Nikon D7100 and Raw

Jeffa256

Novice Member
I purchased the Nikon D7100 on Friday, that was the Good part, I got it home and didn't go crazy unpacking it because I tested it in the shop. The one problem I have noticed over the forums is that there is no support from Adobe and others at present. I didn't install the ViewNx software straight away I looked on Nikon's site for the Windows Codec which I downloaded. I already have Capture NX, and before you say it no its not NX2 I brought this back in 2006 shortly after I purchased my D200. Anyway long story short I opened a Raw image in Capture NX and was able to edit and read all EXIF data and alter the image from there. I prefer it this way since you lose so much when you edit Jpeg files. It was rumoured that the 7.4 release of Camera Raw from Adobe had the DNG, but it was reported in error. What is so funny in all this? Well if a piece of software written over 7 years before Lightroom and Photoshop can read and edit the files you have to ask yourself what the hell Adobe and the like are playing at. I believe I paid £100 back in 2006 for the software and it has been on the same PC since then.
 

shotokan101

Distinguished Member
OP still raises a good point though :)
 

lmccauley

Well-known Member
I believe (and I may be wrong) that Nikon doesn't publish specifications for its RAW files. The likes of Adobe have to reverse engineer their own algorithm for each camera (they change from camera to camera - although I assume that there are similarities - especially where the same sensor is used) from the files.

So, I would guess that the basic specification for Nikon RAW files hasn't changed since 2006, and this is why the NX software (written by Nikon, with specification built into it) can read it.

All speculation on my part, mind.
 

Johnmcl7

Distinguished Member
I agree, it's always going to be much easier to write a raw converter when you have the full specification to hand rather than having to reverse engineer it yourself. Furthermore Adobe will have to wait for the final production firmware before they can update their raw converter as preview cameras frequently have pre-production firmware that is still in the process of being finalised.

John
 

shotokan101

Distinguished Member
Yes but my point was really that the format can't really have changed significantly if such an old version of the software still reads the newer RAW files without updates ? - or have I missed something ?

Jim
 

Johnmcl7

Distinguished Member
Yes but my point was really that the format can't really have changed significantly if such an old version of the software still reads the newer RAW files without updates ? - or have I missed something ?

Jim
That's the catch with reverse engineering though, Adobe can only tailor their output to produce what is expected using sample images but without the proper specification for file format their solution will be limited.

It's similar with the Alpha mount and Sigma lenses, Sigma reverse engineered the protocol and their lenses generally worked fine on the Sony DSLRs but then when the DSLT's came along while the Sony lenses still worked fine the Sigma lenses had issues.

John
 

shotokan101

Distinguished Member
Yes but it's a file format that obviously hasn't changed the locations of the key variables/parameters in years - the actual field values will obviously change from model to model but the basic NEF RAW format info has been available for ages...

Jim
 

Johnmcl7

Distinguished Member
But you could say the same of the Alpha-protocol - it hasn't changed either yet the Sigma lenses didn't work with the SLT bodies without being updated. Adobe don't know what the key variables or parameters are as they don't know the specification, all the can do is examine the raw output and tailor their converter to work with that specific output. For example, say Nikon designed the NEF format so it could work with a Foveon pattern sensor - they could then incorporate that into their raw converter so if years later Nikon did use a Foveon sensor they'd follow their specification and older raw converters could handle it. However Adobe would have never seen this specification nor have any idea how it works so when the hypothetical foveon camera was released their converter could not work with it as it's only been designed for bayer pattern sensors.

That is the difficulty with reverse engineering - you can only reverse engineer with the output you have available, there may considerably more capability built into the process but you cannot adapt to that until you have suitable output to work with.

John
 

shotokan101

Distinguished Member
I get that John but there's surely still enough info. there to give a basic level of support until the full info. gets published rather than just to not handle the shots at all ?
 

Johnmcl7

Distinguished Member
No, a basic level of support is no use for a raw file as no photographer would tolerate poor quality output or defects in their images which is what you'd get (and do get from some of the beta open source libraries) for a basic level of support.

John
 

Jeffa256

Novice Member
The worst format I have ever worked with has to be Fuji's RAF raw. The good part about it is that you get a bigger image than the Jpeg image. In aspect it works out to be an extra few mm of sensor space all around the image. The problem comes later after saving. I have noticed that the DNG or RAF file becomes corrupt very easily during its save to disk. I have an HS10 and purchased it shortly after release. My Photoshop didn't support it and I had to wait for a DNG converter to come out before I could work with the images.
I prefer working with the raw file as it gives me control over what I want to do with the image after I have collected it. I could be using it as a backdrop to another image so I may want to control detail in its contrast etc. Jpegs require so much work if you haven't collected them right you end up creating a whole new image.
Raw has become so essential that some photographers refuse to buy a camera until a software package they are used to using is ready for it. Panasonic even released a version of Lightroom with their cameras to demonstrate this factor. The consumer range of cameras needs this support because it is the leverage into professional range. Any software package lives and dies on its support of the cameras and aspect range of support it offers. Considering the amount of cameras sold each year you would think there would be a coming together of minds in the trade to make things happen.
 

Johnmcl7

Distinguished Member
I think it's ridiculous as well and I'm surprised given how common decent raw support is within camera that there hasn't been any more effort to standardise the format aside from DNG which very few cameras support.

John
 

Jeffa256

Novice Member
Again ask yourself the question about the DNG idea and then get a PC that has no Adobe software installed on it and tell me how you are going to view or edit the files without being contracted to Adobe. DNG is Adobe's way of handling the software mechanism of CCD translation, It is not the PC's or Mac's way of handling the files. What Adobe is saying is that we will not touch your images unless we can translate them to our digital format of handling. Ask yourself that if you wanted a piece of software to do what you need to do to display save and edit your images in any format, shouldn't the Camera supplier do it. The only problem comes when you wish to share your images or use them for other things... RAW is well a RAW subject to some and to others it is too expensive to waste time on. Thus we have the Jpeg shooters. They are the people whom give the consumer world of digital photography more bang per buck, as they say. Thus RAW although growing is still very specialised.
 

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