13 Responses to FastPictureViewer Codec Pack vs. Microsoft Camera Codec Pack

  1. Nora Bre says:

    Great write-up and a solid comparison. Lots of extra meta data is shown with the FastPictureViewer Codec Pack. I think you even show more metadata than what I see from the Canon codec and they really should know their RAW format. I wanted to try WIC Cop myself and I noticed that there is a newer version on MSDN — http://archive.msdn.microsoft.com/wictools/Release/ProjectReleases.aspx?ReleaseId=2887 and with that version Microsoft codec does not crash WIC Cop but does show that they do not support IWICDevelopRaw. Since Lightroom does not support WIC do you know what programs would use the IWICDevelopeRaw interface?

  2. Axel says:

    >with that version Microsoft codec does not crash WIC Cop but does show that they do not support IWICDevelopRaw

    Which is the key point: Microsoft Raw Codec does not support IWICDevelopRaw (as evidenced by the “not implemented” error code) which means the user has no control whatsoever over the conversion process. The tool crashing because of that error is anecdotal. Also anecdotal: the implementation of this interface always was a requirement for raw WIC codecs: double standards, two sets of rules?

    >do you know what programs would use the IWICDevelopeRaw interface

    None, as far as I know. As I wrote in the article, the primary use for WIC codecs as of today is to provide Explorer thumbnails and previews, and to surface metadata to Explorer and to the Search Indexer. Our codecs are optimized for this use case.

    Incidentally, all our raw codecs do implement IWICDevelopRaw and thus would allow some level of control to an application using that interface (only exposure compensation is available at this time, but I could wire up more controls), when our codecs are set to full render mode.

    Last time I checked, implementations of IWICDevelopRaw in manufacturer codecs (Nikon and Canon, not to mention them) was either missing or very bogus, going from black images to crashes.

    Thomas Knoll may be right an no one bothered so far, not even Microsoft in their released codecs. All Photo Gallery does is a blind conversion, then it let the users work on the 8 bit RGB data, with all camera settings and effects lost in the process: the camera-made JPEGs are actually a better starting point!

  3. Geoff Coupe says:

    Axel, thanks for this comparison. I must admit I found that video from Microsoft a bit disengenous, and, in places, very economical with the truth.

    However, one thing intrigues me. They show that they are able to use WLPG to edit RAW files directly. I’m using your FastPictureViewer Codec pack, but WLPG insists that I need to make a JPEG copy first and edit that. Are Microsoft doing some tricksy things with their RAW codec that aren’t available to third parties, or have I simply not got WLPG set up correctly?

  4. Axel says:

    >They show that they are able to use WLPG to edit RAW files directly

    The files are first converted to JPEG then the JPEG is edited, so it’s a convert-then-edit operation. There is a “Make a Copy” button in WLPG that is used for this purpose and that you must click before performing any change. They made it clear that the original raw file was never modified and this behavior is independent of the actual codec used, FPV’s, Ardfry’s, manufacturer’s or theirs.

  5. Geoff Coupe says:

    “They made it clear that the original raw file was never modified” – Ah, yes, so they did in the closing seconds of the video.

    I admit that I never got as far as that in the first viewing – I was so appalled at the (untrue) sweeping statements earlier such as Microsoft’s codec is “for 32 and 64 bit Windows” and “for all the cameras you may have had or may have now”, that I stopped the video the first time around in disgust.

  6. Pingback: Using RAW Codecs in Windows | Geoff Coupe's Blog

  7. Amazing Article says:

    Not even Microsoft’s Camera Codec Pack, Google’s Picasa Photo Viewer, or Nikon’s very own NEF Codec work with my camera (D3100) and operating system (Win 7 64-bit). How pathetic is that? Thank you for this incredible information. Your product has just beat down three major heavyweights.

  8. Nathanael Jones says:

    Do your codecs implement ::GetPreview() or ::GetThumbnail() for RAW previews?

  9. Su says:

    i downloaded your trial codec pack but it did not work for my Win7 (64Bit). Can you tell me if your program has support for ” .SRW for Samsung NX 20 ” ?
    Is the program Brand specific or camera model specific?
    thank you,

  10. Axel says:

    Nearly each camera model needs some special attention. I make updates several times a year to add features, support for new cameras or extra file formats (and of course fix bugs). The Samsung NX20 is supported in the current version.

  11. Shot Shot says:

    Now that Adobe released their DNG 1.4 SDK and WIC codec 2.0, I wonder how it compares performancewise to FPV’s codec (featurewise, they have more or less packed ACR’s processing engine into WIC…)
    Anyway, Microsoft’s pack still lacks support for this container.

  12. KeithT says:

    I have been using FPV for a number of years and downloaded it when it was in it’s “Free Download” days and made a small donation. I am now upgrading my computer and will lose the programme because I didn’t get a product key at that time. Anyway, the point I want to make is it is an excellent performer and worth the money if you are having trouble seeing thumbnails from your particular raw files. I will give the Microsoft download a try, but will quickly return to Fast Picture Viewer if it doesn’t suit me for any reason.

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