Part 2 Rod Lawton makes simple changes, and locates NX-D’s ‘sidecar’ files
Take your first steps in adjusting images with Nikon Capture NX-D, and discover how and where it stores your ‘sidecar’ files
Nikon’s own software has one big advantage over third-party RAW converters like Adobe Camera Raw: it offers exactly the same settings as you find on the camera itself. Adobe has its own ideas about how your Nikon NEF files should look, but Capture NX-D can replicate your Nikon’s White Balance settings and Picture Controls exactly.
The walkthrough opposite shows how this works. The important thing to remember with Capture NX-D is that these adjustments are ‘virtual’. If you make adjustments to NEF files in Nikon ViewNX 2 or Capture NX2, these adjustments are written back into the NEF file, but Capture NX-D stores the adjustments separately.
This is the modern way of doing things. RAW files should be left untouched, and Nikon’s old practice of modifying them directly could, in theory, cause problems if you wanted to use other RAW converters later. At the very least, the adjustments added to NEF files in ViewNX 2 or Capture NX2 will be invisible to other programs.
Capture NX-D stores its adjustments in separate ‘sidecar’ files. It does this automatically when you make changes to an image, then looks up the sidecar file later on when you go back to look at the picture again. These adjustments are ‘non-destructive’. The NEF file is never changed, and the adjustments are simply processing instructions which can be altered at any time.
Real versus virtual
The the most important thing to remember is that if you want a processed version of the picture that another program can open or display, you need to convert your NEF file into a JPEG or a TIFF file. Until then, your adjustments exist only within Nikon Capture NX-D’s sidecar files.
BEFORE Our original RAW image of Hollie looks rather cold
AFTER A couple of quick adjustments makes all the difference