles, Color Spaces, and Color Modes” on page < 557>. H Note: The D200 stays powered and active the entire time that it is connected to a PictBridge printer. Batteries can get exhausted rapidly: in printing 12 images, for example, the battery in my D200 lost almost half its charge. Generally, I’d recommend that you use the EH-6 AC Adapter to power the camera when printing directly from the camera. Printing Resolution Okay, if you’re reading this section you’ve opted to print images from your computer to your printer instead of using a direct PictBridge connection to the camera. While this might 148 I originally thought to show each of these options, but found with just a few PictBridge printers the combinations and permutations were piling up in a way that would have added many pages to this work. Fortunately, the D200 will only show you the options that are available for the printer you’re connected to (all others will either not appear or be disabled), so it should be relatively obvious what you can and can’t do by what appears in this menu. Thom Hogan’s Complete Guide to the Nikon D200 Page 601
  2. V1.03 seem easy enough, you’re left on your own devices by most camera and printer companies (and even most software companies). The one area that usually stops first timers dead is resolution. Resolution is a word that’s often used casually in the digital world. The camera has 3872 x 2592 pixels of resolution. Your printer might claim 1440 dpi (dots per inch) resolution. Your computer monitor might have 1280 x 1024 pixels of resolution. Or it might be specified as 90 dpi. Photoshop might report your JPEG images as having 72 dpi. Are you confused yet? Don’t be. Most of the numbers you encounter in the resolution world are arbitrary. Let’s make them work for us. Your camera can capture 3872 pieces of information across the (usually) horizontal axis. That’s an absolute. There really are 3872 pieces of data to deal with in that axis. What happens as that image moves to other devices is where things get murky for some. On your computer monitor, for example, you might specify to view your 3872 x 2592 pixel image via your software’s Fit in Window command. If the maximum size of that window is 640 x 480, obviously the software has to scale the original data in some way. Normally, it does this by creating a temporary, interpolated copy of your data. Nothing changed in your original data. But you’re also no longer looking at your original data! That’s why you’ll find that most tutorials on post processing ask you to look at the effects of destructive tools like Sharpening filters at 100% View. That way you see the exact effect on (a portion of) your original data, not a simulation of it. Bottom line: viewing at different scales or sizes on your computer monitor does not change the actual “resolution” of your image. Another place where we see resolution numbers is in the software we use. For example, if you use Photoshop or Photoshop Elements Image Size command, you’ll see a entry called Resolution that’s specified in pixels/inch (or Thom Hogan’s Complete Guide to the Nikon D200 Page 602
  3. V1.03 pixels/cm). For D200 JPEG images this value will normally be 72. This is an arbitrary assignment by the software program and sometimes controlled by a value in the EXIF data. Above this value you’ll see values for the width and height for the image if it is printed at that dpi. Read it this way: IF you print at that pixels/inch value your photo will be X” high and Y” wide. That’s a big IF. Usually we want to print at a specific pixels/inch value that will maximize the output of our printer. If we have to change the dpi value (but not change the original pixels), we do this by: 1. Unchecking the Resample Image box in Photoshop’s Image Size dialog. 2. Entering a new value in the Resolution box in the Image Size dialog. (For an Epson and most other inkjet printers, I’d suggest 240 pixels/inch.) If you then need to resize the image, set your dpi value as just described, then Thom Hogan’s Complete Guide to the Nikon D200 Page 603
