What software for processing of Nikon/D90 images? Pls share your toughts


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nemesis32

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Hi Guys

I intend to get D90 very soon, already reserved it, in fact. Having used D70 for the last 5 years, it's time for a major upgrade and i think D90 is a suitable upgrade.

Well, my past experience with D70 is that i took many photos but due to work commitments, hardly have time to process so i'm not too good when it comes to processing eventhough i have been shooting for about 7 years (on and off.. LOL). Hence the above question as i hope those who owns D90 or Nikon camera can share their thoughts and maybe the workflow.

I am thinking of getting Nikon Capture NX2 (is the name even right? :)) to process the raw files and for correcting the lens adjustments etc. However, i understand that using NX2 will cause the Raw file to increase by about 1/3 from about 9mb to 12mb. Still, size is not a big issue as we can always get a bigger hard disk. The key here is that will NX 2 raw conversion be better than other softwares like LR, CS4 or GIMP? If it's better, then i don't mind getting the software.

For touchup of images, NX2 seems ok but perhaps LR is a better choice as it helps to catalogue and organise the photos right? I probably do not need CS4's full capacity as i usually only do minor adjustments/touch up.

Usually i only do the following:
- Touch up on blemishes, USM, red eye reduction on portraits
- Correcting horizon, colours on landscape
- White balance correction, colour saturation etc
- Simple border (ie. white or black border) and signature/watermark
- batch processing
-Web conversion

I believe both NX2 and LR has the capacity to do all this right? If not then i probably have no choice but to go with CS4.

Not sure if what i said make sense but hopes anyone who has went through this can help. :p

Thanks.
 

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I use lightroom2.3. I find the interface in LR is much easier to understand and use than NX2.
 

daredevil123

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#4
I like LR a lot more. It is easier to work with, do just about anything NX can do and the following are really useful:

- Saving of settings into presets. Which you can apply to all images imported at the same time.
- Good batch processing
- Ability to import presets. Share settings among your friends. There are sites that offer free presets downloads.
 

nemesis32

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I use lightroom2.3. I find the interface in LR is much easier to understand and use than NX2.
Ya, i think LR has the best interface for all the photo software. CS is too complicated for beginners (like my wife) and need a lot of time to learn the various tools.
 

nemesis32

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I like LR a lot more. It is easier to work with, do just about anything NX can do and the following are really useful:

- Saving of settings into presets. Which you can apply to all images imported at the same time.
- Good batch processing
- Ability to import presets. Share settings among your friends. There are sites that offer free presets downloads.
Hmm.. For the presets, it kinda works like ACTION in CS then?

What about Raw conversion... will NX be better since it's Nikon proprietary software?
 

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Squid

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I am thinking of getting Nikon Capture NX2 (is the name even right? :)) to process the raw files and for correcting the lens adjustments etc. However, i understand that using NX2 will cause the Raw file to increase by about 1/3 from about 9mb to 12mb. Still, size is not a big issue as we can always get a bigger hard disk. The key here is that will NX 2 raw conversion be better than other softwares like LR, CS4 or GIMP? If it's better, then i don't mind getting the software.
The official name is "CaptureNX2", though those who write as "Capture NX2" or "NX2" can still convey the message clearly for the moment. From my experience using the CaptureNX2 which processes the NEF file in non-destructive manner and retains all the setting inside the NEF itself and not at other locations, the preview JPEG image size, number of settings, number of colorize layers, multiple workflow and other things inside a NEF will affect the size of NEF file. Currently, when adjustment are kept to miniminum and with JPEG preview file constrains to 1800x1200 pixel, the file size merely increase by 1 or 2MB only.

CaptureNX2 is able to read the various setting inside the camera at the moment of capturing the image in NEF file format. These includes EXIF information, Picture Control Setting, camera in-built noise reduction intensity & sharpening setting for various ISO settings and D-lighting setting. These helps when one is deciding when parameter value for equivalent setting in CaptureNX2

IMHO, CaptureNX and CaptureNX2 being custom-coded to handle Nikon's NEF file, will extract better image from the NEF. See other opinions of CaptureNX2

- http://gunsydney.blogspot.com/2007/02/adobe-lightroom-nikon-capture-nx.html
- http://geofflawrence.com/blog/?p=1325

Usually i only do the following:
- Touch up on blemishes, USM, red eye reduction on portraits
- Correcting horizon, colours on landscape
- White balance correction, colour saturation etc
- Simple border (ie. white or black border) and signature/watermark
- batch processing
-Web conversion
This is a list of tools found inside CaptureNX2 that maybe used by threadstarter based on his above list to post processing task

- Three (or some say four) ways to set white balance and set colour temperature of photo
- Auto or two (or some say three) manual ways to set colour saturation
- Touch-up blemises using custom curve or auto-healing brush or colorize brush
- Colur correction using masking painting or U-point method
- Straightening horizon using icon function button
- Red eye correction using icon function button or rely on auto-correction function
- Simple white or black border creation
- batch processing and web conversion
 

