Yes, the new Nikon NX-D software is made by Silkypix

A quick update on my last NX-D post: yes, the Nikon NX-D software is indeed made by Silkypix. Using a hex editor, a reader found "Ichikawa Soft Laboratory SILKYPIX" in one of the Capture NX-D files named CNXD.dll.

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  • Rudi

    Long live Capture NX-2! Did I buy it to now get an update that is worth nothing?!

    • Spy Black

      I tried Capture NX-2. Quite the sloth. It’s only claim to fame are those localized processes, which can easily be done in Photoshop. No great loss.

      Try the 60-day free trial of Capture One Pro 7. Much better application.

      • groucher

        Not even incorrect. NX2 is extremely fast and those ‘localised processes’ cannot be done in Photo$hop anywhere near as effectively. The Selection Brush, for example, can be used on multiple regions, can be used in +ve and -ve modes (this is very powerful), auto-blends and can be used with any tool or filter. Photo$hops antiquated and useless selection tools do none of that and blending is a pain.

        NX2 also has U-Point which is great for getting rid of flare, very difficult in Photo$op. It also has D-Lighting which is similar to Photo$hop’s shadow/highlight tool except that is doesn’t mangle the colours.

        Get to know the software before commenting.

      • TeaBreak

        I’ve done that for the last two weeks – and wasted plenty of my time. True, CaptureOne 7 is a powerful application with lots of features. But the main thing – giving me the beautiful Nikon colors my D3 produces – it does not. I’ve tried dozends of their ICC profiles with hundreds of different photos (portrait, landscape) but none of those are as good as the orignal picture modes in CNX2.
        Tough I will probably stay with Capture One 7 if final NX-D turns out to be that dull as the beta. LR5 is even worse than Capture One 7.

        • Spy Black

          Actually, if CNX2 has it’s ICC profiles in standard fie format, you should be able to make use of them in Capture One 7.

          I agree about LR5. It’s Adobe’s knee-jerk reaction to Capture One 7,actually. They slopped it out the door no less, quite the bug box.

          • TeaBreak

            I’m afraid that’s no that easy. Nikon picture modes (standard, neutral, etc.) don’t describe color spaces (as ICC-profiles do) but specific graduation curves. Therefore these files are not standard *.icc or *.icm files but so called *.ntc files. Don’t have a clue how to make use of them in Capture One 7. Perhaps you know how to implement those *.ntc files …?

            • Spy Black

              The simplest thing I would try is to see if they’ve simply renamed them. Copy an .ntc file and rename the extension .icc or .icm. That’s a long shot I know, but it would be hilarious if that was all there was to it!

              Also, in chapter 25, they list actual Nikon-specific .icm files. I would at least load those into Capture One and see if it helps.

      • Cameron K. Fong

        I don’t find these problems with CNX2, but I will try Capture One Pro 7 sometime soon…I do need a long term solution (and one for Sony/Samsung/Olympus RAW)

      • a4

        From your post it’s quite obvious that you haven’t spent much time with the NX-2…

  • Jason Schultz

    Does that or does that not explain everything…

    • groucher

      I’m afraid so. NX-D is hopeless.

  • whisky

    the best thing Nikon can do for their customers is to publish all protocols and profiles for their entire legacy of digital cameras and lenses, and then get out of the software biz for good. JMO.

    • Manvin

      Best move for nikon is to sell the plug-in software for Adobe Photoshop! end of the day both make decent money 🙂

    • the best thing (insert camera manufacturer here) can do for their customers is to publish all protocols and profiles for their entire legacy of digital cameras and lenses, and then get out of the software biz for good.

      Except Phase One

  • Rhonbo

    I just don’t understand why Nikon won’t release their profiles so that Nikon files can look there best with any software. Makes no business sense IMO now that CNX is gone and NX-D is free.

    • Manvin

      NX-D is free until end of September 2014 and after that I’ve no idea what’s going to happen free or pay?

      • tengris

        > after that I’ve no idea what’s going to happen free or pay?
        NX-D for free with popups every 15 minutes “Hey dude, upgrade now to SillyPix 5 with 83% more fluffie and duffie for only $75!”.

        • Manvin

          nah it’s not gonna happen buddy lol

    • El Aura

      Indeed, a lot of people have been suggesting this, including smart people like Thom Hogan. There are two problems though (which are related). For once this is not just profiles, there is more to it which is more like algorithms (eg, for D-Lighting) which makes implementation into other raw converters not straightforward. And giving away those algorithms is what Nikon is loth to do.

      Camera makers always make claims how good their images are thanks to their XYZ processor which is shorthand for computing power combined with deeply refined image processing. Almost any camera test includes evaluation of the JPEG quality and testers tend to usually find clear differences between different cameras. Some of that is just style (amount of sharpening, noise reduction, saturation), but there seem to be clear enough differences on the better/worse scale (compared to the ‘just different’ scale) such that testers feel able to grade the JPEG quality (and there even is some consensus among different testers).

