About Thomas Fitzgerald

Thomas is a professional fine art photographer and writer specialising in photography related instructional books as well as travel writing and street photography. 

Nikon's New Capture NX-D

Nikon's New Capture NX-D

capture-nx-screenshot

capture-nx-screenshot

If you’re a Nikon fan, you’ve undoubtedly heard of Capture-NX. It was the software for getting the most out of Nikon’s cameras and it was made by Nik software, who have since been acquired by Google. One of the more controversial things about Capture NX was that it wasn’t free. You had to pay for it. Some people still swore by it, but personally I didn’t think it was worth the money, especially if you already have Lightroom or Aperture.

Well, since Nik was acquired by google, people have been wondering what would become of Capture NX. Well, yesterday Nikon announced a beta of the next version, Capture NX-D. See press release on DP Review. The big change is that this version will be free. I played around with it for a bit yesterday, and I have to say, it’s a good job they are giving it away for free. While it does a nice job off keeping Nikon’s colours, and it recognises all the Nikon specific options you had set on the camera when you took the image, other than that there’s not really much going for it. I understand that they have to have their own raw converter, but they already have View NX, and with so many other options out there, surely a company the size of Nikon could have done a deal with or bought a company who could make something better, especially considering that the current Capture NX is held in reasonably high regard.

Don’t get me wrong, it works and it does the job, but the interface is really clunky and slow. It’s like something from 5 years ago. It really does seem like the application was designed by engineers without ever talking to a photographer. I don’t mean to trash it, because it does render images quite nicely, at least tonally, and it does have really good axial chromatic aberration correction, but there’s not a significant difference from what Lightroom (or any other modern raw converter) will do. While it’s great that there is now a free option for Nikon users who don’t want to buy Lightroom or some other software, I think that’s the only market for this. It’s certainly seems like a serious downgrade from Capture NX2. The old Capture NX was well regarded and had some great tools, especially because it used Nik’s u-point technology. Unfortunately all of that seems to be gone in the new version (unless i’m going mad, which is quite possible!). I suppose it’s not fair to judge a piece of software that’s still in beta, and as I said, it does what it says on the tin, but it could have been so much more.

Photo of the Day

Speaking of Nikon, here’s a nice shot I got with my D700 the other day and an old, but still really good Nikon Macro lens that I got second had a while ago. It was one of the first Autofocus Nikon macro lenses and it’s pretty sharp, albeit with some significant colour fringing. Anyway, I was walking through a local park and I noticed that the cherry blossoms were starting to bloom, so I took some macro shots. Here’s one of my favourites

Cherry Blossom Buds beginning to Bloom - Graded with Film Candy for Lightroom

Taken with a Nikon D700 - Nikon 105mm AF MACRO - Click Here for a Limited Edition Print

It was graded with my new Film Candy Lightroom Presets (shameless plug).

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