Go to a  "printer friendly" view of this message which allow an easy print Printer-friendly copy Go to the page which allows you to send this topic link and a message to a friend Email this topic to a friend
Forums Lobby MASTER YOUR TOOLS - Hardware & Software Digital postprocessing & workflow (Public) Nikon & Nikonians Imaging Software (Public) topic #7890
View in linear mode

Subject: "Nikon Capture NX2 vs Photoshop CS5.1 vs Elements 10" Previous topic | Next topic
Nikon300Bob Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Sep 2009Mon 09-Jan-12 10:34 PM
139 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to send message via AOL IM
"Nikon Capture NX2 vs Photoshop CS5.1 vs Elements 10"
Mon 09-Jan-12 10:35 PM by Nikon300Bob

VANCOUVER, CA
          

I recently added a new computer with a fast processor and lots of disc space mainly for storing and editing my photos. I am currently looking for a a good imaging software package.

Over the past week or so I have installed a few trial imaging software packages -

1. Lightroom. I found it to be a little complicated for my liking with a long learning curve.
2. Photoshop CS5. It seems like a great program, much easier to use than Lightroom since I have lots of experience with Elements, but it is very expensive. With tax it would come to more that half what I paid for this fairly advanced computer! I am inclined to put those extra dollars towards another lens!
3. Elements 10. I have Elements 2 & 3 installed on my old computer so have experience. I find it very easy to use and much more in my budget. However, it is a fairly basic package.
4. Capture NX2. I am wondering if this software is a good compromise between Elements and CS5. The price is more than Elements buy much more reasonable that CS5.

I would appreciate any advice on the advantages and disadvantages of each of the above mentioned programs. Thank you.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: Nikon Capture NX2 vs Photoshop CS5.1 vs Elements 10
robsb Platinum Member
10th Jan 2012
1
Reply message RE: Nikon Capture NX2 vs Photoshop CS5.1 vs Elements 10
Nikon300Bob Silver Member
10th Jan 2012
2
Reply message RE: Nikon Capture NX2 vs Photoshop CS5.1 vs Elements 10
walkerr Administrator
10th Jan 2012
3
Reply message RE: Nikon Capture NX2 vs Photoshop CS5.1 vs Elements 10
Nikon300Bob Silver Member
10th Jan 2012
5
Reply message RE: Nikon Capture NX2 vs Photoshop CS5.1 vs Elements 10
dohearne Silver Member
10th Jan 2012
11
Reply message RE: Nikon Capture NX2 vs Photoshop CS5.1 vs Elements 10
PAStime Silver Member
11th Jan 2012
14
Reply message RE: Nikon Capture NX2 vs Photoshop CS5.1 vs Elements 10
Kidkett Silver Member
10th Jan 2012
4
Reply message RE: Nikon Capture NX2 vs Photoshop CS5.1 vs Elements 10
Nikon300Bob Silver Member
10th Jan 2012
6
     Reply message RE: Nikon Capture NX2 vs Photoshop CS5.1 vs Elements 10
Kidkett Silver Member
10th Jan 2012
7
          Reply message RE: Nikon Capture NX2 vs Photoshop CS5.1 vs Elements 10
Nikon300Bob Silver Member
10th Jan 2012
8
               Reply message RE: Nikon Capture NX2 vs Photoshop CS5.1 vs Elements 10
Nikon300Bob Silver Member
10th Jan 2012
9
                    Reply message RE: Nikon Capture NX2 vs Photoshop CS5.1 vs Elements 10
Kidkett Silver Member
10th Jan 2012
10
                         Reply message RE: Nikon Capture NX2 vs Photoshop CS5.1 vs Elements 10
Nikon300Bob Silver Member
10th Jan 2012
12
                              Reply message RE: Nikon Capture NX2 vs Photoshop CS5.1 vs Elements 10
Nikon300Bob Silver Member
11th Jan 2012
13

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 2006Tue 10-Jan-12 01:30 AM
12694 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to send message via AOL IM
#1. "RE: Nikon Capture NX2 vs Photoshop CS5.1 vs Elements 10"
In response to Reply # 0


