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D300 and RAW software?

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Mitch Alland

Guest
As I bought a D300 yesterday and am leaving for Namibia tonight I have had time to try the camera yet, but will have to start familiarizing myself with it on the 11-hour flight to Johannesburg, en route to Windhoek. Until now I only have experience with small sensor cameras for whose RAW files (mainly B&W) I've been using LightZone and, for images that need highlight recovery, have been first passing them through Aperture 2. Is there any reason that I should not continue doing the same thing with D300 RAW files? For colour I'm inclined to use Aperture 2?

Will Nikon Capture NX give me anything for D300 RAW files that LightZone and/or Aperture 2 will nor? How about Raw Developer or SilkyPix?

—Mitch/Bangkok
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
 

TRSmith

Subscriber Member
My Nikon D2Xs is not as new as your D300, but I would guess that your existing tools will probably be fine. I would also suggest that you familiarize yourself with Capture NX as well. In my experience, there is a little something "special" that Capture NX allows that other RAW developers don't when it comes to Nikon files.

For the most part my workflow is Lightroom to PS3, but I will still go to Capture NX on occasion when I sense there's a little something extra to be gained in terms of dynamic range or with a subject shot in subtle light conditions.

Congratulations on your new camera!
 
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vieri

Well-known member
As I bought a D300 yesterday and am leaving for Namibia tonight I have had time to try the camera yet, but will have to start familiarizing myself with it on the 11-hour flight to Johannesburg, en route to Windhoek. Until now I only have experience with small sensor cameras for whose RAW files (mainly B&W) I've been using LightZone and, for images that need highlight recovery, have been first passing them through Aperture 2. Is there any reason that I should not continue doing the same thing with D300 RAW files? For colour I'm inclined to use Aperture 2?

Will Nikon Capture NX give me anything for D300 RAW files that LightZone and/or Aperture 2 will nor? How about Raw Developer or SilkyPix?

—Mitch/Bangkok
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
Hello Mitch, I second that - Nikon Capture NX has something extra as far as RAW conversion. I wouldn't use any other converter, and this has been the case since my D70, going through D2x, D2xs, D300 & D3. I do my first conversion steps in NX, adjust WB & EV if needed, save as TIFF and go on with my PP in PSCS3. Control point technology is very fancy and I am sure very useful, but for my workflow I have to use PSCS anyway so there isn't much point fiddling with control points and such, PSCS is so much more powerful.

Enjoy your trip!
 

Guy Mancuso

Administrator, Instructor
Right now it is a very clunky software for me but I need to learn it . Been using LR and it does a great job. The one thing to note is if you make adjustments in the D300 Mitch those adjustment will be tags to NX software and will be picked up as such. So if you set it to vivid for example than it will be carried over to NX. Now LR and others will ignore those tags. So i would be real careful how you set up the camera because this will effect the RAWS in NX. maybe that is the something extra folks are talking about. I am guessing NX is better at the high ISO. I really need to test this or hear from someone that is really good at NX to tell me how to run this software .
 

vieri

Well-known member
Right now it is a very clunky software for me but I need to learn it . Been using LR and it does a great job. The one thing to note is if you make adjustments in the D300 Mitch those adjustment will be tags to NX software and will be picked up as such. So if you set it to vivid for example than it will be carried over to NX. Now LR and others will ignore those tags. So i would be real careful how you set up the camera because this will effect the RAWS in NX. maybe that is the something extra folks are talking about. I am guessing NX is better at the high ISO. I really need to test this or hear from someone that is really good at NX to tell me how to run this software .
Guy & Mitch, unfortunately NX IS very clunky, and IMHO not greatly designed as far as speed & multi-file operation; the old Capture was much better in this respect, you had the multi-file viewer and could copy your adjustments, select a bunch of files and paste them on - with NX, whenever you do this it SAVES each file, which is a huge loss of time; however, if you know how to use it, just do the minimal adjustments you need without going too deep into it, and batch-save as TIFF to go finish your work in PSCS, then NX is the software IMHO that gives you the best conversion: sharper, better colors, larger DR. As well, as Guy noticed, it brings along whatever tags you did setup in camera. In my workflow, I shoot RAW + Jpg, choose whatever files will be processed using the Jpg images, move the files I will process in a different folder, open just the files that will be processed in NX, do what I have to do, batch process the folder to TIFF, and I am done. Quick enough, and best results compared to any other software I tried; as far as Adobe, ACR does a very bad job with D300 files in my experience, and I think Lightroom uses the same engine (though I never tried it). I run a Mac Pro quad with 5 GB ram, and I am reasonably fast; YMMV.

Hope this helps! :D
 
M

Mitch Alland

Guest
Guy, thanks. That's interesting because looking at the — 400 page! — manual I had trouble figuring whether those adjustments carried through to the RAW files as well as the JPGs. But I wonder what's the usefulness of making these adjustments to RAW files in-camera apposed to doing it in post-processing. Presumably there has been consideration of this somewhere on the web, but as I am traveling I have no time to look for this. I'm off to the airport in twenty minutes.

—Mitch/Bangkok
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
 

vieri

Well-known member
Guy, thanks. That's interesting because looking at the — 400 page! — manual I had trouble figuring whether those adjustments carried through to the RAW files as well as the JPGs. But I wonder what's the usefulness of making these adjustments to RAW files in-camera apposed to doing it in post-processing. Presumably there has been consideration of this somewhere on the web, but as I am traveling I have no time to look for this. I'm off to the airport in twenty minutes.

—Mitch/Bangkok
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
Well, it depends on your shooting & developing habits. For some, if one plans to shoot RAW and so all the work in PP, there isn't much point in spending a lot of time working through the camera's settings; unless, of course, you'd like the D300 presets as a starting point when developing your RAWs. For me, I like to have the files as neutral as possible and do my own stuff in PSCS3, others might have different views on this of course :D as always, certain things like contrast & saturation can work against DR and are difficult to back on after conversion, others like sharpening aren't definitely undoable after conversion, so I prefer to have my files with as low contrast, saturation & sharpening as possible out of RAW conversion and then working on them taking it from there - however, if one needs to use Jpg or to reduce his processing times to a minimum, once one has found his/her own set of settings things are downhill, but then you have to use NX to keep these settings. As always, YMMV :D
 

bcf

Member
You might want to look up this manual by Jason Odell:
http://www.luminescentphoto.com/capturenx.html
Very useful.

There is also a DVD (3 actually) by Vincent Versace which I found interesting:
http://www.acmeeducational.com/versace/nx.html

All in all, after having used Iridient Raw Developer, I think I will now turn to NX for my D200 files. I find the results better, or "more easily better" (am I clear?). And the U-Points are really powerful. My aim is to only go to PS afterwards for the occasional patching, and also for output sharpening and resizing.

On my Mac (MacPro dual 2*2.66 with 5 Gb RAM), I find that NX runs fluidly enough, no problem.
 
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