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Top 5 impacts of switching NX2/Nik/PM5 to LR4/CS6 ?

newbird

Neuville, near Quebec City, CA
2038 posts

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newbird Silver Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 25th Apr 2006
Mon 19-Nov-12 09:52 PM

Hi,

I love NX2 + Color Efex Pro + PM5. I feel I lose no quality from my raw files (D800 and D200) and it seems easier than the alternatives.

However, I'm retiring at the end of 2013 and want to increase my burgeonning photo business (shoot, organize files, PP, print Epson, sell fine art and digital files, teach). I specialize in landscape and nature.

In order to prepare myself for a pro-level service, I have switched to FX in 2012 and bought a new computer. I plan to up-stage PP, printing and file cataloguing in 2013. In 2014, I'll focus on applying my business plan and start serious marketing.

I would prefer to keep my actual workflow but I am uncertain about its future. 2013 would be the best time for me to move to an alternative workflow.

What would be the 5 main issues to switch from NX2/ColorEfexPro/PM5 to LR4 or CS6?

Personnally, I see the following top 5:

- learn a more complicated and less efficient user interface
- replace Nik Color Efex Pro by other products, loose the unique fully integrated user interface of my workflow
- much higher costs
- much larger files with sidecars
- save my best already-processed photos in TIFF for potential reuse/reprint (I presently save in NEF and JPEG)

And I assume I may loose image quality as only CNX2 uses the parameters of my camera.

On the other hand, I would be joining a much larger user community with all the advantages (books, add-ons, classes, etc.)

Your advices will be very appreciated, as usual !

Regards,

Yvan
Quebec Fine-Art Landscape Photographer
http://yvanbedardphotonature.com

JonK

New York, US
6408 posts

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#1. "RE: Top 5 impacts of switching NX2/Nik/PM5 to LR4/CS6 ?" | In response to Reply # 0

JonK Moderator Awarded for his high level skills and in-depth knowledge in various areas, such as Wildlife, Landscape and Stage Photography Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 03rd Jul 2004
Mon 19-Nov-12 11:44 PM

My 2¢:

• Lightroom is not difficult and it will do as much or more than CNX2
• You won't need Photoshop for much unless you branch out into certain creative techniques that rely on layers — and you would have the same need if you stay with CNX. Some image repair is beyond LR and requires Photoshop.
• You can still use Nik filters. The workflow is a bit different, though you still access Nik from inside Lightroom.
• Only Photoshop is pricy. Learn Lightroom first. Add Nik to its workflow. Then, when necessary, take the plunge and acquire Photoshop.
• I think file size issues are generally overrated. The few extra seconds that my D800 files take to process just doesn't bother me.

The big issue, as you noted, is the issue with your already-tweaked NEF library. From what I have read, most people leave the "perfect" (ones they sell, ones they love as is) images as TIFs with the related NEFs still available for tweaking in CNX2. I chose to reprocess many of my better shots in Lightroom for several reasons: (1) it was great practice; (2) I can do more in Lightroom than in CNX2 and got even better final results; (3) Now my entire NEF library is Lightroom based for browsing, searching, and developing.

The loss of in-camera-setting processing was, initially, a loss, but it only takes a minute to "dial in" an image in Lightroom — and if you have a bunch of images from the same shoot, you can easily apply the settings from that first image onto the others. But what I really found is that in-camera settings are not all that perfect. Slight tweaks, notably to white balance but also some aspects of exposure, produce a better image. So I'm quite happy having made the change from CNX2 to Lightroom. And Lightroom keeps getting better while CNX2…

Jon Kandel
A New York City Nikonian and Team Member
Please visit my website and critique the images!

walkerr

Colorado Springs, US
16960 posts

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#2. "RE: Top 5 impacts of switching NX2/Nik/PM5 to LR4/CS6 ?" | In response to Reply # 0

walkerr Administrator Awarded for his con tributed articles published at the Resources Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in multiple areas Master Ribbon awarded as a member who has gone beyond technical knowledge to show mastery of the art and science of photography   Donor Ribbon awarded for his most generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 05th May 2002
Mon 19-Nov-12 11:49 PM


>What would be the 5 main issues to switch from
>NX2/ColorEfexPro/PM5 to LR4 or CS6?
>
>Personnally, I see the following top 5:
>
>- learn a more complicated and less efficient user interface

Having used both workflows, I'd view it as a less complicated and more efficient workflow, but I guess it depends on individual perceptions.

