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Subject: Re: Camera Raw support for Nikon D200?

from my observations, the failure to form a common "raw standard" has polarized users into four major groups. it settles into something like this:

1-- those who feel the camera makers are failing them.
2-- those who feel it's a failure of software makers to co-operate.
3-- those who feel it's the fault of both software and camera makers.
4-- those who know nothing about the above or don't care.

group -1- usually includes very sophisticated or advanced users of raw picture files. they employ a full work flow from camera-to-target destination. typically this group must work from multiple sources and are constantly documenting and standardizing their workflow with other processes--be it for web, press, video, or archive. it includes artists, designers, engineers, production folk, archivists, advanced photographers and other users.

group -2- are typically advanced photographers who are responsible for their vision -- but then pass the football to someone else. it may be in the form of a JPEG, a TIFF file, or a PRINT. they've never taken it all the way to the goal post. that's been someone elses black box. the camera has been their loyal tool and serves them well. hence the camera makers, minor grumbling aside, give them their daily bread. typical grievances I have heard from this group include : "camera makers need to protect their innovations"; and my favorite jingle "the software makers are greedy and want to control us." the outside world is foreign to them.

group -3- is dedicated to people who are still developing full workflow skills. usually they come from a photography background, with one leg firmly planted there and the other tepidly immersed in the design and production side. as their information is incomplete, they are not concerned in directing an overall solution. they just want it to work when they need it and demand it work after all the money they've invested in cameras, lenses, computers, and software. they assert it's not their problem. yet without universal standards, that's precisely what it has become.

group -4- is reserved for those people who work in a closed loop. they've never needed to interface outside of their proprietary solutions. thus the issues haven't been significant enough to infringe on their workflow. they are unconcerned all the way and up to the point where they are about to crash into that camoflauged wall of bricks. some never see it. others migrate into one of the other groups.

portable workflows require the adoption of standard interfaces. it doesn't get any simpler than that. if participants are encouraged or distracted into persuing their own tangents, the solutions will become more costly and eventually some will fail to be supported. i'm betting on the bigger market forces settling this issue--which puts me smack inside category -1-! ... :-)


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