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NX Studio (1 Viewer)

PaulCountyDurham

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Hi all,

Is anyone using NX Studio for their RAW images?

For those unaware, it's Nikon's own software and people more experienced than I am swear by it as a means of guaranteeing the best possible RAW image file. By default, NX Studio applies your camera settings to the RAW image (which you can adjust) and as a result RAW images and JPEG look pretty much identical except the RAW image is of better quality because no JPEG compression has been applied. There is also a useful feature in that in the event you forget to apply Active Dynamic Lighting in your camera settings, you can turn it on in NX Studio - pretty useful if like me you forget to apply it on a particularly bright day when it's needed.

As it stands, I'm not seeing any difference in image quality in NX Studio: JPEG versus RAW, but I reckon there's something in my NX Studio settings which needs adjusting. I've looked at loads of YT videos but none answer my questions so I've posted something on the Nikon forum.

Does anyone have experience with NX Studio?

Thanks,
Paul
 

PaulCountyDurham

Well-known member
United Kingdom
I use it as my editing software and do like the results but I'm not sure exactly what it is you're asking.

Any experience you have? Tips? That sort of thing.

I currently have the following settings in the edit/options:

1) Adobe RGB. My understanding is that it will give a wider range of colours than sRGB. my camera is set to sRGB but again, as I understand it, NX Studio will overwrite this.

2) Sizes medium/small for RAW processing. I have it set to perform recommended processing, but as my camera settings are large file I have no idea what this will do. My guess is nothing because it won't apply due to my large file camera setting.

3) DX1 raw default. I'm happy with this as it only applies to the DX1 camera.

4) Colour reproduction process. I have this set to camera compatible. I'm happy with this because I don't want NX studio to edit the camera settings.

So, 3 & 4 happy with; 1 & 2 not sure what I'm doing and what impact it will have on getting the best quality RAW image into TIFF. All I'm trying to do is save from RAW to TIFF without any editing in NX studio except ADL if needed. Reviewers have done this and compared the results NX Studio versus 3rd party software, i.e. RAW into TIFF without editing, and are convinced NX Studio results in better image quality.

I also want to avoid JPEG compression and I think this will only happen if I save the image into a JPEG file, but I'm not 100% sure.

What I'm aiming to achieve is to have the best settings in order to save the best quality image possible from RAW to TIFF without any editing except ADL if needed.

Any help appreciated.

Thanks,
Paul
 

Watts

Registered User
Supporter
I don't use NX Studio, but you might find it worthwhile joining one of the Nikon School courses such as this one.

Bill
 

Mono

Hi!
Staff member
Supporter
Europe
If you keep to RAW and tiff then you won't get any compression artifacts. Only save to jpeg when you are happy with edit, and then "save as" keeping your final edit as a tiff. (If you are into archiving everything!)

Edit the image in the colour space it was captured in, if you shoot in sRGB then edit the image in sRGB. One of the biggest causes of weird looking colours is to let the software manage the colour space. If your principal output is going to be print then use AdobeRGB, or another wide gamut space, but only if your monitor can display it. If your sole output is to the Web then use sRGB, most browsers can cope with other colour spaces but often the screen can't.

Can't comment on any NX specific points, I'm a Photoshop guy.
 

Stonefaction

Stuck in Dundee.....
Scotland
Any experience you have? Tips? That sort of thing.
..........
Any help appreciated.

Thanks,
Paul
Sorry, Paul, I'm not gonna be much help. I don't have much patience for editing so I really don't go into any great depth with mine, so most of that goes 'over my head' a bit.
I crop, adjust exposure a bit, straighten and sharpen a bit, and that's pretty much it (remove dust spots etc too when required). If it takes more than 30 seconds for a pic to look decent then I've screwed up somewhere.

Only tip I can think of is one I stumbled upon - the right side editing panel is customisable (via cog wheel icon at top of side panel) - you can pick & choose which options are shown (and in which order) - as luck would have it, my selection fits nicely in the side panel, so I don't need to scroll for my most used options.

NX-Studio is a big improvement over the previous NX-D, which was seriously clunky and slow, and I find I can rattle through a lot of editing in one sitting, using it (when I'm in the mood to do so). Only thing bad with it from my own point of view is that I can't select where a "repair" is coming from, which can make losing a bit of twig encroaching onto edge of a pic really tedious and frustrating to try to do.
 

PaulCountyDurham

Well-known member
United Kingdom
If you keep to RAW and tiff then you won't get any compression artifacts. Only save to jpeg when you are happy with edit, and then "save as" keeping your final edit as a tiff. (If you are into archiving everything!)

Edit the image in the colour space it was captured in, if you shoot in sRGB then edit the image in sRGB. One of the biggest causes of weird looking colours is to let the software manage the colour space. If your principal output is going to be print then use AdobeRGB, or another wide gamut space, but only if your monitor can display it. If your sole output is to the Web then use sRGB, most browsers can cope with other colour spaces but often the screen can't.

Can't comment on any NX specific points, I'm a Photoshop guy.

