Microsoft launches Windows 7 RAW support with 10 Nikon D5000s up for grabs

Good news for budding photographers - Microsoft has made available an official "Microsoft Camera Codec Pack" that allows Windows 7 to handle RAW photo formats right from the shell. The pack offers a substitute to manufacturer-provided or third party RAW filters, and it also allows Windows Live Photo Gallery to handle RAW photos as it would for traditional JPEG images.

The codec pack may be downloaded from the above link, or it can be done automatically if the Windows Live Essentials 2011 QFE2 update is installed. If users do not have any RAW filters installed on their system, they will see this dialog when Windows Live Photo Gallery encounters RAW photos:

Users may then proceed to import and organize their RAW photos, however, they cannot edit any RAW photo using Photo Gallery's photo retouching features unless they make a JPEG or JPEG-XR copy.

If you don't have a DSLR, then fret not! Be sure to grab a friend's DSLR and shoot a few photos, as Microsoft has unveiled a Photo Contest on the Windows blog.

Ten Nikon D5000 camera bundles are up for grabs, each worth approximately $1000 USD. All that is required of participants is to shoot a RAW photo describing "feathers, fins, and fur," touch it up in Photo Gallery, and send it off with a short paragraph explaining how Windows improves their photography workflow.

The contest will run until August 8 at 11:59 PM PDT and is only open to residents of the United States. Contest details can be found here.

Image Credit: Windows Team blog and Nikon

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18 Comments

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What's the point of installing all codecs for all cameras if you own a DSLR from only one manufacturer? It should give me the option to install only RAW codecs for Nikon or Canon and so on. You get this choice by installing the codec pack directly offered from the camera manufacturer and they also support XP with their codecs.

xpclient said,
What's the point of installing all codecs for all cameras if you own a DSLR from only one manufacturer? It should give me the option to install only RAW codecs for Nikon or Canon and so on. You get this choice by installing the codec pack directly offered from the camera manufacturer and they also support XP with their codecs.

At 8MB does it rearlly matter? It's no different from the millions of other codecs you probably never use. This way microrosft supply one pack and if a mate "happens" to have say a Canon camera you can get the RAW without having to install extra codecs.

melted98 said,
64bit version doesn't open raw images created with the canon 60d not tried the x86 version yet

Sadly Canon didnt support 64bit version

IMcloud said,

Sadly Canon didnt support 64bit version

No both 64/32 bit versions don't support canon 60d, both open raw files created with my canon 450D, but canon 60d not supported as yet, not that it matter as photoshop opens then so i'll stick with that for now, would have been nice to view the raw file without pc having to load photosop every time though.

melted98 said,

No both 64/32 bit versions don't support canon 60d, both open raw files created with my canon 450D, but canon 60d not supported as yet, not that it matter as photoshop opens then so i'll stick with that for now, would have been nice to view the raw file without pc having to load photosop every time though.


No i mean the official Canon Codec from their site. They only support 32bit RAW thumbnail

Ithyphallic52 said,
lol the D5000 is definitely not worth $1000

Oops... it's a bundle they're giving away, which includes one lens and a carrying case.

SpecialK. said,


Canon and Nikon both have their pros and cons, but Panasonic really?

Most of the time, Panasonic is in the top of the list, it is a bit expensive (in comparison with Canon) but is cheaper than Nikon (and way cheaper than Leica).

DCPreview:
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G32.5%
Canon PowerShot SX230 HS2.4%
Nikon D51002.4%
Canon EOS 600D (EOS Rebel T3i / EOS Kiss X5)2.2%
Nikon D70002.1%
Olympus PEN E-P31.9%
Canon Pixma MG8150 (Pixma MG8120)1.8%
Canon EOS 60D1.6%
Olympus PEN E-PL31.5%

Caleo said,
Drop animated GIF support, add RAW support
stay logical Microsoft.

+1
While it's a good feature to have, it is a small niche thing. Dropping animated GIF support has me totally puzzled.

cralias said,

+1
While it's a good feature to have, it is a small niche thing. Dropping animated GIF support has me totally puzzled.

Psh, forget animated GIFs, I want my ANSI art.