The Nikon D2X is supplied with Nikon Picture Project 1.5 which also includes Nikon FotoShare. Optionally you can purchase Nikon Capture 4.2 (which includes the tethered shooting application Nikon Capture Camera Control), a 30-day trial version is available for download from the Nikon website. It's a pity Nikon don't include a more capable RAW conversion utility with their top-end professional digital SLR (Canon include Digital Photo Professional and RAW Image Task with the EOS-1Ds Mark II). Nikon View is also available for download.
NOTE: Only after writing this part of the review did we discover that the version of PictureProject actually shipped with the camera is 1.5. Much of the detail described below applies to the newer version.
The easy-to-use PictureProject application provides straightforward workflow and editing capability, to be honest it's aimed more at the beginner and in my opinion would likely not be used by professionals. It installs tray applications which monitor for connection of digital cameras via USB or cards inserted into card readers and then provides automatic transfer of images to the hard disk, cataloging them as it does so. You can also have the application catalog images already on your hard disk. It provides basic image editing including Brightness, Color, Sharpness and Photo Effects (B&W/Sepia). PictureProject doesn't provide any specific RAW features (such as changing white balance) but can convert a RAW to JPEG. PictureProject is split into three sections; Organize, Edit and Design.
The PictureProject Transfer normally runs 'in the background' and is used to transfer images from a connected camera, you can choose which collection the images are stored in and if images are removed from the camera after transfer. In Advanced mode you can actually select which images are transferred. PictureProject Transfer can also be started from the main PictureProject application.
Organize mode allows you to browse your 'collections' in one of three thumbnail modes; Thumbnail (shown below), Photo and Thumbnail (similar to our galleries) and List (a thumbnail with shooting information). The right hand pane displays information about the selected image, including the basic file details but also extended shooting information and editable keywords.
The right hand pane Information can be changed and includes full IPTC data which can also be edited.
You can select one or more image from the index and use any of the toolbar features such as Print, Mail, Slideshow, Burn, Auto Enhance and Auto Red-eye (shown below).
Double-click on an image in Organize mode to enter Edit mode. In this ode you can apply corrections and adjustments such as rotation, cropping, red-eye reduction and a range of Photo Enhance parameters such as Brightness, Sharpening etc. Note that you can still browse through thumbnails by expanding the 'Thumbnails' section of the right hand pane.
Photo Enhance adjustments
When you make a Photo Enhance adjustment to an image the original file (if it's JPEG) grows by approximately 40% and appears to other applications as a it does in PictureProject (with the adjustment applied). Interestingly you can always restore the image back to its original state (with the 'Reset' option) even if the image has been heavily modified and/or cropped, we assume PictureProject does this by storing some kind of restore data in the JPEG file itself (which is clever).
- Brightness (Auto, -100 to 100, Enhance Dark Tones)
- Color Booster (Auto, 0 to 100, People / Nature)
- Sharpening (None, Low, Medium, High)
- Photo Effects (No Effect, Black and White, Sepia)
- Straighten (-10° to 10°)
- D-Lighting HS (None, Low, Normal, High)
- Auto Enhance (applies 'Auto' Photo Enhance settings)
- Rotation (90° clockwise, 90° counter clockwise, 180°)
- Crop (No constraint, presets)
- Auto Red-eye (reduction)
In design mode you can produce a multi-image layout for sharing either by email, CD/DVD or as a print. Various template layouts are available and you can choose to have front / back covers as well as text captions.
Below is an animation of PictureProject's options dialog box.
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