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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> Campaign to make Nikon code open source
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04/22/2011 11:54:36 AM · #1
I hope you join me in asking Nikon to make their software code open source. Capture NX can sometimes produce very good images but is far behind the competition on usability and integration. Releasing their source code into the public domain would encourage much needed innovation and experimentation.

Nikon Inc.
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Melville, NY 11747-3064, U.S.A.

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Campaign to make Nikon code open source

Dear Nikon,

I am a big fan of your cameras, lens and imaging equipment. Your gear has help capture some of the most dramatic, exciting images in many fields over the 80 years.
I look forward to using the new pro bodies (D800, D4?) when they are released.

I do however have to voice a complaint about your software. Capture NX (2.2.7) produces excellent results in terms of image quality, especially with regards to skin-tones and tonality. However the functionality and work flow are severely dysfunctional. Programmes like Photoshop & Lightroom are far superior in use for both the professional and amateur.

It is a shame to have to have to chose between image quality and usability. With this in mind I am asking for you to release the source code to your cameras, making it freely available in the public domain. It is my hope that through the talent, imagination and ingenuity of the public your code could be turned into something much better, even unexpected.

Photographers buy cameras to make images. The better the image, the happier we are. Make the process easy and you also have our loyalty.

Yours sincerely

Oliver

Rocket New York
212.300.3675
rocketnewyork.com

rocketnewyork.com/campaign-to-make-nikon-code-open-source
04/22/2011 12:11:21 PM · #2
I doubt it would happen, but it's a nice idea. I do need to point out a seemingly minor but big distinction in software licensing. Open source and public domain are entirely different things. Open source software is licensed in accordance with a formal open source licensing program, such as GNU, and there are various rights and restrictions associated with such licenses. Public domain code belongs to nobody and everybody, and anyone can do what they wish with it.

I could see some API elements potentially being made open source if Nikon felt it was to their benefit to do so.

Message edited by author 2011-04-22 12:12:19.
04/22/2011 12:17:48 PM · #3
Originally posted by Yo_Spiff:

I do need to point out a seemingly minor but big distinction in software licensing. Open source and public domain are entirely different things. Open source software is licensed in accordance with a formal open source licensing program, such as GNU, and there are various rights and restrictions associated with such licenses. Public domain code belongs to nobody and everybody, and anyone can do what they wish with it.

I could see some API elements potentially being made open source if Nikon felt it was to their benefit to do so.


I agree completely here. And, if one is to approach Nikon with such a proposal, it should definitely be worded correctly.
04/22/2011 12:24:29 PM · #4
Good point, I will edit the letter before it goes out.
04/22/2011 12:39:11 PM · #5
Isn't Capture NX actually produced by Nik Software? I remember the topic came up with I was discussing RAW processing with a couple of my Nikon shooting friends.
04/22/2011 12:45:59 PM · #6
Originally posted by Nusbaum:

Isn't Capture NX actually produced by Nik Software? I remember the topic came up with I was discussing RAW processing with a couple of my Nikon shooting friends.


As far as I know that is correct.
04/22/2011 12:49:04 PM · #7
The source code to View NX or View NX 2 isn't even what you want now is it?

What you want is their raw conversion code along with individual camera curve settings, etc to make up for what other open source raw converters lack at this time. Since the software itself is freely available (I didn't have to confirm I was an owner to download the update for 2) and I doubt anyone wants to directly contribute to ViewNX i doubt it would happen.

All anyone wants out of this is take take take, oh and some future security in their files. Guess everyone forgot what happened when the D200 came out and adobe's raw converter couldn't get the white balance data because it was encrypted. Nikon did officially respond to that.

I love using nikon's software for the "correctness" of the conversion which is entirely subjective but the real hassle is not directly interfacing with my editor. The fact is you can't claim if nikon doesnt do this you are stranded. Open source converters work on every nikon file I can think of at this point. The output settings however have to be changed to make the same images.

Message edited by author 2011-04-22 12:51:31.
04/22/2011 01:01:47 PM · #8
To be honest, I think an alternative that would be better suited to Nikon would be an implementation of View NX as a plugin for Photoshop/Lightroom that would act as a replacement to ACR for RAW conversion of NEF files..
04/22/2011 01:10:00 PM · #9
Originally posted by fotomann_forever:

To be honest, I think an alternative that would be better suited to Nikon would be an implementation of View NX as a plugin for Photoshop/Lightroom that would act as a replacement to ACR for RAW conversion of NEF files..


BOOM there it is, Well can we get a PSP plugin while your at it lol. It atleast takes one step out of my process.
04/22/2011 02:33:11 PM · #10
Originally posted by fotomann_forever:

To be honest, I think an alternative that would be better suited to Nikon would be an implementation of View NX as a plugin for Photoshop/Lightroom that would act as a replacement to ACR for RAW conversion of NEF files..


It's even simpler that that, IMO. All you *really* need is for Nikon (and others, including Canon) to open-source their encoding of various parameters in their RAW files, and their camera profile definitions. This would allow third-party developers to accurately mimic the out-of-camera JPEG results, as well as duplicate the as-shot WB without reverse-engineering.
04/22/2011 02:38:03 PM · #11
It's the wrong question... You need publicity on the portions of the NEF files that are locked (not open source).... and given they have gone to some work to make it harder to decode prob means your tilting at the wind.
04/22/2011 04:06:07 PM · #12
Sending a letter to Nikon USA isn't going to do anything. You need to convince Nikon Japan. They are who make the decisions.
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