D100 and Coolpix 5000 - Color NEF/RAW converts to B&W JPG - Help Plz...

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by no way, Sep 22, 2004.

  1. no way

    no way Guest

    Hi everyone...

    I'm in a bit of a pickle - I took some photos with the D100 in RAW mode and
    some photos with the Coolpix 5000 in RAW mode.

    Only after doing so, did I find out that Nikon uses a proprietary format and
    its not RAW, but NEF. I finally fished around in my Nikon box and found a
    disk labelled Nikon View 6.0 and installed it.

    It did allow me to VIEW the NEF images and they look great. (Whew!)

    However, when I try to convert from NEF to JPG (the only conversion option
    available), the NEF photos from the D100 converted beautifully. However,
    the ones taken with the Coolpix 5000 come out as Black and White!??!?!?!

    I had them all grouped together and all were converting at the same time, so
    it makes sense to me that if it works for the D100 that the same run should
    work with the Coolpix 5000.

    I'll reiterate that the NEF images are all color and look fine inside of
    Nikon View.

    I tried upgrading the version of Nikon View from 6.0 (the latest that I
    have) to 6.2.2 (the latest I'm aware of), and it demands a serial number
    from the USA.


    Being in Australia makes that a bit difficult...

    Does anyone have version 6.2.2 of Nikon View and if so, can I get it from
    you? It's not piracy as I own 4 Nikons - I just don't have an American
    Serial Number.

    OR - does anyone have a possible solution for my Color NEF to Black and
    White JPG problem?

    Naturally, this is due yesterday, so any information you can help me with
    would be greatly appreciated.


    no way, Sep 22, 2004
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  2. no way

    Ed Ruf Guest

    Try putting the 5000 images in a different directory and restart NV
    then change to this directory. While these are "NEF" format, I believe
    they are differing flavors of it. And where the 5000 is in the change
    I don't know, as the raw capability was added in a firmware update,
    Ed Ruf Lifetime AMA# 344007 ()
    See images taken with my CP-990 and 5700 at
    Ed Ruf, Sep 22, 2004
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  3. no way

    Andrew Guest

    my understanding is that D100 uses formats compatible with NV5 upwards, but
    that the '5000 uses an older version compatible with NV4 only.

    there is something on the Nikon website about this.

    I got caught with similar when I first got my D100 and thought that I could
    continue without having to swap out the older NV. I also know that the very
    latest NV 6.2.1 does resolve this, but 6.2.0 does not work with the older

    apologies for the long link, but here's a good starting point...
    Andrew, Sep 22, 2004
  4. no way

    Miro Guest

    Does Camera Raw import in Photoshop CS deal with this ? At least then you
    can choose TIFF and keep some of the detail in the images (if it does).
    Miro, Sep 23, 2004
  5. no way

    [BnH] Guest

    [BnH], Sep 23, 2004
  6. no way

    Ryadia Guest

    One alternative you might like to explore is Irfanview. This program is
    free and capable of converting your RAW files to any (graphic) format.

    Ryadia, Sep 23, 2004
  7. no way

    Ed Ruf Guest

    When I tried it a couple of weeks ago with NEF files from my 5700 the
    results were just awful.
    Ed Ruf Lifetime AMA# 344007 ()
    See images taken with my CP-990 and 5700 at
    Ed Ruf, Sep 23, 2004
  8. no way

    Ryadia Guest

    I've never used it on anything but Canon RAWs and the results were first
    rate. Maybe using a different DLL file than the default one would help?

    Ryadia, Sep 23, 2004
  9. no way

    k Guest

    I've never used it on anything but Canon RAWs and the results were first
    rate. Maybe using a different DLL file than the default one would help?


    I have to confess that my recent attempts at NEF (nikon raw) conversions in
    irfanview were pretty unappealing too (fast though! ;-) and I suspect Nikon
    has done some nasty little trick to the raws to prevent non-Nikon software
    from handling them... after all they sell their nef handler so I can hardly
    see them making it easy for others :-(

    Canon however handles fine, and in irfanview, bloody fast.

    k, Sep 23, 2004
  10. no way

    Glen F Guest

    I have to confess that my recent attempts at NEF (nikon raw)
    Irfanview works OK with CP5000 NEFs. Trouble is, there doesn't seem
    to be any way to alter the white balance it adopts. The Photoshop
    (Elements or 7) plug-in also works fine - I gather it is based on
    the same engine. Unfortunately, Capture One and Qimage won't read
    CP5000 NEFs, though Nikon Capture will (of course).

