NEF Files: The Ultimate Guide to Nikon Raw Image Files

Original quality and high-resolution images are among the qualities that every successful photographer who wishes to uphold high standards in photography treasures. These qualities don't come easy, but with NEF files, this is the reality, as you don't have to worry about quality loss even when uploading your images to a computer. A NEF file format is the most stable file format you can use to store your digital images without worrying about loss of resolution.

While the NEF file on its own is not compatible with many other file formats, there are programs available to ensure smooth image conversion. Whether it is NEF file to JPG or whichever file format, it is possible to convert NEF files to any other file format.

What is a NEF file?

NEF, which is the short form for Nikon Electronic Format, is a RAW file extension format mostly used in Nikon cameras. NEF is a digital negative where all the image information that the camera captures through the sensor and the image metadata is contained. With NEF files, your original images are maintained since photographs taken with NEF suffer no resolution nor quality loss. These RAW images or digital negatives can be saved to a camera's memory card as unprocessed or lossless formats.

NEF files have spectacular advantages over other image file forms as their images are in RAW and unprocessed form when being saved. This means that settings such as hue, white balancing, sharpening, and tone are not saved in the real RAW image data. These settings are kept in the instruction set, making it possible not to disturb the original RAW image data, no matter how many times you process the image.

How to use a NEF file

Most recent computer operating systems, including Windows 8, 9, and 10 are compatible with NEF files as they contain codecs that can display NEF files. They do not require additional software to open NEF files. In cases where the files can't open, there are numerous programs and software available to open NEF files.

How to open NEF files

Computer users with computer operating systems of Windows 8 and above have no issues opening NEF files since their systems are codec enabled. However, if this is not the case with your computer, there are computer programs as well as software available to enable you to open NEF files.

Software programs such as AfterShot Pro from CorelDRAW are available online and they can seamlessly open NEF files. There are a few steps involved when opening a NEF file using programs such as AfterShot Pro. AfterShot opens a variety of file formats, including CR2, NEF, RAW, CDR, ARW, PEF, RW2, ORF, DNG, among other file formats.

  1. Launch AfterShot Pro
  2. Choose and open file
  3. Search for the NEF file you want to open
  4. Select files
  5. Edit and save file

AfterShot Pro is also useful when it comes to editing NEF files as well as converting NEF files into other file formats. You can also use the Online Raw Converter, which can save the image back to Google Drive or to your computer in the JPG, or WEBP, and PNG formats.


When quality reassurance matters in photography, we opt for NEF file format. It is the most secure format to store your images as you don't have to worry about resolution loss or quality loss during upload. NEF has been exclusive to Nikon cameras, but innovative programs and software have made it possible to share it in many other file formats.

CorelDRAW has a wealth of innovation in digital photography and its innovative programs will make it easy to convert NEF files into whichever file format you want. Download AfterShot Pro from CorelDRAW trial version today to enjoy the full range of benefits of this RAW photo editor.

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