Now look at that. One of the things that Microsoft's Windows Live Photo Gallery was criticized for in the past was lack of digital camera RAW format support. DSLR cameras give their users options to save their photo shootings in various formats, including RAW which offers several advantages over the compressed JPEG format. Among them an uncompressed higher image quality and more image information. RAW files are on the other hand larger than compressed images.
Photographers who shot their photos in RAW format could not really make use of Windows Live's Photo Gallery until now, as it did not support RAW formats.
This changes today with the release of the Microsoft Camera Codec Pack for Windows Vista and Windows 7. The independent download adds support for more than 120 DSLR cameras to Photo Gallery, Windows Explorer and other programs that use Windows Imaging Codecs (WIC).
Installation of the Microsoft Camera Codec Pack should be a breeze. Users only need to make sure that they install the right version for their operating system. The camera codec pack is offered for 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems.
The download page over at Microsoft's Download Center lists the supported camera models. I have taken the liberty to quote the camera models below:
- Canon: EOS 1000D (EOS Kiss F in Japan and the EOS Rebel XS in North America), EOS 10D, EOS 1D Mk2, EOS 1D Mk3, EOS 1D Mk4, EOS 1D Mk2 N, EOS 1Ds Mk2, EOS 1Ds Mk3, EOS 20D, EOS 300D (the Kiss Digital in Japan and the Digital Rebel in North America) , EOS 30D, EOS 350D (the Canon EOS Kiss Digital N in Japan and EOS Digital Rebel XT in North America), EOS 400D (the Kiss Digital X in Japan and the Digital Rebel XTi in North America), EOS 40D, EOS 450D (EOS Kiss X2 in Japan and the EOS Rebel XSi in North America), EOS 500D (EOS Kiss X3 in Japan and the EOS Rebel T1i in North America), EOS 550D (EOS Kiss X4 in Japan, and as the EOS Rebel T2i in North America), EOS 50D, EOS 5D, EOS 5D Mk2, EOS 7D, EOS D30, EOS D60, G2, G3, G5, G6, G9, G10, G11, Pro1, S90
- Nikon: D100, D1H, D200, D2H, D2Hs, D2X, D2Xs, D3, D3s, D300, D3000, D300s, D3X, D40, D40x, D50, D5000, D60, D70, D700, D70s, D80, D90, P6000
- Sony: A100, A200, A230, A300, A330, A350, A380, A700, A850, A900, DSC-R1
- Olympus: C7070, C8080, E1, E10, E20, E3, E30, E300, E330, E400, E410, E420, E450, E500, E510, E520, E620, EP1
- Pentax (PEF formats only): K100D, K100D Super, K10D, K110D, K200D, K20D, K7, K-x, *ist D, *ist DL, *ist DS
- Leica: Digilux 3, D-LUX4, M8, M9
- Minolta: DiMage A1, DiMage A2, Maxxum 7D (Dynax 7D in Europe, α-7 Digital in Japan)
- Epson: RD1
- Panasonic: G1, GH1, GF1, LX3
Windows Live Photo Gallery supports viewing and editing of RAW image formats once the codec pack has been installed on the system. Photo Gallery will automatically create a copy of the RAW images in JPEG or JPEG-XR format which can then be edited and worked with by the user.
Windows users can now also preview the supported RAW image formats under Windows Explorer and other programs that make use of WIC.
Microsoft has already announced that they are working on adding support for missing and new camera models. (via)
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