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Subject: "View NX2 raw versus preview" Previous topic | Next topic
PAStime Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2009Sat 09-Oct-10 11:31 AM
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"View NX2 raw versus preview"
Sat 09-Oct-10 11:35 AM by PAStime

Kingston, CA
          

Hello,

Thought I'd play with View NX2 for a bit. Looks nice and has some nice features. I see you can't save a JPG from a NEF if it has been edited by Capture NX2. And you can't view a RAW image's RAW data if it has been edited by Capture NX2. Bummer.

But something else I saw is bothering me a bit: if you click on the RAW button in the upper left of a full screen image, the tool churns for a few seconds and then displays the RAW file instead of the RAW file's embedded preview image. So why do they look different? It seems to get a bit brighter and more contrasty. In addition, once you've looked at the RAW and go back to non-RAW (the preview version), it doesn't change back in terms of brightness and contrast. Anyone else see this? Any ideas?

Peter

  

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Reply message RE: View NX2 raw versus preview
Robp Gold Member
09th Oct 2010
1
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PAStime Silver Member
09th Oct 2010
2
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Robp Gold Member
10th Oct 2010
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PAStime Silver Member
12th Oct 2010
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Robp Gold Member
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PAStime Silver Member
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Robp Gold Member
12th Oct 2010
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PAStime Silver Member
13th Oct 2010
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Robp Gold Member
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cej_in_nc Silver Member
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14th Oct 2010
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Robp Gold Member Nikonian since 23rd Oct 2009Sat 09-Oct-10 03:01 PM
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#1. "RE: View NX2 raw versus preview"
In response to Reply # 0


Gainesville, US
          

HI Peter,

> I see you can't save a JPG from a NEF if it has been edited by Capture NX2.

I do think it a little odd that "Convert Files" is disabled; however, you may, of course, do this in Capture NX2.

>And you can't view a RAW image's RAW data if it has been edited by Capture NX2.

I don't understand this statement. The actual edited RAW pixel data (image) is shown. The embedded JPG is not now available, but this seems reasonable to me since you've taken the time to edit. And, the metadata is still shown, including a new "Modification" date. I know you to issue accurate statements, so I'm probably missing something here. Let us know.

>But something else I saw is bothering me a bit: if you click
>on the RAW button in the upper left of a full screen image,
>the tool churns for a few seconds and then displays the RAW
>file instead of the RAW file's embedded preview image. So why
>do they look different? It seems to get a bit brighter and
>more contrasty. In addition, once you've looked at the RAW
>and go back to non-RAW (the preview version), it doesn't
>change back in terms of brightness and contrast. Anyone else
>see this? Any ideas?

They look so different because the embedded JPG has suffered the inevitable degradation due to severe compression of the image data. You see no change in the image when changing back because the raw image now resides in cache memory instead of the JPG. To investigate this, go to Preferences and flush the cache, then exit and re-open ViewNX 2 (peculiar, but the flush doesn't take effect until after exit). When you re-open, you are back to where you expected to be.

Rob Puller
my Nikonians gallery

  

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PAStime Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2009Sat 09-Oct-10 11:22 PM
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#2. "RE: View NX2 raw versus preview"
In response to Reply # 1


Kingston, CA
          

Hi Rob,

Thanks for the reply. It is a joy to engage with experienced others on these subjects.

>I do think it a little odd that "Convert Files" is
>disabled; however, you may, of course, do this in Capture
>NX2.

Agreed. I think View NX2 does not have the engine to interpret all of the instructions in a Capture NX2 edit list, and I would guess that is what it finds in a NEF (the original raw data and the edit list).

>I don't understand this statement. The actual edited RAW
>pixel data (image) is shown. The embedded JPG is not now
>available, but this seems reasonable to me since you've taken
>the time to edit. And, the metadata is still shown, including
>a new "Modification" date.

