Which PC software for a Nikon user?

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by Triggaaar, Jun 11, 2008.

  1. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    I've used photoshop elements 3 for a small amount of RAW adjustments, cropping, and compressing (for emails etc), but I hadn't had the time to learn all the interesting features. I decided that I'd upgrade and buy a book when the time was right, which is now. I was planning on going for elements 6 and a Scott Kelby book, but while searching this forum and review sites, I'm no longer sure what I want (lightroom wants to join the party). I use ViewNX to look at my pics before editing them.

    I'm currently a D70 user, taking all my photos in RAW. I will at some stage upgrade to the D90 or D300 (hopefully the D90, so I can save some pennies). The things I'd like to be able to do (in order of how often I'll do them):
    Simple WB and exposure adjustments
    Cropping
    Saving as smaller jpegs
    Possibly using PC software to apply sharpness and noise reduction by batch (instead of the camera doing it)
    Fixing really badly exposed photos (made a right mess of a couple of important ones :rolleyes:)
    Moving people from one picture to another, to make up for the fact I've messed up a few shots
    HDR, panoramic, and contrast adjustments

    Is lightroom just a complement to photoshop (or equivalent) or can it do both roles (for my needs). Do I need lightroom at all to do the above?
    Is Capture NX an alternative to either Elements or Lightroom?

    I haven't found it too obvious how to do anything exciting with any software, so I don't want to trial any products, I just want to trust those that use them, get a book and learn the ones I need properly.

    Many thanks for any help.
     
  2. johnaalex

    johnaalex
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  3. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    I've got it mate (see end of first paragraph above). I'm only using it to view files though, I don't know what it's like at adjusting them - can it do much of what I'm after?
     
  4. mij

    mij
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  5. TarMoo

    TarMoo
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    Take a look at http://bibblelabs.com/

    There is a Lite and a Pro version. I use the pro version.

    I found that I needed to increase the amount of memory on my PC as the Bibble requires a PC with at least 750Mb RAM to process 12Megapixel D300 RAW files.

    There is a 2 week trial of the software.
     
  6. Yandros

    Yandros
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    Capture NX :thumbsup:. Particularly as the new version adds a touch up tool, which was pretty much the only thing I was still doing in Paint Shop Pro.
     
  7. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    I saw you were using Capture in the threads I read Yandros. Is there a decent book for Capture NX (quick look at amazon doesn't show anything with reviews). I am so far behind everyone, I really want a nice book to hold my hand as I try and learn photo manipulation software. Scott Kelby's books get good reviews for nice basic instructions, but he hasn't written about Capture NX. Ben Long has, but there aren't many reviews of his books.
     
  8. Yandros

    Yandros
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    Thanks to Johnaalex for the link in a recent thread...

    http://www.nx101.com/index.html


    I've got the boxed version of the old Capture NX, and it has a pretty chunky manual as well.

    The main things I use NX for are levels, curves, exposure, colour, sharpness, noise reduction, cropping and straighening.

    The control point system allows you to select stuff by magic :thumbsup: It's great for stuff like selectively lightening/darkening areas, and the new version extends that to more even functions.

    I think the only things you'll not be able to do are HDR (photomatix for that) and copying people from one photo to another. NX is great for effortlessly massaging photos, but you need photoshop or paint shop for major hack jobs.
     
  9. johnaalex

    johnaalex
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    Sorry Triggaaar I missed the bit saying you were using View NX :suicide:

    Capture NX is the dog's dangly bits, especially the new version. I am not sure about a good book on it but this flickr group has helped me a lot http://www.flickr.com/groups/capturenx/
     
  10. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    Thanks for the advice so far chaps.

    Looking for a guide for CaptureNX:
    quote: viffer "if you get Capture Nx, then get a copy of Jason Odell's Capture NX guide. Makes life a lot easier."
    see here: http://www.luminescentphoto.com/nx2guide.html
    I had a look at the sample pages (p39 and 40), and may well give this a go.

    Sounds like Capture NX is a good option (as a NEF creator). But I will need to do a couple of major hack jobs, copying people from one photo to another (this will not be a regular occurance). Would I be best getting photoshop elements 6 and another book for that? Alternatively, I could beg someone on here to fix a few bodged shots for me, and stick to the simpler tasks myself.

    I am confused by the overlap of some of these programs - lightroom seems popular for organising photos and also duplicates some of the work you can do in photoshop?
     
  11. johnaalex

    johnaalex
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    I use PSE6 for organising and most of my basic editing, I find NX useful for some of the "finer touches".
     
  12. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    I've googled reviews, and Capture seems like a winner, particularly for someone who hasn't already learnt about layers and curves. But as it's not cheap, it seems only sensible to get it for free with a D300.
     
  13. Biscuit761

    Biscuit761
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    Have downloaded Capture NX 2 trial, looks pretty good.

    I think that the version of NX that came with my D300 is a trial only, not opened the software yet because I still have a week or so in which to take it back to Jessops if not satisfied.

    Bill
     
  14. johnaalex

    johnaalex
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    The copy of NX given away with the D300 was free, full copy. The license number should (I think) work to get NX2 at the upgrade price.
     
  15. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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  16. johnaalex

    johnaalex
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    How did you send this then? :confused:
    Even more confusing, I cannot get to the thread you refer to:(
     
  17. Yandros

    Yandros
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    Hmm, so more precisely, you can't install SP2 without screwing up your internet access. I'd agree with the comments in that other thread that you might want to look carefully at what AV/firewall software you're running, and possibly deinstall them temporarily.
     
  18. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    I used system restore to get rid of SP2.
    Now that is confusing. The thread is in the computing section on this forum if my link doesn't work for you.

    Yandros, I use AVG. I've made sure it's up to date, and just searched my PC for any bugs, but all seems fine. Will carry on with the work now. Really irritating, I'm looking forward to trying out Capture. I've read a fair bit on it and while it may not be as powerful as PS (and it has speed and workflow problems too), it looks so much easier to use than anything else to do the kind of things I want. I'm glad it work on jpegs too, as I have a lot of old jpegs, and when I eventually get a point and shoot it would be good to use the same software.
     
  19. johnaalex

    johnaalex
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    Triggaaar I have now managed to read the thread on your compter's problem. I am no expert, but do have one thought - how to you physically connect to the phone line? Do you use a USB connection at all - SP2 does cause problems on USB ports (something to do with the power to the USB port).
     
  20. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    Thanks John. I use ethernet to my router. I assume the problem was my anti virus. I was swapping between SP1 and SP2 using system restore, then system restore through a hissie, and removed all my restore points. I've had to re-format. Absolue nightmare. I'm now on sp3, but it's going to take an age loading all my software. At least I haven't lost any data, that's all well backed up. Anyway, I'm up late loading software. Will start loading the nikon gear soon.
     
  21. johnaalex

    johnaalex
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    Triggaaar after all that you might (note I say "might") be pleased to know that Irfanview does handle NEF files very quickly and it is free. To make it work with NEF you have to download the plug-ins. When you open a file you hit enter to see the shot full screen.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2008
  22. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    Thanks. I've had a quick go with Capture, and I like the basic principle of it. Also, since I've never learnt any other software properly, I probably won't get annoyed by its shortcomings like other might.
     
  23. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    Just a heads up on Jason Odell's ebook on Capture NX2, which has 20% off until 20th June (this Friday). See http://www.luminescentphoto.com/nx2guide.html entering nx2user promotion code. The book has received good reviews.
     

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