Photographers with all levels of experience have grown to appreciate the flexibility that snapping shots in RAW provides when it comes to mastering the image in photo editing software. Sometimes, you just need to be able to quickly view a large batch of RAW files out in the field without having to fuss with third-party programs. Sometimes, Windows Live Photo Gallery is all that’s available. Microsoft has come up with a solution for Windows users with the new Microsoft Camera Codec Pack.

This pack adds support for a variety of device-specific file formats. Download and installation is easy and requires only a few clicks and a minute of time on behalf of the user. Furthermore, the codec pack adds support to Windows Explorer allowing you to see previews of these files while browsing through various file directories.

This codec pack adds support for the following device formats:

  • Canon: EOS 1000D (EOS Kiss F in Japan and the EOS Rebel XS in North America), EOS 10D, EOS 1D Mk2, EOS 1D Mk3, EOS 1D Mk4, EOS 1D Mk2 N, EOS 1Ds Mk2, EOS 1Ds Mk3, EOS 20D, EOS 300D (the Kiss Digital in Japan and the Digital Rebel in North America) , EOS 30D, EOS 350D (the Canon EOS Kiss Digital N in Japan and EOS Digital Rebel XT in North America), EOS 400D (the Kiss Digital X in Japan and the Digital Rebel XTi in North America), EOS 40D, EOS 450D (EOS Kiss X2 in Japan and the EOS Rebel XSi in North America), EOS 500D (EOS Kiss X3 in Japan and the EOS Rebel T1i in North America), EOS 550D (EOS Kiss X4 in Japan, and as the EOS Rebel T2i in North America), EOS 50D, EOS 5D, EOS 5D Mk2, EOS 7D, EOS D30, EOS D60, G2, G3, G5, G6, G9, G10, G11, Pro1, S90
  • Nikon: D100, D1H, D200, D2H, D2Hs, D2X, D2Xs, D3, D3s, D300, D3000, D300s, D3X, D40, D40x, D50, D5000, D60, D70, D700, D70s, D80, D90, P6000
  • Sony: A100, A200, A230, A300, A330, A350, A380, A700, A850, A900, DSC-R1
  • Olympus: C7070, C8080, E1, E10, E20, E3, E30, E300, E330, E400, E410, E420, E450, E500, E510, E520, E620, EP1
  • Pentax (PEF formats only): K100D, K100D Super, K10D, K110D, K200D, K20D, K7, K-x, *ist D, *ist DL, *ist DS
  • Leica: Digilux 3, D-LUX4, M8, M9
  • Minolta: DiMage A1, DiMage A2, Maxxum 7D (Dynax 7D in Europe, α-7 Digital in Japan)
  • Epson: RD1
  • Panasonic: G1, GH1, GF1, LX3

To install the Microsoft Camera Codec Pack, head over to the Microsoft Download Center and pull up the page for the codec pack. Once there, select the orange download button associated with your present Windows installation. If you’re running on a 32-bit version of Windows, select the x86 option and amd64 for 64-bit.

You can find out which version of Windows you’re running by going to Start, right-clicking on Computer, and selecting Properties. You’ll find your version listed as the System Type.

Once the download is complete, you’ll need to double-click on the .MSI file and follow the instructions to install the codec pack. That’s pretty much it; you’re ready to go from there and enjoy support for various file formats from many different camera built right in to the operating system.