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You can now view Nikon RAW (NEF) files in Windows 7

Microsoft released a new Camera Codec Pack for Windows 7 that will allow you view Nikon RAW (NEF) files directly in Windows Explorer or Photo Gallery without a third party software. Here is a list of supported Nikon cameras: D100, D1H, D200, D2H, D2Hs, D2X, D2Xs, D3, D3s, D300, D3000, D300s, D3X, D40, D40x, D50, D5000, D60, D70, D700, D70s, D80, D90, P6000.

The Camera Codec Pack can be downloaded directly from this link.

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  • Demarcus

    No D7000 support? T_T

    • Mikycoud

      +1

      • Martijn

        D7000 works great imho.

    • Craig

      +2

    • Mo

      +3

    • http://tumbleweed-092.livejournal.com Slow Gin

      +4

    • Stranger

      +5

    • Bullsnot

      +6

      • grayscale

        +infinity!

    • cronus yuen wai

      +6

    • Andrew

      +7

    • AZBoomer

      +8

  • GeorgeofSacto

    Wow, so does that mean we can also convert RAW files into jpeg with Windows 7?

    • Ke

      It’s just a viewer AFAIK.

      • http://hilditch.no Nikonmike

        Hi – Not so as with windows 7 Photogallery you can make a jpeg copy with just a couple of clicks.

    • Jan

      really? that would excite you?

  • Saelee

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Now I don’t need to shoot Raw+jpeg just to preview the photos in windows. I don’t want to open up LR or PS just to view one file.

    BTW, the “MicrosoftCodecPack_amd64.msi” works for Intel 64-bit processor as well.

    • http://eos.ef-specialist.canon EF specialist

      I’ve been using FastStone Image Viewer for this for quite a long time. It can either display embedded preview or actually render original image from RAW file. The former is very fast and I use it regularly to dicard OOF, badly composed or mishapen pictures in the first sorting. Very handy program, it can preview PSD files too.

    • Tarball

      btw I use xnview as it’s faster, and in XP the raw codec used to hang explorer until it was done.

  • http://www.fastpictureviewer.com/codecs/ Axel

    The least you could do is mention that 3rd parties have been providing 64 bit NEF support for years, and still beats Microsoft’s today release regarding camera model compatibility (e.g. D7000…) and speed.

    • Saelee

      What 3rd parties has it for free? Not defending MS, just wondering. I’ve only came across one company and they wanted $20 for it.

      • PM

        ViewNX 2

        • Ke

          How is Nikon’s own software 3rd party exactly?

      • http://www.fastpictureviewer.com/codecs/ Axel

        Yes, mega-corps squashing small niche businesses is bad, until the moment they make you save a few bucks.

  • http://www.budgethotelrate.com Nic Chong

    I tot there are already one codec from nikon its self? i just dled. it work well but its only for window 7 32bits

    • Oberhorst

      As you can see here, there are two versions:

      http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=26829

      Just open your eyes before you post bs, thank you.

      • fergz

        He’s talking about the codec _ FROM NIKON_ which is only 32bit – and has been around for ages.

        http://nikonimglib.com/nefcodec/

        Who needs to open their eyes before posting bs?

      • twoomy

        Oberhorst–Good job. You have just proven to yourself that you should hate yourself.

        • Tom

          Haha, lol! But in all fairness to oberhorst, mr nic chong wasn’t overly clear in his comment, I’m not sure if that was even written in English ;-)

  • Anonymus Maximus

    Yeaahhhh!

    the MS page states that it also works in Vista. Will test it tonight.

    Finally I am able to see the files in the file manager, it was really a pain in the a to always remember the numbers.

    • Anonymus Maximus

      Vista 64 bit

      • Geoff

        and Win7x64 … i run that and this works for me

  • ZinhaEq

    Thank god!

  • Shkacas

    “you can view you RAW file then convert it to JPEG and then edit it”…

    make no sense at all… :D

    • http://pragjna.wordpress.com pragjna

      yeah that’s exactly what I thought too :-/

  • Andy

    Microsoft just mastered the art of stone axe making!