San Jose, US
          

I is hard to give advice since you have already tried Lightroom and Photoshop, and Elements but it is not clear if you have tried CNX2. I own CS5 Extended,have never used Lightroom as I found it lacking compared to Photoshop, but I use CNX2.3 for all my RAW processing. It is easy to learn and gives pro results with little effort. You don't need to learn layers and the main advantage to me is all your edit steps are saved in the NEF file and can be revisited anytime and redone. Photoshop and Lightroom files are much larger. Until CNX2.3 Photoshop was way faster and may still be a little, but you needed to use Photoshop's picture controls to get anything that looked as good as what you get in CNX2. If you use ADL with your Nikon, than CNX2 is the only processor that will process it properly. So if you were happy with elements and elements 10 works for what you do maybe you should stick with that. If you want a great NEF processor, you cannot go wrong with CNX2.3, especially when married with NIK Color Effects Pro for CNX2.

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!

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

    
Nikon300Bob Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Sep 2009Tue 10-Jan-12 01:46 AM
139 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to send message via AOL IM
#2. "RE: Nikon Capture NX2 vs Photoshop CS5.1 vs Elements 10"
In response to Reply # 1


VANCOUVER, CA
          

No I have not tried CNX2.3, but I am certainly open to any and all suggestions! Up to now I have primarily shot in JPEG because I shoot mostly sports. However, for nature photography which is my other main subject, I would like to start shooting in RAW. Thanks for the suggestion.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

walkerr Administrator Awarded for his con tributed articles published at the Resources Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in multiple areas Nikonian since 05th May 2002Tue 10-Jan-12 03:58 AM
14526 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#3. "RE: Nikon Capture NX2 vs Photoshop CS5.1 vs Elements 10"
In response to Reply # 0


Colorado Springs, US
          

You might consider revisiting some of the choices. I've taught Lightroom to soccer Moms and Dads and within a couple of hours they're doing fairly sophisticated editing, handling large quantities of files and taking advantage of its relational database. I have yet to meet anyone that finds it hard to learn within that span of time. The file sizes are not larger, unless you pump them out to Photoshop and use plug-ins (or use ones that run natively), which you'll find with any of these programs if you want to use more than one plug-in. If you use the built-in features of LR, which include global edits, local edits, very strong sharpening and noise reduction routines, all sorts of color profiling options, etc. the file size remains the size of the NEF or JPEG you started with. It's also camera-agnostic, so you're not locking yourself into a Nikon-only solution. It has built-in camera-tethering options.

Photoshop CS5 has a huge variety of features, supports all of the raw editing of Lightroom (although it lacks clever things like virtual copies) and can host a wide variety of plug-ins. It also supports smart objects and smart filters. Those aren't necessarily things you might want to dabble in immediately, but they're extremely useful if you want to do sophisticated non-destructive editing. Like LR, it's a camera-agnostic program. It's also very capable at retouching photos, especially situations where cloning is required. It's not cheap, but I've never regretted the investment I made years back, and the training support for it far exceeds that of anything else, with LR coming in second. If you can imagine it, you can do it with Photoshop.

Elements has shaped up considerably since versions 2 and 3, and it's now a fairly sophisticated program. It's more friendly to those new to photo editing, but confuses the heck out of me because I'm so used to Photoshop. It also supports a wide array of plug-ins, but not smart objects. It's similarly camera-agnostic.

NX2 has a clever set of local editing tools (control and selection points) and is a bit easier for jpeg shooters to understand when they are moving into raw because it supports Picture Control settings. I find the user interface pretty obtuse, but you can get used to it over time. It lacks the sophisticated sharpening options found in LR (which optimize sharpening for print size, media, etc.) and requires more manual intervention. Although it's faster in its 2.3 incarnation, it's not something you want to use if you're editing large quantities of images - other programs are more fluid and quick. It supports only one plug-in program natively, so if you want to do more than that, you'll need to supplement it with Elements or Photoshop or use ones that work in standalone mode. With NX2, you're limited to only Nikon cameras if you want to edit raw images. That makes workflow clunky if you want to invest in a Fuji rangefinder, a Canon point and shoot or a Micro 4/3 camera. It also creates an awkward situation down the road if you ever contemplate shooting something other than a Nikon DSLR.

Another program to consider is Capture One. It's very quick and easy to use, has nice image quality and is almost as fast as Lightroom for bulk editing. It also supports local edits, but isn't quite as slick as Lightroom, Photoshop's raw editor ACR or NX2 on that front. For plug-ins, you'll need to go to Photoshop/Elements or use standalone programs. It's also camera-agnostic. The full blown version includes tethering support, and C1 is particularly nice for studio-like situations.

