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Dierk Haasis June 11th, 2008 04:21 AM

Capture NX2
I put this here because it is the most logical place of all for Nikonites to find and contribute.

As everybody now knows, Capture NX2 is a major update for Nikon's own image processing software and available for use since last week. Since I have been a big fan of Capture NX I immediately downloaded and installed it. Good things first:

- The UI differs enough to need a few hours to get used to it but then pays off as faster to access [mostly].
- Workspaces are great and very well implemented.
- Speed is greatly increased, though saving and batching may still be slower than with other RAW converters [CNX2 renders and embeds a full-size JPEG into the NEF. JFI].
- Several new tools, like U-Point selections, radial gradient or auto retouch brush, are highly welcome useful and work exceptionally well.
- Some tools have got a major overhaul [linear gradient comes to mind], making them more flexible.

Sadly some changes aren't that welcome. While the news show/hide/overlay mask is good in itself [and closer to what Photoshoppers have adjusted to], cutting the quick info on selections is stupid; it takes longer now to see if one has inadvertently deleted a selection than before.

Stability is neither worse nor better than with CNX; both can and do crash from time to time. Luckily the conditions for crashes are not really day to day ones [at least they shouldn't be]. Like its predecessor CNX2 has a lot of annoying bugs. The operative here being 'annyoing'. Following is a list of annoyances I found in a week of working with CNX2. Would be nice if we use this thread as a discussion for bugs/annoyances. Corroboration is fine as are 'nope, works here' messages.

Bugs, annoyances so far:

- Quick Fix Levels/Curves does not feature direct numerical input
- individual reset buttons for the Quick Fix sliders would be good
- still no customisable keyboard shortcuts [worse: straighten tool does not have one]
- the Photo Info palette does not save the status of the Watch Points [expanded/collapsed]
- the progress bar [and the program itself] tends to forge itself to the front, obstructing, for instance, parts of a Web page you want to read during longer processes
- using the keyboard to select numbers in input fields now doesn't work at all [<Shift>+<arrow keys>]
- why is the SET file extension shown in the Load Adjustment menus?
- iconsistency: saved adjustment sets cannot be renamed, versions not overwritten [would be nice if I could do both to both]
- one new feature is the labels compatibility choice, allowing CNX2 to recognise labels set with other programs [as long as they are in the NEF file]; unfortunately CNX2 does not recognise labels set with xMedia 2 though the compatibility setting [and close contact between developers] exists. It works the other way round, a label set in CNX2 carries over to xMedia 2

PS: One question about the icons in the file browser bugs me since the very first version of CNX. What are the yellow flashes overlayed on some photos for? They are neither mentioned in the manual[s] nor in Jason Odell's book.

Chris Lilley June 13th, 2008 01:50 PM


Originally Posted by Dierk Haasis (Post 51319)
PS: One question about the icons in the file browser bugs me since the very first version of CNX. What are the yellow flashes overlayed on some photos for? They are neither mentioned in the manual[s] nor in Jason Odell's book.

I believe these are the images which have a saved version in the NX image cache. Although, why that detail would be important enough to show in the file browser is unclear.

Thanks for the review of NX2. I shoot exclusively in RAW on my Nikon, and prefer NX (currently 1.3) to the other converters (Adobe, DxO, raw therapee, ufraw) which I have tried. The slowness, clunky user interface and difficulty to get an added processing step at the right place in the edit list are maddening, but the results seem to me to be superior.

Having to save out to tiff, use Noise Ninja, then read in the filtered tiff is also not the smoothest workflow, but only bites for those images with obtrusive noise, I suppose.

Is it possible to have NX1.3 and NX2 installed at the same time?

Alan Cole June 13th, 2008 09:48 PM

It seems that it is perfectly Ok to have both versions of NX installed at the one time but not, of course, to run both versions similtaneously.
I have successfully used NX2 to open and edit images which were previously created using NX1.3... everything worked without a hitch with all the earlier edit steps displayed.
I am not sure if the reverse is possible tho' as there may be difficulties if Version 1.3 came across a Selection Control Point for example.

Alan Cole

Dierk Haasis June 20th, 2008 02:34 PM

Another one [good to know!]:

In principle you can load an Adjustment Set into a selection. With CNX2 it is also possible to have several adjustments in one Edit Step, that is with one and the same selection. If you save a step with various adjustments and later load that into an Edit Step consisting only of a selection, only the first adjustment is loaded.

I happened upon this when applying Jason Odell's Skin Softener, which consists of two Gaussian blur subsets, after first adjusting my selection.

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