    WOW!!

    Andy

  • http://gallery.nikalsfi.de Niklas

    In what way is this different to http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?DisplayLang=en&id=8802 ? The Windows
    Microsoft RAW Image Thumbnailer and Viewer for Windows XP has been around since 2005!

    • Oberhorst

      It’s availabe for Windows 7 32 & 64 Bit and it supports more cameras. However, it’s still lacking support of newer cameras like the D7000 or D5100.

    • Jabs

      @Niklas,
      You answered your own question – Windows XP
      There is a 64bit version of XP

      This newer Codec is for the newer Operating systems it seems, and they render graphics differently since Win Vista.
      Think OpenGL and such plus DX-11 that is not supported in Win XP or Win2003 but now in Win Vista 32/64, Win2008 R2 and Win7 -32/64 bits.

  • Geoff

    Nice, now I dont have to shoot in RAW and JPEG small. I installed this and all is good. Thanks for the link !

  • Anonymous

    Why not on XP which is the best operating system so far?

  • http://www.photothema.com AntonisX

    Works in Vista 64bit! At last!

  • Zorro

    No support for D4, D4x, D800 or D40s. Looks like they are not coming!

  • peter

    Now if they would just stick this into Skydrive.live.com I could get on with life!

  • The invisible man.

    What about windows XP professional ?

    • Jabs
      • The invisible man.

        Thank you Jabs, give you adress to Peter and I’ll send you a Test Chart.

      • https://www.louisdallaraphotoblog.com/ Louis Dallara

        Thanks looks great, just what I needed. I will buy it and try it out.

        BTW: the windows 7 codec only display the the thumbs in there product, not explorer.

        • suprchunk

          Reallly? I’m looking at a folder of NEFs in my explorer window right now. I had to install the 64bit version since I am on a 64bit version of W7.

      • The invisible man.

        So you don’t want one ????
        Anyway, thank you for the link, I love that software (the slide show is great).
        If you change your mind send me your adress here:
        abad0285@bellsouth.net

        • Jabs

          @The invisible man
          Ahhh – never look a gift horse (chien – right?) in the face – mon ami – lol

          Naw, I need an F3TC and an F5 – camera and lens first, THEN chart later. You got a 200 F2.0 ED-IF AF VR2 or even VR1 for me?

          I’ll even settle for an older 200 F2.0 NON-AF with the 52mm filters in the rear area.

          You got a NIKON D3X for $50 bucks and not stolen by a crackhead or not a plastic mug?

          That chart looks great but more about shooting and not measuring stuff mostly when it comes to photography. I already do too much measuring – lol

          Thanks though for your thoughtfulness, as that is reward enough for me!

  • pethunia

    Thanks Admin for posting (and possibly some NR contribuant that alerted the Admin).
    Thumbnails still don’t appear in Windows7 though.. – but I can open them in the Windows(‘Live’)-viewer.

    • Jabs

      @pethunia

      In Win 7
      Go to Organize (left top) – Layout – Menu Bar – Details and check the various options to get Previews.

      In Win XP
      Under File Options – VIEW – then choose Filmstrip, Thumbnails, etc..

  • http://vecsey.ch Florian

    That works since years on Mac ;)

    • Macca

      +1 PC are so slow.

  • MJr

    How about uninstalling ?

    Does it interfere with any RAW reading software already on my system ?

    Lightroom, Photoshop …

    You never know with windows stuff.

  • Tee_tee

    Oh no, what about the D7000??

  • pabs

    works great!!! Thank you!!!! How bout DNG to avoid the updates with new cameras to be released?

  • mik1

    Can someone with a d7000 confirm is it working or not? Maybe they forgot to put it..

    • Martijn

      works fine with D7000 too. not supported doesn’t mean it doesn’t work :P
      they just dont support it :P

      • STRB

        Are you sure?

