I just downloaded Photo Ninja to give it a try. Their advertising is right - wow! A very impressive product. It is going to give other raw converters some real competition. I had just started migrating to Light Room from Aperture, but I'm being really tempted by Photo Ninja.
As JRP pointed out a Photoshop Plug-In is in process as I write this. It should be out in the weeks to come. For now Photo Ninja does read the metadata rating and categorizing tags from LR, Aperture, and Photo Mechanic.
Oh okay, no, not at this time. Photo Ninja is more a dedicated raw converter a la ACR with Noise Ninja built in. It is still early in its development as version 1 but I think it has a LOT of potential. It can already do some pretty amazing things with your NEFs. Just as LR was a breath of fresh air in version 1 and now it has really blossomed into a very powerful program. I hope Photo Ninja will develop along the same path.
Sat 26-Jan-13 03:24 PM | edited Sat 26-Jan-13 03:39 PM by Chris Platt
I thought I'd post a few comparison images. I'm still figuring out how to use Photo Ninja and it does have limitations that I keep discovering - like limiting file size and quality selections when rendering jpgs. It gives you a limited number of drop down choices instead of sliders or options to enter % quality or specific sizes. At least I haven't discovered another way to do it yet. Also haven't found a spot heal tool yet (which makes me wish I'd blown off the sensor this morning).
Anyway, I snapped a few images at the feeder this morning with my Sigma 50-500 and then converted the same raw files in both LR and Photo Ninja. I tried to get them as close as I could. There is a three dimensional "feel" that is easily achieved with Photo Ninja - it's very difficult to achieve the same effect in LR (at least for me). I may be able to get close in Aperture and I'll try that in a bit.
Sat 26-Jan-13 11:05 PM | edited Sat 26-Jan-13 11:06 PM by Chris Platt
V2 will undoubtedly fill in some holes. The only thing I really don't want to live without is some sort of spot healing tool. If they could duplicate the one in Aperture, which I think is leaps and bounds better than Lightroom's, I'll be completely sold. I don't mind stepping out to do more elaborate manipulation.
Second attempt today to produce equivalent images with Lightroom and Photo Ninja. Tried a cardinal this time. Cardinals, IMO, are one of the toughest subjects - it is too easy to blow the red channel if you get the least bit aggressive with any contrast/saturation/presence type sliders. I gave up trying to do it with this guy in Aperture. I couldn't get close to the Photo Ninja results without turning him into a red blob. Lightroom and Photo Ninja handle him much better. Photo Ninja lets you get away with murder - it may even make it too easy. It requires restraint to keep from pushing an image too far (I'm thinking the cardinal is just a tad over the edge for my taste).
This is really interesting and I am wondering what Ninja would be like with my Egret images where the highlight can really get blown unless I dial in at least -0.3 to 0.7 AV in camera. The differences posted here certainly seem to make quite a difference.
That said, in terms of pure image sharpness I achieve great success by reducing my D800 full size RAW image to 16Mp in Lightroom.
Give it a try Richard. I think you will be impressed.
Bright plumage is such a challenge. With a long lens, it's a real balancing act between high ISOs to keep the shutter speed up while at the same time, trying to hold the ISO down to achieve maximum dynamic range. Take a D800 to ISO 1600 and you've reduced the dynamic range by 27% and you're blowing highlights. A program like Photo Ninja that seems to be able to recover more detail out of the highlights is very helpful. I don't know how they've done it, but they have some very impressive algorithms.
Sun 27-Jan-13 02:26 PM | edited Sun 27-Jan-13 02:29 PM by richardd300
What I intend to do is wait a few days or a week to try and get out to capture images where Ninja would help with highlights. The trial period is only two weeks and I would like to give it a real try as it's not the most cost effective software at $129. In fact it's only a few dollars short of Lightroom 4! If it does the job then it's worth it.
