What is NEF Video File and How to Open It?

The use of RAW file formats has enabled users to operate their cameras to the fullest. NEF is one such kind of fotmat.

From managing the files and operating them across multiple software platforms, the scalability of these file formats has essentially brought different functionalities for the users. Nikon is a digital camera company that has been working on its own RAW file format, NEF.

This article intends to discuss what is NEF file and what are the other important deliverables of this digital file format.

Part 1: Defining NEF Video Files

Digital cameras use the RAW image file format for obtaining and maintaining a good quality of the images that are captured through them. Companies like Nikon essentially came up with dedicated RAW file formats that support their digital cameras.

Such is the case with NEF files, a file format that stands for Nikon Electronic Format, which is essentially directed for Nikon cameras.

Being a RAW image file, NEF files store most of the information in the form of metadata related to the image captured by the camera, which includes details like camera model, lens, and other image details. To know more about What is NEF file, it should be known that Nikon created this file format to make their work easier and convenient to manage.

Every camera provider has set up their personal version of RAW image file format, which has the same motive of bringing quality with consistency for its users. NEF files are used with a similar objective, where users can make certain adjustments in the settings of the image, thanks to the flexibility offered by the NEF file format.

Part 2: How to Open a NEF Video File? 

Once you are aware of what is NEF file, it is time to figure out some of the platforms that can be considered to open a NEF video file on your computer. There are some built-in options that can support such file formats.

However, to make your work simpler and easier, this article also lets you know how to open NEF files with the help of other software:

Case 1: Built-In Options

1. Microsoft Photos

The first built-in tool that you can consider to open NEF files on your device is Microsoft Photos.

The tool is not based on providing users with a source to open photos or videos, but it also provides other functionalities, which include editing and organizing these photos or video files. Following the options of controlling the flow of the photos and videos, users can get hold of other details featuring the metadata of the RAW file format.

microsoft photos nef file

2. Apple Preview

Apple Preview has made it extremely easier for Mac users to manage their NEF video files across the device.

Unlike other tools, the user interface offered by Preview is clean and covers significant portions of requirements, which makes it one of the best built-in options in the market.

From supporting simple files to complex image files like NEF, users can observe and make appropriate changes in the outlook of their image or video files.

use preview to view nef file

Case 2: Downloadable Software

1. Adobe Photoshop

Rather than going for built-in tools, people question working with software that offers professional experience in managing and maintaining the RAW image files of cameras. Adobe Photoshop offers such a case for NEF file holders, as it offers a variety of tools under its capability for controlling the quality of the file format.

From the manipulation of color across an image to adding text and repairing flaws across the image file format, Photoshop is the perfect option for you.

Users, however, need to keep this mind that they have to install the dedicated “Camera RAW” plug-in for NEF files across Photoshop so that the files can open across the mentioned platform. Make professional edits with the help of tools like Adobe Photoshop.

adobe photoshop for nef

2. IrfanView

IrfanView is another popular image and video editor that provides an exceptional variety of tools for controlling files like NEF file format. To understand more about what is NEF file and what it represents, you should keep platforms like IrfanView for a better and more extensive view of the image or video file across the computer. While being fast and compact for users, the tool is completely free for use.

However, with Unicode support and a multi-language platform available for users, IrfanView surely sounds perfect for checking the RAW NEF file across it. Its editing and organizing features make it quite the tool for its users.

irfanview interface

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Part 3: Benefits and Drawbacks of Working with NEF Video File

The following advantages and disadvantages focus on providing the users with a clear understanding of whether they should consider NEF files or not.


  • disks being defective before deliveryWith a RAW image file format in your hand, it is completely possible to make any kind of changes across your file without compromising the quality of the file by lots.
  • bad using habits of disksOnce you have completed the shoot through your camera, you can make color adjustments, white balance adjustments, and change exposures through the necessary tool.
  • using disks under poor working condition of disksSince they are fulling supported by the dedicated software of the manufacturers, they can be managed with perfection.
  • using disks under extreme casesPerform color corrections and chromatic aberrations with noise reduction across your image file.


  • ❌ The file size of the NEF file is extremely large, which usually takes up a lot of space on the device. Along with that, it also takes time to load across the device at times for its large size.
  • ❌ RAW files like NEF do not go well under bad lighting, which makes them a useless file format under such circumstances.

Bonus Tip: How to Repair Corrupted NEF File?

Users need to be careful while dealing with such file formats on their devices. For their large file sizes, it gets quite difficult at times to operate the devices properly. While managing these files across the device, there is a chance that your NEF file may get corrupted out of nowhere. Though it looks useless, it can be repaired with the help of a third-party application under the name of Wondershare Repairit.

  • Repair damaged photos with all levels of corruption, such as grainy photos, dark photos, pixelated photos, faded photos, etc.

  • Repair images of diverse formats, such as JPG, JPEG, PNG, CR3, CR2, NEF, NRW, etc.

  • Repair critically damaged or corrupted photos available on SD cards, phones, cameras, USB flash drives, and more.

  • Supports Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP and macOS 10.10 ~ macOS 13

The tool is known for resolving all kinds of file format issues on the device that has led to data corruption. While offering this in the simplest of interfaces, Wondershare Repairit is extremely commendable with its services throughout the market. To resolve the issues with your NEF files, you can surely consider this solution that repairs files in under a few clicks.

See more methods to fix corrupted NEF files in this video:

Part 4: FAQs about NEF File

Q.1. Why are image files in NEF?

Check if the camera you've been using is from Nikon. Nikon provides dedicated support to NEF file format, its built-in file format, which is also a RAW file. The picture is captured across a lens with data stored across it before the user covers the post-processing function across the camera. Such detail is only possible with RAW image file formats such as NEF files.

Q.2. How large is a NEF File?

The size of the NEF file completely depends on the detail that is captured across the lens. This may range from a few MBs to hundreds of MBs. The limit can essentially change according to the quality of the image taken from the lens.

Q.3. Is NEF better than JPG?

Talking about the quality of the image file formats, NEF is far better than JPG for multiple reasons. The only reason for not capturing images in JPG is the failure to keep hold of the minute information of the captured image. Along with that, JPG uses file compression to control the file size, which is not the case with NEF files.

Q.4. How to convert NEF files?

There are several online and offline solutions available for such operations. Users can easily convert their NEF files to other image file formats without putting themselves in miserable situations. It is up to the user to consider an online or offline solution for converting their NEF file.

Q.5. Why are NEF files similar to RAW?

NEF files are similar to the basic RAW image format, as camera companies have developed their own file formats for better management of the image quality. There is no significant difference between a NEF and RAW file format.


The article has conclusively put up a detailed discussion on how NEF file is used across Nikon cameras. While looking into the details of how to open NEF files on your device appropriately, you should keep yourself aware of the dynamics that you are in after maintaining these file formats.

Under circumstances where you accidentally get such files corrupted, you have Wondershare Repairit available for resolving such problems.