Capture NX3 to include Nik plugins?

A few months ago I received a tip that the future Nikon Capture NX3 software will be completely rewritten from scratch and will include all Nik plugins except for Color Efex, which will be available as an option. I was never able to verify this rumor. A recent post on the [NR] forum reminded me to post this online (still unverified).

Capture NX2 program is written by Nik software. Back in 2006, Nikon made a “capital investment” in Nik Software. Almost all Nik plugins were recently updated to a 64 bit version. Nik recently announced also a new HDR Efex Pro software. Adding Nik plugins to the future Capture NX3 makes sense, especially if they release a 64 bit version of the software.

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  • Markus

    Rumours I have is that release NX3 will be end of summer and that there will be something from Nikon to edit videos as well. Nothing heard about any standard including of Nik filter package. Might be an extended NX3 version

    • Lihkin

      Markus, is that a pretty strong rumor? I have been waiting for NX3 for a while now…

      • LGO

        Bring it on!

      • Markus

        Rumour about NX3..if I should use the NR’s about 99% that it will be there at end of Summer. Only no info about that Nik filters will be included. So it might be in a Pro or Extended Version of NX3.

  • Lihkin

    Woohoo. I can’t wait to get this. I LOVE Capture NX2 (despite people not liking it). It is super versatile and brings out the best in my RAW files. I can only imagine what Capture NX3 will have!!! Bring it on Nik…

  • Paul

    Why is this worth the money versus Aperture? Or Lightroom?

    • WoutK89

      the Nikon software are the only ones to read the exact exposure values. NEF-files are a closed file format.

  • We will wait for this. Yeah, Capture NX 2 is outdated nowadays, it needs replacement. Whatever package will include, NX 3 MUST be faster.

  • Matt

    No way… Nik software pack costs 300$ alone. And each Nik software works like an external plugin. So even if it uses the same technology, etc…, I don’t think that’s imaginable. Of Course if it appends, Capture NX3 will be THE software to have!

    • Ricci

      Color Efex Pro works inside NX, not like a Lightroom plugin.

  • If you currently have Capture NX2 the 2.2.6 version will we be grandfathered in at no cost?

  • Ralph Daily

    This rumor doesn’t make sense. Nikon has a minority interest in Nik but doesn’t control it. There is no reason Nik should give away almost all their software as part of NX3. NX2 will have to be rewritten to accept more Nik plugins than Color Efex, and I hope that happens, but Nik won’t give it away.

    • Hmmm… I read “will include…” and “Adding Nik plug-ins”, but “give it away” never occurred to me for a second (did I miss something?). What might well be a good long-term strategy for Nik is to give a decent – lower – price for everything bundled.

      It seems to me that that’d likely attract many new users both from NX2 and users new to both NXz and plug-ins, some of whom might never otherwise consider buying plug-ins and others who might otherwise consider n0n-Nik plug-ins. Also, they could charge one price for just NX3 and a higher (but hopefully ‘good’) price for the bundle (BTW, I’m one person who might well take advantage of great pricing for a NX3 / Nik Suite bundle who doesn’t currently use either).

  • Sounds like an expensive approach to me…

  • David

    there was a update to 2.2.7 if not caught download last week

  • António

    NX really needs an update to 64 bits and features. Including the plug-ins would be fine but I fear it would raise the price quite a lot as the new parts will not come for free – unless they offer two versions, one with and the other without the Nik added stuff.

    • WoutK89

      actually NX already featured Viveza from the start, so it’s 1 plug-in less.

  • alvix

    yes! I’ll buy it…. decent 64bit support and other little tweaks here and there like a fast preview of a file under development with different fx applied would be welcome..

  • Ace Ranchero

    Of course the plug-ins will be included: I just bought them.
    (Your welcome.)

    • chimphappyhour

      I bought their complete package back in Nov. I’m hoping that if they make NX3 Nik compatible, that they give those of us already using their products a price break to upgrade our plug-ins for NX3… if it truly will take Nik’s stuff.

  • Well, I’m glad to hear that NX3 will be a complete rewrite. Because the usability and performance of NX2 sucks. It has some nice features and the exclusive full NEF support is nice though.

    • Agreed. NX2 pushed me away last week and I’ve been looking for alternatives. Pretty much looking towards Adobe since they also support Nik (LOVE CEP 3.0).

      NX3 might be too little, too late. Performance should’ve been dealt with long ago.

  • Michael C

    Still using CNX after nearly 4 years. I still consider it the best quality editor for NEFs. I don’t mind it’s speed for single and batch edits of 1000 photos a year. With PhotoMechanic to cull the other 9000 I’m set. Nik plugins support in CNX3 would be excellent.