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Octarine

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#9
Is it similar to CS? Or even better?
No, it serves a different purpose. Where CS is for heavy image editing at pixel level Lightroom focuses more on the overall image and the typical development activities. There is some overlapping, indeed (e.g. curves, sharpening) but Lightroom is a workflow implementation of picture processing. Organizing and importing, Development, Output to 3 different media - that's the idea in LR. CS is still a possible option as "side step" - but not mandatory. The Development module is closely aligned with the classical workflow in Darkroom (hence the name): exposure, white balance (presets or free adjustments), black and white points, curves, HSL (Hue, Saturation, Luminance) noise reduction, vignetting, CA removing and others more.
For me it is a great tool, gives instant results where I was overwhelmed by all the features and tools in CS.
LR is open to a lot of external plug-ins. Very useful are freely available development presets. They can be downloaded from Adobe Exchange (some for free, some for small money). Great help if you want to quickly achieve a certain processing style. There are also output plug-ins for photo galleries, slide shows, online galleries and other applications (Photomatix).
But what it cannot do: importing any camera-specific information like focus point, Picture Style (Canon) and others.
 

nemesis32

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Thanks for the replies guys... So it seems that to have the optimise processing, i should be using Nx2 (for raw conversion), then LR2 or CS for further editing.

Squid, it seems like Nx2 can satisfies most of my requirements will you, given a choice do the editing in NX2 rather than LR2/CS assuming cost is secondary consideration as compared to final image quality.
 

Squid

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Squid, it seems like Nx2 can satisfies most of my requirements will you, given a choice do the editing in NX2 rather than LR2/CS assuming cost is secondary consideration as compared to final image quality.
My closest personal experience would be comparing Rawtherapee-GIMP against Nikon CaptureNX2. I still would prefer CaptureNX2 as it allows me to best extract all possible details from NEF files easily and process it into a JPEG file in a single software instead of having to move the image from Rawtherapee-GIMP for all the necessary editings.

If you wish, we may further discuss at coming Nikon gathering as discussed here :
http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showpost.php?p=5015646&postcount=69
 

nemesis32

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Hi Squid... will prob try out the NX2 (think have trial version online) and see how it goes. Thanks and maybe will see you next thursday!
 

aspenx

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I use only NX2 99% of the time (discounting NoiseNinja).

I feel that it is rather easy to use and intuitive. I don't know why so many others prefer LR more, but for me, NX2 is great. The only drawback is that it's rather slow. Somehow, CS3 runs quite abit faster than NX2 on my computer. NX2 is capable of doing most things that CS is able to do, in a more comprehensible straightforward way. I also believe that NX2 is more capable of getting the best out of your NEFs than with CS or LR.

Just my 2 cents. Have fine processing!
 

dennisdk

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I'm very happy with LR, for the same reasons already mentioned above. Don't have any experience with NX2, so I can't comment on that.

One suggestion: for that 1% of the time that you want to use a tool outside of NX2/LR, like Photoshop, why don't you consider Photoshop Elements? It does most of the same as the CS4 functions, but comes at a fraction of the price.
 

nemesis32

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I use only NX2 99% of the time (discounting NoiseNinja).

I feel that it is rather easy to use and intuitive. I don't know why so many others prefer LR more, but for me, NX2 is great. The only drawback is that it's rather slow. Somehow, CS3 runs quite abit faster than NX2 on my computer. NX2 is capable of doing most things that CS is able to do, in a more comprehensible straightforward way. I also believe that NX2 is more capable of getting the best out of your NEFs than with CS or LR.

Just my 2 cents. Have fine processing!
yes, i think NX2 looks good and should be comprehensive for most situation, esp on raw conversion and minor touchup. However, my main concern with NX2 is whether it has the kind of speed and efficiency in batch processing like CS? Also, LR2 is good for tagging and managing photos from what i see and gather, just wonder if NX2 is comparable in terms of that.
 

nemesis32

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I'm very happy with LR, for the same reasons already mentioned above. Don't have any experience with NX2, so I can't comment on that.

One suggestion: for that 1% of the time that you want to use a tool outside of NX2/LR, like Photoshop, why don't you consider Photoshop Elements? It does most of the same as the CS4 functions, but comes at a fraction of the price.
I doubt elements will suffice should i need to do edits beyond NX2 or LR2. :)
 

Squid

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....my main concern with NX2 is whether it has the kind of speed and efficiency in batch processing like CS? Also, LR2 is good for tagging and managing photos from what i see and gather, just wonder if NX2 is comparable in terms of that.

Your concern of batch processing is a valid as CaptureNX and CaptureNX2 continue to dogged with slow performance of batch processing complains by users. Perhaps, you could run the trial of CaptureNX2 Version 2.2 to determine if it meets your needs.

CaptureNX2 does having these photograph managing function
- tagging and rating of photographs captured
- filtering based on tagging and rating information of photographs
- filtering based on file type
- quick preview function
- viewing EXIF information
- entering and editing IPTC information

Personally, I find latest version of free Nikon ViewNX complements well with CaptureNX2 with ability to transfer tagging and rating information between them. In addition, free Nikon ViewNX has full screen preview function which I find useful.
 

nemesis32

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Thanks Squid... I intend to try out NX2 as soon as i start using my D90! lol... Hope can learn more from you :)
 

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