Nikon reacted to the White Balance encryption hysteria on the net with an “Advisory”
The Nikon D2X professional Digital Single Lens Reflex camera has received widely positive acclaim for its overall performance and image processing quality. Recently, speculative statements which appear to be based on misunderstandings and misinformation about the D2X cameraís “encryption” of certain white balance data have propagated on the internet.
The purpose of this advisory is to clarify this matter with facts and explanations.
The Nikon D2X is capable of producing high quality images that can be saved in a variety of file formats, including the proprietary Nikon Electronic Format (NEF), standard TIFF and several levels of standard JPEG compressed files.
The NEF, a Nikon proprietary raw file design, was introduced with the Nikon D1 Camera and Nikonís original Capture software. The combination of Nikon camera, in-camera image processing, NEF file format and in-computer image processing with original Nikon Capture software was developed as a system that faithfully saved image files that represent the camera settings made manually or automatically by the photographer at the time a picture was taken.
Nikonís preservation of its unique technology in the NEF file is employed as an action that protects the uniqueness of the file. At the same time, Nikon makes available a software developer kit (SDK) that, when implemented appropriately, enables a wide range of NEF performance, including white balance, for Nikon photographers and their productive use of the NEF file.
Since the inception of the system, Nikon has always provided photographers with choices about how they might use the systemís performance and enjoy high quality images. Nikonís choices for opening and processing NEF files have been and continue to include:
Through use of the Nikon Software Developer Kit, authorized developers can produce software by applying creative concepts to their implementation and adding capabilities to open Nikonís NEF file and use NEFís embedded Instructions and Nikonís Libraries. Nikon photographers reap benefits from independent developersí approaches, because it allows the photographer to open and process their NEF images.
After a developerís software is created using the Nikon SDK, a NEF file can be opened, edited in either TIFF or JPEG format, and then saved in formats available in the developersí software. This process has been available since the first Nikon SDK for NEF.
With each introduction of a new Nikon digital Single Lens Reflex model, Nikon updates the available SDK selection to provide new information; this is the situation with the D2X, D2Hs and D50 models. As stated above, application for the Nikon SDK is possible for bona fide software companies that send Nikon a written application for the SDK. Once approved, the SDK is provided to the developer at no charge and they are authorized to use it.
Nikon has provided its confidential SDK software to many software developers. With the Nikon SDK, developers may design excellent and creative compatibility between the NEF and their software, all without compromising the integrity of the NEFís original concept, and ensuring that work done by the photographer during the picture taking process can be incorporated into the rendering of the image.
The trilogy of performance, from Camera-to-NEF-to-Capture, has evolved though several generations of Nikon Digital SLR models, improving along the way. As a proprietary format, Nikon secures NEFís structure and processing through various technologies. Securing this structure is intended for the photographerís benefit, and dedicated to ensuring faithful reproduction of the photographerís creative intentions through consistent performance and rendition of the images. Discussions propagated on the internet suggesting otherwise are misinformed about the unique structure of NEF.
Nikonís Camera System, NEF and Capture software are a tightly knit system, and they are all developed through the cooperative efforts of Nikonís design teams, and this collaboration results in achieving the highest image quality.
Nikon strives to provide photographers with excellent picture taking performance, compatible Nikon in-system image processing performance and by extension, compatibility with additional software developersí products, with the ultimate goal of delivering a high level of integrity for a photographerís creative vision.
Nikon continues to welcome dialogue with bona fide software developers.