    • JED

      The killer feature of Capture NX has always been its Control point / U point features which allow you to make rather complicated image adjustments much more quickly than you can in photoshop.
      In terms of pure Raw conversion it is now outdated though. A complete rewrite of the Raw engine would be very welcome.

      • WoutK89

        Control/U-point is now also available in PS and aperture, Viveza 2.0 is even 64-bits.

        • Ricci

          but for a price. Native in NX2

  • suprchunk

    “A few weeks ago” “A” “A” Not “Few weeks ago” “A few weeks ago”

  • Don Pope

    They can keep the features at the current level as long as they fix the sluggish performance and the general clunkiness of the interface.

  • Matt B

    This rumor alone is enough for slightly frustrated NX2 users like me to stop looking at the other side of the fence. I’m confident that they’ll come up with something to show up Adobe. Eventually. Hang in there!

    • WoutK89

      where adobe is starting to put more we don’t need in there, I hope Nikon and Nik can keep it pretty straight forward in CNX3

  • Amen!!
    Hurry up and bring it on. I put up with NX2’s clunkiness for the upoint feature alone. It beats the heck out of dealing with the bloated,overpriced,$600 overkill of Adobe for most of the image tweaks I want to do. I refuse to be held hostage by Adobe and the insane idea of having to buy plugins to make it truly useful. In this day and age, I believe $300 should be enough to pay for a capable photo editing solution.

  • A few thoughts: Nik didn’t write all of NX. They are responsible for the control point parts of NX. Nikon’s software development team handles the SDK (the develop section) and the other edit steps. Because of the integration of control points I don’t see Nik’s plugins added at all. The most I’d expect is some aspects of it to be included such as silver efex’s options or sharpener’s algorithms. But the point others made is valid: Nik charges a LOT of money for their plugins — they won’t want to see the value undercut by NX. So what may happen is a real plugin architecture for NX and the other plugins will be optional.

    I’ve been thinking that an update to NX2 would coincide with a D4 which makes sense but I don’t think it’ll have all the features we have been clamoring for. Word would have leaked out if it was a game changer. I’m expecting NX3, whenever it is released, to be more evolutionary than revolutionary.

  • John

    Can’t see them giving away the Nik plug-ins, too much money for Nik to lose out on, or it would make the software too expensive for most users.
    Makes more sense to just write it so you can use the various plug-ins as you do currently with Color Efex, people can then buy want they want, or be able to use the filter in NX if they currently own them.
    If they can improve on the sluggish performance and allow you to use all the Nik plug-ins that would make it very very compelling. Can’t think of any other additional features they need on top of that, maybe the ability to generate profiles like you can with LR using the xRite passport checker.

    A NX3/Photomechanic/Nik filters workflow would be very tempting alternative to Lightroom.

  • It had better be 10 times faster and stable on all platforms.

  • Dweeb

    Funny how a company that gets away with selling 25 year old lenses also gets away with asking so much money for 5 year old clunk software. I doubt there will be anything in it to tear me away from my now established LR/AP3 workflow. Is Nikon really going to offer a better DAM system that those programs do? Am I going to re-keyword 100,000 images all over again?

    Nikon you sat on your “hands” far too long on this one like all your other products you get away with and loose customers for it. I uninstalled this junk 2 years ago and never looked back.

  • Nikgun

    One step at a time seems correct. Add those great Filters. Next add Layers and processing. NX2 will be second only to Photoshop.

  • jack

    I too loved the results I got from NX2, but LR3 is so good I definitely don’t feel like I’m missing anything… I agree with “Dweeb” — they took too long. The nik collection for lightroom is amazing–if possible, I never open photoshop.

  • Hope that NX3 will have a clean user interface like that of lightroom 😀
    If they combined all the nikon plug-in feature bulit into NX3 that would be awesome 😀

  • disiderio

    NX3 needs to be a lot faster in order to cater for professionals.

    My personal feeling though is that NX2 is flogged off to amateurs and prosumers. I have not seen one professional use capture nx2 software.

    Even View NX is tediously slow. It’s a bit hard to make on the fly adjustments in front of clients with the clunky interface.

    • I know a pro who WANTED to like it, but gave it up (for Adobe CS) for similar reasons to why I’m giving it up- just sick and tired of it crashing and being a pig.

      He teaches photography students as well. So his recommendation goes a long ways. Nikon’s not only lost future sales to him and I, but to most (if not all) of the students that he teaches. If Nikon doesn’t believe in trickle down theory, they’ve got their heads in the sand. Bad word of mouth goes a long ways.

