Microsoft has released the Microsoft Camera Codec Pack will enable the viewing of a variety of device-specific file formats natively including Raw Image Format Files within Windows 7 Explorer, Window Live Photo Gallery as well as other software those are based on Windows Imaging Codecs (WIC).
Here is the Link to the Microsoft Camera Raw Image Format Codec Pack download page installing which will enable viewing of Raw Image Format Files. Read the text on Raw Image Format written below, before clicking the link; not all Raw Image Format files are supported.
Overview of Raw Image Format Files that will be supported by the Microsoft Camera Codec Pack
Raw Image Format files are digital negatives used to save the captured image that comes as an option in almost all DSLRs (Digital Single Reflex) as well as advanced Point to Shoot cameras.
Raw image files are not a single file format, but includes proprietary Raw image files like .3fr (Hasselblad), .crw .cr2 (Canon), .mrw (Minolta), .nef .nrw (Nikon), .orf (Olympus), .pef .ptx (Pentax), .raw .rwl .dng (Leica) and many more.
Microsoft in the Camera Codec Pack download page has not mentioned which Raw image files extensions will be supported but has mentioned Brand names and Models like the EOS series of Canon, all D series of Nikon, some specific models of Sony, Olympus, Leica, Minolta, Epson and Panasonic.
Only for Pentax, it is clearly mentioned “PEF formats only” that means only .pef Raw Image Format will be supported NOT .ptx Raw Image Format. There is no mention of Hasselblad (.3fr).
Microsoft and Raw Image Format Files
Microsoft’s Digital Image 2006 supported Raw Image Format of .crw, .cr2, and .nef (Nikon and Canon). Windows XP and Vista both supported the Raw Image Format files of Windows Imaging Component codec standard.
Practically the DSLR users who uses Microsoft Windows, either use these camera manufacturers’ proprietary software or Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom to view and edit Raw Image Format files. Hasselblad’s Phocus (free) however can read Hasselblad’s Raw Image Format (.3fr) as well as Raw Image Format files of other brands.
Apple Mac OS X 10.4 upwards, however supports almost all Raw Image Format files and PSD files by default.