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Author Topic: Nikon P6000 Announced  (Read 28567 times)
Mort54
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« on: August 07, 2008, 12:57:26 PM »
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I'm a long time Nikon user, but coming out with a new RAW format for the P6000, with only MS Window's tools to open them - they've got to be kidding. Nikon's management must be insane. I'll take a Canon G9 any day.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2008, 12:58:24 PM by Mort54 » Logged

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Ken Tanaka
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« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2008, 01:23:12 PM »
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I'm a long time Nikon user, but coming out with a new RAW format for the P6000, with only MS Window's tools to open them - they've got to be kidding. Nikon's management must be insane. I'll take a Canon G9 any day.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=213695\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yup, you can spank the P6000's bottom all day but that baby's stillborn.  You have to have to hand it to Nikon, though.  They're following Canon's dance lessons to the most minute detail, repeating the same RAW gaffe that Canon made with the G7.

I'm very happy with my G9, thank you.  Move along, nothing to see here.
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Don Libby
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« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2008, 01:52:46 PM »
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Is it just me or does anyone else think the image looks like a clone of the G9?  BTW we took the G9 with us to Alaska and were very pleased.

don
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NikosR
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« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2008, 02:08:50 PM »
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Michael,

Nikon wouldn't need to use DNG. They could have used NEF. A Nikon provided codec for WCI (or whatever it's called) to decode NEF fles already exists. Outside of WCI the files would be treated like any other NEF file (3rd party converters could have come up with support after a few weeks). So (almost) everybody would be happy..

I strongly suspect Nikon wanted to control the use of their raws and allow only limited editability (e.g. WB ,Picture Controls and a few predefine sharpening settings). This can be more easily controlled through their own new codec. I would not be surprised if measures have been taken (encryption for example) to try to avoid having 3rd party raw converters reading these files.

Why would Nkon want to do that is something that escapes me. Maybe to keep prying eyes off what they are doing to the data behind the curtains (NR, binning?). So, they are trying to give end users some more control for post capture processing while protecting their intellectual property. It wouldn't be a first for Nikon (remember the D2x, D50 WB saga).

Unless there's a Nikon - MS agreement lurking in the background. Which, the more I think about it the more sense it makes... If this WCI only thing materialises in more  (and cheaper) P&S in the future I will bet good money that the evil empire had something to do with it.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2008, 02:34:19 PM by NikosR » Logged

Nikos
Moynihan
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« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2008, 02:15:29 PM »
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Yeah, that does seem strange.
I would imagine though that many of us will be holding off on P&S type purchases anyway, to see what little machines come out of the micro-4/3 thing.
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John Camp
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« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2008, 03:27:42 PM »
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The windows thing is weird, but Nikon has some weird things in its past, including efforts to control post-processing, and generally manages to do nothing more than shoot itself in the foot.

However, the images will tell the tale. If the images are really good -- say, notably better than the G9 -- and offers a decent high-ISO capability, I'll buy one of these puppies.

Had a G9. Gave it to my kid.

JC
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Craig Arnold
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« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2008, 02:21:29 AM »
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The WIC thing isn't necessarily crazy, and is actually potentially a very good move towards increasing format interoperability for applications. Effectively providing a single standard API for the image processing pipeline which can then (with appropriate codec/decodec running underneath) perform a standard set of transformations.

This means that the image processing application doesn't need to know or care about the underlying storage format.  

I don't have any specific details about whether there will be licensing issues with using WIC compatible formats on Macs but I would suspect not. MS are rather less prone to that sort of thing lately.

Windows still has the majority of the market share and the WIC format is really a response to the proliferation of image formats. Good news for most consumers then that they will be able to gain the benefits of using RAW capture format but still being able to use consumer level image processing applications.

I would be surprised if there isn't soon a WIC adapter for DNG, and I would hazard a guess that there is no technical barrier to ACR being able to use the WIC interface even though it may be sub-optimal for professional applications. There is also probably no technical reason why ACR won't be able to support the new NRW format and completely bypass the WIC interface.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms737408(VS.85).aspx

The almost-hysteria surrounding the new raw format is somewhat misdirected I think. MS doesn't do everything for evil reasons. Sometimes the programmers have good ideas, WIC is one of them. If it helps think of it as analogous to the early days of ODBC. Remember what a mess it was before?

