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Capture NX2 vs. Photoshop with Nik Software Suite

pwarbeck

Tucson AZ, US
254 posts

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pwarbeck Registered since 25th May 2009
Fri 22-Oct-10 01:56 PM

I know this subject has been discussed many times in different threads, so I apologize if I'm being redundant.

When I first got my Nikon DSLR, I didn't have a lot of money left over, so I was using open source software: ufraw for raw developing and GIMP for most everything else. Later, I migrated to NX2, which does most of what I need, and does it a lot better. I am particularly happy with NX2's raw developer, which blows away ufraw. I also adopted a "NEF-centric" workflow: keeping multiple versions in the NEF and exporting a single jpeg from each version.

Unfortunately, there are features missing from NX2, which I had in GIMP, like perspective correction, so occasionally I will output a tiff from NX2, correct it in GIMP, and let GIMP make the jpeg. The same goes for HDR: I send tiffs from NX2 to Photomatix and let Photomatix create a tiff, which I usually send back into NX2, wrapping it as a new NEF.

I have read many posts in this forum about the Nik software suite and wondering how I would integrate it into my workflow. I downloaded a trial version of Photoshop (actually, Elements 9) and a trial version of the full Nik Software suite.

When I opened my first NEF in PS (the NEF had been developed and tweaked in NX2), up popped something called Camera Raw, and I could see that it was using the original version of the RAW file. I realized that Camera Raw is Photoshop's alternative to the Develop section of NX2's Edit list. But where are the Camera Controls? Am I taking a step backward with a dumbed down raw processor that doesn't understand my camera? Is the solution to send a tiff from NX2 to PSE, bypassing Camera Raw and going directly into Edit? Ugh.

Next, I played with the Nik tools and filters. I noticed a high degree of redundancy with what I can already do in NX2. Yes, there are some nice additions, but are there enough to justify the high cost, and the abandonment of NEF-centric workflow (replacing it with a PSD-centric workflow)?

Here is my questions: Should PS + Nik Software suite (or maybe Lightroom + Nik Software suite) be regarded as an ALTERNATIVE to NX2? Is that how Nik is positioning the product?


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