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Surprise: new Nikon Capture NX-D RAW processing software announced

Nikon-Capture-NX-D
Nikon-Capture-NX-D-RAW-processing-software
With the D4s and the two Quick Draw straps, Nikon also announced a new RAW image processing and adjustment software called Capture NX-D. You can download a beta version on this website. The manual is also available. More information can be found here. Attached is the full press release and system requirements:

Nikon Releases New RAW Image Processing and Adjustment Software, Capture NX-D

MELVILLE, NY – Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce that a beta version of Capture NX-D will be available free of charge beginning today. Capture NX-D is new software for processing and adjusting RAW images captured with Nikon digital cameras.

Capture NX-D is a free software application that will replace the current Capture NX 2 application. RAW images (NEF or NRW file extension) captured with Nikon D-SLR cameras, Nikon 1 advanced cameras with interchangeable lenses, and Nikon COOLPIX compact digital cameras can be loaded into the application for processing and adjustment of images. In addition to RAW images, the application can also be used to adjust JPEG and TIFF files.

During the period that Capture NX-D is available as a beta version, Nikon will invite users to try the software, and will collect feedback about the user experience and the application from those using it. Nikon will then use this feedback to improve the application prior to its official release.

The new software will support many functions needed by professional photographers, including batch image processing, filtering and an enhanced user interface with a variety of displays and floating palettes that are ideal for multiple monitors. Additionally, photographers will also have the ability to adjust parameters including exposure and white balance in RAW files, and can adjust tone curves, brightness, and contrast, as well as functions for correcting lateral color aberration and vignetting in JPEG and TIFF files. The software also features a new “sidecar” format, which retains and saves the adjusted image as a separate file.

Nikon will continue to update and provide support for the current Capture NX 2 application while the beta version of Capture NX-D is available. Once the official version of Capture NX-D is released, Capture NX 2 will no longer be supported with updates.

Nikon Capture NX-D primary features

  1. Adjustment functions specialized for RAW processing, just as they were with the Capture NX seriesThe application includes functions for adjusting aspects of RAW images captured with a Nikon digital camera (NEF or NRW file extension) that can be adjusted even after images are captured, including white balance and exposure compensation. Smooth adjustment of images is possible immediately after they are transferred to computers.
    Picture Control, Nikon's exclusive function for specifying imaging characteristics, is also supported.
  2. Support for simple adjustment of JPEG and TIFF imagesIn addition to processing and adjustment of RAW images, the application offers the same functions available with Capture NX 2 for adjustment aspects such as tone curves, brightness, and contrast, as well as functions for correcting lateral color aberration caused by lenses, in JPEG and TIFF images.
  3. Floating palettes that are easy to use with multiple screensWhen two or more monitors are used, the image display area can be expanded by moving individual floating palettes for each adjustment function. Convenience has been increased with the ability to combine two or more floating palettes, which can then be moved together.
  4. A variety of displays, including comparisons of multiple images and adjustment before-and-after imagesDisplay of the application window can be adjusted for greater convenience. Thumbnail display, filmstrip display, single-image display, and full-screen display are possible. When filmstrip display is selected, thumbnails can be positioned at the top, bottom, left, or right of the image area. In addition, displays for comparing images, whether multiple image files, or a comparison of a single image before and after adjustments are applied, are available. When comparing images, enlargement of a portion of one image automatically enlarges the same portion of the other image, making the application of adjustments with simultaneous viewing of the primary subject simpler.
  5. Adoption of a sidecar format that saves original data as non-destructive filesUnlike the format previously used to save images to which adjustments have been applied, a sidecar format, which saves adjustment data as a separate file, has been adopted.
    Saving original data as non-destructive files allows users to start over with the adjustment of RAW images in their original, post-capture state, without undoing previous adjustments.
  6. Other functionsFiltering functions have been built into the application, allowing users to easily find the images they are looking for by filtering them according to criteria such as camera name or lens focal length based on tag data. In addition, batch processing can be used to simplify the troublesome process of applying adjustments to multiple images, and images can be transferred to another application in 16-bit TIFF format after RAW processing.

