Author Topic: PM and LR and NX2 - Playing together?  (Read 5095 times)

Offline csgaraglino

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PM and LR and NX2 - Playing together?
« on: September 30, 2009, 05:01:38 AM »
Ok, so I have Photo Mechanic & Capture NX2 working flawlessly together for the past 6-9 months and PM works awesome for what it was designed for.

However, its limitations with no cataloging capabilities is leaving a gaping hole in my business workflow. I have waited long enough for PM to communicate a catalog module, and while one is on the horizon, there is still no foreseeable release in the near future forcing me back to looking at Lightroom once again?

Because I use Capture NX2 as my primary editing software, I have to have a application that will read the JPEG in the RAW file. Adobe being the bully that they are and trying to force the community to their standards is only hurting the photographers out there - and that is a sad thing for sure! If they ever decided to read the in RAW JPEG, they will put a serious hurting on PM's consumer market!

Sorry for the soapbox, but as an owner of a software company it makes no sense why Camera Bits & Adobe are they way they are. I know Adobe being a diversified as they are could care less, but this could put Camera Bits into a world class application and broaden their market share way beyond the photojournalist and change the scope of who they are in this market (for the good) not to mention their bottom line! And that's is the real reason why we all do this - to make money, right.

Anyway, off my soapbox and onto my real question.

So like I mentioned, I have PM and NX2 working nicely together. How do I get LR added into this picture to play nice with these other two apps?
« Last Edit: September 30, 2009, 05:57:47 AM by csgaraglino »
Regards,
Chris Sgaraglino
www.WidowCreek.com

Offline Kirk Baker

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Re: PM and LR and NX2 - Playing together?
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2009, 07:23:54 AM »
Chris,

Ok, so I have Photo Mechanic & Capture NX2 working flawlessly together for the past 6-9 months and PM works awesome for what it was designed for.

However, its limitations with no cataloging capabilities is leaving a gaping hole in my business workflow. I have waited long enough for PM to communicate a catalog module, and while one is on the horizon, there is still no foreseeable release in the near future forcing me back to looking at Lightroom once again?

OK.  Please understand that we have at this point made no official statements about the release date of a cataloging solution provided by us.  We have revealed plans to produce one, are working on one, and have asked for feedback on what users would like in one, but we have never led people on in an attempt to keep them from choosing a different solution.  In fact, each time someone puts me on the spot and says that they need to make a decision 'right now' I tell them they'll have to look elsewhere.  I have to my knowledge, said that every time that question has been put forward.

It has been our experience that as more competition arrives on the scene our sales actually increase somewhat.  Don't know why for certain but that has been our experience.

Quote from: csgaraglino
Because I use Capture NX2 as my primary editing software, I have to have a application that will read the JPEG in the RAW file. Adobe being the bully that they are and trying to force the community to their standards is only hurting the photographers out there - and that is a sad thing for sure! If they ever decided to read the in RAW JPEG, they will put a serious hurting on PM's consumer market!

That is very unlikely.  All of the other camera manufacturer's software do not modify the embedded JPEG when their photos are adjusted (for instance Canon) and their users find Photo Mechanic immensely useful for their workflow.  In fact, only Nikon's software and tools will change their RAW file to update or add an embedded JPEG.  Nikon users find that PM's ability to use the adjusted preview very useful indeed, but they're the only users that benefit from that feature.

Quote from: csgaraglino
Sorry for the soapbox, but as an owner of a software company it makes no sense why Camera Bits & Adobe are they way they are. I know Adobe being a diversified as they are could care less, but this could put Camera Bits into a world class application and broaden their market share way beyond the photojournalist and change the scope of who they are in this market (for the good) not to mention their bottom line! And that's is the real reason why we all do this - to make money, right.

What is the 'way we are'?  What have we done wrong?  Other than to be a small company with a modest development budget, I can see that we've done nothing wrong.  If we had a larger budget we could hire more engineers and get things done more quickly, very true.

