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Apple update boosts support for Canon 1D Mark III

Mac OS X 10.4.10 can handle raw images from new higher-end cameras from Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm,

Apple's update to its operating system Wednesday didn't just fix a security hole. Mac OS X 10.4.10 now also supports raw images from the latest digital cameras, including the Canon's vaunted EOS-1D Mark III.

Canon's EOS-1D Mark III
Canon's EOS-1D Mark III Canon

The update also endows Macs with the ability to decode raw images from the Panasonic DMC-LX1 and LX2; the Leica M8, D-LUX 2 and D-LUX 3; the Fujifilm S5 Pro; and the Nikon D40x.

Raw images are taken directly from higher-end cameras' image sensors without any in-camera processing. They're roughly three times bigger than JPEGs, require processing by software to be useful and typically use proprietary file formats, but they can provide more flexibility and better image quality than JPEGs.

There are several different ways to handle raw images. Mac OS X builds it into the operating system, letting other software such as Apple's Aperture call on it. Microsoft has taken the same approach with Windows Vista, though unlike Apple it relies on camera manufacturers to supply the decoding-encoding "codec" engines. Image-editing powerhouse Adobe builds its own raw image software.

Breeze Systems is a small, U.K.-based software company that also has its own technology. On Thursday, it announced BreezeBrowser 1.7, which includes raw support for the Canon 1D Mark III and the Nikoin D40 and D40x.

BreezeBrowser also supports "geotagging," geographic tags in image data that show where a photograph was taken. And it includes full support for Windows Vista, the company said. BreezeBrowser Pro costs $89.90.