Nikon NEF Codec 1.20.0 released

Nikon NEF Codec
Nikon NEF Codec 1.20.0 is now released with support for the latest Nikon cameras:

  • D4, D3X, D3S, D3, D2XS, D2X, D2HS, D2H, D1X, D1H, D1, D90, D80, D70S, D70, D60, D50, D40X, D40, D800E, D800, D700, D610, D600, D300S, D300, D200, D100, D7100, D7000, D5300, D5200, D5100, D5000, D3200, D3100, D3000, Df
  • Nikon 1 J3, Nikon 1 J2, Nikon 1 J1, Nikon1 V2, Nikon 1 V1, Nikon 1 S1, Nikon 1 AW1


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  • Iustin P.

    I wonder, since there is support for the Df, does this mean that the firmware is most likely complete?

    • Cyrille Berger

      Most definitely, with a release date in 10 days, most day one Df have already been manufactured, packed and shipped to warehouses…

  • Iustin P.

    I wonder, since there is support for the Df, does this mean that the firmware is most likely complete?

  • joehendricks

    what does a NEF codec do exactly? Dos it help with sensor issues like banding?

    • I’m glad I wasn’t the first one to ask. I don’t get it either.
      View only? Edit in Paint? 😉

      • Aris

        D5200/D7100? 😛

      • Avidsiman

        codec is short for “COmpress/DECompress”.

        A codec is a middle man piece of software which lies between the file system and the application needing the file data.

        the codec serves a few practical purposes:

        1) It acts as a translator so each application needing the file data doesn’t need knowledge of the file’s internal data structure to use the data.

        2) provides a consistent interface to the file data so all applications using the data receive the same result. If each application had to write their own file loaders/savers, the result would be some applications would do a better job than others, or would have different levels of support for the file data leading to a lot of inconsistency across applications. this is why you run into situations where one application will load a file and another won’t, or will crash. codec reduces that problem.

        3) The developer of the file format can regulate and ensure the data is written the way it’s supposed to be written with proper level of support so it’s consistent over time and space.

        4) allows application developers to focus on what their application does and not worry about the rudimentary details which are not core functionality.

        • Thanks for the very complete clarification!

    • Mark Finney

      It helps your computer display thumbnails and other information in raw files. If you can already see thumbnails for your camera’s raw files you don’t need it.

  • Brian

    I’ve had the last codec but its never worked to be able to see thumbnails in windows 7

    • Mark Finney

      If you can’t get the standard Nikon codec to work I can recommend FastPictureViewer. Dreadful web site, but a good product.

      • Rich

        I second FastPictureViewer on MS-Windows OS.

    • Sam Mal

      mine works just fine…

      • brian

        This new codec does now work for me. The last one never did though.

  • Spy Black

    I’ve never understood why RAW files need to be a moving target.

    • Daniel

      if it ain’t moving, Nikon can’t license 3rd party photo software like LR, photoshop

  • Dim

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

  • whisky

    nikon’s way of remaining relevant to microsoft?

  • Aldo

    What is this codec thing? Does it make me a better photog???

    • Aldo

      btw my serial number on the d600 3069XXX I’ll let you know if gas prices will come down. I played with a d610 for a couple of days… that must be the best sounding shutter ever.

      • jojo

        I think Pentax MX still has that “honour”

  • mikeswitz

    Why do Macs not need a Codec?

    • Aldo

      because Chuck Norris uses them.

    • Mac makes their own. There was just a “compatibility update” for Mac from Apple.

      • mikeswitz


  • HelloThisIsSteve

    Double clicking to open a D7000 NEF file on Windows Photo Viewer maxes out my i7 CPU load for 10 seconds and increases memory usage by a whopping 1GB. Anyone else having this issue? I don’t understand why it’s so resource intensive to just render the embedded jpg. I’m on Windows 8.1 but had this problem since Windows 7 days. I was hoping they fixed this by now but I have to uninstall it again. *sigh*

    • groucher

      10 seconds seems a long time for an i7 but 1GB memory usage doesn’t (ever monitored Photo$hop’s memory usage?).

      Rendering a 16mb RAW image to jpg will need 16 million shift arithmetic or logical instructions to unpack the RAW data and 16 million store instructions to save the data as a temporary tiff-like format in memory. The camera parameters that were set when the image was taken will then be applied to each of the 16 million pixels. (Some applications such as Corel Photopaint don’t do this step but they are designed for later editing with the result that the RAW images look terrible until processed by the user). All this data has to be fetched/written back to memory so each of these many millions of instructions will need many clock cycles to complete. The jpg compression will then be applied followed by writing the image to the jpg file. That’s a lot of processing.

      If you want to save a lot of time and get the very best out of your RAW images, NX2 cannot be beaten – it is designed for Nikon cameras and gives far better results than the general purpose software produced by Adobe, Microsoft etc.

      • Gearsau

        Capture NX2.. That’s all I use with my D3S, D3 and D2Xs..

      • HelloThisIsSteve

        NEF files have full sized embedded jpegs. This codec shouldn’t try to bother with all the RAW processing that you describe. When I open a NEF file using Windows Photo Viewer, I just want to *view*, not edit. All it has to do is to display the embedded jpeg image fast just like the way VNX2 (and other 3rd party software like FastStone) does with NEF files.

        • fred

          Try the free Irfanviewer. It is a fast NEF viewer. You can edit and save as JPEG too.

    • Gates

      upgrade your computer RAM to 8GB… its standard these days.

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