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BR Registered since 17th Nov 2006Thu 06-Dec-12 05:43 PM
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"Dealing with large files in Capture NX2"


Glen Mills, US
          

I was thinking about how large the D800 raw files are - unfortunatley Nikon does not offer a "small raw" shooting option - and how to handle them when less resolution is needed and you don't want to burden your computer/program by having to manipulate all those megapixels.

So at first I thought - after reading in a file, you could change the image size in NX2. But that won't help as it is just recorded as an editing step and the file is still large.

Then I thought after some possible initial processing you could save the reduced image as a TIF file. But I did a little experiment. I read in a raw image from my D200 and immediately saved it as a TIF file. The latter was 4X in file size. Apparently TIF's are much larger than NEF's.

So what's the solution if you have large files but don't need that size for a particular photo or set of photos? Of course I would only consider JPEG as the final step, which doesn't help.

Barry

  

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mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, sports, commercial, and events coverage, Mick is always ready to help Nikonians by sharing his deep knowledge of photography and printing. Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006Thu 06-Dec-12 08:25 PM
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#1. "RE: Dealing with large files in Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 0


Tacoma, US
          

Unfortunately, some sort of conversion to another format is needed. You could resize the image in CNX, save as a JPG close the file, reopen the JPG in CNX the "save as" as NEF. You can then still do non-destructive edits on the new NEF version, but you will not be able to manipulate all of the camera settings, as you can with the original NEF. Those get baked into you first JPG conversion.

You can save a little bit of file size in the original NEF by telling CNX (through preferences) not to save the preview image (that can by 6MB all by itself in a D800 image), but you will lose some image viewing ability in applications other than CNX. You could also capture 12 bit instead of 14 bit images.

Everything is a trade-off.

A better approach may be more memory (RAM) for your computer and/or more, faster storage.

Also, are you using the 64 bit version of CNX?

Mick
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BR Registered since 17th Nov 2006Fri 07-Dec-12 12:28 AM
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#2. "RE: Dealing with large files in Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 1


Glen Mills, US
          

>
>Also, are you using the 64 bit version of CNX?
>
Yes, I am.

As a test, I downloaded a 50 MB sample D800 image from the web and used the operating system to duplicate it twice. I wanted to see how my 2011 MacBook Pro would handle having 3 such files open at once in Capture NX2. There were noticeable delays compared to doing the same with my D200 raw files. Maybe upping the memory from 4 GB would help.

Apparently Canon provides a "small raw" shooting option - raw image files with reduced pixel resolution. How about it Nikon? We don't always need 36 megapixels.

Barry

  

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mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, sports, commercial, and events coverage, Mick is always ready to help Nikonians by sharing his deep knowledge of photography and printing. Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006Fri 07-Dec-12 12:35 AM
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#3. "RE: Dealing with large files in Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 2


Tacoma, US
          

With the D800, if you shoot in one of the crop modes you will get a smaller way file, but it is cropped.

4MB seems like little memory these days.

Mick
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jrp Administrator JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources Charter MemberFri 07-Dec-12 01:49 AM
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#4. "RE: Dealing with large files in Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 2


San Pedro Garza García, MX
          

I would suggest increasing RAM to its possible max, and add an external drive for scratch/cache.

Have a great time
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robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006Fri 07-Dec-12 01:49 AM
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#5. "RE: Dealing with large files in Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 2


San Jose, US
          

You should run not walk to your nearest computer shop and up your memory to at least 16 GB. Next step is to put a fast SATA 3 drive on your computer of at least 2 TB. You will then not notice the size of the file or any delays in processing.

Bob Baldassano
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ecossephoto Registered since 21st Jun 2012Fri 07-Dec-12 07:34 AM
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#6. "RE: Dealing with large files in Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 1


GB
          

Use DX lenses.

