Camera RAW Codecs for Windows

One of the features we added in Windows Vista was a platform to support for decoding camera raw images in Windows Photo Gallery (and later Windows Live Gallery), Windows Explorer, and Win32 & WPF applications. The camera IHV community has done a great job supporting this effort by creating codecs that enable raw files for various cameras. The Microsoft Professional Photography website just posted a page where you can download Codecs for Windows for your camera.

 Updated: a couple folks pointed out that the link I posted was broken. That is fixed now.

Comments (4)

  1. Wytze B. says:

    Your link to the codecs seems to be broken.

  2. That links appears to be broken…

    By the way, it’s amazing and disappointing that so few of the vendors support 64-bit versions of Windows. Particularly since 32-bit Vista, it elects not to let you use more than the 4GB physical address range despite the fact that it supports PAE – it has to swtich on PAE in order to get NX bit support. So if you want to use all the memory you’ve paid for, you *have* to run 64-bit Vista. (And don’t tell me that it’s technically impossible for a 32-bit OS to access more than 4GB of physical address space. PAE is designed to let 32-bit operating systems do precisely that – x86 with PAE is able to address up to 64GB of memory in 32-bit mode. And Windows is provably up to the task: Microsoft has shipped 32-bit versions of server editions Windows in the past that were able to use >4GB of memory thanks to PAE. All current 32-bit versions of Linux are also able to do this on suitable hardware. Not all hardware supports >4GB addressing, but on hardware that does, 32-bit Vista opts not to see it even though it could… But I digress. That’s a different rant than the rant I meant to have…)

    So if you’ve bought a high-end machine with 4GB or more of memory, you have to choose between being able to use your camera’s codecs, or being able to use all your computer’s memory. (Unless you have one of the very few makes of camera for which 64-bit support is available.)

    Is Microsoft doing anything to encourage camera vendors to support x64? Machines that support 64-bit are fast becoming commonplace, and the inexorable growth in typical memory configurations means that sooner or later, either we’ll all have to move onto 64-bit Windows, or Microsoft will have to release a 32-bit version of Vista that exploits PAE. So it’s a shame that over a year after Vista shipped, I can’t read my camera raw files on my best machine – I have to switch to an older, 32-bit machine!

  3. Kam VedBrat says:

    Re: x64 support. I hear you – I’m one of those people with an x64 OS at home, so I feel the pain first-hand.

    We’re working on improving thie 64-bit support for codecs. It will be a staged process, starting with enabling more existing 32 bit code (applications and codecs) to work on x64 systems, and then getting more native x64 software as well.

    The first step towards this is Windows Live Photo Gallery, which is a 32-bit app, but will use 3rd party 32-bit codecs on x64 systems when they are present.

    We’re actively working with our partners in the ecosystem to get the existing 32-bit codecs tested and distribured for use on x64 systems, as well as getting them to create native x64 codecs that leverage the larger address space. Stay tuned.