why, Nikon, why?

Nikon View 5.1.3 was released yesterday for Mac OS X users. There are better choices for viewing images and building catalogs of course, but there is one thing that Nikon’s software shines at:

RAW images. Recording photos on a D1X/D100 or Coolpix 5700* in the RAW format (.NEF) is a big bear without Nikon’s software. Sadly, this means that in order to USE those RAW images from your camera, you need to use Nikon-grown Photoshop plug-ins and software.

The RAW plug-in for NEF files works fine. I can drop a NEF image onto the Photoshop icon and it allows me to set white balance, make simple modifications, and then process the file before I hit my editor. RAW files provide the photographer with a lot more detail and possibilities (that I’m still exploring) than using JPEG images.

The Nikon software is still painfully slow. It slugs along on my Powerbook G4 and I glare at it’s icon floating in my dock with contempt wondering why I bother. I already use iView and personally find it to be lightyears ahead of Nikon’s product.

When it is likely that the majority of your product are Mac users, why would a company release such an abomination of code for the faithful (cultlike!) Nikon users that own Macs? It is simply something I cannot understand.

Perhaps Version 6 will be better than 5.1.3. Until then, I’ll use iView and Photoshop for my photography, such that it is.

* Coolpix 5000 users with 1.7 firmware can now do RAW too.

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