PhotoshopNews.com
Apr 17, 2005

Nikon encrypts D2X white balance metadata

In a post on Adobe’s User to User Forum for Camera Raw, Thomas Knoll, chief engineer for Camera Raw and the original author of Photoshop (developed along with his brother John Knoll) has stated that Nikon has taken the unusual step of encrypting the white balance information contained in NEF files written by Nikon’s new D2X and D2Hs cameras.

Thomas says in his post: “They (Nikon) decided to ENCRYPT the white balance data inside the NEF file for these cameras. Previously, the white balance data was stored in non-encrypted format, and was readable to third party raw converters using simple reverse engineering of the file format.

While any encryption system that stores the decryption key inside a PC computer program (vs. having the user type in a decryption key) is fairly easy to crack (Bibble has already broken Nikon’s encryption algorithm for the D2X), it does raise legal obstacles. Nikon might consider breaking the white balance encryption a violation of DMCA, and sue Adobe.

(I personally think that would be a bogus interpretation of the DMCA, since I think the copyrighted information inside the NEF file belongs to the photographer, not Nikon. But Nikon apparently thinks they own the information inside the NEF).

Adobe is a large company with deep pockets (unlike Bibble), and it is unlikely we would run the legal risk of breaking the white balance encryption unless we can get some assurance from Nikon that they will not sue Adobe for doing so. Since Nikon clearly does not want third party raw converters reading their files (they would much rather sell you a copy of Nikon Capture), the likelihood of Nikon providing such an assurance to Adobe is not very high.

Adobe is still going to support the D2X in the upcoming Camera Raw 3.1 release. However, because of the white balance encryption, Camera Raw will not be able (unless Nikon backs down real soon) to read the “as shot” white balance from the camera, and users will be more likely to have to adjust the while balance manually in the Camera Raw dialog, since Camera Raw’s default white balance will not match the cameras default white balance.

This has absolutely no effect on the quality of the final result out of Camera Raw (it is just the starting point and is nearly always fine tuned in any case), and the new multiple file features of Camera Raw 3 actually make it nearly painless to perform similar adjustments on a large number of images. Beta testers of Camera Raw 3.1 are very happy with the Photoshop CS2/Bridge/Camera Raw workflow when processing D2X files, despite the white balance issue.”


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179 Responses to “Nikon encrypts D2X white balance metadata”

  1. Herb Says:

    Interesting. Adobe ($2000m turnover) claim intellectual property rights for THEIR products; why shouldn’t a little company like Nikon enjoy the same respect?

  2. david mantripp Says:

    Adobe don’t claim any rights on the settings you apply to images created with Photoshop. Whilst file formats are often proprietary, or are open to a limit expressed by API documentation (is .psd an open format ? Could Capture Read / Write .psd ? I think so…) here .NEF is replacing film. Did Nikon own your processed film ? Seems like commercial suicide to me – they’re in danger of making their products extremely unattractive to advanced users.

  3. Ian Lyons Says:

    Herb,

    Nikon is NO small company: http://www.nikon.co.jp/main/eng/portfolio/about/corporate.htm

    You might also like to reflect on their Charter for Corporate Behaviour: http://www.nikon.co.jp/main/eng/portfolio/about/corporate_behavior.htm

    1. Healthy corporate activity
    The Nikon Group endeavors to obey related laws, regulations and in-house rules, which are supported by the exercise of fair and ethical business practices and by the use of good judgment, in order to gain trust from customers, shareholders, employees, business partners and society.

    5. Transparent operating activities
    The Nikon Group constantly strives to ensure that our operating activities are fair and transparent, and in accordance with local social norms.

  4. Martin Evening Says:

    Who would you rather support Herb? A company that appears to want to lock you into using their proprietary software only, or a company that is actively helping to establish a common raw file format for everyone?

    In my opinion, what Nikon are doing looks to be restrictive and petty and serves their interests only. In no way can this serve the interests of their loyal customers, when it is effectively trying to stop them from using any other raw converters but their own proprietary Nikon software.

    Adobe have brought about the DNG format specification, which is open source and available for all developers to implement. And many companies have done just that by either enabling their software to recognise DNG or they have indicated they are going to support the DNG format. This is something that will benefit the consumers
    and the industry as a whole – it adds choice.

    Nikon have always made good cameras. And I used to be a loyal Nikonian myself until I switched a few years ago to Canon. But when news like this breaks, I am so glad that I have stopped giving Nikon my money.

    And who does the raw capture data belong to anyway? It is your intelllectual property! What right does a camera company have to start encrypting the data you capture, trying to prevent you from processing the data the way you prefer?

    Martin Evening

  5. Rod Wynne-Powell Says:

    When I first noted Thomas’ comments, I felt his was a measured response to something he regarded as somewhat pointless, the users concerned, who are in the main experienced professionals, and who wish to take advantage of Adobe Camera Raw, will indeed simply adjust their white balance for certain key environments, and apply accordingly, and will be irritated not by Adobe, but Nikon. The more vociferous will make their views known to Nikon, so to those users affected by this somewhat ill-conceived encryption, I would suggest they make their voice heard directly with Nikon. By losing the good will of the professionals and high-end users, Nikon lose an opportunity for those to influence the masses in their choice of software, hardware and possibly even the cameras themselves. Witness, admittedly some time back, the effect of David Bailey on the takeup Olympus amateur cameras.

    Like Martin, I used to be a staunch supporter of Nikon, and still possess a comprehensive set of their film cameras and lenses, but to my mind they lost to Canon quite a time ago, this can only push them further back.

    What they should be doing is respecting Thomas and his team’s efforts and Adobe in publishing DNG, and give them every support, neither will adversely affect their sales of Capture, if it is well-produced, accurate and fast.

    Rod

  6. Lobo Says:

    There seems to be a pretty big jump in logic here to assume that as Nikon has encrypted the white balance in the NEF files they are indirectly asserting ownership of the data within the file itself. Could it not be that the reason they have done this is just to maintain the quality of the file as it comes out of the camera direct ? Personally I can see an argument for this on Nikons part as a user who utilises a third-party piece of software that may mess up the white balance settings when opening the file would come back to Nikon complaining about colour cast or any such problems rather than the third party software producer…..

  7. Omke Oudeman Says:

    I strongly disagree with Lobo about him saying using third party software that might mess up nikon settings. When using film you also would have your own choice off develloping, with RAW you also should have your own choice in how to convert. Next thing Nikon is planned to will probably distribute the photo’s taken by their camera’s at conditions and prices they want…

    Glad that I made my choice for Canon long time ago.
    regards
    Omke

  8. Glenn McLaughlin Says:

    Since we’re talking PRO FESSIONAL here don’t most people that bother to shoot raw also bother to make sure that they are more than “in the ballpark” with regard to exposing properly and most likely shooting a gray card as well? Does this not make the WB encryption a non-issue?

    Why are we surprised by antics like this from nikon? Surely anyone that has had to deal with NPS or CPS knows which company has photographers best interests in mind- That being said nikon didn’t leave everyone high and dry when transitioning to auto-focus as, they held out until they could engineer legacy compatibility.
    But being the big dog in the pro market AT THE TIME they pretty much HAD to, so take that with a grain of salt.

    Lucky for them the D2X looks to be a decent camera because they mighta been down for the count.

  9. Adam Woolfitt Says:

    Nikon’s move to encrypt the white balance information in NEF files is just about as unwelcome as Adobe’s own decision to turn CS 3 into a portal for RF images.

    Both ideas are antipathetic to photographers, obviously Nikon ones and equally, all those trying to make a living from RM stock or commissions.

    Like others who have posted replies, I am very glad I made the switch to Canon years ago.

  10. Eric Welch Says:

    This is a real bad move on Nikon’s part. Regardless of their motivation, to throw a monkeywrench into people’s workflow only encourages them to go elsewhere for their digital hardware.

    I made the transition from Leica SLRs and rangefiders as I went digital, and I am so glad that I went with Canon. (Not to mention the 1Ds Mark II rocks!)

    Now if Canon wants to drive a nail into Nikon’s coffin, adopt DNG tomorrow.

    Nikon is a very small company compared to Canon, and this is one example of why that is the case.

  11. Graham Wyles Says:

    I wonder how long Nikon Professional would last if Adobe encryped their products in such a way as to prevent Nikon files from being processed?

    I used to admire the way that Ilford (unlike Kodak et. al.) published processing times for other companies film stock on their processing chemicals. That showed respect and concern for the practices of photographers.

    I am in the process of wondering which way to go (Nikon/Canon) in upgrading from my dip-a toe-in-the-water D100 to a pukka pro digital camera. As digital matures my guess is that a lot of other photographers are waiting to make the same decision.

    Prior to release and early reviews of D2x I was beginning to think Nikon had lost the plot. Then I began to sway back, but now… Nikon beware.

  12. David Pottage Says:

    Tell Nikon what you think

    Instead of just ranting to ourselves, we should call Nikon and tell them what we think about this practice, a thousand or so messages from customers should make them think again.

    I am a D70 owner, and was going to recommend one to my father who is into digital photography, and is looking to upgrade. After reading about encryption in the raw file, I am having second thoughts. (For similar reasons, I would avoid Sony digicams above the basic point & shoot level).

    As I am in the UK, I had a look on the Nikon UK website, and found contact details without to much difficulty. They publish phone & fax numbers, as well as email & snail mail addresses.

    For UK customers the URL is: http://www.nikon.co.uk/contact_us/get_in_touch/

  13. Carlos Paredes Says:

    Nikon may not be sure about Nikon Capture abilities. Otherwise, they would not need to boost it by hindering others. In the long run, users may prefer another camera maker more convinced about itself.

  14. John Peterson Says:

    Unfortunate, but lets put this in perspective:
    Nikon Capture costs $100 and the updates are free. It offers more then Adobe RAW in processing flexibility.
    I recall shelling out substantially more $ for the first version of Adobe RAW that was an add on for Photoshop 7, and now I understand I’ll have to upgrade to CS2 to be able to run the newer version of Adobe RAW.
    Canon users prefer to use Adobe RAW which is not surprising since Canon capture is bug riden.
    The cost of Nikon capture is offset by the dramatic price difference between the Dx2 and the still-not-quite-debugged D1s Mk2.

  15. Jaakko Jokinen Says:

    I guess the next thing is that when I write stuff with my word processor, I don’t own the rights to the document, but Microsoft does – at least using the Nikon logic. Heck, using Nikon logic everything I produce and store with my machine is actually owned by Microsoft. Way to go Nikon.

  16. Virgil Says:

    Hi Folks,

    hey ! what´s the panic here ? This guy Thomas Knoll posts somewhere his concerns – fair enough – we´re living in a free world. But the point for him is a simple offense against Nikon for some other reason. I mean, both companies could have had a meeting or two and solved the problem in which way o-ever, but no – Mr. Knoll feels that he has to post a thread as his concerns in favour of us – the photographers! Wake up – this guy want´s to make money and will fight anything that keeps him away from this and his last concern are the photographers or some information which should belong to us or somebody else.

    Unfortunately when i go thru the posts i can see a lot of people posting histerically that they want to switch to Canon or not recommend a Nikon Cam anymore and alike. That proofs only that the tactical move from Mr. Knoll perfectly worked – now he brought Nikon under pressure (which he would have never achieved with a normal discussion with them !) and they will now work on a solution for this “missunderstanding” between the two companies.

    Last not least – i don´t know where it comes from that people always think Canon is any better in dealing with their customers (i used Canon as well). Believe me – they don´t ! Accept that the only choice you have is which of this money-making-machines you trust more, you get the best features from or simply you like for some unknown reason. Anything else is waisting time, nerves and money!

    But – as usual – only my 2 cents !

    Cheers
    Virgil

  17. Mr. Photographer Says:


    Adobe stopped publishing the PSD file format specification with Photoshop 5. All enhancements to the file format added later are not accessible by other parties and are claimed as “property of Adobe”. Only Adobe applications can load and display these layer styles and layer types.

    Adobe’s PDF format has been cornered with many, many patents in order to lock other companies out from accessing or creating the latest PDF format.

    If you want to use Adobe’s software development kit to develop plug-ins for Photoshop you are now required to make sure that these plug-ins do not run in non-Adobe applications.

    And, finally: Nikon provides, for free, a software development kit which allows other companies to access the NEF file contents. This SDK has quicks and shortcomings for sure, but at least it’s free.

    I don’t think that Adobe should throw the first stone, here. Despite the fact that I respect Thomas Knoll from his early days, before all this became just a business.

    Mac

  18. Virgil Says:

    To me that´s a tactical move from Mr. Knoll. Under the cover of “expressing his concerns in favour of us photographers” it seems that he try´s to reach another target – a) to earn money and b) to get anything out of the way which keeps him away from a). Maybe talks about information Nikon wasn´t willing to provide but Adobe would liked to have for improving their product failed. So this posting was appropriate to put Nikon under pressure and it seems to work, when i read postings where people state not to recommend Nikon Cams or to switch to Canon – congrats Mr. Knoll ! I bet they find a solution that works for both companies – nothing to be afraid about … oh btw – switching to Canon doesn´t make it any better – they follow the same principal of maximizing their profits without caring about their customers much (i come from Canon). So the only real decision that remains with the user is which evil to choose from :-)

    Cheers
    Virgil

  19. Virgil Says:

    To me that´s a tactical move from Mr. Knoll. Under the cover of “expressing his concerns in favour of us photographers” it seems that he try´s to reach another target – a) to earn money and b) to get anything out of the way which keeps him away from a). Maybe talks about information Nikon wasn´t willing to provide but Adobe would liked to have for improving their product failed. So this posting was appropriate to put Nikon under pressure and it seems to work, when i read postings where people state not to recommend Nikon Cams or to switch to Canon – congrats Mr. Knoll ! I bet they find a solution that works for both companies – nothing to be afraid about … oh btw – switching to Canon doesn´t make it any better – they follow the same principal of maximizing their profits without caring about their customers much (i come from Canon). So the only real decision that remains with the user is which evil to choose from :-)

    Cheers
    Virgil

  20. Lobo Says:

    Lets also not forget that Nikon provides a free plugin for Photoshop that will open the files with White Balance as shot, although in terms of adjustment it only allows you to select one of the preset in camera white balance settings.At least it still allows you to open the files with the right settings…..