Capture NX-D System Requirements (Beta Version)

Windows

OS:                          32- or 64-bit version of Windows 7, 64-bit version of Windows 8.1

Processor:             Pentium-compatible CPU (Core i5 or better recommended)

RAM (memory):    2 GB or more (4 GB or more recommended)

Hard-disk space:  800 MB or more required for installation (2 GB or more recommended)

Screen resolution:            1280 × 768 pixels or more

Other:                      As the beta version is available only via download, an Internet connection is required 

Macintosh

OS:                          64-bit versions of OS X version 10.8 and 10.9

Processor:             Core 2 Duo or better CPU (Core i5 or better recommended)

RAM (memory):    4 GB or more

Hard-disk space:  800 MB or more required for installation (2 GB or more recommended)

Screen resolution:            1280 × 768 pixels or more

Other:                      As the beta version is available only via download, an Internet connection is required

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  • Jason Odell

    After 30 minutes of use, the beta has died entirely.

  • Jason Odell

    The Adobe LR/PS photography bundle for $9.99/month just got real enticing… available until March 31st. Although I still prefer the perpetual use version of LR.

    https://creative.adobe.com/plans/offer/photoshop+lightroom?promoid=KHQFP

  • Jason Odell

    To add insult to injury, it doesn’t look like Nikon’s star ratings are compatible with Photo Mechanic or Lightroom!

    • spondylitismd

      Jason, I appreciate your sharing your experience with NX-D here.

  • AlphaTed

    Nikon …. this we NiX-eD

  • nightoil

    This is a catastrophe for me. As a Capture NX user since 2008, I’ve developed a whole editing style based on Capture NX2.

    Although it contained many glaring ommissions in terms of tools that could have been very useful, these were far outweighed by the color control points, selection control points, LCH editor etc. Add to this the ability to directly edit Nikon’s Picture Controls and Active D-Lighting settings and have the entire edit list acting non-destructively on the original 14-bit color data produced really coherent, sparkling and natural color rendition.

    All this, including multiple previous versions and the ability to click right back to the original raw data at any moment without losing a thing, could then be saved as a losslessly compressed file nearly one third the size of the same flattened 16-bit TIFF. I have in front of me a fully edited and reversible D7000 raw file which is 29.3 MB but grows to 89.7 MB when saved as a flat TIFF.

    Capture NX2, widely reviled as being flaky, clunky, slow and unstable, has come on miles since it went 64-bit in 2011, with numerous incremental improvements along the way, and is now totally stable.

    Nikon’s decision to not produce a professional level successor to the D300s, not produce up-to-date professional DX lenses and now to abandon their uniquely featured RAW file converter (which I have seen referred to as being as sacrosanct to Nikon as the F lens mount) is sickening.

    This has left me not angry but simply cold and without any further loyalty to Nikon equipment, which I’ve gladly used since the early 1980s.

    • frizzel

      year, right – let´s share lots of Kleenexxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    • Troy

      My thoughts exactly. Crushed by their marketplace mistakes in all you mentioned.

      • nightoil

        All good things come to an end. Just move on! Presumably Capture NX2 will carry on working with existing camera files and under existing operating systems. Who really needs ever spiralling Mpx counts? Lartigue, Cartier-Bresson, Doisneau et al all worked with totally rubbish cameras by today’s standards and did just fine. (Not presuming to compare myself with them, obviously!) Maybe I’ll dust off the old D300s again – a robust camera that produced some cracking images which blow up absolutely fine to 13 x 19 inch and larger with careful treatment in CNX2.

        And, to be fair to Nikon, we don’t know what impossible terms Google/Nik may have demanded for continuing to license their control point technology.

  • MB

    What does D stands for … Defunct …

  • Bill Pahnelas

    after using this thing for a bit, i think i get it: nikon is closing down its image editing program effort, and migrating users to the products of other vendors. i think they’ve thrown in the towel, basically, realizing there’s no future for them in this part of the business. this is simply the comes-with-the-camera software for eager-beaver beginners; anyone who takes processing seriously will find this solution totally not a solution. i was trying to be optimistic but you can’t put lipstick on this pig and say its beautiful. it sucks. this certainly is a disappointing development for me, as it requires new software and a new workflow — and i detest adobe. so i don’t know what i’ll end up doing. i suppose this will help nikon save a few yen, which should make the shareholders happy. users like me, not so much. at least i’m not planning on buying a new camera any time soon…

  • http://www.gordonmoat.com/ Gordon Moat

    So far I like the Straighten Tool the best. The interface could use better contrast. I added Lightroom 5 to the application list, and it would launch Lightroom, but there was no file showing up to open. Definitely would be nice to have export to Lightroom, otherwise this would be a limited use tool for me. Zoom takes a while to redraw, and I am on a fast MacBook Pro loaded to the max with RAM.

