Working With Nikon 1 J4 RAW Files

Spy_BlackSpy_Black Posts: 79Member
edited June 2015 in Nikon 1
Who's working with a J4 and RAW files here? I'm getting some pretty crappy output from just about every RAW editor except for the AGONIZINGLY slow Nikon Capture NX-D, which unsurprisingly works well with the J4 RAWs.

The biggest problem is Capture One Pro. It doesn't support the newer Nikon 1 cameras like the J4 and V3. So I make DNGs in Adobe DNG converter and import, and then I watch them die on the vine. I get workable files from Lightroom and DxO, but they still look a bit lacking compared to the straight JPEG out of the camera. Below is a screenshot of the output from the J4, as well as the above mentioned apps. The Capture One file speaks for itself, but you can see that even LR and DxO are not really all there. These are straight-in unprocessed files, then exported. I should point out that files from my Nikon D5100, D600, Sony RX100 III, Canon S110, and Fuji S9000 cameras all import fine into all these apps.

For a consistency check, I imported the same DNG files into the other apps and they looked like their RAW counterparts. I also made DNGs from my Sony RX100 III RAWs and imported them into Capture One, and they looked like their RAW counterparts. So it's something about the J4 files that affecting all the apps really, but Capture One the most for some reason. I may have to relegate J4 RAWs to NX-D, which is torturous, or simply accept the JPEGs out of the camera, which can be problematic at higher ISOs.

Anyone else getting this from their J4s? Thanks.


  • I_ROUTEI_ROUTE Posts: 5Member
    I use DxO and have not had any problems with any of my Nikon 1 cameras. I have the J4 & AW-1. What version of DxO do you have? Also, I use a custom preset. Do you at least apply the default preset to the images?

  • Spy_BlackSpy_Black Posts: 79Member
    I have DxO 10.Yes, default preset. As you can see, DxO and LR are fairly close, but the color and luminosity values are better out of the camera or through Capture NX-D. Have you ever compared your files against the camera output and NX-D? Chances are you might see the same result as I have above.
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    We had a thread titled "Best raw converter" and I pointed out that it was Nikon, and gave several examples of technical studies that prove that. The LR fanbois will never be convinced otherwise. I think DxO is a good second. You can probably tweak DxO to get closer, but since everyone else is reverse engineering the RAW format, Nikon will always have an edge.

    As far as the slowness, can you give detail on OS, HW, and settings? Perhaps we can find a bottleneck.
  • Spy_BlackSpy_Black Posts: 79Member
    The bottleneck is unfortunately NX-D. :-) Other than Capture One 8, which is also slow (although nowhere near as slow as NX-D) the other apps run at a good clip on my Win 7 machine with 6-core Phenom with 16 gigs of ram, SSD scratch disk, 4-gig GeForce GT760, et al.

    I use DxO primarily for it's PRIME noise reduction engine, most of my work I do in either LR or Capture One. For the sake of the J4, I think I will just resort to using the in-camera JPEGs when their quality is good enough and use RAW when necessary.
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    edited June 2015
    What if you just batch process all of your J4 images into TIFFs and pull into DxO, How slow is slow? I guess I'll time a batch of 40 just to give a number to compare too... I love the PRIME NR, I just don't always need it.
    Post edited by Ironheart on
  • Spy_BlackSpy_Black Posts: 79Member
    I don't always need PRIME either, but the J4's sensor is not that great. Even at base ISO it's noisy. My RX100 III blows it away. I wish Nikon had used the Sony sensor. The combination of Nikon image processing and Sony sensors has always been killer. It's actually Nikon's processing that is the saving grace on the J4. Even pushed the JPEGs look decent, in spite of the sensor.

    I wish NX-D would output to DNG. This way I would still have access to all the highlight and shadow data. You can't that with TIFFs, even 16-bit. I'll just have to deal with it. What I find really weird is what's going on in Capture One. The images initially look good as I import them into the catalog, but then one by one they start to look like what you see above. It's only doing it with J4 files, no other camera files do that. There's certain processes in Capture that I like, but I'll simply have to forgo Capture with the J4. Fortunately for me the J4 is a not a "go-to" camera, so it's not the end of the world.
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