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DrLee Registered since 28th Feb 2010Sat 22-May-10 12:56 AM
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"Newbie software choices"


US
          

I have a D90 and I am finding it difficult using the supplied software, ViewNX and Nikon Transfer. These may be simple programs to some, but I don't find them intuitive especially Nikon Transfer. Is there a good choice for me to try next that might be more user friendly?
Thanks,Lee

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Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: Newbie software choices
mklass Platinum Member
22nd May 2010
1
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DrLee
22nd May 2010
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sevtcard Silver Member
22nd May 2010
3
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DrLee
22nd May 2010
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mklass Platinum Member
22nd May 2010
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DrLee
22nd May 2010
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mklass Platinum Member
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Robp Gold Member
22nd May 2010
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Escaladieu Silver Member
26th May 2010
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27th May 2010
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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 2006Sat 22-May-10 02:22 AM
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#1. "RE: Newbie software choices"
In response to Reply # 0


Tacoma, US
          

The best software that I know of to transfer files to our computer, manage them, tag them and you can also E-mail and FTP is PhotoMechanic. http://www.camerabits.com
If you can use MS Explorer, you can use PM.

It costs about $150 bucks, but it will save you that in time and aggravation in a few hours.

If you decide to use CaptureNX 2 as a photo editor, they work very well together. But you can use any editor that you wish.

Mick
www.mickklassphoto.com

  

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DrLee Registered since 28th Feb 2010Sat 22-May-10 02:55 AM
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#2. "RE: Newbie software choices"
In response to Reply # 1


US
          

>The best software that I know of to transfer files to our
>computer, manage them, tag them and you can also E-mail and
>FTP is PhotoMechanic. http://www.camerabits.com
>If you can use MS Explorer, you can use PM.
>
>It costs about $150 bucks, but it will save you that in time
>and aggravation in a few hours.
>
>If you decide to use CaptureNX 2 as a photo editor, they work
>very well together. But you can use any editor that you
>wish.
>
>Mick
>www.mickklassphoto.com
Thanks Mick for the reply. Just a question; It should be obvious that I am new at software use, but must you use multiple programs to do post-processing such as using ViewNX and Nikon Transfer as on the disc that came with my D90? I am getting the impression that is the case. You mention using CaptureNX 2 working well together with PM.
Is this how it is done? I really need a course in the computer/software side of digital photography. I recently made the switch from film to digital and the software usage learning curve is what I expected; confusing. Thanks for the reply again.
Lee

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sevtcard Silver Member Nikonian since 05th Mar 2009Sat 22-May-10 12:01 PM
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#3. "RE: Newbie software choices"
In response to Reply # 2


Brattleboro, US
          

as in a darkroom, there is a workflow to getting photos out of your camera and to the computer/printer. the first step is to take the film out of the canister, which is a separate process from development. with digital, getting the images out of the cannister is done with transfer software. distinct from film, with digital, you can also add important information to the images that will stay with it wherever it goes, such as location data, keywords which describe the image and which help you locate it later with an automatic search (filing negatives in a shoe box with index card tabs). keeping the added data coherent between photomechanic and nx is one of the portions of the transfer process that works well.

in digital, you don't have a negative to develop so, next, you load the negative/digital image into the enlarger, and expose it using paper and a bath such as Capture NX or Photoshop. NX allows you essentially to use digitized darkroom techniques, including dodging, burning, filtering, sharpening, etc.

there is a workflow associated with the digital development phase as well. learning to do this well is a long process, just as learning to develop film is a long process. the good news is that you can make an infinite number of mistakes with a program like NX since all changes are 'non-destructive.' an excellent introduction to using NX is Jason O'dell's ebook which you can find at www.luminescentphoto.com along with some very helpful videos.



Mark
www.broadwallphotography.com

  

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DrLee Registered since 28th Feb 2010Sat 22-May-10 12:19 PM
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#5. "RE: Newbie software choices"
In response to Reply # 3


US
          

Thanks Mark, that helps alot,
Lee

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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 2006Sat 22-May-10 12:19 PM
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#4. "RE: Newbie software choices"
In response to Reply # 2


Tacoma, US
          

Lee:

View NX is a pretty good image browser, with some limited editing capabilities, and it is free. I do not use it, as PhotoMechanic is far more capable and faster. and Capture NX2 is arguably the best way to process Nikon RAW images.

