May 11th, 2005 7:40 PM

Nikon is fucking up big time on this RAW debacle. They refuse to engage the community of their users, and it’s utterly frustrating. Engadget’s recent interview with Steve Heiner, head of Nikon’s DSLR group, had this obnoxious cut-in by Nikon public relations:

Adobe has been trying to get camera manufacturers to adopt the license- and royalty-free DNG or Digital Negative standard. Is Nikon considering that?

Saurabh Wahi, MWW Group (PR representative): Actually, let me jump in real quick. Let’s save that question for another discussion because we just want to talk about digital SLR cameras now. Is that OK with you, JD?

Well, it’s not OK, because if you don’t address some of these issues, our readers are going to rip into you. So it’s for your own good to get in front of these topics that have been swirling around the past two weeks.

Wahi: I understand. But at this point, we have put out an advisory, and we want to forward that advisory over to you, but beyond that we have no further information. So I hope that’s fine.

I don’t know why Steve wouldn’t be able to talk in general terms about these issues.

Wahi: There’s so much information out there right now, we want to make sure we can come back with specific information that can help people, and we are in the process of putting that together.

There was a report in CNET on April 21 about the encryption being broken on the white balance metadata for RAW files in the Nikon Capture application, does Nikon plan to take any action against the programmer who broke your encryption code?

Wahi: Again, whatever information that we have available right now is available in the advisory, and I can make sure I can send that out to you.

Could we just talk about the business decision of Nikon encrypting its white balance metadata in the RAW files?

Wahi: Again, the advisory contains all the information that we have available to give to you, and we’ll send that out to you.

I’d like to know what you would say to your customers who are hopping mad about this.

Wahi: The advisory contains all the information and as soon as we finish this interview I’ll send you that.

As an owner of several Nikon products including the D70, and having a distaste for a Nikon-stranglehold on the files that contain my photographs, I’d sure like to hear something official from Nikon about this issue that didn’t sound as if it had passed through an entire PR department. It’s just so upsetting when an otherwise good company acts in such an amazingly clueless way.