Yet another "Should I .. " question: Nikon Capture NX vs Photo Shop Elements

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by joseph_panico, May 7, 2008.

  1. Some advice based upon:

    The cost of the Nikon software seems reasonable but Photo Shop Elements is
    included with some scanners. Which is software easier to learn, use, etc.. So,
    buy a scanner with its bonus software - greater value ? - or get the NX software for
    some intrinsic reason. My experience level is low; I'm looking for a reasonable
    tool to enhance an otherwise good photo.

  2. Are you working with RAW (NEF) files out of a Nikon digital camera?
  3. Matt,

    I didn't make that part of the original question only to keep it simple. I suppose the full question would include some criteria matrix that made the shooting mode part of the decision.

  4. Joseph, both of them take a while to learn. However, there are many more books, videos, tutorials, etc., for PSE than NX.

    NX might be a better choice for RAW or JPEGs if you are using a Nikon DSLR and have no experience in post processing. OTOH, if you were planning to buy a scanner anyway and they throw in PSE for free, you can't beat the price.

    I think both of them offer 30-day trials. Give each a shot and see which seems easier to you. FWIW, I use both depending on what I am adjusting.
  5. Matt,

    I owe an apology as I didn't answer your original question after you were kind enough to respond.. Yes, I have a Nikon camera and would work in NEF files.

  6. No problem, Joseph.

    Capture NX definitely approaches editing from a slightly different perspective than Photoshop. I use NX for most of my batch processing, and for dealing with issues related to brightness, contrast, color/temp... and for dodging/burning type corrections. Sharpening, too, usually. But if I need to go in and do surgery (say, cloning to heal a bad spot, etc) then it's off to another editor. I'm actually a Corel guy, when it comes to that. To each our own. But Capture NX really grows on you, especially because it's so well coupled to your camera. Definitely spend every bit of those 30 days on the trial playing with it - you'll uncover a lot of subtleties.
  7. If you want to exploit the raw file completely, PSE's ACR has only a subset of what PS's offers. I assume CaptureNX goes as far as possible.

    Another consideration is that if you ever get another brand of camera, CaptureNX isn't going to handle its raw files. ACR will.

    But, that is only one aspect... there's much more to PSE that ACR.
  8. gdw


    First question for Marc, if you have a Nikon why would you ever want to go to another brand? Sorry, had to ask. Okay, maybe Leica or Hasselblad.

    If you go with NX, you will need both. The advantage is that NX will read your camera settings. The disadvantage is that NX does not include a clone tool or perspective correction.

    I use NX for everything (emplasis on the every) except cloning or perspective correction. The U-point technology is simply amazing. You can add U-point to PS but at almost twice the price of buying NX.

    NX is strictly a photoimaging software. If you want to play with images, like combining or warping or manipulting then NX is not going to do that. It dosen't contain the toys you get in PS.

    There is no way I would live without NX. However, if you have any previous knowledge of the usual imaging software, you are going to have to develope a new mindset because NX is more than slightly different from the PS or Paint Shop Pro layers mentality. Once you make that change you will find NX by far easier, faster and in my opinion superior to use. There may be a reason that there are fewer tutorials for NX than for PS, like maybe they are not needed.

    Okay, I am sold on NX and that may be reflected in the above! LOL

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