Another RAW camera format? How are we going to handle it?
Hear my analysis on Inside Digital Photo’s August 23, 2008 Radio Program (slide forward to the 11:20 min mark to get straight to the report on this topic):
It happened again, just when most photographers had been lulled into thinking we had seen the last new RAW file format. But noooo! Nikon surprised us by giving birth to a new one called .NRW that’s found exclusively in the high-level COOLPIX P6000 (This hot $500 compact boasts a 13.5MP CCD, 28-112mm f/2.7-5.9 stabilized zoom lens, built-in GPS, and up to ISO 6400.) Unfortunately, the Nikon engineers forgot something when they created this new RAW format—and it’s called Mac compatibility! Guess we should have seen that coming with a file extension called .NRW (Nikon Raw Windows).
So while photographers with PC’s running Microsoft Vista (and nothing prior to Vista) will be able to open and adjust .NRW files, the rest of the world is out of luck—unless popular RAW workflow programs like Apple’s Aperture, Adobe RAW converter, and Adobe’s Lightroom come to the rescue as they have in the past.
I really don’t expect the development teams at Apple to fret over this new format. After all, few professional photographers–the core base of Aperture users–will be rushing out to get the P6000. And with the plugin architecture of Aperture I would expect a third party (perhaps even Microsoft? Nah!) to develop a plugin that could convert .NRW files into something Aperture and other Mac-based imaging programs could handle.
Funny thing about the Coolpix P6000 though. It has some incredible features and advanced technologies that are being overlooked by the vast majority of the press reports I’ve seen due to the controversy of the Windows RAW format. For a compact camera, it offers a great deal, including a dedicated hotshoe that works with Nikon’s advanced flash system, a sharper LCD monitor than just about any other camera in its class, and built in GPS for tagging photos by location.