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Discussion in 'Retouching and Post Processing' started by caero, Dec 31, 2005.
So which one (or combination of more than one) is your favourite?
And most importantly, why?
I'll go first
I am a bit undecided. I voted both for RawMagick and Rawshooter. I like the final renderings RawMagick does, it is very powerful. But I really like the GUI and workflow of RawShooter a lot more. It is way more intuitive.
Since RawMagick is stil in beta, hopefully they (Illiah and Peter) can still freshen up the GUI a bit more to allow for a more intuitive workflow.
I like using Capture one most, it's such a great program to use, interface, stability, speed, and the images are sooooo crisp when processing my D70 files. I also like the way it keeps all the noise and detail, even at ISO 1600, instead of taking a much blouchier appearance like they do from nikon capture.
ACR Color accuracy
My experience is confined to Nikon Capture and ACR. Of these two, I prefer ACR (I'm using v 3.3 which I believe is still beta) for the speed,integration with CS2, and highlight recovery(although NC's latest release is greatly improved in that regard).
Many people whose opinions I respect swear by NC, mostly because of color rendering. However, I've tweaked the defaults in ACR to improve color accuracy. To check this, I converted the same NEF of a Gretag-Macbeth color checker using both NC and ACR and opened each in Photoshop to measure the RGB values of each panel. For almost every color on the color checker, the ACR conversion yielded numeric RGB values as close or closer to the values published by Gretag-Macbeth, confirming my subjective evaluation. Neither converter yielded perfect color values, but ACR was at least as good as NC.
Maybe I've used NC way too long, but I find it very easy and accurate. I've tried most of the others, and still prefer NC. It keeps getting better with every rev..
I love both NC and ACR. NC is definitely getting faster, and with my firewall off and internet disconnected it runs faster.
ACR is also good. I run direct from Bridge to save time. But ACR can't yet support my D200 and worst of all, it probably won't know the embedded High ISO NR settings and therefore will not apply them. I don't want to have to have a preset for each ISO or manually adjust for every single shot and then have to tweak. I prefer shooting, getting it, then tweaking from there.
ACR. Best workflow integration for those who do heavy editing on their images; also the fastest.
I also sometimes use RawShooter Essentials - that's almost as fast, has better NR tools, and above all, has absolutely amazing highlight recovery - I've had as much as three stops!
I like the workflow of ACR but Nikon Capture is on the cusp of a makeover and I have and use NC on occassion just to stay sharp on it. I will be interested in the next version, I assume it will be called 5.0 and likely will involve another $100 upgrade fee.
I voted NC.. I fully agree with Randy. My usage was transformed by the education I've had from Ron Reznick's book
Not again :>)))
NC, ACR, Bibble.
I'll stick with Nikon Capture. Improvements have been excellent and I find it easy to use.
There is a very important reason that I voted for Nikon Capture!
I have it.
I gave up on the Nikon apps, too slow, memory hogs.
ACR is fine for a one stop workflow, especailly if you calibrate it for your particular camera.
Raw Magick is harder to use than anything I have ever tried, I gave up on it a long time ago.
RawShooter is the fastest, easiest to use, and yields output good enough that I do not have the desire to experiment with other processors any more.
When the picture matters, RawMagick - and Nikon - matter.
nikon capture for me. i'm used to the interface and the features. adobe doesn't give me the control i need, plus i have to run adobe itself to do batch processing.i tried bibble back in the days and it wasn't as good as capture.
ACR, NC. in that order is my preference. Workflow from bridge and acr is so smooth and fast AND accurate.
I like RSP for its workflow. I think it is pretty good and really like the fact that I can view and convert a bunch of RAW photos very quickly. This has proved to be a very convenient and time saving process for me anyway.
I also NC.
I have downloaded and looked at many of the RAW converters. And perhaps there are others that are better than NC and RSP but, I have now decided to use NC and RSP as my 2 RAW Conversion/Process tools.
Waiting to see what the new NC will bring too.
