Microsoft inserting itself into the RAW WAR

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by JAM, Jun 1, 2005.

  1. JAM

    JAM

    119
    Apr 30, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
  2. Chris101

    Chris101

    Feb 2, 2005
    Arizona
    Great. :(

    As if Adobe's effort to make DNG the standard, now we have Micro$oft trying to insert it's version of the standard. How everybody who LOVES Internet Explorer raise their hands.

    C'mon, don't be shy.
     
  3. Microsoft loves me

    I know Microsoft loves me. It loves you, too. Just open your heart. Here, drink some Kool Aid.

    Mike
     
  4. Chris101

    Chris101

    Feb 2, 2005
    Arizona
    Ex -[explicative deleted]- zactly.

    (nice avatar)
     
  5. Thanks, Chris. Made it all by myself from an image I knew existed and finally found and scanned.

    The image may be too small to show it, but the binoculars are turned around. So the view I'm getting is from looking through the big end. This may explain a few things.

    Mike
     
  6. PJohnP

    PJohnP

    Feb 5, 2005
    Mike :

    <gulp>

    No, I will resist commenting on this. I will resist. I must resist. :twisted: :lol: :twisted:


    John P.
     
  7. bpetterson

    bpetterson Guest

    Most interesting.
    First Nikon puts on a show at the White house.
    In the meantime Microsoft visits Camera Manufactures.
    Notice I said visits not using somebody else to complain.
    Microsoft's thoughts are for using codecs for raw implementation.
    Smart thinking.
    Consumers are happy.
    Camera makers can still keep their proprietary secrets.
    Microsoft is a hero.
    Everybody wins.

    The camera makers will still produce their raw software as it contains additional features.
    Nikon Capture is not dead, but very much alive.

    I can see Nikon Capture incorporating more photo features to maybe be a stand alone program for Nikon owners.

    Most of you know that all this is possible with sane people meeting, many times for lunch or dinner for discussions. Some of which get nowhere, but it does get the people thinking and talking to possibly come to
    a conclusion that all are happy with.

    Birger
     
  8. John -

    You mean how it makes things look small?

    Actually, this technique makes very large things seem to be farther away.

    I learned it early on. Had to.

    Mike
     
  9. It's kinda funny that Microsoft is calling DNG "proprietary" as if to suggest that their stuff will not be proprietary in the same ways (at least until it becomes a de facto standard). :D

    Still, it sounds like Microsoft's approach makes more sense for all involved (at least for the forseeable future) even though it's not quite what many people want. I doubt Microsoft's own end-user solutions will have any real/direct impact for us for a long time yet given what's said in the article, but it sounds like a good start toward solving the proprietary RAW problem.

    Now, I wonder if this RAW API/architecture and related stuff will be .NET-centric through and through. :D If so, I guess maybe it'll at least help make web apps that provide RAW support easier to develop though actual performance will be a different story. :D

    And yeah, that's an interesting avatar image, Mike, especially after you pointed out the reversed binoculars. :D

    _Man_
     
  10. Iliah

    Iliah

    Jan 29, 2005
    nowhere
    IMHO most important that it is camera manufactures who are supposed to supply camera support for Longhorn. No idea what API will provide for 3rd-parties software. Legal issues of coding for MS Windows using non-disclosed APIs and hacked formats may be hard to predict.

    The real issue for me is that we are locked into processing schemes that may not be adequate.
    Proprietary standards and progress are antonyms, when it comes to such a challenge as RAW processing.

    Yesterday I compared 4 demosaicing algorithms suggested by independent mathematicians. Each of them is much better then those "mainstream" algorithms embedded in proprietary camera-makers' software. Those developers have no chance to show their results to public under current situation. Attempts to suggest their results to companies usually end up with no response.

    In case it will be a set of Windows functions, we will have the worse of the both worlds - all problems of "native" support inherited plus another level of protection, bugs, and legal problems through Windows.

    The question is - how this Windows support helps? From a user standpoint, if he never saw what can be extracted from RAW using advanced processing this Windows support is OK.

    Still, not all RAW formats will be supported, and the quality of this support, giving nearly no room for alternatives (both technically and in terms of market) is questionable.

    To provide more or less quality RAW decoding, RAWMagick uses:

    all image data, including black frame around sensor image area;

    IR image of camera heat sources;

    nearly all metadata;

    external data, like spectral response and tonal curves, that are not contained in most of the RAW files.

    So, ideally (for us in RAWMagick) API should provide all that proprietary information to enable good conversion :)

    The longer is the chain, the more problems we have. Think of the speed of updates :)

    Couple of things: I do not need anything above Win2K (use it since Sept., 1999), and are not willing to pay for upgrade to less stable OS. Longhorn will not run on older hardware, which may render some of my interface boards unusable (upgrade price on that equipment can be tens of thousands). Longhorn may reach its stable release in a year after first release :)

    One of the (main, IMHO) reasons of Kodak abandoning dSLRs is inadequate raw conversion - moire, noise, lens aberrations correction, "painted" look. Strong argument for OpenRAW, for independent developers' involvement - the penalty for neglecting those can be death of the product.
     
