looking through my e-mails I see a lot of poison about the press-releases. Certainly, world is less then perfect. I, for one, hope that those talks which started back in Spring, will finally lead to progress of both NC and ACR, and to greater customer satisfaction with both cameras and raw processing. I hope I'm not dreaming.
I just finished reading all the tutorial movies on RML... I think some of the lights have finally come on. I have read them before. This time I understand alot more.
I am noiw very excited and waiting for the next release in time mentioned.
Thank you good bye. (Peters closing statement :>)))....)
What this means (so far) is that Nikon has added to their existing SDK (which performs the entire raw conversion as a black box) a new "mini-SDK", which has the sole function of reading the white balance parameters from a NEF file (while still allowing the host application to do its own raw conversion).
The upcoming Adobe Camera Raw 3.2 and DNG Converter 3.2 will use this Nikon "mini-SDK" to provide "as shot" white balance support for the Nikon D2X, D2Hs, and D50."
I dont know all the details so correct me if i have parts (or all) of it wrong but being used to read (and help writing) these kind of PR's in my former life, it strikes me as Nikon moving a little bit but not all the way towards giving up the right to encrypt the WB. I see it as a corporate dance of Nikon not really giving up the right to the NEF fileformat, but here is a piece of NIKON-owned code that can let you know what the as shot WB is.
It's a bit like having the cake and eating it. Nikon doesn't give up the right to the NEF format, but everyone that licenses (agrees to Nikons right the NEF Format) the mini dev tool kit can read and use the as shoot WB setting.
I dont doubt that Nikon felt forced to do this. But not because of the complaints from users but because several companies have cracked the encryption anyway and Nikon stood to loose the right to the NEF format. I can imagine Adobe telling Nikon that either they made it available and then there would be peace or Adobe would feel that they would have to "help their Customers" = reverse engineering it too
Compare to the whole discussion of Microsoft not always being ready to give up "undocumented" API's to certain part's of Windows, because it would in some cases enable competitors to reverse enginer larger parts of the Microsoft OS (the view from the Microsoft side)
IMHO both press-releases, Adobe's and Nikon's, stress out that NEF is some kind of holy cow Seems that Nikon is ready to split SDK, allowing to access some parts of makernotes without the burden of demosacing. If you read http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop/nikonraw.html , you can see how much of Mr. Saurabh Wahi's phrasing is preserved in it. What we are seeing as a sort of compromise, and time will tell how good is it.
On a differnt note, there are some important technical reasons why Nikon opted for the white balance encoding they are currently using. This encoding, BTW, is different for pro-grade and lower-segment cameras - pro-grade cameras use sensor assembly serial number for encoding. Also, NEF file reserves space for future improvement of white-balancing, that is to use matrix instead of just a vector of white balance multipliers. The other tricky thing found in recent pro cameras from Nikon is that two adjucent green cells do not have the same sensitivity (they are close, but do differ by about 1/2 eV), and that affects both demosaicing and white balancing. Disclosue of NEF format will reveal a lot of sensor design principals. So, for now we have mini-SDK, which will patch some burning holes.