  4. V1.03 3. Recheck the Resample Image box. 4. Enter new dimensions in the Width and/or Height boxes. However, if you perform this step, you’ll no longer be dealing with the actual pixels you captured while shooting, but Photoshop’s interpolation of them at the new size. Why do we specify the “resolution” as 240 dpi for printing? Because typically that’s the most pixels per inch you need to send to the printer to get a very high perceived quality. Anything over that makes changes that are very difficult to see, if they can be seen at all. The printer driver of your printer “invents” in-between pixels, if necessary, to maximize its output quality, but those invented pixels are usually good enough that we don’t have to supply them in the first place. Output on Commercial Printers While it’s a little bit out of the scope of this book, enough D200 users have asked me about professional printing options that it makes sense to give a brief set of tips here, especially since color issues are usually the biggest complaint. As I write this, the Fuji Frontier is probably the most ubiquitous automated printer you’ll run into at labs (and Wal- 149 Mart and Costco in the US) . Thus, I’ll present the overall F workflow for it (other printers should be similar—but work with your lab to verify each step I present). The following example assumes you use Photoshop or Photoshop Elements (other software products should be similar, but may use different file extensions or command names): 1. Crop, size, adjust, and sharpen your image as usual. 2. Instead of 240 dpi (see “Printing Resolution” on page < 601>), use 300 dpi. H 149 The popular Noritsu and a few other commercial printers are similar. Try following the directions given here for them—you’ll probably find that it works for them, too. Thom Hogan’s Complete Guide to the Nikon D200 Page 604
  5. V1.03 3. Save your edited copy as a PSD file in case you need to revisit your changes. 4. Flatten all layers. 5. If it isn’t already in 8-bit RGB, convert the image to 8- bit RGB color (16-bit RGB color and Lab Color aren’t usually supported by commercial printers). 6. Use the Canvas Size menu item to make sure that your final image size is one that the Frontier supports (e.g., 8x10” in the US). In other words, if the final crop of your image was 7x9.5” you would use Canvas Size to center that on an 8x10” canvas. (If you don’t perform this step, the Frontier—and most other automated printers—resizes your image, causing all kinds of ugly artifacts.) 7. Use Photoshop to convert the Color Space you were working in, if necessary (e.g. AdobeRGB), to the one the Frontier uses (sRGB). (If you give a Frontier an image in a Color Space it doesn’t support, guess what, you get wrong colors!) 8. Save the image as a TIFF or JPEG file. Do not embed the Color Space (usually a checkbox in the Save dialog; it’s ignored by the printer, anyway). 9. Save all your images on a CD-R and take them to the printer. Viewing Your Images The D200 can be connected to a television so that what would normally appear on its color LCD appears instead on the TV. It can also present a “slide show” of all the images on the CompactFlash card inside your camera. Thom Hogan’s Complete Guide to the Nikon D200 Page 605
  6. V1.03 Television Playback The video connection (top connector, labeled AV Out on the rubber cover) is on the left side of the camera (and interferes with holding the camera when connected to a television). Nikon supplies a short video cable with the camera. Before connecting the D200 to a television, you must tell the camera what kind of video standard to use: NTSC The video standard in the US, Canada, and Japan. PAL The standard in the UK and many European countries. õ To set the camera’s video standard and connect it to a television: 1. Press the Þ button to display the menus. 2. Use the Direction pad to navigate to the SET UP MENU (wrench icon) and then the > key on the direction pad to select it. 3. Use the Direction pad to navigate to Video mode, and then the > key on the Direction pad to select it. 4. Use the Direction pad to navigate to either NTSC or PAL, and then the > key on the direction pad to select Thom Hogan’s Complete Guide to the Nikon D200 Page 606
  7. V1.03 it. 5. Turn the camera OFF. 6. Plug one end of the EG-D2 video cable into AV Out jack on the left side of the camera, the other ends into the Video In and Audio In jacks on your television. Your TV must be set to its Aux or similar composite video input setting. 7. Turn the camera ON. Operate the camera as you would normally while reviewing images. 8. When you’re done, turn the camera OFF before unplugging the video cable. You may also plug the D200 into a VCR’s Video In and Audio In connections. Depending upon your VCR and television, to see the image from the D200 you will either have to have the VCR feed the TV’s Aux (composite video) input or tune the television attached to the VCR to a specific channel (usually 3 or 4) after pressing a button on the VCR (usually Aux or Line). One thing that surprises many D200 users is that the camera still functions normally when connected to a television. Yes, that means that you can take pictures with the camera hooked up to a TV. Anything that would normally be displayed on the color LCD appears instead on the television. This facility is useful in studio shooting. Note: You should note that battery consumption for the camera is considerably higher as long as it driving an external display device. The D200 continues to show images on a television for up to 10 minutes, after which this connection is turned Thom Hogan’s Complete Guide to the Nikon D200 Page 607
