Need some basic advice on LR 4 & NX2

Started Mar 15, 2012 | Discussions thread
Londongal Senior Member • Posts: 1,918
Re: Need some basic advice on LR 4 & NX2

Oscarroos wrote:

Caveat: I'm an old style photographer from Nikon F 3 days who has been fortunate to have the resources to move up to modern Digital cameras. I own a D-200/700 and waiting for D-800. I own two computers one a new laptop with 128GB SSD and 2nd gen i7 processor and 8 GB RAM with good graphics card.

I'm learning Nikon Capture NX 2 and my photos are getting better (I shoot NEF and JPEG). I'm doing basic post processing in NX 2 and liking the improvements in my photos. I bought Color Efex Pro 3 plug- in for NX 2 and can see potential there.

My questions are these:

1) I have a free upgrade to Color Efex Pro 4 and for PS, Elements and LR 4. I have read conflicting information on advantages of LR if one already has NX 2. I do not feel I'm ready for PS.

a) What advantages do I have to purchase Light Room 4?

b) How can I use both LR 4 AND NX 2 to my advantage?

I finally have some spare time (retired 3 months ago) to spend on post processing but my LOVE is taking photos BUT I do have time to finally learn Post Processing (yes I really do see the difference).

Will LR 4 help someone like me?

Lastly - How is it advantages to use LR (4) and NX 2 together to enhance the process?

Thank you and I hope this makes sence after 1/2 bottle of wine after dinner .

Thank you

Hi Oscarroos,

You've received some solid answers, and I'll add some thoughts from my own point of view.

If you were a friend or relative of mine, this is the advice I would give: Since you're starting your journey with post processing, it is to your advantage to set up a good workflow that you can grow with. With respect to that, I would recommend going with Lightroom for a number of reasons, first to be addressed would be for its DAM (Digital Asset Management). Lightroom is superb for file/catalogue management. You will import your existing files into LR and it will be your "home base" for managing all your images, no matter what camera you use.

With respect to file processing, I have tried a number of other programs (DXO, NX, Aperture and more that don't come immediately to mind) and I have found LR's interface to be very user friendly. I began using DXO a long time ago and never liked its interface, nor its slowness, and even less, the long time it took for DXO to add new camera/lens modules as I upgraded my cameras. These would be Nikon cameras, not strange and exotic ones

I did like some of the features of DXO, particularly the lens distortion adjustments, but never got used to the "negative" issues noted above. When LR3 was released, it included very good lens distortion adjustments and at that point I basically abandoned my use of DXO. I decided not to put out any cash for the latest update.

Similarly Nikon's NX. Some people swear by its "superior" ability to draw the best out of an image and I believe them. However, for my own use, the program is not as elegant to use, nor is the interface as good as Lightroom's. I love LR + Photoshop and the integration between the two is another big plus. I know you said you are not ready for PS yet, but if you are on the post processing journey, it would be likely that you will find your way to Photoshop and/or Elements in the future.

When you get your D800 (which I also have on order and should receive next week), give the LR4 free trial a try. The noise reduction engine is very good; see if you like it. See how it compares to NX and see if you think one of the workflows is better than the other. One thing about this current version of LR4 is that a number of people on the Adobe forums are complaining about how slow it is. You should take that into consideration when you take it for a test run. From what people are posting at Adobe, it is likely that the speed issue (and noted bugs) should be improved with updates. I, personally, am going to wait until a few of these issues are dealt with before upgrading LR3 to LR4. But I will be upgrading, that's for sure!

You can use both NR and LR to your advantage in a few ways. If you shoot JPEGS with your D800, NX2 (or will it be NX3 for the D800?) will recognize the special camera settings that are part of the JPEG and "cook them in" precisely in post. Adobe will only proximate these settings, because Nikon keeps its "special sauce" proprietary to the camera and software. Having said that, Adobe does an excellent job with Nikon JPEGS. That may be a moot point anyway, as many people who buy D800s and cameras of that calibre shoot RAW and have no need for the JPEG conversion and NX's proprietary handling of it. I fall into that category but will give NX a try to compare the noise reduction with LR's.

Another way to use both NX and LR to your advantage would be to cherry pick the best features out of each. At first blush, that may be NX's noise reduction and LR's catalogue management system. A definite possibility...for me that would too complicated, but it may work for you.

The one point I would stress, is to find a good image management system from the start that is yours and that you will grow with (and into). The program I suggest to friends is LR. (And don't forget, Lightroom has many more features than just catalogue management and image processing!)

I hope this is of help to you. I know some people will have varying opinions on what I've written, but that's life on the forums, isn't it?

Have fun with your D800!!!!! I'm so looking forward to receiving my own!

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