Microsoft's RAW powertoy now available |
(Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - 14:23 EDT)
Microsoft yesterday posted their "Microsoft RAW Image Thumbnailer and Viewer for Windows XP," a 47MB download that integrates RAW capability into Windows Explorer.
The download process asks users to authenticate their copy of Windows XP before the download button becomes available.
After installation, a process that takes a few minutes, viewing RAW files as thumbnails is just like viewing JPEG files. Though RAW files do not appear in the Filmstrip preview mode, they can be double-clicked and previewed fullscreen. When NEF files from a D2X open in this mode, they appear fuzzy at first, then sharpen in a few seconds. CR2 images from the Canon 1Ds Mark II take a little longer to sharpen, likely due to their larger size.
When viewing images in thumbnail mode, hovering over an image brings up a reasonable amount of detail (though only for RAW files), including image dimensions, date, camera model, image type, size, color space, aperture, shutter, ISO, WB, focal length, and lens type.
The free, though unsupported, software and a detailed white paper on this powertoy's use can be downloaded from Microsoft's website.
A greater level of RAW support is planned for Microsoft's next version of Windows, code name Longhorn. See our exclusive interview with Microsoft's Josh Weisberg for more.