NX2 speed-based alternative for NEF

Started Apr 25, 2013 | Questions thread
b2martin_a Contributing Member • Posts: 653
Re: NX2 speed-based alternative for NEF

I have Nikon Capture NX2 and Photoshop CS6 and process all my Nikon D700 NEF files using Adobe Camera RAW in Photoshop CS6 running on a Windows 7 Professional 64 bit PC.  I don't consider Capture NX2 is acceptable for processing large numbers of images, the process flow is just not acceptable compared to what I get with Photoshop.  I don't do a lot of work in Photoshop itself, but use Adobe Camera RAW in Bridge to make all the adjustments and run a Photoshop Action or the Image Processor in Photoshop to convert an entire folder of NEF files and save the output to a folder.

In Bridge, I generally select all NEF files in a folder and open them in ACR (Adobe Camera RAW) and make all adjustments of each image.  You can select multiple images in ACR and synchronize adjustments with one of the images to all of the selected images, you don't have to do a save of one image before you adjust another.  When adjustments are complete, click the Done button and the adjustments are saved.  I then select all the images I want to process (generally the entire folder) in Bridge and run the Photoshop Action or Image Processor to process the slected NEF files and save the results to another folder.  I typically have several hunderd images open at a time in ACR.

You need to be aware that Adobe software and most third party software will not read your in camera settings like Capture NX2, but it does read the white balance.  When you first open a RAW file with Adobe software it will use it's default settings and camera profile, but you can save your own default settings and camera profile.  The defaults in Adobe's RAW converter are camera model number specific and you can select to make them ASA and/or Camera serial number specific.  I have mine ASA specific, which allows me to have default noise settings set based on the ASA used to take the image - I have approximately 40 defaults for the D700 since that is the number of ASA values the camera can select.  Adobe supplies Camera profiles that are a close match to the ones available in the camera for Nikon, Canon, and a few other cameras - they will not be automatically selected based on what you have selected in the camera.  Adobe has a large number of lens profiles that will automatically correct lens distortion.

With Photoshop CS6 and Lightroom 4 Adobe released a new RAW converter that is considerably better that what was availalbe in Photoshop CS5 and Lightroom 3.  If you have Photoshop CS5 and want to use Photoshop to process NEF files you should upgrade to Photoshop CS6 before Photoshop CS7 is released since Adobe changed their upgrade policy to only allow upgrades from the previous release instead of the previous 3 releases.

You have the same capability in Lightroom, but Lightroom works in a database enviroment and I perfer the flexibility I get using folders.

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