I do believe that if you are using ViewNX, you must use something else to transfer the images from your camera to your computer. The companion Nikon software is Transfer, which (based on the limited amount that I used it a while back) I agree is a pain to use. Perhaps someone with more experience with the View NX/Transfer combination can provide better insight.

I don't know what your budget is for photo editing and management software. There are lots of options out there, and many people here who have experience with them. If you haven't done it already, you may want to peruse the general Post Processing forum to get some feel for what other people use, and then post a message outlining what your requirements are (image format used, cost, ease of use, time available, what you do with your images, etc).


Mick
www.mickklassphoto.com

  

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DrLee Registered since 28th Feb 2010Sat 22-May-10 12:38 PM
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#6. "RE: Newbie software choices"
In response to Reply # 1


US
          

>The best software that I know of to transfer files to our
>computer, manage them, tag them and you can also E-mail and
>FTP is PhotoMechanic. http://www.camerabits.com
>If you can use MS Explorer, you can use PM.
>
>It costs about $150 bucks, but it will save you that in time
>and aggravation in a few hours.
>
>If you decide to use CaptureNX 2 as a photo editor, they work
>very well together. But you can use any editor that you
>wish.
>
>Mick
>www.mickklassphoto.com
So, the question is do you need two types of software? I read at Camerabits, PM is a browsing program. Do you still need another editing progam?
Lee

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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 2006Sat 22-May-10 12:51 PM
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#7. "RE: Newbie software choices"
In response to Reply # 6


Tacoma, US
          

Yes, if you use PhotoMechanic, you do need a separate editing program.

Many people use Adobe Lightroom as an almost all-in-one solution.

Are you shooting RAW or JPG? You would probably find that CaptureNX is easier to use as a novice RAW (NEF) file processor. Its reads all of the camera info when processing the image. Lightroom requires much more manual intervention for Nikon NEF processing.

If you are shooting JPG, then it is less of an issue.

Mick
www.mickklassphoto.com

  

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Robp Gold Member Nikonian since 23rd Oct 2009Sat 22-May-10 08:01 PM
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#9. "RE: Newbie software choices"
In response to Reply # 7


Gainesville, US
          

Mick,

I agree that, at least in the past, NX2 handled NEF images better than anything else, presenting them as pre-processed in the camera so that the initial image looked better than other software which gave us (NX2 users) a head start towards finished processing of the image.

The recent version 6.1 release of Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) has been thoroughly rewritten and is now presenting beautiful initial images of Nikon Raw files. Photoshop CS5 can use ACR 6.1 and I believe that the Beta version of LR uses it also. I feel like I'm getting better finished images using ACR/CS5 with it's improved sharpening than I was in NX2 but haven't made serious comparisons yet (only have so much time to play). What is your impression of the new ACR?

Rob

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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 2006Sat 22-May-10 09:54 PM
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#10. "RE: Newbie software choices"
In response to Reply # 9


Tacoma, US
          

Rob,

Since I rarely use Photoshop, generally only when I need a plug-in like Genuine Fractals or some of the NIK plug-ins, I am still using CS4. ACR 6x doesn't work with CS4. So, I have no idea how well it works on NEF's.

Capture NX2 is so seamless in working with RAW files, I can't think of a reason to spend the money (considerable) on the Adobe upgrade. I expect we'll see a new version of NX in 3 to 6 months, and the upgrade cost will probably be moderate.

If NIK would make NX compatible versions of more of their plug-in's, I'd probably delete Photoshop from my system. I don;t find it to be any more stable than CaptureNX.

But getting back to Dr Lee's question, I think PS is so much more complicated to use than CaptureNX, that he might get totally flustered. CaptureNX has a few key tools that once learned, are the gateway to using everything else on a consistent basis.

Mick
www.mickklassphoto.com

  

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Escaladieu Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Apr 2010Wed 26-May-10 04:49 PM
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#12. "RE: Newbie software choices"
In response to Reply # 9


Artiguemy, FR
          

Amen to the use of Lightroom 3 Beta - I've been trying it out recently & getting good results. The v2 Camera raw profiles are giving colours close to NX2 - maybe close enough .. & the improved search engine can extract keyworded images from a catalog of 10,000 images in under 2 sec.