  8. V1.03 OFF, regardless of the color LCD’s status or the camera’s timeout settings. Note: If the camera is connected to a PAL compatible television (and Video Output is set to PAL), output resolution is reduced somewhat, as the camera has to alter the number of bits in the thumbnail to adapt the image to the screen resolution. Slide shows The D200 has a crude slide show function built into it, allowing you to show one or more folders of D200 images in sequence, with a specific delay between each image (two to ten seconds). Since the D200 can be connected to a television (see “Television Playback” on page < 606>), this allows you to shoot images and them show H them to a group of people as a completed presentation. õ You can make the camera display all the images in the current folder in sequence by selecting the Slide Show option from the PLAYBACK MENU. When you do so, you’ll see an additional menu (above) that allows you to Start the show, or set the Frame Intvl (time each image is displayed). Intervals of 2, 3, 5, and 10 seconds are supported. Slide shows can be paused by pressing the ENTER button (then select Restart and press the > key on the Direction pad to continue), or terminated early by pressing the Þ button (actually, just about any button). At the end of a slide show, the pause display is shown, allowing you to restart the show Thom Hogan’s Complete Guide to the Nikon D200 Page 608
  9. V1.03 from the beginning if desired: Obviously, if you’re using the slide show option you probably are displaying images to others, perhaps in a review session. The D200 supports television display of the images for this very situation (see “Television Playback” on page < 606>). H Timeouts are handled a little differently in slide show mode, though. The D200 does not power OFF when displaying a slide show unless 10 minutes have passed since you pressed a button on the camera. Digital Workflow You need to establish a consistent and repeatable workflow when working with digital images. Here is mine: • Before going out on a shoot, I make sure that I’ve already saved all previously shot images on my CompactFlash (and Secure Digital if I’m using another camera that supports it, like the Coolpix models or a D50) cards, and then I format the cards I’ll be using. • I always use sequential numbering on my D200 (and D70, D100, D1x, D2x, and Coolpix, for that matter). But before heading out, I always perform a camera check to make sure that this and the rest of my custom settings are set to my desired settings. • In the field, I shoot until I fill a card. I use a small case that holds four cards. When a card is full, I remove it from the camera and stick it in the case face down. Any card I find face down means that it hasn’t been downloaded to the computer yet. Cards with the label side up are empty and ready to use. Thom Hogan’s Complete Guide to the Nikon D200 Page 609
  10. V1.03 • I try to carry enough CompactFlash storage with me so that I don’t have to perform “field saves,” but if I have my portable computer or Epson P-2000 download device with me and need to use a card again, I open my case and transfer all the data from one of the face down cards so that I can re-use it. • I usually shoot only in NEF format, so when I return from a shoot with cards full of images, I not only need to transfer them to the computer, but also need to have them converted to a non-proprietary format. For each card: 1. I create a folder on my computer with the location data (e.g., Hawaii Feb 01). With the latest versions of Nikon View, I simply let it make these folders. For example, I’ll create the top folder as something like HAWAIIFeb01 and then let Nikon View put each card transfer in subfolders labeled HAW001, HAW002, etc. These are my “digital negatives.” I usually mark these files with a Read Only attribute so that I don’t 150 accidentally edit them in place . (Hint: use the F Protect function on the camera.) 2. In the top level folder just created, I create another folder labeled CAMERA. 3. I run the batch save and renaming function in Nikon Capture to place images from the card folders into the CAMERA folder. These are my working files. 