What are the different Nikon camera configurations, and when should you use them?

    Modern cameras have evolved so much that even with an entry-level camera, you can still make a solid career as a professional photographer. And even if you just want to keep things as a hobby, you’ll have enough power to take stunning photos with minimal fuss.

    When using the camera, you usually have several profiles available for your photos. Nikon is no different in this respect; you can add these filters to your in-camera JPEG and RAW files in your post-production software.

    This article will outline each of the different Nikon camera configurations and provide some tips on when you should use them.

    1. Flat

    Photos taken with the flat Nikon camera profile

    Flat is the first Nikon camera profile you’ll see in post-production; As you can guess from the name, you will have a completely flat color image when you add it to your photo.

    If you have a particular style of photography and want more freedom to edit in post-production, a flat camera configuration is a great place to start. You may need to pause everything once it’s done, but doing so is pretty straightforward.

    You can also use the flat camera profile if you want to make your images more cinematic.

    2. Scenery

    Nikon landscape camera profiles on images

    Landscape is one of the most popular and versatile Nikon camera profiles. While Flat will reduce your colors, the Landscape version will add more life to your photos — though not as much as Vivid.

    If you use the Landscape camera profile, your shadows will look darker. As you may have already gathered from the name, you can use it for landscape photography. But that’s not all; it only works if you shoot cityscapes and you can even use it in street photography.

    3. Neutral

    photo taken with nikon neutral camera profile

    As you’ll quickly notice, Nikon has offered users a number of camera configurations with better colors. If Flat is too dull for you, you should consider using a Neutral filter instead.

    When you use the Nikon Neutral camera profile, your colors will still be flat, but you’ll have a bit more saturation. Furthermore, your image will have more contrast.

    You can use Neutrals in some situations, such as night photography, when you want to add a bit of blur. It’s also a useful starting point if you’re not sure which direction you want to take your photo in in your editing software.

    4. Portrait

    Taken profile picture of Nikon portrait camera

    Portrait brings a little more brightness to your photos than the Neutral camera configuration. As you can guess from the name, you will mainly use this filter when editing other people’s images.

    Portrait adds more contrast to your photo than Neutral, but not as much as Landscape. The color is in between those two colors.

    In addition to portrait photography, you may find this camera configuration useful for street photography and food photography.

    5. Standard

    photo taken with standard nikon camera profile

    With so many camera configurations to choose from, you may find yourself tired of deciding without realizing it. In such cases, you should stick with the most flexible configuration: Standard.

    Standard is actually a combination of all other Nikon camera configurations. You have a clear image to work with with consistent shadows and contrast. Furthermore, your color and brightness will remain in sync with everything else.

    You can use Standard for almost any photo, from landscapes to street, portrait, and interior photography.

    6. Vivid

    image taken with nikon vivid profile

    If you want to add a serious punch to your images, you can opt for the Vivid camera profile. This filter provides the highest saturation from the base level, and you will also have the highest level of brightness reduction compared to the others.

    When using the Vivid Color profile, you’ll notice that blues pop up throughout your photo in most cases. It’s a good choice for landscape photography, and you can also use it after nighttime photography — along with cityscape photography.

    You may need to reduce vibrance or saturation after applying the Vivid profile, but doing so is easy in your photo editing software.

    7. Monochrome

    image taken with nikon monochrome profile

    If you’re bored with color photography, you might consider trying out black and white photography. And if you use a Nikon camera, there are several profiles to help you do this.

    Monochrome is the standard black and white filter, and it removes saturation from your image while smoothing out colors and shadows. Unlike the other filters we’ll discuss in a moment, you won’t get a bit of a different color.

    8. Monochrome (Green)

    Nikon Monochrome Camera Profile Photo

    Monochrome G is almost identical to the standard Monochrome filter, but you will add a tinge of blue to your image. On top of that, your shadows and mid-tones are also darker than in Monochrome.

    You can use the Monochrome G profile if you want to add a bit of contrast to your monochrome images, and it works especially well if you’re shooting in overcast weather.

    9. Monochrome (Orange)

    image taken with nikon monochrome orange

    Monochrome O is the next black and white Nikon camera configuration that we will discuss. This filter will change the orange color in your photo and you will also notice a slight increase in the brightness of the photo.

    The Monochrome O filter also has a bit more contrast than the Monochrome G, and it’s a good choice if you’re photographing other people.

    10. Monochrome (Red)

    image taken with nikon monochrome r

    Monochrome R isn’t too different from the orange version; the main difference is that it will change the red color in your image instead of orange.

    The Monochrome R filter will darken your image more than some other monochrome profiles, and you’ll especially notice this in the shadows and highlights.

    11. Monochrome (Yellow)

    monochrome nikon image y

    The last Nikon camera configuration we’ll discuss is Monochrome Y. This filter works like other black and white filters, but instead it changes the yellow color in your photos. You will notice a slight yellow tint on your photo.

    You can use the camera profile Monochrome Y in some situations, including when taking pictures on a sunny day. The filter will increase the brightness slightly compared to the red filter.

    Configuring your Nikon camera will help you get the look you want

    Nikon offers a number of cameras for photographers of all levels, and it’s a particularly popular brand for beginners looking to get a good piece of equipment for photography at an affordable cost. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can start looking at profiles — and you’ll find plenty to choose from.

    This article has explained each camera configuration, and you’ll likely use a variety of profiles throughout your photography journey. Experimenting with all of them is the best way to find your favorite.

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