Capture NX or Photoshop/PS Elements

Started Apr 16, 2007 | Discussions thread
JasonOdell Senior Member • Posts: 2,282
Re: Capture NX or Photoshop/PS Elements

For a Nikon user just getting started with raw (NEF), then Capture NX has one major advantage over all its competitors-- it reads (and applies) the settings from your camera.

What this means is that you can shoot everything in RAW, pick the shots you like, and if you did nothing else, you could batch all those NEFs to JPEGs using the as-shot settings. That saves you from having to process every file or shoot in RAW+JPEG mode on the camera.

I personally think that control points are really on the cutting edge. Although right now they can only be used to make color/contrast/brightness adjustments (I'm simplifying here), I saw demos of other Nik Software products where U-point technology was being applied to sharpening, noise reduction, etc. Given that Capture NX is still in the Version 1.0 phase of its development cycle, I'm very excited about the future of this product. One interesting by-product of using NX and Edit Steps is that you could, in theory, never save your image as anything other than a NEF. This has significant file storing and organizing benefits-- you can save a single NEF with versions (at around 15-20MB) or multiple TIFFs/JPEGs (at 70MB+, more if the files are layered).

Of course, Capture NX does have some drawbacks. For starters, it doesn't have a clone tool (yet). It doesn't allow you to position an image precisely on the page during printing like Photoshop, and it doesn't have the "graphics" functions of Photoshop, like text, borders, etc.

From a pure "digital darkroom" standpoint, by which I mean making your photographs look like PHOTOGRAPHS, then I get just about everything done in NX that I used to do in Photoshop. I still use Photoshop for printing, and to take advantage of some nice plug-ins that I have. I treat Photoshop as my "effects & output" lab, while NX is my "processing" lab.

-Jason

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Author, 'The Photographer's Guide to Capture NX'
Visit my website at: http://www.luminescentphoto.com/capturenx.html

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