    If this was bundled free with some cameras, then I think it would make a good free choice for new Nikon purchasers. It’s a bit too stripped down and limited to be a Pro version. I can see some potential, but Nikon need to work more to get this going. Ideally I would like something between Lightroom and Capture One in function and price point.

  • EvaK

    Just Silkypix. No way! I could even better use IrfanView.

  • Larry Holt

    Seems like Nikon doesn’t care about their customers any more. No updates to pro dx, Major regression in software (its a total piece of crap).
    I think its about time to leave Nikon and find someone who cares about their customers.

  • lefantome

    The U Points of CNX2.0 are gone. This makes the CNX-D useless to me. It’s time to completely switch to Adobe Bridge/LightRoom.

  • Tatsu Ikeda

    What the hell, I can’t even launch it, the beta is already expired!

    • AnthonyH

      The Beta expires in September 2014.

      • Tatsu Ikeda

        Unless I’m from the future: “Your trial period of this software has expired.

        For the latest information on this software, please visit our web site.”

  • Hoser123

    I just bought Capture NX2, so it will be gone? What are they thinking??????

  • Tatsu Ikeda

    Capture NX2 is horribly slow as great as the results are. There is no way in 10 years Adobe Lightroom could make better RAW output than what Nikon intended and delivers with their own software, as terrible as it operates. I would settle for a multi-threaded fast version of NX2 without U-points and any kind of asset management. I can always later make localized adjustments in Lightroom or Photoshop. I have real asset management tools.

    I wish all the manufacturers would accept DNG, it would help Adobe have better RAW. But it still wouldn’t give Adobe access to Picture Controls and D-Lighting, and there’s no way Nikon or Canon would give them their secret sauce, even under NDA. So there will always be stupid intermediary program like this. Fuji is making waves mostly because of their JPEG, where the sauce is locked in. And that sauce tastes damn good.

    To paraphrase Steve Jobs, “RAW is a bag of hurt”. I hate RAW somedays. I find it really funny that a lot of photographers think they can post-process better than Canon or Nikon, for accuracy. To me, the manufacturer JPG is the easiest best starting point. If you need 3 stops of exposure adjustment all the time, you’re just not a good shooter I guess.

    • doctt

      Have you tried the latest update of NX2 lately? Since they upgraded NX2 to 64 bit, it is much much faster. Yes, LR is still faster, but NX2 is not too bad nowadays.

      I am using NX2 full time and always find the raw conversion much better. Regardless what I do and try in LR5, I just can’t get the same result as NX2.

      I recently bought a latest iMac with SSD. I can tell you NX2 is running so fast that it is almost as fast as LR5.

      Too bad NX2 is going away…they should at least keep updating NX2 to support their new camera.

      • Tatsu Ikeda

        I am using 64-bit, version 2.6.3 (I think 2.6.6 is current.) but it still doesn’t do two actions at once. The best thing I can manage is if I’m saving one file, I can dbl-click another in Finder and it will start to open. But it’s slower than even Photoshop generally.

    • mike

      “I wish all the manufacturers would accept DNG, it would help Adobe have better RAW.”

      it would help Adobe, only Adobe :)

      • Tatsu Ikeda

        It would help us too, I would think.

    • peterw

      Which ever camera you use, even if it gives only 12 MB NEF, you will lose 4 bit of information shooting only JPEG’s.

      Mister Jobs, Apple producing the main platform for graphical industry
      since the ’80s, would never have meant that 8 bit coarsely rearranged
      data is better than 12 or 14 bit compressed or uncompressed data.
      (Off course there is good use for JPEG straight from the camera: it can save you a lot of time).

      There is a use for 12 or 14 bit color-information for instance in nature photography. The best light – 8 bit deep – is not always availlable, even when using filters. Applying up to -1 EV exposure correction to restore the highlights, after that applying tools like D-lighting, gray point and/or color points to restore the main subject. ETTR it is called, works great. Photo’s pop within thirty seconds in Capture NX2.