Quote from: csgaraglino
Anyway, off my soapbox and onto my real question.

So like I mentioned, I have PM and NX2 working nicely together. How do I get LR added into this picture to play nice with these other two apps?

It isn't really all that possible.  Unfortunately NX2 will only recognize embedded XMP and won't read or update an XMP sidecar file if present, so edits will get out of sync from the NEF and the sidecar file.  And on the other end, Adobe's apps have an issue where they only update XMP sidecar files but are tripped up by embedded XMP.

If all you're going to use LR for is cataloging, I'd suggest looking at another solution.  What OS do you run?

-Kirk

Offline csgaraglino

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Re: PM and LR and NX2 - Playing together?
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2009, 08:35:24 AM »
Quote from: Kirk Baker
OK.  Please understand that we have at this point made no official statements about the release date of a cataloging solution provided by us.

Completely understood and agreed? I have never been told there was a "date" only that someone "is working on it".

Quote from: Kirk Baker
That is very unlikely.

I'm not sure what is unlikely, but Adobe IS pushing for their own standard the DNG format and until they start playing nice, they are only hurting the photography community.

Quote from: Kirk Baker
All of the other camera manufacturer's software do not modify the embedded JPEG when their photos are adjusted (for instance Canon) and their users find Photo Mechanic immensely useful for their workflow.  In fact, only Nikon's software and tools will change their RAW file to update or add an embedded JPEG.  Nikon users find that PM's ability to use the adjusted preview very useful indeed, but they're the only users that benefit from that feature.

I agree and that is exactly why I am pushing for a catalog from PM! You guys have it going on! You are the fastest and most efficient way for any photographer to ingest, tag and browse images - hands down. And Yes, because NX2 DOES update the JPEG, it only makes sense to have a software browser/catalog that reads the embedded JPEG! Why throw that away because the other camera manufactures software’s are inferior?

Here's an analogy: Canon's new 7D is the first of Canon's bodies to incorporate optical wireless technology into the on board flash. Nikon has had this for 4 or 5 years now. Does that mean that Nikon owners should have ignored that technology and not used it until Canon got caught up? Of course not. And if Nikon had the foresight to build software that works with their propriety RAW files to give Nikon owners an edge of the competition, and incorporates features that other brands don't have, should we ignore them as well? Of course not. So most of the industry is ignoring Nikons attempt to help make better photographers out a lot of us - you guys have not - you embraced that sweet feature? Adobe can - look at an image when it first loads, both LR & Bridge see it embedded JPEG then dump it?

Quote from: Kirk Baker
What is the 'way we are'?  What have we done wrong?

Absolutely nothing! It's not what's wrong it's what's missing - the catalog feature. Look, it is a fact (read the boards) that most people go to Lightroom for the cataloging features. Even Adobe will tell you that it is the single most sought after feature in LR. The rest is gravy for the user. Users of Lightroom and Photoshop (and others) are willing to sacrifice quality for convenience. It is also a fact that because Nikon/Nik Software is the only application out there that can FULLY read the proprietary Nikon RAW file it will ALWAYS be a better converter - period. This is not disputable from a technical standpoint.

I don't shoot Canon, but a lot of my friends do. And when they see what NX2 does, they flip out. The lens corrections alone make this converter invaluable to a Nikon shooter. Canon user don't complain much because they don't know any better. Like you said, Nikon is the only one doing it right now. Even Nikon shooters that are not familiar with NX2 don't know any better - but the instant the light comes on (for most) - they fight LR & PS for a while and then quite - a few wind up keeping them the rest, well they start looking for other solutions. Photo Mechanic is the ONLY true player in this market - your just lacking the catalog! The ability to find a single photo amongst 30-40 thousand is critical. Somewhere I heard that the Pro Shooter (any brand) makes up 2% of the total photographers, and of the 98% left, 85% of those consider themselves serious shooters?