Thanks Mono. I'll go with sRGB. I think I'm probably trying to do a bit too much for my level of knowledge and getting into areas I don't necessarily understand, so I'll take your advice on this one and continue with what I've been doing, i.e. sRGB entirely.
 

PaulCountyDurham

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Sorry, Paul, I'm not gonna be much help. I don't have much patience for editing so I really don't go into any great depth with mine, so most of that goes 'over my head' a bit.
I crop, adjust exposure a bit, straighten and sharpen a bit, and that's pretty much it (remove dust spots etc too when required). If it takes more than 30 seconds for a pic to look decent then I've screwed up somewhere.

Only tip I can think of is one I stumbled upon - the right side editing panel is customisable (via cog wheel icon at top of side panel) - you can pick & choose which options are shown (and in which order) - as luck would have it, my selection fits nicely in the side panel, so I don't need to scroll for my most used options.

NX-Studio is a big improvement over the previous NX-D, which was seriously clunky and slow, and I find I can rattle through a lot of editing in one sitting, using it (when I'm in the mood to do so). Only thing bad with it from my own point of view is that I can't select where a "repair" is coming from, which can make losing a bit of twig encroaching onto edge of a pic really tedious and frustrating to try to do.

No problem, Stonefaction, thanks for the reply.

I downloaded NX studio primarily because I wanted to see what a RAW file looked like using Nikon's (compatible) software. 'Turns out it is more useful than that.

I've been messing around with the colours, EV, white balance, ADL options in NX Studio, and in these areas this software does indeed do a better job than third party software. That ADL option is a beauty because on a bright day it's not always easy to get EV or ADL right, and sometimes I forget that I've turned off the ADL feature and to turn it back on. The other interesting thing that I wasn't expecting is this: I have in-camera noise reduction set to low (you can't turn it off completely with the P950), NX Studio applies camera controls to RAW files, i.e. my low noise reduction setting, I've found that in NX Studio I'm able to turn the noise reduction down a bit and the picture still doesn't look 'noisy' - in theory getting a bit more detail in the picture.

So, I think what I'm going to do is edit RAW files in NX Studio and use any EV, ADL, noise reduction, white balance etc features before saving to TIFF. Then in Affinity resize, sharpen (the bilateral blur is a beauty in Affinity and much better than what NX Studio can do), remove any unwanted objects and so on.

After quite a bit of testing over the last few weeks, I've settled on neutral picture control with sharpening, saturation and contrast set to 0 - all in camera. It looks about right to me with a few tweaks in NX Studio and Affinity. I would actually have the contrast and saturation on a minus figure if it was possible because the bilateral blur in Affinity uses vivid picture control and so adding more contrast and saturation - I'm not keen on too much of this - then again, I suppose I have that option in NX Studio.

All in all, I'm glad I downloaded NX Studio and it's free which helps! I had a picture of a swallow a few weeks back. Everything perfect: beautiful clear blue sky in the background, swallow lowish to the ground so not an awkward angle, I was pretty close/frame filled, camera held steady. 'Problem was I completely misjudged ADL/EV and the head and neck was just too dark. I couldn't save it in Affinity without it looking a mess, but NX Studio probably could have saved it through using the ADL feature - so I think it's going to be useful.

If it helps, Affinity does all of the repairing and removal of objects well, your only problem is which of the numerous methods to use. I personally went for the simplest and just used the inpainting brush to paint over it. 'Very effective and leaves no aberrations. It was £23 when I bought it, no annual subscription needed and I get all of the updates too.
 

Stonefaction

Stuck in Dundee.....
Scotland
I've got an old copy of Photoshop Elements 11 if I'm struggling to get rid of objects, though as it something I only very rarely do, I don't need to use it often but it is there if I need it. Cheers for the recommendation though.
 

ABWay

Member
United States
Hi all,

Is anyone using NX Studio for their RAW images?

For those unaware, it's Nikon's own software and people more experienced than I am swear by it as a means of guaranteeing the best possible RAW image file. By default, NX Studio applies your camera settings to the RAW image (which you can adjust) and as a result RAW images and JPEG look pretty much identical except the RAW image is of better quality because no JPEG compression has been applied. There is also a useful feature in that in the event you forget to apply Active Dynamic Lighting in your camera settings, you can turn it on in NX Studio - pretty useful if like me you forget to apply it on a particularly bright day when it's needed.

As it stands, I'm not seeing any difference in image quality in NX Studio: JPEG versus RAW, but I reckon there's something in my NX Studio settings which needs adjusting. I've looked at loads of YT videos but none answer my questions so I've posted something on the Nikon forum.

Does anyone have experience with NX Studio?

Thanks,
Paul
Can anyone explain why when NX Studio exports an NRW (Coolpix P950) to JPEG the lighting is much better than when exported to TIFF? I note that the in-camera JPEG (fine+RAW) is identical to the NX Studio exported JPEG.
 

PaulCountyDurham

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Can anyone explain why when NX Studio exports an NRW (Coolpix P950) to JPEG the lighting is much better than when exported to TIFF? I note that the in-camera JPEG (fine+RAW) is identical to the NX Studio exported JPEG.

