|Adobe Camera RAW||Nikon Capture NX2|
If you shoot or are planning to shoot RAW, you are serious about digital imaging, and if you are serious about digital imaging, you need Photoshop.
If you do not yet own Photoshop, you will have to buy, beg, borrow or steal to get it. The good news is, however, you do not necessarily need the latest ($ 699) CS4 version.
If you already have a CS version of Photoshop, but ACR is incompatible with your camera’s RAW format, a practical way to make them compatible is through the DNG converter, which - in its current 5.5 version - supports al present and past Nikon DSLR’s, including the D300S, D5000 and D3000.
See my Nikon/ACR compatibility chart for more information.
I have shared the last 15 years of my life with Photoshop on a daily basis, have used Nikon View 6 and Nikon Capture 4.x on an important part of the 30.000 plus images I have turned out with different Nikons since 2003 (D1X, D200, D40, Coolpix 8700, Coolscan IV), and have tested all the mentioned programs at one point or another during the last 6 years as well.
Since the above is a frequently asked question, and even though I thought I knew the answer, I decided to give it a go, and downloaded a bunch of trials.