      Publishing their algorithms would give away all the knowledge behind what is seen as some key intellectual property. That certainly is a point that few if any people take into account in this debate.

      • Thom Hogan

        That’s correct, though there are some nuances involved.

        First, the dirty secret that most of the camera companies don’t want you to know is that a lot of the IP in ASICs is licensed, not original to the camera company. They may not have the ability to release that information. Second, every may know what the other is doing and while at first this seems like the IP might not be meaningful, it’s all about time to market now. Any even small amount of time you can have a unique ability, feature, or performance helps. Finally, none of these companies actually has a strong outward-looking developer program in which they could take advantage of being open.

        It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the most successful platforms in tech have all been “proprietary, but open to developers.” (Before anyone jumps in and tries to claim that Android is fully open source, I would also put it in the proprietary, but open to developer category for reasons that any Android developer can tell you about in spades.) “Proprietary and closed to developers” means you’d better be better than everyone else, ahead of them, and able to maintain that long term. This is the part that Nikon didn’t get right. They were only initially better than everyone else, but they did not maintain that.

    • Thom Hogan

      This argument goes way, way back at Nikon. The first “taste” that customers actually got of Nikon’s strategy with files was the encryption of the D2x white balance data.

      In essence, very early on in DSLRs Nikon decided that Nikon DSLRs needed to have a “Nikon look” and that Nikon needed to not only completely control that, but not let others imitate it. I was 100% against that and told Nikon that, both directly and through diplomatic channels I had into the executive ranks at the time. It definitely was a hot topic within Nikon, so much so that a few folk decided to leave or retire when the decisions started to lock.

      Had Nikon really had a truly unique look that transcended the other camera companies’ work, I suppose that one could come up with a justification for this. However, more often than not Nikon JPEGs (which share the Capture demosaic and “special sauce”) are criticized as being less engaging than, say, Fujifilm or Olympus JPEGs, and less flattering in skin tone than Canon’s.

      One problem with color rendering is that no one agrees on what is the “best” practice, and tonalities have a tendency to be a bit faddish, to boot. Worse, once established, folks that like a color rendering don’t want it changed, but the fad may have moved on to something else and now some folk want the “new” tonalities.

      One of the things I always valued from Nikon Capture was that I could get a relatively neutral rendering out of it with high acuity. Over time, I’ve found other ways to get that, so it’s not as unique a thing as it used to be, though Capture still is relatively convenient for generating a neutral 16-bit TIFF to work with.

      But the story here is that Nikon is still clinging onto it’s “unique look” strategy. I’m not sure why. They really should open up the specifications, including the Picture Control bases. On the other hand, that might just reveal how little there is to differentiate on any more: sensors are ubiquitous and fairly well defined. Eeking out an advantage that someone else can’t get is near impossible now with the current sensor tech. It takes a different tech—e.g. Foveon, X-Trans—to get something that is truly different, but that comes with its own issues.

      • TeaBreak

        I still can see it – that special Nikon look you’ll get ONLY with NX2. True, it’s subtle, but to expierence quality you always need a closer look. Hope they’ll never open up the secrets behind. NX-D hopefully turns out to be an interim solution only. Nikon need some worthy successor.

        • Thom Hogan

          No doubt that Capture (and View) gets a slightly different look than other converters. After all, only Nikon really knows the Bayer filtration, amongst other things, of the sensors used. Even small differences in filtration can make dramatic impacts on the demosaic.

          But your answer isn’t the correct one (keeping the data proprietary). If Nikon did as some of the other companies are now doing (Fujifilm, for instance), then ALL converters should be able to get that same look. Then customers would have a choice of what to use, not be restricted to an old, poorly updated, and poorly maintained piece of software.

  • AM I Am

    So, this reader went from pixel-peeping to byte-peeping. That’s kinda extreme.

  • Lamar Lamb

    I’m still on Capture NX…. With it and DxO 7 I can still do everything I need. I’ll wait until they won’t work anymore then switch to whatever works good and is cost effective at the time.

  • Cameron K. Fong

    Well that is confirmation…..CNX2 will have to be the choice for me for now….until I buy a new Nikon that is not supported. I do have to worry about RAW files from other cameras (shot but languishing unprocessed). Shame that NIK Software (Google) only wants to support Adobe and Aperture….wish there was another option

  • Spy Black

    OK, you’re correct that I could know the program better, but on the flip side your Photoshop comments are incorrect. You may have a nice degree of process control in CNX2, but it’s not gong to hold a candle to the processing power inside of Photoshop. Not even close. I suppose what I should have said that *I* can easily do it in Photoshop.

    However I’m still finding it to be quite a sloth trying to work on my D600 files. It’s just a sluggish program. The slowest process I’ve run across so far is noise reduction. It’s quite SLOOOOOW. It’s effect also is not that great in the end either.

