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Nikon Capture 4.0 Software
To Support High-Performance New D2H™
Professional Digital SLR Camera

July 22nd, 2003.

Nikon Corp. 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.

June 13th, 2005.
Nikon Capture Version 4.3 update now available.
(Support for Nikon D70s, Nikon D50, D2Hs and Nikon D2X)

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.

The Full Power of NEF:
NEF (Nikon Electronic Format) file is a highlight of Nikon's digital SLR photography system, providing archival characteristics and extensive non-destructive editing tools, while preserving the integrity of the original RAW image data. A NEF file may seem analogous to a 35mm film negative, but its true potential extends well beyond that of film.

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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Nikon Capture 4.0
New Features

Nikon Capture 4.0 software boasts a series of unique new features that speed up the workflow, and automate time-consuming processes with the click of a button. A highlight of its new features include:

  • Image Dust Off™: A useful tool that automatically removes the appearance of sensor dust and particles from a NEF image. Using a reference image taken with the D2H by the user, the software maps out a sensor dust pattern and applies this to selected images, automatically removing the effect of sensor dust.

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.

  • Digital DEE™(Dynamic Exposure Extender): Automatic 'dodge and burn' control that applies appropriate brightening and darkening values to specific areas of a photo, bringing out the highlights and achieving overall exposure balance. This feature is ideal for "fixing" photos that, for example, have strongly backlit subjects, and therefore a darkened foreground with little visible detail. In other words, "fill-flash" effects can be applied in post processing with no noticeable loss in image quality.
The Digital DEE Shadow adjustment palette

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.

The Digital DEE Highlight adjustment palette

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.

  • Fisheye-to-Rectilinear Image Transformation With New DX Fisheye-Nikkor 10.5mm lens: Nikon Capture 4.0 software can automatically transform an image taken with the new AF DX Fisheye-Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8G ED lens (offering a 180º diagonal angle-of-view) into a rectilinear image with about 110º angle-of-view (when applied horizontally as shown below).

    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
  • Enhanced Batch Processing: With the objective of speeding up a photographer's workflow, Capture 4.0 allows a variety of image adjustments and corrections to be automatically applied to a series of images using its batch processing functions.

  • Vignette Control: While virtually all lenses have some degree of vignetting (gradual darkening of the corners of an image), Capture 4.0 can automatically adjust NEF images to counteract the vignette effect, and achieve photographs with optimal center-to-edge-to-corner brightness.

  • Support for NEF, TIFF and JPEG files: Capture 4.0 fully supports browsing and editing of all image file formats produced by all Nikon Digital SLR models.

  • Nikon Capture 4.0 will be complemented with new Nikon View 6.1 image organizing and browsing software. Enhancements to this new version of Nikon View include faster browsing and data transfer, easier editing of titles and captions, improved red-eye correction and automatic rotation of D2H image files to match the orientation of the picture.
  • Remote Camera Control: Nikon Capture 4.0 can control most Nikon digital SLR settings using the camera's appropriate image transfer interface. Images can also be downloaded directly to a computer while shooting, for the convenience of on-screen viewing and directly saving onto a hard drive.
Nikon Capture Control Window

The main parts of the Capture Control window are identified below:

  1. Menu Bar. Use to open the Live Batch and Time Lapse Photography windows, adjust camera settings, and to set Camera Control Preferences

  2. Connection Status. Shows the satus and name of any cameras connected.

  3. Hide Camera Control buttons. Click this button to hide the camera control panels in the Nikon Capture Control window.

  4. Shoot buttons. Click these buttons to take pictures.

  5. Download Options button. Click this button to choose a destination for photographs captured from the camera.

  6. Camera control page selection tabs. The menus, sliders, and buttons on each tab are used to control camera settings.

  7. Simulated LCD panel. Performs the same function as the information display in the camera viewfinder.
Nikon Capture Control Window with Nikon D100

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:

  • Custom settings. Selecting this option opens the custom settings dialog, where Camera Custom settings can be adjusted.

  • Camera Date and Time. Selecting this option opens a dialog where you can set the camera's clock calendar to the current date and time.

  • Edit Camera Curves. This option is ued to create a custom tone compensation curve, and download it to the camera, wher it applies when "Custom" is selected for the camera tone compensation option.
  • Fine-Tune White Balance. Using this dialog the user can fine-tune WB between -3 and +3. The valuse selected for add to Auto, will be added to the white balance setting the camera chooses for auto white balance. Clicking reset returns all values to defaults.
  • Choose Color Temperature (D2H only). The value choosen takes effect whenever choose Color temp. is selected for white balance.
  • Measure White Balance. Use this option to determine WB preset.
  • Image Dust-Off Reference Photo (D2H only). Choose this option to take a reference photo for Image Dust-Off.
  • Edit Image Comment. Selecting this option displays a dialog, where you can enter a comment or title for susequent photographs.
  • Select Shooting Settings Bank (D100, D2H only). Allows the user to choose the shooting menu bank (D100 only) in which changes to settings will be stored. the D2H allows a descriptive comment to be added to the name of each shooting bank. After entering comments up to 20 characters each, click OK to copy the comments to the camera.

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.


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