Second time’s the charm? Nikon prepares to release a more refined Capture NX-D—and it’s free!


posted Thursday, June 26, 2014 at 3:42 PM EST


A little more than a fortnight from now, Nikon will finally release Capture NX-D, it's Silkypix-based replacement for Capture NX 2. The app provoked an uproar when it was launched in beta form last February, mostly because it failed to retain the unique U-Point control system of its predecessor.

In fairness to Nikon, though, its hand may have been forced: U-Point creator Nik Software was acquired by Google in late 2012, and although most of its retail products are still available, that doesn't necessarily mean its technology is as readily-available for licensing by third parties.

Whatever the reason for the move away from U-Point, it doesn't seem that Nikon is in a position to change course. Its new app, though, does offer a significant benefit in another respect: Unlike Capture NX 2, it will be free of charge for all Nikon owners, whether they have a DSLR, 1-series mirrorless camera, or Coolpix compact camera. Given that Capture NX 2 currently retails for more than US$130, that's a pretty big change in strategy, and one that will likely put Capture NX-D in the hands of many more photographers. 

The final release of Capture NX-D sports a tweaked user interface that tries to answer early comments and criticisms of the beta release.

Nor is that all. According to Nikon, it has taken onboard comments and criticisms during the beta period, and the final release version of Capture NX-D will have an improved user interface, with the manner in which adjustments are applied in particular having been rethought. Nikon notes that it also plans to improve image processing results from the app, and to add an automatic retouch brush. The new version will also support the just-announced Nikon D810 DSLR, and will allow direct adjustment of Picture Controls for the D810 and earlier models.

Whether these improvements -- and the app's free availability -- are enough to sway those dismayed by the absence of U-Point tech remains to be seen. For those who've avoided Capture NX 2 because of its pricetag, though, this certainly looks to be good news.

Nikon Capture NX-D will be available as a free download for Windows and Mac OS systems from July 15, 2014. Can this latest Capture NX-D announcement presuade you to give the app another go? Share your thoughts in the comments below...