  21. Dan Thompson Says:

    Make no mistake about it, Nikon has chosen to tax the type of image we users can get back out of the camera?!? In 35mm terms, it’s like taxing us to use Kodak film instead of Fujichrome. There is NO good to come of this. It locks out our choice to have Adobe or who knows else, even try to write creative new ways to use RAW data in the future.

    Plain and simple. It’s a tax that is there to control a Nikon purchaser. It’s a slippery slope to allow started. Nikon users should revolt now. Do not buy Nikon pro devices until this is reversed.

  22. John Cooper Says:

    I have to agree that this is of no benifit to anybody least of all Nikon. They will experiance a loss of sales due to the fact that people can’t edit thier photos in photoshop.

    On the flipside it it interesting to see Adobe complaining about being able to read other peoples formats when they sent somebody to prison for doing just that to thier ebook standard. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dmitry_Sklyarov

    And to think they paid so much to get those laws in place in the first place it’s a shame that they are now figting against them.

    john

  23. Robin Says:

    Rather than jumping all over Nikon on this, I’d rather not hold them to judgement until I hear what they have to say.

    So far, we’ve only heard Adobe’s side of the story, not Nikon’s. Give that both produce software, they clearly have some property-rights issues to sort out.

  24. Dan Thompson Says:

    Oh, one more thing… To read these compassioned thoughts that Nikon should be allowed to add this tax on us, or that Nikon’s free tools minimize the imact of this, WAKE UP IDIOTS!!!! You’re giving future control of the image YOU shot to Kodak, and allowing Nikon to always hold that data hostage into the future. Those of us who archive RAW future needs to be concerned. Imagine if new cool RAW data tool arrives in the future, your Nikon RAW file may be unsupported because Nikon’s marketing decided to raise the price of the license to decrypt.

    NIKON….KEEP RAW OPEN for all.

    I’ve never thought of jumpint to the “C” word company before, but I’ve about had it with Nikon and their quest to constantly figure out ways to steal money from their supporters.

  25. Rv Says:

    Don’t worry

    the time will soon come that any camera will send your pictures to its manufacturer to do with it as he pleases. As will be clearly desribed in the small print in the license agrement you have to sign before using the camera

  26. Lobo Says:

    Dan everyones entitled to their oppinion and just because they do not agree with your viewpoint that doesnt make them an “idiot” as you put it. RAW is not as open as you seem to think as there is no established standard, which is why for example Adobes Camera Raw needs to be updated as new camera models are released so the example you give could apply to any make of camera brand if the producer of the “new cool RAW data tool” doesnt make it backwards compatible with older RAW formats. Personally I suggest people just calm down and stop getting so upset about a situation that isnt that clear yet.

    Lobo

  27. Rv Says:

    ps they are all big companies, adobe, nikon, canon, etc. Trying to force you into spending all your money with them. They could have had an common bajonet for all SLR’s for decades now, for example.

    If companies see benefits in blocking others out, they will, no matter their name or area

  28. Wolf Peter Weber Says:

    Who needs a Nikon anyhow..?
    I dropped them years ago.
    Because of their changed service attitudes.
    Let them eat their encrypted “Raw”…

  29. Randy Anderson Says:

    For a working professional, it’s not a matter of spending money on Capture. It’s the added step in the workflow that is troublesome. If I can completely process my photos from start to finish with a single piece of software, I’d much rather do that. To run a batch in Capture, then complete the process in Photoshop is unacceptable. I’ve already been thinking about jumping the Nikon ship and sailing for Canon. This will probably be the last straw.

  30. Joop van HOudt Says:

    I don’t like being forced to use software I cannot work with.
    Last week I shot about 900 aerial photographs with the D2X.
    I can do about 15 NEF-files per hour with Capture. How does Nikon think I can do my daily work with software like that?
    Capture is slower than slow.
    luckily it was just a try-out of the D2X.
    I won’t buy it.
    Joop

  31. Mark J Curtis Says:

    Nikon does not fill me with confidence at present: I made the move from Canon with the launch of the original D1 at a cost of around GB£11k. I was pleased with that move at the time and added D100 boties to the bag which, despite a number of limitations, are the mainstays of my work. The last two years, however, have seen Nikon steadily overtaken in technology and almost left behind. Launching the 4mp D2h without an accompanying high-resolution option seemed bizarre to this jobbing professional and much of the product range seemed to be reacting to the market rather than driving it in the way the D1 had.

    Now the D2X looked like redressing something of the situation. Unfortunately you can’t buy one in the UK – unless you are the sort of person who would place an order as soon as an untested product is announced (last September) and wait nine months (the camera is still not on the dealers’ shelves). In contrast, I could have an EOS 1D (or even 1Ds) Mark II off the shelf today.

    The decision to encript the .NEF white balance data and makes another poor comparison with Canon. The latter ships raw processing software in the box with the camera and supports third parties (Capture One and others as well as Photoshop).

    I don’t think Nikon is necessarily money-grabbing with this move. I just think the company lacks strategic direction in a market in which it is losing the battle to remain innovative. All the same, from my position making the expensive move back to the office equipment manufacturer is looking less and less prohibitive.

  32. Tulak Says:

    Same is here :
    “I don’t like being forced to use software I cannot work with”
    Nikon stay away from this.
    I will not get D2x I will go with Canon.
    I like to be a free.

  33. luiz macian Says:

    i dont mind about this nikon decision
    that´s why I’m very satisfied with my canon
    other photographers should do the same

  34. Angelo Says:

    .. do you think you will be ever free with Canon? Have you ever tried thier standard software? I did, and that was the reason why I started to use another software to develop their raw file. I also had a taste of the “fantastic” quality and performances of Canon’s cameras (Eos 10D) and that was the reason why I came back to Nikon.
    It is really strange how many “proudly Canon” shooters are so interested in an issue that may regards only Nikonians, or do they fear that Canon can follow?
    I do not think that all the reason stay with Adobe, since they are tring to make money from all the camera producers’ work, and they free up standards only when it is usefull for their income statement.

  35. Ednaz Says:

    Nikon is making a terrible decision. Allowing interoperability and full integration with downstream solutions is what winners do. Creating proprietary chunks to lock other people out of your market is what losers do. Apple COULD have been the standard, but chose to lock out key elements of their OS and hardware. Microsoft doesn’t lock people out – it competes with them, may mess with them in ways that are a bit on the anti-trust side, but nevertheless, the specs are out there and you can piggyback on their work.

    The attitude shown by this statement gives me significant pause. I will not work with a system that tries to tell me what my workflow must be, and what image processing options I must use.

  36. Marcel Bakker Says:

    This really sucks, ever since I have my D2X I’m waiting for Adobe to come with the Camera Raw upgrade to process my D2X NEF files. I haven’t even installed Nikon Capture on my Mac yet, (I’m shooting jpeg fine instead for the time being) since past experience was utterly dissapointing with Nikon software. It seems they develop their software mainly for amatures on PC’s. Hope Nikon won’t go through with their encryption plans, then I seriously regret staying with them and not switching to Canon before. They should drop their whole software department, so far it sucks what they come up with. Let them focus on digital camera development and optics. I’m waiting for an serious anwser to the 1Ds Mark II. How about a D3 full size chip camera with 22 million pixels? Please not another 3 years… And when do they finally come up with a AF-S Macro?!

    Marcel

  37. Damian Says:

    Think Nikon main concern now is to woo back the pros. The F5 days are over, since the DSLR boom, I see a sea of white tele lens with a Canon body stuck behind it in every major event. Can we hear announcements of new DSLR like a D100 successor or a full frame DSLR, more lens with vr. Its news like this make me feel that I may have make the wrong choice to stay with Nikon.

  38. Smoove D Says:

    Nikon Capture is the worst piece of software I have ever used, it is incredibly slow and takes forever to open, edit and process NEF files. I downloaded Pixmatic’s RawShooter Essentials last week and it is an enormous improvement to my workflow. I will not buy a D2X and be chained to Nikon Capture.

  39. Jon Revere Says:

    I am a long-time Canon user but the fate of Nikon is of interest to me as well. For decades Nikon and Canon have competed at all levels, each taking their turn in the sunlight as the professional must-have camera and equipment. The competition between these two firms has produced the incredible cameras we all have now.

    Such intense emotion expressed in this thread could not result from the singular act of encrypting some RAW data. It does come from a period of disappointments.

    Regardless of the wisdom of encrypting its RAW information, it would be shame if it meant Nikon would lose further ground to Canon. Without the competition of each company dogging the other, I think both Nikon and Canon users alike will lose.

  40. Stephen Lee Says:

    Sure this is unbelievable, Nikon empire comes very close to the end… Goodbye, Nikon.

  41. Kori Says:

    Geeze…..guess this stupid stuff helped me make up my mind to go ahead and make the switch to Canon. :)

  42. Thomas Says:

    Nikon doesn’t say much, and many was waiting to see some news regarding a D100 follower.

    And now they finaly open their mouth, only to annoy those that are waiting for the “D200″ – rofl that’s not the most wise dessicion I reckon.

    What happend – did Bill Gates enter the company?

    I was on the edge of either replacing my D70 with the 20D or buy some new optics for my Nikon – guess Nikon made the hard choice sooooo much more easy.

  43. Rv Says:

    geez, nobody comes to the conclusion of simply getting bibble instead of capture??? There ARE alternatives.

    Quote: Microsoft doesn’t lock people out /quote
    tell me your not serieus on this one, because if you believe this you probably also believe that the aliens have secretly taken over all worldleaders…

  44. John Chennavasin Says:

    Keep in mind that Adobe took legal action under the DMCA against Dmitry Sklyarov and Elcomsoft for reverse engineering and creating a program that removes restrictions from encrypted Acrobat files. Criminal charges were also filed in this case.

    Also, the DMCA was used in order to prevent third-party toner cartridges from being distributed.

  45. Mike The Angry Pirate Says:

    Nikon has every right to encrypt their proprietary NEF format anyway they choose. Why should Adobe make a penny on CS without paying royalties to Nikon, Adobe didn’t make the NEF?

  46. Andrzej Taramina Says:

    Like many others, I’m in the market for a D2X (maybe even two), plus some new glass, including the expensive 200-400 AFS VR and some macro lenses. That is a lot of coin and even more so, a long term revenue stream for Nikon, even beyond these planned purchases this year.

    I’ve got a D100, a D70, lots of good Nikkor glass, a couple of SB-800′s and more. Also have a copy of the latest Nikon Capture.

    And like everyone else, PS/CS is my mainstay editing application. NC is a sideline.

    So now I’m seriously considering dumping the Nikon stuff and going with Canon 1Ds bodies, with C glass.

    Nicely done Nikon. Good way to piss off a whole segment of loyal customers and lose even more market share.

    …Andrzej

  47. Andrzej Taramina Says:

    Like many others, I’m in the market for a D2X (maybe even two), plus some new glass, including the expensive 200-400 AFS VR and some macro lenses. That is a lot of coin and even more so, a long term revenue stream for Nikon, even beyond these planned purchases this year.

    I’ve got a D100, a D70, lots of good Nikkor glass, a couple of SB-800′s and more. Also have a copy of the latest Nikon Capture.

    And like everyone else, PS/CS is my mainstay editing application. NC is a sideline.

    So now I’m seriously considering dumping the Nikon stuff and going with Canon 1Ds bodies, with C glass.

    Nicely done Nikon. Good way to annoy a whole segment of loyal customers and lose even more market share.

    …Andrzej

  48. din Says:

    hey guys just cool down lets wait what nikon say about this problem canon fans you talk to much…..

  49. Jojo Guevarra Says:

    those that have the D2x and D2Hs…tough luck…

    those still trying to decide what DSLR to buy next will most probably choose canon, like me…

    locking out the competition is not new. it’s a tried and tested strategy…for some, that is. now, the question is will it work for nikon? reading from the posts, i guess most of you already know the answer…

    nikon, i know you’re reading this. it’s time to make your move…better make it good!

    jojo

    ps. some of the posts are quite amusing…microsoft doesn’t lock people out?!! HAHAHA! good one…

  50. dummy Says:

    Why doesn’t Nikon encrypt the whole file and let only a legally owned copy of Nikon capture to read it, and only for specific camera? As a crappy programmer myself, I would like to help Nikon to ‘develop’ such ‘technology’ to ‘safeguard’ photographers from raw pictures being ‘stolen’.

    They should also prevent users from taking pictures using RAW mode at all, unless you paid them twice the camera’s price and unlock the camera with another 128,000 bit key! That will save us the hassle from using RAW at all. 8-)

  51. Sweet Irony Says:

    I think it would be absolutely delicious to have Adobe tied up in court over a DMCA violation.

    DMCA essentially makes reverse engineering illegal and Adobe is one of the biggest supporters of DMCA.

    IMO Nikon and Adobe deserve each other.

  52. Spectator Says:

    “Why doesn’t Nikon encrypt the whole file and let only a legally owned copy of Nikon capture to read it, and only for specific camera?”

    The answer, obviously, is that they don’t want to. It therefore follows that Adobe’s just posturing for our benefit here, with great success among people who really ought to know better. The “encryption” has already been “broken” and is available in open-source form, so there’s no technical reason Adobe can’t support it. If Adobe released their product supporting D2X WB, and Nikon sued them as a result, Nikon would be in the wrong. As it is, Nikon has done nothing wrong yet.

    Speculation: Since Adobe is an IP-hungry, lawsuit-happy organization, Nikon wants to trade the immunity from a lawsuit over “breaking WB encryption” for immunity from one or more of Adobe’s own ridiculous patents. Since Adobe is too IP-greedy to do this, they’re taking the alternative gambit of trying to publically embarrass Nikon into folding, thereby having to make no concessions at all.

    Nikon ain’t exactly “good guys”, folks, but remember that when it comes to IP, Adobe has a track record of being far worse.

  53. goodwynn Says:

    I run Nikon Capture on a laptop PC. It works perfect for me (I shoot a D2H), so much that I do not even have photoshop installed. Seriously, if your not doing photocomps, who needs photoshop? It is bloated and too expensive. For me, Capture is a part of the Camera, and it is quite inexpensive, regularly updated, and free after you spend your first 100 bucks. How much have you spent on Photoshop over the years? Can your layered files be read in anything else? Do some research and you will see just how benevolent Adobe is. Acrobat files anyone? Postscript? PSD? Give it up. If you don’t like Nikon, buy Cannon and get to work. It’s the veiled PC vs MAC war all over again. You are going to need some kind of imaging software, Adobe has pretty much the Monolopy on your choice: Lets see what happens if someone reads and writes PSD files… For my money, I have no problem sticking with Capture: It gets better and better with each release, makes great images, and is a lot younger than Photoshop.

