Capture NX-Downgrade? Nikon improves multiple monitor support, but loses U-Point control


posted Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 12:51 PM EST


Nikon announced it's moving away from the Capture NX application, and to a new tool called Capture NX-D, currently available in beta. And while it may bring an overhauled UI, non-destructive editing, and better multi-monitor support, it also has a host of flaws—prompting many to denounce it as a downgrade. Chief among them? It loses the innovative U-point editing system that many loved about NX2.

The origins of the problems seem to be in who made the software itself. Capture NX was based on work by Nik Software, the folks behind apps like Snapseed (which shares a very similar control point editing tool). However, Nik was taken over by Google, and doesn't appear to be associated with NX anymore. If not Nik, then who's behind Capture NX-D? According to some sleuthing by DPReview commenters, NX-D appears to be a new skin on top of SilkyPix.

Judging by the comments online, opinion on the new software isn't exactly positive. It's been widely criticized for losing the U-point control system, settings savings, masking, as well as complaints about difficulty getting it to run. Responses elsewhere online are similar.

The software's output does seem excellent, and non-destructive editing and better multi-monitor support are big improvements that bring Capture NX closer to Lightroom's functionality. Since this is still a beta, some of these issues are understandable: it's certainly understandable there would be bugs to iron out in the software's installation. There's also a chance NX-D could regain some of the missing functionality while in beta. But some of the best-loved features like U-point controls are unlikely to return, since they are Nik's proprietary work.

The NX2 to NX-D switch is a big change in more than just features: the price of the software has been slashed from $180 to $0. We're guessing Nikon was every bit as bummed as we were to see Nik acquired by Google and the writing was on the wall when Snapseed Desktop was crushed in Google's maw. Given the cards they were dealt, a free, rebranded Capture NX based on SilkyPix was probably the best play.

Have any of our readers tackled the NX-D beta? Do you agree with the blowback or do the feature additions make up for what was lost? What role did NX2 play in your workflow?