Really Nice Images released version 4.0 of their RNI All Films Pack in the beginning of July. I actually wrote a preview of it earlier, and didn’t come around to doing a review until now. In summary, if you liked what you read in my preview article, you can go ahead and prepare to make a purchase. My impressions have not changed much between then and now. In fact this review will have a lot of cut-and-paste content from the preview article in July.
To recap, the RNI 4.0 All Films pack is priced at 122 USD and existing subscribers get an email with a half-price offer to upgrade. (If you didn’t get your upgrade offer, check out this page.) RNI now offers the All Films pack in Pro and Lite versions. The Pro version gets you everything, while the Lite version gives a smaller selection of presets at a much lower price of 59USD.
If you are new to RNI, I recommend getting the Pro version since that gets you all presets and features at just about 60 USD more than the Lite version. The Lite version is friendly for those who are slightly tight on cash or just hesitant about paying more than a hundred dollars for a product that does not have a trial version. The good news is that RNI also offers an upgrade price to those who bought the Lite version! However I am not sure of the exact pricing details, so don’t hate me if the total price for Lite + Pro upgrade turns out higher than if you just bought Pro in the first place.
What’s New From RNI 3.0
You can find the full list of improvements in the official product page, but there are the changes that stand out for me:
+ New Jpeg Compensation Option
A new Jpeg compensation preset reduces the contrast and brightness of images. This is for users who wants to use RNI for Jpeg images, as opposed to RAW files. This would compensate for images becoming too bright or contrasty when presets are applied to OOC Jpegs.
+ Better naming of presets for easier organization
Presets now get a numerical value appended to their names so they are easier to parse. This is a welcome usability improvement. It makes a lot of difference when you are trying to keep track of which presets you are experimenting with and using.
+ Lens softness effect is disabled by default
Now instant and vintage film presets do not implement the lens softness effect by default. Wedding and portrait photographers may treasure the character of film, but the softening and blurring of details may not be necessary all the time. Disabling this by default is another great usability improvement.
+ RNI Film Essentials upgraded to RNI Toolkit
The Film Essentials presets have been re-organized and renamed to RNI Toolkit. The presets are now better organized, better named, and simply more useful than ever.
+ New camera profiles for Lightroom
RNI 4.0 introduces new Lightroom camera profiles for different cameras! These will provide a different colour profile for different camera models. I don’t use this since I use capture NX-D for RAW conversion, but these could be interesting to users who prefer to only use Lightroom or Photoshop.
+ New and revised presets
What’s the point of paying for a new version of a preset system if the stars of the product – the presets themselves – are not updated? I am happy to report that the preset selections have undergone extensive re-organization. In additional to new presets, presets from the previous version have also received revisions and additional variations. For example, there are now more 6 variations for Fuji Velvia, and new presets such as Technicolour 2 and Fuji Natura 160 are now included, among other additions.
Note that I do not just perform blanket application of presets. I am not looking for an “authentic film look” either. I only use presets as “a good starting point” to tone my pictures, and will always apply additional post-processing on top of them. Hence your expectations may be different from the results I have achieved. Nevertheless, here are some sample results.
RNI 4.0 is a nice upgrade over RNI 3.0 in many ways. Sure if you really want to save on cash, you can continue to use RNI 3.0 happily. However, I can say that if you do perform the upgrade, you won’t regret it or think your money was wasted. Have fun! – WY