(news & commentary)
Let’s start with the commentary: why?
With the appearance of Capture NX-D later this month, adding D810 support to ViewNX2 just seems like a make-work situation in the Nikon software group. Oh, wait, ViewNX2 has “smooth collaboration with Nikon Image Space” and Capture NX-D doesn’t.
Nikon’s software offerings have never been particularly well thought out, grouped, or managed. Transfer is part of ViewNX2, ViewNX2 links to Nikon Image Space, but Capture and Camera Control are disconnected entities. Meanwhile, things like Picture Controls get stand-alone helper apps that are tied to by ViewNX2 and Capture (or just stand alone ;~). What you’re seeing is multiple disconnected groups doing different things with different priorities and no strong hand at the top forcing a rationalization and long term plan.
Let me offer one:
- Center everything on Capture NX-D.
- Add Picture Controls and Camera Control and other offerings as plug-ins to Capture NX-D.
- Extend the plug-in architecture to third parties.
- “Share” to places people actually share (Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, iCloud Photos, etc., probably through API’s those companies use to create a plug-in).
- Oh, and stop naming updates in cryptic fashion that suits your engineers but means users can’t even figure out which update is from Nikon.
That’s it. Kill all the sub-groups, kill Image Space, get testing and support centered around one product, deploy developer evangelism.
Which brings us to the news. ViewNX2 has been updated to version 2.10.0. It’s been updated to support the D810 files, and the Picture Control utility bundled with it has been updated to version 2.0 to include the Clarity function and the new Flat Picture Control. That’s it. The Picture Control utility bit is particularly galling. ViewNX2 doesn’t look to see what the latest PC utility is, it needs the version hard coded into the calling software apparently. Yuck.
Note that Picture Controls on the D810 have a new file type (!): NP2. Older camera Picture Controls are file type NCP (why weren’t they NPC?). Yep, we’re in for a new round of file shuffling. Here’s the other thing about Nikon’s settings files, which Picture Controls fall into: they change. Often. Any firmware revision tends to break compatibility with Save/Load settings and most other files that the camera itself creates or loads. Apparently no one in Nikon’s software group ever took the class on versioning. Let alone the one that tells you how to use tags in a file with a system that then ignores tags that don’t apply to the product you loaded that file into.
Nikon is failing Software 101.