Apple issued an OS X update today that lets iPhoto, Aperture, and other Mac software use raw photos taken by the Nikon D600 and several other cameras that arrived last month at the Photokina trade show in September.
The Digital Camera Raw Compatibility Update 4.01 enables use of raw photos from the following cameras:
Canon EOS M
Canon PowerShot G15
Canon PowerShot S110
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
Nikon 1 J2
Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ200
Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G5
Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX7
Sony Alpha NEX-F3
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100
Supporting new cameras is a constant effort for software makers such as Apple and Adobe Systems, since each new camera comes with a new proprietary format. There's a race to support each new camera, too, so new customers can make use of raw images as soon as possible.
In that race, Apple beat Adobe for support of three interesting Canon PowerShot models, the higher-end G15, the compact S110, and the ultrazoom SX50 HS. Canon previously hadn't had raw support for its ultrazoom line, but added it because of popular demand, reflecting the increasing attention that photo enthusiasts are putting on raw imagery.
But with a raw update in Lightroom 4.2 three weeks ago, Adobe edged out Apple with support for some other cameras, including the Canon EOS M and the Nikon 1 J2, two compact mirrorless models that accommodate interchangeable lenses. Neither Apple nor Adobe yet supports a hot new full-frame SLR, the Canon 6D, and Adobe's Nikon D600 support is preliminary.
Raw images offer better flexibility and image quality than JPEGs, but file sizes are larger and viewing them is much less convenient.
Keeping up with raw formats requires a lot of effort. Lightroom and Photoshop today support 408 camera formats, and Apple supports 283.
To ease some of the pains of handling raw images, Adobe is pushing its Digital Negative (DNG) format by adding new features and attempting to make it a neutral, international standard.