NEW ViewNX to go with CaptureNX2
ViewNX is the free image
viewer with additional capabilities available FREE from Nikon. This is a good product
that replaces PictureProject a product that was more like those with point and
shoot cameras than of use to serious photographers. You use this to look at your
images, perhaps manage your images, perhaps make some small changes to them, and
convert from one format to another, or as a stepping stone to select and load
images into an editor such as Nikon CaptureNX or one of the Photoshop versions.
It displays images that are Jpg's, Tiff's and Nikon raw (NEF) files.
Those who have attended a
Hands on a Nikon day or the Editing with Capture NX day with Camera Images since
this programme has been available, so just over the last 18 months, will have
been shown this program just before the demonstration you had of the
capabilities of Capture NX.
If you are a Nikon user and
not using ViewNX, then it would be well worth the few minutes it will take to
install it and work out how to drive it. This is not a difficult program to
use and often you will find it the fastest and most convenient way to view
images especially if you are using Raw images.
The new version V1.1.0 has
been changed to line up with CaptureNX2, but also adds a number of new features
and improves others. It will still work with the existing
Capture NX, at the same time there is a new version of Nikon Transfer, the
program that is useful in moving images from your card, or camera into your
computer. You can also pick up images that you have just copied onto your hard
disk with this as well. Both of these programs you can download for free from
many Nikon websites. See links at the end of this page.
The initial difference you spot when you
load the latest version of ViewNX is that the screen looks different, some
of this is just layout and presentational changes. There are however a
number of new facilities and changes, which we can investigate.
Lets just recap on some terminology,
Pallets are just the flip out parts, expandable sections of the system that
appear when you click on a button and the like. A pane is a sub section of a
pallet or window.
The changes include:-
The Navigation Palette, this is the browser
like parts that come out from the left, with additional information, and the
ability to make non selective adjustments to the entire image, so a form of
simple editing. This has been changed to consist of Folders, Metadata, and
Quick Adjustment palettes.
- The Folders palette now displays a
folder tree, making it easy to find and display folders containing images.
- A Favourites folder pane has been
added at the top of the Navigation Palette’s Folders palette.
- The Metadata palette displays a variety
of information about images, including information such as filename and
image size; camera info such as shooting date, the model used, lens
information, focal length, sensitivity settings, exposure mode and shutter
speed. XMP/IPTC information, such as keywords, description, creator, and
origin can also be displayed, and edited and saved to image files.
- The previous Camera Settings and XMP/IPTC
Information palettes have been combined in a Metadata palette that now
displays File & Camera Information and XMP/IPTC Information.
- The Quick Adjustment palette allows for
adjustment of exposure compensation and white balance settings with RAW (NEF)
images. Picture Controls are available for enhancing images. Gradation and
Saturation can also be adjusted using the D-Lighting HS and Colour Booster
enhancements with RAW (NEF), JPEG, and TIFF images
- Support for optional Picture Controls
has been added. When optional Picture Controls are installed, these are
added to the Picture Controls list in the Quick Adjustments palette, and
can be applied to images
- D-Lighting HS and Colour Booster
features have been added for image adjustment and enhancement.
- The ratings (stars) and labels
(coloured numbers) system is improved.
- The ability to tab one or more images selected with the ratings or
tags is now on the bottom left of the screen, or from right mouse
- The filter using the ratings and stars is at the top, you can select
a single rating or label or click and drag over a range to select more,
or click on a tick to include all.
- A Recycle Bin button has been added to
the Bottom bar. You do get a 'do you want to delete' question, before
- When two monitors are used, a Thumbnails
and Full Screen option in the Thumbnail Control bar (view mode options)
allows thumbnails to be displayed in the primary monitor and full-screen
images to be displayed in the secondary monitor (this action can be
swapped so that the full screen image opens on the primary screen). The options menu off the
bottom of the edit list sets default actions, like double clicking an
- When RAW (NEF) images saved using
Capture NX2 is displayed in ViewNX, only the preview image within RAW (NEF)
images is displayed, this is much faster, and possible because CaptureNX2
adds a large preview image to the NEF file to replace the small one that
the camera added.