    I recall reading that the real problem is that Nikon (and others) will
    not publish ANY standards for their RAW files - and there is certainly
    no commonly accepted standard. So after-market plugins to interpret
    the various formats have to reverse-engineer the format.

    Re Nikon View 6, it also works fine with CP5000 NEFs for me, and does
    the best overall job. That's 6.0, so I don't know why you're getting
    Glen F, Sep 24, 2004
  11. no way

    Ed Ruf Guest

    Try this link off tech support FAQ listing. I didn't need a serial # even
    though I have 3. Watch the following long url for wrapping
    Ed Ruf Lifetime AMA# 344007 ()
    See images taken with my CP-990 and 5700 at
    Ed Ruf, Sep 25, 2004
  12. no way

    no way Guest

    Well - good info -thanks everyone!

    I sent the files to a friend with Photoshop CS and - sure enough - he could
    read it fine, it loaded in color. He then saved it as a windows BMP and a
    TIFF. No problems. He then loaded them back into PS CS - they came in in
    beautiful color! He used a generic file viewer and was able to view the
    saved TIFF and BMP in color with no problem.

    Soooo.... I bit the bullet and upgraded my PS7 to CS and now I am able to
    read, modify and save those images.


    Fortunately, my client also uses Photoshop CS and they could read my files
    just fine.

    JUUUST in case, I did the shoot that afternoon (before I checked the board
    here) and shot in TIFF mode.

    It's amazing how the RAW/NEF is about 7.5 megs and the TIFF is 15.5 megs!

    Do you lose a lot of information saving to TIFF instead of RAW? Now that I
    can manipulate the images, I'll probably stick to raw and make a conversion
    action script to convert the files in a directory to TIFF (if I need to),
    and RAW/NEF is half the size.

    Can someone explain to me the *real life* advantage to shooting RAW/NEF
    images? Would you be throwing away a lot of vital information by using TIFF
    instead? Since this last batch of photos were TIFF, I'd like to have
    something intelligent to reply with when they question why I switched from
    RAW/NEF to TIFF.

    Thanks again...

    no way, Sep 26, 2004
  13. no way

    Ed Ruf Guest

    Ed Ruf, Sep 27, 2004
  14. no way

    Glen F Guest

    It's amazing how the RAW/NEF is about 7.5 megs and the TIFF is
    Yep. And it's difficult to grasp the math. Basically, it goes
    like this:


    The CP5000 Tif image is 2560 x 1920 pixels = 4,915,200 pixels.
    These are 3-colour pixels, 8 bits Red, 8-bits blue and 8-bits
    green, for 24 bits total per pixel.

    So we have 4,915,200 x (8 + 8 + 8) = 117,964,800 bits of image data.
    That's 14.0625 Megabytes (at 8 bits per byte and 1,048,576 bytes per
    Megabyte). Add the tif format overhead and you should have about
    14.5MB (15.5 seems too high).


    The CP5000 image sensor actually has 2574 x 1922 = 4,947,228
    single-colour sensors - 1.24M of them behind red filters, 1.24M
    behind blue, and the other 2.47M behind green, arranged in the
    Bayer pattern. (see eg
    http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/digital-camera12.htm )

    Each of those records 12 bits of brightness data, so there are
    4,947,228 x 12 = 59,366,736 bits of raw image data, or 7.08MB.
    Add some file format overhead, and you have the 7.8MB NEF (RAW)

    The conversion from raw to a tif is done by some black magic
    called Bayer interpolation, which actually manages to generate
    one 3-colour pixel for each 1-colour pixel. The process uses
    the values of the surrounding pixels, which is why the tif pixel
    count is slightly smaller than the raw count. The 1-colour
    pixels at the edge of the sensor cannot be converted, because
    they lack a full complement of surrounding pixels.
    Yes. Even though the file is larger, it contains less information,
    because some was discarded in the conversion - most importantly in
    down-sampling from the 12-bit to 8-bit grey scale. Unless you
    seriously stuff up exposure or white balance, what's discarded is
    generally considered to be unimportant. But if you do stuff up,
    the RAW will give you a much better chance of recovering a useful
    Basically, it's the above. Plus the greater flexibility in post-
    processing, for those who need it.
    Not really, except as stated. In fact, many would argue that
    little is really lost in using a "fine" (lightly compressed) jpg
    in preference to tif. The much smaller file size (~1.5MB) puts
    much less stress on all parts of the data storage and handling

    But if you want the best possible results, shoot RAW.
    Glen F, Sep 27, 2004
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