>- replace Nik Color Efex Pro by other products, loose the
>unique fully integrated user interface of my workflow

Keep in mind that it's only integrated in you use the old version of Color Efex Pro. It's less integrated if you use any of the multitude of other plug-ins out there on the market.

>- much higher costs

Only if you add Photoshop. LR4 is quite capable by itself right now, and you could always go with the lesser Elements if you didn't want the full CS6 capabilities. My own belief is that Photoshop is a good investment if you compare it with many other photographic items that get less use day to day.

>- much larger files with sidecars

Not necessarily. Same sized files unless you push into Photoshop, sidecars are tiny, and can even save space if you use virtual copies.

>- save my best already-processed photos in TIFF for potential
>reuse/reprint (I presently save in NEF and JPEG)

Yes or save a copy of NX2 until you run into an end of life problem.

>
>And I assume I may loose image quality as only CNX2 uses the
>parameters of my camera.
>

No - this is a big misconception. You can find some areas that are better.

>On the other hand, I would be joining a much larger user
>community with all the advantages (books, add-ons, classes,
>etc.)

Absolutely

>
>Your advices will be very appreciated, as usual !
>

I would do it because you've concluded it's the right answer for you and not because of preconceived ideas of what it will or won't do for you. There's a tremendous amount of misinformation out there.

Rick Walker

My photos:

GeoVista Photography

newbird

Neuville, near Quebec City, CA
2038 posts

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#3. "RE: Top 5 impacts of switching NX2/Nik/PM5 to LR4/CS6 ?" | In response to Reply # 1

newbird Silver Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 25th Apr 2006
Tue 20-Nov-12 12:22 AM

Thanks Jon, it is a reassuring answer.

Yvan
Quebec Fine-Art Landscape Photographer
http://yvanbedardphotonature.com

newbird

Neuville, near Quebec City, CA
2038 posts

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#4. "RE: Top 5 impacts of switching NX2/Nik/PM5 to LR4/CS6 ?" | In response to Reply # 2

newbird Silver Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 25th Apr 2006
Tue 20-Nov-12 12:43 AM

Hi Rick,

These are very good points.

Another question: I am very satisfied with PM5 as it is so fast (I often open folders with 500-1000 NEF files). They are adding cataloguing features and I'm sure it will be top notch. Is it too much double usage with LR cataloguing or is it better to keep PM5 with LR?

Thank you very much !

Yvan
Quebec Fine-Art Landscape Photographer
http://yvanbedardphotonature.com

walkerr

Colorado Springs, US
16960 posts

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#5. "RE: Top 5 impacts of switching NX2/Nik/PM5 to LR4/CS6 ?" | In response to Reply # 4

walkerr Administrator Awarded for his con tributed articles published at the Resources Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in multiple areas Master Ribbon awarded as a member who has gone beyond technical knowledge to show mastery of the art and science of photography   Donor Ribbon awarded for his most generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 05th May 2002
Tue 20-Nov-12 01:06 AM

I would either go with LR4 by itself or use PM with Photoshop and skip LR4. I have all of these products and prefer using LR4 over PM. If I shot primarily sports or event photography I might gravitate toward PM, but for the kind of shooting I do, I find LR4 a better choice.

Rick Walker

My photos:

GeoVista Photography

newbird

Neuville, near Quebec City, CA
2038 posts

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#6. "RE: Top 5 impacts of switching NX2/Nik/PM5 to LR4/CS6 ?" | In response to Reply # 5

newbird Silver Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 25th Apr 2006
Tue 20-Nov-12 01:48 AM

Do you catalogue your photos with keywords with LR4?