      People who think they are better at processing than Nikon won’t be missing Capture NX2, don’t you think? I will miss it. Perhaps after some time, buying a fast platform from the successors of Mister Jobs and running Lightroom on it, I’ll be happy again ;).

      • Tatsu Ikeda

        I do ETTR all the time! Capture NX2 renders like Nikon intends and you can’t do better yourself, I agree. I have a ColorChecker Passport, but I haven’t tried it yet and gone head to head with NX2.

  • Darius

    It is a beta version. which means a Test version. Oh NO all my tools are gone oh NO. whyyyyyy. Its a beta version. oh NO there are no control points. it is a …. version for got sick. OHHHH it a beta verion, no you need to pay for it

    • doctt

      Beta means “feature complete but requires additional testing for bugs fix”. It means all the missing features are mostly gone for good.

      It is a huge step backward…….no way around it.

  • Ola

    Noo! This is the worst news imaginable!
    Nikon is now telling all of us Capture NX users to forget about all edits done to our NEF files.
    I should have gone the Lightroom way as my friends told me. Why did I trust Nikon?

  • tivoli

    Where is the best place to buy Capture NX 2? Amazon and others seem to offer only 32 bit unless I’m not reading it correctly.

    • tivoli

      I see it at b&h (of course) but it doesn’t say windows 8. Does that matter? http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/567485-REG/Nikon_25385_Capture_NX_2_Photo.html

      • doctt

        64 bit is a free upgrade.

        I think all you need is the key. Meaning you can download the trial version from Nikon directly. Then use the key from the box to activate the software.

        • tivoli

          But I want to buy it so I own it and it’s more expensive to buy at Nikon, so I assume it will upgrade when I buy it from b&h?

          • doctt

            You do own it. When you buy a retail box from BH or Amazon, you have a physical copy. However, since it is only 32 bit, you may not be able to install it (at least not on OSX 10.9).

            Instead of forcing yourself to fix this issue, download the trial version from Nikon (This is a full version with an expiration date) and then enter the license key you get from the box purchased from BH or Amazon. You now have the latest version and the expiration date will go away. This is all legal.

            In nowadays, physical media is going away. The most important thing is the license key. As long as you keep the license key and a copy of the downloaded trial version, you own it and can alway activate them.

            Unfortunately, this is all mood because NX2 will no longer be supported after summer….

  • Phillip Murphy

    This is pretty much an unmitigated disaster for me… I have made a HUGE investment in Nikon – tried all the other apps and have dedicated my time to learning nx2 – i have found the control points to be critical to my work flow… I am stuck with a nx2 app from 2005 in 2014? we deserve full support for our nikon files – I will jump ship if there is no work towords nx3 – I have left my strenuous objection for NIKON at http://beta.nikonimglib.com/ – Please take the time to tell them we need control points!

    • KnightPhoto

      I am in sync with you and Nightoil. I’ve got images going back to September 2006 through to February 2014, nearly 8 years of continuous post-processing, all relying on embedded Capture NX2 NEF edits that one day may be extremely difficult to recreate.

      I absolutely loved the architecture of embedded non-destructive edits with a completely TIFF-less workflow. I invested tons of personal time to improve myself and study materials from Jason Odell and others to get the most out of this really powerful software with the world’s best Nikon RAW-rendering. I got to the point where I could use it quickly and reliably for large batches and in-depth edits when I needed or wanted to. And even with all the knowledge I have, I know I only scratched the surface and could have gone much deeper into it.

      I take back my enthusiasm for the day Google bought out Nik Software and what I hoped would happen next (Capture NX3 with full Nik and third-party plug-in support).

  • SoonToBeACanonShooter

    What a lame excuse for a replacement for NX2. Nikon owes it to dedicated users of their software to continue to support NX2 until they can hire some competent software developers to come up with a software upgrade. Why not buy the control point technology from Google. It’s obvious they aren’t doing anything with it. As a dedicated decades long Nikon user this would be the proverbial straw for me. Nikon, wake up and read the tea leaves!!!