Actually, I believe the embedded JPG preview is what is shown! On images that I have made changes to in Capture NX2 (the thumbnail in View NX2 identifies these with a control point logo), the RAW button in the top left of the View NX2 window can not be enabled. In other words, it can not be depressed and made yellow in colour. Therefore, I can not view the RAW data. Moreover, the ViewNX2 Help says the following:

You cannot click RAW when the following image is displayed:
A RAW image which does not have a saved preview image.
A RAW image saved with the Capture NX software series.
A RAW image edited with nik Color Efex Pro 2.0 using Nikon Capture 4 or PictureProject.


>They look so different because the embedded JPG has suffered
>the inevitable degradation due to severe compression of the
>image data.

I doubt this because a lot of people use the embedded JPG as a quality rendition of the image. Photo Mechanic for example has no way of interpreting a Capture NX2-edit NEF so it extracts the embedded JPG for all operations. Photographers seem happy with this.

>You see no change in the image when changing back
>because the raw image now resides in cache memory instead of
>the JPG.

Yes, that makes sense, thanks!

Peter

  

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Robp Gold Member Nikonian since 23rd Oct 2009Sun 10-Oct-10 03:58 AM
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#3. "RE: View NX2 raw versus preview"
In response to Reply # 2


Gainesville, US
          

Peter,

You are right; the ViewNX 2 Help file does say that "You cannot *CLICK* RAW when the following image is displayed:" Then it tells you that three types of images cannot receive that click and that they are all RAW images. I think that you cannot click RAW because they are already RAW.

When I tried to carefully note differences in the JPGs and NEFs I did find that in-camera processing confused the issue. As I understand it, all embedded JPGs receive some processing, notably sharpening. If you choose a Neutral Picture Control setting in-camera, ViewNX 2 will display a soft RAW image relative to the embedded JPG. If you choose an in-camera Picture Control of Landscape or Vivid, or even more dramatic, the AAAstardard or Velvia ones that JRP provided to us, the JPG will look soft compared to the RAW image.

Rob Puller
my Nikonians gallery

  

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PAStime Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2009Tue 12-Oct-10 01:32 AM
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#5. "RE: View NX2 raw versus preview"
In response to Reply # 3


Kingston, CA
          

>I
>think that you cannot click RAW because they are already RAW.

Hello,

That's not what I see. Some raw files I can click, and some raw files I can not click. The raw files I can click are ones that have not been edited by Capture NX2 at some point in their past. The raw files I can click have never been edited by Capture NX2.

I made a remark just now in another thread on this forum regarding Photo Mechanic. I believe it behaves in a somewhat similar way for the same reason. It does not render a raw file, ever. It is always working with the embedded JPG. On a MAC (but not windows) it can convert a raw file to another format by using libraries already in a Mac OS. But then you end up working with a DNG or JPG on your hard drive.

Cheers,
Peter

  

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Robp Gold Member Nikonian since 23rd Oct 2009Tue 12-Oct-10 03:26 AM
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#6. "RE: View NX2 raw versus preview"
In response to Reply # 5


Gainesville, US
          

Peter,

I think we are saying almost the same thing. At least, in my case, I am saying that after a NEF image is edited, the JPEG viewing option is no longer available in VNX so you get only the more detailed (because it's not compressed) RAW image.

I see that you are using Windows while I am using OS X; I wonder if you are seeing something different than I am in ViewNX?

I just selected an un-edited NEF in VNX, then opened it in CNX and did a level adjustment (keeping Eric's comment in mind) while both windows were on-screen. As soon as the edit was completed in CNX, it propagated to the VNX display and thereafter the RAW button was locked.

BTW, thanks for the Photo Mechanic heads-up. Good comment.

Regards,

Rob Puller
my Nikonians gallery

  

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PAStime Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2009Tue 12-Oct-10 12:42 PM
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#7. "RE: View NX2 raw versus preview"
In response to Reply # 6
Tue 12-Oct-10 12:43 PM by PAStime

Kingston, CA
          

>Peter,
>I think we are saying almost the same thing. At least, in my
>case, I am saying that after a NEF image is edited, the JPEG
>viewing option is no longer available in VNX so you get only
>the more detailed (because it's not compressed) RAW image.

Uh oh... I think we are still not fully aligned! I certainly don't mean to be argumentative here but I feel a need to restate your paragraph with modifications. I think the following is more correct:

After a NEF image is edited in Capture NX2, the RAW viewing option is no longer available in VNX so you only get to see the embedded JPG image.

