Just curious: after having some problems with Qimage, I tried printing NEFs directly from within NX, and have been pleased. With all the talk of NX being the best at NEF processing, I'm just wondering: when printing NEFs directly from within NX, is there any cooking of the NEF going on?
#1. "RE: RAW "cooked" when printing NEFs from NX?" In response to Reply # 0
The data from the NEF file is converted from the raw image data into something that the printer can use, including applying any adjustments and edit steps you added with NX2. So, you could say the data sent to the printer has been cooked, but the NEF is still a raw file.
A raw image file contains all the image data directly from the camera sensor plus metadata for the shooting information, plus instructions for adjusting/editing the image. When you edit the file with NX2 and save it, you are simply altering the set of instructions. The full sensor data is still there.
When you save the file as a JPG, you are making permanent changes to the image data and/or discarding significant amounts of data. For example, if you crop the image, the part outside the crop selection is literally thrown away. With a NEF, the crop is just an instruction applied to the data. When you change the white balance or sharpen the image, the changes are permanent in the saved JPG while the NEF just contains altered instructions.
#2. "RE: RAW "cooked" when printing NEFs from NX?" In response to Reply # 1
I am aware of the concept of NX edits being done in a "sidecar" file and not really effecting the original data. Just wondering still about the "cooking" or not that goes on when printing NEF directly--say for data that hasn't been altered by any particular edit step.
The latest top-end Qimage version can print NEFs directly, and wonder about differences with NX's printing.
#3. "RE: RAW "cooked" when printing NEFs from NX?" In response to Reply # 2
Here's a few quick points:
1.You can't print ANY pic directly. They all go through the printer driver. 2.You can't print Raw files directly because they are in the wrong data format. 3.All raw converters make default assumptions when converting raw files to the correct format for printing (and viewing). 4.The difference between CaptureNX and other converters is that NX uses the camera settings as the default assumptions. E.G., if you have B/W set in the camera, the NEF will print in B/W from NX. It will print in color from other converters.
I hope this helps.
"The wisest follow their own directions" -Euripides "I thought there would be more elephants" -C. Columbus
#4. "RE: RAW "cooked" when printing NEFs from NX?" In response to Reply # 3 Sun 24-Jan-10 02:18 AM by PAStime
>4.The difference between CaptureNX and other converters is >that NX uses the camera settings as the default assumptions. >E.G., if you have B/W set in the camera, the NEF will print in >B/W from NX. It will print in color from other converters.
I would guess Capture NX has some proprietary Nikon algorithms that make use of internal knowledge about Nikon cameras, resulting in improved interpretation of the raw files. Raw conversion by any software requires making assumptions about what would be a pleasing image (and these assumptions go deeper than knowing what settings were in the camera at time of image capture). There are quite a few photographers who believe NX2 is the best raw converter. In other words, the same results can be achieved with other tools but it takes experimentation with each image. Cheers, Peter
#5. "RE: RAW "cooked" when printing NEFs from NX?" In response to Reply # 4
I am also used to print straight out of the NEF (even in ProPhoto RGB) within Capture NX2 - with similar pleasing results.
What happens is that Capture NX2 'executes' the NEF with all your edits (unless you didn't make edits yourself - then it applies the camera settings) and then applies the printer profile (what any other program would also do weith a TIFF or JPEG) to send it to the printer driver.
I guess there is no fundamental quality difference between printing from NEF within Capture NX2 or creating a TIFF first and then have it printed. The main difference is the editing process and resulting quality before in Capture NX2.