  54. TP Says:

    There seems to be a direct co-relation between tendancies to megalomania and fierce protectionist behaviour.

    If Nikon truly thought their Capture software was as good as they say it is, they wouldn’t have to worry about entrapping their camera users. I guess that’s why they call it “capture”. ;) Anyway, they need (or want very badly) to make money from Capture, so they try to force people to use it. They figure their little empire will grow this way. They are definitely afraid of losing in a completely open competition.

    Those of us who are not megalomaniacs (imagine, for example, being a billionaire and thinking that that’s not enough money) can’t understand such behaviour. We (I guess I’m not one either) live our lives by giving and accepting the gifts we receive. The notion of extracting our affluence from others is literally repugnant. Hence the emotional outbursts here. A professional community based in technology that is open and shared is not just an ideal, it works but, truly, no one gets materially rich this way except by accident.

    Nikon management need to decide what kind of community suits them. Their success need not depend on a zero sum gain if they really don’t want it to.

  55. Pierre Says:

    The data (photograph) and all its pertinent files belong to the photographer. Just because it’s digital and Nikon (or any other vendor) can encumber the process, doesn’t make it right.

  56. Chris Says:

    Photoshop isn’t the only option for processing Nikon RAW files. ACDCee and Pixmantec Raw Shooter (the latter is free) also do so and, especially the latter, are MUCH faster than Photoshop and/or Capture One. If Nikon’s Capture One wasn’t such a productivity drain, I might not object so much. But Nikon’s decision to put roadblocks between the user and an efficient workflow in order to force people to use an inferior product makes me an unhappy Nikon (D70) owner. Great camera; lousy corporate policy with respect to software.

  57. Burn Says:

    Clearly we have allot of ppl on here making claims which must be a few bricks short of a load. I own a small photography business and developed my own accounting software…whoopee. However do you honestly think for one minute I am going to give all that hard work over to a company so they can stamp it as theres? Not bloody likely. Sure I may share it, but I’m not going to hand over the source so someone and decompile it and convert it into there own work. Rick where you born north of 60? Yes it is your data, and the pictures even remain yours forever for you to stick on the wall and throw darts at or whatever it is you do, however the hard work that went into creating the source in which is used to make those very nice files you shot of your lovely goat was not made by you, neither was the camera. Maybe you should copy the design of the camera and start selling it, then you could could sit at home all day and collect a paycheck for doing absolutely nothing!

    Even if it is encrypted who cares. It’s one extra step to batch the White Balance setting on all your photos, I mean what kind of lazy bums are you? My lord do you have an assistant to hold your camera while you press the shutter release because it’s to heavy. Maybe I should call up there and talk to some agent who does customer care, or maybe tech. support and expect that he have all the answers….great idea retard! Hmmm makes sense to me and in return all those customers who need support aren’t going to get it because we are beating a dead dog.

    I am a little upset about this, but maybe I should also be upset because Microsoft wont let me recompile Windows 2003 for resale so I can make my millions, or that Adobe would try to sue me for downloading a copy of there software which I did not pay for!

    Bitch on please, maybe we can make this a chain letter to annoy the rest of the free world! April 19th, 2005 at 11:15 am good for you for spelling it out, a good read and you made it very simple for some of the above who clearly have no idea whats going on.

    To TP I say keep up the good work, I want some of what your Smoking cause your really out in left field. I don’t use capture because I do not need it and because it does not suit my workflow. Further, they are not trying to force anyone into anything you retard….If half these ppl on this forum had any brains and thought they where really in a jam they would just convert there files to TIFF…..UMMMM dont see any entrappment there.

  58. Michael Houghton Says:

    Hm. Maybe they should ask Dmitry Skylarov for advice. Their lawyers have his address.

  59. Jeff Says:

    I dream of a day when I my data can be read by whatever means I choose. Raw? Fine, let me view it in whatever application I choose, Nikon. Edit my images? Let me save them in a format that can be edited by any other application. I don’t want my property stored in a patent encumbered format. Here that Adobe? I don’t trust companies that employ more attorneys than engineers.

  60. Charles Says:

    Um.. did anyone stop to think for one second before overreacting to this story? It is going to take Adobe just one phone call to Nikon and they will instantly get a license the format for free. Nikon has no incentive to keep this format from Adobe, and every incentive to give it freely to Adobe so it can be supported. Nikon has no incentive to give away the format specs freely, so every low-end digital camera maker can clone it and use it in work-alike cameras of dubious quality.

  61. Sean Keeney Says:

    I’m no pro photographer (I ‘use’ a Minolta Z2, badly) but I do take an interest in this sort of thing.

    That’s because from a computer-techie background, i’ve been watching the subtle shift in ‘Digital Rights Management’ on the PC and attached devices. It’s evident in the fact that buying music online invariably restricts what you can do with the music file.

    You can’t just copy the music to another PC because the vendor restricts if/when you can do so, they can do this as the music you ‘bought’ is encrypted. The masses don’t care, if a file doesn’t play on another PC they assume the PC is at fault. The masses will care however when people start having emassed big and expensive collections, only to not be able to play then when the operating system is reinstalled.

    Anyways, i’m kinda glad in a way this sort of behaviour has crossed into a more mainstream activity like photography. It will annoy a lot more people, which will hopefully draw attention to these practices. There is NO reason for Nikon to *deliberately* obfuscate your data purely for upselling you something that costs extra.

    It’s kinda like caller-id on my home phone. I pay extra to get it (£1.50 a month), this is to get a service that it actually costs my phone company some money to withhold from me. It’s a product pulled out of their ass to deliberately stiff customers. But like Digital ‘Rights’ (should be ‘Restrictions’) Management, it’s presented to the customer as a benefit to them. I hate big silly companies who propogate this rubbish.

    This is all a moot point in this case though. I’m sure if the encryption is as bad as these things usually are, there are a load of hackers around the world where the DMCA doesn’t apply having a look at the thing right now.

  62. Sushi-Fanatic Says:

    This article was very helpfull, I am shopping around for a new camera and now I know which brand to NOT buy.

    Thank you very much.

  63. TP Says:


    To Burn the flamer: take a deep breath – it’s not worth it.

    To anyone else:

    Nikon have encrypted WB info for a reason other than keeping their programmers busy. Surely they thought there was something in it for them. If what others say here is true, that the decryption kit is free, I can’t follow the logic of installing an expensive lock and then spending time and energy giving out the keys free of charge.

    Does anyone have a link to first hand info on this free kit that we can all peruse carefully?

  64. Michael Friedman Says:

    Though both sides raise some good issues, on the balance, I think the arguments against what Nikon has done are better.

    Harder workflow is a big strike; and the fact that I may not be able to open and/or edit NEF files in the future because Nikon has changed the format and is no longer supporting older cameras … C’mon, we’ve got to have open standards here.

    But what really offends me is the idea of not fully owning my own work. Hey, my film negs belong to me and no one else. Why should digital files be any different?

    -MF

  65. John Huber Says:

    Mr. Burn.

    You are saying that it is Nikon’s right to decide what software can read the images taken by a Nikon camera.

    To use the Microsoft comparison, that would be the same as Windows refusing to play media in any software except Windows MediaPlayer.
    Or to use you own example. You have to right to do whatever you want with your selfwritten acounting software. But the moment you sell a copy, you have no rights dictating what a uses can or can’t do with the acounting data he generates. If the user wants to convert the data for instance to plain text, you have no saying in that. You have no obligation to give him the tools for the job, but you can not stop him from writting his own or use a tool written by a third party.

    What Nikon is effectivly doing by encrypting metadata in a raw file, is to make it illegal for the user to modify his own imagedata under the DMCA.

    This also say alot about the DMCA, but that’s for another discussion.

  66. Christopher Sanderson Says:

    Since the setting of White Balance is one of the first things to be done in RAW conversion workflow – I don’t really see the ‘big whup’. . .
    Nikon’s encryption seems rather pointless, since using a WhiBal or other gray reference for colour-critical work or one’s eye judgment for ‘art’ makes that camera-appointed setting completely moot.

  67. Alan Amesbury Says:

    Keep in mind that the problem here is NOT the fact that Nikon’s encrypting data. The problem is that (in the US) laws like the DMCA make it illegal for companies to reverse-engineer encryption for the purpose of making products interoperable. Adobe was on the other side of this same debate a few years ago, when they had some guy arrested for merely *talking* about reverse-engineering some of the encryption in their PDF file format.

    Instead of saying how Nikon should do this or Adobe do that, we should instead be talking about how to keep government’s nose out of the business of passing laws that make situations like this possible in the first place.

  68. Charles Says:

    The solution to the DMCA issue is to avoid reverse-engineering, by doing it legally with Nikon’s permission and licensing. Are people so anxious to find the latest hot-button flamefest that it never occurs to them that Nikon will license the format, because it’s completely useless without licensees?

  69. John Huber Says:

    Your making reverse-engineering sound like something illegal. It is not. Infact it is one of the key elements to technological advancement. And what about the single individuals wanting to use the raw files in theyr own projects for whatever purphose. By your logic Nikon is still deciding who get’s the license and who does not and how much they have to pay for it. If Nikon dont want say Adobe reading the files, they dont get a license, money or no money.

  70. Doc Peter Says:

    I can only hope the System will be an OPEN one, otherwise Nikon AND Adobe will be the loosers

  71. Mike The Angry Pirate Says:

    I am having hard time understanding the argument that because you took the picture you own the media format. The media format is Nikon’s property and the image is yours. Stop your whining and complaining because if you were so smart you would come up with the newer and better RAW. Canon and Nikon should join together and encrypt everything so Adobe can’t use their RAW formats and monopolize the market. You would still be buying their cameras and finding something else complain about. People like you are never happy. You think everyone owes you something. Try reading Spectator’s comments if you want the truth.

    ARRRRRRHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    http://photoshopnews.com/?p=226#comment-185

  72. Torbein Says:

    The point here is choice, by encrypting the WB-metadata Nikon is limiting our choices to edit our own photos. I don’t care what is the best RAW-converter, thats another discussion.

    In Norway (and other EU-contries I think) a new law is coming to effect soon where it is illegal to break an ecryption is files. So for me to convert my photos in a RAW-converter that has broken Nikons encryption would be illegal…

    I think Nikon is making a big mistake, but I’m afraid that they won’t be alone in limiting the choices for us. Thats why I think this is an bad omen for all of us.

  73. american scotty Says:

    well its only $100bucks.. you spned that
    much on 2 tanks of gass..

  74. F J Says:

    My E-Mail to Nikon USA:

    I am a twenty five year Nikon veteran. I will be shooting digital without question with a new system by this time next year. The D2X as several of my remaining Nikon colleagues have stated is “good enough to not switch to Canon”.

    However be aware that the future of RAW should be an open standard. That is what your customers demand for very good reasons. If you, Canon, or anyone else does not provide it, we are going to move to camera systems that do. You will increase interest, good will, and therefore sales and acceptance by supporting open standards like DNG (in camera). You will lose sales including mine if Nikon makes NEF a closed standard, that can not be fully and easily manipulated by third party applications now and in the future.

    Please forward this to the appropriate management at Nikon, your job depends on it.

    By the way Adobe practice what you preach. Although I must say there is a difference. A RAW file is my image. I don’t have to make it a .psd file if I don’t want to. But if a camera is to be considered a professional model it better be as compatible as possible with Adobe and more importantly an open standard.

  75. PSN Editorial Staff Says:

    A warning from PSN ADMIN, the use of vulgarity or personal attacks against individuals will require that PhotoshopNews delete the entire comment and ban the user from making any additional comments. We are all for free speech, however, it is up to you to choose your words wisely.

  76. Morgaine Dinova Says:

    I have no interest in Adobe’s position, only in what Nikon is doing with my data in my camera.

    The WB data is crucial information for delivering the exact picture I took. Tweaking the WB by hand will only approximate the desired result, never get it precise. This information is very much a KEY to my photo, without it I only get a poor quality version, not the original. My exact original photo is permanently locked away from me without that key. Nikon is abusing its rights as a camera manufacturer by locking away the original photo that I produce as a photographer. They have no rights to it.

    On top of that, I selected the WB personally, so if anyone has copyright on it it’s me. Nikon have no business encrypting MY information, for any reason whatsoever.

    This is a basic issue of property, and the freedom to access one’s property. The photograph and the white balance values are mine, exclusively and unquestionably. Denying me access to my property unless I pay an additional tax is completely unacceptable, in fact it is extortion.

    In the battle with Canon, it is things like this that will cost Nikon dearly.

  77. Fast Freddy Says:

    Check out this raw converter.

    http://www.blacksnake.com/

  78. UrbanVoyeur Says:

    It’s not just Nikon vs Adobe.

    This affects every other RAW converter: Capture One, Silverfast AI, RawShooter and a host of others.

    Many of the programs offer significant advantages over Nikon Capture. Now I ahve to go through extra steps and contortions to use them OR sacrifice color accuracy.

    I don’t get my Fuji film processed by Fuji – I go where I want to. Nikon should have the same respect for my judgement.

  79. Burn Says:

    I was out of line, not sure where that came from. I think that there are may good points being made here. I just hope that if all company’s do decide to hand this information to Adobe, that they dont turn into a microsoft and then start charging us all for the download to use it.

    I would hope that if they do get the rights to these it won’t come down to that, but with there track record as many of you have pointed out I can’t say that I would be suprised.

    Both charles and spectator made very good points it will be interesting to see how things pan out. Again I apologize for my out of line behaviour but my worst fear is a monopoly being formed in which we will all be out of luck.

  80. goodwynn Says:

    Oh all this whining. Drop 100 Bucks, buy capture, and go back to work. Tell me, why wouldn’t you want to have the software that is designed for your camera? Besides, if you know what your doing in photoshop, original white ballance is moot anyway. Last time I checked, you can read what was used in the exif info. Digital photographers like to whine instead of doing work and learning how to overcome obsticles with their tools. Have we forgotton emulsion testing and exposure-development calabrations from the old days? Learn to use your tools. Your wringing hands for nothing.

