I recently downloaded a trial of Color Efex Pro 3 for NX2 and when it expired and I wasn't prompted to buy the full version I went to the Nik site and saw that there was now a Version 4...but only for Photoshop, Aperture and Lightroom. Curious, I thought as I believed that Nik was Nikon's software arm.
To make matters worse, the NX compatible Version 3 was no longer available.
Then as I discovered the Google purchase of Nik, I started to panic. Like many others I've come to appreciate NX2's features. I've also been glad that I didn't have to cope with the storied complexity of Photoshop or the frustrating inadequacies of most other programs.
Now it looks as if NX is to be made an orphan because Nik has announced that as CEP 4 apparently works on a totally different platform that is incompatible with NX... Nik has no plans to offer an NX plug-in. Ever. or as Nik put it, it was leaving it up to Nikon to determine their own direction...whatever that means.
So now I'm looking to find out what the general consensus is as to which remaining RAW processor would most closely offer what I've come to achieve in NX.
#1. "RE: Future of NX 2 and the best raft to jump to" In response to Reply # 0
This problem has been brewing for sometime. There is no other software that processes the Nikon camera settings as recorded by the camera when the image was shot. Note that recorded value could change with each shot so a pre-set in another program may come close but it is not the same as reading and applying the settings from the camera.
Either Nikon will have to hire the Nix programmers familiar wtih Nikon Capture Nx2, find another 3rd party to write a replacement, or develop the programmers in house.
There also is the question about the source code, human readable program instructions, for Nikon Capture NX2 and special Nik features within Capture NX2.
It will take time for Nikon and Nik to sort all of this out.
#2. "RE: Future of NX 2 and the best raft to jump to" In response to Reply # 1
San Francisco, US
I feel your pain. I like and still use NX 2, particularly for an image that I want to print. I bought the Nik Color Efex 3.0 a long time ago, too and really like it. As you know, Nik's plug ins are available for Photoshop, LR and Aperture. The U-point technology and other features are similar to using NX 2.
One nice think about the Nik plug ins for Aperture and Lightroom is that they work with both. So you could try both with the Nik plug ins and see which you like better. Good luck. I think the near future will be a time of software uncertainty.
#3. "RE: Future of NX 2 and the best raft to jump to" In response to Reply # 0
San Jose, US
I am afraid you have missed the boat if you already don't own a version of pro 3 for NX2 as it is no longer available from NIK which is now owned by Goggle. Google sent me an email that said they were moving owner data to their system and would provide support for owned products. NIK was not an arm of Nikon and they do not own CNX2,Nikon does. Right now I am not taking any action to use any other product although I have always owned and use Photoshop CS6 Extended. I prefer CNX2 as it is much easier and quicker to use. I don't know what the future of CNX2 is, but I doubt it is going anywhere, updates continue on a regular basis. Perhaps you can find a version of CEP for sale on line.
#4. "RE: Future of NX 2 and the best raft to jump to" In response to Reply # 3 Mon 05-Nov-12 09:06 AM by mklass
As Bob says, You have started out with the false assumption that Nik was part of NIkon and that CNX is sinking.
It never was part of Nik. Nik provided the U-Point technology that was built into Capture NX2, and for a while Nikon owned a small part of Nik. Nik developed a version of Color Efex for CNX. and they jointly marketed both products.
Unfortunately, the ownership and development arrangement dissolved several years ago, and when Nik came out with Color Efex 4, they did not bring out a new version for CNX and stopped selling the version for CNX.
In the meantime, Nikon has continued to issue fairly regular updates to CNX2, insuring new camera compatibility and occasional new features. They also did issue a 64-bit version, which was not a small investment in programming resources.
Some feel CNX is in a death spiral, others think that Nikon will always have CNX or something like to provide a way to use all of the cameras' features available for post processing. No one knows the answer to this except Nikon, and they are not talking!
