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MacBibble nearing completion  
Tuesday, July 18, 2000 | by
Mac users desperate to make best use of the D1's RAW .NEF format are close to having a workable solution, for several hundred dollars less than Nikon Capture. Even prior to its official v1.0 release, MacBibble offers excellent image quality as well as serious butt-saving features when the exposure or colour of a D1 .NEF file is less than optimum.

Changes in the latest prerelease version of MacBibble, v0.8, includes a batch processor as well as a thumbnail browser for both JPEG and .NEF photos. The batch processor in particular looks solid. This makes it possible to convert folders of .NEF images all at once, optionally tweaking the parameters for each photo as it passes by. The thumbnail browser isn't fancy, but it does rapidly display the thumbnail inside D1 JPEGs and RAW files, and generates thumbnails on the fly from non-D1 JPEGs.

While not built for digital photojournalists specifically, MacBibble is news photographer-friendly enough to be usable on select assignments where the very best colour and sharpness is required, or where exposure or colour setting mistakes are likely. For personal shooting these days, my D1 is locked on the RAW (2.7r) mode, as I love the quality I can extract from the camera using MacBibble. Captioning, however, has to happen elsewhere; MacBibble will not support this in v1.0 (the current version of Bibble for Windows doesn't either).

For those new to the world of Bibble/MacBibble, processing .NEF files one at a time into either JPEGs or 8/16 bit TIFFs is a straightforward three step process:

Step 1: Browse a folder of Nikon D1 RAW .NEF photos.

Step 2: Double-click on a thumbnail to open that photo into the General Options
window. Tweak the colour, apply exposure-fixing compensation, then click OK.

Step 3: The photo opens into an editing window that includes several Photoshop-like
tools, including image rotation, zoom, Levels and Curves. From here it can be saved
as a JPEG, 8-bit TIFF or 16-bit TIFF.

MacBibble's US$75 price tag, the same as Bibble for Windows, won't take effect until the 1.0 release, which is clearly coming up fast. So get hooked now for free.

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