has announced their latest version of Nikon Capture Sofware, Capture
4.0, to support Nikon digital SLR models including the new, D2H
professional digital SLR camera.
Nikon Capture 4.0 is a versatile image processing and editing software package that extends the capabilities and offers comprehensive control of RAW NEF (Nikon Electronic Format) images.
Nikon Capture 4.0 Workflow Window
Nikon Capture 4.0 also features new image enhancement technologies that not only allow photographers to maintain a faster workflow, but also offer advanced image editing capabilities.
"Nikon's Capture 4.0 software more effectively extends the concept of Nikon's Total Image Quality into postproduction workflow by delivering automated new processing features that can instantly perform various complex and time consuming tasks, including removing the appearance of sensor dust on images, and editing white balance and color settings on a series of images," said Richard LoPinto, vice president of SLR camera systems at Nikon Inc.
"The strongest value of Capture comes with its ability to harness the full power of the NEF file. Capture takes into account and retains all the vital camera settings and image parameters recorded into a NEF file at the time a picture is taken, including automatic settings and those settings the photographer has selected, when it processes the image in the computer. Photographers therefore get the high-quality image the camera intended to produce instead of an alternative rendering of the image," he added.
Full Power of NEF:
A NEF file from a Nikon digital SLR camera consists of three key components that include raw image data captured by the imaging sensor, thumbnail images of the raw data, and a unique instruction set that retains camera settings from the moment a picture was taken.
During postproduction in Capture 4.0 software, these original camera settings can be tweaked, edited and saved as a variation of the instruction set, thereby leaving the original raw data unaffected, yet achieving the effects of the editing on the final image. Only Nikon's Capture software completely integrates all of the information saved within the instruction set of a NEF file, thus avoiding loss of valuable camera-settings instructions and overall control of the image.
When shooting in NEF mode, all Nikon digital SLR models including the new D2H capture 12-bit images, instead of 8-bit in JPEG and TIFF modes. In Capture 4.0 software, these 12-bit images are processed into full 16-bit images using advanced algorithms, offering tone and color enhancements with the smoothest gradation and fidelity. Using Capture 4.0, a 16-bit NEF image can be easily transformed into a JPEG or TIFF.
Furthermore, when using the Nikon D1X and Capture's 10-mega pixel interpolation/scaling controls, a NEF file can be preserved as a 16-bit, 60 megabyte TIFF file that is large enough for a huge range of publishing requirements.
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The following cameras support the Image Dust Off feature: D1X (firmware version 5.01 or later), D1H (firmware version 1.10 or later), D100, and D2H. Image Dust Off is not supported with Coolpix cameras, D1 cameras or with earlier versions of firmware for D1X and D1H.
Enhancing detail in Shadows. To enhance detail in shadows, adjust shadow brightness using the Shadow adjustment slider seen in the tool palette above, or by entering a value between 1 - 100 in the text box to its right. The larger the value, the brighter the shadows in the image will be. The default setting is 20. The effects of shadow brightness will be visable in the image in the active workflow window.
Digital DEE can also be used to reveal details in highlights where the background is much brighter than the subject or the subject is much brighter than the foreground.
Enhancing details in Highlights. Adjust highlights using the Highlight adjustment slider or by entering a value between 1 - 100 in the text box to the right. (see palette below) Increasing Highlight adjustment increases contrast in highlights, while decreasing highlight adjustment has the opposite effect. The default value is 20. Likewise, the effects of changes to highlights will be visable in the image in the active workflow window.
Defining "Shadows" and "Highlights": The Threshold slider in the detailed view of the "Digital DEE" panel determines the border between shadows and highlights.
Moving the slider to the right or entering a higher value in the threshold text box increases the range of tones affected by the Shadow adjustment slider and reduces the range of the tones affected by the Highlight adjustment slider.
Moving the slider to the left or entering a lower value in the Threshold text box increases the range of tones affected by the Highlight adjustment slider and reduces the range of tones affected by the Shadow adjustment slider as illustrated above.
This function allows the lens to double as a useful ultra-wide angle lens, offering photographers both a fisheye perspective and wide-angle capabilities in a compact, pocket-sized lens.
"No image data" area cropped out
after applying horizontal compensation
The main parts of the Capture Control window are identified below:
Note: The D100 can only be used to take images when the function dial is set to P, A, S, or M exposure mode. At other settings the Shoot buttons in the Camera Control dialog will be disabled, and the simulated LCD panel will not be displayed.
The Camera Menu Bar
The commands in the camera menu are used to adjust the following settings:
Nikon Capture 4.0 and Nikon View 6.1 software will be available in the fourth quarter of 2003.
The Canadian manufacturer's suggested retail price for Nikon Capture 4.0 is $160 CDN. Nikon Canada Inc. has not yet announced whether a special upgrade price will be offered to existing users of earlier versions of Nikon Capture, although we assume this will be the case.