In the meantime, Nik has been bought by Google, and there is uncertainty whether the plug-ins will survive. (My personal opinion is that there is a higher chance of the Nik plug-ins dying than there is of CNX going away.)
So what are your options?
Continue using CNX, as it continues to work and is a useful tool with unique capabilities. You can use ColorEfex 4 (or the other Nik plug-ins) as a standalone program to process JPG and TIF files created after doing CNX raw conversion and editing, However, you can't save Nik edits in the NEF as you can in CNX with Color Efex 3.
If you're nervous about Nik, the new version of onOne's Photo Suite has a module that works like Color Efex (and has other modules that do some other nifty stuff including B&W conversions). Again, you are working outside the NEF environment (it will open NEFs, but apparently does not read any settings or edits, and you can't save back to NEF), but the product may have a more stable future.
You can also use ViewNX2 to do your raw conversions from NEF. It isn't a powerful and flexible as CNX, but it does read and use your camera settings, but it is free.
Or you can simply switch to Photoshop, Lightroom or Aperture and give up on NEF's as you primary editing file, plus the ability to directly manipulate the camera settings in post. There are ways to set-up and use Adobe camera Raw, for instance, that come close to mimicking the setting you would get from a CNX raw conversion. Lots of people have done that and are quite happy with the process.
Like Bob, I am sticking with CNX2 until it stops working, there is a replacement issued, or there is a much better option available.
#5. "RE: Future of NX 2 and the best raft to jump to" In response to Reply # 3
Caledonia ON, CA
Well, it seems that I'm definitely not alone in my apprehension of what the future holds for CNX and NEF processing in general. I guess I can only hope that they at least keep updating CNX so that forthcoming OS don't render what we do have obsolete.
#6. "RE: Future of NX 2 and the best raft to jump to" In response to Reply # 0
New York, US
Let me offer some detail and clarification.
• Nikon owns Capture NX, especially the raw engine. • Nik developed the interface for Nikon and added some functionality, notably control points. • Nikon and Nik went their separate ways a couple of years ago; that's why CEP4 was not made available as a CNX plug-in. • Nikon continues to issue updates, notably to add new camera bodies (and the 32-bit version). • Google's acquisition of Nik has future ramifications for the various Nik software products.
What's the future of CNX? Summarizing (and grossly simplifying) other threads, it works well for many. For others of us, it has fallen behind the capabilities of other Raw converters and applications, notably Lightroom.
As a long-time user of CNX who converted to Lightroom. I'll say this:
• If you are happy with your results using CNX, if you think CNX gives the best rendition of the in-camera settings, stey where you are.
• If you like to "work" the image, perhaps to improve on the in-camera settings, then you may want to test other more powerful, more up-to-date converters.
• And if you want an app that combines browsing, ranking, key wording, Raw conversion and editing, then Lightroom might interest you.
Jon Kandel A New York City Nikonian and Team Member Please visit my website and critique the images!
#10. "RE: Future of NX 2 and the best raft to jump to" In response to Reply # 8
Caledonia ON, CA
Thanks Jon. Both you and Nick have given me some hope.My daughter uses Lightroom and I guess I'll need to download a trial for myself.
Ironic that you should also suggest Photo Mechanic because I downloaded a copy myself but unfortunately I'm still running XP which is one level below what PM is designed for. It does raise the question though of, going forward, how well does CNX play with Windows 7 or 8?. It wouldn't end up being the first ideal program that I've had to abandon because of OS advances.
#11. "RE: Future of NX 2 and the best raft to jump to" In response to Reply # 10 Wed 07-Nov-12 07:39 PM by kennoll
"... how well does CNX play with Windows 7 or 8?."
I set up my laptop (non touch screen) with Win8 Pro just to test out CNX2, VNX2, CCPro2, LR4, and PSE10. All work OK except that I haven't tried PSE10 as yet. I did not do deep dives and try all the bells and whistles but enough to cover my usual techniques and to see if any blue screens or other anomaly showed up.