WIC Codecs for Image Composite Editor

What is WIC? What are codecs?

Windows Imaging Component, or WIC, is Microsoft's extensible platform for reading and writing images. WIC is built into Windows Vista, 7, and 8; or it can be downloaded for Windows XP if you don't have it already. WIC uses a different "codec" (short for "coder/decoder") to read and write each of the different image file formats that is supported. WIC comes with codecs that support the JPEG, PNG, TIFF, BMP, ICO, GIF, and HD Photo file formats. There are several companies that offer additional codecs to support more image file formats; some of these codecs are free and others cost money.

Image Composite Editor (ICE) relies on WIC to read images, and therefore ICE is capable of reading just about any image, assuming your machine has the right WIC codecs installed. In particular, ICE can read many of the camera raw formats produced by various digital SLR cameras and other high-end cameras.

Available WIC Codecs

The tables below list several WIC codecs offered by Microsoft and other companies. We have not tested all of these codecs with ICE. We recommend the Microsoft Camera Codec Pack and the FastPictureViewer Codec Pack because they offer fast performance, they support a broad range of formats, and they work on both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows.

Tested with ICE and recommended
Name Supported formats Cost Comments
FastPictureViewer Codec Pack Adobe Digital Negative, Canon Raw, Epson Raw, Fuji Raw, Hasselblad Raw, Kodak Raw, Leica Raw, Mamiya Raw, Minolta Raw, Nikon Raw, Olympus Raw, Panasonic Raw, Pentax Raw, Sigma Raw, Sinar Raw, Sony Raw $14.95
Microsoft Camera Codec Pack Canon Raw, Epson Raw, Leica Raw, Minolta Raw, Nikon Raw, Olympus Raw, Panasonic Raw, Pentax PEF Raw, Sony Raw Free

Not tested with ICE
Name Supported formats Cost Comments
Adobe DNG Codec Adobe Digital Negative Free
ArdFry DNG Codec Adobe Digital Negative $19.95
Olympus Raw Codec Olympus Raw Free
Sony Raw Codec Sony Raw Free

Not recommended
Name Supported formats Cost Comments
Canon Raw Codec Canon Raw Free No 64-bit support; slow
Nikon Raw Codec Nikon Raw Free No 64-bit support; slow
Panasonic Raw Codec Panasonic Raw Free No 64-bit support
Pentax Raw Codec Pentax Raw Free No 64-bit support

If you have further information about these or any other WIC codecs, please contact us.