        Just installed on Windows 7 64-bit codec and:
        - No thumbnails
        - Windows Live Photo Gallery says “Photo Gallery can’t open this photo or vide. The file may be unsupported, damaged or corrupted”

  • pabs

    It’s not opening pics from my Nikon D800. Oh, never mind, I figured out why—–I don’t have one yet!!!

    • http://hilditch.no Nikonmike

      LOL – I like that

  • Char

    Finally. Nikon was too stupid to release this, now MS comes along. I don’t care, as long as it works.

    • Jabs

      @Char.
      Actually Nikon did it FIRST and now Microsoft is releasing a generic NEF CODEC to address its’ own inability to do what Nikon has already done – INSTALL your camera software and it will already be THERE!

      Microsoft is about integration with Windows!
      Nikon is about integration with its’ CAMERAS as in a proprietary format called NEF!

      Microsoft is like giving us an ‘Open source’ version of the NEF format that Nikon owns and limits its use as in they Patented it and own the rights, so others reverse engineer it and so far Nikon has not sued them, that I know of.

  • http://wijnands.blogspot.com JeroenW

    I’ve been doing this for almost a year now. It’s also the best way to make Microsoft ICE capable of handling NEF files.

  • Francesco

    Thanks a lot, great usefull news!

    P.S.: D7000 is not present becaust it is going in phase out… ;D

    • bjrichus

      +1

      Actually you may be closer to the truth than you think.

      In these days of 9 month consumer product lives, the traditional time for a Nikon “non-pro” camera, may I suspect be too long a life cycle.

      Gotta keep up with the consumer market place Jones’ now, after all…

      PS: I am NOT suggesting that those who use D3′s for many years etc, are wrong or anything like that, its just that at the consumer end of things, longevity is undesirable … heck, even cars only have a 12 to 18 month model “year”…

  • Jabs

    Great news but sort of late but will try it anyhow.

    Been doing this for ages with some free stuff and some not so free!

    http://www.fastpictureviewer.com/

    http://www.faststone.org/FSViewerDetail.htm

    and MANY others available plus Linux already allows me to open Nikon’s NEF’s as most of Nikon’s software is based upon Linux or Linux version first, hence effective but odd user interface inherited from Linux.

  • http://hilditch.no Nikonmike

    At last and it works great.

  • bkelley

    About time, now I can sort out my images for ones I don’t want before I import them into Lightroom. Should save me some time. +1

  • Abe
  • Michael

    Well, I justed installed the Codec and it is soooooooooo slooooooooooooooow, Picassa’s viewer is x times faster.
    To make things worse the MS Codec displays pictures at random in an overexposed way. Picassa, Lightroom, CS5 all show the same picture correctly. So, save yourself the download!

    • Ty

      My install is working fine. I also shoot RAW at the the neutral picture control setting so there’s no surprises :)

    • Jabs

      @Michael
      You probably are using TWO different color spaces

      1. The WINDOWS default that the CODEC probably installed with
      2. Whatever your workflow chose or supported or even you previously set or was set when you installed your Programs

      MAKE them the same (your color spaces/profile) – about the slowness, I don’t know – LOL!

  • LeadWrist

    I have some information for you guys, MS does not include cameras that are less than 18 months on the market because they have some catch up. The D7000 is in “testing” however the official statement is that it’s not “supported”.

  • Morg

    no D200 and great I bought a P7000 last year time to upgrade?

  • http://jpn-fotografie.de ín-depth-viewer

    No colormanagement support > useless tool.

    • LeadWrist

      This is a WIC plug-in which means it uses the windows color management engine. See http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/Change-color-management-settings

      • http://jpn-fotografie.de in-depth-viewer

        Windows color management of course only works with applications which support color management. And the windows explorer still does not!

        Windows Live supports CM for the picture preview, but not for the slide show.
        Terrible.

    • Jabs

      It’s a CODEC, so it uses the built-in Windows Color Management or Color PROFILE that you have selected or even you using the default Windows color space/profile.