  • Lots of slagging off of CNX here as always happens whenever its mentioned 🙂

    My workflow of choice is Photomechanic for my ingest, tagging, rating and edits; then CNX2 for my rendering and at least 95% of my post rendering processing. I then use CS5 for some of the bits I can’t do in CNX2 – almost exclusively complex cloning and some comp work. I am a fairly heavy user of CNX – I use it pretty much daily, and very regularly batch process 100-200 files at a time; I also regularly add 10-20 edit steps to an image. I have used/trialed extensively ACR in both LR and CS, DxO, and CaptureOne and continue to trial new versions as the appear. I am sticking to my workflow for now.

    My choice of CNX is driven by a number of things, amongst which are:
    1) Stability – I have used NX1 and CNX2 for about 4 years on 4 machines. It has been very stable for me on all of them. No exceptions, no problems, no issues. I checked my log files on my machine a while ago, and CNX2 had “crashed” twice in the previous 12 months actually making it more stable that anything in Office or CS5.

    2) I hate sidecar files that I have to move around with my image files, and I don’t like databases as a way of organising my files (just a personal preference, but it’s one more thing to worry about, and one more thing to go wrong). I really like that all of my edits are written into the NEF and file size stays very small no matter how many processing steps I use. Add a few layers (say 10) to an image opened in CS5 and you quickly get to a 250Mb file: even with disk space being cheap and readily available, files of that size pretty quickly eat up capacity and make backing up my hard drive a slow process.

    3) Most importantly, to my eyes none of the other rendering tools can quite match CNX2’s quality when rendering a NEF, especially in the smoothness of colour transitions in shadow regions and in the quality of colour rendition. The only other tool that gets close in my opinion is CaptureOne.

    4) I also find CNX2 to be very quick and easy and intuative to use, and personally I like the interface (maybe I am used to it as I have used it a lot).

    There, I thought I would point out that there are users who are actually very happy with CNX2 just in case anyone dropping by here thinks that everyone hates it 🙂

    Moving on to CNX3, I am pretty sure it will be here soon, but who really knows. I am basing my view on some of the comments made by Nikon at Photokina reported here on NR I think. I have also heard third hand that someone from Nik hinted at a CNX3 at a workshop somewhere (how’s that for tenuous!! 🙂 ) I do however quite trust the person who told me. I would be surprised if it included all of the Nik tools as I am sure that Nikon will want to keep to the same rough pricepoint they are at now, and it’s hard to see the Nik set fitting in in any way into that price structure. If they did, it would I’m sure pull a lot of people away from Adobe, but I don’t see the finances working out around that. Another alternative would be for the price of CNX3 to be significantly higher, I’m also not sure if that would work as I do sometimes have to work with non-Nikon RAW files and wouldn’t want to have to buy both CS5 and CNX3 if they both cost about the same.

    As always, I’ll wait and see, get the trial and then decide if I want to pay for it!

    • FJ Abraham

      I agree with most of what youv’e said.

      My only caveat?: NX2 has a HUGE memory leak. It’s not uncommon at all for mine to quickly ramp up to 1.5gb RAM usage. I’m running a 64bit machine with 8gb RAM and an i7. Should be plenty but I;m often sitting and watching.

      • It is heavy on RAM usage, and often does take 1 – 1.5G, but I wouldn’t say it leaks badly. When processing a big batch, if I look at memory usage it rises when each image is opened, is pretty flat while processing and then drops back down to the “baseline” before opening the next image. The usage is flat over time and doesn’t grow even over 100+ images.

        CS5 often uses over a gig as well for a single image.

    • Ricci


    • NX1 & NX2 have been the base of my processing as well. I generally use FastStone Viewer to look through my photos. NX2 for IPTC tag/RAW/all post-processing. Next comes Picasa for tagging and geotagging. I tried View NX 2 for tagging, but unfortunately- no Unicode support! It mangles any Japanese that I’ve entered.

      I ran NX1 & 2 on a dual-core laptop with 2gb of RAM. It was slow, but worked. Crashed often enough, though, that I upgraded to a desktop. i7-920 w/ 3gb of RAM. NX2 was much faster, but… still crashes. Generally if I use Control Points, Exposure Compensation and/or Shadow Recovery, then NX2 will crash when I try to save the file. This is the frustrating part- that it crashes after all editing is finished.

      If this were not the case, I probably wouldn’t be looking for an alternative. I HATE sidecar files and Lightroom makes absolutely no sense at all to me.

    • I’m also a CNX2/PhotoMechanic user. I really don’t expect CNX3 to include the Nik plugins, but will be more than happy if they are all available to use in the new version. You can already buy a bundled version of CNX2 and Color Efex Pro3 on the Nik website, but at a price that reflects both products. Paying more for additional products is a reasonable prospect. And I’m still waiting on the long promised cataloging feature for PhotoMechanic!

