Steve's Digicams - Breaking News - Nikon 07/22/03 Press Release


Press Release - July 22, 2003

NIkon Announces New Capture 4.0 Software To Support High-Performance New D2H Professional Digital SLR Camera

Capture 4.0 Will Significantly Extend Nikon Digital SLR Capabilities; New Tools Enhance the Full Power of NEF with Image Control Unmatched by Any Other Software

MELVILLE, NY, JULY 22, 2003 - Nikon (, the world leader in photography, today introduced powerful new Capture 4.0 software to support all Nikon digital SLR models including the new, D2H professional digital SLR camera designed for photojournalism and sports/action photography. This versatile image processing and editing software extends the capabilities and offers comprehensive control of NEF (Nikon Electronic Format) images unmatched by any other software. Capture 4.0 also features significant new image enhancement technologies that not only allow photographers to maintain a faster workflow, but also offer advanced image editing capabilities.

"Nikon's Capture 4.0 software more effectively extends the concept of Nikon's Total Image Quality into postproduction workflow by delivering automated new processing features that can instantly perform various complex and time consuming tasks, including removing the appearance of sensor dust on images, and editing white balance and color settings on a series of images," said Richard LoPinto, vice president of SLR camera systems at Nikon Inc.

"The strongest value of Capture comes with its ability to harness the full power of the NEF file. Capture takes into account and retains all the vital camera settings and image parameters recorded into a NEF file at the time a picture is taken, including automatic settings and those settings the photographer has selected, when it processes the image in the computer. Photographers therefore get the high-quality image the camera intended to produce instead of an alternative rendering of the image," he added.

The Full Power of NEF: A Photographer's Most Versatile Tool

NEF (Nikon Electronic Format) file is a highlight of Nikon's digital SLR photography system, providing archival characteristics and extensive non-destructive editing tools, while preserving the integrity of the original RAW image data. A NEF file may seem analogous to a 35mm film negative, but its true potential extends well beyond that of film. A NEF file from a Nikon digital SLR camera consists of three key components that include raw image data captured by the imaging sensor, thumbnail images of the raw data, and a unique instruction set that retains camera settings from the moment a picture was taken. During postproduction in Capture 4.0 software, these original camera settings can be tweaked, edited and saved as a variation of the instruction set, thereby leaving the original raw data unaffected, yet achieving the effects of the editing on the final image. Only Nikon's Capture software completely integrates all of the information saved within the instruction set of a NEF file, thus avoiding loss of valuable camera-settings instructions and overall control of the image.

When shooting in NEF mode, all Nikon digital SLR models including the new D2H capture 12-bit images, instead of 8-bit in JPEG and TIFF modes. In Capture 4.0 software, these 12-bit images are processed into full 16-bit images using advanced algorithms, offering tone and color enhancements with the smoothest gradation and fidelity. Using Capture 4.0, a 16-bit NEF image can be easily transformed into a JPEG or TIFF. NEF easily replaces all other file formats as the ultimate image archive file. Furthermore, when using the Nikon D1X and Capture's 10-mega pixel interpolation/scaling controls, a NEF file can be preserved as a 16-bit, 60 megabyte TIFF file that is large enough for a huge range of publishing requirements.

Capture 4.0 software boasts a series of unique new features that speed up the workflow, and automate time-consuming processes with the click of a button. A highlight of its new features include:

  • Image Dust Off: An exclusive new technology that automatically and effortlessly removes the appearance of sensor dust and particles from a NEF image. Using a reference image taken with the D2H by the user, the software maps out a sensor dust pattern and applies this to selected images, automatically and accurately removing the effect of sensor dust. A dust reference file can also be created using other Nikon digital SLR models, expanding this feature's effect of removing the appearance of dust to all Nikon digital SLR cameras.

  • Digital DEE: This scene specific 'dodge and burn' control automatically applies appropriate brightening and darkening values to specific areas of a photo, bringing out the highlights and achieving overall exposure balance. This feature is ideal for "fixing" photos that, for example, have strongly backlit subjects, and therefore a darkened foreground with little visible detail.

  • Fisheye-to-Rectilinear Image Transformation With New DX Fisheye-Nikkor 10.5mm lens: A breakthrough in advancing wide-angle digital SLR photography for all Nikon digital SLR models using Nikon's DX Format Sensor, Capture 4.0 software can automatically transform an image taken with the new AF DX Fisheye-Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8G ED lens (offering a 180 diagonal angle-of-view) into a rectilinear image with about 110 angle-of-view (when applied horizontally). This function allows the lens to double as a useful ultra-wide angle lens, offering photographers both fisheye perspective and wide-angle capabilities in a compact, pocket-sized lens.

  • Enhanced Batch Processing: With the objective of speeding up a photographer's workflow while adding convenience, Capture 4.0 allows a variety of image adjustments and corrections to be automatically applied to a series of images using its advanced batch processing functions.

  • Remote Camera Control: Nikon Capture 4.0 can control most Nikon digital SLR settings using the camera's appropriate image transfer interface. Images can also be downloaded directly to a computer while shooting, for the convenience of on-screen viewing and directly saving onto a hard drive.

  • Vignette Control: While virtually all lenses have some degree of vignetting (gradual darkening of the corners of an image), Capture 4.0 can automatically adjust NEF images to counteract the vignette effect, and achieve photographs with near perfect center-to-edge-to-corner brightness.

  • Support for NEF, TIFF and JPEG files: Capture 4.0 fully supports browsing and editing of all image file formats produced by all Nikon Digital SLR models.

Nikon Capture 4.0 will be complemented with new Nikon View 6.1 image organizing and browsing software. Enhancements to this new version of Nikon View include faster browsing and data transfer, easier editing of titles and captions, improved red-eye correction and automatic rotation of D2H image files to match the orientation of the picture.

Nikon Capture 4.0 and Nikon View 6.1 software will be available in the fourth quarter of 2003. Nikon will shortly announce an upgrade plan for current owners of Capture 3 products.

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