NX Capture 2 for these reasons

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by b._p., Jan 25, 2010.

  1. Many times I've seen people questioning NX Capture.
    The reasons I use it over any other raw software are:
    1. Ability to read camera settings
    2. Ability to save NEF files with adjustments and filters (also Color Efex plug-in)
    3. Speed and batch performance, which you get by turning off the editting cache and installing 2005 + 2008 of MS Visual C++
    4. View of adjusted NEF's in View NX
    5. Auto adjustment of lens distortion
    6. Sharpest pictures and most reliable color reproduction
    7. Best whitebalance options
    8. Excellent healing brush. I found, when I took pictures of a car and "healed the license plate, it copied the right two numbers in that place; leaving the plate number useless, but looking like it was real. As far as I know it's not a documented feature.
    9. Save settings and apply on similar pictures.
    These are my personal favorites and I have PS CS4, but I hardly ever use it.
    Hope this is usefull to someone.
  2. 10. Color control points.
  3. Darn! I just became aware I had forgotten those and I was about to add them, but you beat me!
  4. I really like the U-Point technology. Very fast and easy way to make local adjustments.
  5. #3 is understated... Nik Software's CFEX plug in for Nx2 rocks!
    However... NX2 is not all good... there is something terrible about the internal architeche that keeps it from using more than a single processor core on a Mac. Therefore, it's a bit slow on D3 files. It is nearly unusable on D3x files.
  6. samples... from my shoot this weekend --
    sorry... I tried to upload images, but got server errors from photo.net. You'll just have to take my word for it!
  7. Speed and batch performance, which you get by turning off the editting cache and installing 2005 + 2008 of MS Visual C++​
    I am sorry, but this is way beyond my knowledge. What do you mean by this?
  8. Arthur: sorry!
    Before I had Win XP and NCX2 runs under MS Framework, which is installed automatically when you install NX Capture. However, I found that if you install MS Visual C++ 2005 and 2008 (plus download updates) it really increases performance.
    In NXC2 you go to preferences and disable the editting cache. This speeds up and now and then you want to empty the thumbnaisl cache at the same location.
    Now I'm running Windows 7 and Framework is no longer needed. I only have MS Visual C++ installed and I found dit works much better and faster than Photoshop or any other raw software.
    Hope you understand now?
    Ron: maybe this is better on a Windows machine. Specially Windows 7 is finally what Windows should have been years ago.
    Anyway, if you have a Mac, for you a Windows machine is peanuts, moneywise ;-)
  9. Bertram,
    Thanks for explaining. Unfortunately I do not have a Mac. If I could afford a Mac, my camera bag would be filled with more toys first...
    I suffer Vista, does running Visual C+++ benefit Vista users too?
    And please, never apologize for knowledge if you are willing to teach!
  10. arthur, find, download and install the Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable Package (x86). it isn't very large, and at worst it's already on your PC. if you don't have it on your vista PC, you might be pleasantly surprised.
  11. And, with ViewNX, you can add GPS info in post-processing. I can rest assured that this is an official Nikon software modifying the metadata of my images versus a free plugin, which can be dangerous.
  12. I used to work entirely with CS3. Then I bought NX2, but it took almost half a year before I got over the hurdle (lazy!). Since then, when I got it, I use it for 90% of what I do. It is an amazing piece of software.
    If you ask me why it gets a little more difficult. I just enjoy it. Many consider the RAW conversion better, but I have not noticed any difference. What I really like is that I can work like it was a jpeg file, i.e. adjust WB, saturation etc. to get as close as I want in camera, but I still have the opportunity to change my mind in post. I also enjoy the user interface.
    Still CS3 (soon upgraded to CS4) is still the only option for blending images. I also use it for to tweak any tif file coming out of PhotomatixPro.
    For me, the two softwares compliment each others.
  13. I would consider it except for the lack of total management of my photo library... I don't want to process in one program and manage in another.
  14. I have found NX and NX2 to fit my way of working really well. The non-destructive stacked modifier system was really familiar to me from various 3d packages - such as Viz + 3dsMax, and is a godsend.
    I tend to use inital conversion / PP in NX2 - then use PS CS2 for other editing / layered effects etc.
    My only problems with NX2 are the gradual slow-down during use that requires a software restart, and the wierd stacking of crop modifiers.
  15. Ron Hiner , Jan 25, 2010; 09:20 a.m.
    #3 is understated... Nik Software's CFEX plug in for Nx2 rocks!
    However... NX2 is not all good... there is something terrible about the internal architeche that keeps it from using more than a single processor core on a Mac. Therefore, it's a bit slow on D3 files. It is nearly unusable on D3x files.​
    Ron, if this is the case for you, you have a problem. I know this to be not the case, as I use a menu bar utility that shows processor load - when running a processing job, or even if NX2 is working on the individual image I'm working on, it runs close to 200% - or both cores on my core 2 duo flat out.
    What system are you running? What version NX2?
  16. I have trialed NX2 but I am still using V1.3 (love it) that came free when I purchased my Nikon D300 in Canada. For 90% of my work I use this software and PS Cs2 for a few things. V1.3 runs on my Windows XP system flawlessly but NX2 kept giving me errors but did not abend - allowing me to continue with my work. I found that part of NX2 annoying but I am sure it is something to do with my equipment/operating system configuration. If you work with Adobe lightroom 2.1 or higher, you can specify Photoshop and NX2 as editors thus providing a fairly seamless workflow. Prior to me having Lightroom, I am just wondering about NEF files that were adjusted with V1.3 if you can get Lightroom to recognize those changes?
