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Thread: Lightroom 3 vs Capture NX2

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    Lightroom 3 vs Capture NX2

    Thought that this link would appeal to the other two people in the world other than me not yet a part of the cult of Adobe (yes I mean you, Andrew and Arthur). This is the first direct comparison that I have seen between the two, and refreshingly, he lets the pictures do the talking, as opposed to the usual web guff one finds.

    http://ishootshows.com/2010/01/22/li...-capture-nx-2/

    And a follow up article:

    http://ishootshows.com/2010/03/28/li...ght-rendering/

    Interesting enough for me to give the beta that's been sitting uninstalled on my hard drive a go. Or at least bookmark this guy's site to check back in once the final version has been released.
    Last edited by maccaroneski; 27-05-2010 at 5:31pm.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Without even opening the links I will reply anyhow:

    end result is all that counts is a given condition, but how easily you end up at that result is the issue(for me anyhow).

    I found the PS routine very difficult to do the kind of things I generally do to my images.

    Some get isolated spot adjustments, others get global tweaks.

    I found that isolated spot adjustments are much easier to produce in CNX, as a separate issue to things like the quality of sharpness and detail from the resultant raw file(I got better results from CNX than with either adobe products. I only process NEF files and then save to jpg(for screen usage) or TIFF(if I ever want to print in high quality).

    Probably the most important part of using CaptureNX for me is in maintaining the NEF file format. That is making adjustments and saving as an NEF file. Keeps all the files nice and simple.. not having to save 'edit lists' and suchlike. Adobe products(and some others that I've tried) do not save to a recognised NEF format
    if they do, my other software does not recognise adobe's version of NEF anyhow!.. and I have tried.

    So... I better read the links
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Did someone utter my name in vain?

    Thanks for that Tony, I will have a read thoroughly in the AM.
    My only experience with Adobe has been photoshop 7 and it baffled me for a long time before the easy to follow but resource hogging and maddeningly under featured NX 1 came along. I simply can't find a good reason to swap now that NX 2 seems to hog less resources than previously even if it won't magically insert Dr. Who tardis like objects into seemingly innocent landscapes at the click of a mouse button ( or graphics tablet, choose your poison ) but does seem to be able to produce sellable images from Nikon files.
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



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    It's an interesting read nonetheless - it's nice to see someone other than Arthur put some effort and produce some images in comparing the packages - I've seen and heard enough "Lightroom v Aperture" comparisons to last me a lifetime, which are particularly useless in light of the fact that I have a PC and not a Mac...

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    its a very well thought through read actually
    Darren
    Gear : Nikon Goodness
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    Constructive Critique of my images always appreciated

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    its a very well thought through read actually
    Except when I read in the initial impressions writeup where the writer is trying to explain about some detail of importance in the Lil Wayne section about saturation/contrast.

    he explains how he used 'default' sharpening in CaptureNX. There is no such thing as default shareping in CaptureNX.(unless he's made a specific workspace, with various tweak settings.. if that can be done?? )

    Default sharpening in CNX is 0.. Zero of everything. It doesn't sharpen anything.
    Your chosen Picture Control selection on camera is where the defaultiness in sharpening happens. Each Picture Control setting has different amounts of sharpening.
    Best advise, if you use Picture Controls in camera is at the least!!.. to turn sharpening down down to zero and use a saved USM batch edit(easy done, and much cleaner better job of sharpening). Some folks like to use High Pass.. but now I've settled on a 55, 4, 5 USM edit step on unedited images, and they look nigh on perfect with that. I think that recommendation was made by Jason Odell(of CaptureNX tutorial fame) for the D300.. your camera may require different settings.

    Anyhow.. that comment makes me wonder if this chap actually knows as much about CaptueNX as he really should!

    his noise handling example made sense tho!
    haven't directly compared the grain handling characteristics between the two, but NR with LightRoom was definitely miles ahead compared to CaptureNX. But the NR edit is never going to affect the actual NEF file(which is annoying to me).

    And then I recently found out that Nik's Dfine NR softwware is not available for CaptureNX(any version)!!

    The people that wrote the damned program(CaptureNX) don't make a proper(detailed) NR plug in for their own software
    It's available for other software.. it;s not the best NR software available but that's not the issue.. I want my NEF files to be edited and saved as NEF's (for future proofing purposes I guess).

    NR in CaptureNX is best described as below basic. Can do a job(that's a job.. not a good job! ) .. once you've used something like Neat Image, Capture NX's NR ability is less than adequate!