Sun 27-Jan-13 02:43 PM | edited Sun 27-Jan-13 02:43 PM by richardd300
I think the best plan is to enrol on a College photography course and use the receipt to buy student CS6extended $178 instead of $1371), Photo Ninja (50% discount)and all the plug-ins one needs. I did exactly that 3 years ago with CS5, Lightroom etc, etc. and saved an absolute fortune. Also, it all totally legal.
I was looking at your bird pictures that I like and would like your commit if this version is over the edge as you put it. I am trying to learn more with my own processing of my own pictures. I would like any commits you have.
Chris I just used the picture off this post as I didn't have the NEF file. I would like to processe the NEF file to see what I can do with it and let you know how I did. That small JPEG file doesn't have a lot to work with.
You sent a different picture this time but I edited one in Capture NX2 with Niks Efex 3.0, one in Onone Suites 7 and one in Ninja. I like the one edited with Capture NX2, but I must say I was really impressed with Ninja and need to use it more. Although there is some tool missing and if you could add plug-in I would use it.
Wow I was just going to upload off a flash drive on my laptop and was the colors so far off, I really need to calibrate both my computers and wonder what my pictures look like on someones elses computer. Although when I send them to be printed they come back great. But here they are from my desktop in the order above.
Not if you're just going to use if for noise correction. The program clearly has some unique algorithms for demosaicing, exposure and detail adjustment, and sharpening. I love the way it processes those. It also has some weaknesses that keep it from being used alone - no retouch or spot adjustment tool and limitations on the size for rendered jpg files. You have to live with a choice of preset jpg pixel dimensions, i.e., you can specify that pixel dimensions that are 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, etc., the original dimensions, but you can't tell it that you want a file to be exactly 1000 or 1200 pixels wide or high (makes it difficult to save a file directly for display on Nikonians).
The Photo Ninja one is clearly better and underscores my point that it is much easier to get the result you're looking for in Photo Ninja - at least with wildlife. I won't judge the others because I am at my work computer and the monitor is not good with graphics.
Your right Chris about the third picture as all the detail it pulled out of the bird is great. For some reason I thought the color was off, but looking at it some more that is probably the color of the bird and did a better job than the others. I am going to have to buy or get the two week trial so I can export some pictures out of it. Love to have that lens of yours.
Wed 06-Mar-13 05:33 AM | edited Wed 06-Mar-13 05:52 AM by jrp
Chris. You are right about the incredible detail it can bring out. Not only that, the subtle tones are also brought up, like the gold sunlight of a sunset in the ridges of stones. It is absolutely amazing.
I also discovered that in my laptop the default program called up from the desktop shortcut was the 32 bit version, and not the 64. Once I switched to the 64 version it was flying and allowing me to see immediately any small change done via the sliders.
We knew it was very good to start with, but it is now rendering my images in color, tone and detail that were not that easy to accomplish with other software, if at all possible.
I never read manuals, sorry; but now that I've dedicated some time to read the easy to understand tutorials, it has quite a handful of sub-surface treasures. The one click application of the integrated Noise Ninja, the exchange/transfer of settings/profiles, non-RAW image editing made simple, and more.
Another version was already released (v1.0.4c) and they have another one almost ready (v1.0.5), maybe for final (non-beta) release by the end of this month. The improvements on image quality, the streamlining of the user interface and workflow improvements are more than remarkable.
Wed 06-Mar-13 05:33 PM | edited Wed 06-Mar-13 05:33 PM by Chris Platt
Yes, I'm using 1.1.0 beta with PhotoShop plugins. I now have it set to execute instead of ACR when I open a raw file in PS or Bridge. Loving it more than ever. It almost feels as though you can reach out and touch an animal when it is done with its magic. I'm a convert.
I downloaded PN this morning to give it a spin. I find it very easy to use and gives excellent results. I profiled my D600 for noise and light sources with my ColorChecker Passport and am very pleased with the results. I do miss a few of the features as mentioned above as well as being able to resize then sharpen.