  

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BR Registered since 17th Nov 2006Fri 07-Dec-12 04:50 PM
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#7. "RE: Dealing with large files in Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 0


Glen Mills, US
          

This thread has digressed somewhat from my original question of how to reduce the image size in Capture NX2 to how to upgrade my computer. So message received that there is no realistic way to do the former.

As for adding memory, I could try that but my attempts to beef up previous computers with more RAM did not make any noticeable difference. I realize it's hard to generalize about things like that and others have had more success. But after all, 50 MB = 0.05 GB so if you don't run any others programs at the same time as Capture NX2, 4 GB vs. 8 GB should in principle not matter much.

Barry

  

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robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006Sat 08-Dec-12 07:14 PM
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#8. "RE: Dealing with large files in Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 7


San Jose, US
          

You are running 64 bit CNX2 which performs better than it does in 32 bit Windows. With a 32 bit system you were limited to about 3.5 GB of RAM being recognized for everything. You will be very surprised what 4 more GB will do for you if your machine will support it. All that extra RAM performs two functions, first it keeps your machine from having to go to virtual memory which really slows down performance. second it allows more applications to be running at the same time or at least does not starve your application for RAM, which then cuases you to go to virtual memory on hard disk. Believe me CNX2 performance will blow you away if you add the memory. RAM is cheap and in general increasing RAM gives you the most bang for the buck.

Bob Baldassano
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ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Writer Ribbon awarded for for his article contributions to the community Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005Sat 08-Dec-12 09:51 PM
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#9. "RE: Dealing with large files in Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 7


Atlanta, US
          

The last major upgrade to Capture included a significant improvement in processing speed.

I'm running 8MB of RAM and performance is pretty good but not what it was with smaller files. If I was looking at a new computer I would want 16 MB in a Windows environment.

I agree, the NEF files are already compressed and handled pretty efficiently so there is no benefit of resizing or conversion. Once you open and edit a file in Capture or View, the embedded JPEG is increased from Basic to Large, so file size increases.

I make a strong effort to have no more than one open file at a time in Capture. View forces you into that route.

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BR Registered since 17th Nov 2006Sun 09-Dec-12 12:40 AM
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#10. "RE: Dealing with large files in Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 5


Glen Mills, US
          

Bob,

Well, I didn't exactly run, but I just ordered a 16 GB RAM kit for my MacBook Pro. I couldn't believe it was only $75, and could have gotten it even cheaper, with another reputable brand, but I stuck with one I had used before.

I was monitoring the system RAM while working with a large example D800 image that I had downloaded and noticed it got fairly low, so that led me to try upping the RAM.

Thanks.

Barry

  

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robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006Sun 09-Dec-12 06:05 AM
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#11. "RE: Dealing with large files in Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 9


San Jose, US
          

Eric I run 16 GB on a Win 7 64 bit machine and it screams. I do not yet have a camera that has more than 12 MP yet. I can have multiple programs all running in the background like Internet Explorer with multiple tabs, Outlook, View NX2 and CNX2 and it doesn't slow me down at all. I am running an Intel i7 chip and a Radeon 6970 paired with Intel on board graphics. Also lots of fast SATA 3 3TB drives.

Bob Baldassano
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ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Writer Ribbon awarded for for his article contributions to the community Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005Sun 09-Dec-12 02:07 PM
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#12. "RE: Dealing with large files in Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 11


Atlanta, US
          

Bob - I had the same excellent performance with 8GB RAM, Windows 7 64 bit, Intel i5, and the latest updates of Capture NX2 and 12 MP files, but there is a noticeable slowing with the large files of the D800E. D600 files are a little slower as well. Multiple programs are not the issue. The slow step is rendering the large embedded JPEG's associated with edits in Capture or View.

I am not sure that it is a matter of RAM - the software was redesigned to be much faster - probably in support of the D800 files that were just ahead. We have to keep in mind that the file size from the D800 is 80 MB before compression, and large highest quality JPEG's are as much as 40 MB.

In my case I am at the maximum RAM possible without replacing hardware.


