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Old Dec 6, 2004, 12:55 PM   #1
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After a bad week with a Rebel I exchanged it for a D70. You can read about my experience, if you care to, in the What camera should I buy? forum. I am now very happy with my D70.

Still I have a few pretty basic questions about which software tools are the best, the order to use them and why I am losing my exif data.

What's the best way to download the picture files, either jpeg or nef to my pc's hard drive? I've tried the Windows (my pc has Windows2000 and my laptop has XP Pro) transfer wizzard. I've also tried Picture Project that came with the camera. Either way once the files are in a folder on my hard drive the Adobe Photo Elements browser will not see the exif data. The data is there. Nikon Capture will read it. But Adobe will not. And I have no idea what Picture Project is doing with the files. I creates folders that only it can see. I will create a folder and store pictures there. When I use Windows Explorer or Adobe's browser they can't see the folders or files from Picture Project. Very strange. I've heard some people like Nikon View much better than Picture Project. Nikon View is available for free download from Nikon. Oh and when I shoot in RAW + JPeg mode only the Jpegs get pulled over by Windows. Anybody want to suggest a good method to get the files out of the camera?

Once you have the files downloaded I'ld like to hear from people as to what their normal workflow is - which software package they use. Capture? Adobe? Capture then Adobe? I realize that this is probably a personal preference issue as different people will favor different tools. Still I would appreciate suggestions to get me started.

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Old Dec 6, 2004, 3:20 PM   #2
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Excellent! hope it works out well.

I find using a USB2.0 card reader much faster than connecting the camera directly, then just use file browser to copy the image files over.

I couldn't stand Nikon Capture extremely slow, and ended up with Capture One from http://www.phaseone.com for raw to tiff conversion. Then in to Adobe CS for everything else.

Although the latest Adobe camera raw update for Adobe CS seems to be greatly improved.

I have an opinion of camera vendors(any) bundled software and it is not very good :lol:
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Old Dec 6, 2004, 6:53 PM   #3
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Hi Bernies,

Very interesting about your Rebel experience because I to had one. All the pictures were under exposed even with an external flash. I added EV and it did not make any difference.I started getting some pictures all whited out. It was not user friendly, I did understand the options, I spent hours reading the manual and trying to figure out what to do. I even increased my ISO and my indoor shots were still dark. I would go outside and they would be overexposed. I took the camera back only to be insulted by the sales rep who said may be a photo class would help and there was nothing wrong with the camera. I swear the shutter was not coordinating with the flash. It was very noisy. This was my second digital and I had SLRs for years. I took pictures at all family functions. So back it went. When I went back to buy the Nikon D70, they told me no return, not even within 10 days, new policy. I said good bye and went to Ritz. They were very good and told me try it out for ten days and bring it back if I had a problem. You know, I had no problem. There was a lot to learn but the D70 camera was reactive and did what was expected with the changes I would make. I am happy the Rebel did not work out. I know you are happy. Enjoy. By the way, my NEF files aretransferred into Nikon Capture Editor for editing, they do not move into my other photoediting programs and can only be viewed in picture perfect. Happy shooting. Nadia
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Old Dec 13, 2004, 6:57 AM   #4
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I suggest Nikon View for you. I think that SW is the best that used.

Its like ACD see in old times
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Old Dec 27, 2004, 6:54 PM   #5
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Have you upgraded to Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0?

It does great job of downloading the files. When a card is inserted in the card reader, Adobe Capture automatically senses them, offers to download them, offers to place them into Elements, and then offers to delete the files from the card. The auto-capture feature can be turned of if desired. The files are placed in automatically created directories named using a YY-MM-DD-HHMM-SS format (you decide where these directories are created). The NEF file can be viewed in the Organizer just as if it was a JPG file, and it can read the NEF EXIF information just like it does the JPG EXIF info.

Elements 3.0provides the organizing feature of Adobe Album (now called Organizer), a Quick Fix editing tool that does cropping, red-eye removal, pic rotation, and basic exposure/color/sharpening tools, and the more advanced editing tool from PS Elements 2. I should also mention that Elements 3.0 recognizes the rotation information from the camera (horizontal & portrait pics are rotated appropriately based upon the camera's sensors).

When first editing a NEF file, Elements 3.0 opens a specialized RAW conversion editor. It allows you to rotate the pic, select between 8-bit and 16-bit (further editing options are greatly decreased if you choose 16-bit), edit white balance, temperature (WB fine-tuning), tint, exposure, shadows, brightness, contrast, saturation,sharpness, luminance smoothing, and color noise reduction. Most of these selections are done using sliders that show the result immediately, and you can choose auto-setting or manual setting. You can also flip between the Elements edited view and the camera-set view.

Once you save the settings, the pic is brought into the standard Elements editing window. If you chose 8-bit color, you have the full set of editing features. If you chose 16-bit color, you'll have a very limited set of options, since Elements is an 8-bit program.

Once you're done editing, you cannot save the pic as a NEF. You need to save it into one of the Elements supported formats (TIF, JPG, JPEG 2000 lossless - I like this format - , or the Photoshop format). A 5MB NEF file will expand to a 13MB TIF or Photoshop format file. Using compression brings that down to about 8MB. Using the JPEG 2000 lossless format brings it back down to about 5MB.
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Old Jan 1, 2005, 9:08 PM   #6
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Thank you everyone for your responses. I ended up buying Adobe Photo Elements 3.0 and I am very pleased with it. I am a long time user of Adobe Photo Elements 2.0 so although they've made some changes the transition wasn't too difficult. Of all the reasonably priced photo editors it seems to offer the most features and ease of use.

Don't do what I did though. Do not buy the upgrade on line from Adobe. I have a fast DSL connection and I still could not get the download to complete. I never got more than 90% before the server connection timed out. Then the Adobe Download Manager software started all over again from the begining which it is not supposed to do. Adobe gives you a 5 day deadline to complete the download. After 3 days of trying I called them and cancelled the purchase. They were very nice. Their service people are still in the U.S. I asked them and they said they have not outsourced any help desk functions to India yet. They make you sign an affidavit and fax it to them swearing you destroyed any copies of the product. I thenwent to Circuit City and bought a "real" copy on CD and it loaded in 5 minutes. Save yourself the potential headaches and buy the hard copy.

In the past with other cameras I always shot in jpeg. With the D70 I am shooting in RAW so I needed a way to handle the RAW files. I downloaded Nikon's Capture program to try it. It was o.k. Nothing great IMHO and certainly not worth $99. It should be included with the camera. They just about force you to buy it to be able to load curves in the camera. I let the 30 day timer expire. At some point I will have to buy it just so I can change the current curve in my D70.

I can't remember where, but I read a post whichincluded pictures to prove that each of the different editors was better in some particular area. Capture was better in the initial RAW conversion but not very good in the other areas. I think thepoint of the post was to recommend using Capture for the initial RAW conversion and then Adobe for other post processing and then a noise reduction plug in.

Iuse Neat Image Pro 4.4 which does a super job of removing noise.I like to shoot in low light and above 800 ISO the D70 gets prettynoisy. Neat Image really cleans up the files without loss ofdetail. Great product and not very expensive either.

I don't know about you but there gets to be a point where you can go nuts with all thepost processing:covert in Capture, move to Adobe and thenfinish in Neat Image. I begin to sympathize with the people who only shoot in jpeg and do almost no post processing. Still for those special shots you want to get as perfect as you possibly can it's nice toknow these post processingtools are available.

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