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Which RAW converter?

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by Pa, May 14, 2005.

  1. I have had the D70 only since April 4, so my experience with RAW is pretty minimal. I'm still trying to settle on software for RAW conversion/postprocessing, and I'd like some advice from those with more experience.

    Choices are between Rawshooter (FREE), PSCS2 ($123 to me as a faculty member), Nikon Capture ($99).

    I've tried RS and found it quite straightforward to use, but limited in capability. I've also tried NC, but found the learning curve steep. I have PS 7.01, but it has no RAW conversion capability.

    Any consensus choice out there in Nikon land ?

    Thanks for your help!
  2. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Nikon capture, I can't really do with out that. PSCS2 I use also...

    Depends on the image.

    I am not as adept as some.

    RML is probably the best. See Iliah about that.

    And Ron Reznick e-book for processing. That one is a bit beyond me still.

    I guess I would use RRS once in a great while. It is very easy and maybe a good place to start to get the hang of things.

    However I really am not sold on it.

    I have been using Nikon capture and CS for over a year and don't even know all the ins and outs of it.

    So much to learn so little time.

    You will get the hang of it.
  3. GeneR

    GeneR Guest

    I've tried a bunch of them and have settled into using Nikon Capture most of the time. However, before I started shooting RAW, I used and really liked Paint Shop Pro by Jasc. It is a fairly full featured program and it is reasonably priced. At the time I started shooting RAW, it did not support the format. The newest version of PSP does support RAW, and is fairly easy to use for batch processing and has a decent noise removel function as well. There is a 30 days free trial (at least there was when I tried it) and if you think Capture has a difficult learning curve, you might like Paint Shop Pro better. You should at least give the free trial a shot. I still use PSP 8 for crops to preset sizes and resizing.

  4. GeneR

    GeneR Guest

    I should have also mentioned that Ron Reznick's ebook helped me get more efficient in Capture. The only negative about that ebook is that it costs nearly as much as Capture. It is a good read, and in fact is something that I should read over on a regular basis.

  5. Thanks for all of your comments.

    Has anyone else tried Rawshooter Essentials?

    I have looked into Ron Reznick's e-book and I'm tempted. Does he specialize his discussion on one piece of software? I am daunted by the price, however. The folks at Digital Grin convinced me I should buy Thom Hogan's book on the D70. After plunking down the $35, I read through it once and haven't opened it since. Learned a few things, but most I had already learned from the manual and experimenting.

    Gale, what are "RML" and "RRS"? Sorry, I'm not up on all the abbreviations!
  6. bpetterson

    bpetterson Guest

    You did not say what photo experience you have.
    So excuse me if what I say is too basic.

    PS 7.01 is just fine.
    Just shoot jpg and forget about raw for a while or forever.

    Nikon Capture is the best overall. You can use it somewhat with jpg's.
    Nikon Capture is liking to learn how to fly.
    The hardest thing to learn, but the easiest thing to do.

    If you like you can install Nikon View- and- that will install a plugin
    in PS 7.01 so you can read raw files in PS 7.01.

    JPG's are just fine. Enjoy your camera and post some of your handiwork.

  7. Ken-L

    Ken-L Guest

    Nikon Capture.

    NC displays your RAW/NEF photos with all your camera settings and curve if used, in effect. That's a big plus and really reduces the amount of post-processing.

    NC is also needed to load a curve, so either way I find it a necessity.
  8. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    Yes, Ron's book focuses on Nikon Capture, but he also put in some Photoshop information. RML = Raw Magick Lite and RRS is the Really Right Stuff brand.

    Nice price on Photoshop though, and you may come to realize that you will need it too.
  9. Thanks to all for your suggestions and coaching. I still have 2 weeks left in my 30-day free trial of NC, so I guess I'll work with it some more.
  10. heiko


    May 15, 2005
    Hi Pa,

    Nikon Capture is somewhat awkward in many ways, but once you get the feel for it it does deliver. I only shoot RAW, as this is the only way to fix and fine-tune things afterwards, if needed. NC is a bit on the slow side, however.

    I also use NikonView for image review and handling - it's quite useful at that. NikonView (at least my version from 1/2 year ago) has some bugs, though. If your PC slows down, delete the tmp files NikonView produces and sometimes doesn't delete (they can fill up gigs of harddisk).

    There is guy called Dave Coffin who wrote a free RAW converter, which also supports NEF. I've heard that this software is the basis of many third-party converters. While the dcraw converter from Dave does some things better than NC, I found some problem with highlights. Perhaps I haven't used it with the right settings (somehow difficult to figure out).

    In any case, NC is probably the best way to go, IMHO. Make sure you have the new 4.2 version (which you should, when you downloaded it recently).

    Regarding PS, check for a RAW pluggin on their website. They should have one supporting NEF files.

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