Also don't forget that with the arrival of Silverlight v2 it is very likely that developers will have a mechanism for delivering image manipulation applications to Windows, Linux and OSX. This really could be a move in the right direction for consumers in general, even though it's not aimed at the current professional market.

Does anyone yet know for a fact that ACR will never be able to open these files? [If the answer to that is yes then I will happily retract most of what I said above.   ]
« Last Edit: August 08, 2008, 02:33:01 AM by peripatetic » Logged

NikosR
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« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2008, 02:32:28 AM »
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As I said above, they could have gone with the WIC by just staying with the NEF files. There's already a Nikon codec to decode NEFs under WIC. So it never was an either / or decision... They decided for some reason to go WIC ONLY. That is the problem everybody is moaning about.

With regards to Adobe using the WIC interface two issues with that. First it is not available on Mac. Second, similarly with the Nikon NEF SDK I suppose, going with the WIC would only allow them to do whatever conversion and editing the WIC codec allowed. Not good enough for Adobe I suppose.

PS. With regards to Adobe or a third party bypassing the WIC and supporting the format directly, I guess it would depend on the following:

1. Are the new NRW files encrypted in a way that it would make 3rd party reverse engineering difficult or not worth the effort or illegal (DMCA)?

 Remember, since this is supposed to be WIC compatible nobody will be able to blame Nikon if they encrypt the file format. After all they will say they do provide the WIC codec for anybody to use...

2. Will the 3rd parties even bother if its too much effort?


But I'm no expert here. I would welcome some comment from the Adobe guys in this forum.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2008, 03:00:35 AM by NikosR » Logged

Nikos
Craig Arnold
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« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2008, 02:37:57 AM »
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As I said above, they could have gone with the WIC by just staying with the NEF files. There's already a Nikon codec to decode NEFs under WIC. So it never was an either / or decision...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=213827\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I guess that's part of the problem with WIC; it's a double-edged sword.

It allows the manufacturers the freedom to change their underlying formats where they see a benefit, encouraging innovation. On the other hand WIC reduces the penalty for doing so and arguably encouraging format proliferation instead of standardisation.

And clearly, even if not in this particular case, there bound to DRM issues entangled in this web.

Edit: Thinking about this... Nikon are getting much gravy at the moment for their high-ISO performance, and we are all pretty sure they are doing some heavy-duty processing as they read the data off the sensor. The NEF files coming off the D3/D700 aren't completely raw. They are probably using something similar to the RAW noise reduction that DXO are doing with their latest versions. Now this is fairly heavy stuff commercially and potentially drives a LOT of sales. There is real value in this IP. By encrypting the RAW format they may well keep that lead longer and make it more difficult to reverse-engineer their NR tech. That is a good commercial reason for going this route, even if it does mightily annoy the pro-crowd.

They may also still have some lingering ambitions to take some of the photoshop (elements) market and going with an encrypted raw format may help them with that. If this is the case then I would expect to see the pro-end still using NEF and the consumer orientated cameras using the new formats, probably including the D40-D60 ranges.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2008, 02:58:29 AM by peripatetic » Logged

Craig Arnold
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« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2008, 02:40:10 AM »
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I would welcome some comment from the Adobe guys in this forum.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=213827\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Ditto.
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NikosR
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« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2008, 03:04:26 AM »
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Edit: Thinking about this... Nikon are getting much gravy at the moment for their high-ISO performance, and we are all pretty sure they are doing some heavy-duty processing as they read the data off the sensor. The NEF files coming off the D3/D700 aren't completely raw. They are probably using something similar to the RAW noise reduction that DXO are doing with their latest versions. Now this is fairly heavy stuff commercially and potentially drives a LOT of sales. There is real value in this IP. By encrypting the RAW format they may well keep that lead longer and make it more difficult to reverse-engineer their NR tech. That is a good commercial reason for going this route, even if it does mightily annoy the pro-crowd.

I'm sure this is part of their thinking although I disagree with your unsubstantiated assumptions about the D3 files. As I have said in another thread about DNG, IP issues are very important for the manufacturers despite Adobe pretending not to understand this.