  • NX2 is fine just the way it is. Nik is NOT loosing users to the RAW converter. They are loosing because they have a horrible, horrible digital asset manager. Because edited NEFs arent reflected in LR and Aperture thumbnails, users just abandon NX2 to get an easier workflow.

    No, what Nikon needs, is a great image organizer. focus on adding effects to NX later.

  • My NX2 already includes the Nik software. So what is in it for me.

    • hah


  • Gandalf

    I do not understand all those problems mentioned with NX2 if you have set it up properly – mine works as a charm, and has always done, even on my slow laptop, where the CS 3 sometimes must give up, but never – or extremely seldom – NX 2.

    I have just been on a shooting vacation at Madeira, and after 14 days I had shot 39,6 GB pictures, and my old and slow laptop was nearly full, and CS 3 began to go down, but NX 2 continued to work. ( shoot with D700 and D7000 and sometimes D40 Infrared, so a lot of time it is now 16 MP and I always convert to the huge Tif.s after editing in NX2 = no problem)

    There is a lot of ways to get the NX2 to run fast – just search the internet or buy a Jason Odell course, ….you can do a lot – just 2 things you can do is to set it off that every step you go in the edit has to be active (change it in the preferences) and to set the noise reduction off in the camera, but there is a lot more you can do, if you search the net.

    OK you can say, that you do not need to do that that with some other programs, but I love to work with NX2 so much and therefore I do not feel it is a problem to do that.

  • Pim Nauta

    I just want to comment on the ones who dislike NX2,they are just lazy,they don’t want to get to know the software because if they do they they wouldn’t complain that much.I had that same problem but gave it a second chance and now I hardly ever use Aperture and CS2.
    That’s just because NX2 gives me all I need to work on my photographs and I do know a pro who works with NX2 here in Holland and he also enjoys working with this software.

    Just let NX3 come soon and I’ll take a trial version before buying because it just have too much video editing in the software and that’s something I do not like (still cameras with video how could they?)

  • Gunnar Kullenberg

    I abandoned CaptureNX for DxO Optics Pro last summer, not lightly though, since I view Capture’s raw processing to be better, but DxO has a couple of things that are very, very attractive and that is the “workflow” but even more important than that, the automated lens correction capabilities…that does it…and now I have become very good at using this software which is not completely intuitive….
    I never saw a reason to jump to NX2…there was nothing new there…(the spot removal is irrelevant)
    But I said to myself…I’ll jump back in a flash to Capture when and if they incorporate Automated Lens Corrections…
    Do I think it will happen? – No i don’t.
    But Capture had major drawbacks…slow…and don’t you try to use (the crummy) noise reduction capabilities…the program practically stops…

  • Gandalf

    Gunnar Kullenberg:

    It is NOT slow, if you set it up properly as mentioned, and Dxo has not the LCH-feature – here you can work with colors as with no other program, Jason Odell shows how you can make the golden hour just with this LCH-feature, if you want to be creative, and what about the control points – you have to buy Viveza to get that, but it is included in NX2.

    Just set it up properly, then it is fast and reliable

  • Patrik

    There are pro’s working with NX2, I’m one of them. I have to admitt that I have some issues in the performances of NX2, but since I changed the cache settings in NX2 it improved a lot, moreover, it didn’t crash anymore.
    I used to save while editing the NEF file after 2 or 3 edits, just to go safe, since on complicated pictures I do have more then 15 edits per NEF.
    I tried CS2 and CS3 but it cannot beat the intuitive, darkroom like, process in NX2 and my pictures look great! Selective U-point control is superb! I only use CS3 for complicated clooning, to straighten images and whenever I have to blow up files for hugh output.
    But, yes it could improve on speed and especially it should allow for all NIK plug ins! I run Silver Efex Pro as a plug in, but it only works at TIFF.
    My customers are happy, and so am I.

  • Fred

    NX3…… 🙂 well guys all these posts are about wishful thinking! Read my lips, there will be never ever any update to NX2. This is dead end software, not the first one by Nikon. The other story that still is ‘in the air’ is an update of Photomechanic. Remember; > 4 years they are screaming catalog facilities will coming out soon…! Sure? Well this is all blabla webshit. Adobe is the industrial standard, period! LR3 – CS5 – NIKplugins, great combo!

  • Tim

    NX3…… 🙂 well guys all these posts are about wishful thinking! Read my lips, there will be never ever any update to NX3. This is dead end software, not the first one by Nikon. The other story still ‘in the air’ is an update of Photomechanic. Remember?; > 4 years they are screaming catalog facilities will coming out soon…! Really? I think this is also blabla webshit.
    Adobe is the industrial standard, period! LR3 – CS5 – NIKplugins, great combo!

  • Thad Armstrong

    still waiting…

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