For my German speaking readers: Das ist die englische Version von Warum sich Nikon Capture NX-D nicht lohnt.
Google bought Nik Software, and therefore it was only a matter of time before Nikon had to replace their RAW-Tool. A few days ago Nikon released Capture NX-D, a free tool to postprocess the raw-files of their own cameras. I’ve already taken a look at Capture NX-D during the beta-phase and – as an owner of Capture NX2 – I was disappointed, because in Nikon’s press release (here) they said NX-D is the replacement for NX2:
„Capture NX-D is a free software application that will replace the current Capture NX 2 application.“
Consequently my expectations were very high. And what do you get? A reduced version of SilkyPix, as NikonRumors has detected. Thats nothing more than other camera manufacturers give away. Thats not bad at all, but definitely no replacement for Capture NX2.
Download and installation was smooth on my Mac. After starting NX-D, I couldn’t prevent some kind of disillusionment. The program appears very tidy, but that’s no surprise, if you take a look at these huge number of tools and sliders. If you own SilkyPix you’ll instantly feel at home with NX-D.
I discovered one speciality: You could configure the Active D-Lightning. Active D-Lightning is a technique in Nikon cameras, to reduce loss of details in very bright or dark areas during the shot. You could do the same within Lightroom with the highlights and shadows sliders or the tone curve. Naturally NX-D could display the focus point (this is a function I’m not sure if I miss it in Lightroom or not).
Apart from that you’ll find the typical tools: Exposure compensation, White balance, Straighten, Crop etc. There is no possibility for local corrections. The well known U-Points from NX2 (some kind of area-mask-selection) are missing totally. They’re in the Nik Collection by Google only.
There is a simple tool for lens correction. Unfortunately you have to use it manually and it is extremely slow. I moved the slider and nothing happened for a few seconds (not even the slider moved), except my CPU usage goes up like a rocket (in a I7 with 8GB ram). And – believe it or not – there are NO predefined profiles for Nikon lenses!
One funny thing: The „open with“ function has detected my installed Capure NX2. Some kind of a sign?
The next thing I have to criticize is the localization, because it doesn’t exist. Normally it doesn’t matter, but if you select „German“ as language and region for download, you expect a German version of the program.
As free extra to a Nikon cam Capture NX-D is ok. But as replacement for Capture NX2, like it was announced by Nikon in February 2014, it is a total failure. Once NX-D is available, Nikon won’t update or support Capture NX2 anymore. The D810 is the first camera with no support in NX2.
The expectations on Capture NX-D were very high, the disappointment is now even bigger. If you’re using NX2, you have to search for another program.
If you want to test Capture NX-D for yourself, you could download it here, but I cannot recommend it anyway.