Nikon's RAW (NEF) Vista Codec Updated
Nikon has released an updated version of their RAW (NEF) Codec for Vista
that resolves an issue that caused it to suddenly stop working last
week. Apparently the problem had something to do with an expired
The new Codec is still labeled version 1.01. However, if you uninstall the old 1.00 or 1.01 codec, and install this new one, you'll be back in business.
I mentioned back in January
that I have stopped shooting JPG images, in favour of only shooting RAW
(NEF) images. I am still using the following photography pipeline:
- View, sort, and triage the NEF images from Vista's File Explorer and Windows Photo Gallery.
- Load into Nikon Capture NX
for post-processing. This program has earned my respect with its
ability to store my edit history in the RAW file, and also one
ingenious feature (yes, I think ingenious is exactly the word for it) called Color Control Points.
However, I have nothing positive to say about Capture NX's user
interface: it desperately needs keyboard shortcuts, and lacks basic
navigational functionality like mouse-wheel zoom. I found a great
resource for Nikon Capture NX tips and tricks here at Nikonians.org.
- Batch export to JPG using Nikon Capture NX's batch processing
- Upload to Flickr.
There are two challenges with this pipeline:
First, the Vista codec still isn't particularly quick,
even on a relatively beefy laptop (Vista Overall Experience Index: 3.0,
Processor: 4.6, Memory: 4.7, Graphics: 3.6). You can flip through
photos quickly enough, but if you want to delete a photo, Vista spins
its wheels while the codec renders the high-res image. To work around
this, I use the keyboard shortcuts (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) to quickly "rate"
all my photos, and then delete all the bad ones in one go.
Second, although you can associate metadata ("tags") with NEFs in
Photo Gallery, using the above-mentioned codec, the tags don't show up
anywhere I can find them in Capture NX. Therefore I am not tagging my
images on Vista (defeating a lot of its organizational potential) and
instead am just tagging the JPGs on Flickr, which, by that point, have
become disassociated from the original NEF images. Some day, if I want
to sync them, it may be an intractable task (or at least an image
So the Vista NEF experience is good but not great. I am still going
to keep shooting RAW (NEF) only, as I am learning how to make subtle
and powerful changes to my photos using Capture NX, which I find very
valuable. After all, if it's worth shooting, it's worth trying to shoot
it right :)
p.s. As it's Vista-related, I'm cross-posting this here on my old blog, but I've moved my blog over here to http://www.robburke.net now.