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Subject: Re: Photoshop CS support for new Pentax DS2



> HE is the one who makes those claims.

He's by no means the only person who has been critical of the digital-negative concept...or rather, of a particular file format as provided by a particular company. That there's a need for a "universal" format doesn't seem to be a controversial idea (except perhaps in the halls of camera manufacturers where, for whatever the reason, they seem to want tight control over the file formats). The contention seems to be over who "should" devise the universal file format, how it should be presented to the world, and who should give it official blessing (whatever "official" means).

Well...is there any case to be made in favor of proprietary file formats -- for the way it's gone up to now? Is there some potential or actual benefit -- not just for the camera companies, but for photographers as well -- provided by non-universal raw formats? My initial (and purely visceral) reaction is NO! But if a camera company could credibly claim "adopting a universal format would put us at serious financial risk," that's an argument I would have to consider (I don't subscribe to the idea that software "should" be free just because a lot of people might resent having to pay for it).

But I don't think anyone's making that kind of claim. The camera makers are hardware guys. They seem to do a good enough job with embedded software; but they don't deserve high praise (so far) for their end-user software, which ranges from "bad" to "worse than that." So, what benefits accrue to them by constantly churning the formats, and keeping them under wraps. They must find this approach justifiable, or they wouldn't keep at it. So what's the justification?

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