Nikon Capture NX-D (beta) software review

On February 25, 2014 by DaniLew

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Nikon released the new Capture NX-D (Beta) software this morning Tuesday, February 25, 2014 along with the DS4 DSLR.

NEW: Nikon officially released Capture NX-D on July 15, 2014! – see my additional review in the comments section below.

The highlight in the news release is that it replaces Capture NX2 and that the software will be free.  A cheer went up for those who did not want to shell out $200 for the next Capture product.  Well, View NX2 is free.  Why would Nikon have two free NEF/NRW Editors?  Hmmm….

So what’s the deal?

I did a quick comparison of all 3 products: Capture NX-D, Capture NX2 and View NX2.  In plain English: Capture NX-D is not an update of Capture NX2.

Nikon Capture NX-D in use for quick review

Nikon Capture NX-D in use for quick review

Below, I’ve listed some obvious differences:

  1. NX-D loses the U-Points.  Totally expected since that was a Nik Software patent.
  2. NX-D does not have “Save” or “Save As” and “Versions”, instead it has *.xmp sidecar files.
  3. NX-D can open NX2 enhanced NEFs but the enhancements are lost.
  4. NX-D enhanced NEFs can be opened in both Capture NX2 and View NX2 but the enhancements are lost.
  5. NX-D loses all of the Capture NX2 Filters (Photo Effects, Add Grain/Noise, Contrast: Color Range, Colorize, and even more sadly Black and White conversion).  View NX2 never had it.
  6. NX-D keeps the LCH Editor.  I use this for infrared channel-mixing instead of Photoshop.  View NX2 never had it.
  7. NX-D keeps the Levels & Curves Tool.  View NX2 never had it.
  8. NX-D loses the Color Balance and Color Booster.  View NX2 has Color Booster.
  9. NX-D loses the Saturation and Warmth tool.  View NX2 never had it.
  10. NX-D keeps the Unsharp Mask but looses Gaussian Blur and High Pass.  View NX2 never had it.
  11. NX-D keeps Noise Reduction.  View NX2 never had it.
  12. NX-D keeps Distortion Control and Lateral Color Aberration.  View NX2 has Lateral and Axial Color Aberration.
  13. NX-D loses the Lasso, Selection Brush, Selection Gradient, and Fill/Remove Tools.  View NX2 never had them.
  14. NX-D loses the options to copy, load and/or save XMP/ITPC.
  15. NX-D loses the capability to launch Nikon Transfer.
  16. NX-D does not allow Capture NX2 adjustments/settings files to be copied, saved, or loaded.
  17. NX-D does not have a Map Tool for GPS or a Movie Editor that View NX2 does.

Metadata can be found on the “i” tab of the Edit section.  Also, the Noise Reduction, Lens Correction, LCH, Unsharp Mask, and Levels & Curves icons are tucked away at the very bottom on the right-hand side.  I almost missed them!

NX-D Straighten tool is not precise and the Gray Point Sample Tool is very slow.

I’m no longer intrigued or impressed.  I’m going to keep Capture NX2 for as long as I possibly can.

The Capture NX flickr discussion group is lighting up with complaints and points of contention.

Instead, Nikon asks the NX-D beta users to give feedback and the above post is going straight to them.

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