15 April 2014

Nikon releases CaptureNX2 2.4.7

Even though the new Capture NX-D will replace NX2 soon – see my earlier article on workflow considerations and why NX-D is actually not a (good) replacement of NX2 – Nikon has still lived up to its promise to keep NX2 up to date as long as NX-D is in beta.

You can download the update from the Nikon support websites: EU / USA

Changes in v2.4.7

  • Support for RAW images captured with the Nikon 1 V3, and Nikon 1 J4 has been added.
  • Auto distortion control was not applied to images captured with some cameras, and Auto Distortion in the Camera & Lens Corrections section of the Edit List palette was not displayed.
  • When RAW images captured with some cameras and saved using Capture NX 2 Ver. 2.4.5 or earlier were opened, white balance effects sometimes changed.
  • Support for Windows XP has been eliminated.

Nikon releases ViewNX 2.9.2

Nikon has just released version 2.9.2 of its all-in-one image browsing and editing software application.

You can download the new version from the Nikon support website: EU / USA

Changes in v2.9.2

  • Support for the Nikon 1 V3, Nikon 1 J4, and COOLPIX S810c has been added.
  • Support for Windows XP has been eliminated.

8 April 2014

Adobe updates Lightroom, Camera Raw (Photoshop CS6 and CC) and DNG Converter

Adobe has released version 5.4 of Lightroom and version 8.4 of Adobe Camera Raw (for Photoshop CS6 and CC) and the DNG Converter applications.

The new version of Camera Raw fixes a number of issues and adds support for additional cameras and lenses. With version 5.4 of Lightroom there is now also an iPad version available. This new Lightroom Mobile synchronises your images with the desktop version and offers some (albeit limited) editing capabilities. Great for showcasing your work on the road and to perform some quick edits. The files used by Lightroom Mobile are actually the new smart previews that were introduced with LR5, meaning that your edits actually do get propagated to your (raw) images on your desktop computer as well, even on raw files!

Please note that if you're still on Windows XP or Vista or Mac OS X 10.6, you're out of luck; the new versions of the software do not supported on those platforms any longer.
Also note that not all functionality of the new ACR is available in Photoshop CS6, for full functionality you'll need Photoshop CC. A subscription to the CC program is required for Lightoom Mobile.

Use the update mechanism as provided in Photoshop to update to the latest version of ACR.
DNG converter 8.4 can be downloaded from the Adobe website: Mac / Windows.
Lightroom 5.4 can be downloaded from the Adobe website as well: Mac / Windows.

19 March 2014

Firmware update for the Canon 6D

Canon has just released a firmware update for its 6D DSLR.

Firmware Version 1.1.4 incorporates the following fixes:
  • Fixes a phenomenon in which some images cannot be transferred to mobile devices running the EOS Remote app.
  • Corrects an error in the German language Feature Guide.
  • Corrects an error in the Korean language Feature Guide.

You can download the update from the Canon website.

18 March 2014

Firmware update for the Nikon D4

Nikon today released a new firmware for its D4 camera.

You can download the new firmware from the Nikon support site: EU / USA
The new firmware updates both the A and B firmwares to version 1.10 and contains the following updates:
  • Custom Setting f17: Assign Remote Fn Button has been added*.
  • Support for CompactFlash memory cards with capacities greater than 128 GB has been added.
  • When AF-ON only was selected for Custom Setting a4 (AF activation) and the AF-ON button was pressed to initiate autofocus during viewfinder photography, focus remained locked even after the user took their finger off the button, and the shutter could be released at any time.  However, specifications have been modified so that the shutter cannot be released under the following conditions if the camera fails to focus*.
    - Autofocus mode is set to AF-S (single-servo AF)
    - AF-area mode is set to Single-point AF
    - Custom Setting a2 (AF-S priority selection) is set to Focus
  • When an XQD memory card and certain types of CompactFlash memory card were inserted in the camera at the same time, "Err" was displayed in the top control panel. This issue has been resolved.
* Please see the addendum of the user manual for details on this new setting / behaviour. (note: link on USA site to this document seems to be broken)

13 March 2014

Tip: Workflow considerations

I hadn't yet announced it on this blog (it's still beta), but Nikon announced the “successor” to its Nikon Capture NX2 (raw) image editor a couple of weeks ago. Naturally I was thrilled reading about this; I predominantly use NX2 in my image editing workflow and consider it a great and versatile tool. Over the last couple of years Nikon has maintained NX2 relatively well, but only released small updates to it, no new functionality. So hearing about NX-D, as Nikon calls it, was really met with a positive feeling by me (and I'm sure lots of other photographers).

After going over the specs and learning more about NX-D though (there is a beta available from the Nikon beta website), this positive feeling soon got replaced with a huge sense of disappointment. While the overhaul of the interface is probably welcomed by many, NX-D does away with all that was great about NX-2; edit results no longer embedded in the raw file itself, no local adjustments, no control points (really smart selections), no concept of layers/blending modes, no spot removal/retouch brush (!), etc. Most of these things I, at least partially, see as critical for a raw editor so you can imagine I was very disappointed.

The only great thing is that NX-D will be free! The way I see it, though, is that it is more a replacement of View NX2, not of Capture NX2. A real shame.

So knowing that NX2 is going to be end-of-life in a couple of months and also knowing that NX-D isn't really going to be a successor as it lacks critical tools, I had to reconsider my imaging workflow. For some time now, I have been investigating a new workflow (one without NX2/NX-D), and I think I have found one that works (at least for me).