NX Studio applies camera settings to RAW pictures, so not necessarily in their actual form in which they were taken but more detailed than JPEG.
 

ABWay

Member
United States
NX Studio applies camera settings to RAW pictures, so not necessarily in their actual form in which they were taken but more detailed than JPEG.

NX Studio applies camera settings to RAW pictures, so not necessarily in their actual form in which they were taken but more detailed than JPEG.
NX Studio has access to the in-camera settings as demonstrated by its ability to export a JPEG that is identical to the JPEG stored in the camera. Accordingly, when exporting to TIFF, it should be able to duplicate that image in that larger (i.e. more detailed data), but it is not.
 

Mono

Hi!
Staff member
Supporter
Europe
The TIFF is just the data from the RAW with no camera corrections or adjustments applied hence it will nearly always look worse than the corrected version. The only reason you would want to use the TIFF is to transfer the image after you have manipulated it into another editing program that won't accept the RAW format of your particular camera.
 

ABWay

Member
United States
The TIFF is just the data from the RAW with no camera corrections or adjustments applied hence it will nearly always look worse than the corrected version. The only reason you would want to use the TIFF is to transfer the image after you have manipulated it into another editing program that won't accept the RAW format of your particular camera.
As confirmed by direct observation, NX Studio does apply the in-camera settings (e.g. Picture Control = Vivid) to TIFF exports as well as the in-NX Studio adjustments (e.g Monochrome & Contrast). This old discussion (New Nikon NX-Studio Problems.) suggests that there may be an "initial version" camera-specific "color management" problem. I was testing ISO 6400 in a P950 so this extreme setting may have brushed up against the "color management" problem. I have posed this question to Nikon.
 

PaulCountyDurham

Well-known member
United Kingdom
NX Studio has access to the in-camera settings as demonstrated by its ability to export a JPEG that is identical to the JPEG stored in the camera. Accordingly, when exporting to TIFF, it should be able to duplicate that image in that larger (i.e. more detailed data), but it is not.

'Not sure. I export to TIFF out of NX Studio to transfer to Affinity. My reasoning isn't based on anything I know, but rather on what I have read.

I really do not like the RAW images in Affinity, so for me it's either RAW to NX Studio, export in TIFF and then post process in Affinity; or JPEG direct into Affinity.

If I'm honest, I don't really see much difference and I only do it because seasoned photographers swear that TIFF format retains more detail than JPEG.

It's a while since I tested it all but think I'll have another go now that I have more experience.

Are you talking about JPEG files imported into NX Studio and then exported as a JPEG file?
 

ABWay

Member
United States
I am not exporting a JPEG as another JPEG, rather I am exporting a RAW to either a JPEG or a TIFF.
Nikon is evaluating my files.
 

ABWay

Member
United States
The reason why you like the camera JPEGs or the NXS TIFFs is because the camera and NXS each have full access to the RAW data. When Affinity opens a RAW, it is unable to recognize all the RAW settings (e.g. Picture Control, White Balance, Lens & Camera Corrections), so it just applies “standard” settings which may not produce a good image.

I don’t use Affinity but I see that TIFF can be opened in its RAW editor (aka Develop Persona). My PhotoShop Elements RAW editor (ACR) simply leads me to better TIFF edits than its JPEG editor (I don’t do much, just smooth out the high/low lights & contrast).
 

PaulCountyDurham

Well-known member
United Kingdom
The reason why you like the camera JPEGs or the NXS TIFFs is because the camera and NXS each have full access to the RAW data. When Affinity opens a RAW, it is unable to recognize all the RAW settings (e.g. Picture Control, White Balance, Lens & Camera Corrections), so it just applies “standard” settings which may not produce a good image.

I don’t use Affinity but I see that TIFF can be opened in its RAW editor (aka Develop Persona). My PhotoShop Elements RAW editor (ACR) simply leads me to better TIFF edits than its JPEG editor (I don’t do much, just smooth out the high/low lights & contrast).

Aye, that's a big help for me because I don't have the time nor the experience to open RAW files in Affinity and turn them into something. I don't do much to my pictures, 'try to keep them as they were with a bit of sharpening and try to give the illusion of a bit more detail. I change the white balance a bit in NX Studio, have a look at the ADL setting, and sharpen in Affinity. And that's about it.

I like the white balance adjustment in NX Studio and invariably use pretty much the same adjustment which gives the impression of slightly underexposed. I just like my pictures appearing a bit darker than how they actually were at the time.
 

PaulCountyDurham

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Don't be intimidated by RAW editing. It can be a simple as JPEG editing, and may be better.

At this stage, I trust NX Studio to apply the camera settings to the RAW image as opposed to trying to replicate that myself. Most of my in-camera settings are neutral anyway, and I like the ability to change the ADL setting in NX Studio so that is another advantage of running a RAW file through NX Studio. The only in-camera settings I have applied is ADL normal, which I invariably change to low in NX Studio: all other in-camera settings are neutral and 0.
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

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