Here is a little note: InfoTrends Research Group did a study on digital camera sales and for 2004 say 52 million units were sold and 82 million for 2008 and an increase of 15% per year thereafter is expected. In 2004, 1.9 Billion images were taken. Kodak states that 2007 saw 10.7 Billion (yes with a B) photos! All those images have to cataloged in some form or fashion?

Quote from: Kirk Baker
It isn't really all that possible.  Unfortunately NX2 will only recognize embedded XMP and won't read or update an XMP sidecar file if present, so edits will get out of sync from the NEF and the sidecar file.  And on the other end, Adobe's apps have an issue where they only update XMP sidecar files but are tripped up by embedded XMP.

That's what I was afraid of - in these early days it's all about trade off's and right now NX2 has my best interest at heart.

Quote from: Kirk Baker
If all you're going to use LR for is cataloging, I'd suggest looking at another solution.  What OS do you run?

I am running Windows (Vista 64) now.
I have looked at Expressions Media (old iViewMedia Pro - that I have) and it is a mess and there are rumors that it is going to be discontinued.
I have also have Extensis Portfolio 8 and unless you opt for the server addition performance falls apart after about 5,000 images.

Regards,
Chris Sgaraglino
www.WidowCreek.com

Offline MontyM

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Re: PM and LR and NX2 - Playing together?
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2009, 08:54:07 AM »
I use PM, NX2 and LR. This is my workflow

I import and rename using PM.  The files are renamed with the date at the beginning of the filename i.e. 20090930-DSC_9864.NEF  The files are imported to a temporary folder.

Using PM I rate the picture 1 through 5. Then delete unwanted pictures.

Then using PM, I assign keywords. LR will "see" the keywords.   It is fast and easy to search for keywords in LR

I then edit photos in NX2.  When in PM I select the photo I want to edit then press "e".  The photo is opened in NX2.  I make adjustments then save the (raw) file.  Then I save the file as a jpg, same filename different extension.  PM nicely groups the raw file and the jpg together. This is done so LR will see the edits I have done.

If I want to re-edit the pictures I go though the same precess.  Note, I had to configure PM to open the raw file not the jpg...

I then import the photos into LR.  I have LR move the files to another hard disk and sort them in folders by date:
2009/09/28
2009/09/29
2009/09/30

Then, in LR, I stack the pictures by capture time.  This will stack the the raw file with it's associated jpg.  The jpg is on the "top" of the stack so in LR I am able to "see" the modifications done in NX2.  If I choose to further edit the photo I right click on the stack and select "show in explorer"  An explorer window will open with the jpg hi-lighted.  The raw file is next to the jpg.  I double click on the raw file end edit it, then save it as a jpg again.

After all this, using LR, I group files in collections.  I LOVE collections, it is the reason I continue to use LR.  I can have one photo in many collections.  Collections are "short cuts" to images.  

For me, this works, but i would like to see this capability in PM

I hope you can figure out what I am doing :)

Monty







Offline Kirk Baker

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Re: PM and LR and NX2 - Playing together?
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2009, 09:23:16 AM »
Quote from: Kirk Baker
If all you're going to use LR for is cataloging, I'd suggest looking at another solution.  What OS do you run?

I am running Windows (Vista 64) now.
I have looked at Expressions Media (old iViewMedia Pro - that I have) and it is a mess and there are rumors that it is going to be discontinued.
I have also have Extensis Portfolio 8 and unless you opt for the server addition performance falls apart after about 5,000 images.

I've heard good things about ThumbsPlus, ID Imager, and IMatch.  You might try these if you need a solution now.

-Kirk

Offline heybruce

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Re: PM and LR and NX2 - Playing together?
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2009, 10:23:20 PM »
Monty's workflow seems a bit daunting.  Me, I (1) use PM to ingest with PM; (2) use PM to cull, keyword, and rate both jpgs and nefs; (3) import into LR for databasing purposes [so far keywords and ratings for both file types are imported just fine]; then (4) use NX2 for its great development tools and to print, by selecting the photos to edit in PM, then opening them to Capture NX2 for development/printing. 

