Okay, which software?

Started Dec 1, 2012 | Discussions
bikinchris
bikinchris Forum Pro • Posts: 21,503
Okay, which software?

I know this might sound like a newby question, but I am going to buy new software pretty soon and want to ask which one?

I have CS3, but I am interested in Lightroom or Aperture also. I use Capture NX a lot now. But every once in a while, I want to take out a dust spot and I don't know if Capture 2 can do that. For sports and most paid work, I use JPEG but for travel and landscape work, I always use NEF files.

I use a Nikon system with a D3 and Windows environment.

CS is so very expensive that the others have a good reputation.

So what are tyour thoughts?

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"Moving parts in rubbing contact require lubrication to avoid excessive wear. Honorifics
and formal politeness provide lubrication where people rub together.
Often the very young, the untraveled, the naive, the unsophisticated deplore these
formalities as "empty," "meaningless," or "dishonest," and scorn to use them.
No matter how pure their motives, they thereby throw sand into machinery that does not
work too well at best."
--Robert Heinlein in "The Notebooks of Lazarus Long"

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Sailor Blue
Sailor Blue Forum Pro • Posts: 12,700
Re: Okay, which software?

CS6 is expensive but it does so much that it is obviously worth it to many photographers.  Photoshop Elements is a cut down version of Photoshop that is sufficient for many photographers.  Lightroom is a powerful Digital Asset Management for photos program with a very good basic editor and other features added in.

A very powerful combination is Lightroom 4 plus Elements 11.  You might want to consider this combination.

Adobe offers free video tutorials that you should look at before using their free one month trial of these two programs.  Definitely try before buying.  Search for Photoshop Elements and for Lightroom to find the tutorials.

http://tv.adobe.com/

There are lots of tutorials on Photoshop Elements 11 on youtube.

B&H also has some good free videos on Photoshop CS6 and Lightroom.  Much of what is in CS6 training can be applied to Elements.

BHPhotoVideoProAudio - YouTube

Lynda.com has a couple of courses on Elements 11 and Lightroom.  A one month subscription isn't very expensive.

http://www.lynda.com/Photoshop-Elements-tutorials/Up-Running-Photoshop-Elements-11/108968-2.html?srchtrk=index%3A1%0Alinktypeid%3A2%0Aq%3Aphotoshop%20elements%2011%0Apage%3A1%0As%3Arelevance%0Asa%3Atrue%0Aproducttypeid%3A2

http://www.lynda.com/Photoshop-Elements-tutorials/Photoshop-Elements-11-Essentials-Editing-Retouching-Photos/111234-2.html?srchtrk=index%3A2%0Alinktypeid%3A2%0Aq%3Aphotoshop%20elements%2011%0Apage%3A1%0As%3Arelevance%0Asa%3Atrue%0Aproducttypeid%3A2

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Conchita Veteran Member • Posts: 9,914
Re: Okay, which software?

Well, Aperture is mac-only, so that part of your problem is easy--Lightroom.

fuego6
fuego6 Senior Member • Posts: 2,274
Re: Okay, which software?

Not much to add that Sailor didn't already say...   for me, it's photoshop and Lightroom together... then again, I can make the money for software back quickly with a few photo projects so it makes sense.

If I wasn't making money from the hobby - I would recommend Photoshop Elements.. or check out Zoner Photo Studio Pro...  great software for a very low cost.

bikinchris
OP bikinchris Forum Pro • Posts: 21,503
Re: Okay, which software?

Conchita wrote:

Well, Aperture is mac-only, so that part of your problem is easy--Lightroom.

Thanks. Best post.

Currently, I use Nikon View to set levels and if I need to take out dust bunnies, I use View to convert to JPEG. I can also use Capture to dodge or burn in JPEG.

it really bothers me that Nikon didn't make better software.

-- hide signature --

"Moving parts in rubbing contact require lubrication to avoid excessive wear. Honorifics
and formal politeness provide lubrication where people rub together.
Often the very young, the untraveled, the naive, the unsophisticated deplore these
formalities as "empty," "meaningless," or "dishonest," and scorn to use them.
No matter how pure their motives, they thereby throw sand into machinery that does not
work too well at best."
--Robert Heinlein in "The Notebooks of Lazarus Long"

 bikinchris's gear list:bikinchris's gear list
Nikon D3 Nikon D4S Nikon AF-S Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8D ED-IF Nikon AF-S Nikkor 28-70mm f/2.8 ED-IF Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-400mm f/4G ED-IF VR +1 more
jaymc
jaymc Contributing Member • Posts: 977
Re: Okay, which software?

bikinchris wrote:

I know this might sound like a newby question, but I am going to buy new software pretty soon and want to ask which one?

I have CS3, but I am interested in Lightroom or Aperture also. I use Capture NX a lot now. But every once in a while, I want to take out a dust spot and I don't know if Capture 2 can do that. For sports and most paid work, I use JPEG but for travel and landscape work, I always use NEF files.

I use a Nikon system with a D3 and Windows environment.

CS is so very expensive that the others have a good reputation.

