nikon press release

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by dmwphoto, Apr 22, 2005.

  1. bpetterson

    bpetterson Guest

    Sounds good to me.

    Looking forward to the next issue of NC.

    Birger
     
  2. if i have the right information, that should be nikon capture 4.3 in a little over a week from now.
     
  3. JeffKohn

    JeffKohn

    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Hmm, reading that press release it sure sounds to me like they're trying to trying to lock out 3rd party raw convertors. They basically admit they took steps with the new NEF format to prevent access.

    The SDK is a total red herring, from what I've heard it's pretty much worthless to a developer writing RAW conversion software and offers nowhere near the flexibility or custom options available from Nikon Capture. What they're basically trying to do is ensure that all other NEF convertors are inferior to their own.

    The whole point of programs like RML, ACR, and Bibble is that they provide an alternative to the Nikon implementation of NEF conversion. Sticking a custom UI on top of Nikon's implementation (ie the SDK) is not what it's about. Those NEF's contain MY data, who does Nikon think they are to tell me how I can access it?

    If Nikon doesn't back away from this "SDK is the only way to NEF" stance I'm going to have to seriously reconsider whether I want to stay with the Nikon system long-term. This seems to me like a first step down a very ominous path.
     
  4. jgrove

    jgrove

    489
    Apr 13, 2005
    Halesowen,UK
    My issue isnt really about Nikon vs Adobe, for me its about who owns the data after i take the picture. In there statement Nikon havent told us anything, its a typical political response.

    IMHO we the photographer should be free to choose what to do with the image after it has been taken. Nikon should also be free to protect its NEF format. We need to find middle ground on this.

    I personely think Nikon has made a mistake in Encrypting the WB settings, they havent offered any real reason why they did it.

    I love Nikon Capture it is a very powerful tool, BUT Nikon really need to sort out the serious issues surrounding its stability. Instead they just keep adding yet more supported cameras to the list with yet more NEF format changes.

    I dont think NC V4.3 will offer us anything different other than support for the D50 and D70s (which will also have encrypted WB as i could image they use a very similar if not the same chip) But Nikon may suprise us all and fix the memory leaks and huge temp files problem.

    I would like to see an improved PS Plugin which has more settings rather than the joke of a plugin supplied at the moment.
     
  5. I agree with your last statement. There definitely needs to be a compromise. I understand Nikon's stance to protect their format. I honestly do not like the bohemoth that Adobe has become. They have fiercely protected their technologies and have even resorted to getting people arrested. Using Capture isn't that bad anyways and I though most serious Nikon NEF shooters use the Capture/Photoshop workflow anyhow.
     
  6. jgrove

    jgrove

    489
    Apr 13, 2005
    Halesowen,UK
    I think Adobe are being very very hypocritical. But i was expecting a bit more of a response from Nikon Japan. But i dont think its in there culture to admit a problem. I think this is a very big issue for the Japanesse?
     
  7. Chris101

    Chris101

    Feb 2, 2005
    Arizona
    Dear Nikon,

    This is so not the way to create software in the twenty first century.

    Thank you for your consideration,
     
  8. Iliah

    Iliah

    Jan 29, 2005
    nowhere
    Dear Friends,

    Have you ever tried to figure how RAW white balance data looks like?

    Seems that some believe it is born as nice 4 x 2 integers. Or 4 floating point numbers. But that is what we used to have in NEF. Question: is it the actual data, or is it *decoded* data?

    Even more - are those RGB coefficients constitute what we really need to process colour accurately?

    The answer is - NO.

    We love RAW because it is RAW, and the more RAW it is, the more we love it.... so be prepared that more and more data in NEF files will be RAW, not pre-cooked for convenience of third-party developers, while sacrificing possibilities and quality.

    There is no need to hack the file to get as shot white balance. Take a thumbnail, convert it to linear, and find the ratio r:g:b in any point; compare to r:g:b ratio in the same point of half/mode; from this you can derive white balance coefficients.

    Ah, some may want to know how to convert back to linear :) It is quite simple - take a gray scale, and compare rendered rgb values to raw rgb values. That will provide tonal curve, and then it should be reversed.