After exploring all of these options and having been a Capture NX user for a while, I settled on a combination of LR3 and Photoshop CS5 and am very pleased with it. I have no plans or desires to change that. I don't use Nikon cameras exclusively, so I appreciate the idea that I can use a wide array of equipment in a consistent manner. I know photographers who purchase nothing but Nikon equipment and not because they perceive an individual item as best, but because their workflow would break if they mixed in other brands. That's not good from my standpoint and who knows what I may care to use down the road.

All of the above programs will produce excellent image quality. Some start with defaults that are intended for more flexibility in downstream processing, while others start with more aggressive settings that appeal more to those that like lots of contrast and saturation right off the bat. All can achieve that look or softer ones with small changes in settings. Try some of these, preferably with an on-line tutorial or two and consider your budget and what flexibility you want in camera brands in the future. Have fun with them.

Rick Walker

My photos:
GeoVista Photography

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

    
Nikon300Bob Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Sep 2009Tue 10-Jan-12 04:21 AM
139 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to send message via AOL IM
#5. "RE: Nikon Capture NX2 vs Photoshop CS5.1 vs Elements 10"
In response to Reply # 3
Tue 10-Jan-12 04:56 PM by Nikon300Bob

VANCOUVER, CA
          

Just an added note ...
1. I have a about 1500 digital photos taken with a Leica R8 DMR CORRECTION ... that should be 15,000
2. I am now using a Nikon D300 and plan to add a Nikon D3s (or D4 if funds ever allow!)(ADD ... I have 22,000 images so far in the 2 years I have owned the camera). I have 4 Nikon lenses and plan to add more in the near future. I also have 2 Leica lenses with Nikon mounts. So, I am commited to Nikon. So, for me Capture NX fits as far as cameras are concerned.

I don't see myself doing very much bulk editing or a great deal of sophisticated editing - at least for now. I am thinking Elements 10 may be my best option to start, then add a more advanced editing program later. CS5 may be a good option later when I have the funds.

Thanks for all the great detailed suggestions Walkerr!

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

    
dohearne Silver Member Nikonian since 07th May 2007Tue 10-Jan-12 12:24 PM
814 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#11. "RE: Nikon Capture NX2 vs Photoshop CS5.1 vs Elements 10"
In response to Reply # 3


Ludlow, US
          

I use NX2 almost exclusively for post-processing and have PSE10 for my occasional edits that NX2 cannot do. NX2 is an excellent raw converter for Nikon shooters and the U-point technology is unsurpassed. And although I have been tempted to switch to other processing, the 5 years of experience with a useful tool has prevented it. However, I think Rick's points should be well considered. If I were starting today, I would not buy NX2. Why? Nikon is not supporting improvements in the software or working with NIK to provide the suite of plugins offered by NIK for all the other post-processing software packages. One consideration is to use a PSE version that has compatibility with the NIK plugins

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

    
PAStime Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2009Wed 11-Jan-12 01:35 AM
2670 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#14. "RE: Nikon Capture NX2 vs Photoshop CS5.1 vs Elements 10"
In response to Reply # 3
Wed 11-Jan-12 01:35 AM by PAStime

Kingston, CA
          

Thanks for that extensive review of tools Rick. I have started using Lightroom and am really enjoying it. Peter

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

Kidkett Silver Member Nikonian since 09th Apr 2010Tue 10-Jan-12 04:20 AM
434 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#4. "RE: Nikon Capture NX2 vs Photoshop CS5.1 vs Elements 10"
In response to Reply # 0


Campo, US
          

Hi Bob,

I would recommend you try both Nikon's View NX2 and Capture NX2 and if you can ever get a Nik's software Color Efex 3 Pro for Capture NX2 to grab it, they really work well together that let you keep your pictures in NEF format that lets you keep the size of your pictures down. You don't have to keep changing from NEF to Tiff or JPEG and back working on your pictures.

Capture NX2 has a free trial and View NX2 is free, just go to the Nikon site and download them both. I hear the Nik is working on getting Color Efex 4 to work inside the new Capture NX2 64bit version so you might want to wait for that to come out. But when you get through the learning curve you will have a great editor with great colors and a natural look to them.

