Many digital camera users find that they cannot preview RAW image files on Windows computer, which makes it inconvenient to browse or edit RAW files. Saving captures in JPEG + RAW format is a workaround, but it will increase the burden of memory card space. What’s the perfect solution for viewing RAW images on Windows 10? In this tutorial, we are going to learn how to view RAW thumbnails with camera codecs and open RAW pictures with RAW viewer on Windows 10.
Windows 10 supports the DNG format natively. To open DNG files on Windows 8/7, you need to install Adobe DNG codec 2.0 from Adobe’s website. Later, you can run DNGCodecInstaller.exe to view DNG image files on Windows 7 and Windows 8. Or you can use Adobe Photoshop to open and edit a photo on your Windows computer as well.
- Digital Negative (DNG) is a publicly available archival format for raw files which are generated by various digital cameras. This addresses the lack of an open standard for raw files created by individual camera models and ensures that photographers easily access their files.
- So, DNG is important. It also allows them to properly re-edit the images if my children have the skills and software to do it. For ease of use the DNG files must be directly browse-able in Windows, especially as the Adobe DNG codec frequently referred to on the Internet appears to have been effectively hidden from me by Adobe.
View RAW Files with Microsoft Camera Codec Pack on Windows 10
You may have found that Windows 10 allows users to preview thumbnails of some RAW images, like ARW, DNG and CR2, and open these RAW pictures with Photos app. As a matter of fact, Windows 10 is built-in with Microsoft camera codec pack, which automatically recognizes those device-specific file formats and allows users to preview RAW files in Windows Explorer without third-party apps.
With thumbnail preview, it would be super convenient to find or edit RAW image files with professional editing tools. Nevertheless, since Microsoft has stopped updating the codec pack, there are still plenty of RAW formats that Windows 10 doesn’t support, like NEF and ORF.
Tip: If you want to view RAW files on Windows 7 or Windows 8, please download Microsoft camera codec pack manually.
View RAW Images on Windows 10 with Codec for Specific Camera
Dng Codec Windows 10 Download
If Windows 10 doesn’t support the RAW image format of your camera, then it will only show the default image icons instead of thumbnails of your images. In this case, you need to install a specific codec for the RAW format or camera model, which will work like Microsoft camera codec pack and display thumbnails of the specific RAW file type.
Normally, you should be able to find the codec on manufacturer’s website, but there are also several useful third-party codec websites. Here we’re going to show how to install Nikon NEF codec to Windows 10 from such a codec site.
- Step 1. Visit http://www.free-codecs.com
- Step 2. Input “NEF codec” in the top-right search box and hit Enter.
- Step 3. From the results, click link: NEF Codec 1.31 Free Download.
- Step 4. View the information page, then click Download button on the right section and another download button on the new page.
- Step 5. Click the downloaded .exe file to start installing camera codec with setup wizard.
- Step 6. You may need to reboot your computer to make the codec work.
Now, your Windows 10 computer should show thumbnails of NEF images. In the meantime, you should be able to open NEF photos with Photos app. Just search for more codecs if you have another kind of RAW pictures that Windows 10 doesn’t support. Camera model info might help you find codec quickly. Please include it into searching keywords.
Open RAW Photos with RAW Image Viewer on Windows 10
If installing various of codecs hassles you, you can use RAW image viewer which usually support most RAW formats. For example, ACDSee is one of the most famous RAW image viewer software.
Premium RAW image viewers may charge you for using advanced functions, but usually less expensive than Lightroom. Another drawback is that there is no thumbnail of the device-specific RAW images in Windows Explorer, which means quick preview is not available. Instead, users need to open the RAW viewer to check all RAW images in the same folder and manage them as you like. Overall, it is still a great choice if you don’t need another professional editor program.
- Support a wide range of RAW formats as well as common images with one tool
- Provide advanced editing functions and management options
- No thumbnail display in Windows Explorer
- May need payment
There are many more ways to view and open RAW images, but the above three methods should work for most cases in a Windows 10 computer. In case you lose precious RAW pictures by accident, try a photo recovery software to get them back as soon as possible.