Insofar, I rely on my file naming structure to find back my photos (and an excellent memory). I have over 200,000 photos and it would be time to start a minimum of cataloguing.

Yvan
Quebec Fine-Art Landscape Photographer
http://yvanbedardphotonature.com

mklass

Tacoma, US
7437 posts

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#7. "RE: Top 5 impacts of switching NX2/Nik/PM5 to LR4/CS6 ?" | In response to Reply # 0

mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, sports, commercial, and events coverage, Mick is always ready to help Nikonians by sharing his deep knowledge of photography and printing. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006
Tue 20-Nov-12 02:31 AM

Just a few more considerations.

You must do all of you file management, moving, copying and deleting files in LR, or you need to remember to move or copy your sidecar files with your image files, otherwise you're screwed.

You do lose the real Nikon interpretation of the Nikon only features in your raw files. As Nikon adds new features to cameras and NEF files, you won't have access to those either.

The number of file you will have and the complexity of your workflow will increase.

You will be beholden to Adobe and their attempt to become the Microsoft of imaging software. Less innovation, more bloat.

CNX is a great product that should be encouraged to develop further. Rick and Jon are two people who believe in a different course.

Ultimately, you need to adopt whatever workflow works for you in getting the images you want so you can succeed photographically in whatever manner you define it.

Mick
http://www.mickklassphoto.com
or
Visit my nikonians gallery

walkerr

Colorado Springs, US
16960 posts

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#8. "RE: Top 5 impacts of switching NX2/Nik/PM5 to LR4/CS6 ?" | In response to Reply # 6

walkerr Administrator Awarded for his con tributed articles published at the Resources Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in multiple areas Master Ribbon awarded as a member who has gone beyond technical knowledge to show mastery of the art and science of photography   Donor Ribbon awarded for his most generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 05th May 2002
Tue 20-Nov-12 11:16 AM

Yes, I keyword my photos in LR4, but I'm not completely on them to find files. My file structure, which is based on a high-level description of the shoot, makes it fairly easy to find most images. The cataloging feature really helps narrow things down further and quickly display only the images meeting certain criteria (which could be keywords or other attributes).

Rick Walker

My photos:

GeoVista Photography

JonK

New York, US
6408 posts

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#9. "RE: Top 5 impacts of switching NX2/Nik/PM5 to LR4/CS6 ?" | In response to Reply # 7

JonK Moderator Awarded for his high level skills and in-depth knowledge in various areas, such as Wildlife, Landscape and Stage Photography Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 03rd Jul 2004
Wed 21-Nov-12 12:12 AM | edited Wed 21-Nov-12 12:12 AM by JonK

WIthout hijacking the thread, I'd like to respond point-by-point:

>You must do all of you file management, moving, copying and
>deleting files in LR, or you need to remember to move or copy
>your sidecar files with your image files, otherwise you're
>screwed.
That's the beauty of the Lightroom environment.

>You do lose the real Nikon interpretation of the Nikon only
>features in your raw files. As Nikon adds new features to
>cameras and NEF files, you won't have access to those either.
Not sure what you mean here. A RAW file is the sensor data; there's nothing else to add.

>The number of file you will have and the complexity of your
>workflow will increase.
Nope. A NEF in CNX2, a NEF in Lightroom. From either you output JPGs or TIFs as desired.

>You will be beholden to Adobe and their attempt to become the
>Microsoft of imaging software. Less innovation, more bloat.
As a graphics professional, I can state with some expertise that Adobe has been the Microsoft of imaging since Day One. Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign are the preeminent apps in their fields; Dreamweaver, Premier, and Lightroom have good market share. While there are many other good apps and add-ons out there, Adobe is king.

>CNX is a great product that should be encouraged to develop
>further. Rick and Jon are two people who believe in a
>different course.
I agree that Nikon should develop CNX2 further. But I don't see it happening and it keeps falling further and further behind everyone else. I got great results with CNX2, and I get better results with Lightroom. YMMV.

