On the other hand, after a few hours playing with NX2 on Mac, I have to say that I am impressed. The interface is responsive and reasonnably intuitive. The imaging capabilities are very interesting and it is clearly possible to do many photographer centric corrections faster than with CS3 (and I know CS3 very well). If the demoisacing were a little bit better still, it would maybe replace C1 4.1 as my main conversion tool. Today I feel that C1 4.1 still has a small edge though.
I must be doing something wrong given the comments on this thread regarding NX2 and C1. Over the years I have always heard marvelous things about C1 but never gave it a try until just recently. Like others I find the C1 UI woefully lacking but what confounds me more is the rather mediocre raw conversions I have seen mostly with my D3 files but also with a couple of D2x files as well and still feel that the ACR/LR raw conversion to be better than C1 or NX/NX2. BTW yesterday I downloaded the 60 trial of NX2 based on this thread alone. The file conversions seemingly are identical to NX with as noted a different UI but honestly I find it even more clunky and obtuse than the original version of NX, go figure.
Back to C1, given my frustration and disappointment with this program with my Nikon files I decided to try some experiments with Phase One raw files downloaded from the Capture Integration website, notably the image of down town Atlanta with burgandy umbrellas in the foreground. Once again I felt the LR/ACR files to be somewhat different in color rendition but on the whole found them to be better than the C1 renderings.
One of the main criteria I use for judging the quality of a raw file rendering is the default noise reduction and in this regard the ACR or LR conversions seemed dramatically better than the C1 files whether it was Nikon or Phase One files. One can always make color adjustments fairly easy in PS but dealing with noise in tif file is more problematic.
FWIW in my test on each file I rendered them two different ways, first zeroing out virtually all adjustments in color, contrast etc but keeping the default noise and base camera sharpening in tact. This allows one to really see IMHO, just what is going on under the hood for those two very important items. I then created a second rendering allowing the default conversions for all aspects including color, contrast etc. Consistently C1 had noisier images than ACR or NX and regardless of whether it was the Nikon or Phase files but what really astonished me was the apparent sharper and crisper looking file converted with ACR default base sharpening vs the C1 conversion with default settings. While colors were somewhat different on Phase files vs ACR I didn't find it anything to jump up and down about and actually thought the sky rendering in the downtown scene to be a bit off, too cyan and probably more saturated than what would have actually been at the scene. I grew up in the deep south and am familiar with the hazy milky skies that so often exist there.
So, am I doing something wrong here, or is this simply a matter of perception or taste? As a rule most subjective criticisms of raw converters go unqualified, that is no evidence or comments given as to why one is better than the other, thus my rather long winded response and observations.