The digital asset management system IMatch supports the Windows Imaging Component (WIC) framework supported in Windows 7, Windows 8 and later versions of Windows.
WIC allows applications like IMatch to work with image formats via so-called codecs provided by camera and other hardware vendors. Without the need to know the internal details of a file format, IMatch can handle the files as long as a working codec is installed.
Please ensure that you have always installed the latest RAW codec (WIC codec) from your camera vendor’s web site. This ensures that IMatch can read and reproduce the images with the best possible quality.
If you work with scanners, your hardware vendor most likely also supplies a codec if the scanner emits a proprietary file format.
Note: Do not install multiple codecs from different vendors for the same RAW format. Experience tells that this may lead to more or less subtle problems when processing RAW files.
32-Bit and 64-Bit
The installed codecs must match the operating system’s bitness. If you run a 64-Bit version of Windows you need to install the 64-Bit variant of the RAW codecs provided by your camera vendor.
If your camera vendor does not offer 64-Bit codecs consider using the Microsoft Codec Pack or purchasing the FastPictureViewer codec pack for full WIC support in Windows Explorer, IMatch and other applications on 64-Bit Windows versions.
Windows Built-in WIC Codecs
Current Windows versions include a set of WIC codecs which support a wide range of common RAW formats. Not all camera variants are supported, though. Over the years, camera vendors introduced dozens of format variants which all use the same file extension. This complicates the process of providing a WIC codec for all camera models. Contact your camera vendor for assistance if you need more information.
A Note on DNG Files
There are now many different variants of DNG files in use. Adobe has expanded the format many times, creating a large variety of DNG ‘flavors’ over time. DNG files produced by software from other vendors, cameras and other imaging devices also comes in different versions.
You should make sure that you always use the most recent version of whatever DNG codec you prefer Generating 100% previews in ACR or your camera is usually the best way to get consistent results across a wide range of applications.
WIC Codec Download Sites
This is a list I compiled from various sources. Let me know if a vendor is missing or a link is wrong.
- Nikon (as of November 2011 now also with 64-Bit support)
Canon(Canon no longer provides WIC Codecs)
- Microsoft Free Codec Pack for 32 and 64 Bit
- Adobe DNG
- Google WebP
- FastPictureViewer Codec Pack
If no WIC codec is available for one or more RAW variants you use, IMatch uses its built-in LibRaw processing pipeline to render RAW files. LibRaw is an awesome OpenSource project which is actively maintained and supports hundreds of RAW format variants.
They also offer an excellent and affordable software called FastRawViewer for viewing Raw files on the Mac and Windows.