Microsoft adds RAW file support to Windows 7 and Vista

By on July 29, 2011, 11:30 AM

Microsoft released a new camera codec package on Wednesday that supports over 100 RAW photo file formats. Once installed, RAW image files can be previewed from within Windows Explorer and Windows Live Photo Gallery 2011.

RAW image files are similar to a negative from a film-based camera. Like a film negative, these digital negatives must first be processed before they are ready to be used. As the name suggests, RAW files contain all of the information from a single photo where as a JPEG or similar compressed file loses a lot of valuable information in order to minimize file size.

Most professional photographers prefer to shoot in RAW as it offers many advantages over standard compressed formats. Some of these benefits include bypassing a camera’s automatic noise reduction and sharpening features, which can often create unwanted effects. Other benefits include the ability to fine-tune white balance, hue and saturation as you see fit, rather than relying on the camera to decide what it thinks is best for your picture.

"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," said Brad Weed, Group Program Manager, Windows Live.

Prior to this update, viewing and editing RAW files meant you had to use a third-party application like Adobe Photoshop or FastPictureViewer. Needless to say this was a pretty painful and time-consuming process, especially if you have thousands of RAW photos on file like I do.
 
The codecs are available in both 32 and 64-bit versions and can be downloaded directly from Microsoft’s website. Windows 7 and Vista Service Pack 2 are supported under this release.




User Comments: 22

Got something to say? Post a comment
howzz1854 said:

a little late but always a welcoming move. better late than never. thanks MS.

Squuiid said:

Wow, a little late on this one Shawn... but yes, it does indeed work well and not a moment too soon.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Goddamn, thank god this is the last website I visit for news, 'cause...

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Goddamn, thank god this is the last website I visit for news, 'cause...
Dude, that's harsh.

I'm fairly certain that many people haven't caught on you can burn an ISO file directly with Windows, and many otheres, don't know what an "ISO" file actually is.

Moving on, "raw" files are pretty much the purview of the digital SLR crowd. So, this may not be news, or for that matter, even understood, by the great unwashed Jpeg masses.

This is great progress though, as it can take Adobe out of the loop for dealing with this type of file.

To clarify, you should now be able to open raw files from your DSLR directly with Windows "Photo and Fax Viewer", without the annoyance of launching anything from Adode whatsoever. So, you can cull your images right in Windows, without the aggravation or delay of having to import them into Lightroom or PSE....a good thing.

Guest said:

Lightroom/Photoshop is the way to go... you can not only "preview" but edit your raw files. All who shoots in RAW already have their Lightroom & photoshops. Am sure the enthusiasts an party moms wont use this feature.

Too late Micro$oft.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

That is why Microsoft decided to release it, no one really needs it now.

Although If you look to the future of photography, newborns that don't have alternatives, might start to using this feature.

P.S. Thats my thought on the topic

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

That is why Microsoft decided to release it, no one really needs it now.

Although If you look to the future of photography, newborns that don't have alternatives, might start to using this feature.

P.S. Thats my thought on the topic

Well, Photoshop costs $600.00 +, Adobe Lightroom costs $300.00, and last but not least, Photoshop Elements costs $100.00.

Now at least you don't need any of them to view photos from your DSLR. Furthermore, you don't have to install proprietary software from the camera's manufacturer to view your photos either. I said nothing about editing.

As to whether this is earth shattering or not, it isn't. But you no longer need to launch any imaging application to view captures from your camera. That's damned convenient.

For years I've suffered through listening to innumerable s***heads, who can't manage their image files between PSE & PS and Windows to the satisfaction of both the OS and the image editor/ organizer. In fact most of them wind up buying Macs, and praying to the Godhead that is Adobe.

Lightroom/Photoshop is the way to go... you can not only "preview" but edit your raw files. All who shoots in RAW already have their Lightroom & photoshops. Am sure the enthusiasts an party moms wont use this feature.

Too late Micro$oft.

I shall forever be in your debt, for explaining to me exactly what ,"Photoshop" and "Lightroom" are designed.for....!

I'd also like to thank you for stopping by, and offering us an entirely new slant on English grammar and syntax....... XXX OOO XXX......Thanks again....!

Morgawr said:

Let's hope Paint.NET takes advantage of this soon....

DokkRokken said:

lawfer said:

Goddamn, thank god this is the last website I visit for news, 'cause...

'Cause what?... I guess it's pretty horrible for those of us in the dark ages who use TechSpot as a primary source of news.

I don't get why people say TechSpot's news is old and still come here. If you're all so on the ball, then submit the stories or be a contributor yourselves. Sheesh.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

'Cause what?... I guess it's pretty horrible for those of us in the dark ages who use TechSpot as a primary source of news.

I don't get why people say TechSpot's news is old and still come here. If you're all so on the ball, then submit the stories or be a contributor yourselves. Sheesh.

Sometimes, I don't watch the early news on TV, and possibly even miss a day, (or two).

So , I'm good with the slight delay, please don't hit me.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

captaincranky said:

Goddamn, thank god this is the last website I visit for news, 'cause...
Dude, that's harsh.

I'm fairly certain that many people haven't caught on you can burn an ISO file directly with Windows, and many otheres, don't know what an "ISO" file actually is.

Moving on, "raw" files are pretty much the purview of the digital SLR crowd. So, this may not be news, or for that matter, even understood, by the great unwashed Jpeg masses.