    • NicNikon

      The communication between Nikon and Nik Soft had been broken long before Google bought them – I assume. Remember Nik Soft had been surprised about the 64-bit version of NX-2. Color Efex 3 didn´t worked at the first days the NX2 64-bit version came out. Form my contacts to Nik Soft I can tell you, that they didn´t know that Nikon was going to ship that version prior to the announcement. Also: no support for HDR Efex and Color Efex 4.0 in NX-2 also much earlier than the acquisition by google. According to statements from Nik Soft (unofficial) at that point of time this happened because of the Nikon software “strategy “. I assume that Nik Soft had to seek a future without Nikon due to this “strategy”.
      I do not have any hope that Nikon will solve the problem we are facing now.
      I am very upset mainly because I do not see any technical resoanbale way how to deal with the technical differences – at least they should use a different postfix (other than .NEF) to enable a co-existence of “old” and “new” (which than will run through LR mainly).

  • Mike Ciletti

    Nikon-Land, we have a problem. I downloaded NX-D (smoothly) and had it open a NEF image that had been generated by NX-2. The file opened without a hitch, but the image that it displayed was the original (raw OOC) from which the NEF had been built – not the resulting NX-2 produced NEF. It appears, therefore, that NX-D strips away all of the edits that are made by NX-2 and puts the user at square 1 in the NX-D environment.

    NX-D is not smart enough to read an NX-2 image and automatically and seamlessly build a sidecar that produces the same result with NX-D that was produced by NX-2, thereby allowing one to go forward with additional (non-destructive edits in the NX-D environment. I’m not optimistic about NX-D ever being able to do this since its arsenal of tools do not match, for example, an NX-2-ColorEfex Pro combination. Maybe a third party could start a conversion service!

    It seems that users of NX-D will be forced to keep NX-2 for any future contact with the images that were created by NX-2. That is not attractive. The alternative seem to be to abandon the processed NX-2 images and start over with NX-D to build an entirely separate collection of processed images, either by reading/stripping/editing them with NX-D or by exporting TIFFs from NX-2. Both alternatives are unattractive. Arrggghhhh!

    If the above conclusions are true, maybe NX-D means NX-Dumb.

    • jim h

      This is a total disaster, a smoking crater. Obviously Nikon has totally lost its way with regard to software. Our best – and perhaps only – hope is that after this junkware bombs, they at least agree to sell NX2 to an outside developer so that it can continue to be updated for new cameras and OS incompatibilities. Otherwise, the situation is grim – if we can’t run NX2 on future OS releases, we lose all our editing work on existing NEFs.

      Could not be a worse decision for Nikon.

      • TeaBreak

        Indeed, this is a total disaster. With this move Nikon betrayed all the trust I ever placed in them. Loosing all edits on NEF files (in my case: 200.000+ from D50 D200 D3) is a nightmare coming true that couldn’t be worse. And the way Nikon is communicating their decision to abandon NX2 is simply outrageous !! No explanation to their customers, no excuse, just alongside the D4s announcement – obviously in hope thereby sweeping things under the carpet. Shame on you Nikon!

        • jim h

          A couple of other possible rays of hope:
          – NX2 will probably continue to run for a long time, it’s unlikely a future OS release will totally break it.
          – Google, having bought Nik, might be planning a full featured image editing program – that MIGHT read NX2 .NEF edits.

          But basically , Nikon has thrown us all under the bus. Ironic considering the great lengths they go to to ensure backward compatibility for lenses.

  • Jason Odell

    To add insult to injury, Capture NX-D uses proprietary sidecar files that are stored in a different sub-directory than your NEFs. In other words, it’s not compatible with any other browser software!

    http://www.luminescentphoto.com/blog/2014/02/27/a-few-more-thoughts-on-nikon-capture-nx-d/

    • jim h

      And why should we believe that they won’t abandon these sidecar files in the future – like they just did with NEFs?

      • Jason Odell

        Heck, the FAQ said the sidecar format might change between now and the final release!

        • jim h

          That’s expected for beta software, although many users might get caught out. But Nikon has a lot of chutzpah, introducing a new file format just as they’re throwing users of the last one under the bus.

  • Jason Odell

    To add insult to injury, Capture NX-D uses proprietary sidecar files that are stored in a different sub-directory than your NEFs. In other words, it’s not compatible with any other browser software!

    http://www.luminescentphoto.com/blog/2014/02/27/a-few-more-thoughts-on-nikon-capture-nx-d/

  • doctt

    Guys, besides complainting it here, please send your feedbacks to Nikon about your concern. As many times as you can. This is the only slim chance we have that they will continue to support NX2

    • KnightPhoto

      OK.

