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NX2 or CS3 or Both?

Discussion in 'Retouching and Post Processing' started by Jason, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. Jason


    Aug 15, 2008
    St. Louis, MO
    I am learning slowly but surely on PP. I have been thinking about NX2 but also CS3. I have read on this fine forum that one software does things better than the other on some things. So with that said, is it wise to buy both or would one do the processing needed? NX2 is cheaper...but in no way do I mean to infer its inferior, I am no authority on either. I have limited experience with Capture NX (my trail just ran out today), and have got to play with CS2 on my brothers system. I am willing to purchase both if the end product will be better (dependent on my knowledge of the software). I would appreciate any feedback on this. Thanks in advance.
  2. AgilityIG


    May 13, 2008
    Others will probably have more to say, but my vote is both. Both programs are fantastic, but are two different critters :biggrin:. I use NX (I need to update to 2) to process my raw files and then use CS3 for "fixing" things or doing storyboards, text, etc...
  3. That sounds about right Marsha, two different beasts. PSCS3 is a pixel editing programme mainly and raw processors like NX2 or Lightroom aren't, they are raw processors first and foremost.
    For interoperability I believe that a LR/PS combination would work best.
  4. This I didn't know! So for a rookie, what's it mean if I used say, CS2 for a RAW NEF and save as jpeg? Is it not going to be as good of quality? Or will it be such a small difference that I won't be able to tell?
  5. John, what I was meaning is that PS is primarily designed to work with changing pixels. To save your work when finished will generally not allow for going backwards as all alterations are written to the file in some form or another. PS uses ACR to covert raw (NEF) files for use.
    LR uses the same processing/converting engine to render the raw files. However as LR is a database, all alterations are just sets of instructions stored in the database (or in the header part of jpeg/tiff/DNG files) and the only time they are actually applied to the file is upon export when another copy/iteration of the file is made.
    Jpeg files are always of less quality than raw files but the difference can be small and unnoticable. Each time a jpeg is opened and saved it is rewritten and this causes further deterioration which is cumulative.

    Hope that helps.....:smile:
  6. Gaius


    Jul 1, 2008
    Photo Editing Options


    NX2 offers great raw conversions for NEF files and the color and selection control points are a very intuitive way to perform local adjustments. Many of us are finding that we can do most of what we need in NX and have to go outside only for specific needs such as a clone tool which is missing in NX2.

    For my needs, I use Neat Image for noise reduction which, by my tests, is far better at removing noise and retaining image detail than the NR in NX2. For cloning, compositing or stacking multiple images, difficult color balance or color correction problems, I use Picture Window Pro. PWP also has an extensive set of masking tools not found in NX2.

    The downsides of Photoshop are the expense and the substantial learning curve. Another option for a supplementary editor might be Paint Shop Pro although I don't use it myself.

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2008
  7. I think the combination of NX2 and CS3 is hard to beat. I do all of my major processing (exposure, curves,sharpness, etc) in NX2 because I really find that NX(2) handles the Nikon NEFs more accurately. Then, if needed, load it into CS3 for cloning and other touch-ups where layers come in handy.

    For times that I need some NR, I use the Pro plug-in of Noiseware for CS3.
  8. pirahnah3


    Feb 22, 2008
    i personally dont work in raw just yet but from what i have messed with slightly is that i would use both if yo uhave the malready. use NX for the raw transfer if you have it and hen edit in CS3 if you dont have capture the plugin for CS3 is supposed to be decent.
  9. Here's another vote for both.

    I do most of my work in NX2, then save as tiff.

    I'll use PS for things like ptlens, skew, crop, resizing (basically, all the geometric stuff), and then convert into jpeg.
  10. avyoung


    Dec 17, 2007
    Hi Rich, I used to think the same way, but did you know that you can load camera profiles into Raw to closely emulate the nikon picture controls? I don't even use Capture NX now.Just a note, that CS4 release announcement is coming Sept 23!

    The camera profiles are still in the development phase and found under their beta program...but don't let that scare you; they work great!
    Go to this page: http://labs.adobe.com/wiki/index.php/DNG_Profiles
    Here is a quote from the page:

    Camera Profiles and DNG Profile EditorThis page is maintained by the Camera Raw engineering team.

    Last updated: August 4, 2008


    We have been actively working on improving color rendering for digital raw photographs. Our new color rendering package contains the following components:

    the DNG 1.2 specification, which expands and formalizes the concept of a color profile for raw (i.e., scene-referred) image data captured by digital sensors,
    Adobe Standard camera profiles that significantly improve color rendering, especially in reds, yellows, and oranges,
    Camera Matching profiles that match the camera manufacturers' color appearance,
    DNG Profile Editor, a free software utility for editing camera profiles, and
    this web page, designed to help photographers get the most out of the new camera profiles and the DNG Profile Editor.


    Public Beta
    The new camera profiles and DNG Profile Editor are being initially distributed online in public beta form. This public beta gives photographers the opportunity to try these new tools and provide feedback before we finalize them.


    The new Adobe Standard and Camera Matching camera profiles require Camera Raw 4.5 / Lightroom 2.0 or later. In general, they can be used in any raw converter that supports DNG 1.2.

    These camera profiles will NOT work correctly with earlier versions of Camera Raw (i.e., 4.4.1 and earlier) and Lightroom (i.e., LR 2 public beta, 1.4.1 and earlier). These earlier versions do not support DNG 1.2. In particular, please note that the new profiles will NOT work correctly with the public beta of Lightroom 2. Only the release version of Lightroom 2 will load and process the new profiles properly.

    The DNG Profile Editor's basic system requirements (i.e., CPU, operating system, and memory) are the same as Lightroom's requirements, described here.

  11. Wow, thanks for the heads up. I will give these a try.
  12. avyoung


    Dec 17, 2007
    Let me know how you like them! I think most people are gear oriented and haven't noticed this great addition to Adobe Raw 4.x! This has changed my work flow!
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