    As for Adobe. Pitty the fool that thinks their your friend. They have sued Macromedia over the tabbed pallet interface. They have sued Agfa over acrobat fonts. Do a search for all the patent infringement that Adobe has been sued for. Screw Adobe. They are not yor friend. Now that they have taken over Macromedia, just wait and see what a closed minded monopoly they become. Photoshop, in the end, will be the cause of more damage to Photography as a whole than any other piece of softwear.

  81. Burn Says:

    I was out of line in my first post, what I dont want to see however is Adobe getting the rights to All Nef files so they can turn around and charge us all for a NEF plugin download. We all buy the photo equipment, we all buy the software and currently that is working just fine.

    But who knows if Adobe gets the rights to all NEF information for all vendors we may be in even worse trouble down the road as Vendors well likely stop spending the time making there own. I still have faith that wouldent happen, but just a thought to keep in mind.

  82. John Huber Says:

    To all of you arguing that this is not important since the Nikon software is only $100 so we should all just use that.

    Well let me tell you I own both Nikon Capture and Photoshop CS, and I use the Adobe Camera Raw plugin far more often then the Nikon software. It handles sligthly overexposed images much better and does a better job at correcting chromatic aberration. Workflow is also much faster when using the Camera Raw plugin. And Photoshop is for better or worse the standard today when it comes to 48bit photoediting. So it makes sence that you import your raw data directly from within the same software. The D2X is a professional camera for professional users that typically process alot of images on regular basis. Workflow and speed is key while price or brand of software is not.

    And before someone replies that this just affects WB so there is no problem to keep using Camera RAW or other non Nikon software. What is to stop Nikon from encrypting the actual image data next? There is no technical reason to encrypt the WB metadata, so it is reasonable to assume they did this purly to force your software selection. The next logical step then is just that, to encrypt the image data also.

  83. Darren Says:

    The change in RAW format is the only bad thing about the D2X. In all other aspects the camera is fantastic and every bit as good as you expect when you shell out this kind of money. If you take photographs you chose the equipment based on the quality of the results, afterall that is what counts. I recently got the D2X after spending a few years using the D100. The camera in combination with the Photoshop CS software has really turned around the whole idea of photography for me. The RAW converter in CS was/is so good at letting you make those fine adjustments easily before editing properly. The hassle that Nikon has introduced is in this process only. Their software supplies a plugin that Photoshop uses to see the new photographs, but it is just not as good as the original Photoshop one. Your adjustments are more limited, and your preview is thumbnail size, so it is harder to see the effect of small changes. But it works.

    I have already let Nikon know how I and others feel about this. You should do the same if you have the camera. The fix could be simple if enough people voice their concerns. How hard would it be for Nikon to issue a firmware update that does not encrypt the camera data? Until they do, I am requesting to be part of the Photoshop beta test for the new plugin.

    Incidentally, I have had nothing but good responses and support from Nikon as a company. One of the reasons I stick with them. Canon could take a tip or two from them in this respect. Good cameras, but their support leaves alot to be desired.

  84. Del Dalby Says:

    How’s these headings? Love to see them on PC Magazine, or CNN, or Blogs!

    “Nikon closes image format. Forces users to pay tax to Nikon.”

    “Nikon force users to pay in the future to view photos.”

    “Nikon kidnaps users photos, holds them hostage for ransom.”

    “Nikon users revolt against new tax Nikon adds to data files.”

    Any encrypted D2X RAW data from the camera is a TAX on Nikon camera users, plain and simple. Raw image data I archive from a Nikon D2X should not be subject to future Nikon control. A year from now, I may be locked out of my Raw images because the author can’t negotiate payment to decrypt from Nikon. RAW image data is not Nikon’s to hold for ransom. Open it back up.

    RAW should be an OPEN format. If Nikon chooses to add a new format called NIKON-RAW, fine. But let us save our RAW data for future use without the worry that it will be unreadable.

    Nikon… get profit elsewhere.

  85. Bill Says:

    Has anyone considered that maybe Nikon is encrypting the white balance settings, not to make it hard to read the file, but to protect their trade secret method of setting them in the first place?

    Other camera manufacturers may use the white balance settings to reverse engineer the algorithms used by Nikon in the first place. E.g. you shoot an image with carefully measured characteristics, you take the unencrypted white balance settings, and continue to do this to map out what the software inside the camera is doing with the raw data off the sensor to develop its white balance settings. They then can develop an equivalent camera with maybe a “Nikon White Balance” setting to emulate Nikon’s.

    I have no idea if this is the real reason, but it is a possibility. Nikon may be willing to hand out licences to everyone who asks – as long as they promise not to reverse engineer their white balance algorithms. It may not be about keeping you from getting this information, it may be about maintaining their edge in these white balance algorithms.

  86. Dan Says:

    As more computery geeks know, the DMCA is fairly broad in its protection of encryption. In fact, it make no excpetions for education, fair use, or ownership. If you break somebody’s encryption, whether to backup software on a CD, transfer iTunes-purchased music to an unauthorized player, or access the white balance info in your .NEF, you’re breaking the law. That’s ALL the DMCA says. If you “circumvent” (and there are lots of ways to do that, what a wonderful word!) encryption, you’re a criminal. Hooray.

  87. Richard Weisgrau Says:

    This is a copy of the letter I sent to Nikon today.

    Dear Nikon Folks:

    Nikon’s decision to encrypt the white balance information in its NEF files seems to be incredibly stupid. The only way it would not be incredibly stupid is if Nikon intends to provide companies producing RAW file converters like Adobe with permission to break that encryption or with the codes to open the encrypted files. If they did that, it would make Nikon just plain stupid instead of incredibly stupid. It would be plain stupid because, if you are going to give away the encryption keys or grant permission to break the encryption, there was no reason to put it the encryption into the NEF file in the first place.

    Does Nikon really believe that I am going to start using its Capture software to process my RAW files and to do the image processing that I now do in Photoshop? Can Nikon actually think I would like to process RAW files its software, and then switch over to Photoshop to do the remaining processing of the image? If Nikon believes that photographers are going to put aside an industry standard software program for its proprietary product it needs a new policy guru, preferably one who can think logically.

    Leica and Hasselblad have announced that they will support the Adobe DNG format for RAW files. Now that makes sense. I have one Leica digital camera and two Nikon digital SLRs. I convert the RAW files from all of them to Adobe DNG immediately after archiving the RAW files. Why? Because having only one RAW format in my workflow makes my life easier. Why does Nikon want to make my life more difficult?

    I have been planning to purchase a Nikon D2x this spring. But I do not want a D2x with encrypted white balance information. I want a D2x that acts like I own it, not like it owns me. Maybe I’ll switch to a Leica SLR with the new digital back. Maybe I’ll change to Canon. One thing for sure – no D2x is going into my equipment locker as long as the white balance is encrypted.

    Nikon, please correct your error. Don’t be stupid. Make my life simpler. That way I will keep using Nikon cameras and lenses.

    With questionable loyalty,

    Dick Weisgrau

  88. Glenn McLaughlin Says:

    Jeeeze,
    I thought this thread was buried a couple days ago when I first posted.
    I see that I may be misinformed (not having a D2X to worry about yet).
    Could someone clarify; Am I not able to even process a D2x RAW file because of the encoding??
    Or is it just that I can’t use one of the canned WB settings within ACR??

    Or more simply, does ACR not yet support D2X Raw files?

    Thanks.

  89. James Fry Says:

    There is so much rubbish spouted in the comments above.

    One poster claims Microsoft does not lock out competitors. Erm, Ok.

    Another poster appears to be claiming that Nikon are no worse than Canon – I don’t think Canon have started encrypting anything yet (I haven’t looked into this deeply enough yet, but I’ve heard from one source that the WB information is merely encoded not encrypted, so this is a whole non-issue). I really don’t see what is to be gained by encrypting just the white balance information anyway – surely if you want to lock out other people you start encrypting more than just that?

    Has anyone contacted Nikon and asked them directly about the issue? Thought not.

  90. Darren Says:

    Glenn, if you buy a D2X you get the Nikon software with it that reads the RAW file format and allows you to convert it to other formats. The software also detects if you use Photoshop and installs the Nikon plugin to read the new RAW format in Photoshop. No-one should have any problem reading the files. The problem as I experience it is that the format has changed and you must use the Nikon plugin at the moment. The more advanced RAW file reader with Photoshop CS cannot read the new format and so you lose some of the nice little adjustments when you open a file.

    If you also read some documentation you can also see how to remove the Nikon plugin from Photoshop so that you can continue using the Photoshop plugin for the older D100 NEF files. Just use the Nikon software for the new D2X NEF files.

    The files are NOT unreadable at all, just the idea has been poorly implemented. As a computer engineer it bugs me that they leave the file extension of the images the same, even though they have changed the format. If they had followed though by creating a new file extension it would have at least been possible to run the Nikon plugin along side the native Photoshop one.

  91. John Huber Says:

    Mr James Fry.

    Thomas Knoll the chief engineer for Camera Raw and one of the original authors of Photoshop, say that the WB metadata in D2X raw files is encrypted. I feel pretty confident he would know the difference between encoding and encrypting data.

  92. Glenn McLaughlin Says:

    Darren,

    Thanks, forgive me but I’m not finished my 1st coffee and am still a little slooowwwww at present sooo, when you say

    “The more advanced RAW file reader with Photoshop CS cannot read the new format and so you lose some of the nice little adjustments when you open a file.”

    are you saying that Adobe Camera Raw as in CS (1 in my case) cannot display the images or allow me to use ANY of the tools to process the D2x NEF files? This would mean to me that I am currently unable to use the eyedropper on a white or gray card to establish my white point and go on from there since ACR cannot display the images

    But then you go on to say:

    “The files are NOT unreadable at all”

    which leads me to believe that I can do as I ask above so long as I don’t bother with installing the plug in, which would make me use their tools AND would keep me from using my D100 as well.

    As for keeping the same file extensions,it does seem kinda stupid…. though not unlike Canon naming theirs on the 1ds a TIF.

    Same clowns,different circus.

    glenn

  93. Darren Says:

    The RAW file plugin that came with Photoshop CS, and the recent updates read the NEF files that you get with the D100 and the D70, it cannot read the D2X format and will not even open them. To open the D2X files you must first install the Nikon software that comes with the camera. This will automaticaaly install the new plugin to Photoshop – I may be mistaken, but I don’t think you even get prompted about this. After you have installed the new software the Photoshop file browser will now recognise the files and generate the thumbnails. The only controls you have in the initial dialog are file rotation, exposure compensation and white balance. The image preview is still a thumbnail. After you make the adjustments here, then you go into the image properly and can edit as normal with all Photoshop tools. It really is only that first step where you have the loss of some functions. The loss of the majority of the functions does not bother me, but I did like the Photoshop full size preview when making adjustments and the abailty to zoom in.

  94. Harron Says:

    My apologies to those who have already read my words over at the Adobe PS Win forum.

    I do some technical (and non-technical) writing for camera companies and would like to offer some perspective.

    As a Nikon DSLR and Photoshop/Camera Raw user, I am angry with Nikon for being “uncooperative.” I think they are misguided. However, I fully understand why camera makers would want to maintain control over the interpretation of RAW data. It has nothing to do with increasing corporate revenues by getting into the software business and everything to do with maintaining product differentiation in a highly competitive market that appears to be headed toward parity. Manufacturers want to avoid a situation in which pricing becomes their number one weapon in the market share wars.

    It’s easy to make the sensor-film analogy, saying that camera makers need only concentrate on what happens until the light rays of the latent image strike the film/sensor plane. But digital camera design is far more complex.

    Put aside RAW capture for the moment. Camera makers have long ago discovered that post-processing — specifically, the algorithms used in the digital signal processor downstream from the sensor — can have as much effect on image quality as the optics and the sensor itself. Noise, for example, assumed by many to be generated entirely by the sensor, can just as easily be caused by calculation errors at the DSP stage. Moreover, user “feel-good” factors — such as camera responsiveness, battery life, and overall ease of use — are essentially determined by the DSP. Guess what, folks? It’s all about the software.

    There are many more camera manufacturers than there are sensor manufacturers, which means you very often find the same sensor in multiple camera models from multiple manufacturers. Yes, there are many areas other than sensor technology by which a camera maker can distinguish its products. One of those is software… or, more precisely, firmware. Camera makers have invested a lot of money into DSP technology, including software development. To neglect that aspect of digicam design would be tantamount to corporate suicide. The ones that have their own LSI capabilities have gone so far as to design and fabricate their own DSP chips with proprietary architectures. (Canon, with their Digic chip, comes to mind as an example.) But, here again, the hardware is not the story.

    So, now, we come back to RAW capture. It really isn’t that difficult, in light of the above, to understand camera makers’ desire to maintain some control over the capture data especially after they leave the sensor. We can argue until we’re blue in the face that it’s simply wrong to go proprietary in RAW formatting, but convincing a camera maker of that, I think, is going to be a major uphill battle. They’ve invested money in the software end of things — not because they thought it would be a neat idea but rather because they saw that their very existence depended on it. Would you give it up that easily?

    I don’t have any answers nor a crystal ball. As a user, I hope for a certain outcome… but I’m not holding my breath.

    =-= Harron =-=

  95. Glenn McLaughlin Says:

    Darren,

    Thanks for taking the time to clarify that for me. I did misunderstand the full effect of this encoding.
    I do EVERYTHING I possibly can in ACR to maintain the highest quality data,and streamlined efficient workflow. This severly interferes with that. I prefer the ergonomics of shooting with Nikon but use a 1ds (for the quality) which is a clunky unituitive frustrating camera to use when shooting spontaneous unscripted lifestyle imagery (and the auto focus sux as well)

    I was hoping the D2x would be my camera, but not until this is resolved. Once again they’ve managed to fu&# it up and snatch defeat from the jaws of (a small) victory.
    I think rather than waste energy on warning Nikon (whom has cast the first stone), just tell Canon to embrace DNG and nail nikons coffin shut.
    Late to release,only a 4/3 format, unavailable, now this??

    I guess they’ve been reading KODAKS playbook.

  96. John Huber Says:

    Harron,

    You make some valid point as to the reason why Nikon may be doing this, but I have a problem grasping the logic behind it.

