A Good Start That Will Get Better

Nikon recently announced the launch of its free NX Studio software, which has hopes to be a Lightroom/Seize One Skilled numerous for Nikon RAW processing on House home windows and Apple laptop techniques.

This new software program is supposed to view, course of, and edit nonetheless pictures and flicks from any Nikon digital system (earlier, present, and future), merging the devices current in ViewNX-I & Seize ND-D functions. The thought was that it’s going to take two functions — one for minor adjustments and one for further full modifications– and consolidate them proper right into a single software program whereas fixing a variety of the workflow issues for the Nikon client base.

The top outcome would thus give — as Nikon outlined to me on a reputation — “the easiest raw processing experience for Nikon recordsdata as an alternative of what you’ll get from the other apps in the marketplace at current.”

For any Nikon shooter who’s visited the downloads internet web page of the Nikon website online, we’re larger than conscious of the variety of stand-alone apps provided, so starting to merge just a few of those and reduce the litter is a larger than welcome shift. Nonetheless, the question stays: Is that this software program just about pretty much as good as marketed?

A Acquainted Interface

The NX Studio software program’s format should be acquainted (largely) to anyone who’s used ViewNX or Seize ND along with some comparable format decisions you’ll uncover throughout the completely different big-name RAW processors in the marketplace.

In distinction strictly to the sooner ViewNX and Seize family of apps, NX Studio has a much-improved menu format that offers a neater interface for importing, sorting, and performing main edits of your raw photos and flicks than in earlier Nikon functions. Particularly, lots of the menu and devices are labeled to match the naming and order you will uncover in your Nikon digicam’s menus, a range that is designed to theoretically give a further cosy experience for Nikon prospects.

Included are decisions to change your recordsdata (edited and even RAW) on to Nikon Image Home or YouTube, efficiently dashing up your sharing workflow should you choose to learn from the choices.

That’s Good, Nonetheless How Properly Does It Work?

As far as file help goes, the making use of can load up any present RAW file from any Nikon digital digicam courting once more to the 1990s and may help any new file coming from future cameras on the day they’re on the market to most of the people.

As for its processing actually really feel of the workflow, it’s actually not that unhealthy. It’s not glorious by any stretch and far from industry-leading, nevertheless for a free software program, it’s actually pretty sturdy. Furthermore, keep in mind it’s a mannequin 1.zero and updates/enhancements will come.

The devices should be acquainted to anyone who has used a RAW processor sooner than: white steadiness, publicity, sharpness, energetic D-lighting, noise low cost, LCH/Chroma and Color Booster adjustments, and even a Color Administration Degree instrument — further on that in a second.

For primarily essentially the most half, while you’re conscious of Adobe Lightroom, the format, workflow, and devices in Nikon Studio NX all labored in a signifies that was nearly in keeping with what you will anticipate.

I did some quick testing with a flat raw file by exporting it (flat) from Adobe Lightroom to Photoshop and saving it as a JPG versus doing the similar nevertheless with NX Studio, and as you may even see beneath, the NX Studio file actually does have a further vibrant & sharper image to work with than the Adobe RAW processed file. For Nikon shooters, when you want to get the easiest out of the colors & aspect out of your RAW recordsdata, incorporating NX Studio into your workflow should undoubtedly be a part of your plan.

Processed in Lightroom and Exported in Photoshop
Processed in Nikon NX Studio and Exported in Photoshop

One different good contact is the Color Administration Degree instrument Nikon included, which is a shocking throwback to the NIK Software program program days, and a steady bonus to see.

This instrument, which you can add a variety of cases via your file(s), provides you some localized administration over coloration and publicity adjustments to your file. It permits you to add a bit of bit ingenious layer-like flare to your pictures sooner than shifting on to sharing or modifying extra in functions like Photoshop.

There Are Some Points

In my testing of this software program, a few points bugged me. Particularly, there have been some essential latency factors throughout the previews of the adjustments, considerably when using an exterior or secondary monitor. There was moreover some intermittent latency with every instrument activations/present and even the preview renders (usually as a lot as 4 seconds).

This might probably be largely because of my specific computer being intently used for testing functions on the widespread, nevertheless a few completely different “testers” I’ve spoken to have moreover expert this similar lag so it appears to be one factor on Nikon’s facet. The problems appeared to fade at any time after I chosen to utilize the software program program with merely the laptop computer laptop present and no exterior screens associated, though. Clearly not finest, nevertheless there is a workaround.

Is it a dealbreaker? On no account, nevertheless as with all of the issues throughout the modifying world, tempo is of the essence and having these factors is definitely one factor I hope Nikon addresses throughout the subsequent substitute.

The next topic I expert contains the “Retouch Brush” instrument seen above: it did not seem to work correct for me. After some irritating testing, I decided to aim to treatment my factors by speaking with the developer workforce at Nikon, and after some forwards and backwards dialogue it was determined that the thought of my frustrations are in how the instrument is marketed versus what it is presupposed to do.

I found that this instrument is further of a localized spot therapeutic instrument than an exact brush, no matter its carry out and title. Coming from a heavy Adobe and Seize One background, I was anticipating a content-aware sort instrument and it doesn’t pretty work meaning. Sometimes it’s going to create further of a gaussian blur whereas completely different cases it’s going to copy a chunk of texture from a close-by house. As you may even see from the examples beneath, this instrument is normally designed for small, single-click clean-ups like mud spots and completely different smaller blemishes and imperfections. Must it is good to do larger than this, I’d counsel avoiding this instrument and using Photoshop.

The next grievance — and this one is particularly obligatory — is at current there are not any “undo/redo” choices for quick errors you would possibly make whereas modifying throughout the app. The devices are there, nevertheless they merely do not work in its current launch. They’re actually greyed out and unavailable to be used. For many who make a mistake (similar to the retouching brush above), the one choice to undo it is to revert to the “genuine value” on that particular person edit.

That is irritating and problematic, nonetheless, there is a small silver lining to this disadvantage: Each reversion to the distinctive state is instrument/half explicit. So while you make a mistake with the retouching brush and revert it once more, it solely erases the modifications made in that a part of your edit. The similar applies to 1 one other instrument and half throughout the software program.

Whereas it’s clearly a difficulty to not have the flexibility to step forward and backward in your edits, the good news will not be lower than not all of the issues might be misplaced should you make a mistake and want to backtrack alongside one of the simplest ways.

A Good Start That Will Solely Get Better

There’s lots to like proper right here, and because it offers good processing of Nikon RAWs it is easy to counsel for Nikon shooters even with the bugs and errors I encountered. The Nikon workforce suggested me that every digital digicam they launch will in all probability be supported, (immediately), with this software program. Whereas they couldn’t affirm with me any type of substitute or enchancment cycle for it, we are going to possibly assume that as new cameras are launched, the NX Studio software program will get not lower than a minor substitute to associate with it. With that in ideas, there should be no interruption in your workflow while you resolve to be an early adopter for any new Nikon cameras that hit the market.

Image edited in Nikon NX Studio

Are There Choices?

As you may even see from this list, there are numerous completely different free (or moderately priced) RAW processing functions in the marketplace. Nonetheless, while you’re a Nikon shooter, the NX Studio software program is constructed to provide primarily essentially the most reliable illustration of coloration and readability from a Nikon digicam that you could be in all probability get. Completely free software program program, that’s laborious to beat.

Must You Buy It?

Properly, it’s free, so while you’re a Nikon shooter, certain. There is not a hazard and, due to this, there’ll in all probability be no purchaser’s remorse with this software program program. Nikon NX Studio, whereas at current not glorious, is solely going to get greater and further sturdy with age.

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