  17. My software workflow:
    1. Import, and from 14 bit RAW NEF to 16bit TIFF - Capture One 5 Pro, produces imho the very best image quality (try the trial!)
    2. The TIFF goes in Ligthroom 3 (I use the beta) for catalogue (namegiving,keywords,other metadata) and specific tweaks you can do in Lightroom, and making backups.
    3. If needed: some final tweaks in Photoshop CS 3 (nothing beats the fine curves tuning imho)
    4. Back to Lightroom for export (I love the way Lightroom converses TIFF to JPG)
  18. I like capture one 5 pro for workflow and it is a superior piece of software to capture nx2, but for pure image quality NX2 wins quite comfortably. 100% crop on some hair, in a raw conversion from camera raw, NX2 and capture one 5 pro shows NX2 much sharper with more details. I dont have time to post evidence but do a search for it, yes NX2 is slow and clumsy but for pure quality it wins.
  19. How come this software produces sharper pictures? Could you explain for us? It's not the first time I hear this, but the other guy did not explain how.
    I've never used it.
    The sharpen feature works better than PS CS4?
    PS is my standard editing software and I'm quite happy with it.
    I heard too that it does not work well with Apple's Snow Leopard. Is it true?
  20. Aquinaldo, I guess it's due to the algorithms that NX2 uses to translate the sampled data collected by the sensor (the separate Reds, Greens and Blues sampled across the matrix) into individual coloured pixels that make their way into the final image. Sample across too many sensor points and average out too much, and I guess the colours start blending too much - which will come across as a lack of definition or sharpness.
    It's probably a balancing act between retaining detail and sharpness - and using averages to get more accurate coour rendition.
    I should add that the above is based purely on me having a guess - I have no idea how it works - for all I know, NX employs a little elf to paint a picture based on the collected sensor data - and NX2 just pays more and can get a better quality of Elf than other forms of conversion.
  21. Im with Mart on this, i dont know why it is sharper, but it definately is. Capture one pro and camera raw are about the same in sharpness. I am talking about a pure raw conversion, i dont use sharpening in NX2, i sharpen in photoshop only. Capture one sharpening is quite grainy, if im using capture one (which is a nicer tool to use if the small sharpness gain from NX2 isnt necessary) then i stay away from the sharpening. I think the best sharpening is from the smart sharpen filter in photoshop, with settings: 'simple' and 'lens blur', with none done beforehand, as recommended in one of Patrick Lavoie's posts.
  22. "Speed and batch performance,..."
    YES everybody raves about its speed and batch performance :p
    If you search google you will find hundreds of posts where people complain that they must buy a slower PC so they can have a chance to get a cup of coffee between 10 000 shots processed.
    Actually I wonder if this is a serious post or if I get my leg pulled. If this is really serious one might want to mention the excellent user interface of NX2. (...running fast....)
  23. I tried your solution, Bertram, to improve speed by installing freely downloadable Microsoft Visual C# 2008 Express Edition on my 5 year old Dell (3 ghz Pentium 4 with 3 gig of memory with XP). And, the only thing that I can say is WOW! The speed performance has been greatly improved! XP must have some really poor performing dlls that is fixed by the installation of Visual C#. And, all the time some of us have been complaining about how sluggish NX2 was, when all the time it was the OS!
  24. Cees and all of the others , the information provided has been very useful - I will download Microsoft Visual C# 2008 Express Edition while I continue with XP.
  25. Paul: that's what I found too. Increases even more by turning off the cache and periodically empty the thumbnail cache.
    On Windows 7 it really flies. For some reason with W7 it automatically installs the right MS C++ versions with CCP.
    Tony: let us know what you think.
    Walter: very funny, but I don't think you understand how NXC works and how to get the most of it. I've been using it for over 2.5 years and with Color Efex plugin, I rarely resort to PS. Only for very "artsy" photos. Nothing beats NXC together with NX View. It takes a quarter or less of the time then for PS to open it first in ACR and even then it has no clue how your camera was set, nor can you save NEF's with changes.
    My "workfly" with D90: Nikon Transfer detects card and opens automatically. I have it preset to make a new folder with today's date as name. The files are named the same, but with a number behind of 3 digits (I never shoot more than 1000 a day). Then I hit download and NX View opens the new folder automatically. I can choose to fix and and make JPG's right there or I open them in NXC. There I have saved changes (presets or Adjustmnents as Nikon calls them) that I use a lot: for example
    I have one called "beach". It changes Picture Control to Landscape, sharpening to 7, color noise reduction to better quality, distortion to auto and it applies a skylight filter from Color Efex.
    All of that takes less than 5 seconds. Saving that file as a modified NEF takes less than a second and saving it as a JPG less than 2 seconds. In batch it goes much faster....
  26. Well I installed Microsoft Visual C# 2008 Express Edition and my Nx 1.3 goes much faster. My thanks for that info. I find that for images that I have previously edited I perceive that it is a little faster but would like it to be even faster but this may be a constraint of my system.

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