So what are tyour thoughts?

-- hide signature --

"Moving parts in rubbing contact require lubrication to avoid excessive wear. Honorifics
and formal politeness provide lubrication where people rub together.
Often the very young, the untraveled, the naive, the unsophisticated deplore these
formalities as "empty," "meaningless," or "dishonest," and scorn to use them.
No matter how pure their motives, they thereby throw sand into machinery that does not
work too well at best."
--Robert Heinlein in "The Notebooks of Lazarus Long"

I use NX2 and it does have a tool to clean dust spots ... another suggestion is if you are a student, then look into academic software ... can get CS6 for $269.

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ABA DABA Veteran Member • Posts: 3,084
Re: Okay, which software?

LR, CNX2, PSE,   and maybe even Photo Ninja       (upgrade from Noise Ninja)

IMO you should be covered like a blanket for what you seem to need/want

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ABA DABA

kormendi_adam
kormendi_adam Contributing Member • Posts: 889
Capture NX2

I don't think you'll find anything better than Capture NX2, unless you do a lot of batch processing work and/or regularly edit hundreds or thousands of images or you really need the distortion correction feature of Lightroom which is the best I've ever seen.

Capture NX2, along with Color Efex plug-ins, does a great job. The U-points alone are worth for switching to Capture NX2, not to mention that Capture NX2 reads in-camera information and you really do not have to worry about your camera settings because you can overwrite them later (D-lighting, picture modes, noise reduction...etc).

If you do not find a feautre in Caputre NX2, drop me a message and I'll help you find it.

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fuego6
fuego6 Senior Member • Posts: 2,274
Re: Capture NX2
1

kormendi_adam wrote:

I don't think you'll find anything better than Capture NX2, unless you do a lot of batch processing work and/or regularly edit hundreds or thousands of images or you really need the distortion correction feature of Lightroom which is the best I've ever seen.

Capture NX2, along with Color Efex plug-ins, does a great job. The U-points alone are worth for switching to Capture NX2, not to mention that Capture NX2 reads in-camera information and you really do not have to worry about your camera settings because you can overwrite them later (D-lighting, picture modes, noise reduction...etc).

If you do not find a feautre in Caputre NX2, drop me a message and I'll help you find it.

Sure.. nothing better if you like using software that is 7 years old with no updates in site developed  by a company who doesn't seem to care....  Now that Nik has jumped ship and was purchased by Google - the only positive the software had going for it is surely gone as well.  Until Nx3 comes out (doubtful!), I would certainly recommend looking elsewhere..

Sunnyjim Senior Member • Posts: 1,024
Re: Capture NX2

I agree with Kormendi. Capture NX2 is my "go-to" software because I think the photo edits are superior. BTW IMO, NX2 does a better job of removing dust spots than photoshop. You have to first increase the image size to 100% then use the "Auto Retouch Brush", it blends better without leaving a trace.

Once you take the time to fully learn NX2, you will find that it is very powerful and it does an excellent job of making adjustments to your image.

Bob

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eagle_I
eagle_I Senior Member • Posts: 2,670
Re: Okay, which software?

You spend BIG BUCKS for a camera system and then wanna whimp out on cheap software?

Come-ON!

It's a camera computer "team" for best results.  Seems like you're looking at Kool-aid instead of Gatorade!

Invest in the BEST ... !

Mark

GMack Senior Member • Posts: 2,928
Re: Capture NX2

Sunnyjim wrote:

I agree with Kormendi. Capture NX2 is my "go-to" software because I think the photo edits are superior. BTW IMO, NX2 does a better job of removing dust spots than photoshop. You have to first increase the image size to 100% then use the "Auto Retouch Brush", it blends better without leaving a trace.

I glad someone else mentioned that little tidbit.  I thought Capture NX2 was far better at cleaning up skin moles, etc. than Photoshop CS6 that leaves a trace in so far as it removes all texture from the skin too.  Often I have to go back in and add some "Noise" to the spot CS6 removes.  The Capture NX2 does far better, imho, also.

The "Color Control Points" in it are superior to anything PS offers too.  If you have some multiple source of colored light, it really can do wonders:  Blue skylight in hair.  Green grass color reflected on legs.  Some red wall color cast.  Uneven skin colors.  Uneven contrasts or saturations. Cool area vs. warm.  Etc.  It's a very handy addition. Trying to fix it all in PS is a major slow-down pain.

Capture NX2 also runs with Nikon Adobe RGB 4.0.0.300 (I think?) which is better optimized for Nikon over the standard Adobe 1998 RGB.  I haven't been too keen on the output colors from Lightroom 4 using Adobe's RGB or ProPhoto profile. I'll go with ProPhoto TIFF in PS CS6, but only after Cap. NX2 has done it's initial work as it read the camera settings better than Adobe too.

That all said, Capture NX2 still is a finicky program and you may need 8-12GB of RAM for it not to crash on you if you work with large files like out of the D800 series.  I only had 6GB and it would often crash or freeze and the RAM load was up to 5GB when it happened.  I bumped it up to 12GB and it works 95% better.  Likes a good video card with a lot of RAM too.