Its much better than the previous version.

Personal Blog
http://www.blog-jeff-holdgate.co.uk

  

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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 26-May-10 09:53 PM
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#14. "RE: Newbie software choices"
In response to Reply # 9


San Jose, US
          

Rob I have The CS5 Production Premium Suite which includes Photoshop CS5 Extended. I do not intend to use PS ACR for any RAW processing, because no matter how close they come to NX colors they are still not reading the camera settings and the real deal breaker for me is the use of Side Cars. I want all my setting in the NEF, not in some side car that can get lost and corrupted. Yet I do use CS5 Extended for other stuff that NX2 can't do better, like composites and I tried 3d for the first time last night.

Bob Baldassano
My Nikonians Gallery

"Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the
camera"

Retirement is a gift of time - Don't waste it!

  

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Robp Gold Member Nikonian since 23rd Oct 2009Thu 27-May-10 04:49 AM
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#15. "RE: Newbie software choices"
In response to Reply # 14


Gainesville, US
          

Bob, I share your dislike of the sidecar storage and really like the fact that NEFs edited with NX2 can have versions imbedded in the single edited file. I do the editing and save a master version, then create other versions for printing (different crops/resolutions) and the occasional ''cutsie" effect like adding vignetting as a surround. This simplified storage (one file, multiple versions) makes life easy.

What's driving me to look at CS5 and LR3 is the enhancement of several of their tools (ACR is common to both). I agree that previous versions of ACR did not read the camera settings imbedded in NEF files and the images were lousy, but it appears to me that the new Release Candidate (beta) v6.1 does read the camera data; the images are outstanding! You really owe it to yourself to try capture sharpening and noise reduction in v6.1; I think it's better, faster and easier to use than earlier versions and NX2.

A drawback to this for me is a more complicated set of filing choices some of which are unacceptable to me, like JPEG. I started a thread in the Adobe Imaging forum asking other Nikonians for image filing strategies hoping that someone has developed a methodology that approximates the simplicity of my NX2/NEF strategy. I'm hoping for some responses there.

Rob

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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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 27-May-10 05:40 AM
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#16. "RE: Newbie software choices"
In response to Reply # 15


San Jose, US
          

Where did you read that Adobe coughed up the dough to use the Nikon SDK so that they can read the Nikon camera settings? I would like to read that link. To my knowledge that is not true, but I could be behind the times. Just because they improved their mimicking of the Nikon Picture Controls, that still does not let them read any settings UNLESS they finally caved and bought the SDK rights. I find ALL of the Adobe options for saving files clunky, the NEF is a much better system. But if you are doing Pano's, 3D, etc. You have to use their system. I save my Adobe files as TIFs or PSD's. This gives you some capability to revisit a file as long as you saved all layers and made Smart Objects. This makes for huge files. I saw you post in the Adobe forum and also saw the post on how Adobe supposedly does better RAW processing than NX2. I just don't believe it. Do I like CS5? Yes but I don't use it as a RAW processor. I have always used USM and HiPass for sharpening both in NX2 and Adobe, I also use the NIK contrast filter to sharpen too. I have no problems in doing the type of sharpening i want right in Capture NX2.

But if you like the flow of Adobe and really want to give up on the best NEF RAW processor, then use ACR but save your files as layered TIF's or PSD's. You can save versions in a PSD file but it is going to be much larger than a NEF.

Bob Baldassano
My Nikonians Gallery

"Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the
camera"

Retirement is a gift of time - Don't waste it!

  

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Robp Gold Member Nikonian since 23rd Oct 2009Thu 27-May-10 05:36 PM
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#17. "RE: Newbie software choices"
In response to Reply # 16
Thu 27-May-10 10:59 PM by Robp

Gainesville, US
          

Did not intend to imply that Adobe bought the Nikon SDK nor that I know anything about ACR for an absolute fact.

I "think" that ACR v6.1 is reading Nikon camera settings because they change appropriately with the image selected. For example, they seem to get White Balance set pretty accurately. Maybe they are selecting settings by inference from the nature of the RAW data. The plugin is available at http://labs.adobe.com/wiki/index.php/Camera_Raw_6.1.

