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Topic: Does Photosynth read NEF files?

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sarapoglou (Over 1 year ago)
Photosynth can not read NEF files. It would be great if it could.
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
Hi, sarapoglou, 

I, too, would love to see support for RAW files - from Nikon, as you suggest, and also other camera manufacturers. 

I think that the main hold up is that once uploaded, these photos need to be displayed in the web browser and although everyone's web browser knows how to decode JPGs, everyone's browser most definitely does not know how to decode NEFs.

I suspect that Nikon would want the Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari, Firefox, and Chrome web browser developers to pay them money to include the code to read NEFs and that is probably the reason why nothing has been done about it. Right now the Photosynth viewer is written in Silverlight, so if Silverlight could read NEFs, then that could work, but again, I suspect that Nikon would want compensation from the Silverlight team for the privilege of opening NEFs.

TIFFs, PNGs, JPEG2000s, and JPEGXRs are a few other image formats which would be most welcomed here by me, but time will tell.
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
In the meantime, your Nikon software that came with your camera (or that you can download from Nikon's site) should be able to quickly create JPG copies of a whole list of NEFs at a time. You should be able to just select all the photos you're interested in using as JPGs, hit the convert button, and after a bit of time, you'll have JPG copies of everything ready to go in the folder of your choosing.
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
If you don't want to use up the extra hard drive space that keeping the original NEFs and creating JPG copies will use, there is actually a little trick.

Because NEF files already contain a lower quality JPG inside of them, you can actually use a batch command in Windows to rename all the files in a folder that end in .NEF to end in .JPG. This is not changing anything inside of the files, but only their filename. When you do this, Photosynth will 'see' the files, because they are named .JPG and it will read the real JPEG data inside of them. Once Photosynth is finished uploading, you can batch rename the images back to .NEF and everything will be exactly as it was before you began.

The downside to this little trick is that the JPG inside of the NEF is of lower quality than the Nikon software could create if it were converting the NEFs to JPG at maximum JPG quality.

Related discussion: http://bit.ly/synthforumpngsupport
sarapoglou (Over 1 year ago)
Thanks, for the answer and I understand the reasons. But what about DNG (open RAW format from Adobe). Does photosynth support this or not?
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
I'm just your fellow Photosynth user, but to the best of my knowledge JPG is the only format which Photosynth currently supports or is likely to support in the near future.

Since it relies on other technologies for the image decoding, they will likely only support other image formats once the plugin makers or browser makers natively support the other image formats (and in the case of the browser makers, DNG support would need to be present in a uniform manner across all of the most popular browsers in order for Photosynth to enable it to be uploaded).
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
Two similar conversations are as follows: 

Regarding RAW, etc.
Note reply from David Gedye:  http://getsatisfaction.com/livelabs/topics/why_do_you_only_accept_jpgs
(I believe that TIFF support was only supported before the public release on 2008 August 20, though.)

Regarding JPEG XR: 
Comment #4 from David Gedye on this weblog post: http://blogs.msdn.com/photosynth/archive/2010/03/18/buttery-smooth-gigapixel-panoramas.aspx

If you desire a more direct answer from the Photosynth team, you can email them and they're usually quite good about replying right away. http://photosynth.net/contactus.aspx
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