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Capture NX vs Lightroom

Discussion in 'Nikon Capture and View NX' started by vettenut, Jul 4, 2007.

  1. vettenut


    Feb 27, 2006
    Tolland CT
    I just recently updated Capture NX to it's latest version and recently purchased and updated lightroom to Ver 1.1. I have shot about 300-400 pictures in RAW format and it appears to me the Raw processing in NX is far superior to Lightroom. The colors are significantly more intense in Capture NX (Like comparing Vivid to Normal with the camera settings). In addition even though Lightroom 1.1 was supposed to have improved sharpening you could have fooled me, the sharpening in Capture NX is far superior (in my opinion). Now I'm not sure what to do, I can adjust my color, white balance etc. equally as well with either program but obviously the file management and rating system is great in lightroombut the colors I don't feel are accurate and the sharpness stinks. I just think if I adjust a photo in Capture NX and the same photo in lightroom and print them both out that NX will look better. Also JPEG's also look better in NX as well. Any other opinions??? A slightly dissapointed lightroom user. - Jeff

    P.S. Haven't posted in a while due to computer problems, still having some issues but can a least do some work now and post again.:smile:
  2. I understand your dilemma, but I have decided to stick with NX. It is just better period. I have iView media pro that is my main program where from it I go to NX or PS and thats it, until someone can show me a program that works better than NX without going through a lot of fiddling. I am getting great results, so I have decided to stop struggling with the issue, relax and take pics.

    Just my thoughts
  3. Jeff, sorry to hear of your disappointment, I am printing off 6 x A3+ prints on my Epson printer as I type and I have to say they are the best I have achieved - done in LR from D200 files.
    Hope you find the solution that you want.
  4. JMontes


    Jun 22, 2007
    Edgartown, MA
    Jeff, I didn't realize this until I read about it on another forum. What was stated was that NX will apply the camera settings to the NEF upon import. I opened the same NEF file in NX and LR to compare (side by side). Sure enough, LR made the file look "blah", for lack of better words. It comes in looking just like the JPG does in NX (vivid and sharp). I see the need for less editing using NX, so that is now the program I use. What I am contemplating LR for is cataloging and organizing photos. I know there are a handful of decent ones out there, I just need to find one that fits my needs.
  5. Ghunger


    Apr 2, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    I used the free trial for both programs and having NX import the camera setting for the photo was nice it was just sooooo slow. I ended up buying LR and have some presets I use quite often now that make getting to the same quality as NX easy plus I'm almost fanatical about keeping things organized so LR was the clear winner there for me also.

    Like I said though, the biggest selling point was speed. My computer isn't exactly new and opening a RAW file from my D80 took long enough I'd start to open them and then just go watch TV while I waited. With LR I have it import, backup, apply keywords, and create previews for all my photos at once. I can leave it for a while and when I come back I can review cull and edit my photos pretty easily.

    Just another perspective.
  6. If I'm not mistaken, LR can be set-up to make changes to raw files on import. Same as NX.

  7. vadimg


    May 23, 2007
    ny, ny
    Are you sure about this? I was under the impression that only Nikon's software could read and apply the camera settings from the NEF file. Hopefully I'm wrong though.
  8. The difference is that NX uses the in-camera settings, while Lr ignores them except for the WB. Lr will allow you to run a preset on import, but not based on the camera settings (except for the ISO and camera SN if you have set up Lr to do this).

    With respect to the OP:

    If you are getting blah files in Lr then you are doing something wrong. I use both Lr and NC/NX extensively and do not encounter this, although NX does have a propensity to over saturate IMO. It all comes down to your own preferences. I find the colours out of Lr to be more realistic, and Lr easier to make adjustments.

    Also, if you are having problems with sharpening in Lr then you must be using V1.0 (rereading your post I see you are using 1.1). This was a common complaint, and has been rectified in v1.1, which has excellent capture sharpening. You must be doing something wrong...

    Anyway, both programs have their pros and cons, so play with them both and decide, or use both. But make sure you are using the tools correctly before deciding...

    If you can get the quality and look you need out of Lr then the ergonomics and workflow will simply blow NX out of the water.

  9. stefan_elf


    Jul 18, 2007
    Well I cannot say I've used NX extensively, but Lightroom has simply blown me away! I normally don't import an awful lot of photos at once, but when I do it's so handy to get the settings right for the first picture and then just click 'Synchronize' for entire folder and then all the pictures will be affected by these correct settings for saturation etc. This way I'm always in control, and I'm not relying on software to make decisions for me with regard to colours. If the pictures contain a wide dynamic range it would be all too easy to have areas of overexposure if you crank up the saturation too far. Lightroom has saved many a 'borderline' shot for me.
    When it comes to sharpening and noise reduction, the new update to Lightroom (1.1) has shown itself far superior to the first version - that was my only gripe with 1.0 when I bought it.
    Apart from all of that, the superior organisation in Lightroom tipped the balance for me, but that's already covered in this thread...
    I've been loyal to all things Nikon so far, and Lightroom has been the only exception - but then Nikon make photographic equipment, not software!
  10. Just to clarify, NX uses the settings from cameras and that is Nikons proprietary information. LR uses ACR and most users set up a preset, which I have done, and achieve great results. They are not the same as NX just different.
  11. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    I agree with Rory. Some people will like the fact that NX uses the in-camera settings, but personally I couldn't care less about this. The last thing I want to do while out in the field shooting is have to twiddle around with in-camera settings for things like tone curve, saturation, sharpness, etc. That's a big part of why I'm shooting raw!

    That said, the defaults in ACR (which is what Lightroom is using under the hood), are pretty conservative, especially with regard to contrast and saturation. Capture/CaptureNX tend to produce files that have more punch and saturation, but I think they go too far and are not terribly realistic or accurate. I'd rather use the more conservative starting point of an ACR-processed file, but then again I tend to post-process every shot in Photoshop.

    If you want punchier-looking pictures, you can always change the defaults in LR. Try increasing the contrast and vibrance settings, and maybe the shadows slider, to get something more to your liking and then save those settings as your default. Or as other users have mentioned, you can create presets which can be batch applied during import (or on a selective basis later).
  12. vettenut


    Feb 27, 2006
    Tolland CT
    Thanks for all the replies, I have been out of touch for a while due to continuing computer issues and doing a friends wedding 2 weeks ago and attending another this past weekend. I will not argue with anyone that lightroom blows away Capture NX relative to file management, that is a given but I have yet to reproduce the initial effect I get in NX after importing, although I will continue to try. Regarding sharpening, in NX I typically set Intensity between 20 - 25; Radius between 8 - 15 and threshold to Zero. In lighroom I have taken all the on-line tutorials and they seem to recommend Detail from 0- 50; Radius of 1 and Amount between 0 - 50.

    I can see the sharpening effect in Capture without zooming in on a small portion of the image, in Lightroom I only see significant changes when zoomed in and using extreme settings. My photo when viewed on- camera matches what I get on import in NX but not in Lightroom as some have mentioned (ACR settings). Some have told me they had to make adjustments to their monitor calibration when using Adobe products, any comments?

    For now I import into NX and if I convert to Tiff or Jpeg, I then organize these files in lightroom. I'll keep on plugging away. One last thing I noticed if you use the Healing function in lightroom and display the image in NX everything is O.K. but if you open the file in Windows Picture & Fax viewer sometimes the healed areas do not show up. - Jeff
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 31, 2007
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