We all take a lot of photos. In fact, according to data provided by InfoTrends, more than 73 billion still images were shot in the US alone in 2010. If you’re lucky enough to own a DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera, you’re likely to take two and a half times as many photos in a given month as your friends with point-and-shoot cameras. That’s a lot of photos. What’s more, nearly a quarter of those photos are taken in a raw image format.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with raw format, it is the uncompressed output from each of the original pixels on the camera’s image sensors. Raw files have several advantages over JPEG files including higher image quality, finer control, and more image information. Think of them as big, digital negatives waiting to be processed.
We know from customer feedback that dealing with raw images on Windows hasn’t always been easy. While there is software that works well to convert raw files to JPEG, we have some good news for consumers looking for a built-in Windows solution. Today we’re happy to announce that Windows Live Photo Gallery 2011 now supports raw format images. Just download the Microsoft Camera Codec Pack for Windows 7 and Windows Vista to be able to view raw photo files from more than 120 DSLR cameras in Photo Gallery, as well as in Windows Explorer.