capture NX vs. photoshop

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by kevin_manley, Sep 21, 2006.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Use what you like of course. Personally, I really didn't care for the Nikon software at all.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

  6. 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.
  7. I should say, "to using Picture Project" when you have CS2.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. I do something similar to what you are doing. I use Nikon View to convert my raw to TIFF or JPEG, then use Photoshop for all other work. Nikon View is much better than Picture Project. You are able to adjust white balance, exposure, contrast, color correction, sharpen, crop and re-size. For a lot of photos I do not even need any other processing in CS2. And I have found that the Nikon software does a better job than CS2 on NEF files. Nikon View is a FREE download from Nikon. Give it a try before you buy NX. What have you got to loose.
  12. Hi, I'm new to this forum, but I face some similar problems, but with less choice.
    I'm a proud owner of a new D80, but the NEF plugin from Picture Project only converts to
    8-bit images, and ACR is not yet availabe in version 3.6 to support also the D80. So I also
    try out Capture NX where I can at least convert my D80 RAWs to 16-bit TIFFs in CS2.

    Still, I would prefer a simple photoshop plugin from Nikon, that converts to 16-bit
    immediately (or even support in iPhoto would be fine for me). I don't need Capture NX to
    catalog my stuff. But nothing like this is provided by Nikon, or I missed something in the
    Capture NX trial, cause I can't find a plugin there.

    Any ideas how to solve this?

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