Capture NX 2
Superior Image Quality
I believe NX2 is grossly underrated by many of the reviewers. I have been using Nikon Capture software for several years as the first, and often, the only stop in my workflow. And I have edited untold thousands of images with different versions of NX. NX2 is simply amazing in its versatility and feature set when working with RAW files, and produces the best image quality, by far, as compared to the best pro-level editors.
It is true, however, that it is resource hungry, often creating huge temporary files and devouring cache (particularly when working with 14 bit images), but what should we expect from a non-destructive editor? Of course, it will call for significant resources and processing power, so don't expect NX2 to run well on a dinosaur.
And be aware that it is rich in features that do not jump up and announce themselves. To get the most from it, you must be willing to poke around and experiment--to invest the time necessary to learn how to use it effectively. So, if you are looking for quick-fix buttons that correct everything with one click, you need to keep shopping.
If I could give NX2 4.5 stars, I would do so only because it does crash occasionally under Window 7 and it has a few relatively minor bugs, though they are easily worked around. On the other hand, Nikon technical support has been excellent the few times I've called for help.
Bottom line, NX2 is a professional level editor that can significantly enhance image quality, particularly when working with RAW images.
March 24, 2011
A Pleasant Surprise
I started using Capture NX a few years ago and upgraded to NX2 along the way. There was some flakiness early on, but I must say the latest version (2.2.6) is very stable and bug-free on my aging 32-bit Win XP box. (Can't vouch for other platforms.) It's reasonably fast, if not zippy, with a Core2Quad processor, and it even runs well enough on my Core2Duo notebook that it does occasional duty there when I go mobile.
I started using Capture NX/NX2 to avail myself of the proprietary Nikon stuff (lens corrections, Active-D Lighting), but as my comfort level with the program grew, it has evolved into my RAW processor of choice. The control points thing is actually quite impressive. I rarely, if ever, fire up ACR any more, and when I buy a new Nikon DSLR down the road, I'll be very happy to not have to buy the latest version of Photoshop/Lightroom just to have native camera support.
That assumes, of course, that Capture NX2 will continue to be developed and that any upgrade (e.g. to NX3) will be reasonably priced. I, for one, will be hoping for that to be the case.
March 23, 2011
I Just want to update this review section, For those that are worried that the Capture NX2 will not run on windows 7. It runs perfect on Windows 7 64 bit operating systems due to the WOW 64 program in Windows 7. The only thing is you might feel it a bit slow due to the fact this program is written in 32 bit. Meaning that you will only be able to access 2gig's of ram verses the 4+ gig's of ram you could if it where written in a 64 bit code. If you are running quick fix's in large batches the ViewNX2 program does that very well, Capture NX2 is a little clunky at it.
The absolute power of this program comes into play with the Control Points and the Auto Retouch brush for the beginners out there and for the advanced photographers the NEF RAW capabilities are better I think then Photo Shop or Lightroom 3. With the new updates to the program it will now support the RAW files from the D7000.
This program will take a good picture and turn it into an amazing picture without a massive amount of work involved.
December 26, 2010
The Control points are fantastic
I use this product on a regular basis. I find the control point feature fantastic.
As I migrate to Windows 7 I really hope Nikon moves forward as well.
July 24, 2010
It does not cover all the functions in View NX
I wish the following features from View NX2 are incorporated into Capture NX2, so that I can just use one app:
2. Jpeg convertor with image sizes changeable (In Capture NX2 you can use "batch process" convert pictures into Jpeg, but you do not have control on the image size)
June 25, 2012
Needs an upgrade that allows PlugIns
Great Software "But" its about time Nikon/Nik updates it to say Capture NX3. An upgrade should allow plugins for other vendor packages such as Niks HDR Pro. Most all other popular Raw Conversion software allows plugins.
Other than that, its a great package!
May 4, 2012
Works great. Needs Updating
Capture NX2 version 2.3.1 works great with Mac OS 10.7.3 (Lion) in 64 bit mode. A recent update of Nik Color Efex Pro 3 works also works in 64 bit mode.
Capture NX2 needs a few tweaks to make it a 5 star app.
1. Have Nik Software & Nikon work together so all Nik Software plug-ins work in NX2.
2. Make it able to easily change the order the adjustment tools are applied.
February 25, 2012
Good product but one needs experience
I use NX2 and Photoshop 5.0 and I can say that both programs have they pro and cons. In order to be able to use them in the most effective way one has to study them. I like to use NX2 for portrait shots and studio fashion shots that need a few adjustments. The main reason for this that these simple adjustments are easy to do. Now I am shooting most photos in NEF and Photoshop has also a beautiful interface which I love to use for Landscape photography. I like also to do photo collages which is definitely better with Photoshop.
