software suggestions, please

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by d_ponce, Dec 2, 2017.

  1. I own a D3s, D810, and just recently my D850 came in. (yeh!!)
    Before I start shooting with the D850, I want to be prepared to download the files to my (Windows 10) laptop. Currently I use ViewNX2 as my software to transfer the files from my other cameras to the laptop. I do not use the software for anything more than the transfer process -- where it changes the file name and also puts a unique (counting) number to the file name. I would like to continue with this process but hopefully with a different transfer program for the D850 -- because when I transfer between D3s and D810 I have to keep track of the last number in the sequence and manually enter the next one in the NX2 program, depending on which camera files I am transferring from. Fortunately, I don't use the D3s much -- so it hasn't been a major issue. But knowing I will be using the D810 and D850 regularly, I'd like a simpler process. I'm thinking keeping the ViewNX2 dedicated to the D810 and something else for the D850. Your thoughts and suggestions greatly appreciated! (again, any new software suggested, I would like it to have the ability to put a counting number on each file during the process - unless a better way is now available)
    Also, when I bought the D810 I had to wait until Adobe came up with the converter in order to view/edit my NEF files. Is that an issue with the D850 or is the converter that reads the D810 file still ok? thx!
  2. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Moderator Staff Member

    I am not a great software guy, and have been using NX2 for years. Recently used Windows Live Photo Gallery for a few transfers. Though I use my own naming process, I liked the way Windows used the date for file name. For casual stuff that I don't want to re name, the date file name is helpful in locating things. Only downside I have found is that If I use NX a few times then Photo Gallery, Gallery wants to download all of the images I already downloaded with NX2.
    I still have Windows 7 - don't know if you have the same functions in 10.
  3. Thanks, Sandy. My naming/filing convention is utmost critical for the organizing of my images. I don't mind changing slightly for a new camera -- but the customizable date (not necessarily the date it is downloaded) is critical. I prefer to have the unique 'counting' number automatically generated by the software as well -- but if another format was in place in the software, I could live with that. And correct, the only way NX knows if you downloaded the file already is if you only use NX - which is also fine with me -- I prefer to use one program (per camera) and no other software -- keeps everything organized. :) One of the nice features of the NX is that it enters the copy write - or any other information supplied - to the image automatically during the transfer process. That is a feature I would not want to loose. :)
  4. Wow. I just copy the files across (using Finder now I'm a Mac person, using Windows explorer before). I just name the folders so I can find things, and (being a software engineer) do bulk renames from the command line of I need to. But I don't claim it's an exhaustively organised system. :)

    If it helps, I believe Adobe software knows about the D850 (if you're current). So does DxO, which I use, but it's possible not all other software is there yet.
  5. I use DownloaderPro from BreezeSys (windows only) since it allows to customize the filename while downloading. I have it set up to construct the filename from the date the image was taken, a camera identifier (like D5A, D5B, D5C for each of our D500 bodies), and a unique number which is simply the number of shutter actuations of the respective camera taken from the camera's EXIF. Setting up the naming convention is a bit cryptic but since the resulting filename is displayed immediately, one can get the hang of it quickly. All the naming options take info from the EXIF data, which may or may not be limiting. Of course, there is also the option to add your own information.
  6. This sounds good, Dieter -- does it allow for automatic copy write information? (set it up once and it's good to go -- except changing the year every year)? Any issues that you know of regarding the transfers for D850 files?
  7. I'm with Andrew. Organising files is what folders are for.

    Something as basic as having a folder named "D810", and another named "D850" would surely be enough to do what you want?

