I shot a wedding a couple weeks ago, my first one, and I survived the event w/ only a few hiccups. However I found my images were less than stellar and I will have a lot of work to do on a lot of photos.
I had in the past used ACR to process all my RAW images. But I wanted to see if any of the other RAW processing applications would do a better job than Photoshop ACR. I started out w/ Lightroom 2 and that did about the same job, though w/ more efficiency than ACR.
I had read that Nikon's proprietary software could/would do a better job so I downloaded that and began playing with it. I really do not like the interface, it takes four clicks just to White Balance, and the two control Red/Blue controls are hard to get an accurate color quickly. Then there is Picture Control settings which takes another couple clicks to activate.
But what I have found is that Capture NX2 just does a better job. I just downloaded Lightroom 3 on the advice from a member here that Lightroom's new engine would handle RAW images better. Lightroom 3 is a nice interface but still does not render as good as an image as what I can get out of NX Capture Pro 2. I wish it did though... but it just doesn't.
I hope either Nikon will make its program easier to use and more efficient or Lightroom 3 has a few more tweaks before it releases in June to compete w/ Nikon.
I am about to test Capture One, 5.1 and see how it fares. I will report back.
If anyone has anything to add or would like to discuss how to improve the results from LR please feel free to post here.
#1. "RE: NX Capture Pro 2 vs. Lightroom 2 or 3" In response to Reply # 0
You'll have to be more specific about what image characteristics you wish to improve on. If overall color rendering is not what you prefer, are you utilizing the camera profiles (Camera Standard, Landscape, etc) or using Adobe Standard? I find this will establish a favorite starting point and then you can tweak from there. Also, are you using D-Lighting in camera?
#2. "RE: NX Capture Pro 2 vs. Lightroom 2 or 3" In response to Reply # 0
Doug are you using the latest version of Capture NX2 which is 2.2.4? I am puzzled by your WB comments. Are you in the Camera Settings Panel? The WB as you set it in the camera is displayed. If you want to change it you just need to click open the list, and select any other WB mode or method. You then based upon your choice can cool or warm the color, pick a K Temp, and or correct tint? I think it is quite easy. If you are trying to do all this with Picture Controls, that is not really the best way to do it. Picture Controls are what a JPEG shooter would use in camera, and you can use them in Capture NX2, for a quick adjust ment and you can also make custome ones to apply.
#3. "RE: NX Capture Pro 2 vs. Lightroom 2 or 3" In response to Reply # 2
Hi Bob- I am using 2.2.4. What I am referring to is using the eye dropper method to find a neutral point in the image. What I have found is that this method gives me greater control over WB. In the other RAW processors I have used, LR or ACR, it is a simple one step process. In LR a really nice feature is when panning over the image, there is a live preview window which displays the color shift which aids in seeing a quick preview. In NX2, it is a several click process, and it is very inefficient the way the program requires the user to activate it.
I was referring to Picture Control b/c to activate sharpening, that requires switching from the default setting to a different setting just to activate the sharpening control.
#4. "RE: NX Capture Pro 2 vs. Lightroom 2 or 3" In response to Reply # 3
Now that I know what you are trying to do, here are my comments. The neutral dropper only takes one click to neutralize color cast. You drop it on a point in the image that should be neutral and you are done. If you are trying to set B & W points than you use the Dual Threshold method on the histogram and when you find the B&W points in the image you click on them witht the respective B&W droppers. Otherwise as I said befor you use the camera settings panel to select the WB you want. Now as far asusing Picture controls to sharpen, most of us create custom Picture controls that we can apply. I have a set of all the picture controls with nosharpening applied so I can then use the sharpening tools in the edit list. Picture controls are Global and edit steps can be selective so you can do selective sharpening. If you have not yet visited Nikons site and seen their videos or bought a book on NX2 like Dr J's Book, you should. NX2 is not like any other Post Processor and it is loaded witheasy ways to do stuff, but it may not be obvious if you are used to Photoshop or LR.
#5. "RE: NX Capture Pro 2 vs. Lightroom 2 or 3" In response to Reply # 4
Hey Bob- Thanks for the additional thoughts. After working w/ the program more this morning I am starting to feel more comfortable w/ it. Your point of how NX2 works differently is quite accurately poignant- I am looking to achieve results in NX2 with the way I am used to in other editors.
You wrote about creating Custom Picture Controls... can you elaborate on this? How are you doing this specifically? I would like to see how this works...