  • john

    i have test it with the D80 and D700 nef file and the color is really off

    • LeadWrist

      I had the same problem, NEF’s looked really bad in Windows, but looked fine in ViewNX 2, I had to change the color profile for the display to make things work right. See http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/Change-color-management-settings

      This is for Win 7 but same is true for XP & up.

      • john

        may i ask part of the Color mangement have you change to what?
        As all of my sereen is already Calibrate with some screen calibrate hardware and software

        • Jabs

          @john,
          It depends on which Version of Windows you have and what graphic card (built-in or something like a PCI-Express card on a desktop).

          Basically you look under Properties (right CLICK on desktop) and then go the graphics properties – then you choose color quality, DEFAULT color profile (Adobe sRGB, e.g) and monitor profile (Sony, NEC etc) and with some graphic cards AMD-ATI or Nvidia, you have a Utility to do this – Catalyst Control for AMD-ATI and for Nvidia, you have a Nvidia Control Panel.

          Intel on laptops have their own Setup (Intel Media Accelerator) – look for it under Control Panel in Windows!

          AMD-ATI on laptops have Catalyst Control Panel on the older stuff and a newer Control Panel on the newer laptops.

          Adjust from there!

        • john

          Here is a sample of how bad the color on the Microsoft Camera Codec Pack

          The picture below is from the same non edit raw file from D80

          http://johnlsl.com/temp/microsoftcodec.jpg

        • LeadWrist

          My problem was that Windows loaded the stupid Dell Display profile, via the color management control panel I switched it to use sRGB, which solved my problem. When using the default one Windows selected my images would look like like a 256bit image, washed out and tone dithering. After the switch, looked yummy.

  • ShaoLynx

    Hm,
    I don’t really get the fuss about this one, really.
    My D700 came with a CD. And on that CD was some SW.
    And a codec. I installed it.
    And I see the images (NEF’s, of course) in the Windows Explorer ever since.
    That was in the Vista era. Since then I upgraded to WIN7.
    And it still works just fine: File Explorer, Picasa, everyting I used ever since.
    Admittedly, all of it: *32.

    Why exactly would I want this MS codec pack?

    • john

      first as nikon don’t provide a 64 bit codec, this is the only codec 64bit user can download for free

      Second, This is more of a many camera in one codec for different company camera raw file, It is helpful when you are working with all different company camera raw file

      But i don’t know this is install with the Nikon own Nef codec, will it break the nikon codec and the preview will be override with Microsoft craper codec

      • Jabs

        @john.
        OUCH on the difference from the REAL Nikon NEF codec per your above link. I have installed both Nikon and third party codecs on Win7Pro/Ultimate 64bit and no problems so far – used Fast Picture Viewer codecs as that is one great piece of software plus Fast Stone Viewer and a few others.

        I don’t even use Microsoft codecs nor even Windows Media Player, as they are DRM (digital rights management) laden, slow, ancient and thus useless and BUGGY to me. For audio in Windows, I use for example K-Lite Mega or Full Codec pack as usually Microsoft codecs are lame (to me) and so far behind the curve, as in a huge Corporation trying to turn around or steer/maneuver a ‘monstrous’ (large) ship, hence SLOOOW to respond and usually delivering things months after they are actually needed.

        For my ‘real professional pursuits’, I often skip Windows and use instead Linux (Ubuntu Studio 64 bit – a REAL 64 bit Operating System with speed at least three times faster than ANY version of Windows, maybe except Win2003 Server/Workstation) and Artist X or Linux Mint 64bit. Ubuntu Studio is the fastest Linux OS to me, as it has a different low latency version of the Linux kernel (an RT or Real Time one) and thus I leave the rest alone even though I use them all daily.

        Simple programs for simple chores and more complex programs and OS for the bigger stuff that needs bit structure and bandwidth = what I do and use.

        Have a good one.

    • Jabs

      So you can do (or be done by) ‘The Keeping Up With Microsoft’ show – lol

  • Adrian

    About time.