    The downloading software could then be directed to whichever folder is appropriate.
  8. And that I have, rodeo_joe -- but over the years I have also incorporated the transfer process as a key element to my filing and organizing. Sure, there are always more than one way to accomplish the same thing - some things take a bit longer. When the transfer step takes up some of the tasks, I found it really helped with work flow at the end of the day's shoot. But, of course, totally agree -- you need a good folder and record keeping system when your thousands turn into tens of thousands. :)
  9. Frankly, when it turns into ten thousands, depending on folder names and filenames becomes increasingly risky. Tools with a decent catalog (like Lightroom or CaptureOne) or real DAM solutions (like PhotoSupreme, MediaPro) work much better to manage large collections. And nearly all of them have transfer tools that are at least as advanced as the one that comes with ViewNX; adding metatags for copyright info won't be a problem.
  10. That is exactly what I am looking to hear about, Wouter! I've been using the same software for 'ages' -- I'm open to new ideas. :) Whatever transfer tools that you guys use, please pass it along! thanks, much!
  11. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Moderator Staff Member

    I have an awful lot of photos - electronically on various drives and DVDs, scans from film, as well as things that I only have as negatives, slides or photo prints. Though I am reluctant to get rid of "good stuff" I wonder if it wouldn't be logical to follow the process used in industry for stored documents, and have some kind of software that that can respond to a "shred by" date. Heresy, I suppose, but there you have it.
  12. I just copy stuff, never been an issue. Now, I never reset the filename in the camera, so dupes shouldn't be an issue. I set up my file folders by date. Folder "2017" contains 12 sub folders, 1701, 1702 1703 etc. Processed output usually gets appended "proc" and either goes in the same folder as the original, or/and to a folder specific to some project or customer. Where I can, I use a YYMMDD format so things sort in a sensible manner.
  13. Sandy, did you actually say 'shred' and 'your images' in the same sentence?? :) Although all of my digital images are stored on redundant drives (in folders by category and date shot), my challenge a few years ago when I realized those thousands were turning into tens of thousands, was a way to find them -- as opposed to my thinking I could find them simply by date (like who forgets when they went to a certain location -- or looking for a fall foliage picture? look at every shoot in October! hah!) So I came up with a system that is simple - but archaic for most -- but extremely effective, for me. I know most photographers use tag words etc in LR, PS or other cataloging software -- but even that seemed like a lot of work after every shoot. I simply use a spreadsheet -- with enough fields (columns) to ensure I can find what I am looking for -- with each shoot as one single row. Then when I need to find an image of a certain thing/place I filter the columns and do a quick search. Of course 'consistency' of the words used to describe something is important -- otherwise your search gets too unwieldy - as you need to do with any catalog software. But changes can be quickly made by filtering and replacing. It took months to set up, but now it only takes a minute or two to update after every shoot -- and the best part, it does not become obsolete at every whim of the software developer -- Excel has been around since Windows 3.1 -- I guess it's going to be here for awhile longer.

    Anyway - I digress -- this is for another topic -- still would like to hear of other transfer programs that you guys are using! thx!
  14. Like Dieter, I also use Downloader Pro to download images from my D500, D800e and D810. I use the "tokens" in the program to create unique file folders and file names for each image. The tokens I have chosen make it impossible for one image to overwrite another.

    My File Folders created start with a date (like 2017_12_02), then a project name and the specific camera body. Sometimes I add another token to identify the folder as JPEG or RAW. Many other options are available to you.

    My file name is date, project, number camera too: Like 171202, etc. Many other options are available.

    My preference is to create a separate file folder for each card from a camera. Others prefer to have fewer folders and download images from multiple cards into one folder. Just decide on what works for you and stick with it.

    Downloader Pro creates sidecar files for keywords, copyright, etc. But not all Nikon programs will read this information. NikonView Nx-i will not recognize most of the IPTC/XMP info created during download with Downloader Pro. Other programs will.

    I could use Nikon View NX-i to transfer the files to my laptop or pc. I just have never gotten comfortable with the way the transfer works. That does not mean it will not work for you. If you use NX-i to transfer, XMP/IPTC data can be done at the same time. When i have tried it, I got different results with JPEG files than for RAW. Maybe the problem was what I did or did not do, but I felt I could not trust it. Give it a try and see if it will work for you.

    One other tip if you have multiple Nikon bodies. I change the DSC xxxx file name created at time of capture to a unique three digit set of letters for each of my three Nikon bodies. That means that I never have image names created by a camera that start with the same three letters like DSC. You can make this change in a Nikon Shooting Menu, File Naming..
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
  15. As do I - that's what the D5A, D5B, D5C, D81A, D81B etc come from.

