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Nikon encrypting white balance metadata in RAW files

Peter Rojas
Nikon D2X

This only affects the small number of people who can afford a crazy high-end digital camera in the first place, but apparently Nikon has decided to start encrypting white balance metadata in the RAW files for their D2X and D2Hs digital SLRs. Ok, we have to back up a little bit. Pro digital photographers usually shoot everything in RAW format and then later convert the files themselves rather than let the camera itself do any color correction or other preprocessing. Nearly every different camera maker has its own proprietary version of the RAW format (though Adobe has been trying to get manufacturers to adopt the license and royalty-free Digital Negative, DNG, standard), so RAW converters are almost always necessary if you want to use a third-party photo editing app. Until now photographers were able to read that data using third-party RAW file converters, but by encrypting white balance metadata Nikon is essentially forcing you to either use their own Nikon Capture app rather than Photoshop (or anything else) or manually adjust the white balance (which can make it more difficult to get the results you want). Not the end of the world, but all Nikon is doing is needlessly alienating their best customers (i.e. the only people could possibly care about something like this).

[Via DPReview]

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