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Thread: Nikon D5000 nef Digital Workflow

  1. #1

    Digital Workflow

    I see you have a Nikon D5000. How do you like it? We just bought the same camera last month. It was difficult deciding between the D5000 and the Canon T1i. I am just beginning to shoot in RAW (both JPG and RAW for the time being), so I'm still trying to figure things out. It sure has messed up my workflow using NEF files. Prior to shooting in RAW, I was using PSE6 for the Mac and i-Photo for organizing. The workflow was easy enough. Now I'm trying to figure out how to integrate Nikon's Capture NX2 and Lightroom 2 into my workflow. I'm currently only using the trial version of Lightroom2, but I much prefer it to NX2. I really hate the NX2 interface and there is no DAM, but I've read that you get much better results with that program, and it can read the in-camera settings. Any thoughts on this?

    I'm also getting ready to upgrade to PS Elements 8 as soon as it comes out for the Mac. Any suggestions as to how I might be able to integrate all four of these programs into my workflow for both RAW files and JPGS (NX2, Lightroom2, PS Elements 8, and i-Photo)?

    Ideally, I'd like to do everything from Lightroom2 using PS Elements for the big jobs, but I don't want to lose the benefits of NX2 if it really does a better job with NEF files. Also not sure how I can fit i-Photo into any of this or if there will even be a need for it if I use Lightroom2.

    Guess I probably should have started another post for this. Sorry, I'm new to the forum. Linda

    EDIT, no worries, moved it (oh, the power! )
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 2nd October 2009 at 07:55 PM. Reason: tweaked words to suit new thread

  2. #2
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    Re: Digital Workflow

    Hi Linda,

    I couldn't get my head around NX2 either!
    Shame, it looked promising in skilled hands (in videos).

    I was happy with my RAW workflow with ACR and PSE6 previously.

    Once Adobe released ACR 5.4 I could again work on RAWs (now nefs) with Adobe Camera Raw, then finish up in Elements. You too should be able to download ACR5.4 for your V6 of Elements.

    I do quite like the Nikon Transfer and ViewNX though, it allows me to import from memory card and store on PC, review and discard the 'softies' before I go near ACR+Elements.

    Actually having said I like them:
    Nikon Transfer can be slow though, it seems to slowly use up all the RAM then release it again, it ramps from 50% in use (of 2MB), all the way up to 99%, when it crawls along, then speeds up again as it falls back down to 40% by the time it has finished! Could have more to do with my Vista laptop than the s/w though.
    And now I think of it, ViewNX gets confused and displays incorrect thumbnails when I put Elements edited pictures back in the same folder!

    Therefore, I was thinking of giving LR2 a whirl, so let me know how you get on.

    Is Elements 8 out yet, I thought even Windows was still on V7?

    Cheers,

  3. #3

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    Re: Nikon D5000 nef Digital Workflow

    Hi Linda,

    Welcome to CiC

    I posted on a similar topic recently; a couple of thoughts that come to mind ...

    1. There are quite a few software packages available for image processing & management; I'm sure that from a technical point of view most would probably cover most of the things that most photographers need to do - however - if the interface is difficult or unintuative then of course it makes the job of using that package very difficult.

    Like them or not, Adobe products: Adobe Camera RAW (ACR), Photoshop (PS), Photoshop Elements (PSE), and Lightroom (LR or LR2) have captured the lions share of the market - which in turn means that there is a FAR greater number of resources (in the form of books, videos, community groups etc) available to help you get what you need out of them - which in turn means that as a result of this, more people use them. In other words they've achieved a certain "critical mass" that the others just don't have. I think that your case is typical of this; if for example you process your NEFs with ACR then there are many (including myself) who can help you with ANY aspect of it - stick with the likes of NX2 and your going to be spending a lot of time trying to find the help you need.

    2. The other (related) point I'd like to make is that often people will spend many hundreds (or many thousands) of dollars on bodies - lenses - filters - tripods - flashes - computers - printers - software ...

    ... and then fail to invest even $100 on good books that will help them get the most out of all these things. Adobe products are probably the best example of this; the "manuals" that come with the products are often not suitable for the faint hearted - almost by definition they HAVE to explain each and every tool (and there are many) and as a result the focus is on "what it can do" rather than on "how to do it" (they are getting better, but very VERY slowly). On a side note, a lot of people shy away from the likes of Photoshop because they feel that they're buying a lot of functionality that they'll never need - which is true - but I like to think of it as being like a well-equipped workshop; nothing says that you HAVE to use EVERY tool on EVERY project; what makes a project a lot easier is having ANY tool that you might need on ANY occasion readily available rather than finding you need something a little more advanced and not having it available ... but I digress ...

