A free resource available for download from Microsoft is designed to introduce support for raw file formats from no less than 120 DSLR cameras in Windows 7 and Windows Vista.
Professional photographers are bound to be all but too familiar with what the raw image file format of their DSLR camera can do for them, but I’m willing to bet that there are plenty of hobbits photographers such as myself that understand the advantages of working with the pure information of a picture in the early stages of the editing process, instead of with already processed content.
JPEGs, TIFFs, PNGs, and a range of additional formats, including Microsoft’s own JPEG-XR (or HD Photo) format, provide an automatically processed version of an image. Sometimes, the level of alteration introduced by the automated editing process drastically restricts the “elbow room” left for the photographer’s own changes, or even destroys the picture.
This is why it’s better to work with the digital negatives of images, the pure information from which JPEGs and TIFFs, etc. are created, when digital single lens reflex cameras permit it.
The problem with ray image file formats? Well, the fact that they’re non-standardized proprietary formats, vendor and camera-specific. Adding native support for each of the raw image file formats in Windows has yet to be done, but now, Windows 7 and Vista users can leverage the next best thing, a codec pack.
The Microsoft Camera Codec Pack was just released, and it will allow Windows 7 and Vista customers that also know their way around a DSLR camera to work with raw images right in Windows Explorer. Furthermore, raw image file format for some 120 DSLR cameras does not stop with Windows 7 and Vista, since Windows Live Photo Gallery 2011 also enables customers to work with such content.
“With the new codec pack, Windows will now support viewing and editing a wide range of photo file formats including raw, JPEG, PNG, TIFF and more,” Brad Weed, Group Program Manager, Windows Live stated.
“This new update unlocks the power of every photo on your computer so that your PC is capable of organizing, viewing and editing your digital memories, whether they were shot with a camera phone, point-and-shoot camera, or a higher end DSLR.
“So keep shooting all those great photos! And if you’re lucky enough to own a camera that supports raw, give it a try. If you’re already shooting in raw, we hope we’ve just made your life a little easier.
The Microsoft Camera Codec Pack for Windows 7 is available for download here.