Look up "Showing Raw Image" in the ViewNX2 help. Here is what I interpret there: When the button in the upper left of the view window that is labelled RAW is yellow, one is looking at the RAW image, and when it is grey, one is looking at the embedded JPG.

Cheers,
Peter

  

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Robp Gold Member Nikonian since 23rd Oct 2009Tue 12-Oct-10 11:13 PM
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#8. "RE: View NX2 raw versus preview"
In response to Reply # 7
Wed 13-Oct-10 01:18 AM by Robp

Gainesville, US
          

>Uh oh... I think we are still not fully aligned! I
>certainly don't mean to be argumentative here but I feel a
>need to restate your paragraph with modifications.

I don't think you're being argumentative, Peter, I think we are just trying to resolve our differences in perception and opinion.

> I think the following is more correct:
>
>After a NEF image is edited in Capture NX2, the RAW viewing
>option is no longer available in VNX so you only get to see
>the embedded JPG image.

That is not what I am seeing. Have you tried side-by-side comparison of images in VNX and CNX. I think you'll agree that the CNX image is the true RAW image, not the embedded JPG. If you leave the JPG image selected in VNX and open CNX, you will see a marked difference. If you then click on the NX2 RAW option button, you will see the image improve and look identical to the CNX image. Then edit the CNX image and you will see the edit propagated to the VNX image. Thereafter, the VNX option button is locked with the RAW image being presented.

>Look up "Showing Raw Image" in the ViewNX2 help.
>Here is what I interpret there: When the button in the upper
>left of the view window that is labelled RAW is yellow, one is
>looking at the RAW image, and when it is grey, one is looking
>at the embedded JPG

I did look that reference up; I've copied and pasted it here:

>You cannot click "RAW" when the following image is displayed
>A RAW image which does not have a saved preview image.
>A RAW image saved with the Capture NX software series.
>A RAW image edited with nik Color Efex Pro 2.0 using Nikon Capture 4 or PictureProject.
>An image other than RAW image.
>A RAW image shot or adjusted using an optional Picture Control that has not been installed in ViewNX 2.

I interpret this to mean that you can't click (meaning it has no effect) the button when any one of the five conditions are in effect. Note that four out of the five conditions involves the display of a RAW image. I further conclude that you can't click the "RAW" button because the image is already RAW and it is locked as such.

So I would amend your statement of
>After a NEF image is edited in Capture NX2, the RAW viewing option is no
>longer available in VNX so you only get to see the embedded JPG image.
to read: After a NEF image is edited in Capture NX2, the RAW/JPG viewing option is no longer available in VNX so you only get to see the RAW image.

Of course, maybe you are seeing something different on Windows.

EDIT: Peter, I just saw your comment in the "Viewer" thread regarding your D90 not having a "lossless" NEF image capability. This would reduce the disparity between displayed NEFs and JPGs, making comparisons more difficult.

Having fun with semantics and perceived reality,

Rob Puller
my Nikonians gallery

  

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PAStime Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2009Wed 13-Oct-10 02:27 AM
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#9. "RE: View NX2 raw versus preview"
In response to Reply # 8
Wed 13-Oct-10 02:34 AM by PAStime

Kingston, CA
          

>Then edit the CNX image and you
>will see the edit propagated to the VNX image. Thereafter,
>the VNX option button is locked with the RAW image being
>presented.

Hi again

No, sorry, I don't believe the raw data is being presented!

Here is what I did. I brought up in View NX2 a-straight-out-of-the-camera raw image and clicked on the RAW button. It went yellow after a few seconds to indicate I was looking at the RAW data.

I then clicked on the Capture NX2 icon in View NX2 and it brought the image up in Capture NX2. I dropped a control point on something and made a change. I then hit save in Capture NX2 while watching the View NX2 tool. After the save was completed, View NX2 refreshed on its own, and, without me touching it, the RAW button that was yellow went grey. That means View NX2 is no longer displaying the raw data of that image. It has reverted to the embedded JPG. In addition, the button is disabled. You can no longer request View NX2 to display the image's raw data.

