It's coming up to that time of year again and to make matters worse, dA have hiked the price of super groups up to $59 or £35 in English. Progress is better than ever this year and are 2/3 of the way to our target, thank you! We put allot of our own time and money into this group, to make your experience better. So anything you can give would be much appreciated by us and all of our members.
To show our appreciation, any member who donates will be part of a special Christmas feature as in previous years with the addition of social media recognition this year!
To donate head on over to the group daddies page in-my-viewfinder
and click on the donation widget that is located to right of the page.
Many thanks in advance.in-my-viewfinder
The number of Nikkor lenses built has surpassed 90 million!
By my logic this means you can now go out and buy more lenses as there are so many out there you should own more.
Read more on the Nikon blogin-my-viewfinder
In our last tutorial
we came to the conclusion that, on paper, there is a great deal of difference between the various quality settings for image quality bar image file size and the scope of what you can edit. The fundamental quality of an image, right down to jpeg basic was still very high but what we didn't do was really look at where the quality was lost and what we lost.
This month we aim to look deeper into this and give examples, wherever possible, to make this clearer.DigitalReel
has highlighted an already very good image comparison on a German website that you can view here
. This builds on what we already thought, that there isn't allot of difference between the image qualities bar size apart. What this does better highlight is areas of loss in very low contrast either in highlights or as we already assumed, shadow. in-my-viewfinder
How you process your RAW
Through discussion on last months journal
it became clear that we needed to discuss what you do with RAW more. It stands to reason that when you edit and convert a RAW image to something more usable like a jpeg some software will do a better job than others. Most of us will use the codec added to Photoshop or use View NX but there are many others and we could be missing a trick here.Peeshan
has taken the time to describe his experience with various RAW decoding software and what experiences he has had with it.
One of the open-source solution, in particular the last version is very impressive.
He reccomends this software for peoples who like to experiment, however it's very slow in his experience. Peeshan
also adds that there is a DA group rawtherapee-users.deviantart.c…
. You can read more on this software and download it from the Rawtherapee websight
Capture NX-D (free, Nikon only):
This software is surprisingly fast for some reason, probably a better knowledge of their owns algorithms. The converted files looks sharpers than with RawTherapee. This may be because there is less tools and features (so less chances to screw up). It lacks a detail window but otherwise its minimalist features ensure a fast and efficient workflow and it's compatible with Nikon's picture control. I'd say it's for peoples who want to get the job of decoding done and finish the end image in post-processing.
Capture NX-2 (Costs monies, Nikon only):
As mentioned by Peeshan Capture NX-D
is free but Nikon also makes Capture NX2
which offers a different interface and some more advanced features. Nikon
does go to the trouble of picking out the differences for users who want to know what they stand to gain will get which is nice. One very neat trick that Peeshan
points out is that when you delete the RAW image whilst using View NX the associalted Jpeg is also removed when you have shot with RAW+Jpg.
's view, View NX, gimp or Photoshop plugins are a waste of time, if you bothered to shoot raw in the first place it's worth using a dedicated software that give you more options. He hasn't tried Adobe Lightroom (not-free, logical choice for people who like to spend money but don't trust manufacturer's software ) so can't tell us about it.
To put in in-my-viewfinder
's ten pence worth; Adobe Photoshop and Bridge are the best all round system for image viewing and editing, especially when using RAW when compared against the earlier versions of Capture NX 2. But this doesn't necessarily mean it is the best for RAW editing nor the best for you. It's all about trying things out. This is where the trial versions come in handy although it is hard to really settle with a piece of software in this time. Also Gimp is perfectly okay for free. It has all the editing power of Photoshop CS2 and it didn't cost you anything!TomGarot
decided to go for Adobe Lightroom
. He has been using it for a while now and really like it. It doesn't have as many options as other programs, but there is still everything for your retouching/processing needs. Heavy editing or photomanipulations are basically not possible, but that's what Photoshop is for anyways.
The slimmed-down features are also what makes the workflow in Lightroom a real delight. Everything seems just faster, easier and more neat. The library- and organization-tools may not be useful for everyone and can be found in View NX2 in similar manner, but they are still great for those of us who shoot a lot. To help you concentrate on shooting rather than spending all your money as Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5
is only £99.99 which is a fair bit cheaper that Photoshop to so if you like your software streamlined then this can be a nice option. Alternatively it is yours to use for a month for only $9.99 and then the next month its just $9.99 again and so on. Or (Yes more options) $29.99 with Photoshop and Muse should you want that. Note seamless movement between currencies due to blatant laziness on :devin-my-viewfinders: part.JestePhotography
is also a big fan of Lightroom and still uses it for culling images however for final RAW processing he has recently switched to Phase One - Capture One Pro 8
. Although he is still learning the software, he is really impressed with its ability to bring up shadows and recover highlights. It also has the ability to change white balance on separate layers.
Right out of the box its sharpen and noise reduction is really effective. Clarity has 4 different options as well.
The big clincher for JestePhotography
was it recognizes what camera you shot your RAW files with and optimizes the output based on that camera profile. A pretty cool feature could help common issues found with some cameras.
It is a serious bit of pro software and worth every penny.
Back to Peeshan
who thinks it could also be worth mentioning that there are a lot of online converters. An example of which is pics.io for Chrome
. The feature are more simple than more traditional software it can be useful if you find yourself with NEF files on a company or other kind of public computer with limited rights to software managements. Another advantage is that you can make better use of storage space on devices with limited storage space like laptops and tablets. The later of which may not have USB ports needed for external hard drives necessitating wireless media storage when onboard storage gets tight.
Other paid for and open source software is also out there in the form of Light zone
, Dark Table
and Raw studio
to mention a few. All of which look slick but as yet untouched by any of us so please, if you have any experience with these or others then please write in like Peeshan
Contributions by Peeshan
edited by in-my-viewfinder
Review: To squeeze or not to squeeze
Last months poll
brought up some great debate and insight into image format choices as related to the same months Journal
As for the raw+jpg option on Nikon's camera (at least some of them) I like it because it save time for certain pictures that don't need lot of post-processing and can be edited directly from jpg (a probably unpopular way of working, but adapted to the use 90% of us have for our photos) and it shows in normal windows explorer folders but still have the NEF file as back up, if there is some heavier correction to be done and to archive for possible later use. If your camera has two memory card slots, I'd suggest making use of the "Raw in slot one, Jpg in slot 2 " option. Momenti-Photo
Chooses jpeg to maximize her limited computer storage space although she would like to use RAW more in the future.
points out that with a sufficient amount of storage why worry about compression?
Unless your prone to filling up that camera buffer and aren't in the habit of keeping thousands and thousands of images then why not indeed?in-my-viewfinder