5 Best Nikon RAW Viewers to Open the NEF Image of Your Nikon Digital Cameras

Last Updated on April 20, 2023 by Peter Wood

When you copy the NEF files from the Nikon camera to your computer, you might still not be able to view the photos. Why? Nikon is one of the most popular digital cameras that produce a RAW format, NEF, for storing images and information. To view photos in RAW format, you need a Nikon RAW viewer instead.

What should be the best Nikon RAW viewer? If you use Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom as the default RAW editor, it might be inconvenient to view the RAW images of Nikon. Here are 5 recommended RAW viewers for Nikon digital cameras you should know.

Best Nikon RAW Viewers

Top 1: WidsMob Viewer Pro

WidsMob Viewer Pro is the ultimate companion of the Nikon camera. It is the all-in-one Nikon RAW viewer, which enables you to browse everything from your Nikon camera, including the NEF RAW files, JPEG, TIFF, MP4, and more. You can also check the EXIF information of NEF files and manage them easily within a folder-based view. Moreover, it also provides features to copy photos, delete unwanted ones, compare similar images, sort for the desired files, etc.

1. Browse NEF, JPEG, TIFF, MP4, PDF, and other file formats within the same folder directly.

2. Provide multiple modes to view NEF in full-screen, slideshow, thumbnail, EXIF, and more.

3. Edit photos by copying images, deleting unwanted files, comparing similar files, etc.

4. Convert NEF, JPEG, TIFF, and other RAW files to JPEG, PNG, and BMP with original quality.

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How to View and Manage NEF Files

Step 1: Download and install WidsMob Viewer Pro, you can launch it on your computer. After that, you can drag-n-drop the RAW files into the program. If you have already set it up as the default photo viewer, you can simply click any NEF or JPEG to launch the program with all the thumbnails in the same folder.

View Photo and Video AAE Viewer

Step 2: It will direct you to the Thumbnail mode, you can view the thumbnails for all images and videos, including NEF files. Select a photo and press Ctrl + C keys to copy the file and transfer it to another folder. Select two similar photos and click the Compare icon in the upper left corner to check the details before making a decision.

Compare Photos Thumbnail Viewer Pro

Step 3: To view your Nikon RAW images in full screen, you only need to double-click any NEF file. Move the mouse to the bottom, you can switch to another image, apply the photo effect, remove the unwanted photos, and check the EXIF information, such as the camera model, F-number, exposure time, ISO, exposure bias, focal length, flash, and others.

Crop Image in Full Screen Viewer

Step 4: When you need to customize the browsing method for the RAW image file, you can right-click any image in the Full Screen mode and select the Preference option, which you can select the image view mode, mouse wheel setting, view option, and clean up the cache. After that, you can click the Apply button to save the changes accordingly.

Preference WidsMob Viewer Pro

Step 5: If you want to convert Nikon NEF to JPEG or other file formats, choose the desired photo within the Full Screen mode. After that, you can select the File menu and choose the Save As button. Enter the name of the output file and choose the JPEG from the drop-down list of the Save as type to save Nikon RAW to the desired format.

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Top 2: Faststone Image Viewer

Faststone Image Viewer is an excellent RAW viewer for Nikon cameras. The full-screen mode of the image view lets you hide all toolbars, but you can access them with your mouse pointer.


1. Equip a user-friendly interface.

2. Integrate a wide range of functionalities.

3. Offer excellent batch processing options.

4. Display GPS location in Google Earth.


1. It is slower than competitors when loading large files.

2. It is only available to Windows.

FastStone Image Viewer

Top 3: IrfanView

IrfanView is a robust Nikon RAW viewer that has been around for a long time. It is far more than an image viewer that enables you to browse, edit and even manage NEF photos.


1. Support a wide range of image formats include NEF.

2. Offer some image editing features.

3. Expandable with various additional plugins.


1. The interface looks outdated.

2. It had not to update for years.

IrfanView Preview

Top 4: Picasa

Picasa is both an image editor and a Nikon RAW viewer. It is free of charge, so it is a good starting point for beginners. Moreover, it offers a good array of editing features and more.


1. Convert RAW images into JPEG files before editing.

2. See the EXIF information and add geotags.

3. Adjust contrast, brightness, and other parameters.

4. Store photos up to 1GB for free.


1. The editing tools are not pro-level without an update.

2. The design is not very user-friendly.


Top 5: Fotor

Fotor is another popular Nikon RAW viewer program online. It should be a comprehensive photo solution that offers both a web app and a desktop program. In addition, to view your NEF files, you can also get extensive tools.


1. Integrate a photo editor for RAW files.

2. Offer hundreds of templates and effects.

3. Improve portrait images with advanced beauty features.


1. It is large and takes too much space.

2. It is a bit expensive to subscribe to the service.

Fotor B/W


Here are the top 5 Nikon RAW viewers for Windows and Mac to view the NEF files from your Nikon digital cameras. Each image viewer for Nikon has unique benefits and advantages. WidsMob Viewer Pro is the most cost-effective option to browse photos and videos, including the NEF RAW. Moreover, there are some advanced features to touch up the photos.

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