      I’m so blown away I just feel so catatonic about this. I really liked Capture NX2 and became pretty happy and proficient with it.

  • fourtis

    After so much personnal investment in CNX2 (time, expertise, thousands of pictures treated,…) my disappointment is so big that I Wonder if it’s still worth spending time with CNX2 even if it is still alive for 12 or 15 months !
    I have loaded the trial version of LR5 and will test it soon.
    It’s a real pity and a real shame that Nikon has absolutely no consideration for its clients and I have serious doubts (not to say “no doubt at all”) that the final version of CND will differ a greatly deal from the beta version.
    Well, away from CNX2, it will be easier to turn to Canon in the future when it is time to renew the APN.
    Nikon has lost my confidence for ever .

    • TeaBreak

      I’m close to switch to Canon too. Their bodies and lenses aren’t that worse and I finally will be able to use some fully functional third-party RAW-converter like LR or CaptureOne (no good idea regarding NEFs).
      The reason why I stayed so long with Nikon was the magic NX2 brings easily to the NEFs with it’s unique U-Point technology and sophisticated selective tools. But the magic is gone now … too bad.
      It’s senseless to waste time on NX2. It’s clear that there won’t be any support for a D5 or D900. NX2 is over and done.

  • RitB

    very crappy,
    1. highlight protection still is useless
    2. no localised adjustments or masking/selection the areas
    3. noise reduction, use cautiously.
    4. No control point color/image adjustments.
    5. Adjustments are not in layers
    6. No ViewNX integration(may be later)
    Where is my CNX2 I am uninstalling this.

    • RitB

      No Auto Levels.

  • nightoil

    What we’ve got to do is try and find out some facts about CNX2’s future.

    Assuming Nikon will stop updating and supporting it once CNX-D is out of beta and officially released, how long will the final version of CNX2 carry on working?

    Will it continually need to communicate with Nikon online in order to work?

    Will it work on a computer permanently offline, for example? (A question raised by Thom Hogan on his website.)

    Does Nikon intend in some way to pull the plug on CNX2, effectively disabling it permanently at some point so that those of us wishing to continue editing NEFs with it will be unable to?

    I mean, these are all simple questions which someone knows the answers to. It’s only software, after all. It requires certain parameters to be set for it to work. The programmers at Nikon know what those parameters are.

    A lot of people are coming out of the woodwork now (I’m one of them) who use CNX2 the whole time, who really value it and who will be mortified (not to say professionally damaged) if it is deliberately terminated (as usable software, even if no longer updated) by Nikon. I just cannot believe that Nikon would want gratuitously to harm their existing customers. Why would a serious, longstanding company do such a thing?

    We didn’t rent or license this software for a predetermined period. We bought this software just like we buy cameras and lenses.

    This is becoming a quasi-political question now for the Nikon community and I think we have to lobby Nikon, as a group, in a positive, coherent way, to make it clear to them that Nikon photographers need this resource to remain usable.

    • jim h

      These are big and important questions and unfortunately, my feeling is that Nikon isn’t going to deal with any of them. I think the people within Nikon who might have cared about the fallout from this decision are gone.

      I’ve already started trying to plan my future with Adobe software. And so far it seems like there’s no avoiding Photoshop. Lightroom doesn’t begin to match NX2 and Elements has too many limitations.

      • nightoil

        jim h, you may be right but I’m going to leave no stone unturned before jumping ship.

        I started with Capture NX1 when I went digital in 2008 and immediately felt comfortable, thereby skipping Photoshop or Lightroom so I know virtually nothing about either. But my impression (correct me if I’m wrong) is that achieving the 1 click selections available in CNX2 becomes much more labor-intensive in PS.

        An example (you already know this, jim h): you want to work on the new leaves of a tree in spring silhouetted against a blue sky. In CNX2, placing a single color control point on one leaf selects every leaf on the tree whilst leaving the blue sky visible behind and between the leaves totally untouched. You can then work the hue, saturation, brightness, contrast, RGB channels and warmth of just the leaves (even turning them a totally different color like red or purple) without any effect whatsoever on the blue sky behind. Just one click.