I know that changes to the image in NX2 don't appear in LR without lots of gyrations, so I just live with it.  Cheaper than going to a different databasing program.  I avoid keyword changes in LR, because they don't translate well to NEFs; if I want new keywords for NEFs, I  do them in PM, then sync up the metadata in LR.  Grrr. 

I concur that a databasing module in PM would be wonderful, especially if it is executed as well as PM is now.  THAT I'd spend a big chunk for (again!!) (grr!!)

Offline rjp

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Re: PM and LR and NX2 - Playing together?
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2009, 01:53:42 PM »
Monty's workflow seems a bit daunting.  Me, I (1) use PM to ingest with PM; (2) use PM to cull, keyword, and rate both jpgs and nefs; (3) import into LR for databasing purposes [so far keywords and ratings for both file types are imported just fine]; then (4) use NX2 for its great development tools and to print, by selecting the photos to edit in PM, then opening them to Capture NX2 for development/printing. 

I know that changes to the image in NX2 don't appear in LR without lots of gyrations, so I just live with it.  Cheaper than going to a different databasing program.  I avoid keyword changes in LR, because they don't translate well to NEFs; if I want new keywords for NEFs, I  do them in PM, then sync up the metadata in LR.  Grrr. 

I concur that a databasing module in PM would be wonderful, especially if it is executed as well as PM is now.  THAT I'd spend a big chunk for (again!!) (grr!!)

fwiw, on a mac you can also use iPhoto as a cataloging tool with an NX2 and PM workflow. You just need to learn where to place the NEF file and where to place the corresponding JPEG. It works well, but is not simple. Well, it's no more complicated than the LR example described here, and it does give you the superior option of visually browsing the folders by mouse over, which is a great help finding stuff.


Offline MontyM

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Re: PM and LR and NX2 - Playing together?
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2009, 01:58:48 PM »
I have been evaluating IdImager. It's cataloging is very nice and it plays nicely with NX2. I have a 30day trial copy of IDI.  At the end of the trail period I will be making a decision... 
I sure hope PM has something "out there" by then!

Monty

Offline Kirk Baker

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Re: PM and LR and NX2 - Playing together?
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2009, 04:38:33 PM »
Monty,

I have been evaluating IdImager. It's cataloging is very nice and it plays nicely with NX2. I have a 30day trial copy of IDI.  At the end of the trail period I will be making a decision... 
I sure hope PM has something "out there" by then!

We won't have any released cataloging products 30 days from now.  I can guarantee that.

-Kirk

Offline MontyM

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Re: PM and LR and NX2 - Playing together?
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2009, 05:20:12 PM »
Monty,


I have been evaluating IdImager. It's cataloging is very nice and it plays nicely with NX2. I have a 30day trial copy of IDI.  At the end of the trail period I will be making a decision... 
I sure hope PM has something "out there" by then!

We won't have any released cataloging products 30 days from now.  I can guarantee that.

-Kirk


Well, I've had IDImager on my system for a week or so. THe cataloging and assigning photos to catalogs is very easy. But, and that's a big but, it is very slow.  Yesterday a shot ~300 photos  (not a lot by many peoples terms, but a fair amount for me).  I decided I'd do 100% of the cutting in IDI. Using IDI I would "call" NX2.  After getting about 1/4 of the way through the pictures I gave up and switched back to PM.  WOW does PM FLY! It is so fast. I remember why I purchased it :)

I realize there is more overhead with a database and maybe I am expecting too much.  I hope not. 

I guess I will patiently wait to see what you fellows at Camera Bits come up with.  If PM is any indication, my hopes are high!

Hey Kerk, I love playing with betas. hint, hint, hint.

Monty