    A RAW image as the name suggest is the raw unprocessed data straight from the sensor. That means that little or no DSP chip manipulation has been done before the data is stored. For many of us this can be a important part in choosing to shoot raw, since the internal DSP may have strong points but may just as well have flaws. With a RAW image you get to choose what software filters you apply to the image data. If Nikon forced theyr software to be used on all RAW images so that they all will get the “Nikon feeling”, to me a one of the reasons for raw is lost.
    This apply to all camera manufacturers. But since Nikon has the dubious honor of beeing the first to actively hinder legaly free and unhindered access to you own raw data, they also have to take the heat.
    For me it is very important that all photographers now tell Nikon that we will not tolerate this. Becouse if Nikon get’s away doing this, Canon and the rest will shortly follow.

  97. AJM Says:

    John Huber,
    if all you want from a RAW file is exactly the data from the sensor with nothing else done on it, then this should be of no relevance to you. You still get the RAW data. That has not changed (from what I understand reading about this)
    Also, if you set a particular white balance (say “sunlight”) then it shows up in the EXIF info and you can read it. But this is just a tag, because the RAW data is still there and you can change the white balance as you want.
    If you choose Auto white balance, then the in camera software does its calculations and comes up with a white balance that it thinks would be best for you to use. This choice is the only part that is encrypted. You can still open the RAW file, apply whatever white balance you want, etc. The only thing you don’t have access to is the choice that was made by the camera of what white balance would be best for you to use. But that has not changed the raw data from the sensor that you care about.
    Is this a correct representation of what is going on? (Asking people who know more about this)

  98. John Huber Says:

    AJM,

    Yes that is a correct assessement of what seems to be the current situation with the D2X raw files.
    But as I stated earlier. If Nikon get’s away with encrypting the WB metadata, what is to stop them from encrypting the actuall imagedata next? It’s the next logical step when looking at this from their viewpoint.

    For me atleast this is a matter of the photographer owning his images fully, and as such should be free in choosing how to use every part of his raw images.

  99. AJM Says:

    John,
    I suppose we can worry about Nikon encrypting the whole image data, but is that very likely? If they do, then I think they will definitely lose most users, unless other manufacturers are doing the same.
    I do think that Nikon is doing this to protect some form of IP on the algorithm to create the auto WB and not just to make people pay for Nikon Capture. I think most of the money they make is on hardware (cameras and lenses… and scanners, microscopes, etc…) and not software.
    I also think that this has been blown out of proportion. As someone mentioned before, I am sure Nikon will give Adobe access to the encryption with some form of legal binding. I may be wrong. Maybe Nikon does want to take on Adobe and not support the DNG, I don’t know much about the politics of all of that. But let’s face it, I don’t think Adobe is a philantropic company. They need to care about the bottom line. When open standard are good for them, they support them. When not, they don’t. Same for Nikon, same for Canon.
    I think we should wait a little and see what happens. The D2X should be a great camera, you can still do whatever you want with the pics you take, so let’s just be patient (and vigilant, if you want)

    AJM

  100. Seth Resnick Says:

    All of this comes down to the simple need for DNG. Suppose you have a 4-year-old camera that you used to photograph the greatest project of your life. Of course, you shot RAW because the RAW format is superior to all others. You now turn on your computer and find that your camera manufacturer’s converter has not been updated to the new operating system and won’t run. Your greatest job can no longer be accessed. As operating systems change and as the world of digital capture grows, the potential for disaster increases.

    You may indeed own the copyright to those files, but it could become a classic case of having no software to open them.

    Currently, to open RAW files, you can use the camera manufacturer’s converter or a third-party software such as Capture One by Phase One or Adobe’s Camera Raw. From the perspective of digital photographers, the third-party manufacturers are typically the crème de la crème. Every time a new camera comes out, an engineer from the third-party manufacturer is required to reverse engineer the camera and try to adapt it to their software and then create an update for all their users. The lag time waiting for an update, however, can easily be months and now with the concept of encryption we have further exacerbated the problem. With all the new cameras coming out at such a rapid pace, you could have the latest camera, but your software of choice may not be updated.

    As a photographer, you own the copyright to your work, which is granted at the moment of creation. You may own the copyright to your intellectual property, but if you can’t access the intellectual property you create, you have nothing. To me, the greatest concern for a digital photographer today is not how many times you archive, but will you be able to open your archive? Photographers are currently being held hostage because our ability to open these files is controlled by third parties. The need for DNG is imperative.

    Nikon has taken one more step in the wrong direction. Personally, I used to be a Nikon shooter and like so many others I switched to Canon. This move by Nikon may actually prove to be beneficial for the industry. Why? Well if enough photographers continue to switch from Nikon to Canon, Nikon will continue to lose market share and thus eventually it won’t be a problem at all….

    I give Adobe and particularly Thomas a ton of credit. He continues to reverse engineer cameras to make them work with ACR. For those of you who don’t know this is not a team of engineers at Adobe. It is Thomas and Thomas alone. My own advice to Thomas and Adobe has been to drop support of camera manufacturers at some point in the future if they don’t at least begin to work towards DNG.

    Best,

    seth

  101. Louis Horvath Says:

    Because Adobe has a dismal record with the DMCA (Shame on them!!!) doesn’t mean this article doesn’t make a vaid point about encrypting white balance data. First of all worth considering is who benefits from this. Clearly, no one except Nikon does. And while there are a number of ways of going about dealing with this encryption, they all remain impractical or bothersome. From neophyte to professionnal this simply isn’t worth all the trouble.

    Also those who argue that this is “no big deal” should think again. Times are changing. Look around and discover that adapting to the customer’s needs isn’t job #1 anymore. This encryption isn’t a simple annoyance or a strategic error. It’s a sign that something else’s afloat. Ignoring this is very much like agreeing with it.

    On a larger scale, it can also be argued that this hinders competition. Competing companies won’t be able to adapt or conform to Nikon’s way of storing RAW pictures without battling it out in court. So they’ll make their own standard and break interoperability. Given enough time, Canon, Leica and others might integrate encryption also – even moreso if it can be passed as a “feature”. And in order to change brand you’ll have to forego all the other brands.

    In the end, I believe it’s a mistake to focus on the superficial aspect of this problem. One should ask the more profond question: where is this going to lead us tomorrow? If it dies down all the better. If it doesn’t than it can’t help getting worse; picture data will be encrypted and in a not so distant future we might wake up with a “broadcast flag” for cameras and all of a sudden we can take pictures of anything we want … so long as it’s permitted by the powers that be.

  102. Chris Harr Says:

    “Keep in mind that Adobe took legal action under the DMCA against Dmitry Sklyarov and Elcomsoft for reverse engineering and creating a program that removes restrictions from encrypted Acrobat files. Criminal charges were also filed in this case.”

    The ebook format was created to give authors a viable means of protecting their intellectual property rights, ie: to control distribution of their books by using a activation process for the Adobe reader client.

    Hacking the encryption used for ebooks allowed people to read protected PDF files without paying for the right to do so.

    In my opinion, you’re “comparing apples to oranges”.

  103. AJM Says:

    Seth,
    do you really believe that “This move by Nikon may actually prove to be beneficial for the industry. Why? Well if enough photographers continue to switch from Nikon to Canon, Nikon will continue to lose market share and thus eventually it won’t be a problem at all….” ?
    Do you really believe that having fewer choices, less competition is going to be good for photographers? Do you think Canon would come up with better and better cameras and lenses if there was no other major player?
    I am not saying that we should “protect” companies that make mistakes. Surely if their actions cause their downfall it is their fault. At the same time though, I would not be so happy about it just because I don’t have their product or use a competing product. Fair competition is good. If I had only a Nikon, I would still be happy every time Canon brings out something new, because it will stimulate Nikon to do better (or at least to lower the prices…) Same thing if I had only a Canon.

    AJM

  104. Mike Says:

    Corporations, Nikon and Cannon and Adobe for exampe, are in business to do one thing — make money. Nikon’s decision to encrypt WB data, assuming it was a calculated one, was to make money. Either by forcing the use of Capture or protecting it’s proprietary WB algorithm — both are means to the $ame end. In one case it’s trying to align cost (s/w and WB development) with revenue. In the other it’s trying to protect investment in product differentiation. Both are valid.

    Personally, I prefer open standards, and the Nikons certainly allow you to use those — JPG and TIFF are both available and natively written. I don’t personally agree with the encryption of the WB data in the RAW file, but I can’t say that I spite Nikon for doing it.

    I find it rather hypocritical that Adobe is commenting on this, but if anyone should know the in’s and out’s of DCMA, it should be them.

    For those who use this as a justification to move to Cannon — the D2x with $100 for Capture is still much cheaper than the top of the Canon? Have you tried Canon’s raw program? Capture is light years ahead. The biggest drawback seems to be its use on Macs and it runs slow on D2x files (fixed in next version?). It is really a great program, and I find that I can do 90% of my work on Capture alone.

    You have a choice. Vote with your pocketbook or your letters to Nikon. Whining on this forum will accomplish nothing…Mike

  105. Seth Resnick Says:

    AJM,

    I was of course being facetious. Competition is a great thing and keeps the industry healthy. My point is that my inside sources at Canon tell me that Canon is keeping a very open mind about DNG. Nikon on the other hand has to the best of my knowledge been very closed minded about DNG.

    I was a 15 year plus Nikon shooter. I dumped all of my equipment and switched to Canon long ago because I saw Canon as an industry leader in terms of R&D.

    I really have only one concern. I have always been and will continue to be a photographers advocate. I teach digital workflow and my biggest issue and only issue with digtial today is the long term preservation and archiving of material so that future generations can be guaranteed the ability to benefit from the art that we produce today.

    I have already seen older digital cameras with files that can’t be opened by the manufacturers converter of today. This is true of both Nikon and Canon. My Canon D30 files are not compatible with the latest release of Canon’s software. I am of course not shooting with the D30 and am using a 1DS Mark 11. But, suppose my Putlizer Prize was shot on a D30.

    For the benefit of the industry and all future generations we need a format that is standard and open and that standard is DNG. Canon is at least listening and Nikon is the only company I know that has been moving in the opposite direction. The latest move by Nikon is BAD for the industry and good only for Nikon.

    seth

  106. bullfrog Says:

    Sad. I haven’t been monitoring the D2x for the last few months but decided to buy one for a trip to Africa. I am tired of hauling a film and a digital around and i thought this might be the answer. Anyway I got home yesterday with my new D2x only to find I was unable to open the raw files in Photoshop. Now I read this and I am rather upset.
    I am a professional and was hoping for a smooth transition from the D1x to this but?
    Raw is the only way to go. Nikon Capture has always sucked. In the old days, everyone used Nikons becuse they were in tune with the pro’s needs. You could get your camera repaired (which was rarely needed) from APS in 2 days. Canon took 2 weeks back then. Now they are both slow. Nikon has underestimated the professions love and support for Photoshop. I might have to return this one.
    Looks like I may be shooting film on this trip.

  107. Douglas Cape Says:

    I am writing to protest in the strongest terms about the secret encryption on Nikon Camera RAW files. I will not be purchasing further Nikon cameras and will advise my fellow professionals not to do so until this issue is resolved.
    I was an unfortunate purchaser of the expensive Nikon Capture 1, undoubtedly the slowest software I ever attempted to use. Only recently Nikon failed to update Nikon View for OSX 10.3 for several months, leading to many crashed systems. At the moment their message centre is broken – maybe we are all complaining! As a result of these experiences I do not trust their software, and hence feel particularly aggrieved when they secretly encrypt my photographs, in order to make us use Nikon Capture.
    This mean spirited and unilateral move is bad business for a company which claims to be the “friend of the Photographer”. The bad press is just beginning …and it all seems so unnecessary.

  108. Gary Parker Says:

    As with someone else who commented here, my new D2x is mostly sitting on the counter until my software again supports the camera I hope to be using regularly. Nikon knows full well that 99.999% of all photographers use Photoshop so their decision to usurp my individual choice to make my own decisions seems a particularly imprudent business strategy. It’s definitely dreadful PR, at least at this studio… Nikon certainly has the right to make any self-inflicted dumbass wounds they wish but they will not force me to do jack squat if they expect me to continue buying their gear. Although I have been a career-long Nikon devotee, of sorts, my loyalty is now hanging by a thread.

    This dilemma strikes me as being essentially similar to an absurd-to-even-consider hypothetical scenario where Nikon encodes their new F6 film camera so it will accept only Fuji film. Film shooting photographers who prefer Kodak, etc, would rightfully be outraged if such a scenario were to occur, surely to the point of switching to another brand of camera. The D2x software issue essentially seems quite similar. Nikon is attempting to take away my right to choose, a fact I resent very much after spending a small fortune on Nikon equipment over the years.

    This “Fuji only” film analogy points only to my feelings that we are – or should be – free to consume materials/gear/software/cars/toasters/breakfast cereals, etc, we prefer in any manner we prefer. If I want all my images to come out of the camera bright green by using “SuperGreenio” software I should be able to do so… Nikon has no right to force me – the guy who somehow managed to become successful making only bright green pictures – to change my green pictures to “Nikon correct” colors my green mind can’t handle… This silly analogy is not that far-fetched – Nikon has told me directly I can no longer use my software of preference Case closed. This fact leaves me only at those who switched to Canon years ago…

    I feel it is to lodge an official complaint after spending close to $6k on ANY item I am displeased with for any reason. (key Nikon email addresses welcomed…)

    Gary Parker

  109. Rawster Says:

    Please note that Black & Decker™ retains copyright on the wood you saw with your newly purchased circular Black & Decker™ saw.

  110. AJM Says:

    Seth,
    I understand now you were being facetious. I guess my comment was not directed to your message really, but to all the Nikon bashing I have seen in previous posts. It seems to me a lot of people who left Nikon are happy to bash it, maybe as a way to justify their choice. It is human nature, but doesn’t really contribute to the discussion here.
    I am also concerned with future access to legacy file formats. That’s one reason I prefer to use LaTeX to write documents as opposed to software like Microsoft Word. The former uses only plain text files, and I am pretty sure I will always have a way to open them.
    Now I am pretty ignorant when it comes to DNG, so I don’t know what the status of the format is. Maybe Nikon and other manufacturers are skeptical because they see it as not sufficient to guarantee IP protection (you seem to care about IP too) of their algorithm products, etc. Maybe they are just wrong.
    On the other hand, I still think this has been blown out of proportion. Some posters state that now you can only use Nikon Capture to open these nef files. This is not true. When ACR supports the D2x, you can use it to open its files and modify them as you wish directly in PS. It seems to me nobody is forcing anyone to use NC for their workflow. The encrypted (or encoded) info is just the result of what the in camera software has calculated for auto WB (if you even used auto WB). You can open the files without that info, calculate your own WB (using for example PS) and proceed as you wish.
    If you are worried about file formats, you can always save in TIFF or JPEG. The former is even lossless (is a nef file generated by the D2x lossless?)

