5+ best software for raw editing Nikon photos

Radu Tyrsina
by Radu Tyrsina
CEO & Founder
Radu Tyrsina has been a Windows fan ever since he got his first PC, a Pentium III (a monster at that time). For most of the kids of his age, the Internet was an... Read more
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  • If you like saving your Nikon photos in RAW, you need a good RAW processor for Nikon for excellent results.
  • The best RAW converter for Nikon has to be fast and easy to use so that you can be more efficient. 
  • On top of our list there is a professional-grade tool from Adobe, the best for RAW image editing.
  • Check all the products from our selection to discover other free or dedicated solutions for Nikon RAW editing.
 
best software for raw editing Nikon photos
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If you’re looking for software that allows raw editing of Nikon photos, then you’re at the right spot. Lots of photographers are really picky about details.

Even if the market offers various tools for raw photo editing, not all of them work as expected, especially if you’re a professional searching for results as closest to perfection as possible.

We gathered the best raw converters for Nikon on Windows 10 and macOS, so make sure that you check out the main features that we listed for each of them just to see which one seems closer to your needs and skills as well.

What are the best raw processors for Nikon?

InPixio Photo Studio Pro 11

InPixio Photo Studio Pro 11 is a great photo editing software that can very well handle the RAW file type so it would be perfect for editing you Nikon photos.

This is a surprisingly complex piece of software but it’s also quite easy to use thanks to its simple and comprehensive user interface and the built-in tutorials and guides that will help you along the way.

Editing RAW images is not its only perk. If you want to remove the date, a watermark, or even a person from a photo, the built-in Erase tool from Photo Studio works like a charm.

You only need to highlight the element you want to eliminate and with a click of a button it’s gone. You can also do the same with any imperfections from a person’s portrait-like wrinkles.

Let’s look at the best features of Photo Studio Pro 11:

  • Create perfect cutouts aided by AI technology
  • Perfect for restoring old photos
  • Supports all major file types, including RAW
  • Notable set of guides and tutorials to help you
Photo Studio Pro 11

Photo Studio Pro 11

This amazing editing software is both complex and easy to use so even beginners will have excellent results on editing RAW images.

Adobe Lightroom

Your Nikon camera is a powerful and high-quality device. What works best with it if not a photo management and editing software that is high quality, fast and powerful?

We are talking about Adobe Lightroom, of course. A cloud-based tool that gives you ultimate controls and helps you quickly sort out and organize thousands of files using machine learning algorithms.

After you enhance the colors, add filters and effects and create the best version of your photo, you can also use the sharing function to share them with your friends and family.

Are you a fan of nature and take lots of landscape pictures? Or are you more of a portrait type of photographer? Food blogger?

It doesn’t really matter because you have all the right tools to adjust black levels and exposure, work with HDR images, improve shadows, and more.

Here are the key features of Adobe Lightroom:

  • Great at performing photo enhancements
  • Non-destructive changes can be made
  • Profiles and presets that you can import
  • Available on all platforms (Windows, macOS, iOS, Android) to take your work everywhere with you
Adobe Lightroom

Adobe Lightroom

Looking for the best Nikon photo editing software with raw support? Lightweight Lightroom delivers all the speed and efficiency you need.

Free trialVisit website

Corel PaintShop Pro

This is one of the best choices that you have available, and this photo editing software and bonus collection will definitely blow your mind.

It’s safe to say that this is the ultimate photo editing and graphic design tool, and you will be able to do wonders with your raw Nikon files.

Using this massive software pack, you can edit your photos just like a pro using a complete set of professional image editing tools for photo composition and adjustments.

The interface is straightforward to use and easy to understand for the best overall experience.

This pack includes a faster, more comfortable PaintShop Pro and an exclusive bonus collection of premium software.

Take a look at just a few of its best features and functionalities:

  • Using this program, you will get results similar to the ones that are obtained with Photoshop but for less cash
  • You will be able to automatically correct your images and edit the raw Nikon files with Corel AfterShot 3
  • Here, you’ll find everything that you need to produce a variety of fabulous graphic design projects
  • You can turn your photos into works of art and realistic paintings.
  • You will get the chance to restore color, details, and more
  • Using this pack of software, you will quickly learn professional-grade raw photo editing with AfterShot 3
Corel PaintShop Pro

Corel PaintShop Pro

Corel PaintShop Pro is a professional photo editor so it will create amazing results helping you with your Nikon RAW images.

