Capture NX 2Nikon’s Capture NX software has just become even more powerful with the addition of some very cool new features in Capture NX 2. At first glance, you may not notice a big change but once you get under the hood and explore a little, you’ll find the new features provide an even more flexible and efficient workflow than the previous version.

One of the best things Nikon did with the original introduction of Capture NX was to team up with Nik Software, Inc.—the makers of one of my favorite Photoshop plug-ins—to develop the amazing U Point technology that allows users to make simple, selective adjustments (through the use of Color Control Points) to correct color casts, as well as tonal, color, and saturation adjustments without having to make complex selections and masks. With the introduction of the second generation of Capture NX, the power of U Point technology becomes even more evident.

Let’s take a look at what the new features are and how they may improve your workflow:

• Auto-Retouch Brush works much like the Healing Brush in Photoshop but at the RAW level: It allows the removal of anything from small dust spots to large unwanted objects with the simple stroke of a brush, while maintaining the integrity of the image.
• Selection Control Points make editing specific areas of an image even easier by simply dropping a Selection Control Point on the desired area. Once the selection is made, you can quickly and easily make adjustments to specific areas of your image, limiting the reach of the adjustment to just the selected area. Selection Control Points are as effective and easy to use as the Color Control Points.

In addition to the new image adjustment features, Nikon has also redesigned the user interface, making it cleaner and easier to navigate. The redesigned interface includes:

• A new custom workspace that allows you to set up the workspace to suit your personal needs. A quick visit to the Window menu and you can revert to the original workspace or modify it as needed.
• Improved Toolbar function and layout makes finding and using the tools in Capture NX 2 easier and more intuitive.
• Improved Edit list functionality includes a Quick Fix section where you can quickly and easily tweak the image using curves or levels. There are even more adjustments and options within the Quick Fix edit list: Brightness; Contrast; a Highlight and Shadow slider to open up shadow detail and recover blown-out highlights; Saturation and Noise Reduction; and much more.
• A newly designed Browser with a Favorites folder, making it easy to quickly access your most-used folders.

While Capture NX 2 is at its best when working images in the RAW format, it also works well with TIFF and JPEG images, making it easy to see where users of most any skill level can use U Point technology without the need to shoot only in RAW.

How has this affected my workflow? Simple; I can now make additional improvements in my images right at the RAW level while maintaining the integrity of my photos.—Laurie Excell

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