    ... Personally, I have over 40 books on Photoshop and general photography related topics - and they've proven to be a great investment. As much as we all love to help here, we're not professional writers, AND (unfortunately) we don't have the time or the space to write a book to reply to questions about RAW processing - but the good news is that professional writers HAVE written books on RAW processing - and on sharpening - and on colour correction - and basic image post-processing - and many many other topics from basic to advanced and nearly ALL of them are available for around $30 to $40 US dollars (and I'd be happy to recommend many for you). When you think about it it's FANTASTIC value.

    That's my 10c worth anyway

  4. #4

    Re: Digital Workflow

    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for moving my post to the appropriate spot.

    The PC version of PS Elements 8 was released this week and has some pretty exciting new features. Unfortunately, Mac users will have to wait another month, but at least both platforms will finally be using the same version number again. There is also a $20 rebate right now.

    I tried Nikon Transfer and NX View, but I much prefer using Adobe Bridge, which began shipping with PS Elements 6 for the Mac. This is the CS3 version of Photoshop's Bridge, and I really like it. You can import photos using the card reader, sort, cull, organize, batch rename, and add keywords and tags with several different nice workspace choices, as well as the ability to save your own workspace arranged the way you like it. PSE 8 will ship with the CS4 version of Photoshop's Bridge and is supposed to be even better. Windows users still get the Organizer, which from what I've read is similar to i-Photo.

    I love Lightroom2. Such a nice interface, and you can do so much with it, that you only occasionally even need Photoshop or Elements. It uses the same Adobe Camera Raw as PS Elements but the interface looks a LOT nicer. For some reason, RAW photos actually seem to look better to me, than when opened with other programs, but I keep reading that NX2 does a better job processing them. Haven't had a chance to test it for myself yet, but will post my results when I do. They have a free 60-day trial version, so you might want to give it a whirl!

    Thanks for your help, Linda

  5. #5

    Re: Nikon D5000 nef Digital Workflow

    Hi Collin,

    I agree with you. I have many different books and would never have gotten very far without them. I particularly like the Scott Kelby books for PS Elements and Lightroom2. Also find "The Missing Manual for PS Elements" (whatever version you are using) quite helpful. Have quite a few others as well (camera specific, techniques, etc.) but it's amazing how often I still can't find the answer to a particular question!

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    ... a lot of people shy away from the likes of Photoshop because they feel that they're buying a lot of functionality that they'll never need - which is true - but I like to think of it as being like a well-equipped workshop; nothing says that you HAVE to use EVERY tool on EVERY project; what makes a project a lot easier is having ANY tool that you might need on ANY occasion readily available rather than finding you need something a little more advanced and not having it available
    Too bad I didn't read this sooner. I just had an offer from Adobe to upgrade from PS Elements to CS4 for $199. That's only $100 more than the new version of PS Elements 8, and I wanted to go for it, but my husband didn't think I needed all the tools in Photoshop, said I would never use them. Urrrrgh! Linda

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    Re: Nikon D5000 nef Digital Workflow

    Quote Originally Posted by Durant Philosopher View Post
    Too bad I didn't read this sooner. I just had an offer from Adobe to upgrade from PS Elements to CS4 for $199. That's only $100 more than the new version of PS Elements 8, and I wanted to go for it, but my husband didn't think I needed all the tools in Photoshop, said I would never use them. Urrrrgh! Linda
    Arrrgh!

    For what it's worth, I've just upgrade to CS4 - total cost $1200 (NZ Dollars!). Is it an option for you to sell your PSE and still take Adobe up on their kind offer?

    On the other hand, PSE is still very capable - unfortunately I suspect that it just requires a different mindset to using it when compared to PS.

  7. #7

    Re: Nikon D5000 nef Digital Workflow

    I've never checked the exchange rate for NZ dollars, so I have no idea how expensive your purchase was. Upgrades to Photoshop aren't bad here. It's the initial purchase that's the killer! The special offer for CS4 that I mentioned ended two weeks ago unfortunately. I really do like the way PSE works though, and I think it has pretty much all of the tools I will ever need. Plus, I don't really have the time right now that would be required for learning a program like CS4. However, I may download the trial version someday if I ever have more time. Linda

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    Re: Nikon D5000 nef Digital Workflow

    Quote Originally Posted by Durant Philosopher View Post
    I've never checked the exchange rate for NZ dollars, so I have no idea how expensive your purchase was.
    Exporters around here like to "joke" that the NZ Dollars is almost at parity with the greenback (I'm assuming that your in the USA?).

    At present, multiply NZD by about 0.7 to get USD, and by about 0.33 to get British Pounds Stirling.

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