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Mac OS X 10.5.2 adds support for new camera RAW formats  
Monday, February 11, 2008 | by Rob Galbraith
Mac OS X 10.5.2, released today as a free update to the current version of the Mac operating system, adds support for RAW files from the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, Canon PowerShot G9, Hasselblad CF-22, Hasselblad CF-39, Leaf Aptus 75s, Nikon D3, Nikon D300 and Sony Alpha DSLR A700.
 
Once installed, Apple applications, as well as non-Apple applications that draw on the same OS-level code, should be able to view and convert files from these cameras, though some may require updates of their own to utilize the expanded RAW file support.
 
In a quick check here with RAW files from the EOS-1Ds Mark III and D300, it appears that Apple's Preview and iPhoto, as well as the Finder itself, are now capable of decoding CR2s and NEFs from these cameras (note we haven't tried all RAW variants from these two models). Aperture, however, is still out in the cold: it displays "Unsupported Image Format" when attempting to view large newly-imported RAW files from these cameras, ones that decode just fine in the other Apple software mentioned.
 
In a January 30, 2008 post in Apple's Aperture support forums, Joe Schorr, Sr. Product Line Manager for Photo Applications at Apple, hinted (for the second time) that this update was imminent, and that new features are coming to Aperture as well. It seem likely, then, that the release of OS X 10.5.2 paves the way for an update to Apple's pro imaging application, though when it will emerge, or how significant its new features will be, remains to be seen (update: Aperture 2 has now been announced). It will obviously need to include the ability to work with the RAW files added in today's OS update. Aperture's last major overhaul was v1.5, released in the fall of 2006. The application currently stands at v1.5.6.
 
Mac OS X 10.5.2 is available via the Software Update mechanism in Mac OS X 10.5 and later, or as a standalone installer. A list of RAW files supported in this update is here. A complete list of changes is here. The update was also expected to resolve a problem entering/changing the settings for certain tools in Photoshop CS3 (v10.0.1).
 
Note: Apple separately released Leopard Graphics Update 1.0, which requires Mac OS X 10.5.2 to be installed first. This update-to-the-update doesn't correct Aperture's inability to decode the RAW files now supported in OS X 10.5.2. It seems certain that a new version of Aperture itself will be required. Leopard Graphics Update 1.0 is available through Software Update, or as a standalone installer.
 
A parallel update for OS X 10.4.x, one that would bump up the list of supported camera RAW files in that OS version, hasn't materialized, which may mean that system-wide support for the newest digital camera RAW files isn't in the cards for the older OS. But, Aperture 2 and iPhoto 7.1.2, when run in OS X 10.4.11, are able to view and process RAW files from the same list of cameras as OS X 10.5.2, including the latest Canon and Nikon digital SLRs.
 
Revision History
February 11, 2008: Article updated to include results of a quick test of the update's RAW file support.
February 12, 2008: Added information about RAW support in OS X 10.4.11, link to Aperture 2.
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