I have just acquired a D610. My other camera is a D200. I have always shot the D200 capturing NEF images. I just discovered that my Adobe CS4 will not process the D610 NEF images and that it cannot be upgraded to the required ACR v8.3. I have found two options that will allow me to continue using Adobe (upgrade to Photoshop CC or retain CS4 and add use of DNG to read the NEF files as an extra processing step). Neither of these options is currently attractive to me.
What options are D610 owners using to process their NEF images? Are you satisfied with the processing option that you are using?
This issue isn't unique to the D610, of course. It comes up every time Nikon releases a new model.
If you wish to continue using Photoshop CS4 to edit your raw files, the only option you have is to convert the NEF to something Photoshop will read. As Joseph says, ViewNX will produce a TIFF. So will a number of other raw converters. But I'm not sure why that workflow would be superior to using the DNG converter unless the raw converter you choose has some particular processing advantage you like. Using DNG lets Photoshop work with the original raw data.
One other possible approach is to start using an application such as Lightroom or Aperture. These applications can do much of the processing themselves, including the raw conversion, but can also integrate Photoshop as a back-end editing tool for more complex editing.
I strongly recommend downloading the free trial(s) of Lightroom 5 and/or Aperture 3. As mentioned earlier, they will both address your problem and are reasonably priced. Aperture is a Mac-only program, however. My D610 raw files are processed beautifully with both programs. The trials are good for 30 days.
I have both and find they each have their own strengths and weaknesses.
As you will discover, most new camera releases require software updates to process their NEF files. Since I also do graphic design along with my photo post-processing, I had already upgraded to PS CS6 a while ago so I was able to download ACR v8.3, which works fine with the D610 NEF files.
As much as I thought I'll bite the bullet and purchase lightroom, I thought I'd give the Adobe DNG Converter a try. And to my surprise, I am not hating it as much as I thought I would. And I have decided that I'll just add this step to my digital processing.
The only extra step I'm doing is to opening up the DNG converter program, select the folder where all the NEF are kept. Couple of clicks and walk away. Then come back to delete all the NEF files. The converted DNG does everything the NEF files does and isn't really that big a deal. The best part about this whole thing, I don't need to learn new software! If you have not done this yet, give this a try because it really is less annoying than it sounds.
Thank you. I am a long day into evaluating Lightroom 5 and while I find it is a potential candidate to completely replace CS4, it has a completely different look and feel so nothing is intuitive. I am going to give it a few more days of evaluation but I can already "feel" that I am going to use the DNG converter.
Robert, I ran into the same problem with my D600 and CS5. So I learned how to use LR4 and now I find that I seldom use PS. I heard that LR5 has a lot of new stuff that would even make a lot of photographers use PS less.