Nikon Soft­ware

Part 2 Rod Law­ton makes sim­ple changes, and lo­cates NX-D’s ‘side­car’ files

NPhoto - - Contents -

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.

Side­car sense

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

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