    On "encryption" - there is some controversy in the idea that format should be published. I own a cellular phone, I own the data from the moment antenna picked it up - but if I will ask how it is encoded (encrypted is better word here) - I will not receive information that will allow me to decode it myself. Same for car computer, and in many other cases. Sometimes this protects us from theft, sometimes it protects technology.

    For proper development of film it is important to know exact data on emulsion properties and grain structure, as well as spectral data for dyes. To what extent it is disclosed? Have you tried to substitute E-6 with another process? Are results the same? What about K-14?
     
  9. Iliah, that sounds all so simple to me, I think I'll just go and do it now myself for fun :lol: :lol: :lol: , yeah right :wink:

    You know, this is exactly why I love having folks like Iliah about, his knowledge and expertise is in a different, but complimentary, direction to mine and he can "make things happen" that totally befuddle me, which is grand. Now, ask yourself, if Iliah can make this much sense out of it, then what is the issue for Adobe? Sounds to me lke the difference is that they don't want "really raw", they don't know what to do with that, but they want at the very least 'partly cooked", rare in steak terms.

    Iliah, thanks for that explanation. I had never thought of it like that, given that I would have no clue how to do it that way, but it sure sounds like an alternative that destroys any complaint of issues with the DMCA.

    As to Nikons press release, I have worked for a number of companies building Enterprise Class software and we released SDK's as well. In no case did we ever release the underlying structures. This was done for one simple reason, if a 3rd party modifies the underlying structure and does not do it right, all warranties are gone. Worse yet it could preclude the ability to upgrade. This is one reason, I believe, that products like PS and Bibble write "sidecar files" and don't modify the NEF itself as Nikon does. Imagine the horrors we would here if a 3rd party modified a NEF and then when your firmware and NC were updated NC could no longer read the NEF at all. Once more, Nikon in hot water. This may be yet another reason not to release the NEF format.

    OK, Iliah, please keep on making sense and giving me, at least, new perspectives on what is happening. Glad that folks like you and Peter are around doing the things you do so well :wink:
     
  10. JeffKohn

    JeffKohn

    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Iliah I'm surprised you seem to be defending Nikon on this (correct me if I'm misunderstanding you). Their press release flat-out says that they don't want software like RML to exist.
     
  11. jgrove

    jgrove

    489
    Apr 13, 2005
    Halesowen,UK
    I think thats a bit harse, and i dont think thats what they meant. They are just pointing out that they supply a SDK and thats as far as it goes. Theres no mention of them saying that they dont want other software to exist.

    What would have been better would have been an explaination as to why they encrypted the WB in the NEF file.
     
  12. bpetterson

    bpetterson Guest

    There is no need to criticize Iliah or anybody in this forum.

    Birger
     
  13. Iliah

    Iliah

    Jan 29, 2005
    nowhere
    I defend nobody. I see why things may happen as they are happening, and suggest my opinion on the reasons.

    I do not read in their advisory anything that threatens RML. Instead, I read there that NEF format will be flexible to adopt new technologies, accommodate substantial new bits of RAW data from the sensor and a lot of auxiliary information from camera. I see we users can benefit from these improvements.

    I take this as a challenge, and I'm more then happy to take it.

    I also know that in many cases to benefit from new proprietary tags our data processing schemes need to be completely changed, and schemes presumed by some proposed formats will limit those benefits tremendously for the sake of minority.

    My lawyer told me that I have all the right to decode and decrypt the file format, and I'm a photographer, meaning I know what experiments can be used to get the data I need :)
     
  14. jgrove

    jgrove

    489
    Apr 13, 2005
    Halesowen,UK
    I like the NEF format, IMHO its by the far the best RAW format on the market and while NC has its faults its also extremely good RAW tool.

    Glad to hear your lawyer said that maybe you should give him Adobes phone number! LOL

    I love RML keep up the good work!
     
  15. Jeff, I don't read that into the press release at all, see my reasons above. Can you please show me the "flat-out" part that says they don't?

    I think people read a lot more into these things than is there myself.
     