    I don't have one so I can't check. But even with the version I own - which predates the release of the D810 and D500, I had no issue with files from either model. It also works with my Sony A7 and A7II. Believe the program was initially written for Canon cameras, but the tokens seem to work for other makers as well.
  16. With tens of thousands of large image files, surely the collection spills over into multiple hard disks?

    I know my image files are scattered over several removable disks, and it's at this point that automatic indexing tends to fail, and manual labelling has to take over.

    You should have backups on separate disks in any case.

    Cloud storage? I could never bring myself to trust it on security grounds alone.
    mike_halliwell likes this.
  17. @joseph -- thank you!! lots of good information! I initially considered the NX-i until I read it will uninstall any older version of NX during the install. I thought perhaps the way to go was to uninstall NX2, install the NX-i, then re-install the NX2 -- so both would be resident. This sounded risky - since I don't know for sure what is used by both, etc, so that is when I decided to go back to my 'go-to' source: the guys at to get their advice. :)

    @rodeo_joe -- "...with tens of thousands of large image files, surely the collection spills over into multiple hard disks?" -- I use 3 redundant 3T external drives (from three different manufacturers - to reduce the chance of a bad design that could wipe out all three at the same time [just my luck ;-) ]. Very little is ever on my actual hard drive on my laptop -- with the file size that these cameras have, if I keep more than 2 or 3 months of work on my HD, it will tell me it's too full so I just delete them, unless I plan to do any post-processing with them -- but by 2 or 3 months, that is already done and I'm just being lazy keeping them there. :) As soon as I get home from a shoot, the first thing I do is transfer the files from the camera to my laptop, update the "log" file, then copy the files to the 3 external drives. When they get 90% full, I will buy another 3 sets. I'm totally with you regarding the cloud - your images are only as safe as the least trustworthy employee. Most folks who use the cloud say it is for convenience -- but my system is so simple I can't even use that excuse. :)
    Thanks, all!!
  18. Like Dieter and Joseph I give each camera body a unique name under "File Naming" in the setup menu. For instance D5A=D5, D50=D500, D85=D850 and D75=D750. That way in the future I can tell just by looking at a file name which camera body was used. I manually create folders based on the job or destination such as "Acme HS Football 2017" and then separate folders for each game. I use Fast Picture Viewer 64 Pro after each game to quickly go through the photos and transfer the keepers to the folder. For sports when using multiple camera bodies I use Adobe Bridge to put them in the proper time sequence and batch rename if desired. For that each body must have a GPS so that the time is synchronized. For photo sessions it can be "Smith Family 2017" and for vacation trips "Hawaii 2009". I have used this system for about 15 years and at least for me helps to quickly locate photos from a certain event or destination.
  19. Aside from the recommendation to change the filenaming in-camera (which sounds the best option to me), there should be the needed flexibility in View NX-i. It's been a good while since I used ViewNX-i to import images, but from what I recall it does have the option to set naming rules for both folders and files upon import, where meta-tags can be used, so you can use date shot, camera and a sequence number to ensure consistent and unique filenames.

    Personally, I use Capture One, which has these abilities (including camera serialnumber in case you use 2 identical bodies), plus a "job title" which can be set for each import, and it offers the same options for renaming files (in my case, I use a lot of scanned files which I rename afterwards). Counter (for sequencial numbering) can be reset for each import, or run continuously and length of counter can be set.
    However, one of the reasons I moved away from ViewNX and folder-based organisation is that it often became a bit too limiting. A consistent folder name structure can only use one dimension (say, date of import, location or subject) for its naming and if you want to search on multiple dimensions (i.e. photos in 2017, made with camera X in location Y), the folder structure starts to work against you. So something of a catalog, where you can search on metadata and keywords and combine these as needed, just makes more sense to me. And as a result, makes my folder structure much simpler (foldername is date/time of import, with sequencial number), and filename structure to ensure unique names.
  20. Just noticed your post so this idea may be out of date.

    I use Camera Bits Photo Mechanic which is very fast and has a large number of functions and I am sure it will do what you are after. They have a trial (30 day) options to see if you like it.

    This is the link Tour Photo Mechanic | Camera Bits, Inc.

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