>Ultimately, you need to adopt whatever workflow works for you
>in getting the images you want so you can succeed
>photographically in whatever manner you define it.
Agree. And different workflows work for different people.


Jon Kandel
A New York City Nikonian and Team Member
Please visit my website and critique the images!

pshnikchch

Christchurch, NZ
255 posts

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#10. "RE: Top 5 impacts of switching NX2/Nik/PM5 to LR4/CS6 ?" | In response to Reply # 5

pshnikchch Silver Member Nikonian since 16th May 2007
Wed 21-Nov-12 01:57 AM | edited Wed 21-Nov-12 02:03 AM by pshnikchch

Rick et al.

I would be very interested in hearing your opinion of Capture One Pro as an alternative to Capture NX 2.

Thanks

Peter

http://www.pastoralsystems.co.nz/photography/

newbird

Neuville, near Quebec City, CA
2038 posts

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#11. "RE: Top 5 impacts of switching NX2/Nik/PM5 to LR4/CS6 ?" | In response to Reply # 9

newbird Silver Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 25th Apr 2006
Wed 21-Nov-12 02:28 AM

Thank you all for your comments, I'll give a try to LR4 and see how it goes. Final decision to come after my own tests.

Regards,

Yvan
Quebec Fine-Art Landscape Photographer
http://yvanbedardphotonature.com

walkerr

Colorado Springs, US
16960 posts

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#12. "RE: Top 5 impacts of switching NX2/Nik/PM5 to LR4/CS6 ?" | In response to Reply # 10

walkerr Administrator Awarded for his con tributed articles published at the Resources Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in multiple areas Master Ribbon awarded as a member who has gone beyond technical knowledge to show mastery of the art and science of photography   Donor Ribbon awarded for his most generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 05th May 2002
Wed 21-Nov-12 11:53 AM

I'm familiar with it in the sense that I know how to handle edits, etc., but I don't have deep knowledge of the features added in its newest incarnation, version 7. Those features include things approaching what LR has, such as cataloging and the beginnings of profile-based lens-correction. It also has the same fluidity of editing that LR offers, where you don't have to open and save images when you edit them. It's always struck me as being particularly well suited to portrait work and the studio environment because of functions like its ability to white balance based on skin tones, as well as a few other items. I'd give it a try and see what you think, but with any of these products, you can't just try them for a day and draw conclusions. You're likely to miss a lot of its features, not understand its workflow, apply your old processes without realizing it...a whole host of things. You also need some good training materials,

One thing that C1 definitely lacks that I really like about a LR/PS combo is opening up an image into Photoshop from Lightroom as a smart object and then being able to apply most any plug-in as a smart filter. Both the original raw parameters, as well as the plug-in's parameters, remain editable. This has saved me time when I've either changed my mind on how I wanted to edit something like Silver Efex Pro or Topaz Adjust later or re-do the raw parameters because a plug-in was causing the highlights to blow. I've also taken advantage of incremental improvements in the LR/ACR raw engine to improve an image without having to start from scratch because of subsequent work done to it in Photoshop. It can be very helpful.

Rick Walker

My photos:

GeoVista Photography

pshnikchch

Christchurch, NZ
255 posts

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#13. "RE: Top 5 impacts of switching NX2/Nik/PM5 to LR4/CS6 ?" | In response to Reply # 12

pshnikchch Silver Member Nikonian since 16th May 2007
Wed 21-Nov-12 04:37 PM

Thanks for your full reply Rick. Appreciated.

Very informative, especially from your perspective as a LR/PS user.

You are right about not forming an opinion in a day (or possibly a week). I have started learning C1.

Working with large panoramic TIFFs, I have noticed that C1 has some sort of size limitation. So I can't work on very large TIFFs (up to 1.1GB) as I can with CNX 2.

Peter

http://www.pastoralsystems.co.nz/photography/

G