        Add to that the selection control points (controlling a wider set of tools such as localized sharpening, noise reduction, light & color adjustments including the LCH editor, levels & curves etc) plus all the regular type marquee, brush and graduated selections equals a pretty comprehensive set of tools. Top it off with editable WB, picture controls, active D-lighting, and input sharpening, all acting non-destructively on the raw 14-bit data, and the whole shebang savable with unlimited revertible earlier versions as a single losslessly compressed NEF one third the size of the equivalent flattened 16-bit tiff and what’s not to like? (OK, the file management area IS still clunky, I admit.)

        I need to carry on working in CNX2. My whole creative workflow is in this application. I’m going to write a polite letter to Nikon’s CEO here in the UK and try to get some concrete information about the future usability of the software.

        I may also follow Thom Hogan’s idea of setting up a computer exclusively for photo editing in CNX2 once the final version is here, with a view then just to leaving it permanently off line (to protect the setup from fatal software updates).

        OK, this will mean no possibility of editing NEFs from future cameras but, frankly, if one can’t do good photography with the totally amazing cameras already in existence, then what hope?

        • jim h

          Everything you said, and more. Yes, you can approximate NX2’s capabliites with a crazy combination of LR5, Elements, and some 3rd party add-ons. There’s been some discussion of this on the Nikonians site but it will be going on for a long time. Where you end up depends on what you need from NX2. For me, the big issues are local, nondestructive, reversible curve edits and color control points. Not easy to get those in Elements and impossible in LR5 to my knowledge.

          • nightoil

            jim h, good to get your feedback. I rarely post on forums so am not that attuned to the culture but this whole CNX2 fiasco has got me all riled up! I tend to use the same fairly minimalist equipment for years. Used a pair of Nikon FM2s + a few primes for over 20 years. CNX2 falls into that category – hardware/software functioning simply as a transparent means to an end – the work itself.

            Your “crazy combination of LR5, Elements, and some 3rd party add-ons” is just the kind of nightmare I want to avoid. I may eventually have to follow you down that path but NOT YET!! Not until sticking with CNX2 becomes impossible.

            Like you, I’m heavily into color control points. There’s a magic property they bring to a photograph – one could use the word depth. There’s almost always a logical series of individual elements within an image that need gentle lifting, pointing up, accentuating. Lots of subtle edits, individually unnoticeable, are what cumulatively build depth into an image – not gross, flamboyant, artificial tonal distortions. (That’s just my opinion – note the neutral language!). That’s what CCPs are really good for and they seem to do it whilst preserving freshness, another essential attribute.

            Just scanned the Nikonians thread and noted your comments. I too am constantly making new discoveries and advancing the way I edit – then going back over my portfolio gradually incorporating the latest thinking into the older work.

            There’s much talk of “baking in” edits – even baking them into JPGs. The 256 discrete brightness levels of an 8-bit JPG are hopelessly shallow for any serious editing after working within the 16,384 levels of 14-bit images.

            The initial camera NEF is the first step in the permanent evolution of a photograph; the JPG is the flattening of the current state for output. Baking kills off the organism.

            • jim h

              Agreed. I’m going to keep using NX2 for now in hopes a better solution appears. I think it will in time. For one thing, Adobe – facing huge blowback on the subscription move – may increase the capabilites of Elements.

            • nightoil

              jim h, hats off to you for your thorough investigations on Nikonians into the (seemingly unsatisfactory) alternatives. I have no knowlege of LR of PS so your findings are most useful.

              Am now hunkering down for continued use of CNX2 into the impending dark age of CNX-D. Currently replacing my aging ThinkPad with a T530 + i7-3630QM processor + 16 GB RAM, which should give CNX2 a bit of space to breath in. Will set the firewall to block all CNX2 communications with NIkon and see what happens. After CNX-D is officially released, I’ll take the new machine permanently off line if CNX2 looks in any way threatened by the internet and/or Nikon itself. Sad irony for Nikon to have become the dreaded enemy!

              Expanding on your idea, how about Adobe (or hopefully someone else) and Google/Nik seeing sense and pooling resources with Nikon, who would then share the inner workings of NEFs, to create a non-subscription, fully Viveza integrated, non-destructive, reversible, side car-less, losslessly compressed RAW file editor with efficient, pleasant to use onboard file management? I mean, who wouldn’t be fighting to throw their money at such a product? (Just day-dreaming.)