4. I create a second subfolder under the master called FULL. Whenever I work with an image from the CAMERA folder, I save the Photoshop format result to the FULL folder. Generally, I don’t crop this image. Usually, I only perform color and curve adjustments, then touch up any dust using a clone tool. I never do more than a basic sharpening of the image at this 150 One proofreader of the draft manuscript also suggested write protecting the folder on the computer. This has the side effect of making it so that files can’t get moved out a folder, keeping an entire shoot together. I’m not quite that strict with my files, but it’s a good idea, nonetheless. Thom Hogan’s Complete Guide to the Nikon D200 Page 610
  11. V1.03 point. I try to avoid using levels adjustments, as that changes the data in the file. 5. When I know how I’m going to use the image, I manipulate it again, sizing it, sharpening it, and finally saving it into yet another folder (usually PRINT, MAGAZINE, SLIDESHOW, or WEB). (PRINT is full resolution, cropped, and sharpened for my inkjet, MAGAZINE is full resolution but not sharpened, SLIDESHOW is sized to VGA size in JPEG format at maximum quality, and WEB is sized to 400 pixels maximum in the long axis and saved in JPEG format at moderate quality.) 6. As soon as possible, I save the outer folder (created in Step 1) and all of its contents to a backup drive. If I later make significant changes to images in the subfolders, I’ll save a new version to my backup. Thus, when all is said and done, I can recover the original image and produce versions on demand for several different uses. The structure of my drive looks something like this: Patagonia Feb 01 +---Patagonia0001 +---PatagoniaFebImage0001.NEF +---PatagoniaFebImage0002.NEF etc. +---Patagonia0002 +---PatagoniaFebImage0125.NEF +---PatagoniaFebImage0126.NEF etc. +---Patagonia0003 +---CAMERA +---PatagoniaFebImage0001.NEF +---PatagoniaFebImage0126.NEF etc. +---FULL +---PatagoniaFebImage0001FULL.PSD Thom Hogan’s Complete Guide to the Nikon D200 Page 611
  12. V1.03 +---PatagoniaFebImage0126FULL.PSD etc. +---PRINT +---PatagoniaFebImage0001PRINT.PSD +---PatagoniaFebImage0126PRINT.PSD etc. +---MAGAZINE +---PatagoniaFebImage0001MAG.PSD +---PatagoniaFebImage0126MAG.PSD etc. +---SLIDESHOW +---PatagoniaFebImage0001SLIDE.JPG +---PatagoniaFebImage0126SLIDE.JPG etc. +---WEB +---PatagoniaFebImage0001WEB.JPG +---PatagoniaFebImage0126WEB.JPG etc. You’ll note one other thing about my workflow: by looking at the file name, I can tell you what stage the image is at or what it should be used for. (My actual filenames, by the way, are a bit more compact, as I use a number of abbreviations for place and style; but for the purposes of this book, it seemed wise to use longer, clearer names.) You’ll notice that I mentioned a few pieces of software in my workflow description. Notably, I use Nikon View to transfer images, Nikon Capture to convert images, and Photoshop to manipulate images further. The next sections deal with a wide variety of software you might consider using, including those I just mentioned. Thom Hogan’s Complete Guide to the Nikon D200 Page 612
  13. V1.03 D200-related Software Nikon provides one software product with the D200, a program called PictureProject. As I write this, Nikon produces three programs that work with D200 images (plus a plug-in): • Nikon PictureProject. This is a new product that tries to do a little bit of everything with images (transfer, catalog, retouch, show, print, and archive) and manages to do none of it exceptionally. The version that shipped with initial D200 cameras is 1.6.1, which is the current version as I write this. • Nikon View. This is a mature program that primarily serves to transfer images from the camera to your computer, and then allows you to browse them, with a modicum of organizational tools. The primary attraction to Nikon View is that it works very well at the things it does. If you shoot NEF files, you’ll find that not all third- party programs understand them. Good news: Nikon View 6.2.7 and later understands D200 NEF files just fine. It can even batch them into JPEG files, should you desire. View is my preferred transfer and browsing program over Nikon PictureProject. I suggest that you download it and install it instead of PictureProject. • Nikon Capture. Nikon has a 30-day free trial version of Nikon Capture that is downloadable from its Web sites. Capture is a mature, robust, full-featured raw image converter (indeed, about the best converter I’ve seen provided by a DSLR maker). This is the program you need if you want to shoot and use NEF images to the fullest. Beyond the raw conversions, Capture also is needed to support tethered shooting (camera connected directly to the computer or via the WT-3 Wireless Transciever), to adjust Custom Curves (see “Custom Curves,” on page < 554>), and to load and store camera settings via the H computer. You need version 4.4 or later for the D200. • Nikon Photoshop plug-in. Hidden beneath the PictureProject and Nikon View installers is the fact that they also install a NEF converter plug-in for Photoshop if they find that program on your computer. Unlike Thom Hogan’s Complete Guide to the Nikon D200 Page 613
