Old 03-04-2009, 03:57 PM   #1
SD40E
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Default RAW/NEF photo editing software

I am new to Digital Photography, and I could really use some experienced input to help me decide how to invest my money on a program.

I have a Nikon D60 and think that maybe its time to start experimenting with shooting in RAW format.

Im wondering what photo processing software I should buy??
should I stick w/ Nikon and buy Capture NX,
Or is Photoshop Elements cheaper / just as good / easier to use??
or prehaps some other program that Im not aware of??

Thank you, I really appreciate all your input!!
Sam
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Old 03-04-2009, 04:38 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SD40E View Post
I am new to Digital Photography, and I could really use some experienced input to help me decide how to invest my money on a program.

I have a Nikon D60 and think that maybe its time to start experimenting with shooting in RAW format.

Im wondering what photo processing software I should buy??
should I stick w/ Nikon and buy Capture NX,
Or is Photoshop Elements cheaper / just as good / easier to use??
or prehaps some other program that Im not aware of??

Thank you, I really appreciate all your input!!
Sam
Although I'm a Canon user, the options for me are pretty similar. I assume Nikon cameras come with a RAW conversion application which allows you to save as a TIFF ?

You can feed a TIFF file into other apps like Photoshop etc or you could purchase Elements and import the RAW file directly.

Another option is RAW Therapee - http://www.rawtherapee.com/?mitem=1 This is freeware and can open most RAW formats and allow you to adjust the shot. You can save as a TIFF or JPG for further work in other apps or uploading to a website.
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Old 03-04-2009, 07:58 PM   #3
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My work flow with my D80 is pretty simple.

Load RAW in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, tweak whatever needs to be tweaked. Export as a full size 8 bit TIFF, load in Photoshop CS2. Shadows/Highlights, Saturation, Resize, and then Sharpen. Save as a JPEG.
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Old 03-04-2009, 08:59 PM   #4
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Since I've started shooting RAW (Nikon .nef), I've really, really started to like Capture NX2.

I find the "control point" or "u-point" or whatever they call it to be much more user-friendly and intuitive than using layers in the various Photoshop products.

Once I am happy with the RAW in NX2, I export as a TIFF or hi-res JPG to PSE to insert a copyright signature, resize, and do a final sharpening pass before uploading to RP.net.
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Old 03-04-2009, 09:25 PM   #5
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I use View NX as my NEF converter and use NX2 as my editor. You will get the best NEF conversion if you use Nikon's own software. NX2 can be a little slow at times but, it is very worth you time and money.
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Old 03-04-2009, 09:46 PM   #6
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The gold standard in digital post processing is Adobe. I have been using CS2/3 for a few years now (can't say I have much experience Elements, which I understand is the 'dumb down' Photoshop) and I've also tried out all the Nikon software for the hell of it. Photoshop is the winner hands down.

Bottom Line; Nikon makes cameras and Adobe makes photo editing software, not the other way around. Stick to what each company is good at (but also keep in mind the people at Adobe are professional screw job artist when it comes to updates).
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Old 03-06-2009, 01:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExNavyDoc View Post
Since I've started shooting RAW (Nikon .nef), I've really, really started to like Capture NX2.

I find the "control point" or "u-point" or whatever they call it to be much more user-friendly and intuitive than using layers in the various Photoshop products.

Once I am happy with the RAW in NX2, I export as a TIFF or hi-res JPG to PSE to insert a copyright signature, resize, and do a final sharpening pass before uploading to RP.net.

Sorry for my ignorance, and I probably dont need to worry about copywright signatures just yet.
But, Will I be able to resize a photo w/ CaptureNX? and is it always a good idea to re-sharpen an image after format conversion?
Thanks
sam
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Old 03-06-2009, 07:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SD40E View Post
Sorry for my ignorance, and I probably dont need to worry about copywright signatures just yet.
But, Will I be able to resize a photo w/ CaptureNX? and is it always a good idea to re-sharpen an image after format conversion?
Thanks
sam
Yes, you can. I don't, because I export to Elements anyway in order to put in a signature before resizing. Then I resharpen after resizing for uploading to RP.net, again in Elements simply because I have PSE open already.

One tip I learned somewhere, is to use luminance sharpening in a layer, rather than using straight Unsharp Mask in PSE. This helps keep USM halos to a minimum. Note, NX2 always uses luminance sharpening.

I use NX2 as a photo processor and editor, for which I think the tools are very powerful and intuitive, especially since NX2 can read all the embedded data regarding in-camera processing as part of the NEF file. Other programs only use some of that data.

I use PSE as a pixel-editor and graphics design program, for signatures and the like, for which the tools are also very powerful but less intuitive.

I think you can download a trial version of NX2 from the Nikon USA website. They did offer a very generous trial period, something like 60 days. Not sure if that is still valid.
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Old 03-07-2009, 02:31 PM   #9
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Thanks to everyone for all your input in helping me decide what software to buy.

Sam
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:54 AM   #10
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Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is best for it. It is very easy in to use, and best for editing cropping and fo rmany more functions. I had great fun with it. I suggest you to have it.
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Old 12-16-2012, 04:46 AM   #11
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Capture NX2 for the RAW conversion and basic adjustments, Photoshop CS 5 for everything else. In my opinion, the Nikon RAW converter does a much better job with Nikon's RAW photos than Photoshop's Raw converter. This is with D800e and D3s and before that D2x. NX2 isn't all that slow with D800e files as long as you have lot's of memory. I've used Capture One, Photoshop's Converter and NX2 before coming to this conclusion.
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