Nikon Unveils Capture NX-D: A New RAW Image Processor for Nikon Shooters


In a rather interesting development that was somewhat overshadowed by the announcement of the Nikon D4s, Nikon has unveiled a new piece of photo editing software made specifically for processing images from Nikon cameras.

Nikon Capture NX-D, as it’s being called, is a post-processing tool for adjusting RAW NEF and NRW files captured with the company’s DSLRs, 1-series and compact cameras. Unfortunately, public reaction to the program so far hasn’t exactly been positive.

Image credits: Screenshot courtesy of Nikon Rumors

Image credits: Screenshot courtesy of Nikon Rumors

Currently available as a free beta on Nikon’s website, the goal is to replace the current Capture NX 2 system, but Nikon has had to leave out some key features in the process.

In the pros column is a revamped UI, the addition of non-destructive editing, and better support for those who use multiple monitors. But that column is being dwarfed by the cons, which include the loss of the U-point editing system, settings savings and masking, as well as a more cumbersome experience overall.

Of course, the program is currently in beta, so hopefully some of this will be fixed before the final version is due on ‘this summer,’ but the fact that Nik is no longer designing the NX editing suite seems to be having a negative impact overall.


Negatives aside, the new features are exciting and the price of ‘on the house’ makes it hard to complain. As Imaging Resource points out, Nikon was probably every bit as put off by Google buying Nik Software as many others, and releasing a capable free RAW editor of their own will likely turn out to be a positive move.

The manual for the program is available here, while even more information can be found in the Nikon Press Room. Once you’ve given it a download, be sure to let us know what you think! Obviously there are other mainstream options when it comes to editing your Nikon RAW files, could you see yourself replacing one of those with NX-D?

  • bigKev

    Why oh why do camera manufacturers even bother making their own RAW converters – what a total waste of resources on something that nobody uses

  • OtterMatt

    Does it seamlessly integrate with Lightroom and Photoshop? Then there’s no way would I waste time switching from Adobe. Might as well just throw the money you spent on those (much, MUCH better) products away.
    As for newbies, Bridge CS5 takes, like, 10 minutes to find online. Using a Nikon or Canon-released RAW editor is like surfing in IE rather than Chrome or Firefox. Sure, maybe you can do a few of the same tasks, but not most of the useful ones, and all the techies will laugh at you anyway.

  • Peng Tuck Kwok

    You have to look at it from a value/cost perspective. Obviously if you have been running around with a few expensive cameras, purchase price of LR or CS6 is irrelevant as you want the best. Manufacturers put in these software to support their products giving basic functionality. People do find good use for it (although Canon’s DPP looks like it’s stuck in Win 3.1 ). So you might add why not bundle LR in it ? Well it’s gonna cost more and in cost sensitive products and markets it’s probably not worth it to do that.

  • Omar Salgado

    Has someone used Photo Ninja (not the NR plug-in, but the converter)? I’m kind of attracted to it, but I’m not sure to spend the money.

  • Peng Tuck Kwok

    That’s what trials are for you know.. :D You can try it out before giving out good money for it.

  • nate

    does it do dng? what about my old files that are already permanently converted to dng?

  • Omar Salgado

    Yep, but the trial version is somewhat limited, that’s why I was asking for an insight.

  • Peng Tuck Kwok

    Aside from time limitations only the file saving and render options are disabled but if it really cheeses you off then try the Adobe LR trial. Basically time limited and nag screen only.

  • peter

    why anyone would convert their raw data to a less than perfect DNG file is beyond me.
    LR has to be the most over-hyped and over-rated piece of junk software that I ever had the misfortune to use.

  • Dexter Legaspi

    Photo Ninja is fantastic. I use it for D600 and Leica M240. its best features are the highlight recovery and noise reduction…its custom profile support is head and shoulders better than what is currently offered on Lightroom. The downsides are (at least on the Mac), is it’s a resource hog…and a somewhat unintuitive UI. Oh and you still need Lightroom or Aperture because it doesn’t have cataloging built-in.

  • Mark

    A pretty poor replacement for NX2. Which I loved.
    No Upoint technology so what is the point.
    Nik plugins still not compatible like the other popular photoI editing software.
    Very clunky even for Beta.
    Nik.. please build this for Nikon.

  • Alan Klughammer

    I don’t like lightroom either, but I have not found anything that matches it for workflow.

  • Leonardo Abreu

    I can’t wait to try.

  • harumph

    What do you mean by “less than perfect”?

  • muellerworks

    Because, by far, Capture NX2 was a superior raw convertor of NEFs as compared to Lightroom. I batch convert raw files from NX2 prior to importing into Lightroom because of this. It has nothing to do with the cost of the program.

  • *✩‿✩*

    awww =( I like View and Capture. lol. *There are dozens of us!* ;p

  • a4

    Don’t bother my friend…

  • Omar Salgado

    For what I know, I’m attracted to it because of the HL recovery and noise reduction, and how the rendered samples are compared to raw.

    Thank you.

  • Johan Appelgren

    Is keeping edits in a separate directory really a good idea? For me it just makes it a lot more difficult when I want to reorganize my photos. I hope they add a setting so you can continue to embed edits in the nef files as nx2 does.

    In addition to some missing features the biggest issue with the beta I’ve found so far is the lack of support for high dpi monitors.

  • Dismayed

    I don’t use LR and Photoshop because they don’t integrate with Capture NX2! Why bother with Adobe when NX2 produces excellent results?

  • Mel Gregory

    I downloaded the Beta version of Capture NX-D. I am not enthralled by it at all. I hate that the u-point adjustments are gone and the integration between View NX-2 and Capture NXD is not seamless at all. It is hard to open files from View to NXD unless I use the browser. This does not appear to me to be an upgrade nor even a lateral move but more like a downgrade.

  • Adrian Boliston

    Capture NX-D is better than View NX2 and in many ways better than Capture NX2. I can see that some people will miss the “u-point” feature of cnx2 but it is not something i have really made much use of. The only bug I have found so far is if you switch to full screen mode and back it messes up the toolbar positions, but luckily I can’t see much need to use full screen mode.

  • Steve

    What a jerk you are.
    Lots of people use Capture NX as it’s the best way to process Nikon RAW files.
    Go back to your Canon JPEGS you loser.

  • ajfudge

    It really isn’t an upgrade. AFAIK, NX-D is written from the grounds up without any outside company to create the software. Nik Software (developer of the U-Point system) is now owned by Google.