Mack

Reilly Diefenbach
Reilly Diefenbach Forum Pro • Posts: 12,367
Re: Okay, which software?

Lightroom for sure, especially for large batches and landscape.  Got to have the lessons, though.  I recommend Scott Kelby's LR 4 book.

CNX2 is capable of good results, but is torture to work with, at least for me.  Tiny little picture, no autohide panels. Somebody mentioned control points. LR4 now has a brush for color temp or any of about ten different adjustments that works without overlap.  Kind of like an insta Photoshop.

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kormendi_adam
kormendi_adam Contributing Member • Posts: 889
Re: Okay, which software?

You wrote: "Tiny little picture, no autohide panels."

That is how rumors start. Just hit P and you can edit your images in full screen mode with autohide panels.

Again, Capture NX2 is the best software for Nikon RAW files if you know how to use it. I know, it is very fashionable to use Lightroom, but Lightroom is a one-size-fits-all solution compared to the tailor-made solution Capture NX2 offers to Nikon shooters.

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Reilly Diefenbach
Reilly Diefenbach Forum Pro • Posts: 12,367
Re: Okay, which software?

kormendi_adam wrote:

You wrote: "Tiny little picture, no autohide panels."

It should be a single panel all the way up and down the right side, not the goofy sliding window with the tiny buttons.

That is how rumors start. Just hit P and you can edit your images in full screen mode with autohide panels.

I coud go on and on, such as no one click zoom, no scroll, no grab and move, the sliding "new step" window as opposed to a right panel with full customization with steps in logical order top to bottom, no film strip, no gallery, no batch import worth anything, no synch up a selected group, no double click a slider to zero, etc.,etc.

Face it guys, Nik doesn't care.  Now that Google has snapped them up for the Snapspeed app, CNX2 is even further on the back burner than it has been, which was way, way back.  They'll probably never come out with fully revamped version 3, which all and sundry agree is years overdue.  I bought it for the good things it can do with a D7000 raw, but for $179, I expect updates on a regular basis and a smooth and fast user interface with as few clicks as possible.  It's just a bad investment at this point.

Again, Capture NX2 is the best software for Nikon RAW files if you know how to use it.

This is camera dependent. For the D7000, I'll agree, CNX2 is an excellent conversion, but for the D800e, it's terrible.  They obviously put no effort at all into engineering an artifact-free conversion.  ACR is just about perfect using the defaults:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/51747496@N08/sets/72157631912532602/

As well, Process 2012 is the fastest, easiest and most interactive set of controls yet conceived by the mind of man.  Truly impressive management of highlights and shadows.  Lightroom's sharpening is worlds better as well, for those who need it. Neither program has good noise reduction, but LR will host Topaz Denoise, so case closed there.

I know, it is very fashionable to use Lightroom, but Lightroom is a one-size-fits-all solution compared to the tailor-made solution Capture NX2 offers to Nikon shooters.

There is not one thing that CNX2 does as well, other than ADL, which LR will not read and which I don't usually use.

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bikinchris
OP bikinchris Forum Pro • Posts: 21,503
Re: Capture NX2

Sunnyjim wrote:

I agree with Kormendi. Capture NX2 is my "go-to" software because I think the photo edits are superior. BTW IMO, NX2 does a better job of removing dust spots than photoshop. You have to first increase the image size to 100% then use the "Auto Retouch Brush", it blends better without leaving a trace.

Once you take the time to fully learn NX2, you will find that it is very powerful and it does an excellent job of making adjustments to your image.

Bob

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That's what I heard by word of mouth. Thanks for your input. I do like the simple, quick wprkflow of using View and NX that I already have. In my "day job" of shooting, I am expected to never make any real changes to images (sports photography), So I am certainly no expert on Photoshop I already have.

I just want to be able to set levels and remove any dust spots on the landscapes I shoot on vacation.

-- hide signature --

"Moving parts in rubbing contact require lubrication to avoid excessive wear. Honorifics
and formal politeness provide lubrication where people rub together.
Often the very young, the untraveled, the naive, the unsophisticated deplore these
formalities as "empty," "meaningless," or "dishonest," and scorn to use them.
No matter how pure their motives, they thereby throw sand into machinery that does not
work too well at best."
--Robert Heinlein in "The Notebooks of Lazarus Long"

 bikinchris's gear list:bikinchris's gear list
Nikon D3 Nikon D4S Nikon AF-S Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8D ED-IF Nikon AF-S Nikkor 28-70mm f/2.8 ED-IF Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-400mm f/4G ED-IF VR +1 more
Emphyrio2 Regular Member • Posts: 480
Re: Okay, which software?

I use DxO with Filmpack for raw conversion 90% of the time.  This combo gives provides lens correction, noise correction, and film emulation.  The default settings provide high quality conversions with very little fuss - useful and time saving if you don't like spending your time adjusting sliders.  I also have PSE and Photomatix but use them only for very specific post processing tasks.

JAH

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