On the other hand I like in NX2 for creating selective B/W, gradient features in blurring, coloring...
November 10, 2011
Very good - But.....
I've been using Capture and Capture NX2 since the early days. Capture handles 99% of my editing needs. View NX2 has developed into a capable program, but when I need a detailed edit of a photo for a gallery or for sale, Capture is my primary tool. It's quick and highly functional. This tool is best for editing a few images - not large volumes. You can apply batch controls, but the strength is with selective editing of a few images. The method of making all edits reversible and support for versions makes this a very efficient tool with data and avoids multiple copies of files.
For Nikon cameras, Capture and View are the most accurate tools to render NEF images based on camera settings. They use the actual camera settings - not an interpretation of those settings like Adobe programs.
The Develop section provides the ability to change most camera settings during post processing. IT's a great way to correct white balance, tweak exposure, or test alternate camera settings including picture controls.
The U point technology from Nik provides incredible selective editing capabilities. Virtually every editing step can be applied just to the areas you choose without worrying with masks or complicated editing.
The disadvantages are limited. There is no real clone tool - just a healing brush. It's fine for dust spots or removing a power line, but won't easily remove a billboard or clump of branches.
IT can be a bit buggy at times. I don't have this problem, but have seen it. New versions are better. And you only want to have one image at a time open. I'm using it on XP, Vista, and Windows 7 64 bit machines without issues. Ideally you want 8GB of RAM or more.
The biggest risk is the relationship with Nik. Nik Software is the provider of U-point controls and many of the other enhancements. They make other top products and are a software company. Apparently there is a falling out between Nik and Nikon. Whether related or not, Capture NX3 has not been released and CNX2 is beginning to lag alternatives. If Nik is not involved in the next release or decreases involvement, I will probably grudgingly move to away from the product.
September 9, 2011
Great for Nikon photographers, with some drawbacks
I've been using Capture NX 2 for a couple of years now with a couple of different camera bodies, and for the most part I'm pretty pleased with it. I love the way it's designed to work with NEFs: it's wonderful to be able to further tweak your in-camera settings such as Active D-Lighting and Picture Control. Copying adjustments and pasting them to other images is a hugely time-saving feature as well.
However, there are several improvements that need to be made:
1. We need a magic wand tool. Dropping control points is great, but sometimes you just need a magic wand, y'know?
2. Memory leaks need to be plugged.
3. I'm waiting on a 64-bit version (perhaps Capture NX 3 will come along soon?), though the program does work in 32-bit mode.
4. The edit list is good, but if I'm on my fifth edit and I want to go back and tweak the contrast under Quick Fix, Capture needs to be able to do that without un-applying my five edits. It is difficult to efficiently make adjustments to previous edits when it un-applies the edits that appear later in the list. This makes me guess over and over, having to adjust, then re-apply my settings again and again, until I have it right.
And finally, the white balance tool needs to match up the way we select white balance in-camera. I HATE the way white balance is handled in Capture NX 2: you cannot directly modify an as-shot white balance. If I want to nudge an as-shot white balance a couple of degrees, I can't do it. This is not such a huge deal if you shot everything at, say, 5560K or Incandescent (or any other setting that you can plug directly into the dialogue box), but if you adjusted/trimmed your white balance using the 6x6 grid (e.g. Daylight A3) or made your own preset with a gray card, you will not able able to fine-tune that setting in Capture. You'll have to choose another setting, such as "Calculate automatically" or apply another setting, such as Daylight, and fine-tune that setting. Honestly, this is infinitely frustrating and is almost enough to make me flee to Lightroom.
That said, I still think that this is a valuable program. You don't always have time to set things like Active D-Lighting properly -- and then review each image you take -- when you're shooting, and being able to directly manipulate the same options that you set in your camera is invaluable. It's the whole point of RAW. The price tag is much easier to swallow than other industry-standard software, too. I am definitely hoping that the next version of Capture keeps all of these great things but improves upon the few, but significant, shortcomings of Capture NX 2.
June 4, 2011
Good but Could Be Great!
This software is good or even close to great. It is one of better photo software programs out there to work on photos, especially the control points. Love the add on of the Nik Color Efex Pro 3 to Capture NX2.