Additionally there could always be an mutually beneficial agreement with the evil empire lurking somewhere (or even arm twisting for that matter...)

Edit:
PS. BTW DXO do exactly what Adobe and others (I believe Bibble with NN interface) do. Perform NR before demosaicing as this is the best way to perform NR and avoid demosaicing errors due to noise. Nothing to do with what we are discussing here.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2008, 03:10:37 AM by NikosR » Logged

Nikos
Craig Arnold
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« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2008, 03:09:29 AM »
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I disagree with your unsubstantiated assumptions about the D3 files.

Edit:
PS. BTW DXO do exactly what Adobe and others (I believe Bibble with NN interface) do. Perform NR before demosaicing as this is the best way to perform NR and avoid demosaicing errors due to noise. Nothing to do with what we are discussing here.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=213834\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Entirely unsubstantiated and speculative, but I'm not alone in that speculation.  

Do we know that Nikon are not doing this before they write the RAW data? It's possible for example that the in-camera processing engine wouldn't be powerful enough. I don't know.

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Additionally there could always be an mutually beneficial agreement with the evil empire lurking somewhere (or even arm twisting for that matter...)
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=213834\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Sure could, they've certainly done worse in the past. Although in this case it is unsubstantiated.  
« Last Edit: August 08, 2008, 03:13:41 AM by peripatetic » Logged

NikosR
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« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2008, 03:11:54 AM »
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Sure could. Although that is unsubstantiated. 
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=213836\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Of course. Just a conspiracy theory (based on past practices though)
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Nikos
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« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2008, 03:19:43 AM »
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Entirely unsubstantiated and speculative, but I'm not alone in that speculation.   

Do we know that Nikon are not doing this before they write the RAW data? It's possible for example that the in-camera processing engine wouldn't be powerful enough. I don't know.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=213836\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I'm not an engineer (well actually I am but my field is very different). I know they do things with their data as many manufacturers do. With regards to NR though we have no reason to believe they do anything. Turning NR off in 3rd party raw converters indirectly indicates thusly. Again, I'm no expert but I know that many in this forum are. I would suggest not to derail this discussion though. It is a nice subject for a separate thread.
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Nikos
NikosR
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« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2008, 03:53:03 AM »
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In response to the questions about Adobe supporting WIC posed above the below provides a short but comprehensive answer by someone who should know  

http://www.adobeforums.com/webx/.59b61a1b

EDIT:

I understand that there does exist a WIC codec for DNG in the works (that is to provide DNG support to WIC applications) http://labs.adobe.com/wiki/index.php/DNG_Codec.

Whether WIC support for DNG converter (to allow WIC supported file formats to be converted to DNG) is also under preparation (and whether this is actually feasible) I wouldn't know.

I would venture a guess that even if that is feasible and indeed implemented by Adobe that would create de-mosaiced linear RGB DNG files and not 'raw' DNG per se. Reason, the way I understand it, that demosaicing (actual conversion) happens in the codec. I might be wrong though.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2008, 04:47:04 AM by NikosR » Logged

Nikos
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« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2008, 12:19:44 PM »
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What an ungodly amount of hand wringing, complaining, and gnashing of teeth about a little P&S.

It's not meant for photographers guys. Whie Nikon is often bone-headed IMO, Canon removed RAW for years with no alternative. Many Nikon shooters at least got something....

Perhaps there will be something else coming next month or PMA 09, but this is clearly aimed at the masses. Either be patient or get over it....

While I'm loath to say many nice things about MS, I think this is also the indignation of mac users that are being forced back to reality. Macs are not, never have been, and never will be, the center of the universe. Period. If you don't like it, then tell apple to drop their prices, open their systems, allow third party peripheral standardization with all macs and pc's, and then you'll have a competitive system.
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AdrianW
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« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2008, 01:15:45 PM »
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I'm a Canon man, but may I suggest we wait for the other shoe to drop before lambasting Nikon?

In the press release it doesn't say that the format is Windows only, it only says that: "The RAW file format for Nikon COOLPIX cameras is compatible with Microsoft's Windows Image Component (WIC) codec, allowing images shot in RAW format to be opened and edited in ViewNX (Windows version only), or in other applications that support WIC."