    Anyway, I am just going to wait and see how Nikon handles this obviously problematic PR situation.

    AJM

  111. Charlie stewart Says:

    I own a D2X and a apple mac G5 2.5 .I loaded the software that arrived with my D2X.
    I had shoot 200 nef images and found out that it would take me four and a half hours to just open them (not change or analize any) just open!!!.
    I then read this news about nikon nef files for D2X,AND CAN ONLY SAY I AM NOT A VIOLANT MAN BUT!!!

  112. CrazyC Says:

    I just don’t get what this is good for. It is just a stupid move that will help neither Nikon nor the customer!

    I only hope that this is all a big misunderstanding… it just doesn’t make sense to me.

  113. daniel Says:

    i have copyrights to all your text downloaded and displayed on my computer screen!

  114. daniel Says:

    anyway, i now have second thoughts about buying a d2x.

  115. Thorne Says:

    To those who say, “No big deal, just use some other software than Photoshop…”

    a) Many or even most users want to browse, open, adjust, and optimize their photography in one application. This encourages efficiency, spontaneity, and zen/”flow.”

    b) Many or even most users want that application to be Photoshop. (Much a Photoshop’s appeal is exactly its contribution to efficiency, spontaneity, and workflow.)

    c) Impeding Photoshop’s ability to confer those benefits to the photographer is ANTI-USER.

    d) A smart manufacturer makes their revenue by serving their users’ best interests, not by thwarting them.

    This assessment above indicates a standard, independent of specific and evolving facts, that can be used to assess Nikon’s judgement as this affair proceeds.

    But “just use some other software” completely ignores the benefit of the Photoshop-centric workflow, which many or most users clearly prefer.

    And therefore Nikon would seem to be ignoring “the customer is always right.”

  116. charlie stewart Says:

    i know it must be diffacult for all those people who dont know what camera to buy.
    i have tested both nikon d2x and canon.
    both are good,but the nikon is just in front,and when you think of what nikon are trying to do!
    then get a canon(and thats from a nikon user)

  117. charlie stewart Says:

    Thorne i agree with you,it has to be one software.
    can anyone tell me who is the boss at Nikon,and what is his e-mail address

  118. AJM Says:

    Thorne,
    and everybody else who think they cannot use Photoshop anymore:
    please read the statement by Thomas again, in particular when he says
    “This has absolutely no effect on the quality of the final result out of Camera Raw (it is just the starting point and is nearly always fine tuned in any case), and the new multiple file features of Camera Raw 3 actually make it nearly painless to perform similar adjustments on a large number of images. Beta testers of Camera Raw 3.1 are very happy with the Photoshop CS2/Bridge/Camera Raw workflow when processing D2X files, despite the white balance issue.”

    You don’t have to use anything else but Photoshop if you don’t want to!

    Also, all of the info of the picture YOU captured is there, unencrypted and ready to be used. The only thing that may be encrypted is the camera calculation of auto WB, which is really extra info (albeit useful at times). You can still do auto WB in PS, or adjust the WB as much as you want. Isn’t that part of the appeal of RAW anyway?

    So please stop saying that you can’t use PS anymore!
    AJM
    P.S. Sorry for the exclamation points, but I am tired to read incorrect statements.
    P.P.S. And yes, it would be nice if Nikon hadn’t thought of this (but it is hardly a show stopper)

  119. Thorne Says:

    AJM, I’m not terribly riled up about this, but rather keen to discern exactly whether or not Nikon has done something wrong or disrespectful to its customers. Hence all the careful hair-splitting of implications.

    I’m mindful of everything you’re saying, and I was careful to create “a standard” that could tested against facts, while facts continue to be ascertained. (That’s why I worded it that way, so “the standard” could still be useful even if a fact was misunderstood or eventually modified by Nikon.)

    I’m NOT 100% clear on the practical limitation here – I’m not sure it’s quite as trivial as you’re saying, but I’m not sure you’re wrong either. It seems as if EITHER a) I can’t (as easily) get to my unmodified color, or b) I can’t (as easily) get to the color I white-balanced on the spot (say, by shooting a grey card). (b) would not be as serious as (a), but either might be a pain in the butt.

    Knoll clearly had SOME reason for his statement to begin with, and it seems to have been that SOME form of color balance functionality is being “artificially” kept out of the Photoshop workflow. (Why on earth would ANYTHING about image data be ENCRYPTED?!?)

    (Someone said something above about “C’mon, learn to overcome your limitations.” When it comes to software design and integration, ADDING limitations should never be acceptable. We spend enough of our time overcoming limitations than can’t be helped to be bogged down with restraints that CAN.)

    But ultimately, my point is that by the standard I expressed above, the severity of “wrongness” (on Nikon’s part) will directly correlate to the severity of impaired function in Photoshop. That severity remains to be seen, but there’s a distinct additional “wrongness” (on Nikon’s part) if this impaired function was completely needless and arbitrary. And people would have a right to be ticked off by that latter failing.

    My main point was that “use other software for that 1% of function” (that we SHOULD be able to do in Photoshop, if not for a seemingly arbitrary decision by Nikon to make our lives more complicated) is an inadequate solution or response to the issue. Someone who suggests using “other software” for 1% of the workflow is disregarding the creative efficiency and spontaneity of the workflow we already have.

    Photoshop is, for many or most of us, our “one-stop solution,” and it’s simply not to Nikon’s advantage to disregard or disrespect that. At the very least, this arbitrary limitation seems disrespectful.

  120. goodwynn Says:

    Oh you crybaby fools. Nikon has posted a release stating that anyone that wants a developers kit can get one free of charge. I think that Knoll and co are running scared of Nikon Capture and spreading bad will about this whole thing. Do any of you actually think that Nikon would prevent you from using their files in Photoshop? Quit wasting energy on creating Nikon Bashing Text and get back to work. And for all the Canon loving Nikon bashers: I hope they change their lens mount on you again.

  121. Peter Gray Says:

    goodwynn,

    It was a good thing when Canon changed their lens mount- it was done with the future in mind. Unfortunately Nikon was affraid of the future and still clings to inferior technology. (and I’m a Nikonian!) Similarly, they fear customers won’t buy Nikon Capture unless they can keep the photographer from using something else. This seems like a move of desperation from a company that finds itself trailing in the development of digital camera development. Thank god the D2X is as good as it is, it gives me some hope for this company. Now, stop the idiotic games with the software and maybe Nikon’s got a fighting chance. Sorry if this was too off topic.

  122. goodwynn Says:

    Peter, I really don’t believe the hype that Canon has superior technology. What exactally is superior? As for Nikon Capture, If you have actually used it you would know that it is quite good, and getting better with every update. All this talk about how behind Nikon is is based upon some insignificant differences. Nikon flash system has always been superior. Ergonomics are superior, battery life superior, wide angle glass superior. If you are going to spout the “i need a full frame sensor” nonsense, I know that you don’t lug a 35 lb camera bag every day.

  123. Carlos Paredes Says:

    A free developers kit but… linux users will be able to benefit from a windows SDK? Is Nikon planning to sue against linux developers brave enough to decode the encription?

    There is not yet a huge support for digital photography under linux, but it is supported: gimp, dcraw, ImageMagick (with far better sharpening than PhotoShop). Even if Nikon releases some day a linux SDK, it wouldn’t be open, and it would be incompatible with linux philosophy.

    By the moment I own a Oly C-8080 and was planning my first SLR for the past months… at this moment, I’m completely sure what a brand I will not choose. The good news are that now it is definitely more easy for me what camera to choose ;-)

  124. John Huber Says:

    Ok, Nikon has responded.

    http://www.photographyblog.com/index.php/weblog/comments/nikon_responds_to_encryption_claims/

    And to me they are basicly saying “you must use our software or SDK”.

    This is NOT an accepteble solution. That means we are stuck with whatever Nikon dictates is the correct way to process a .NEF file when converting it.
    If you want to use the “As shot” WB metadata, no Camera Raw enhanced highlights processing for you.

    Now the only thing that remains is to see how Nikon resonds to Bibble and others who have broken the encryption, and what part of the .NEF Nikon will encrypt next.

    As for me, I have now officially bought my last Nikon camera. Sorry, I love my Nikon cameras, but thats’s it.

    John Huber

  125. Goodwynn Says:

    You guys… First, Linux will never find wide use as a desktop platform, and I have seen 0 Linux notebooks in actual use by anyone besides unix support people or hobbyists. (Is there a Photoshop version for Linux?) As for using the Nikon SDK, Nikon INVENTED their NEF files, why wouldn’t you want to use a development kit written by those that INVENTED their NEF files to access them? A compentent coder can then create an application around the SDK that can implement his or her own philosophy about image editing, etc. All your handwringing is chicken little sky is falling down paranoia, based upon speculation. Can you read or write Adobe Photoshop files in other software? Do you care? Have you ever used Nikon Capture? This argument against Nikon is stupid. The camera makes tiffs, it makes jpegs. I would rather have those that created the NEF file decode it for me. Just because Cocoa Cola keeps it’s formula secret doesn’t mean I am not going to enjoy drinking it. Just because I cannot open Photoshop files in anything else doesn’t mean I am not going to make Photoshop files. You guys are exhibiting a lack of practical understanding about this. Digital IS NOT FILM. Perhaps if the DNG format gets adopted, Nikon will add it to the menu choice of file formats that their cameras can make. As for now, I see absolutely no problem with Nikon deciding to keep their intellictual property to themselves. Keeping receipes a secret is a long standing tradition, from chicken soup to photographic emulshions to softwear development. Forget it – This is not a problem.

  126. John Huber Says:

    Goodwynn,

    You did not address me directly but I will reply as if you did.
    I would suggest you read my earlier posts. I own both Nikon Capture and Photoshop CS, and i prefer using the Photoshop CS and Camera Raw solution. It’s faster, has a better workflow and in many situations result in better image quality. (Highlight recovery and chromatic aberration correction as main examples.)

    As for using the Nikon SDK, Thomas Knoll of Adobe has earlier stated that this is not an option.

    Thomas Knoll – 11:30am Mar 1, 05 PST (#3 of 18)
    Adobe: Can you please document NEF format?
    Nikon: No, but you can use our SDK.
    Adobe: But the Nikon SDK does not provide what Camera Raw needs to operate, and using it would limit Camera Raw’s speed, UI features, and quality of results (e.g. Camera Raw’s special highlight recovery algorithms).
    Nikon: Then redesign Camera Raw to work within the limits of our SDK.
    Adobe: No, we don’t want to cripple Camera Raw. Please document NEF format.
    Nikon: No, redesign Camera Raw to work within the limits of our SDK.
    etc.

    “Can you read or write Adobe Photoshop files in other software? Do you care?”

    Uhmm yes? The PSD fileformat is well known and supported by many software solution beside Adobe. Ulead PhotoImpact is just one example that come to mind.
    And why is that? Becouse Adobe has not encrypted any information in the PSD fileformat, making it legal to reverse engineer the format for you own applications.
    By your logic that would be the same as Photoshop not supporting anything but PSD and DNG. No jpeg, tiff or any other fileformats becouse you dont care.

    “The camera makes tiffs, it makes jpegs. I would rather have those that created the NEF file decode it for me.”

    But as I have stated again and again, the fact is that Nikon is often far from the best one at decoding the NEF files.
    Here is a practical example. The Nikon D70 CCD sensor has a moire problem in certain situations. The best position to try and remove this moire is in the RAW data before it is demosaiced to normal RGB data. And again Adobe Camera Raw and others do a better job of this then Nikon Capture.

    “Digital IS NOT FILM.”

    No, but digital is the replacement for film. and raw is the negative. Photographers need and want full creative control og their own negatives.

    So to sum it up. Nikon encrypting data in RAW may not be a big problem yet, since it’s only WB metadata for now.
    But in the long run this will be a major problem is the trend continues, so this has to be stopped now.

    You really need to sit back and look at the bigger picture, and just not how this affects you now at this instance.

    John Huber

  127. Steve Wheatcraft Says:

    The bottom line is that Nikon’s decision will cost photographers working with a D2x in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR)time. I use a Nikon D100 with ACR, and 99% of the time, the “as shot” white balance setting is spot on. So I can batch process all my NEFs from a shoot. Sure, when I find the “1 in a 100″ that I really want to fine tune and put on my website to sell, I will fine tune white balance and everything else. What Thomas Knoll was saying is that ACR will not be able to use the “as shot” information coming from the D2x. ACR will use a default value, so if you batch process your D2x NEFs (say converting to jpgs for a “first look”, most your conversion white balances will be off, making it harder to tell what you’ve really got. So instead of batch processing, you will sit there and check every one of them. Sounds like a real pain. Unless Nikon changes their policy, I won’t be migrating to the D2x.

  128. Goodwynn Says:

    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1021&message=13210079

    Try this for now. John, I will respond to you later.

