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NX2 or Adobe Photoshop??

Bjorn Burton , Jan 07, 2010; 10:43 p.m.

Im new to the SLR photography and just bought a D90 with 18-105mm and 70-300mm vr lenses.... My question is im what program would i need or would be sufficiant enough for me? I mainly want to edit photos but nothing to crazy make them look more professional through a program. What programs do you guys recommend should i get Nikons program or should i get Adobe Photoshop CS4 now do i need of C24 because its extremely expensive or would something like the essentials be good enough for just photography? Thanx for the help in advance!


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Shun Cheung , Jan 07, 2010; 10:51 p.m.

How about Adobe LightRoom? Keep in mind that LightRoom 3 beta is already available. If you buy 2 now, you'll may need to upgrade and pay again soon.

PhotoShop, LightRoom, and NX2 are all avaialble for a 30-day trial. You might as well download the trial and determine for yourself. Personally I am not crazy about Nikon's software, and PhotoShop is overly complicated for casual users. That is why I think LightRoom is a good option. You can start with the LightRoom 3 beta and use that for free as long as the beta lasts.

But only you can decide what you prefer.

B M Mills , Jan 07, 2010; 10:54 p.m.

The intermediate Adobe program called 'Lightroom' is very popular and as far as I have seen provides great functionality both in workflow/archiving and most common editing functions. Its one you will probably be told a lot to consider in response to your question and from what I've seen I agree that it may suit your needs well.

Personally I use the Nikon/Nik Software tools including NX2 and really like them.

One strong suggestion is that both Lightroom and NX2 offer 30-day trial downloads. Why don't you spend a few days playing around in each, getting a feel for them, and make your decision at that point?

Arthur Yeo , Jan 07, 2010; 10:56 p.m.

If you do not need to do a lot of larger frame printings on a good to expensive large format printer, there's no need for PS/CS4.

The current NX2 is what I use day in day out for web presentations. There are occasional instances where I need fine-grain dodging/burning using layers but even these can now be done easily using U-point. D-lighting in NX2 is incredibly useful if you are into stretching the dynamic range.

The only issue I have with using Nikon Capture NX2 and ViewNX is that they are still not be very stable. Mine crashes and freezes occasionally on Windows7 and Vista. If I edit multiple images in one sitting, it looks like there's some memory leak somewhere and the program will run out of memory until I close it and restart it.

Oh, I forgot one feature which NX does not have: the ability to stitch multiple images. PS/CS4 has come a long way to do it automatically after you select the files. It can be improved further but as it is, it is already quite useful.

Bjorn Burton , Jan 07, 2010; 11:07 p.m.

I just downloaded CS4 but it has many more programs to it stuff i wouldnt need similar to someone only needing word in Microsoft Office.... Im going to look into the Lightroom program you guys were speaking of. I did have NX2 trial but for some reason it shut off in a day wouldnt open again now everytime i reinstall it ..asks for a code to activate it!

Shun Cheung , Jan 07, 2010; 11:23 p.m.

If you are going to try LightRoom, look for on-line video tutorials by Julieanne Kost. They are free on Adobe's web site. She does a fine job and it is a good way to learn: http://www.jkost.com/lightroom.html

Curt Wiler , Jan 07, 2010; 11:42 p.m.

Bjorn, it sounds like you got all of CS4 when you need just the Photoshop component. It is available separately, but it is still more than you probably want at this point. Lightroom should be the best single answer - even though I have not used the current version - for my purposes Capture NX2 is the best choice, with Photoshop for finishing. It is a matter of personal preferences and what you are trying to do.

Arthur Yeo , Jan 07, 2010; 11:46 p.m.

LR has no ability to stitch images either.

Dave Lee , Jan 08, 2010; 12:30 a.m.

NX2 for overall quality converting NEF files. Photoshop for all image manipulation work. Lightroom if you don't have the cash for Photoshop.

Holger Wahl , Jan 08, 2010; 12:33 a.m.

NX2, nothing else. Lightroom is nice for a high picture quantity workflow, but if it's about editing only, I would never spend the money (and for a complete workflow, you need Lightroom AND Photoshop, and for that money I would rather get a good lens).

In my tests, Nikon software still gets you better results in RAW conversion. I would go Adobe only if modifying pictures (not optimizing) would be a major issue in my workflow.

The proposal of our friends here is perfect: get trial versions. The problem with all of these programs is that even with a 30 day trial, you will have to learn the programs in order to get the best results. A program that is easy to handle on first sight may not get you the best results in the long run. Or the one that seems a bit strange and clumsy on first contact may result in a much leaner and faster workflow once you have come to know it.


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