Diglloyd's Quote About NX 2.2

Started Apr 2, 2009 | Discussions thread
Thom Hogan Forum Pro • Posts: 13,659
Re: Question for Thom

Warren35 wrote:

I am convinced that
Nikon makes the best digital cameras, but have great concerns about
this software issue.

Thank you for making one of my points ; ). Nikon doesn't seem to to put a high priority on perceptions that potentially erode the buying confidence. Tech support, software stability, handling of gray market repairs, etc. They should. Because as you note, it's put a question in your mind about a potential purchase.

Some people think that I bring up these issues too often or make too much of them and have some vendetta against Nikon. No. I'd like to see Nikon rightly establish themselves as the class act of cameras. They make fine equipment. It's the other things that they have sacrificed that makes the "Nikon Experience" less than it should be. There's a metric I used to use in the high tech business (no I won't share how it was calculated) which I called Sales Difficulty. Basically, I was trying to figure out what things removed customer inertia and made it easier to sell the customer our product. A potential customer, like you are for a D700, might balk because of many things, but some of those things were under my control and could be changed or removed.

I really don't want to spend a lot of time trying to fix this problem.

Nor should you. However, it generally seems to be an either/or proposition. A large portion of users just get working software. A small but significant percentage don't (to which I now can add myself ; (. Anecdotally, it seems that upgraders have more problems than first time installers.

I've read a number of times on this
forum that the results of the photos are better using the Nikon
software. So, my question to you is, what software would you
recommend that I use in place of the Nikon software if I were buying
a D700 today?

Okay, let's step into reality for a moment. There probably are two largish groups and one small group of DSLR shooters.

The small group is "I want every last little bit of quality I can extract from my equipment." You can identify them pretty quickly because they're using a tripod whenever possible, use M-UP with a remote release whenever possible, are considering diffraction against DOF during focus, expose to the right often using UniWB with a custom Picture Control, shoot NEF only (and usually 14-bit), and are using one of only a small handful of Nikkor or Zeiss lenses. If you're in that group, Nikon Capture NX2 is interesting and potentially useful (though there are other alternatives that have the ability to extract everything from a NEF, such as RPP). This group is bothered by a Capture NX2 install or crash issue but is motivated to try to work through it, even if Nikon tech support can't solve the problem.

At the other extreme are the one-hour print shooters (because that would be what they used in the film world). They typically shoot JPEG, they shoot casually and handheld, they often use wide-range zooms and prefer a one-lens solution, they rarely print large (and when they do they're more impressed by the size of the large than the quality of the large), and they don't want to spend a lot of time dealing with the photo after it is taken, other than perhaps sending it to someone via email or populating a gallery. Capture NX2 isn't of interest to this group. Even View NX isn't of much interest to this group. iPhoto is probably all they need on a Mac (fill in the equivalent on Windows ; ).

The group in between obviously has in-between shooting habits, although they may eventually aspire to the first, smallest group I identified. Lightroom is what they should be using. It's an all-in-one package that does almost everything that needs doing photographically. You don't have to use all of its features, but they're there for you to grow into. It has very good NEF support should you want to shoot raw. If you start to outgrow the NEF support, you can always add another converter into the Lightroom workflow, though there is still not a perfect integration here.

So, figure out which category you're in and lose your customer inertia ; ).

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Thom Hogan
author, Complete Guides to Nikon bodies (19 and counting)
http://www.bythom.com

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