Image-editing rethought from the ground up.
Ever wonder what an image-editing program would be like if Adobe Photoshop had never existed?
The new Nikon Capture NX software is probably the closest thing. A co-project of Nikon and the similarly named (but unrelated) Nik Software company, this program uses what they're calling U Point technology to allow you to make quick adjustments to the zones of influence you choose. That means you can saturate certain areas, desaturate others, and color-correct in the places that need it, all without painstakingly selecting them. The other good news: None of these changes are permanent. They all happen as a list of deletable and modifiable steps that leave your original alone.
Nikon shooters who love RAW may be the most pleased with the $150 program ($90 for the upgrade), because their RAW adjustments are built into the process. Everyone else can import TIFFs or JPEGs, but won't be able to work on RAW files. (No, it doesn't work on Adobe DNG.) Other useful features are built in: A file browser pops up on the left; you can soft-proof at will from a menu at the bottom of the image; and the histogram, if you like to use one, sits on the bottom right corner.
Here's a sneak peek at the program, based on a top-secret beta version of the software. And take note: None of the fixes took more than ten minutes to do.