  11. Ken-L

    Ken-L Guest

  12. nfoto

    nfoto Guest

    When the computer OS becomes an extension of the photographer's brain and thus can share his/hers visions, then RAW support would be beneficial. Until then, I'm the only one in knowledge of what the final version of my RAW files should look like. It's only fair to say that they go a long way from perception to gestation. So, an OS showing them like they were supposed to be captured by the camera is worse than worthless, it is misleading.

    Shrinks should look into the mindset of these Microsoft people. Something horrible may be going on inside. Or maybe there isn't anything there to be found?
     
  13. Ken-L

    Ken-L Guest

    The "process" starts with the settings we use for the shot. Only Nikon Capture displays the NEF (RAW) file with all of the camera settings in effect.

    There is no other RAW converter, or post-processing program that I am aware of that displays the camera settings in a NEF (RAW) image. Other than NC they all show the RAW image "as the sensor captured it". Of course, the programmers must decide how a program will display (interpret?) the RAW file, and that is where virtually all the software programs differ.

    How Windows displays the RAW file is for now an unkown, but there is no reason to believe that there will be a different scenario than what is done now to display JPG, GIF, TIF, and all the other formats used today.

    Regardless of how Windows handles RAW files, I will continue to use Nikon Capture, not only because it displays the shot with the camera settings in effect, but because I like the way it does what it does with NEFs.
     
  14. This is a very scary announcement. Microsoft has a long history of reducing choice and this smells a lot like a way to shut out OS-X and Linux. Microsoft also has a very long history of getting into bed with other people so they can get their hands on their technology and then they HOSE them (a Canadian term).

    Proof of this is in all of the lawsuits Microsoft has had and still has ongoing about swiping other companies technology. It also sounds like MS is looking to broaden their technical offerings in the digital market - guess who they are going to target - Adobe.

    If you want to ride the tiger you have to be willing to take a chance the tiger might bite you .....

    Personally I'm looking to get away from MS and move into OS-X this fall for image processing work.

    Doug
     
  15. JeffKohn

    JeffKohn

    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    I think this is much ado about nothing, MS is just trying to bring viewing/printing ability for RAW images into the OS. Sounds to me like this is just a matter of vendors being able to expose their RAW formats through OS-defined interfaces, I really don't see that as cause for concern. Think of it as Direct-X for digital photography.

    I fail to see how it would be a bad thing if I could view NEF's on my parent's PC without having to install additional software. Also for certain types of applications, being able to use a common interface to work with RAW images would be a huge benefit. Image-viewing/catalog programs like ACDSee could use a single interface for all raw formats rather than having to use a dozen SDK's from different vendors just to have viewing capabilities.

    Sure this built-in support will offer "lowest common denominator" RAW quality, especially when it comes to editing if they get that in, but who cares? Serious photographers will continue using dedicated software with more features and quality, just like they do now. But at least that baseline functionality will be there.
     
  16. I fully agree it would be nice to have the capability to look at NEF's (or whatever) on a computer without using specialized software.

    The issue I have is that I dont see the vendors stating they will be sharing their proprietary knoweldge on RAW files with Apple and the Linux community.

    This reinforces that the only choice is Microsoft - reducing your options as to what platform you want to use. If you like Microsoft this is great, if you dont and you want alternatives your out of luck unless Apple or Linux can get the same agreement - which I'm sure Microsoft will work hard to prevent.


    Doug
     
  17. JeffKohn

    JeffKohn

    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    I don't see how this would change anything at all with regard to Mac/Linux. They're not talking about new RAW formats, they're just talking about a way to expose the formats to Windows. If a manufacturer feels there's a business case for supporting other platforms they can still support them (ie Nikon supporting Capture on the Mac just like they do now).

    You can't blame MS for the fact that Nikon sees no business justification to support Linux. Maybe if Linux users didn't think all software should be free and open-source there would be more commercial applications for it.
     
  18. Actually what were talking about is Microsoft tying in vendors proprietary RAW formats to their platform. This is also an extension of the issue of vendors encrypting their RAW formats versus a users rights.


    Doug
     
  19. Chris101

    Chris101

    Feb 2, 2005
    Arizona
    Ya know, OSX4 shows 128 pixel thumbnails of RAW files in the Finder now - displays the full size picture in Preview if you just double click it.
     
  20. Maybe IBM will step in once again to help out there so that Microsoft doesn't dominate yet another field.

    If Steve Jobs would stop stroking his ego for a moment and consider it, maybe Apple could form some sort of alliance w/ the open source community in this area to help fend off Microsoft. Afterall, there's much for Apple to lose if Microsoft ends up dictating things in the photography industry. Maybe an Apple+IBM+open source effort? Certainly, it would not be a first for Apple and IBM to try to work out some sort of strategic alliance in software architecture although IIRC Jobs was not around when that was the case. Besides, now that the Mac environment is powered by Unix underneath, that's probably one less major obstacle against such an alliance.

    _Man_
     
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