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Nikon RAW Codec for Windows Vista available for download  
Thursday, February 1, 2007 | by Rob Galbraith
Nikon RAW Codec 1.0, software that enables Windows Vista to natively support the NEF format, is now available for download (Update, February 14, 2007: Nikon has pulled the software while they revise it to correct the problem described below).
 
NEFs from the following cameras are supported in the initial release:
  • Digital SLR: D50, D70, D70s, D80, D100, D200, D1, D1X, D1H, D2H, D2Hs, D2X, D2Xs
  • Digital compact: COOLPIX 8700, 8400, 8800, 5700, 5400, 5000
Before you install the codec, however, be sure to read the January 30, 2007 post (and comments) on the Microsoft Photography Blog regarding compatibility problems that can crop up when the codec is installed, NEFs are handled in Windows Photo Gallery or Photo Info and then subsequently brought into a third party RAW converter for processing. A comment by user "moosey" on another post suggests that importing NEFs using Vista's downloader will also render them incompatible with certain third-party RAW converters.
 
Microsoft has further addressed this problem in a newly-published FAQ on its Photo Info add-on:
 
After installing Nikonís NEF codec and changing metadata, I can no longer open NEF images in Adobe Photoshop. Why?
 
Important note to users of the Nikon RAW Codec for Windows:  Microsoft has received reports of compatibility issues with Nikon NEF files after installing version 1.0 of Nikonís RAW codec posted in January 2007.  Tagging the RAW files through Windows Vista or the Microsoft Photo Info tool after the codec is installed appears to cause these files to become unreadable in other applications, such as Adobe Photoshop. We have confirmed that these files can still be opened with Nikon Capture.
 
Nikon and Microsoft are investigating the issue, and we will post an update when we have more information. In the meantime, Microsoft suggests that you exercise caution with your Nikon RAW files. If you plan on tagging them using Nikonís codec, make a backup of the file first, and verify that the tagged file continues to work with your other applications before proceeding.
 
Tagging the file using Photo Info without the Nikon NEF codec installed appears to be safe.
 
Thanks to Carl Nolan for bringing this to our attention.

Revision History
ē Added information from and a link to the Photo Info FAQ (February 1, 2007)
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