Oh yeah, Bibble is pretty cool too! But, I just have not used it to much yet.
Funny, I just spent a few days revisiting Capture, and wrote up this summary to post here and that other place. I noticed this thread on the topic, and thought this would be the appropriate place to post it...
Sorry to beat the dead horse even more. I was using Photoshop CS2 and ACR for my D70 and D2X NEF files, but have recently been playing around more with Nikon Capture.
I had given up on Capture because of the poor performance, but with the 4.4 version (and an upgrade to 2GB already installed to run CS2) performance is much improved, so I have been giving it a second look.
Overall, Capture seems to do a better conversion in terms of color, contrast, and sharpness than ACR. Here's a summary of my impressions...
- Advanced Raw dialog settings match camera settings, and "as shot" settings are automatically applied when you open the file. If you have those right, sometimes little or no adjustment is necessary. EV, sharpening, "tone" (contrast) and saturation adjustments made here seem more subtle, give pleasing results, and seem less "destructive" than ACR. It is also a good learning tool to help better understand the in-camera settings and how to use them.
- White Balance settings match the camera settings, and seem to give better results and are easier to adjust.
- D-Lighting seems to work better and give more natural results for bringing out shadow detail than PS's "highlights/shadows" adjustment (although D-Lighting's highlight adjustments do no appear to have much affect at all).
- The LCH editor is similar to Photoshop's curves adjustment, but seems less "destructive" and gives smoother, more pleasing results.
- Capture's noise reduction seems better than PS's, giving "smoother" results without as much loss in detail, and can be used more aggressively if necessary.
- Capture's "straightening" tool (although hidden under "rotate") is easier and more intuitive than the Photoshop ruler and rotate arbitrary method (which I would never have known how to use without reading about it somewhere).
- Capture can save NEFs with your adjustments, but adjustments can be changed or undone.
- Much more streamlined workflow than using Capture then saving TIFF and opening with Photoshop, or opening directly to Photoshop (which is really slow and doesn't even pass the file name).
- Photoshop's crop tool is more inituitive and far easier to use than Capture's. (Although, Capture has an advantage of saving the crop without physically changing the file.)
- Photoshop's Unsharp Mask and Smart Sharpening are superior (if needed) than Capture's USM tool, which seems "harsh". (Although, changing the sharpening "pre-set" on Capture's Advanced Raw dialog is usually all you need and gives better results than PS or Capture's USM unless the photo is simply out of focus or has motion blur.)
- Photoshop has more options and better control for converting to other formats, especially JPEG.
- Photoshop has superior color management that is easier to understand and use.
- Photoshop has superior printing capabilities. (Although I haven't really given Capture much of an opportunity because I don't understand its color management at all.)
- Photoshop is a conversion AND editing tool for converting and cleaning up phtos and applying "creative" filters and effects. Capture has limited to no editing capabilities compared to Photoshop. Photoshop and the latest version of Photoshop Elements have everything you need in one tool. With Capture, you will need additional tools for editing, and in my opinion, printing.
Even with Photoshop's advantages, the end result is the main thing. I'm no expert, but I think I'm seeing better results using Capture for the raw conversion step. As for performance, one thing I've found is if you turn off any D-Lighting adjustments temporarily (or make them last), other adjustments (except HQ Noise Reduction) are applied quickly and screen repaints aren't that slow. Also, if you are going to use Capture USM or Photoshop's sharpening tools, you get better restuls if you set Sharpening to "none" in Capture's Advanced RAW dialog first.
Rawmagick is the best for image quality and detail. I own or tried them all. Its not the fastest or the slickest GUI (yet:wink: ) but it can't be beat where it counts the most. IMO
I have Capture 4.4 and CS. My experience with D70 files is that I liked the workflow and speed of Raw Shooters Premium. Hopefully, they will have D200 capability soon. I plan on upgrading to CS2. Then, I will revisit my preferences among RSP, NC, and ACR. I understand that the workflow in CS2 ACR is very good. I have heard that any in camera noise reduction is lost unless I use NC. Is this true?