    Currently I have to save and edit to TIFF file and apply any NR to the tiff file. To me jpgs and tiffs are dispensable files, and I keep them all in separate folders to my raw files. One day I'll end up deleting them all to make more room for raw files only.

    so.. anyhow back to the topic of default sharpening.. he doesn't explain what amount or level he's used.. you can't compare the two images directly without knowing that important detail. From memory I think LR3Beta2 used something like 25% with various other numbers.. but they seemed quite high.

    I may install the trial of LR3 again on this new PC.. for some fun.

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    You might as well whilst there is still a fair time till it expires

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    till it expires?

    two Q's:

    does the actual trial period expire on a set date(eg. April 1st) or does it expire after a set time frame after installation?

    is there a 64bit version?... I wanna try that one on my 64bit PC.

    I actually only really want to install it again for speed testing(again).

    on my old box, it was dog slow.. slower than even CaptureNX doing a heavy noise reduction routine... and I'm serious when I tell 'ya that meant time for a smoke and to make a cuppa and still be back at the PC before it had finished.. but that PC actually died( graphics card gave up(got a new 'old banger' for it, and it still randomly reboots ever few hours(I think CPU may be the issue.. or RAM??)
    I think I once measured a file save in Capture NX at over 10 minutes! File save. not conversion. For soem inexplicable reason saving to any other format was basically instananeous, whereas saving to the format being used(NEF) too over 10mins to finish.
    One convert job using LR3 took over 20mins to not convert to jpg, where I eventually gave up the ghost. 10mins for a simple export to jpg would average 10mins on my old PC, so you can see that I had PC problems to deal with.
    With CNX now any and all saves are instantaneous(10secs tops for a highly detailed +NR edit job).
    This PC flies!

    sorry to rant OT.. but some of my LR problems stem from bad experiences with many aspects of the software... I seriously can't see any reason to use it(from where I'm sitting that is!!).

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    LR3 beta2 I think expires June 30
    yes, 64 bit is available

    Use it if you want, or not

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    Thanks Tony, looks interesting. I'll have a thorough read when I get a chance.

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    And then I recently found out that Nik's Dfine NR softwware is not available for CaptureNX(any version)!!

    The people that wrote the damned program(CaptureNX) don't make a proper(detailed) NR plug in for their own software
    My understanding is that Nikon won't let them (Nik Software) make their software as plugins for CNX2 (except for Color Efex I think). I don't know the rationale for this.

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    he doesn't explain what amount or level he's used.. you can't compare the two images directly without knowing that important detail. From memory I think LR3Beta2 used something like 25% with various other numbers.. but they seemed quite high.
    My thinking has been that the actual sharpening parameter numbers don't correlate across different software products (but I may have made this up ). So for example values of 50% / 5 / 5 in LR might give a different result for the same figures in CNX2 due to the way the sharpening algorithms have been implemented in each product.


    Cheers.
    Phil.

    Some Nikon stuff. I shoot Mirrorless and Mirrorlessless.


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    After a good read of his articles which do show the differences very clearly it would appear on the surface that there aren't too many reasons to use Capture NX any more and plenty of very good reasons to use Lightroom, the least of which is the proven superbly capable asset management function. Mind you, my comments are coming from someone that has never used and only briefly seen Lightroom in action so they must be taken in that context and others may have different views.

    When I started my comments here I used the words "on the surface" to summarise my view of his two articles and looking deeper into the way he appears to be working and using NX it seems to me that he is trying to use it as a one click processing application and that to me is not how NX works best. I don't like the NX method of noise reduction and don't use it, Neat Image is vastly superior but can't be used as part of a batch processing function in NX so Lightroom is head and shoulders above NX on that point alone to me.
    By the looks of things Todd takes heaps of band photos and wants to establish a "workflow" to process multiple images with only a few software clicks and for his needs (and others who want that) Lightroom, in its newest form, would appear to be a no brainer decision for use to do the job.
    I am sure that NX was developed with the intention of providing image editing to ensure output that faithfully followed what the (Nikon) camera is capable of on individual images that are going to be printed and as such it still work well for me that way. Most of the bugs seem to have been ironed out of it and being used to the way it works it suits me --- until the inevitable upgrade that comes along with new bugs to be fixed.