  129. Goodwynn Says:

    Ok, I did some research. PSD files can be read in other programs. However, I know of few (0 actually) photo or pre press shops that use anything other than Photoshop to read Photoshop files in actual production.
    As for the “encryption”, I think the jury is still out on whether the white balance info is actually “encrypted”. We have heard that it is already cracked. I think that it would be fairly easy for Nikon to have prevented this if that is what they actually wanted from the start. Adobe did not invent camera raw files. If I was a camera manufacturer, I would not want a third party trying to hold me to their standard, preventing me from improving and changing my product because it makes life harder for that third party. As far as I am concerned, the camera RAW file is proprietary information, specific to the manufacturer. It is not like the camera cannot make other file types. It can. If I want to reap benefits beyond the Tiff or Jpg file, I use software that the manufacturer has created to allow me to tweak that RAW file. Adobe is using alarmist tactics to sway the community against Nikon, so that Nikon will conform to what Adobe wants. Knoll didn’t have to be alarmist about this. They could have just got the SDK, and went back to work. Instead, they want the manufacturer to throw away their own intellectual property in favor of a standard that makes it easy for Adobe. Adobe is the one that we should be questioning, not Nikon. Nikon’s plug in operates quite quickly, and effectively allows use of their raw files in Photoshop.
    Anyone dropping $5000 for a camera should be buying Capture anyway. As far as I am concerned, it is a part of the camera that happens to reside on my laptop. Face it. This isn’t film. The raw file is not standardized, nor should it be. That would stifle progress. Unfortunately, the third party software developers have to work harder to implement Nikons FREE SDK.
    Those photographers that are complaining about “losing their copyright” due to this are misguided. It’s like saying that you are free to take the electronics from inside the camera and deconstruct them for use in another camera, because it’s your camera. If you think that Nikon is going to ransom your RAW files at some point, you haven’t looked at the history of Nikon, and its attempts to maintain interoperation within its system over the years (the lens mount, for one). If we want a standard file format, I don’t believe that RAW needs to be it, nor should be it.
    Funny, it seemed that with the release of the D2X, all the Nikon bashing that I have read over the years on the web had come screeching to a halt, or perhaps a murmur. Now, it is all back, due to dubious reasoning. I wonder if this is misinformation by design and payola, as opposed to anything actually real.

  130. Fallen Says:

    ok, incase it hasn’t already been said:

    PDF: a file you CREATE from a source,
    PSD: a file you make IN photoshop and can export to whatever you damn well want.

    BUT a RAW file IS the source, and its your ONLY copy of the image. and hell YOU TOOK THE DAMN PHOTO.

  131. Chris Russ Says:

    There is another way to look at this:

    When we went digital we lost one very important thing — the concept of an Original. Think about the forensics case — how do you prove that an image is the ACTUAL IMAGE taken and not one that has been altered, even a RAW file?

    I would propose an encrypted tag that anyone can read, but it particularly difficult (and I mean COMPUTATIONALLY DIFFICULT) to fake.

    This solves any number of legal problems with chain of evidence, as well as ownership if you have copyright information in the file itself (shooter, time/date, etc).

    How is this related to what we see from Nikon? If we could convince them to do that INSTEAD of encrypting exposure information they might get a win instead of a loss. They might also end up with some kind of defacto standard for the kinds of photographic equipment that 15,000 police agencies in this country would buy.

    Perhaps we should beat on them with a carrot instead of a stick. Encryption in and of itself is not bad. It all depends upon how they use it. If we’re going to have this discussion, let’s have something in it for all parties.

  132. drink Says:

    This is all very simple; by encrypting your data, Nikon is showing you that they don’t care about you. All they care about is money. Granted this is no different from Adobe, but since the deliberate encryption of part of YOUR data to keep YOU from reading it is part of a CAMERA, whose software is too complex to reasonably reverse engineer and replace, it is a permanent issue.

    Oh, and, Mr. Russ, there are ALREADY cameras used by law enforcement that ensure a lack of tampering. I don’t believe they allow you to take the image data out of their system and preserve accountability, however.

  133. Alex Says:

    I think, in the end, it doesn’t matter whether it’s right or wrong to me.

    If I can’t open and adjust the files in Photoshop directly, the camera is worthless to me. I have Nikon Capture (specifically to convert fisheye lenses) but have to admit that I’m considering selling the system over other issues (Nikon’s unwillingness to release an SDK for their cameras…I need to automate ). This is making the decision easier.

    a

  134. AJM Says:

    Fallen and Drink,
    you don’t seem to understand the situation. The encryption is not keeping you from reading ANY part of the picture you shot. The encryption is protecting the auto WB calculation done by the camera for a RAW file. It is NOT part of the image you shot, and it doesn’t affect in any way the RAW file (that’s the strength of RAW). You can do an auto WB in PS as you want.

    Alex, you say “If I can’t open and adjust the files in Photoshop directly, the camera is worthless to me.”. But you CAN.

    AJM

  135. Chris Russ Says:

    Drink,

    You would not believe what Law Enforcement is using for digital evidence at scenes. They’re even using JPEG in many instances. A FEW (and a rather small FEW at that) are using anything remotely like what you describe.

    Furthermore, I did not say that encrypting your private data was a good thing. I said that encryption didn’t have to be a bad thing. I also said that a TAG (not your vital image data, thank you) would be the way to go.

    As AJM said above, your picture data is still there and you can read it. We’re in a gray area and need to have a USEFUL debate.

    Plainly, there is not a lot of support for the DNG format. Why do you think that is? Commoditizing an industry is not in the manufacturer’s interest.

  136. ewelch Says:

    Okay, interesting discussion.

    So, Nikon has replied and said they’re protecting photographers by ensuring they get the best “Nikon experience” by forcing them to use their software. Okay, granted that is the case. Who are they to tell us how to use our property? Are they going to guarantee from this day on that I can use any updated Nikon software to open any D2X and later file with no more payments to them?

    The problem with Nikon is they’re not like Kodak. They’re a hardware company that’s used to retiring old equipment. And they’re better than most camera companies on that point. The head of NPS once told me “We never officially discontinue a lens, we just stop making them. We might bring them back.” Or something like that. I think that is a very enlightned point of view. But nevertheless, just try to buy a new 300 f/2 lens. Hardware does get retired as it ages in fact if not in policy. And that’s okay. Nikon and Canon users are used to that. It’s hardware. But as Leica updated their 35mm cameras, they used essentially the same film from 1924 to today. That has never changed. And we all benefiit.

    Contax is discontinuing all of their cameras by the end of the year. And they are going to support them for 10 more years, thus making a purchase right up to December a wise one if you already are a Conatx user. But in 10 years, that’s it. Olympus did the same with their pro 35mm SLRs. And would anyone in their right mind be starting a Conax collection of cameras and lenses in this current market? No. Why? Because 10 years is not long enough!

    So a hardware company treating our images like hardware is wrong. They need to be more like Kodak or Ilford. My film will be usable as long as I’m alive (if it was processed correctly). And after shooting about 1,000 rolls a year for 15 years, that’s a lot of film.

    Imagine if it all of a sudden your photos on film could not be printed or scanned? How many of you would not be angry at Kodak if they said in the same paternalistic attitude that Nikon just took in their reply this past week, “Just send the film to Kodak. We can print it for you, and we can do it better than you or anyone else can. We want you to have the best ‘Kodak experience’ possible. So we won’t let anyone else make prints from your film but us.

    Who would buy Kodak film if they had told us that back in the “good old days?”

  137. Mike Tubby Says:

    I have the fix for the problem!… buy a Canon EOS camera… get (a) a better camera and (b) no problems with the raw format!!!

    Mike

  138. John Huber Says:

    Goodwynn,

    First I would like to state that for me atleast this has never been about which is bad or good. I know and fully understand that both Adobe and Nikon are commercial entities with commercial interests. To me this is about user rights and what in this case what a photographer should be able to demand from a digital camera.

    Beside beeing a photographer, I also do software develupment for a living.
    It just accurd to me that maybe some of the implications that seem obvious for me, might not be so for a non programmer. So I will now try to comment parts of your last post, from a photographer/programmers viewpoint while not getting to deep down into the details.

    ” However, I know of few (0 actually) photo or pre press shops that use anything other than Photoshop to read Photoshop files in actual production.”

    But say there was to emerge some specialized software for printing, that preprocessed images better then photoshop for printing. Would you not then like this product to be able to read and understand .PSD files directly? In the case of Adobe .PSD this is not a problem, even if they have never officaliy released the format. Any develuper is free to reverse-engineer the files and make their own decoder. But if Abobe start encrypting information in their .PSD fileformat, then this suddenly becomes illegal under DMCA.
    Do Adobe has the right to state that your artistic creation may only be edited by Adobe products in it’s original form because it was made in photoshop?

    ” As for the “encryption”, I think the jury is still out on whether the white balance info is actually “encrypted”. We have heard that it is already cracked. I think that it would be fairly easy for Nikon to have prevented this if that is what they actually wanted from the start.”

    Both Thomas Knoll of Adobe and David J. Coffin the creator of “DCRAW” the first software that cracked the Nikon encryption has officially stated that the DX2 .NEF encrypt (not encode) the WB metadata. So the case seems to be closed in that regard.

    As to the speed of the cracking and the weakness of the encryption, the reason behind this is a well know by those working in the field. The reason being that a system based on a publicly available crypto key is a weak system. In this case the key is publicly available in the DX2 firmware files and in the Nikon software. This further illustrates how this encryption has no technical merit, and is purly a move to make reverse-engineering RAW files illegal under the DMCA.

    ” If I was a camera manufacturer, I would not want a third party trying to hold me to their standard, preventing me from improving and changing my product because it makes life harder for that third party. As far as I am concerned, the camera RAW file is proprietary information, specific to the manufacturer.”

    This has never been a issue. Each camera modell from Nikon, Canon and others, already have differences in the raw files to accommodate for hardware differences.

    ” As far as I am concerned, the camera RAW file is proprietary information, specific to the manufacturer. It is not like the camera cannot make other file types. It can. If I want to reap benefits beyond the Tiff or Jpg file, I use software that the manufacturer has created to allow me to tweak that RAW file.”

    See my statement about Adobe and the print example earlier in this post.

    ” Adobe is using alarmist tactics to sway the community against Nikon, so that Nikon will conform to what Adobe wants.”

    I have no doubt they are, but in this instance they happen to be on the consumers side.

    ” Knoll didn’t have to be alarmist about this. They could have just got the SDK, and went back to work. Instead, they want the manufacturer to throw away their own intellectual property in favor of a standard that makes it easy for Adobe. Adobe is the one that we should be questioning, not Nikon.”

    First the Nikon SDK. From my reasearch it seems that the Nikon SDK does not allow you direct access to the raw data. You only get to access the allready preprocessed and demosaiced RGB data. This is not accepteble for any converter that want to do any special preprocessing on the raw mosaic data, like for example the enhanced highlight recovery in Adobe Camera Raw.
    From a develupers view, using any SDK is not all that fun either. Each SDK brings it’s own usage mentality, bugs, memory leaks, data formats and function calls. Which may or may not fit in your design at all. For a raw converter designed to support as many different cameras as possible this can become a colossal task. Supporting a unique SDK from each camera manufacturer, each with a different design can quickly become more work then actually reverse-enginering the formats and use your own function library.

    ” Nikon’s plug in operates quite quickly, and effectively allows use of their raw files in Photoshop.”

    The Photoshop plugin by Nikon does not come close to the features and usability of the Camera Raw converter.

    ” Anyone dropping $5000 for a camera should be buying Capture anyway. As far as I am concerned, it is a part of the camera that happens to reside on my laptop.”

    One could just as easy argue that when purchasing a $5000 camera, one should not have to purchase extra software to be able to use all the features of the camera.
    But on more serious note, Photoshop is by most considered the standard for professional digital photographers. I can just not get my head around the reasoning for making a profesional camera like the D2X harder to use in Photoshop.

    ” Face it. This isn’t film. The raw file is not standardized, nor should it be. That would stifle progress. Unfortunately, the third party software developers have to work harder to implement Nikons FREE SDK.”

    Already covered earlier in this post.

    ” Those photographers that are complaining about “losing their copyright” due to this are misguided. It’s like saying that you are free to take the electronics from inside the camera and deconstruct them for use in another camera, because it’s your camera.”

    Yes I do certainly hope that is still legal. If not we are in big trouble!
    This is called reverse-engineering and is considered one of the cornerstones in technical advance. To be able to figure out how they did that, and make something even better.
    Or to make a simpler comparison. Is it illegal to put the wheels of a Ford on a Toyota? (Apart for the obvious question if they would fit and safety issues.)
    Beeing digital does not give the manufacturer more rights to decide what and what not a user can do with the product.

    ” If you think that Nikon is going to ransom your RAW files at some point, you haven’t looked at the history of Nikon, and its attempts to maintain interoperation within its system over the years (the lens mount, for one).”

    Yes, Nikon has traditionaly been very good with their costumers. Part of what I find so sad about this whole situation. But Nikon has never been in this situation either. Their future depend on the transition to digital, and they are no longer the biggest player in the marked. Canon is a larger company with much bigger pockets. So much so we now have the expression “white lenses” just for this situation.

    ” If we want a standard file format, I don’t believe that RAW needs to be it, nor should be it.”

    You are correct. This is why DNG the closest thing we have to an universal raw format today, has the option to store the original raw mosaic format from the camera. This so that later on when conversion filters have become even better, you can reconvert from the unique original raw that was optimized for the camera.

    ” Funny, it seemed that with the release of the D2X, all the Nikon bashing that I have read over the years on the web had come screeching to a halt, or perhaps a murmur. Now, it is all back, due to dubious reasoning. I wonder if this is misinformation by design and payola, as opposed to anything actually real.”

    I can not speak for anybody but myself, but I have had almost nothing but love for Nikon, and still perfer their cameras. But I see this as a sign of what is to come, and feel sad and let down by Nikon for them beeing one of the first.

  139. Joe Says:

    I was thinking about buying a Nikon, in fact, I had hoped to wait for Nikon’s next product since they had several features I liked (and which were sadly lacking in Canon’s cameras). Now however, I’m not so sure. I might end up buying a Canon this time.

    You know Nikon, you could *easily* fix this: simply release complete support so that there are no worries regarding the SDK etc anyway.

    Encrypting the white balance data? I mean really… encrypting white balance data? That’s pathetic, and has no use to me.

    If I *wanted* to protect my pictures, I certainly would not just encrypt WB! This is definitely NOT in my interest.

