Easiest post processing software

edited February 2015 Posted in » Nikon D3100 Forum
Does anyone have suggestions for free or cheap post processing software I can use? I don't want to be spending all day adjusting things, I just want a simple easy to use software that will bring out the best in my pictures which I shoot in Raw.


  • edited February 2015
    If you want to do basic alterations to RAW files, you can do many things with View NX2, which is free with the camera. Nikon also has a newer program to replace it, called Capture NX-D which does many of the same things but works a little differently in some details. You can download that free, as well as some updates of View NX2, from Nikon's web site. These programs also provide various file viewing and conversion utilities. They cannot do the subtle things that PS or Lightroom do. They can tidy up an image, crop, convert, and can access all the camera controls that can be changed in a RAW image, such as white balance, picture control and exposure control, and shadow recovery, as well as basic alterations such as sharpening and contrast and saturation.

    If you want simply to view and convert files with little or no processing (and no native RAW processing), there are two free programs, Irfanview and Faststone Image Viewer, which work well. Irfanview has minimal processing capabilities and can read but not save NEF images, but it is very handy for file conversion and viewing, and one of the fastest ways to do a bulk conversion of RAW to smaller JPG versions.

    The Nikon programs are fairly slow on individual file operations, but they do a good job. It's very easy to make basic adjustments such as exposure, white balance, and so forth, with control sliders, and all raw operations are completely reversible.

    Be careful if doing bulk conversions in Irfanview and the like that you do not overwrite or erase the original files. You can choose to delete or duplicate, and of course if you delete, your RAW originals are gone. Always do these operations on hard drive copies, so as not to corrupt your memory card.

    I should add that there is also the freeware GIMP program, which duplicates many of the operations of Photoshop. It's free and very powerful, but takes a good bit of practice to master.
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