- A RAW button, top left of full screen,
allows you to show the RAW image.
- A Tooltip that displays file information
when the mouse cursor is positioned over a filename in Thumbnail Grid and
Image Viewer modes has been added. It also displays the meaning of all
buttons symbols etc on the screen.
- An 'i' Information screen now can be
shown by images in the split and full view displays, that shows the basic
and most useful information on the image. This is really useful, the 'i'
keyboard key makes it pop up and disappear as well.
- When looking at an image in the lower
half of the split view or as a full page , the maximum scale before was
100% now it goes to 200% and 400% as well, initially its pixelated but
then creates a new image that is un-pixelated and remarkably clear, looking
at a large house and garden, 400% took me in to the point where I could
easily see nails that made up the window frames. You can also do this
within Capture NX and NX2.
- Individual R, G, B, and Brightness
channels can now be displayed simultaneously with histogram display in the
Image View area in Image Viewer and Full Screen modes , using a very
thin button next to display histogram button, that is easily missed. In
addition, histogram display can now be enabled and disabled by pressing
the SPACEBAR on the keyboard, and stays at the setting chosen with the
- The label and rating box displayed at
the bottom left of the slideshow window when slideshows were played has
been eliminated. Image label and rating are now displayed in the Slide
- The slide show feature may not run if
the required version of QuickTime is not installed.
- An option has been added that displays
an alert when image files captured with the image authentication feature
enabled are edited.
Voice and movie features - some cameras for
example D2X and D3, can record voice notes to go with images. Movie features
are more common on compact cameras, and generally not on DSLR's.
- When voice recording files are selected,
File (filename), Date Created, and Date Modified, File Size items have
been added to the information displayed in File Info 1 in the Metadata
- Support for audio files recorded using
voice recording features has been added. An icon indicating an audio file
is displayed in the Thumbnail Grid, allowing for audio playback of the
- Show Movies and Show Voice Recordings
options have been added to the options available from the Thumbnail
Control bar in Thumbnail Grid and Image Viewer modes. If movies or voice
recordings are not displayed, check the Show Movies or Show Voice
Recordings option in the Thumbnail Control bar.
- A feature has been added that displays
image information for image and movie files in the upper left corner of
the Image View area when the 'i' button in the Image Control bar is clicked
in Image Viewer and Full Screen modes. Display of shooting information can
also be enabled and disabled by pressing “I” on the keyboard.
Menu and selection changes:-
- The All Images option in the Edit menu
has been moved to the Select Image submenu, and a Select All option has
been added to the Edit menu.
- A None option has been added to the
middle name of the rule displayed in the File Naming dialog.
- The minimum value that can be entered
when changing image size with file conversion has been reduced to 320
pixels for either width or height, whichever is longer.
- Support for the Service Pack 1 versions
of 32-bit Windows Vista Home Basic/Home
Premium/Business/Enterprise/Ultimate has been added.
Help system - Available from the help menu or F1
- This is improved, but indexing is still poor.
- Can be a nuisance, for example touching the wrong key by mistake
looses the images showing basically a white page, closing it down and
starting it up again won't clear this. Its just the image is now showing
highlight or shadow detail. The keyboard shortcuts are shown on
individual choices and listed in the appendixes at the end of the help
Overall the changes are an improvement and it makes sense to have a
similar look and feel as Capture NX2. It appears to be stable and run well,
and several simple but nice features in the favourites areas in the
browser and the information display are going to make it quicker to use.
You can download a free copy from Nikon
you won't find it
under products, software, but on the support area, go to customer services,
then support and downloads, then select software, or
to reach this point, then select ViewNX 1.1.0 (or a
later version of available) for either Windows or the Mac.
Also collect a copy of Nikon Transfer 1.1.0
or later at the same time. There are minor differences with this version but
nothing you are likely to spot.
Tip: When downloading these files
its a good idea to save them to a downloads directory of your disk, so
creating a backup, rather than just running them, as often later only the
latest versions are available. If later you end up with a less stable
version or one that doesn't work as well with your system, you will be able to
uninstall it and reinstall the saved version. Once on your disk you just
click on them to start the install.