        • umeshrw

          Nikon specific settings you cannot do anything about but u point and nik filters you can use in LR or PS and they work much better and more featured . Also you can select camera profile in adobe PS raw window to get almost 90% exact starting point of CNX2. Processing will obviously differ but can be and will have to be learned. If worst happens I have made up my mind to do this.

    • jim h

      I think Nikon got themselves into a bind on this, over time, due to inaction and Google’s acquistion of Nik. I also suspect that anyone at Nikon who cared about NX2 or its users is gone.

  • Walkthru

    Epic FAIL Nikon. R.I.P. to one of the best pieces of software going (NX2). Was really looking forward to the newest version, but this is just rubbish.

  • WlodekBilly39

    Nikon NX-D is the gigantic step backwards from NX2.
    Lack of U-points and NIK color Pro 3 filters just to mention two things I
    love. So if I can not use NX2 in the future, good by Nikon.

  • EvaK

    On http://beta.nikonimglib.com/ Nikon asks for a feedback. Go on, let them know.

    “I’m not satisfied with downgrading from CNX2 to a refurbished Silkypix. That may be a step up for users of ViewNX, but is a big loss for all those who invested (!) in CNX2 to have a fittig RAW Converter for NEF files. In every Nikon related forum I read in the recent days users are extremely disappointed by NX-D and annoyed of Nikon’s decision to drop CNX2. Nikon better should come to terms with Google and Nik to develop CNX2 instead of offering such rubbish. For me NX-D is a clear no go!”

  • doctt

    I have no faith that Nikon will solve this problem they created. We need to have a reasonable plan B. I am fortunate enough to have LR5, PS, all major plug-ins to play with.

    Here is my suggestions:

    1) For those who would like to keep NX2 as long as you can and you happen to be a Mac user, go get a software called “Little Snitch”. It is basically a firewall program which will control how your computer communicates to outside. With this software, you can block NX2 from communicating to their server. It means even if they shut down their server, your NX2 will continue to work….until you get a new Nikon camera or it won’t run on your latest OS.

    2) Try LR5. I normally use LR5 after I finish my editing in NX2 (after converting my edited NEF to TIFF). For last several days, I processed my NEF files directly in LR5. Using the camera profile from LR5, I surprisingly found out the color rendering is very close to NX2. Highlight and Shadow recovery are better than NX2. The speed is better although not by much if your computer has SSD.

    3) If you have the Nik plug in for NX2, you can get the complete set of Google/Nik plug-in for LR/PS for free. It includes Color Efex 4, Silver Efex 2, Viveza 2 (Just like NX2’s color control point with a bit more features), HDR tool, etc. If you don’t have the plug in, you can buy all these for around $150. I think it used to cost $400 for their complete collection

    4) The workflow will definitely slower due to less than ideal integration between LR and Nik softwares, but it is a viable alternatives considering we have no other options….

  • Stan

    when are they going to update LR for D4s?

  • http://folkins.net Jeff Folkins

    Outrageous. I don’t want sidecar files, this changes my workflow. I want U-point. This is a serious downgrade. I might as well use an Adobe product…….this is awful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Richard

    Hi wonder if anybody can give me some advice. I have NX2 version 2.4.2 and a load of pics I was hoping to edit in the future when I have time. Is it better to upgrade to the latest update before they pull support. I’m just wary of upgrading in case it doesn’t work as well. Also does this mean it will likely not work down the line with future Mac OS upgrades?

  • bruno

    no control points, only small adjustment, not for me.

  • Dewdle

    Worthless to me. I’m still using Mac OS-X 10.6.8 Snow Leopard.
    Nikon software is awful, its firmaware, too. The simple fac they do not unlock the Nikon RAW file format to let other applications do full RAW processing is egregious . EGREGIOUS. because only Nikon software does full processing of Nikon RAW camera files.

    Stick with what you know, Nikon . Optical glass and rugged cameras. Let us choose the software , not you.

    If you really REALLY cared about your customers and owners of Nikon cameras, your gear would have the option to directly output Adobe DNG files. How are we supposed to open a Nikon RAW file ten eyars from now sing your obsolete clunky software? You’ve already obsoleted me and it’s only September 2014.

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