Sunday, May 10, 2009
How to process NEF files with Gimp
I'm getting in touch with my inner geek today. Actually, I managed to learn how to do something that I have been wanting to do for a long time. I found a way to process NEF RAW files in Gimp. For those whose mother tongue is not Klingon or Photogeek it means that I can process the pictures from my digital camera at a much higher quality than before (here is a video which neatly explains some of the technical details in everyday terms).
I have a Nikon D80 DSLR and until quite recently all my pictures were JPEGs (the photography world's equivalent of mp3) simply because I had neither the space nor the programs on my computer to work with the bigger NEF RAW files that Nikon cameras use. Thankfully I have finally, overcome both obstacles by buying an external hard disc (500gb but filling up fast, alas) and today I figured out how Gimp (an open source alternative to Photoshop) can deal with NEF files.
Here is a quick guide for others wishing to do the same. Don't worry, it is fairly painless and FREE. Let me just say that again, FREE for those at the back in the nosebleed section.
1 If you don't have it already GIMP can be downloaded here.
2 You will need to get UFRaw which can be downloaded here.
3 Once you have set up the programs then open up your NEF file with UFRaw and then click on the GIMP icon (a small fox) in the bottom right hand corner. This will allow you to edit your pictures. You can save your images as TIFF, JPG etc but not NEF.