Free trialVisit website

DxO PhotoLab

DxO PhotoLab is another software that works great with Nikon raw files. This tool uses the revolutionary PRIME denoising technology, and it manages to push the limits of high ISO photography further.

This noise reduction technology offers spectacular performance that will result in detailed and vividly-colored images taken under the most extreme shooting conditions.

The various presets that are packed into this software can be adapted according to the photographers’ tastes, needs and it will turn out very helpful in creating the best photos with just a few clicks.

DxO integrates lots of powerful tools for automatically processing raw Nikon files and more.

Check out the best features that are packed in this software:

  • It provides precise optical and geometric corrections
  • Intelligent optimization for exposure and contrast
  • Excellent preservation of colors and details
  • The PRIME technology stands for Probabilistic Raw Image Enhancement, and this fantastic technology analyzes the structure of raw images in depth in order to be able to differentiate fine details from noise
  • The Library of presets includes presets that respond to different use cases
  • Creative renderings
  • Visual presets window that will make it much easier for you to choose which preset to apply to an image

Download DxO PhotoLab

LightZone

LightZone also works amazingly with your raw Nikon files. You have to be a fully registered member of the LightZone Project in order to have the ability to download the software.

After the registration process is completed and you have logged in after approval, you will be able to download the version of the software for Windows and start testing it.

The software offers a robust feature set for photographers who are looking for an alternative for Lightroom or to simply convert RAW image files.

LightZone comes with quite an impressive package of features that can offer users a lot of power while they’re converting the raw Nikon images.

Check out the best features that you will find packed in this tool:

  • LightZone is a free raw converter that is quite similar to Adobe Lightroom
  • It allows you to make non-destructive edits to your Nikon pics and this means that you will always have the ability to go back to the original image
  • The tool’s user interface is clean and stylish
  • LightZone’s Browse window is the location where the app will open when it’s first launched
  • The Edit window is the place where this software really shines and where you’ll be doing all the creative work

DownloadLightZone

RawTherapee

RawTherapee is another option that you have available to work on your raw Nikon files.

This light but powerful software features batch processing, copy/paste editing parameters, parallel editing, basic tools, the opportunity to use an optional secondary display, and more.

RawTherapee is a free and open source software that is also available in 25 languages.

Check out its best features:

  • The software is really versatile and supports lots of cameras
  • It can, of course, load most RAW files
  • There is also a command-line besides the standard graphics interface
  • There are various layouts included in the software
  • Advanced color handling, non-destructive editing, enhanced exposure, and tonality tools
  • Multiple denoising methods, various tools to enhance details, and more

Download RawTherapee

Nikon Capture NX-D

This new Nikon software promises to speed up your post-processing workflow.

Capture NX-D is a non-destructive raw image processing app that uses a new sidecar system to save adjustments for Nikon photographers who are looking to make various modifications to their .NEF or .NRW files.

Photographers who have been using Nikon Capture NX2 or Nikon View NX2 will see that this new tool called Capture NX-D is much quicker and provides better processing time.

After your .NEF or .NRW files are processed, you can move them to other imaging apps in a 16-bit TIFF format effortlessly.

Check out the most important and useful features:

  • The program is intuitive to use and easy enough to understand even for users who are not pros
  • Nikon Capture NX-D is designed to get the most out of Nikon raw files
  • Nikon Capture NX-D is a non-destructive software for your files, and this is thanks to the fact that it saves the adjustments to a sidecar instead of the original file
  • You will always be able to reprocess an image without having to undo all your changes
  • The software’s interface is ideal for digital photographers
  • The floating pallets can be arranged in a workspace that best supports your workflow
  • You will have seven different styles to choose from

Download Nikon Capture NX

All these tools are ideal Nikon editing software for Windows 10 and macOS users. Take a look at their sets of features just to make sure that you’re getting the right tools for both your needs and skills.

If you have any other suggestions or questions, feel free to reach for the comments section below.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • The NEF file extension means Nikon Electronic Format and it’s the Nikon Raw Image file used on Nikon cameras. See how to open .nef files.

  • You can’t go wrong with any popular photo editors. See our recommendations for photo editing. All of them open the Nikon Raw image format and each one has strengths and weaknesses.

  • Nikon offers its own Imaging Software called Nikon ViewNX-i. If you’re looking for more tools that can qualify for the best raw processor for Nikon title, these ones will do a great job with your NEF files.