Help file evidence to support this is shown in the image below. When the button is yellow, View NX2 is displaying raw data. When it is grey, it is displaying embedded JPG data. Do you agree?

There is yet another way to confirm this: Use the View->Viewer->Display RAW image menu pick. The button will turn yellow (if it was grey from previously showing the embedded JPG or Preview as Nikon calls it).

Does it behave differently on a Mac?

Cheers,
Peter



Attachment #1, (jpg file)

  

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Robp Gold Member Nikonian since 23rd Oct 2009Wed 13-Oct-10 03:57 AM
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#10. "RE: View NX2 raw versus preview"
In response to Reply # 9
Wed 13-Oct-10 06:37 PM by Robp

Gainesville, US
          

>Help file evidence to support this is shown in the image below.

Exactly the same evidence I used to support my statements.

>When the button is yellow, View NX2 is displaying raw
>data. When it is grey, it is displaying embedded JPG data.
>Do you agree?

Yes, except when the conditions described in the Help file pertain. Certain RAW renditions cannot be returned to a JPG rendition and the button is grayed-out. So I agree completely with the help file (as I read it).

Please try your experiment again with this modification. Open VNX, select an untouched (original) NEF image and create a duplicate (copy). Open Preferences>General and clear the cache. Exit NX2, then re-open it. This is necessary to ensure that both the original and the copy of the NEF are set for the default JPG rendering (the buttons are both Gray). They are on my system.

Now, select the copy and open CNX. Set the zoom in CNX to match the zoom in VNX and position the displays adjacent to one another to facilitate comparison. Is the CNX image (known to be a RAW rendition) sharper than the VNX image (known to be a JPG rendition)? it is on my system.

Next, edit the CNX image and save it. Does the edit propagate to the VNX copy? It does on my system. Is it now as sharp as the CNX image? It is on my system. Is the RAW/JPG button grayed-out? It is on my system. This indicates to me that the grayed-out status of the button indicates that the image is locked into RAW rendition mode.

Finally, select the original NEF. It should still be in JPG rendition mode. It is on my system. Is it less sharp than the CNX image? It is on my system. Is the button still grey? It is on my system. Can you click on the button (change it to yellow) and have the image change to a RAW rendition. I can on my system.

If we still don't agree on the data being presented, I'll have to assume that Windows versus OS X, or the US versus Canadian dialect of English is hampering our communication. Nonetheless, I've enjoyed the discussion.

EDIT: See my post #14.

Rob Puller
my Nikonians gallery

  

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cej_in_nc Silver Member Nikonian since 14th Jan 2009Wed 13-Oct-10 01:08 PM
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#11. "RE: View NX2 raw versus preview"
In response to Reply # 10


Waynesville, US
          

When a NEF image is edited in CNX and then saved, is the embedded JPEG updated? If so, at what quality?

  

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Robp Gold Member Nikonian since 23rd Oct 2009Wed 13-Oct-10 02:12 PM
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#12. "RE: View NX2 raw versus preview"
In response to Reply # 11


Gainesville, US
          

I don't think the embedded JPG is updated, nor even saved after an image is edited, since it can no longer be selected with the RAW/JPG selection button in VNX. I tried to think of a way to test this, but I don't think there is any way to get to the embedded image other than letting a viewer display it from an unedited RAW image.

Rob Puller
my Nikonians gallery

  

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cej_in_nc Silver Member Nikonian since 14th Jan 2009Wed 13-Oct-10 03:17 PM
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#13. "RE: View NX2 raw versus preview"
In response to Reply # 12


Waynesville, US
          

Try the following:
1) open an original (unedited) NEF file in CNX2 (say image.NEF)
2) immediately use "save as" in NEF format (image_test.NEF)
3) now use "save as" in JPG format with maximum quality (image_test.JPG)
4) close CNX2
4) open VNX2 and compare the three files

Also, check the size of the three files.
Although no editing was done, on a PC the image_test.NEF is considerably larger than image.NEF. In addition, I see slight visual differences in VNX2 between image.NEF and image_test.NEF (RAW not checked) while image_test.NEF and image_test.JPG appear the same.