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robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006Mon 10-Dec-12 06:38 AM
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#13. "RE: Dealing with large files in Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 12


San Jose, US
          

Ias in that space, but I did replace the HW last year and gave my old PC to my step daughter with 8 GB of RAM. If I ever want more than 16 I too will have to change my MOBO. That would be easy to do but I don't need to do that yet.

Bob Baldassano
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BR Registered since 17th Nov 2006Tue 11-Dec-12 09:59 PM
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#14. "RE: Dealing with large files in Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 5
Tue 11-Dec-12 10:06 PM by BR

Glen Mills, US
          

Bob,

I just upped my MacBook Pro RAM from 4 GB to 16 GB. Prior to that I did some informal Capture NX2 benchmarks on a 43 MB D800 raw file that I had downloaded on the internet. Previously, if I selected View at 100%, it took about 5 seconds to complete that task. With the added memory - still 5 seconds.

Another test I had done was to duplicate the file twice and then run a batch job converting the three NEF's to TIFFs (which end up quite large). That previously took a little over a minute, with the laptop's fan starting to make noise while doing the last image. With the added memory - same time and same noise.

That had been my previous experience with adding memory. It never seems to make a difference for me. Maybe if I had several programs open at once it would help, but I generally don't do that. I thought this time it would help because I observed the amount of free RAM got quite low with the 4 GB installed.

So a couple of questions:

1. Is the timing that I am indicating on par for what one might expect with a relatively modern laptop? No point trying any further optimization if that's as good as it's going to get.

2. If not, your next recommendation is to "put a fast SATA 3 drive on your computer." Can you elaborate - internal or external? Used as main drive or just for NX2 cache?

Barry

  

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robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006Wed 12-Dec-12 09:51 PM
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#15. "RE: Dealing with large files in Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 14


San Jose, US
          

Barry I don't process images on my laptops, as neither of them have more than 2 GB of RAM. My comments are more appropriate to a desktop and I do have many things running in the background. My SATA 3 drives are internal to my desktop and I no nothing about MacBook and what type of drive interfaces they offer. I can tell you that any external drive will most likely not run as fast as an internal drive. I don't have a D800 and could not find any RAW samples to try so I tried opening a number of D700 RAW images in Capture NX2 by selecting them from the browser and these were around 18 MB files. I tried a number of different files and each opened in about 1 to 1.5 sec So if you factor in the D800 size they would open in a little over 3 seconds for a 43 MB file. I am using an i7 processor and I have a very fast video card, so it is like comparing apples and Oranges. The extra memory will help IF your large files were causing you to go to virtual memory. The real test should be how fast do your images process when you make edit steps. Mine are pretty much instantaneous.

Bob Baldassano
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ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Writer Ribbon awarded for for his article contributions to the community Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005Wed 12-Dec-12 10:35 PM
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#16. "RE: Dealing with large files in Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 14


Atlanta, US
          

I just did a quick test with a single 23 MB file from a D7000. I have 8MB of RAM on a Windows 7 64 bit laptop.

Open time for a single RAW file was around 4 seconds.
Saving that file including updating the embedded JPEG was 1.5 seconds
Saving the file as a 16 bit TIFF was around 1 second.

I tried the same test with a single 60MB file from the D800E.
Open time for a single RAW file was 6 seconds
Saving and updating the embedded JPEG was 2 seconds (I had longer delays when I was reprocessing the image instead of just adding another edit step).
Saving the file as a TIFF was around 1.5 seconds.

This is much faster than the same steps prior to upgrading Capture to 2.5 and beyond.

Eric Bowles
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BR Registered since 17th Nov 2006Wed 12-Dec-12 11:53 PM
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#17. "RE: Dealing with large files in Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 16


Glen Mills, US
          

Bob and Eric,

My laptop has a 2.3 GHz Intel Core i5 processor, and now 16 GB of 13333 MHz DDR3 RAM.

