Previewing digital images
By now there exists a huge variety of image file formats and most widespread of these can be easily previewed using almost any image editor.
Digital image file formats for which preview is always available:
BMP, GIF, ICO, JPE, JPEG, JPG, PNG, TIF/TIFF, TGA.
To preview the rest of the image file formats you need a special Windows component called WIC (Windows Imaging Component).
This component is shipped with Windows operating system starting with Windows Vista.
For Windows XP, WIC should be downloaded
from the Microsoft Website and then installed.
In addition to the Windows Imaging Component (WIC), a special utility for encoding/decoding of digital data (so called codec) is required for each format.
The WIC-compatible codecs for the digital camera RAW formats are typically available from the camera manufacturer website.
However, there is a codec pack which includes the functionality of most, if not all, of the known codecs.
You can download it from http://www.fastpictureviewer.com/codecs/.