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Nikon Capture NX - first impressions

wailingtoad

US
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wailingtoad Registered since 28th Oct 2005
Fri 07-Jul-06 07:32 PM

I guess I was lucky, I was able to download Nikon Capture NX in just a few minutes. I have Windows XP with Microsoft.NET; so, I installed the version without .NET, took just a few minutes. The first time I ran it some additional updates were downloaded (also took just a few minutes).

Pros
* installation was fast and easy
* Control Points are cool
* The straighten tool is cool
* I like being able to see the camera focus point
* I like being able to see and tweak the camera settings (exposure comp, sharpening, tone comp, color mode, saturation, hue adjustment, & white balance).
* I like being able to compare my edited image with the original (side by side)
* It is pretty easy to figure out. I was able to use control points after just a few minutes of browsing through the help file.
* The online help is actually helpful (one of the better online helps that I've seen)

Cons
* The overall user interface will take some getting used to, especially the Palettes. I can't seem to figure out how to move the palettes to where I want them to be so that they don't overlay the image when expanded.
* It seems like it assumes you have your display configured higher than 1024x768. For example, doing a 'fit to screen' puts the image in a window that is too big for the screen (can't see the bottom inch or so of the image)
* I don't like the file browser. I'll have to investigate using Nikon View as my file browser instead of the one built into NX.
* file->Open brings up the standard Windows file open dialog. You can switch it to Thumbnail view (even with NEF files); however, that is not the default view. Also, it does not consistently rotate images in the thumbnail view (some images taken with the camera vertical are rotated, but most are not); although, the images are properly rotated once you open them.
* Some control points (white point, black point, neutral point) affect the entire image while others (color) only affect a selected area of the image. If you add an image wide control point after a selected area control point, the previous control points seem to disappear (although, the adjustments you made remain); so, you can't go back and adjust the settings of the previous control points (although, you can remove the effect of the control point via the edit list).
* Seems sluggish on a PC with 2GHz processor and 2Gig of RAM. Some operations are especially slow. For example, going to the edit list and unchecking a control point maxes out the CPU at 100% for about 30 seconds.
* It's not 100% stable. For example, at one point, the menu items (File, Edit, View, etc.) on the menu bar disappeared; although, I could still click on them if I moved the cursor to where they were supposed to be and the submenu would appear. I had to close the application and reopen it.
* You can change the tone compensation to a "user defined custom curve"; although, it is not obvious how to create a user defined custom curve.
* Evidently, the ability to download custom curves to the camera is not included in Capture NX (presumably, this is part of Nikon Camera Control)

Wishlist
* Being able to see the control point circle while moving the control point.
* Every action that can be done via palettes should also be available via the menu bar.
* I should be able to specify the default view when an image is opened. For example, I should be able to tell it to always show the camera focus point.
* For operations that are going to take a while, a progress bar would be helpful showing % complete.

Jon D.
My Nikonians Gallery

Jon Davis
My Nikonians Gallery
My Flickr Gallery
My Epson R2880 Tips & Tricks blog

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