Home : File Types : NEF File

.NEF File Extension

File TypeNikon Electronic Format RAW Image

4.0 (117 Votes)
CategoryCamera Raw Files

What is a NEF file?

An NEF file is a raw photo captured by a Nikon digital camera. It is saved in an uncompressed Nikon Electronic Format (NEF), which stores data exactly as it was captured by the CCD. NEF files also contain image metadata, which includes the camera ID and the lens that was used.

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Screenshot of a .nef file in Microsoft Photos 2020
NEF file open in Microsoft Photos 2020

Nikon photographers are the most common users of NEF files. These photographers may be professional or photography enthusiasts capturing images with their Nikon cameras and saving the raw data in NEF files.

The NEF format supports 12-bit or 14-bit data, depending on the camera used to capture the image. Any adjustments to image settings such as exposure, hue, tone, sharpening, and white balance can be applied with photo editing software once the image is saved to a computer.

Changes to the image are stored as instruction sets separate from the raw image data in the NEF file. This means that no matter how many edits are applied to the image you can revert back to the original.

How do I open a NEF file?

You can open NEF files with various image-editing applications. You can open NEF files with Microsoft Photos (bundled with Windows) and Apple Preview (bundled with macOS). Also, ViewNX2 is a free utility for Windows and Mac developed by Nikon to browse, edit, and share photos and videos.

Other applications that support NEF files include Adobe Photoshop (Windows and macOS), Corel PaintShop Pro (Windows and macOS), and Google Photos (Android, iOS, and Chrome OS).

How do I convert NEF files?

You can convert NEF files to other image formats, such as .JPEG and .PNG with several image editors. In Windows, you can convert NEF images with Adobe Photoshop, Corel PaintShop Pro, and ACD Systems Canvas.

On a Mac, you can use Apple Preview by selecting File → Export.... Or you can use Apple Photos, Adobe Photoshop, or Corel AfterShot Pro.

Open and view .NEF files with File Viewer Plus.

Programs that open NEF files

Updated 4/2/2021

About NEF Files

Our goal is to help you understand what a file with a *.nef suffix is and how to open it.

The Nikon Electronic Format RAW Image file type, file format description, and Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS programs listed on this page have been individually researched and verified by the FileInfo team. We strive for 100% accuracy and only publish information about file formats that we have tested and validated.

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