  16. JeffKohn

    JeffKohn

    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Well they basically say that any 3rd party software should be using their SDK and imply that any software that doesn't poses a threat to the integrity of NEF and your data.
     
  17. Iliah

    Iliah

    Jan 29, 2005
    nowhere
    Dear Jeff,

    They suggest that 3rd parties use SDK; but I do not read they demand that. We do not use SDK ourselves, and we have no problems communicating with Nikon.
     
  18. Iliah,

    I like the way you think. :D So honestly, are you really thinking that Nikon's new approach to storing the WB info has more to do w/ it being more faithful to what the WB sensor records? Also, I'm wondering if this has something to do w/ the improved WB on the latest bodies. I'm a little unclear now, but are they using a new WB sensor?

    To me, w/ help from the discussions here as well as my own experiences and knowledge as a software developer in the corporate world (but a hardcore background from college), I can easily see many reasons why Nikon is deliberately being vague about the whole thing. Even if you're not a software developer, it's not hard to see why a company would want to be as vague as possible. And others have already offered more than enough reasons for that.

    I think for those who are very concerned that Nikon might be "forcing" some sort of monopoly on NEF conversion, maybe we should give them some benefit of the doubt since they have not gone out to sue anyone (yet) over this issue. They have not gone after Dave Coffin like that whole fiasco between the MPAA and the kid who wrote DCSS -- and in that case, there was actual encryption code involved too. And Adobe, et al have never claimed that Nikon threatened lawsuits either despite what seems like a hypocritical stance on their part anyway.

    I think a little bit of trust is in order here. To me, you canNOT do real business w/out some amount of trust (and risk). Relying purely on the law will just get you into all sorts of red tape, etc. Someone can always try to sue you over the smallest thing. Sure, you don't want to leave yourself wide open for a bad lawsuit, but what can you do? There are only so many holes you can cover up. And requiring the other party to offer all sorts of written guarantees, restrictive backward compatibility, etc etc so you can make $$$ w/ little to no benefit to that other party is just silly. That seems like what Adobe wants from Nikon. Have we heard from Adobe that they're making a good offer to Nikon to license the rights to NEF format? I haven't heard that. Only heard some complaints that Nikon's not giving them freebies on it.

    And as someone else mentioned, why isn't Adobe worried about Canon? I agree w/ others that there's no real difference here between what's being done w/ Nikon's WB info and the rest of the RAW data whether in NEF or Canon RAW or any other maker's RAW format. If Nikon can sue, then so can Canon. Did Canon guarantee they wouldn't sue?

    At this point, I'm willing to agree that Nikon is perhaps stubborn and/or perhaps just trying to protect their intellectual property. They probably could do better w/ their PR on this issue, but there's nothing clearly wrong w/ what they're doing. And don't forget that there is some wisdom in not saying much, if at all, if one can't be sure what to say -- there are many wise sayings along those lines.

    Meanwhile, Adobe (or rather Thomas Knoll) still looks like the hypocrite to me. And if they keep it up, they might even appear foolish (as if they don't already to some of you :D).

    _Man_
     
  19. Read my earlier post regarding the manipulation of data without using an SDK and why many companines say exactly the same thing, in many cases making this a requirement, not a suggestion. Consider what would happen if a 3rd party developer were to make changes back in to the NEF, and then it couldn't be read by Nikon software. The complaints would still be pointed at Nikon. If I were Nikon I would note that as well, just as the companies I have worked for did the same.

    That is exactly how I read the press release, not that they say you MUST use the SDK, just that if you don't they, Nikon, certainly can't guarantee either how you will deal with the raw data, nor can they guarantee, or be held liable, for what will happen if you do any manipulation back to the NEF without using the SDK.

    For an extreme example, can you imagine what would happen if a 3rd party modified the NEF itself making it non-readable by Capture and then went out of business? What would the hue and cry be then? Nikon would still be blamed, I believe.

    Iliah has stated, a number of times, how they deal with this, I don't understand why this is suddenly such a big deal for Adobe. Perhaps Adobe has its own agenda to push?
     
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