    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post

    he explains how he used 'default' sharpening in CaptureNX. There is no such thing as default shareping in CaptureNX.(unless he's made a specific workspace, with various tweak settings.. if that can be done?? )

    Default sharpening in CNX is 0.. Zero of everything. It doesn't sharpen anything.
    Your chosen Picture Control selection on camera is where the defaultiness in sharpening happens. Each Picture Control setting has different amounts of sharpening.
    I read that bit too Arthur and wondered where he found "default" sharpening. I am assuming that he refers to the default levels in the picture control settings he either uses in camera or applies later in NX.

    The specific workspace with tweaked settings is easily achievable, the ability to create any amount of settings on a single image and then apply them as a preset exists within NX. Simply save and rename a particular set and then apply that set either to single images or to a whole folder full in a batch conversion process.

    [AIMG]http://a03-b03.mypicturetown.com:80/P2PwebCmdController/cache/2M**PoYulO1QuIKwCObPGs8lOzc8TLMZ_wbojI_1v_HCECj3NxwJjGNfOuZ3qHUQ/item.jpg?rot=1[/AIMG]

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    slower than even CaptureNX ???
    really? I'll admit it's been a while since i've used Capture NX and I personally found it hard to use and outrageously slow compared to LR/PS. Not a chance I'd jump to CNX even if it claims "better image quality" cos i don't have all day to process images. The workflow and amount of support, flexibility (eg. "add-ons") that the Adobe suite provides far outweighs the 'benefit' of image quality differences those article shows

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    Campo, I don't think that NX is any harder to use than any other program once a person becomes used to the manner in which they operate.
    NX is no speed demon when completing some functions but I have never thought of it as outrageously slow except for the noise reduction function which is truly a dog.
    I certainly would never recommend it to anyone that wanted a product to compete with Adobe's offerings for the bulk processing and enhancement levels that they offer but for someone that wants to work on one image at a time and have an excellent finished product to print it still represents great value with consistent results.

    It's all horses for courses.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by campo View Post
    really? I'll admit it's been a while since i've used Capture NX and I personally found it hard to use and outrageously slow compared to LR/PS. ...
    See! I find statements like that difficult to understand.

    I'm curious as to what part of point and click, drag a slider and you're done.. so hard to understand or use?

    I'm not being sarcastic, I'm just curious.

    Nik pioneered control points in CaptureNX, and when you look at it from an outsiders point of view... that is an operator with no PS/LR experience, and no CaptureNX experience, you'll find that CNX is a lot easier to understand initially!
    Sure LR and PS may have some deeper technical superiority in some way(of processing non NEF images that is!).. but for a green user, CNX is definitely easier to come to terms with and get instant results.

    Sounds like I'm defending NX.. which I'm not!
    To me Campo's comments sounds like someone coming from a PS/Adobe background, and being experienced with that workflow method it was hard to adjust to NX's methods... and NX is just so much easier to use in many respects that it's probably feels too dumbed down to be true.

    I got to scoot now(kids!) and I'm curious as to other members thoughts on the subject.

    later tonight, I'll try to create a small 'how to' on the workings of CNX.

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    To me Campo's comments sounds like someone coming from a PS/Adobe background
    CNX was the first software I tried for RAW processing when I got a DSLR. It was only after that I heard about LR. Once I tried LR there was no looking back.

    To be completely honest, I did to use PS (v5) for graphic design work (not photography) back in the mid to late nineties, but that didn't influence my thoughts about CNX as PS didn't have camera RAW until more recent years.

    NX is no speed demon when completing some functions
    exactly, and there's where my dislike of the product predominantly sits, pruning & processing 2500 images on something that's not a speed demon turns a small task into a big one.


    Having your entire workflow/DAM in one piece of software with features such as integration with PS (for advanced editing), ability to run custom macros during batch processing, printing layout/contact sheet, website building, slideshows building, simple exporting/uploads to websites, regular software updates etc etc, is just a better option for my purpose...

    as I @ M mentioned, horses for courses...
    Last edited by campo; 28-05-2010 at 9:47am. Reason: typo

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    Having just purchased a Nikon D5000 and getting started with a DSLR and PP, it seems to me that the advantage of Capture NX2 advantage is that it is native NEF but is hampered by fewer plug ins, options and advanced workflow tools.

    Some questions:
    • is there a point where CNX becomes too cumbersome and the LR benefits come to the fore?
    • what are the 'gaps' the CNX has that are better served by LR?
    • as a beginner, is there any real advantage (such as ease of use) between CNX and LR?

    Any links to CNX tutorials (other than those on the Nikon website) or guides would be appreciated.

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