I shoot in RAW format on my Canon 40D. I have grown weary of the fine folks at Canon dicking around and being utterly unable to provide a codec for 64-bit versions of Windows. All I want to do is be able to see thumbnails of my photos in RAW format that are on my CF card or hard drive. Is that so much to ask?
Well, judging by the utter silence out of Canon, yes. Yes it is.
Even as technology marches inexorably onward and 64-bit operating systems become increasingly more common (Hell, Solaris has been 64-bit since 1998 and pretty much anybody who mattered announced or released a 64-bit capable OS in 2003, people!) Canon seems intent on punishing those of us who want to actually be able to use the full potential of our machines by refusing to publish a 64bit-friendly codec for the RAW files (CR2) produced by my 40D dSLR and other models. I can find no word to use other than "refusing" since they've been asked repeatedly over the last two years and constantly do not act upon the requests. This flat out denial means that users of Windows XP x64, Windows Vista x64 (what I used to run) and the platform I'm on currently, Windows 7 x64, are essentially shit out of luck. Sure, I can run Adobe Lightroom 2.6 in 64-bit, hell, Adobe's been supporting my 64-bit experience since I first installed Lightroom back in 2008, and hell they even supported using multiple cores; it's been smooth sailing with them every step of the way. Pulling in 8GB of RAW files and converting them to Digital Negative (.DNG) would have been hell if I had been in the 32bit world, unable to take advantage of my 8GB of RAM in this rig. But Canon? Not so forward-thinking.
Fellow suffering Canon owners, rejoice! Your salvation is at hand. A little company out of Switzerland, called Axel Rietschin Software Developments has heard our cries. They have released a codec pack for purchase, called the FastPictureViewer Codec Pack. It supports Windows 32-bit and Windows 64-bit. It supports tons of RAw files, not just Canon's (I counted Minolta, Nikon, Sony and Kodak amidst many, many others). The install is easy, purchase is easy, everything's easy. They fix what lazy, wayward manufacturers will not. And the software is on sale right now for an absolute steal compared to what other third-party codec providers are charging.