Moving on from view nx2
#1. "RE: Moving on from view nx2" | In response to Reply # 0
ericbowles Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005Sat 10-Nov-12 02:22 PM
There are essentially two paths - an Adobe centric path or a Nikon centric path.
If you want to stay with the Nikon centric path, Photo Mechanic and Capture NX2 would be the likely choices. Capture NX2 is the advanced editor. I use it for 3-5% of my total images - just my selects. It handled 99% of my edits and maintains those edits in a single file - the NEF. Like View, it honors your camera settings. It is a very good editor with the key features being selective editing and control points. Any editing step can be quickly and easily applied to any portion of the image you desire. I use Photo Mechanic for ingesting, conversion to JPEG, and watermarking.
If you head down the Adobe centric path, the starting point is Lightroom. Lightroom started as a catalog but has become a good full function editor. It maintains the edits in the original NEF, provides some selective editing, and works well with most plugins that work with Photoshop. It has increasingly become the choice over Photoshop. Like Capture, it would handle 98-99% of your editing needs.
There are pros on cons on each. Nikon programs honor camera settings while Adobe has its own very close interpretation. Adobe is much more open to plugins. Lightroom and Photoshop require periodic upgrades - much more often than Nikon, so they end up costing a little more. And the Nikon/Nik relationship has changed and we don't know what kind of updates will follow.
Either way, the programs are solid and will handle most of your needs. There are always other programs used for specialty applications - HDR, stacking, some cloning, etc. I imagine 85+% of photographers use Lightroom - almost all the Canon shooters, most of the Photoshop users (due to evolution and learning curve), and a majority of the remaining Nikon users. And there are plenty of other products, but It's pretty safe to narrow your choice to these two paths unless you have a really compelling reason.
Nikonians membership my most important photographic investment, after the camera