    Also, a personal taste, but I don’t like that you have to run a process/correction and then lift from it in order for the process/correction to be executed. In Capture One, Lightroom, and Photoshop virtually every process reacts in real time.

    Also, you would think that with a name like *CAPTURE* NX2 that you would have the ability to tether your Nikon through the program. Alas, no. Nikon once again wants to nickle and dime you by wanting you to purchase Camera Control Pro, a program which has not been updated for some time and can’t control most modern Nikon bodies. Even Lightroom has the ability to at least fire off your camera, and Capture One allows for further adjustment like aperture/shutter/metering type/etc.

    However I know some people never want to contend with an post processing in Photoshop, and are quite content with what they’ll get out of the likes of CNX2, Lightroom, or Capture One.

    • peteee363

      but if you don’t mind renting software. the new versions of photoshop are sold by the month, instead of selling outright.

      • Spy Black

        Some people are fans of that, some are not. I’m not. Eventually I won’t have a choice, but I’ll stick with CS6 for now.

    • umeshrw

      I can’t say about capture one quality but even though nx2 is a bit slow if you are not looking for working with thousands of images then I would say nx2 is still worth it for its natural rendition. Also noise reduction is the process which slows down nx2 . And to some extent cache settings. It certainly saves on disk space and is really truly nondestructive hence I prefer it. I would suggest you read some tutorials before trying it. That will make your path smoother. It did help me even when I had been using it for a long time beforehand.

    • groucher

      I wonder whether you’re running an old version of NX2 – I’m using v 2.4.5 on an i5 machine with 6gb RAM I find that the operation of each effect/tool, including the noise reduction of D800 RAW files is virtually instantaneous.

      If you click ‘New Step’ after applying each edit, NX2 saves each edit in a separate ‘layer’ so you can see each adjustment and turn it on or off as you wish. The operation of these ‘layers’ is very similar to Photoshop although this isn’t immediately obvious due to the clunkiness of the interface. Having said that the Photoshop layering interface is also pretty clunky.

      They certainly got the name wrong. ‘Capture’ is something that NX2 doesn’t do.

    • Rudi

      The image quality you get from NX-2 is outstanding. And as groucher said, the local adjustments incl. U-Point are awesome. The software itself isn’t slow, but using it slows my workflow down so I only use it for the important images.
      NX-D IQ is also outstanding. But without all the local adjustments it’s more or less needless. I wish they would have given their development secrets to Adobe instead to silkypix company so Adobe could build it into ARC and LR.
      But maybe they only don’t have them in the beta like Adobe often only has new functions in the final release. At least wishful thinking?

      • peterw

        I like the way you are dreaming about the additional functions. I’m a little more pessimistic.

        • Rudi

          Out of my dreams I know you’re right peterw… ;-))

          (in reality I don’t see sillypix getting the local adjustments in their software). There are so many raw converters which are better than sillypix.that they could have choosen.

  • a4

    Well, who cares who makes the new ND-X, since it’s a piece of sh#t compared to NX2. The actual CNX line is dead…

  • yrsued

    So far, the best Sucks!!

    It is a Dumbed Down Version of something good.

  • _sem_

    SilkyPix is not good news. There was not much love for it among Fuji users, eventhough they got it free and it was once the only raw converter that would cope with Fuji’s special sensors and their odd modes

  • jimh

    Nothing left to say about NX-D. Like many others, I’ve given my feedback to Nikon (managed to refrain from profanity) and moved on.

  • fourtis

    Silkypix is now at version 6 (
    Apparently Nikon has bought the rights for an earlier version : 1.6 !!!
    Replacing the effective and appreciated CNX2 by an old banger is now the Nikon way of progressing. 🙁

  • John Driggers

    The Google Nik Collection puts control points into Lightroom, Photoshop and as a standalone app, if that’s what you want post NX2. Silkypix raw converter algorithms are very good, it’s the user interface that’s poor. It remains to be seen whether Nikon can build a UI shell around Silkpix that makes NXD a good choice. Past Nikon software efforts don’t predict a bright future. No vitirol really needed here-it’s just free software.

  • Mark Viszlay

    I have a d3x, and for the first time i tried to convert the raws in ps! i was crying i bought a camera for that money, and my d300 had better pics! than i tried nx2 and the result was fabulous. So much difference, it has sharpness, deepness, and color! Nikon camera with his own software! You can get the beauties result! i tried several camera raws, capture one, many other converter, but the nx 2 was the best for my camera! this combo made the d3x the most powerful camera of nikon yet!!!! even the d800 doesn’t have this!!!! and I’m very disappointed that theres no new x model, shame!!! the other part of the nik software is the u point, the best feature , I’ve ever seen in a software, but luckily there is viveza, not the same in raw, but it has features!!!!

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