Finally, the image viewer FastStone MaxView displays the embedded JPG preview for NEF format and seems to agree with the VNX2 view when RAW is not checked.

  

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Robp Gold Member Nikonian since 23rd Oct 2009Wed 13-Oct-10 06:43 PM
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#15. "RE: View NX2 raw versus preview"
In response to Reply # 13
Wed 13-Oct-10 06:47 PM by Robp

Gainesville, US
          

Hi Charles,

Interesting and well conceived test. I think it tends to support Peter's viewpoint. Here are the file sizes I saw:

Image.nef original, lossless compressed, nef 17.1MB
Image_test.nef saved-as nef 22.3MB
Image_test.jpg saved-as 100% quality jpg 7.8MB

See my post # 14 for slight additional comment.

Thanks for helping,

Rob Puller
my Nikonians gallery

  

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PAStime Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2009Thu 14-Oct-10 01:39 AM
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#16. "RE: View NX2 raw versus preview"
In response to Reply # 12
Thu 14-Oct-10 01:43 AM by PAStime

Kingston, CA
          

>I don't think the embedded JPG is updated, nor even saved
>after an image is edited, since it can no longer be selected
>with the RAW/JPG selection button in VNX. I tried to think of
>a way to test this, but I don't think there is any way to get
>to the embedded image other than letting a viewer display it
>from an unedited RAW image.

Hi Rob: My findings suggest the embedded JPG is always updated. I have observed that that is how tools like ViewNX, ACDSee, Photo Mechanic and the utilities "Instant JPEG From Raw" and EXIFTool get the image from a NEF file - they extract the embedded JPG. Cheers, Peter

  

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Robp Gold Member Nikonian since 23rd Oct 2009Wed 13-Oct-10 06:34 PM
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#14. "RE: View NX2 raw versus preview"
In response to Reply # 9


Gainesville, US
          

Peter,

Charles has devised another test which caused me to repeat my test, then repeat his and mine yet again. I think his test tends to support your contentions. I found that clearing the cache in VNX affected the outcome of my tests, but not in a totally repeatable way.

At this point, I'm still inclined towards my belief in the way VNX works, but certainly not willing to bet the farm on it; if fact, I have some doubts. For purposes of our discussion, let's just say I accept your position.

As gracefully as I can muster, I say back to you,

Cheers,

Rob Puller
my Nikonians gallery

  

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PAStime Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2009Thu 14-Oct-10 01:41 AM
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#17. "RE: View NX2 raw versus preview"
In response to Reply # 14
Thu 14-Oct-10 02:10 AM by PAStime

Kingston, CA
          

>I say back to you,

Hi Rob. Great engaging with you! I am learning lots along the way. Experimenting and conversing work well here on Nikonians. Cheers, Peter

  

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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 14-Oct-10 01:51 AM
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#18. "RE: View NX2 raw versus preview"
In response to Reply # 14


Atlanta, US
          

Nice work! I agree - the test appears to provide confirmation of how the software works - and it was not as expected.

Much appreciated.

Eric Bowles
Nikonians Team
My Gallery
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Nikonians membership — my most important photographic investment, after the camera

  

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KnightPhoto Gold Member Nikonian since 18th Dec 2006Sun 17-Oct-10 01:02 AM
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#19. "RE: View NX2 raw versus preview"
In response to Reply # 18


Alberta, CA
          

Great thread on a difficult area!

Best regards, SteveK

'A camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.' -- Dorothea Lange
My Nikonians gallery
My Nikonians Blog

  

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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 10-Oct-10 11:49 AM
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#4. "RE: View NX2 raw versus preview"
In response to Reply # 0


Atlanta, US
          

One reason you cannot save a JPEG form a RAW file edited in Capture NX2 is because Capture is a Nikon/Nik program and View NX2 is created by only Nikon.

The Develop section of instructions is largely the same in both View and Capture. The Develop section is also largely in your camera. The Adjust section - with all of the selection controls - is largely a Nik program with its U-point technology.

Eric Bowles
Nikonians Team
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