  14. V1.03 Photoshop CS2’s Raw Converter 3.3, the Nikon plug-in is minimal in features. Nikon announced in early 2006 that both View and Capture will undergo significant changes by summer of 2006. In particular, View will add additional features and become a product that must be bought. Capture has been redesigned from scratch by Nik, a company in which Nikon is an investor, and will re-emerge as Capture NX, again with new features. Neither product was available as I wrote this section, so it won’t be until the 2nd Edition of this eBook that they get covered. Nikon PictureProject PictureProject is Nikon’s new do-all, be-all program, and is provided with everything from Coolpix models to the D200. That means that it probably has features you don’t need or won’t use (e.g. red-eye removal tools), but fortunately the design is decent enough so the ones you don’t use don’t get in the way of the ones you do. Nikon provided a CD with version 1.6.1 of PictureProject with the initial shipments of D200 bodies. Once you’ve installed PictureProject, you’ll be presented with a screen: Thom Hogan’s Complete Guide to the Nikon D200 Page 614
  15. V1.03 This is the first of many things that may have you initially baffled. PictureProject is an image cataloging program in addition to its other capabilities. That means that it can keep a database of thumbnails and information about your images. When you’re presented with this initial “import” request, PictureProject is asking if you’d like to bring your existing images into its cataloging system. If you choose to check the Copy photos into PictureProject box you’ll not only get the cataloging capabilities, but PictureProject will be working on copies of your images rather than the originals. That’s a double-edged sword. If you make copies, you’ll be chewing up drive space; if you don’t, you could accidentally make changes to your original files. This is probably the point where I should make a comment about PictureProject’s suitability for pro users. Better cataloging options exist (see “Catalog Programs” on page < 700>). PictureProject is obviously a work in progress, and H it’s unclear in my mind if it will eventually make it past the ACDSee level of program (capable, with good performance) let alone up to the Extensis Portfolio level of product (comprehensive, with great performance). If you’re getting the idea that I’m not a fan of PictureProject, you’re correct. It has rough edges, can chew up resources, 151 uses yet another new UI design , isn’t particularly well- F documented, and isn’t better than other choices already available. Still, it does a modest range of things decently, so this initial import screen is an important decision point. Fortunately, you can defer to import later (choose Import or Import Assistant on the PictureProject File menu—for newcomers to PictureProject, I suggest Import Assistant, as it has clearer wording and options). 151 Yes, the three primary Nikon software products all have distinctly different UI designs, which is silly. Moreover, with Capture NX we’re about to get a fourth. Thom Hogan’s Complete Guide to the Nikon D200 Page 615
  16. V1.03 During an import session (which can take a long time if you’ve got a lot of D200 images to catalog), you’ll see a progress screen (top is without the assistant, bottom is with): After you’ve imported your images with the assistant active, you’ll get a second screen: Thom Hogan’s Complete Guide to the Nikon D200 Page 616
