Photo Ninja is a totally new product featuring a full array of raw processing filters including: color correction, exposure adjustment, color enhancement, black and white conversion, noise reduction, sharpening, chromatic aberration correction, vignetting control, distortion and geometry adjustment, cropping, and demosaic of the raw file. In essence, it is a complete raw and image processor within a stand-alone program with a clean interface incorporating an image browser for file search and selection.
According to the Photo Ninja website the following camera raw files are supported:
Canon: D2000, D30, D60, D6000, 7D, 10D, 20D, 30D, 40D, 50D, 60D, 300D, 350D, 400D, 450D, 500D, 550D, 600D, 1000D, 1100D, 1D Mark I/II/III/IV, 1Ds Mark I/II/III, 1D X, 5D Mark I/II/III, PowerShot G1X, PowerShot G6. [Note: sRAW mode for Canon SLRs not yet supported.]
Nikon: D1, D1H, D100, D2H, D2X, D200, D3, D3S, D3X, D300, D3000, D3100, D3200, D4, D40, D40X, D50, D5000, D5100, D60, D70, D700, D7000, D80, D800/D800E, D90, 1 J1, 1 V1, Coolpix P7000
FujiFilm: FinePix X100, X-S1
Konica Minolta: Dynax 7D, probably other DiMAGE and Dynax models
Leica: M9, M Monochrom, D-LUX 5, S2, probably other models
Olympus: E-M5, E-500, probably other E-, C-, and SP- models.
Panasonic: DMC-FZ35, DMC-GH2, DMC-G3, DMC-GX1, DMC-GF5, probably other DMC models.
Pentax: K-01, probably other K- and *ist models.
Samsung: NX200, NX100, and probably other NX models
Sony: NEX-7, DSC-RX100, probably other DSC, DSLR, NEX, and SLT models.
Additionally, Photo Ninja can process jpegs and tiffs. Processed raw files are output to jpeg and tiff formats. Photo Ninja can be used in conjunction with a variety of image processing tools including Photo Mechanic, Lightroom, and Aperture. A plug-in for Photoshop is due soon in version 1.1. While the integration is not totally seamless between these programs you can export processed files to Photo Ninja (as rendered tiffs) and in the case of Photo Mechanic it retains the tagging, color labeling, and ratings you have applied to the file.
As I mentioned previously Photo Ninja has a clean interface with the program window defaulting to a dark neutral color and small white fonts. You can change the appearance to a light grey and font sizes can be changed as well. Within the program window there is the program menu at the top, a control to toggle between the Browser and Editor Screen, buttons to access a message log and news from the PictureCode server, and the current day and time. Below this is a second set of controls. There is a drop down which allows you to toggle between various open files sitting in the workspace. You have access to a fly out window which displays the file Metadata, and controls to zoom in and out, rotate the displayed image, show split panes, and close the active image. On the left a panel shows a histogram, the essential camera settings at the time of the capture, and a drop down for lens profiles. Below these items are the adjustment slider filters. At the bottom of the window is a directory tree with a strip of thumbnails of the images in the active directory.
While you can access your files using the thumbnail strip you can also use a browser displayed in the main workspace. Here is a screen shot of what this view looks like.
The general Photo Ninja workflow is not much different from all the other raw converters out there except that it has a few methods that are a little different. For one, when working with a filter you must confirm your adjustments when making edits by clicking on the Apply button. Conversely, there is also a button to cancel your adjustments. Secondly, each adjustment such as color correction, sharpening, etc. is accessed one at a time. There is no scrolling through a long series of adjustment sliders. With Photo Ninja the sliders for each process are hidden under a nested system. This can get a little frustrating in the long run and certainly does not promote quick adjustments. While Photo Ninja is a very good raw converter/image processor it is not one built on speed. It is slow to render adjustments, and while there is the ability to copy and paste settings over one or more files there is no true automatic synchronized batch processing for those who are working on a series of shots under the same lighting conditions. Bear in mind that Photo Ninja is in version 1 and some issues concerning performance and efficiency are to be expected. Hopefully these will be addressed in later updates.
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