  140. Goodwynn Says:


    John, until Nikon officially claims that the RAW file has encrypted information, developers are free to reverse engineer it. Nikon has not made any claims that the file is “encrypted”. Why should Nikon bow to what a third party wants in Nikon’s files? I wouldn’t, and I don’t think you would appreciate some one telling you how to make your own product either. The unfortunate task of reverese engineering belongs to the third party. It’s not like any of them are doing it for the good of Photography, their doing it for their own bank accounts. I also do know quite a bit about imaging software development. If you remember the files that the pre Nikon D1 cameras (the AP digital and the Kodak DCS’s, both Nikon bodied and Canon bodied) made, every new camera had a slightly different file format, requiring a new SDK. The Canon files even changed with firmware updates. Yes it was a pain, but it allowed digital imaging technology to rocket ahead quickly with each new implementation. This changed after the Nikon D1, which included standard tiff and jpeg file choices. Again, untill Nikon officially states that their file is encrypted, we are free to reverse engingeer it. As for Photoshop being the big imaging standard, why doesn’t Adobe open the source code base for the whole program? Make it open source so everyone can be assured that we can compile it on some future OS release. I doubt they would even consider it, as (you claimed)they have never even released the specs to the PSD file. You yourself stated that it had to be reverse engineered. There is room for Capture (which I love) and Photoshop. Capture is a camera/darkroom program. Photoshop is a giant darkroom/photo compositing program, that, by the way, has allowed inscrupulous users to create a lot of harm to the integrity of the photographic image. (Oh, in response to Chris and Drink, I do know Police crime scene photographers that are still using film for just this reason). Photoshop is truly a fastastic program, but so is Capture, which keeps geting better with every update…

  141. Mark Says:

    Well, I’m one of those D70 guys who was seriously considering the D2X. I won’t be now and will probably not even be buying more Nikon glass because I don’t want it to cost even more money should I decide to switch to someone else.

    For me, it’s simple, in ten years time, when Nikon may have gone or not be interested in NEF format any more maybe I’ll need to use some other software or maybe need to write it myself. Using encryption effectively makes that illegal.

  142. AJM Says:

    Mark,
    and whoever is worried about opening the NEF files 10 or 40 years from now.
    From what I understand, the new version of Adobe’s DNG converter will let you convert your NEF files to DNG. Then just do that and don’t worry anymore.

    AJM

  143. AJM Says:

    This is quite interesting:

    http://www.dpreview.com/news/0504/05042701davecoffininterview.asp

    I understand it is also on PSN main page, but why are comments not allowed?

    AJM

  144. Xenophon A. Beake Says:

    I don’t understand what all the fuss is about. I read many of the postings and after a while I got bored with the bashing of Nikon Inc. Yes I am loyal to Nikon as I have been for over 35 years. Nikon makes great cameras and accessories. The same loyalty applies to Hasselblad and to Linhof.
    I think it’s time to realize that the manufactures of cameras and software are out there looking at the bottom line. I know I am.
    Remember Kodak film and Fujifilm and Polaroid? Polaroid. Wow!!!!! What kind of instant film was only available after a while?

    Did you know that Kodak once designed a camera with a film size they only manufactured? 127.
    Hasselblad use to get bashed. When one is # 1 in whatever someone will always try to find fault.
    Is history repeating it’s self?
    Adobe now will only allow the use of PS on one desktop and a laptop. Otherwise one must buy another license or copy of PS. You want to talk about royalties? Remember what it was like to use the PS you purchased on as many computers as you owned. Now if you format your hard drive and reinstall PS you must call Adobe to get activation #.
    I own three computers and have three separate licenses for Windows XP Pro. Now that is a company that sticks it to all of us and not just photographers.

    I have used every version of NC in the last 6 years with tremendous success. I also use Photoshop CS in conjunction very successfully.
    NC was designed to process information from Nikon Digital Cameras… Therefore the software will perform at its best with these two combinations.
    It amazes me when I speak to Nikon digital camera owners how many have never considered using the Nikon software. In my opinion it is the best kept secret in the digital capture market when it comes to the Nikon Digital Camera system. You tell these folks what can be done with RAW NEF using NC and their reactions are usually, “I didn’t know NC could do that or I use ABC or PS”
    With very few exceptions the captures I make are all REW NEF. Those are my originals.
    I have made captures of some of the most difficult lighted subjects. One such subject was lighted by Sodium Vapor. A very nasty and photographic unfriendly light source. The data sheet from Kodak film or any CC filter manufactures could not suggest a combination for correcting these light sources. Kodak used this term. “Not recommended” in their data sheet. Plainly said, won’t work.
    Having been a commercial photographer for many years and owning a commercial quality full service lab did not hurt understanding color balance as it pertained to “White Balance” in digital capture photography.
    The capture was made and corrected so it looked like a Hollywood lighting crew was responsible for the lighting of the 300 foot long warehouse aisle. This task took less than 30 seconds in NC using “Set gray point”. Could this have been done in PS at the time? I doubt it as easily as in NC.

    The bottom line in my opinion is to read the manual. And then read it again and again then if one has any issues with the software or cameras call the manufactures for assistance.

    There are many individuals in the forum that made some valid points. I am not a software engineer but know how to use what is out there. And if I need help I ask. There are many folks out in cyberspace that are misinformed and do offer misguided opinions.
    The same was true in traditional image making. I found that out in thirty years of lecturing and presenting programs to professionals. Nothing has changed except for the light receptor. The bashing of the most popular will continue as it has for centuries.
    I also know some views were made by many respectful image makers, who are camera manufacturer sponsored speakers and not Nikon sponsored at that.

    It’s an open ended platform/forum when you receive a check for presenting programs from a manufacture. Unfortunately the audience feels what they just heard is the “Holy Grail.”
    It’s easy to find fault with the others product when the speaker has control of the mike and is being paid…
    There is nothing unusual about bashing the competition.
    It’s done all the time in television commercials. It doesn’t mean the bashing is correct or right but it’s accepted as a way of getting buyers attention. Opinions are many.
    I could go on but will allow the “Experts” to sort these issues out.
    I have work to do in NC with RAW NEF files.

    Respectfully, Xenophon A. Beake Master of Photography Photographic Craftsman.

    PS. Using NC for my RAW NEF images reminds me of when I processed my own negative film in C41, transparency film in E2, E3,& E6, and made hundreds of thousands of color prints in EP2 & RA4. FULL CONTROL. NOW THAT’S THE BOTTOM LINE. If I ever needed help I knew where to get it. Nikon will help if you ask.

  145. Fred Kremer Says:

    Thank you Xenophon,

    You have provided a breath of fresh air. I have been using NC for about 6 months now. I am a many year user of PS. I am finding NC to be a delightful gem. The more I use it the more fun I am having. I am not loyal to a particular brand. Over the last 30 years Canon and Nikon have been my mainstay equipment brands, however I have invested in Pentax and Konica as well. It is the art and craft that is important. The equipment is just a tool. I cannot agree with you more, know how to use your tools! Thanks for the reminder.

  146. Goodwynn Says:

    Well look here! Seems that Canon also “encrypts” their raw data! So, now what are all the Nikon bashers going to do?

    http://www.cybercom.net/%7Edcoffin/dcraw/

  147. Goodwynn Says:

    Dave Coffin’s page should satisfy everyone, including the Linux advocates. Hmmm could Knoll perhaps be gettig a little payola from Canon (who also “encrypts” their raw data according to Coffin)to speak out about the D2X? Perhaps Canon is a bit afraid of the D2X? Could Adobe be afraid of Capture (they shouldn’t be). Could all that Nikon bashing have a dotted line back to Canon marketing?

  148. John Huber Says:

    Try to look beyond the the whole Adobe vs Nikon vs Canon issue. This is about creative freedom, user rights and having absolute ownership of you own pictures. Not about what brand is “good” and wich brand is “bad”. All commercial companies will do whatever then can to make as much money from the users as they can get away with. And it is our job as a consumer to tell them when they have crossed the line.

  149. t. rogers Says:

    I’m so happy that I haven’t been wasting any money on Nikon lenses. The D70 almost enticed me into doing just that. Now I don’t have to dump PS and try bibble……….WHEW!

  150. donkeyboy Says:

    Come on you guys…. Who pays for software anyways??? Oh ya, got some MAC people in here. I get everything for free.. Let’s just find away around this little lock and we can all just get along. I love Nikon, I like canon, but art can be made with either.

    Support your local pirate!!! He is the only one looking out for “the people”.

  151. Little Johny Says:

    It would be very interesting to see how many of these users complaining about there right to use photoshop actually have a legit copy of it with a legit bill of sale. And not copies off the internet or burnt discs from friends.

    Guess well find out when the New Microsoft update comes out, and half our board members disapear to the fate of locked computers requiring a call to microsoft as to why they have a bootlegged copy of windows or why half the Reg Keys on the computer match black lists supplied by manufacturers such as Adobe:)

  152. Flywhale Says:

    Who said RAW NEF SHOULD be read on Adobe photoshop?

    Just because it’s the “best” image processing software?

    I think Nikon has the right to do so. (Yes you have the copyright, but they still has the right)

    Just think about it. Actually their is no good guy or bad guy between NIKON or Adobe.

    And it has nothing to do with us, the end user

  153. Andy Says:

    In stead of making their Nikon Capture attractive to it’s users, they force them of using the software Nikon thinks they have to use. Nikon is limiting creativity as I see it and they will get slapped in the head for it, if you ask me.
    If Microsoft can be sued for giving other software no chance, then Nikon deserves some real slapping in the face. I expected some more maturity of a company like this. This is trying to earn money by limiting people and forcing them choices. Their products may be good, but the name Nikon has dropped for me way far down below “dumbasses” now.
    Commercial: yes, commercial at cost of creativity: no… What’s next? Encryption that allows you only to go at certain developpers?! Cause this is in fact what they are doing on a digital level. Man, as I see it, they should get f*cked up the ass real bad for this.

  154. alberto Says:

    it might seems a little to simple for all, but i don’t understand why nikon or adobe just develop an easy, simple, nice plugin to open NEF in photoshop.

    This way no one has to decrypt or do anything, and Nikon can develop its NEF files as much as they want, as long as they insure compatibility with the most used software for photo processing. Come on, Nikon, let’s understand this…Capture is an ugly software (look and feel, slow). ps, I use mac. The Nikon plugin for photoshop is so limited that is almost useless.

    and by the way, the canon vs nikon discussion is pointless as usual. none of them are any better. if nikon move turns out to be profitable or working, just be sure canon will encrypt data asap….
    if you shoot canon and are happy, just keep it for yourself for once. why do you have to prove to anyone that it is better? inferiority complex?

  155. Xenophon A. Beake Says:

    I read the comments since I posted my own in late April.As mentioned I use RAW NEF all the time except for one job a year. My comments below apply to the same issues.
    I’m wondering how many professional photographers would allow their © images to be pirated and used by a third party and not except to be compensated.
    I doubt that anyone would not raise hell !!!!!!!All images by professional photographers,artists, musical composers,authors, movie makers, and every kind of artistic creators are protected by the Federal Copyright Law of this and many other countries.
    I think it’s time to admit that the creativity of Nikon Capture is also protected by this same law.I know for a fact that Nikon has no interest in interfering with any photographer’s copyrights and image ownership. Nikon has the right to protect their intellectual property and at the same time ensure that each photographer’s creative work is protected as well.
    Why don’t we just get on with our own responsibilites and let the software experts design and refine software for the equipment their respecctive companies build. After all, they know much more about their product than a third party could ever know. I know from many years of using PS and Nikon Capture that processing in the proprietary software allows for more control and better files.
    I suppose that being in the photographic business for many years and being older than many gives me a more logical approach on the subject of creative ownership.
    Just look at ALL legitimate CD’s of music and computer software and you will find the © symbol. Gee that’s the same that I use on all of my images. Imagine that !!!

    Here is the bottom line. When a RAW NEF file is opened in Nikon Capture it is a better file. End of story !!!!!

    Best regards to all. Xenophon A. Beake

  156. Dirk Gently Says:

    Please see the following which I found at the Nikon UK web site. This should satisfactorily resolve the issue, shouldn’t it?

    D Gently

    Nikon SDK – Available for the D2x, D2Hs and the D50
    With each introduction of a new Nikon digital Single Lens Reflex model, Nikon updates the available SDK selection to provide new information; this is the situation with the D2X, D2Hs and D50 models. As stated above, application for the Nikon SDK is possible for bona fide software companies that send Nikon a written application for the SDK. Once approved, the SDK is provided to the developer at no charge and they are authorized to use it. Nikon has provided its confidential SDK software to many software developers. With the Nikon SDK, developers may design excellent and creative compatibility between the NEF and their software, all without compromising the integrity of the NEF’s original concept, and ensuring that work done by the photographer during the picture taking process can be incorporated into the rendering of the image.

  157. anynonmouse Says:

    Is the white balance encryption system locked into the hardward of the D2x? Will applying the firmware updates that Nikon makes available for the D70 etc. add encrytion to older model cameras?

  158. Rita Says:

    Has this improved?
    I have just got off the phone from Nikon and they,(Nancy, at Nikon Digital Support for D2X) told me Nikon has not encrypted the White Balance -she knows nothing about this. Shw would not walk me through CS2 either.
    >
    I have also purchased CS2 and it does not open my NEF files ( not recognised) the 3.1 plug-in is present. Is there a way to open NEF files into the Adobe CS2 raw converter with it’s first level controls?
    >
    Can I convert Bibble files over to Adobe?
    The is an Organization in SF -(freedom of Electronic Data) who showed interested in a class action, when I called them to see what they knew? Is there anyone who can offer some help please.

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  160. Toomy Says:

    Get a Cracked version of C1 Pro. Like someone said before, it’s only the Pirates that help us poor folks. Nikon are engineering their products backwards. Canon service suck (at least in India). Adobe price their products beyond reach of all except the TOP TOP pros and then bemoan piracy.

    Wake up guys.

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  162. David jagnos Says:

    dream of a day when I my data can be read by whatever means I choose. Raw? Fine, let me view it in whatever application I choose, Nikon. Edit my images? Let me save them in a format that can be edited by any other application. I don’t want my property stored in a patent encumbered format. Here that Adobe? I don’t trust companies that employ more attorneys than engineers.

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  164. backgammon game Says:

    When we went digital we lost one very important thing — the concept of an Original. Think about the forensics case — how do you prove that an image is the ACTUAL IMAGE taken and not one that has been altered, even a RAW file?

  165. online backgammon Says:

    Though both sides raise some good issues, on the balance, I think the arguments against what Nikon has done are better.

    Harder workflow is a big strike; and the fact that I may not be able to open and/or edit NEF files in the future because Nikon has changed the format and is no longer supporting older cameras … C’mon, we’ve got to have open standards here.

    But what really offends me is the idea of not fully owning my own work. Hey, my film negs belong to me and no one else. Why should digital files be any different?

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