This is great progress though, as it can take Adobe out of the loop for dealing with this type of file.

To clarify, you should now be able to open raw files from your DSLR directly with Windows "Photo and Fax Viewer", without the annoyance of launching anything from Adode whatsoever. So, you can cull your images right in Windows, without the aggravation or delay of having to import them into Lightroom or PSE....a good thing.

Wow, the captain saying I'm being harsh. I don't know captain, if you recognized I'm being harsh I might have to rethink my post. (Seriously.)

Its not even so much as to Techspot's quality as a whole; its more becuase the word "news" sometimes sort of has a completely different definition here. I'm sometimes baffled at the fact that articles take 3-5 days to be published (like this one).

DokkRokken said:

lawfer said:

Goddamn, thank god this is the last website I visit for news, 'cause...

'Cause what?... I guess it's pretty horrible for those of us in the dark ages who use TechSpot as a primary source of news.

I don't get why people say TechSpot's news is old and still come here. If you're all so on the ball, then submit the stories or be a contributor yourselves. Sheesh.

'Cause nothing. It's a colloquial expression. I guess in written form its meaning its not as apparent...

No, it's not horrible. You see, so far Techspot has done a great job; its readers come here for a wide variety of reasons, mine just so happens to not be news. The fact that I can come here, and see component reviews, guides, etc. means that not only the site is a news source, but an information source, and for that I use Techspot. If the website can cater to different readers, each one with different visit purposes, isn't the website inherently doing its job?

Alternatively, the "then do it yourself" argument is just childish. I don't think I can do it better, or else I would just do it myself don't you think? I just think there are <i>others</i> that do news better (and by better I mean faster). A website that has been around for more than a decade and receives thousands of page view doesn't really need you to defend them, let them take some heat, nobody is perfect.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Why can't we can't we all just get along....?

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Why do we need to be notified instantaneously about something ?

There are very few things in life which make an immediate impact on one's life, so I am perfectly okay with your argument on being comfortable with slight delay captain

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Archean said:

Why do we need to be notified instantaneously about something ?

There are very few things in life which make an immediate impact on one's life, so I am perfectly okay with your argument on being comfortable with slight delay captain

I am sorry, but I didn't think that reporting something the day it happened (note: not the <i>second</i> was considered instantaneously.

If you all conform with receiving some "news" 3-5 days later, and after most websites already reported them, that's as ok with me as it is ok with you. But I just can't fathom how people look so surprised when some readers actually say what's in their mind, as if the website can't get any criticism. And like I said, I don't come here for the latest news, but that doesn't mean I don't like the website for what it is.

DokkRokken said:

I'm not really 'defending' TechSpot. I'm just saying your input was totally dumb.

The 'do it' yourself argument is not 'childish.' But saying "Wow, a little late on this one Shawn..." or "Goddamn, thank god this is the last website I visit for news, 'cause..." is. Great! You read it first! Want a cookie!? If you can get the news faster, then offer to help. If not, then why beef with the people who put their time into it?

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

DokkRokken said:

I'm not really 'defending' TechSpot. I'm just saying your input was totally dumb.

The 'do it' yourself argument is not 'childish.' But saying "Wow, a little late on this one Shawn..." or "Goddamn, thank god this is the last website I visit for news, 'cause..." is. Great! You read it first! Want a cookie!? If you can get the news faster, then offer to help. If not, then why beef with the people who put their time into it?

Yes you are defending Techspot. Why can't they get any criticism? Clearly we are not simply talking out of our asses, we are bringing up facts. Here are the facts: they are late on some of their news, and we criticize them for it. That is all. A conformist attitude is exactly what stalls improvement; so forgive me if I just don't give in.

Also, how is saying that the news are late childish? And why would I offer to help if I get the news from places that do it faster, which I have stated on both of my comments (the ones which you clearly must have overlooked)? If you can't stand criticism, go take your "cookie" and your "beef" somewhere else.

sanjayae said:

i have WD 500GB external hard disk, before it worked properly, but seince 2 days, it's not working properly, when i connect it to laptop, it not show up in my computer & coming a message that need to format it, also i tried it in a pc too, but problem is there is my importent files & photos. so, can u help me to recover my files & photos. most importent is my photos

yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

sanjayae said:

i have WD 500GB external hard disk, before it worked properly, but seince 2 days, it's not working properly, when i connect it to laptop, it not show up in my computer & coming a message that need to format it, also i tried it in a pc too, but problem is there is my important files & photos. so, can u help me to recover my files & photos. most importent is my photos

Sounds like the file system has become corrupted. You should probably ask in the technical help section of the forum but if you can't get the drive to browse in explorer without it asking to format you might be able to use file recovery software like GetDataBack to scan and save something. Or use your other copy of the files - never have a single backup of stuff you actually need/treasure.

Guest said:

Pointless waste of time. If you use RAW on a regular basis as already stated you probably use Photoshop or similar which can process RAW files directly. Anyway I have also noted there is no coverage for any Fuji cameras either. Useless nonsense.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Glad to see we've sorted this out, then!

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Glad to see we've sorted this out, then!

Oh you bet captain, wouldn't it so be boring if we agree on something without disagreeing first?

Guest said:

I love the daily Techspot drama in the comments section. Always the same people.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.