I "think" that Eric Chan attempted pretty successfully to mimic Nikon's picture controls; the profiles are available at http://forums.adobe.com/message/2681151#2681151.

I "think" the Noise Reduction in ACR 6.1 is much better than previous versions and better than NX2, plus the USM sharpening "seems" easier to use. I've been doing USM and HiPass sharpening in NX2 and CS4 like you but the new "Detail" panel in ACR/CS5 or LR3 puts Noise Reduction and USM sharpening in the same place; maybe the "packaging" is influencing my thoughts.

Agreed, all Adobe options for saving files are clunky and NO, i do not want to give up on NX2, but my recent perceptions are definitely generating some hopes for NX3.

I really do not want to start one of the silly "religious wars" about "best" editors because I know from my own experience that my definition of "best" gets revised depending on the current problem I'm perceiving with my work. What I think would be interesting is for you and others to just open an original NEF in NX2 and in ACR 6.1 and do very little to the settings. See if you think my perceptions are correct; if I'm adjudged incorrect, that will be valuable information and will tell me to figure out what I'm missing.

EDITED to add: Just read one of Bob's posts in another thread that reminded me that in-camera settings for Active D-Lighting are probably (almost certainly) not detected by Adobe products. I'm still interested in comparative perceptions though.

Rob

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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 27-May-10 11:22 PM
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#18. "RE: Newbie software choices"
In response to Reply # 17


San Jose, US
          

Rob I am not interested in a "religious war" either, as you can see from some of my other recent posts when people ask which post processor, I tell them it depends.

ACR CAN read WB, the real question here is how does it display the result. You seem to like the result.

I don't think mimicking picture controls is such a big deal, and am glad Adobe addressed the issue because before it was pure #### and the ACR sauce gave inferior images, now they are closer, but mimicking is not the same as reading.

From what I have read Noise Reduction in ACR is now better, no argument there, but to use it you cannot export a NEF worked on in NX2 and open it as a NEF in ACR and keep your edits, so if you want to do RAW noise reduction and sharpening, you will have to pick one tool or the other. Since I haven't tried it in ACR, as I want to stay with NEF files through the process, I really can't comment as to whether it is better, but I believe you that it is doing a better job than before. Many people use third party noise or sharpening tools and seem to be happy with the results. So far I have not found a need for them. Maybe I am just not picky enough. If I do work on a file in CS5 (TIF only), I will use CS5 sharpening, just not the ACR version.

Having a tool that combines Noise reduction and Sharpening is already in NX2 so I don't understand why this is such a big deal in ACR. When you do noise reduction you affect sharpening so NX2 gives you two sliders to adjust the overall noise reduction while you also adjust the sharpness. It is a global tool though not selective. Is ACR doing something else-I haven't looked at it?

I am a bit pressed for time over the next month, so I won't have a chance to do the comparison like you suggest, but perhaps I can try it later.

I love CS5 for the things I need it to do as it is very fast on a machine with 8 GB of RAM, and did use ACR before I discovered NX2, but I have no intention on going back, and only use CS5 with TIF's imported from NX2.

Since my response from Nikon I know for a fact that unless Adobe starts using the SDK from NIkon, that they cannot read nor properly process ADL but they could mimick the results of D lighting, but would not see the adjustment you set. You would just apply a shadow/highlights step in post. It really gets down to how much you want to be able to use the built in settings of your camera when you post process. If it doesn't matter, realize you paid for camera features you can't use and suck it up. If it does than until Adobe uses the SDK your only choice is NX2.

Bob Baldassano
My Nikonians Gallery

"Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the
camera"

Retirement is a gift of time - Don't waste it!

  

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Robp Gold Member Nikonian since 23rd Oct 2009Fri 28-May-10 02:48 AM
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#19. "RE: Newbie software choices"
In response to Reply # 18


Gainesville, US
          

Bob,

First, let me apologize to you and others for taking up your time with this issue.

Second, let me definitively opine that NX2 presents the best initial rendition of a NEF image.

