Nikon RAW (.NEF) Codec 1.6.0 released

NEF Codec is a module that makes Nikon RAW (.NEF) image files as easy to work with as JPEG and TIFF images.


  • Supports NEF (RAW) images taken with the D3X.
  • Fixed an error that occurred when the “Details” view was selected for folders containing RAW images in Windows Explorer.


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  • somebody


  • alex

    ….. “drain bamage”

    apple users get only what apple writes. apple writes codec, apple users get codec. this is what proprietary is.

    the nef codec nikon writes is windows api.

  • robert

    …and still no 64-bit support. how surprising…

    • Guest

      Yes, isnt it. Wish they would wake up….

      I was in a major computer retailer last week. Every one of their PC’s had Vista 64 bit preloaded.

      • Ernst

        Drivers for everything should be available the second a camera is released. Their hardware products are in development literally for years; the software could have been done and qualified months ago.

        What we have with Nikon is the worst of all worlds: a company that refuses to publish specs which would allow its customers to help themselves (which is pretty much standard operating procedure these days), but which is also completely inadequate at software development.

        Ever try to get access to Nikon’s NEF API? They want you to write an essay explaining why they should let you use it, and then sign an onerous contract. And then you’re still stuck developing on whichever platforms they feel like supporting that year.

        Get a clue, Nikon: it is very GOOD thing for business when your products are supported by the greatest number of applications on the greatest number of platforms. It is a BAD thing for business when you make it difficult for your customers to use your products. All this stuff should be available to anybody for free, for any purpose, and lavishly documented.

        • sperera

          excellent reply Ernst here here…..some bozos out there still think you can get good quality from Nikon NEFs with Photoshop and Lightroom over Capture NX2…..

          • PJS

            which is exactly why Nikon protects their intellectual property….

            • Ernst

              The only thing that comes out of Nikon’s stonewalling is that images made with Nikon cameras often don’t look as good as they otherwise would.

              If the D3 user wants to get the most out of his best-in-the-world DSLR, he has to forgo the best-in-the-world software tools and stoop to using Nikon’s amateur-night applications instead.

              Why is Nikon so hell-bent on making life difficult for the likes of Adobe, not to mention their own customers? This would be like intentionally tweaking the F6 so it won’t work properly with certain brands of film.

              The world puts up with Nikon’s software because their cameras system is so good. The sooner they realize they’re in the camera business — and that nobody ever bought a Nikon for the software — the better off we’ll all be.

  • Ernst

    I’d love it if Nikon would take a break from writing codecs and publish an actual format specification.

    • Sure me too, but format specs is not enough – to get the raw interpretation right all math has to be known. That’s of course a trade secret, just like Kodak’s and Fuji’s film chemistry recipes. Or DNG for that matter – it’s just numbers until you have code to interpret into color.

      • Ernst

        If they provided specs for the spectral response of the color-filtered photosites as part of the NEF documentation, that would be good enough. We can choose for ourselves how we wish to demosaic/denoise the raw data.

        As a practical matter, though, NEF has been more-or-less figured out. The problem is that without a spec we’re forever reverse-engineering it, which is a great big waste of everybody’s time. Plus, depending on the legalities (such as the DMCA), there may be barriers to releasing software that can fully interpret an NEF, which only serves to make Nikon cameras less-compatible and less-supported. Way to go, guys.

        Incidentally, the people who stand to gain the most from Nikon’s trade secrets are competitors like Canon and Sony, but they’ve already reverse-engineered this stuff already. The people left in the dark are the software vendors who never intended to compete with Nikon in the first place.

        • Pablov

          So the question would be…

          Is Nikon so proud and jealous of its secrets that is making a mistake, or is it silly that it doesn’t see what is better for its own business ? Maybe both

          I guess Nikon is smart, but sometimes they make us wonder…

          • Ernst

            Most companies behave this way. I’ve worked for several. When you try to get to the bottom of what it is they’re so afraid of, you usually just get a bunch of hand-waving arguments (at best).

            The “intellectual property” cabal has got the whole tech industry convinced that the way to do business is to make everything a secret. Most of those “secrets” are obvious to anybody schooled in the art, and would be unhelpful to any competitor.

            But companies hide everything anyway. It’s become the default mode of operation.

  • Pablov

    talking about software.. I was wondering if Canon sells software for processing images like Nikon.

    Or if Canon already gives it freely with the DSLR cameras.

    I have a Canon (no DSLR, but digital) and it comes with software for remote controling, shooting and RAW processing.

    Nikon needs to sell it ?
    Just wondering about that yesterday…

    • Pablov

      BTW; thanks Admin for the link 🙂
      I’ll download that codec

  • Kiki

    It makes no sense for everyone else to be held up (waiting) because Nikon (or any other software company) has not released a Mac version of the software.

    Consider that Macs have less than 10% market share. Do the math!

    Why do Mac users expect parity?

    Furthermore, since Apple’s Intel Macs can fairly readily run Windows anyway…what does that say? There’s reason why even Apple is essentially building Windows boxes. That’s no coincidence.

  • Derek

    If we are a lot to ask for 64 bit support, they will give us?

  • Mike

    I need Vista 64 bit codec as I cannot view my Nef files in Windows Photo Gallery.

    I pray to the Nikon Gods to hurry up!

  • Fastest way to view nefs is never in windows explorer. Try: for a slim/fast viewer. Are there apps besides windows explorer that actually make use of this codec?

    I agree that I’d like to see more openness about sensor specs and easy API access from everyone, not just Nikon.

    However, I still haven’t seen anything from Bibble or raw developer or most of the other third party software that I couldn’t do with ACR and PS. Somebody want to do something besides bellyache and show me a real difference in real world example? DXO has a couple good tricks, but other than that, what’s all the fuss about?


    • > Are there apps besides windows explorer that actually make use of this codec?

      Windows Photo Gallery, Window Live Photo Gallery, Pro Photo Tools, Expression Media 2, and Fast Picture Viewer to name a few apps that support WIC.

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