What would make this software great, would be the ability to add the other NIK software to Capture NX 2. I know they have parts of the software built into to it, but it would be much greater if we could load the Nik Dfine, Viveza, Sharpener Pro, Silver, and HDR as plugins to this software instead or have them built in or added/sequenced as in the same capability where it loads itself in sequence of using/processing the software as recommended by NIK Software Co..
All this aside, I highly recommend this software. Have been able to clean up many photos I thought were lost.
April 23, 2011
I own; NX2, Lightroom 3, CS5, and all of NIK Software Plugins.
NX2 is by my choice for fast processing of images!! It gets you editing fast. Anyone who says it is SLOW is misguided. Side by Side with Lightroom 3 NX2 is simply faster. It loads images faster and applies filters within NX2 not a pop up. With the NIK software Efex Pro filters plugin nothing comes close to NX2. NX2 is a solid 4 star.
Improvements: A image database.
October 18, 2010
The U-Point technology is really really great.
I view my images in ViewNX 2 and edit it in CaptureNX 2 afterwards. But, when i view the edited image in ViewNX 2 again, the "Raw" button(top left of the window app.) is greyed-out and won't give me the same results that i've made (sharpness, contrast, etc) in CaptureNX 2.
September 26, 2010
Excellent technology, delivers outstanding results, I only shoot RAW and use it almost every day.
u-point is the best, amazing results
This is my first program with this capabilities, very decently priced , for what I do - Improve my photos with no additional creative elements added - I do not need anything else. If adding a frame or some text i use an open source alternative.
I tried the plugins like viveza, it makes your life easier and works with u-point making it incredibly powerful.
SLOW to save
SLOW to process for batch processing, converting to JPG say a 100 NEF files takes 20 minutes, my machine has 4gb of ram and solid sate disk and a decent processor, nx2 makes it fell like an ancient machine.
IT CRASHES right when you have done a bunch of edits and have not saved the file.
Using the plugins like viveza adds a lot of function, but also added A LOT of unexpected crashing so I uninstalled the plugins.
August 20, 2010
Wonderful program but seriously in need of an update
Editing in raw format with U-point technology and nondestructively is the way to go for those of us who shoot with Nikon equipment. However, as others have noted, this program is seriously in need of an update, especially to take advantage of the improvements and new plug-ins developed by Nik Software (e.g., Color Efex Pro 4.0, HDR Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro 2.0). To take advantage of these now, I am editing tifs and jpgs in Photoshop, which is a pain.
July 8, 2012
Update a step backward
I love NX2, and as a magazine photo editor and a photojournalist I have used it for years. But the latest version--2.3.1--has a glitch. You cannot save an image to an external hard drive directly from the program. You have to first save it to your desktop, then copy it to the external hard drive. Most inconvenient and time consuming.
April 7, 2012
The software's been out there for a while and doesn't support Windows 64 bit. It's also extremely difficult to convert from 14-bit RAW into 8-bit JPEG and get the same colors. There is always a shift in reds and blues that make batch conversion a hit or miss. This software is a collaboration with NIK Software and works great with NIK's rather expensive filters. I think it is still about time to update the software!
November 8, 2011
Nice for working NEFs, but dated and buggy
It's nice to be able to play with the camera settings after the fact and do non-destructive edits to NEF files, and NX2 has some nice features (I like "Straighten" and "Distortion control'). Although I do wish it had "Skew" and a "Clone" tool like you-know-who. Also, I find the user interface dated. What I really don't like is the fact that it is a rare session where NX2 does NOT hang and need to be killed with Task Manager, or where it will not open a NEF I have clicked to open (although Task Manager shows it to be churning somewhere in the background). I have even succeeded in these situations to have two instances of NX2 running at the same time--again per Task Manager. Memory leaks? This is just not acceptable coding for 2011. P.S. I am running Windows 7 with an Intel Core 2 Duo at 2.66GHz, with 4 GB RAM on a 32 bit system.
September 4, 2011
Great potential, but lacks stability
I love the features of this product. Works great with the NEF files that are created with my D90 and I can make lots of nice adjustments to make my pictures look as perfect as can be. That being said, it is frustrating using this software. I can barely make it editing 2-3 photos (one after the other) when the software seems to get stuck and I have to force close it or it crashes on it's own. The machine I have no slouch (i7 overclocked to 3.8Ghz with 8GB of RAM and an equally powerful video card) so I'm pretty certain it's the software. I keep waiting for an update to "fix" this problem. At this point I'm not looking for more features, just a stable product that I can use and rely upon.
