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capture NX vs. photoshop

kevin manley , Sep 21, 2006; 01:13 p.m.

I've been using the software that came with my d200 (PictureProject) to process my .NEF files. I mostly just sharpen them then export as a .TIF and do further work in Photoshop CS2. I use Picture Project first to process the file rather than Photoshop's RAW processor because I've heard one gets better results with color and sharpening if they use the native software that was designed for that cameras specific files. The only problem with my current process is I don't get a lot of control with Picture Project. I downloaded a demo of Capture NX the other day and I get much more control over my image ( like correcting WB ) that I don't get with Picture Project. So I'm considering buying NX but first I wanted to know if it is true, that I will get better a more accurate interoperation of the NEF file if I use NX or PP than if I go through Photoshop's RAW processor.

Responses


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Maurik Holtrop , Sep 21, 2006; 01:41 p.m.

I am not sure about Photoshop CS2, I use CS. For the CS version of photoshop I know you can get a plugin for Nikon NEF from Nikon. I would assume that this plugin uses the same conversion algorithms as PP. You don't get the same fine control over the conversion process as you get with the Adobe RAW plugin.

I tried out Capture NX and for some operations I like the program better than Photoshop. For other operations, especially working with multiple layers, I would still prefer Photoshop. You may consider these programs complementary.

I found that the conversion from NEF to TIFF is different rather than "better" in Capture. Taking the same raw file, you will not get identical TIFF files with these applications. You need to do some fine tuning of one or the other to get the results to be the same. I don't think this is really a problem. If you want the results to be the same "as you would have gotten had you taken the photo as jpg", then I would use Nikon Capture NX, since it mirrors the settings on your camera better.

Hope this helps.

Steve Kellener , Sep 21, 2006; 02:13 p.m.

Use what you like of course. Personally, I really didn't care for the Nikon software at all.

Paul Griffiths , Sep 21, 2006; 02:14 p.m.

I've tried picture project-no good, tried NX a few times, just could not get on with it. I still use Nikon Capture 4.4 for perfect NEF-TIFF or do the editing in Nikon Capture then use Nikon Viewer 6.5.2, I think, for jpg conversion, not the fastest but I think the best.


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Dave Lee , Sep 21, 2006; 02:15 p.m.

Maurik,

That's an excellent answer. I find overall I prefer the look of Capture NX, but for some images CS2 may do a better job. I use Photoshop to process my images, but Capture NX is the application I use to get an image from NEF to TIFF. And while the image is an NEF, you can make changes to the image without damaging the quality, so it's good to use NX to make changes to stuff like white balance and brightness/contrast.

Dave

Edward Ingold , Sep 22, 2006; 04:53 a.m.

The combination of Adobe Camera RAW (ACR), Adobe Bridge and Adobe Photoshop CS2 is highly effective and efficient in editing images. There is no photo editing program that compares with the power and consistency of Photoshop - everything is parametric and reproducible.

It is true that ACR does not recognize many of the in-camera settings for Nikon, but I do not find that an handicap. I use ACR to adjust white balance and exposure - for which it is highly effective - and Photoshop for everything else.

I use Capture to operate in a tethered mode. Otherwise, I find it awkward and exceedingly slow compared to Adobe CS2. In my recollection, you are the first person to admit to using Picture Project.

Edward Ingold , Sep 22, 2006; 04:54 a.m.

I should say, "to using Picture Project" when you have CS2.

Juan Parménides , Sep 22, 2006; 05:03 a.m.

The Photoshop CS2 with Adobe Camera Raw 3.4 (or newer version)installed, makes a gob job with NEF images. You can add Nikon effects plug-in to PS CS2 and you will have a good photo effects palette to work with. And if you even add the Noise Ninja or Neat Image noise reduction software you won?t miss the Capture NX.

Thomas Schnaider , Sep 22, 2006; 06:09 a.m.

Capture NX was designed by Nic Software (authors of various filters for Photoshop) and Nikon. It's complete re-write of Capture series. It handles NEF files the best.

kevin manley , Sep 22, 2006; 10:46 a.m.

Thank you all for responding. I am very familiar with Photoshop but have just started down the digital photography path so I am still developing my work flow. I haven't experimented with ACR yet because I assumed it would not be as accurate as Nikon's software. Based on the responses here though, it sounds like ACR still does a great job and the results are not so much inaccurate as they are different. I'll definitly give ACR a shot before I consider buying Capture. By the way has anyone compared the same image, processed with Capture and procesed with ACR? I would love to see the results.


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