The D800 file that I have been testing is 43.5 MB in size. Interestingly, it open pretty much instantly in Capture NX2 - no delay as you have reported. Also, editing steps such as exposure adjustment are fairly quick except that I can just see small blocks of the image being updated instead of the image as a whole.

The time-consuming steps seem to be:

o View at 100% - I see large pixels for a few seconds before the zoomed image appears. If I scroll in the image it takes a second or two to paint the image without large pixels.

o Saving the NEF as either TIFF or JPG to the internal hard drive or an external drive - takes about 20 seconds.

Any idea as to what these results might imply? I guess the first one is due to not having a dedicated graphics board, the second to the 5400 internal drive ??

Barry

  

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ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Writer Ribbon awarded for for his article contributions to the community Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005Thu 13-Dec-12 01:55 AM
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#18. "RE: Dealing with large files in Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 17


Atlanta, US
          

The first and the second are the nature of the beast.

The 100% view after changes requires processing of a large JPEG for the entire image. The workaround if needed is to save it first. If you save it processes faster.

Saving as a TIFF or JPEG is very fast if you save the NEF first. Saving directly as a TIFF or JPEG means it still is processing a large embedded JPEG before your operation.

Both an advantage and a disadvantage of Capture is the way it creates a large embedded JPEG. The good news is there are programs that can extract that file directly and quickly - like Photo Mechanic. I've started using PM for all my conversions - to JPEG as well as TIFF.


Eric Bowles
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robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006Thu 13-Dec-12 07:45 AM
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#19. "RE: Dealing with large files in Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 17


San Jose, US
          

Barry even I see some pix-elation for an instant when going to 100%. As you surmise the problem is no dedicated graphics card will slow down that process and a slow read/write on a drive will increase your times significantly. It is essentially the reason I will not consider a laptop for my processing.

Bob Baldassano
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BR Registered since 17th Nov 2006Thu 13-Dec-12 11:00 PM
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#20. "RE: Dealing with large files in Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 18


Glen Mills, US
          

>The 100% view after changes requires processing of a large
>JPEG for the entire image. The workaround if needed is to
>save it first. If you save it processes faster.
>
>Saving as a TIFF or JPEG is very fast if you save the NEF
>first. Saving directly as a TIFF or JPEG means it still is
>processing a large embedded JPEG before your operation.
>

I think you are on to something here, but I don't quite understand so I'd appreciate if you could elaborate because this is what I observed: If I open the large image and just, say, tweak exposure a bit and save as NEF, it takes a while to save the file. But then if I reopen it, it zooms to 100% almost immediately, panning in the zoomed image has no delays and if I do a Save As to Tiff it only takes a few seconds. So,

1. What has happened exactly that makes it more snappy handling this large image?

2. I notice if I do a save to TIFF as part of a batch job on these same saved images, it still takes about 20 seconds per image, as opposed to the few seconds doing Save As as mentioned above. Is that just the nature of the batch process?

Thanks.

Barry

  

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robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006Mon 17-Dec-12 07:14 PM
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#21. "RE: Dealing with large files in Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 20


San Jose, US
          

Different things are going on. When you save a NEF two things happen. The edit steps are saved in the NEF so the RAW file is not changed. Second the embedded JPEG is updated by applying all those edit steps to the JPEG. Now when you convert a NEF to TIFF, not only are you dealing with a much larger file but all of your edit steps are being baked into that TIFF so it is going to take awhile.

Bob Baldassano
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BR Registered since 17th Nov 2006Mon 17-Dec-12 10:43 PM
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#22. "RE: Dealing with large files in Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 21


Glen Mills, US
          

>Now when you convert a NEF to TIFF, not only are you dealing with a much larger file but
>all of your edit steps are being baked into that TIFF so it is going to take awhile.

But after that initial NEF save, it only takes a couple of seconds to save as a TIFF when using Save As. When using a batch job to convert to TIFF, it takes 20 seconds per image. Same baking going on each time, but one is much more efficient. Just the nature of NX2's batch job process?

Barry

  

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