  • Eric

    Yeah, three years ago Microsoft was positioning itself to be the leader in support of photo pros. That lasted about six months.

    No D7000 support? What a bunch of maroons.

  • WT

    I am running Windows 7 64 bit version. Which download do I need?
    MicrosoftCodecPack_amd64.msi
    or
    MicrosoftCodecPack_x86.msi

    Thanks in advance.

    WT

    • Adrian

      Pick the one with the 64 in it ;]
      x86=32bit

      Works for me btw.

      • WT

        Thanks, it works perfectly.

  • Troy

    It renders thumbnails correctly but does NOT render modified NEFs in Windows Photo Viewer. Unfortunately it still does not replace the non-free FastPictureViewer Codec Pack.

  • martin

    No preview in explorer for me with this.
    Any idea how to make that work?

    • martin

      Oh, here is how it worked for me.

      There are 2 downloads, ambiguously named
      MicrosoftCodecPack_amd64.msi
      MicrosoftCodecPack_x86.msi

      That sounds like a version for 64-bit amd cpus and one for 32-bit intel cpus.
      Why no version for 32-bit amd or 64-bit intel?
      Anyway, the x86 version didn’t work an this intel 64-bit pc here, the amd64 did.

      MS got some room for improvement here.

      • LeadWrist

        @martin

        Since this is a photography community I hold my snarky comments… :)

        AMD64 = Any x86-64 CPU, the original spec was from AMD hence we refer to it as AMD64 and it will run on Intel’s EM64T CPU. To over simply it, i’m sure some will argue this one, Intel followed the spec’s AMD layed out for that processor design. Intel uses EM64T and AMD uses AMD64, but since AMD was first, we go with their naming convension.

        x86 = Any AMD or Intel 32bit CPU.

        Here is another catch for you though, if you are running Windows 64 bit, or even Linux 64bit, there is zero performance increase, 64bit = more then 4GBs RAM support. Yes there is a flag in 32bit systems allowing for the addressing of more then 4GBs but it’s not very stable and has it’s own problems. So if you want more then 4GBs of RAM, 64bit it is.

        The next catch is this, just because you are running 64bit OS, doesn’t mean all the Apps are 64bit. Actually for all of you using Windows 64bit today, your IE browser and WMP, etc are still 32bit. If you go to Windows Start > Programs you will see Internet Explorer and Internet Explorer 64, you actually have to launch 64bit specifically to get it. Just n FYI.

        Next catch, 32bit codecs can only be used by 32bit Apps, you install Nikon’s 32bit CODEC it will only work with 32bitPhoto Gallery, Internet Explorer etc. This is why people complain, if you have 64bit photo editing tool no OEM NEF supported CODEC, which means you have to use people like FastPictureViewer.

        The next catch, if you run 64 bit OS, but use 32bit photo editing tool, you are again limited to 4GBs RAM. That tool is unable to address more then 4GBs, it’s really ~3.75GBs that is the actual limit.

  • jacob

    I would never let microsoft code get even close to my NEF files…lol

  • Scott Cramer

    Wow, I’m impressed! It only took Windows 16 years to implement this basic feature. Let’s see, Macs have had this feature since the beginning of RAW files. It never ceases to amaze me why people still use Windows. I switched over to a Mac about 5-6 years ago and there is no comparison. I look back and cannot believe I tolerated such nonsense for so many years.

    Reports like this re-inforce one more reason why the Mac OS is a superior OS.

    • LeadWrist

      @scott

      Why should Microsoft directly support some manufacturer’s format? NEF is a Nikon format, not Microsoft’s, if Nikon wants it to work on Windows, which they do, they will provide the codec, which they did. Also, NEF isn’t 16 years old.

      Since Nikon released CODECs for NEF when it was first introduced, which really means, Windows supported NEF from day one of it’s introduction. There are reasons Microsoft released their version, mainly to support people like yourself… Just saying…

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