June 13, 2011
Great concept which deserves further improvements
After using CaptureNX2 for about 1 year I think it is a good product but could be much better.
The program runs on a 64Bit Windows 7 without problems worthy of mention. (Some stability issues were solved after the last update.)
What's really good about CaptureNX2 is that you can work on raw images without intermediate steps and files. It's easy to use and has some powerful features which all support the general usage concept.
This really could be a great product if
- it wouldn't be so slow (it's painfully slow even on a high end pc)
- there were more addons available
- the handling of versions would be more powerful
- it would be more workflow oriented
May 19, 2011
Still in beta testing -- it seeems
Today i have in excess of 3 terabytes of images covering 6 years of very active photography. I used NX2 exclusively until the fall of 2010, when its instability became such a problem that the system crashed every 20 minutes or so. I do admit my files are large, but my mac is the less than a year old with 8 GB of ram and so on. Reluctantly i have returned to Photoshop and the instability problem is gone. I have all the Nik filters and Viveza in CS5 gives all the flexibility to do my work. I have so many complaints and Nikon is so unresponsive, save your self headaches, don't use with it! Now that got through another learning curve, i can see that CS5 is a better option for me going forward.
April 15, 2011
Great features but old bug unsolved, be careful
it´s a great software, upoint is amazing.
but it has a memory leak problem unsolved.
if will you edit many archives it will crash with message "xxxx.NEF could not be loaded because there is not enough available memory" in despite of how many memory are in your machine (4GB mine).
February 16, 2011
It is a good software but needs improvements.
It handles NEF files way better than any other softwares out there, when it comes to converting them to JPG. I love the Control Points
I wish it had a way to add text to my images, as well as watermarks. It also crashes a lot on a 64bit OS, especially when used with ViewNX at the same time.
August 11, 2010
Close, but needs improvement
Nothing is better for RAW processing than one from the a camera's manufacturer - and Capture NX2 does an amazing job - however, it is very slow, the work flow is painful - Nikon, take a few notes from Adobe's Lightroom and NX2 would be perfect!!!
July 30, 2010
Great features comes with slow performance
Great raw conversion. Used to have some edge features in editing but now CS5 or other software package are having them or better, e.g. local sharpening, magic erasor, noise reduction.
The most annoying feature of this software is computer resorce hungry, and extremely slow at launching with its flash window blocking everything else on the screen (this is annoying and damaging Nikon's name). Processing is slow. These comparisons are made with similar software such as Photoshop CS3, and CS4.
July 22, 2010
good capability, but buggy
This is the only product associated with Nikon that I'm less than 100% satisfied with. It is buggy, slow, and it crashes. Features work sometimes and not other times. I hoped that buying a completely new copy of the software and installing it on a new Windows 7 computer would fix most problems, it did not. I'll still use it for some work on Nikon Electronic Format files, but I'm switching to Adobe products as my principal tools.
June 9, 2011
Unable to update Capture NX2 at all!
There is a serious problem with updating my software. I recently had to reload my computer back to the way it was when I received it. I reloaded everything okay and was able to update Windows Vista 64-bit and all my other software. I then loaded my Capture NX2 disc Version 2.0.0. with no problem, but when I click on help, then Update NX2, a message on screen says nothing in the Nikon Message center for update. I had an update already installed before I had to reformat my hard drive and reload all my software. At one point NX2 said it could not locate the Nikon Server when I clicked on HELP, then update NX2. I have the product key installed correctly.
May 29, 2011
Great product in its day but badly needs updating. Crashes and frequently out of memory errors. Nikon School on this product with Ben Long is terrific. Nikon needs to release NX3 quickly or lose a lot of customers to better more current software.
March 13, 2011
Don't buy an outdated program
Shortly after I bought the NX2 program, I decided to upgrade my computer. Since I wanted increased memory and speed I bought the 64 bit operating system. Afterwards, I discovered the NX2 version would no longer work. When I contacted Nikon concerning an upgrade, I was told there were no plans to upgrade to 64 bit version. Obviously they have no plans to support the program in the future so I recommend that you look for other products.
March 4, 2011
Software works well with Nikon Raw only 32bit
If you want to upgrade from the trial version, don't order the upgrade version in the store. The Nikon store upgrade is for upgrading from NX1 to NX2. Regardless what the directions indicate from the trial version, Nikon Store will send you the NX1 to NX2 key via email and keep your money. It's "Policy". If you decide you want this software for your dinosaur PC, I recommend uninstalling the trial version and ordering elsewhere.
February 26, 2011