  17. V1.03 On the left is what you see if you didn’t copy the images, on the right is what you get if you did. I’ve elected to show this screen because the information in the box is important: note the comment “They remain in…” versus “remain untouched.” This may not seem like a big distinction, but it is: the first means the PictureProject library is still referencing the files in their original location, while the second means that your originals are safe in their original location and the PictureProject library will reference copies. Why is that important? Because PictureProject (or Capture) can make changes to the files you’re working on. If either program touches your originals with any sort of alteration, your original files can and will get changed. So my first recommendation with PictureProject is to always copy your files, even though this doubles the amount of hard drive space you need. Okay, the files we’ve already shot are already being tracked by PictureProject after an import, what about new ones we shoot? Like Nikon View, PictureProject has a “transfer” function that should automatically pop up when you connect your D200 to the computer or put a card with D200 files on it into your computer’s card reader (here shown connected to a D2x, not a D200; the only things that change with different Nikon cameras, including Coolpix models, are the camera picture and the Transfer from location): Thom Hogan’s Complete Guide to the Nikon D200 Page 617
  18. V1.03 This is one very useful function. Note the >Show thumbnails option underneath the picture of the camera (which will change to whatever Nikon camera you have connected to the computer, by the way). Click on it and the screen expands to: PictureProject has grabbed the thumbnails from the camera and shows them to you (if you’ve got a lot of images on the card, PictureProject may briefly show “now enumerating” while getting the thumbnail info). Look just above the thumbnails and you’ll see a toolbar: Thom Hogan’s Complete Guide to the Nikon D200 Page 618
  19. V1.03 From left to right, these transfer tools are: • Select All—all images in the current folder will be transferred. • Select Marked—only those images that are “marked” will be transferred. By marked, Nikon means images with the “mark” tag (in the Properties palette). • Select Protected—only those images that have been protected (n key on the D200) will be transferred. • Deselect—deselects all images (no images are selected for transfer) • Delete—Deletes the currently selected image(s). Yes, this all means what you think: you don’t have to do a brain-dead dump of everything on the card to your computer anymore: you can pick and choose only those images you want to transfer (and note also the Delete original files after transferring option, which can be another time-saver). We’ve got one more thing to mention before we move on from the transfer function: collections. You may have noticed the Place in collection option. PictureProject is organized in this fashion: Library Collection1 Collection2 Collection3 and so on… Okay, that was too simple. Collections can live in folders, so a better example might be: Library Folder1 Collection1 Thom Hogan’s Complete Guide to the Nikon D200 Page 619
  20. V1.03 Folder2 Collection2 Collection3 and so on… Image files can live generically within the library, or within collections (you get to name collections and folders—I’ve used generic names here). You can create collections or folders at any time and then drag your images into the collection (and collections into folders). This all sounds more complicated than it is: • Library: all images being tracked by PictureProject. • Folder: an arbitrary organizational tool into which you can stick collections (and other folders, and even individual image files). Folder in this context is the same as you’re used to with your computer’s file system, only these “folders” are really only seen by PictureProject. • Collection: a special type of subfolder that contains a group of related images. You can also have PictureProject run images directly into collections during the transfer from camera to computer. Just check the box and then click the Select button to choose which of your existing collections you want assign the images to. There are plenty of ways to organize collections. PictureProject’s default behavior suggests that each card import could be a collection (you’ll see an automatic collection called Last Import), but that’s just one way of organizing images. You could build collections for places, events, assignments, people, and just about any other category of image you might create. You’re on your own here: if you use PictureProject, you’ll want to use collections to keep from just having one big scrolling window of images and because huge collections tend to diminish performance, so start thinking about the logical ways to organize your shots from the very time you use PictureProject. Thom Hogan’s Complete Guide to the Nikon D200 Page 620
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