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Old Jul 15, 2002, 12:35 PM   #1
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Default D100 vs. S2

I compared Fuji and Nikon DSLRs and I am still not clear as which one is better, on some forums there is discussion about soft images etc. with D100. My question to the folks who already have D100 is how they feel about the image quality ?


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Old Jul 20, 2002, 11:10 AM   #2
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I have read the same reports on several different forums and myself and several other friends who shoot both D1X and D100 have no idea what they are talking about. The images are well exposed, sharp, and the color are better than I have seen on any digital I have shot with.
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Old Jul 20, 2002, 2:51 PM   #3
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It's the same old problem ... people just aren't used to looking at six megapixel images on their computer screens. That's a lot of image in a small window folks and if you're judging image quality in a browser window - don't. Download the full size sample images and view them in a good graphics program, not a browser.

Pro and semi-pro cameras don't over sharpen images like consumer cameras. Those big images will always look a little "soft" but that is to leave you plenty of room to sharpen after capture in an editor which is the right way to do it. An over sharpened image can never be recovered, it's as bad as overexposure.

And if you look at a 6mpixel image in a viewer that scales the image down to fit in a smaller screen size there is no telling what it will look like. Six megapixel images are for printing. For onscreen or web use -- you downsample them and then sharpen accordingly.

The biggest problem that I see is many people are using sub-standard 3rd party lenses on their D100 or D60 SLRs and this accounts for a lot of the unsharp pictures that have been posted by new owners. Sharp images start with sharp lenses!


[Edited on 7-20-2002 by steve]
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Old Jul 21, 2002, 6:43 AM   #4
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Default Soft NEF images

I would like to add some thoughts to what Steve has said elsewhere in the forum (D100 or S2) on the sujbect of soft raw images and, more generally, the initially negative reaction to such images which has been expressed in other forums.

It seems clear to me that Nikon, with sound commercial sense have, with the D100, adopted a stretegy designed to achieve a quartum increase in their catchment area for digital SLR cameras. I assume that the market sectors at which this strategy is aimed include those who believe that price and technology now justify a delayed move from film to digital, those who wish to trade up from prosumer digital cameras for a reasonable premium and those, like myself, who wish to take an intermediate economic and technical step between the D1 and whatever Nikon's next top of the range ditial SLR may be. I exclude the D1X here on the grounds that, for a non-professional photographer, it appeared too soon after the D1, irrespective of technological advances.

If my hypotheses are correct, there will probaly be a significant number of D100 convertees in the first two categories with very limited experience of digital image manipulation in an out-of-camera editing programme and even fewer who have any idea of what to expect from a 6 Mpixel NEF image. Conversely, those of us who have passed through the D1 / Nicon Capture / Bibble and Photoshop schools should know exactly what to expect and how to achieve a final image which is both technically competent and aesthetically pleasing.

Enough philosophy. I have undertaken very extensive tests (all based on NEF images ) with my D100 in the last 14 days. These tests, however subjective they may finally be, were designed to establish (to my satisfaction) that the principal camera functions ( image size/quality, exposure, shooting times, focus, white balance, colour reproduction, internal and external flash (SB80DX) buffer capacity, read speeds and so on) performed as expected and that the resultant Raw images, produced in a wide range of lighting conditions, contained all the information and detail necessary to achieve my final image objectives after editing. So far the camera has performed exactly as advertised and, what is more, produces the gratifying increase in resolvable detail to be expected in direct comparison with identical shots (lens, ISO, WB, exposure, focus) taken with my D1. Add to this weight advantage over the D1, lens compatibility, and excellent menu system and intuitive controls (at least for anyone who has previously used a Nikon SLR) and I can see little serious or justified criticism which can be sustained in respect of the D100 so soon after its appearance, suspicion about potential mechanical fragility over time notwithstanding.

What is my point? It is certainly not to produce an ersatz press release for Nikon with whom I have no relationship other than that of which my bank manager regularly complains and, it must be said, that based on the excellence of service and support I have always received from Nikon Singapore. What I do hope to convey to those who are perhaps new to this level of digital photography is my own (very enthusiastic) conviction that it is an 'art' form which lends itself to and requires detailed operator control and judgement throughout the entire photographic process, from what passes for initial inspiration, through what happens in the camera and the subsequent editing programme, to the final print. True, what happens in the camera can, to a degree, be arbitrarily automated (sharpness, tone compensation, hue etc). I never use these controls, preferring to apply finer correction later in an editing programme like Photoshop which provides real time previews of what I am trying to do and the ability to undo all too regular editing nonsenses.

Whilst therefore a good camera and lenses are a key element in digital photography, they are, in my view, only one element in the process and must be complemented by post camera editing skills and software in order to exploit, with enormous satisfaction, the full potential of the raw material delivered by the photographer's eye and his camera. If this is understood and accepted, any negative comment on soft raw images in isolation, particularly when used to adduce general criticism of an excellent camera, can be seen as the red herring it is.
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Old Jul 22, 2002, 6:02 AM   #5
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Default same question

I understand the comment s above. The weakest link in the chain will determine the quality of the pictures, so an old printer or cheap lens will limit the results you get.

I have an F80 and 5 lens Nikon & Sigma. I would like to take my first step into digital, rather than a darkroom. Which way to go S2 or D100

I have dislikes with the F80 as some Nikon Pro lens strain with the F80. I had a long learning curve to get the best from the F80. Metering (like on any camera) can be fooled easy, it just knowing when!

I have glasses and get viewfinder flare when try to composing subjects. Any benifits either way?

I guess your saying either camera will be fine?

The thing that worries me about the D100 is the hype and marketing pressure. This really could effect what people are saying!

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