Good Luck,
Bill

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

    
Nikon300Bob Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Sep 2009Tue 10-Jan-12 04:25 AM
139 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to send message via AOL IM
#6. "RE: Nikon Capture NX2 vs Photoshop CS5.1 vs Elements 10"
In response to Reply # 4


VANCOUVER, CA
          

I currently have free trial versions of Photoshop CS5.1, Elements 10 and NX2 installed. I like some of the features and feel of NX2. I will also try View NX2. Thanks!

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

        
Kidkett Silver Member Nikonian since 09th Apr 2010Tue 10-Jan-12 05:18 AM
434 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#7. "RE: Nikon Capture NX2 vs Photoshop CS5.1 vs Elements 10"
In response to Reply # 6


Campo, US
          

Hi Bob,

One more thing I forgot, I think you can still go to the Nik website and under products you can still download the trial version of the Color Efex 3 Pro for NX2 if you want to try it in Capture NX2. It will only work for 15 days.

Bill

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

            
Nikon300Bob Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Sep 2009Tue 10-Jan-12 06:58 AM
139 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to send message via AOL IM
#8. "RE: Nikon Capture NX2 vs Photoshop CS5.1 vs Elements 10"
In response to Reply # 7


VANCOUVER, CA
          

The NIX site only had Color Efex Pro 4 which only plugs into Adobe CS5 and Elements 10 and Lightroom (which I no longer have installed) - Capture NX2 was not on the list. I choose Elements 10 because it is the program I am most familiar with. I gave it a guick try ... wow, it gives me lots of enhancement options. Definitely a plug in I will consider adding at a future date. Thanks so much for the tip.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

                
Nikon300Bob Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Sep 2009Tue 10-Jan-12 07:43 AM
139 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to send message via AOL IM
#9. "RE: Nikon Capture NX2 vs Photoshop CS5.1 vs Elements 10"
In response to Reply # 8


VANCOUVER, CA
          

With further searching I found Color Efex Pro 3 for Capture NX2. However, it would not install because it could not find NX2. I guess it does not recognize the trial version. Funny because Efex Pro 4 recognized the trial version of Elements 10! Oh well I get at least get to play with it for 15 days in Elements.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

                    
Kidkett Silver Member Nikonian since 09th Apr 2010Tue 10-Jan-12 11:59 AM
434 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#10. "RE: Nikon Capture NX2 vs Photoshop CS5.1 vs Elements 10"
In response to Reply # 9


Campo, US
          

You have to install it with the 32bit version of Capture NX2. You are running the new 64bit version. You would have to go back and install an earlier version before you install the newest version. Might not be worth your time.

Bill

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

                        
Nikon300Bob Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Sep 2009Tue 10-Jan-12 04:56 PM
139 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to send message via AOL IM
#12. "RE: Nikon Capture NX2 vs Photoshop CS5.1 vs Elements 10"
In response to Reply # 10


VANCOUVER, CA
          

>You have to install it with the 32bit version of Capture NX2.
>You are running the new 64bit version. You would have to go
>back and install an earlier version before you install the
>newest version. Might not be worth your time.
>
>Bill

Thanks! Will do!

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

                            
Nikon300Bob Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Sep 2009Wed 11-Jan-12 01:25 AM
139 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to send message via AOL IM
#13. "RE: Nikon Capture NX2 vs Photoshop CS5.1 vs Elements 10"
In response to Reply # 12


VANCOUVER, CA
          

Thanks! I found the 32 bit version of Capture NX2. Uninstalled the 64 bit version before installing the 32 bit version - only took a few minutes. Then successfully installed Color Efix Pro 3.0 for NX2. Works great ... will now spend some time experimenting. Thanks again!

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

Forums Lobby MASTER YOUR TOOLS - Hardware & Software Digital postprocessing & workflow (Public) Nikon & Nikonians Imaging Software (Public) topic #7890 Previous topic | Next topic


Take the Nikonians Tour and learn more about being a Nikonian Wiki /FAQ /Help Listen to our MP3 photography radio channels Find anything on Nikon and imaging technology - fast!

Copyright © Nikonians 2000, 2014
All Rights Reserved

Nikonians®, NikoScope® and NikoniansAcademy™ are trademarks owned by Nikonians.org.
Nikon®, Nikonos® and Nikkor® are registered trademarks of Nikon Corporation.