Hello Nikonians, I have been searching for threads on PS Elements verse Nikon CNX2. The only software I current have (and use quite a bit) is Nikon’s free ViewNX2. I actually am quite impressed on what I can do with VNX so I have been putting off purchasing software and allocated my funds to lens. I think my kit is good for now for a beginner and so I have been researching SW. Most of the threads I read compare CNX to the full PS CS. My question is; with limited funds should I be looking at Elements 11 or CNX. I have tried a trial of Elements… but maybe because I am used to ViewNX2, I was not too impressed. I guess I need to get a trial of CNX
Elements is a capable program - and for certain functions is nearly as good as Photoshop.
I think your real choices are between Lightroom and CNX2. That's a bit of a choice between an Adobe workflow and a Nikon workflow. Both programs are quite capable and will accomodate 98% of your likely needs.
I use View, Capture, and Photo Mechanic. I have Photoshop CS6 and use it for specific needs - such as print management, adding canvas, and heavy cloning. I use View as my primary browser, for rating images, and for browsing. I also use it for editing on snapshots and high volume images such as event photos. I use Capture NX2 for serious editing of images I am selling or posting on my website. I like the file management approach and lossless edits. I also like using the in camera settings such as picture controls and ADL - and these programs honor those settings. I use Photo Mechanic to import files, attach keywords, apply watermarks, and support captions and naming.
I don't see any major need to use Elements. I have it because my wife uses it for photo projects and printing. I think of it as Photoshop Lite - and consider it inferior to Lightroom or Capture for advanced editing.
Lightroom is increasingly the replacement for both Photoshop and Elements. Most advanced Photoshop users have adopted Lightroom because it is a great organizer, a very good editor, and is easy to use. Functionality is very good. It does not use the camera settings, but has presets that do the job. And it will work with your NEF file and apply edits losslessly. It also works well with a wide range of plugins for special needs.
Hello Eric and Bob, Thanks for the great advice… as usual you are a big help. I have just downloaded a sample of CNX2. As I said above, I like VNX and assume the look and feel will be similar.
I shoot quite a bit of architectural photos and I do not have a tilt/shift lens so I am interested to see how CNX2 handles perspective control. My D5100 has perspective control in camera but I am hoping CNX2 corrects it well.
Capture should honor the distortion correction in the camera, as well as any corrections from lens firmware. I'm not terribly impressed by other distortion control capabilities.
The basic workflow for Capture is pretty straight forward - work from top to bottom on the right. Start with the Develop section for global adjustments similar to View. Then go to the Adjust section.
In the Adjust section I normally work the menus from top to bottom and left to right. I start with global adjustments and then come back with selective adjustments. The key icons for me are the Color Control Point selection and the Selection Tools (both positive and negative). The Color Control point is pretty straight forward. Just remember that you can size the control points or add control points with no changes to manage exactly where an effect is applied. With Selection tools you can apply any editing step - sharpening for example - just to the portion of the image you desire. I use this a lot for D-Lighting, Contrast, and Sharpening. Apply your crop and final sharpening last.
Much thanks Eric! I appreciate the step by step work flow instructions. It will be quite handy for me to develop good skills from the start. With ViewNX I usually just jump around to various edits. I like your structured step by step approach.