There's no mention of it *only* being supported under Windows, just that only the Windows version of ViewNX can use WIC to only open images; which is blindingly obvious as the Mac doesn't support WIC.

There may be valid technical reasons for yet another RAW format, I'd hazard that perhaps this one is better optimised for compact camera usage; compacts and dSLRs are very different beasts after all.

WIC support is very clearly aimed at non-photographers (as is the face detection etc), it just means that casual users can use their images easily with any basic imaging application, like the built-in Windows PhotoGallery features. This is a good thing™

So, instead of all flying off the handle, may I suggest we wait and see how the camera actually performs? Based on the samples I'd say it's looking pretty good for a compact!
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2008, 08:14:32 PM »
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Why would Nkon want to do that is something that escapes me. Maybe to keep prying eyes off what they are doing to the data behind the curtains (NR, binning?). So, they are trying to give end users some more control for post capture processing while protecting their intellectual property. It wouldn't be a first for Nikon (remember the D2x, D50 WB saga).
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=213715\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I believe that you are exactly right. Nikon is using a crap 13.5 MP Sony sensor with noise levels high enough to make Mount Everest look like a hill.

I believe that they are indeed trying to hide this with some pre-post processing built into their own codec.

I don't think that they are trying to make money on this by preventing 3rd party software to eating some of their software pie. I believe that there is a genuine willingness to ensure the best possible image quality for their customers, but they are failing to see that many of the prospects for this camera would be willing to handle the noise themselves...

Once more, it shows that the people in charge of the consumer range at Nikon are very disconnected with the North American market needs.

One final word though, I don't see how this is arrogant. A stupid move? Yes,  but I am getting really tired of the over-usage of the word arrogant each time a company doesn't produce the product we were expecting. There is nothing arrogant about it.

I understand that arrogance has become the ultimate crime in the North American society, but over-using a word only serves to depriving it of its power and meaning.

Cheers,
Bernard
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A few images online here!
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #18 on: August 08, 2008, 08:25:53 PM »
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Entirely unsubstantiated and speculative, but I'm not alone in that speculation.   

Do we know that Nikon are not doing this before they write the RAW data? It's possible for example that the in-camera processing engine wouldn't be powerful enough. I don't know.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=213836\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

There is no reason to think that Nikon does it but Canon doesn't.

What we have for the P6000 is very easy. The people in charge of the coolpix line of product simply think that nobody will be able to handle the noise of the Sony sensor better than themselves.

The problem is internal, they should have let the DSLR guys draw the spec of the P6000 instead of letting the coolpix team do it.

Besides, let's not forget that as a whole, the Nikon mgt has finally become very aware of the importance of noise. I wouldn't be surprised if an exec level decision had been taken to prevent the release of noisy raw files in the wild. They must have thought that it would damage the image of Nikon as a whole.

Not knowing how noisy the files from this 13.5 MP snesor are, nobody here can really assess how wrong that decision was...

Now, let's be a bit realistic here. Nobody will use this coolpix for real critical applications where a 10% better noise handling would make a significant difference. So the possible pre-processing of the raw file by Nikon is not sucha huge problem in itself.

The reliance on Windows is a real pain for people like me using a Mac, but I could of course use my VMWare fusion instance of Vista to solve this problem in a heartbeat. So beyond the emotional response, there are solutions for most of us.

Now, I will probably no buy a P6000 but will instead use that money to buy half a video enabled D90 anyway.

As a side note, the piece of gear that contributed most to enhancing my experience as a photographer recently is the pair of Nuforce Icon-S-1 speakers I equiped my Mac Pro with. These babies sound almost as good as my 4000 US$ B&W 804s speakers. Unbelieveable. Let's focus on what works.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: August 08, 2008, 08:33:02 PM by BernardLanguillier » Logged

A few images online here!
dalethorn
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« Reply #19 on: August 08, 2008, 09:50:42 PM »
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Nikon has been doing me-too P&S cameras at least since the 8800 went away.  The P6000 looks like much less camera for the same money as the Panasonic LX3.  Nikon's superzoom P80 is also a weak imitation of Pana's FZ28.  Too bad - another Kodak moment for Walmart, who can sell the Nikon brand to the uninformed.
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