I am looking for my first (and possibly only one ever) raw photo editor for my Nikon D5100 gear. Naturally I started by looking at Capture NX2. I read two interesting articles about it:
http://www.nx101.com/dynamicrange.html: it says that after setting white balance and exposure, the actual effect editing only works on a basic 8-bit color space. http://www.nx101.com/colorandgamma.html: it says that pixel operations are not gamma aware. I followed up on the subject and I totally get it, basically, the average of a 0,0,0 black and a 255,255,255 white in sRGB is NOT the linear average 128,128,128 but rather 187,187,187. I read that Lightroom is one of the few software where they get it right.
Judging by the release history, NX2 is quite old, there have been only slight updates (adding new lenses, cameras, etc.), whereas Lightroom for example is very actively developed. NX2 has control points from the Nik plugin collection, Lightroom has its local adjustment brush, both seem pretty advanced to me, but Nik seems to have a better reputation.
Then there are several free alternatives as well. There are infinitely many ways to compare them, like the user interface, the price, the workflow, the toolset, etc. In this question I'm only focusing on this one aspect: what is the technically, scientifically most advanced raw photo editor? What is the state of the art, who has the best, fastest algorithms?
(I know that when choosing a software, I cannot judge solely on this, but this is an important aspect to me and I seem to find little information about this in reviews.)