I have now made a careful side-by-side comparison of the NX2 presentation versus the CS5/LR3 displays and think that Adobe's products are vastly improved with colors almost identical to those in NX2 but that the NX2 display is "sharper" with more "crispness" and "detail".

There may be a little problem with the sharp/crisp/detail vocabulary here, but give this engineer (versus an artist) a little slack. I did try to level the playing field by resetting the initial NX2 Sharpening and Color Noise Sharpness (which I think is Luminance Detail in CS5 terms) to zero; all images are then almost identical but that belies NX2's "real world" starting advantage.

Third, I'll try to justify my raising this issue by admitting that I was so surprised by Adobe's success at enhancing their presentation of NEF images that I probably accorded them even more than their well deserved due. Additionally, I've had several "unusual" images that I was able to adjust more to my liking with CS5 than with NX2. I hasten to add that this is not normal (I find NX2 generally easier to use) and I should note that it's part the luck of the moment since I'm not "expert" with either editor. The bottom line for me is that I need CS4or5 for "difficult" images and for panos and HDRs so it looks like multiple processors for the time being.

Finally, for the OP, Lee, I'll make this an additional endorsement of NX2.

Rob

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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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 28-May-10 06:52 AM
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#20. "RE: Newbie software choices"
In response to Reply # 19


San Jose, US
          

Rob first of all there is never any need to apologize for bringing up interesting observations which I find you always do. You are on a quest for knowledge and the best possible images like we all are and in discussing these issues we all learn something.

Please understand my position that I think if you want the greatest images you need both PS and NX2 primarily because PS is a very powerful tool that can do things no other tool can do. I just don't want to use it for RAW processing for all the reasons i explained before, but I am blown away by its capabilities in composites. Panos, and if you have extended, 3D.

In those cases where I feel the need, I can't think of any other tool other than Photoshop for them. I have used Photoshop at a fairly high level since CS,and I think I am pretty good with it. But it too has limitations like not enough 16 bit tools, and sometimes obscure features that are needed to get good results. The main reason I am so sold on NX2 is I can get great results with so little effort, and I am a true believer in the idea that the developer of the secret sauce knows best how to apply it.

Bob Baldassano
My Nikonians Gallery

"Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the
camera"

Retirement is a gift of time - Don't waste it!

  

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sevtcard Silver Member Nikonian since 05th Mar 2009Sat 22-May-10 01:07 PM
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#8. "RE: Newbie software choices"
In response to Reply # 6
Sat 22-May-10 01:13 PM by sevtcard

Brattleboro, US
          

also, there is a big difference between raw and jpeg. raw (in nikon terms: nef) is the true negative - it contains all of the original information from the light that struck your camera's sensor (stored as color information = there is no separate b&w only sensor). a jpeg is a processed raw file. so, any info that was dropped when making the jpeg is gone forever. working with raw/nef data, the all the information is always available - in summary, nef is the negative, and jpeg is a reprocessed negative made from the original.

for example, if you develop a picture from a nef file in black and white and save it as a jpeg and then discard the nef file, you can never make the image back into the original color picture again. working with the nef file allows you to go back and forth and around any way you want, from color to black and white to anything in-between. each iteration can be saved as a jpeg, but if you retain the raw file, you can make infinite variations out of the original data. you can make infinite variations out of the jpeg, of course, but each time, information is lost and you can never go backwards as you can with the nef file .

Mark
www.broadwallphotography.com

  

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chuckcars Registered since 22nd Mar 2010Sun 23-May-10 01:29 PM
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#11. "RE: Newbie software choices"
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Montrose, US
          

Capture NX2 is terrific. I do not plan to upgrade to Adobe CS5. If you use a MAC, go with Aperture. If a PC, go with Photo Mechanic.

C

Visit my Nikonians gallery.



http://www.blackcanyonphoto.com

  

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Escaladieu Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Apr 2010Wed 26-May-10 04:50 PM
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#13. "RE: Newbie software choices"
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Artiguemy, FR
          

Faststone image viewer is pretty good too - and its free ..

Personal Blog
http://www.blog-jeff-holdgate.co.uk

  

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Forums Lobby MASTER YOUR TOOLS - Hardware & Software Digital postprocessing & workflow (Public) Nikon & Nikonians Imaging Software (Public) topic #2337 Previous topic | Next topic


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