It just got easier to be a Windows-using digital-SLR photographer.
Starting today, you can download the Microsoft Camera Codec Pack, which will profile native file support for over 120 camera models, including those from Canon, Nikon, and Sony.
Previously, if you wanted to view raw camera files in Windows Explorer or Windows Live Photo Gallery, you had to go to your camera manufacturer’s site and then find, download, and install a codec that would allow Windows to display the raw files.
Camera raw files are particular to each model and contain all the information from the camera’s sensor, allowing more control over image adjustment, including white balance, exposure, and color.
In a briefing call with PCMag late last week, Microsoft’s Raphael Aquino-Jose, Senior Product Manager for Windows Live said, “With this easy, free solution, when a consumer plugs in their digital SLR to their Windows PC, they can view their photos in Explorer without having to download another codec from their camera manufacturer. This lets more advanced users see the raw images without having to fire up high-end photo software such as Lightroom or Photoshop.”
With the new codec pack, Windows will now support viewing and editing a wide range of photo file formats including raw, JPEG, PNG, TIFF and more. This new update unlocks the power of every photo on your computer so that your PC is capable of organizing, viewing and editing your digital memories, whether they were shot with a camera phone, point-and-shoot camera, or a higher end DSLR. So keep shooting all those great photos!
And if you’re lucky enough to own a camera that supports raw, give it a try. If you’re already shooting in raw, we hope we’ve just made your life a little easier.
The Codec Pack works on Windows 7 and Vista, and it’s conceivable that Microsoft could build the capability into future OS versions such as Windows 8.
Get the codec here.