Nikon Z SOOC photos (Custom Picture Controls)

Okay. Coming from Fujifilm and it’s gorgeous film simulations, jumping to the “boring” Nikon was a step of faith. I knew I can get the looks I want with Capture One, especially as I do make my own styles (and even share them here freely). But what can one get straight out of camera? Can you get SOOC images from Nikon that, like with Fuji, stands on their own.

Before getting a Fujifilm camera I almost never post processed my photos very intensively, nor even expected a camera to offer choices for the output colors. Now that I have become aware of the possibilities, I have seen that many camera makers offer their own approaches to use a variety of SOOC photos. Canon seems to offer better adjustability than Nikon, but what can Nikon offer?

Nikon calls their color settings “Picture Controls”. That is, well, to be frank, stupid name. Fuji’s “Film Simulations” sound much more selling and it is much better words in one’s mouth than “Picture Controls”. Anyway, I decided to try my hand if I can get anything useful out of the “Controls”, something that is useful for me. And I have made couple of settings (hush: Picture Controls) to get SOOC photos that are more to my liking.

First setting I named “Flat B&W”. It is based on the Nikon’s monochrome setting. It has flattened highlights and shadows for those “fashionable” looks I see everywhere. And I happen to like such look. Though it has it’s uses and there are situations that call for some other look.

Second setting I named “Neutral High”. It uses Nikon’s Neutral color setting with added depth in shadows and slight saturation boost.

Third setting I named “Street”. It is based on Nikon’s Vivid setting, but has even more dramatic contrast curve and desaturation. I could even change the Hue setting to some -1.5, but for now I use it on 0. This won’t work with people, so contrasty it is. But on the other hand it is still in experimental level.

Fourth setting I named “Classic B&W”. It is based on the Nikon’s Monochrome setting, but has a contrast curve that mimics one of my favorite Capture One -style. There are no possibilities to fine-tune the look nor add faux-grain, but it seems to work in it’s intended way. One can probably say that this has “too” high clarity/sharpness, but it is so still in this stage. Maybe I will soften it a bit.

For people photos the Nikon’s Portrait setting works well. I tuned one setting based on the Portrait and gave it a slightly deeper shadows and slight saturation boost. I named the setting as simply “Portrait”.

Now I have some settings that give me a bit of feeling like I had “film simulations” in my camera. The plus-side from Fuji’s in-camera setting is that I can make the tone-curve totally custom with my Nikon. The negative-side is that I still need to get used to the colors in these “Picture Controls”. Again I think it would be more lovely to be able to fine tune curves separately with every color, as Canon seems to offer. So far I haven’t found a way to have only my custom Picture Controls in the menu, as most of those Picture Controls offered in the camera are total rubbish.

Below you can check what my in-camera settings “Neutral High” and “Classic B&W” looks. If you like what you see, you might wanna try those “Picture Controls”, you can download them >here<.

My first Picture Control -settings Neutral High and Classic B&W

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